Blueprint CFO Presents: Future Focused Entrepreneurs – Performance Under Pressure with Dante Valve’s Lisa Papini


Dante Valve is a full-service manufacturer, distributor and VR™ certified repair facility of valves and related products for the industrial and military markets. They manufacture military specification Danco pressure relief valves, they distribute Kunkle relief valves and TRAC regulating, reducing, and temperature regulating valves, fittings and flanges, and they also provide CNC machining services.

As the President and CEO of Dante Valve, Lisa Papini establishes the organization’s strategic priorities and vision and has responsibility for Dante Valve’s financial performance. Named to this position in 2016, she has focused on expanding manufacturing capabilities at the Norfolk, Virginia location, enhancing a planning process and enacting additional financial controls. Lisa is wholly dedicated to the Dante Valve “family” – both her actual relatives and the company’s long-time dedicated employees. Lisa began her career as a concert promoter in the Jazz and Blues industry. She joined Dante Valve in 1993 as a warehouse clerk – shipping orders, running forklifts, and managing inventory levels. Later, she moved into contract administration and sales, with responsibility for shipyard and original equipment manufacturers.  Lisa has played an instrumental role in the growth of the Danco brand – spearheading the strategic direction, financing and expansion of the product line, including all of the capital equipment and staffing, and managing the growth.

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Public Relations from California State University, Long Beach and a Master’s of Business Administration with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship from the University of Southern California. She is the Chair of the Aircraft Carrier Industrial Base Coalition (ACIBC), a member of the Board of Trustees of GENEDGE, a Manufacturing Extension Partnership of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and is an active member of the Submarine Industrial Base Council, the Marine Machinery Association and Shipbuilders Council of America.

Topics discussed in this episode:

  • Dante Valve’s belief in customer service as a part of the company’s promise to customers
  • The history of the firm, and how Lisa became a part of the multi-generational family business
  • Lisa’s early career as a concert promoter, and why Lisa decided to go back to school for her MBA
  • How Lisa’s values play a role in her career, and where her passion lies
  • How Dante Valve has responded to difficulties and challenges in the business
  • The importance of resilience, commitment, and leadership when facing challenges
  • The best and most difficult parts of running a business, from Lisa’s perspective
  • COVID-19’s impact on Dante Valve, and the proactive leadership mentality the firm embodied during that time period
  • Lisa’s perspective on the concept of work-life balance, and how many hours per week she works on average
  • How working with Blueprint CFO has benefited Dante Valve
  • Lisa’s tips and advice for budding entrepreneurs, and the importance of recognizing both the rewards and sacrifices

About the Series. Blueprint CFO Presents: Future Focused Entrepreneurs is an interview series and podcast highlighting entrepreneurs and businesses that are going places by focusing on the future and developing a roadmap for success. Hosted by Jim Downes, founder of Blueprint CFO, a future focused fractional CFO & accounting services firm based in Southern California.

About Blueprint CFO. Blueprint CFO is a future focused fractional CFO and accounting services firm based in Orange County, California. Partnering with entrepreneurial companies to guide and support them on their road to success, Blueprint CFO equips clients with the Profitability Roadmap® they need to grow. Learn more at

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