Monthly Archives: January 2011


January 26  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Here’s food for thought . . . It was 1863 – Abraham Lincoln was president – when Caltrain service between San Francisco and San José began.
Fast forward 150 years, and this venerable service is at risk of going away.
The popular line, running 79-miles from Gilroy to San Francisco, carries 42,000 daily passenger trips, has one of the highest fare-box returns in California – yet has no dedicated source of revenue to fund its daily operations. Bart has a parcel tax, VTA, SF-Muni and SamTrans each have a sales tax – Caltrain has nothing.
Does it impact you? If we lose Caltrain, we will need the equivalent of 2.5 new freeway lanes of traffic on highways 101 or 280 to simply maintain today’s current sluggish conditions.
Join the Silicon Valley leadership group to identify and implement thoughtful solutions to keep Caltrain running. Visit We can – we must – save Caltrain.

Steve Jobs

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January 18  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

In a Valley known globally for innovation and entrepreneurship, Steve Jobs is a first among equals.

He co-founded apple with Steve Wozniak, came back to revive the company years later, and came back again after his diagnosis with pancreatic cancer and a liver transplant.

Sadly, he has announced an indefinite leave of absence, once again, to focus on his health.

I have never met nor worked with Steve Jobs, yet like millions of people across our nation and world, I have been touched by apple’s technology and innovation. I typed this Food for Thought message on my Mac Book Pro, jogged this morning listening to my iPod, and watched a weekend movie with my six-year old daughter on our iPad.

His visionary leadership is looked upon by other CEO’s. When I ask executives which CEO they most admire, the most common response is Steve Jobs.

Many media stories right now are focused on the future of Apple. That is understandable and important. At such a time as this, however, let’s focus first on the future of Steve Jobs and his family. Yes, he is a technology giant. He is also a human being – a husband, a father and friend.

Steve, our thoughts and our prayers are with you. May you recover completely and return quickly.

Civic unrest

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January 11  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

The tragedy in Tucson, AZ serves as a stark reminder that our nation needs to be knit back together.

All too often, partisan politicians attack individuals rather than ideas; some in the media reward those who divide us rather than unite us; and even religious leaders on occasion offer anger over mercy and grace.

Yet we live in a valley where wonderful role models survive and thrive.

My friend and mentor, Tom Campbell reminds us we can disagree without being disagreeable, that we can use “soft words but hard arguments.”

Jim Cunneen, former state assemblyman and former CEO of the Chamber of Commerce is a living example of effective service. As Chamber CEO, he strengthened an institution with numerous policy and political successes, always respecting, rather than reviling, those with different points of view.

At the Mercury News, thoughtful columnists like Mike Cassidy and Gary Richards have strong opinions, but their words build bridges, rather than burn them down.

CEO’s like Aart de Geus and Mike Splinter balance global business acumen with local civic engagement.

Let’s model those who lift others up, rather than reward those who tear others down.

Gov. Brown needs “game changers”

January 5  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

As California welcomes a new governor, he must welcome a new era of business competitiveness to create and retain jobs in the golden state.
As I wrote in a recent op-ed for San Jose Mercury News, California needs “game changers” to strengthen our business climate to compete with regions around the nation and world.
The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is preparing a white paper on economic competitiveness for Governor Brown, covering the following items:
• An economic development strategic plan, with the governor as our chief recruitment and retention officer.
• A K-12 and higher education system that tracks each student, ensuring each dollar invested offers the best return for each child.
• Rewarding companies that invest in California, encouraging them to stay here and grow here.
• A renewable energy strategy that ensures that 33 percent of the energy we use is from clean sources by 2020.
• A statewide transportation system that we adequately fund.
• Restore trust in government with serious pension, governance and budget reform.
Silicon Valley CEOs and citizens want results from our state government and have high hopes for our new governor. He shouldn’t veer California to the extreme left or right. He should simply move California ahead.