Monthly Archives: December 2011

All Nippon Airways brings direct flight to San Jose International

December 21  |  Transportation  |   Carl Guardino

During the darkest days of World War II, Winston Churchill wisely said, “Never, never, never, never give up.”  Appropriately, that message hangs on a sign near the baggage claim at San Jose International Airport.

Last February, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and I boarded a flight to Tokyo, Japan, to encourage the CEO of All Nippon Airlines to offer a direct flight between San Jose and Tokyo.

After the trip, the Leadership Group established our “CEO Airport Task Force,” with San Jose Mercury News Publisher Mac Tully as our chair. With the Mayor, 30 Silicon Valley CEO’s we made the business case for the direct flight.

That business case is obvious – the heart of Silicon Valley is a five to fifteen minute drive to San Jose international airport, saving business and leisure travelers their most precious resource: their time. San Jose also has the best on-time arrival record in the United States; and less delays mean more productivity.

This week, the CEO of All Nippon Airlines responded to our requests – with a resounding yes.

In 2012, Tokyo-bound travelers can board direct flights to Japan or use the flight as a gateway to the rest of Asia.

Success doesn’t come from luck – but, as Winston Churchill reminds us, by never giving up.

BART to Silicon Valley – Full Speed Ahead

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December 14  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

The long-anticipated, longer-needed BART connection to Silicon Valley is on-track. Better than that, it is barreling down the tracks with the first 10-mile segment of the planned 16-mile extension now estimated for completion before the end of 2016.

Yes, that is 18 months ahead of schedule and it’s also $75 million under budget.

Ridership projections just for the first 10-mile extension is estimated at 46,000 daily trips. To put that into context, our popular Caltrain commuter rail system that runs 79-miles from Gilroy to San Francisco carries 41,000 daily trips.

The full 16-mile BART extension from Fremont – with stations in Milpitas, San Jose and Santa Clara – is estimated to carry 90,000 daily passenger trips.

BART will not only help us get to our jobs, but the extension also creates jobs. In a down economy, with regional unemployment still hovering around 9 percent, the BART extension provides 13,000 construction-related jobs over the next four years alone.

In addition to its positive economic impacts, when the line is completed, the positive environmental impacts are equally significant – as the BART extension means 13,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions will not be emitted into our atmosphere.

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group praises the 12-member VTA board for its unanimous vote on Dec. 8 in awarding the construction contract to move BART down the tracks. Yet even more important, our hat is off to the visionary voters of Santa Clara County who voted not once, but twice, to tax themselves to make the BART extension a reality.

The “100 Percent”

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December 5  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

At City Halls across our country, we read about the “99 percent” angry with the federal government, business and the “1 percent” of Americans with the highest incomes.

I am not part of the “1 percent,” and while I appreciate the frustration of those calling themselves the “99 percent,” I have but one simple request. Why don’t we all work together to strengthen our nation as the “100 percent.” United, perhaps we can stop pointing fingers and join arms.

* From the left, I often hear that the “one percent” hold 20 percent of the nation’s wealth. Yet they also pay 37 percent of all federal income tax, and closer to 50 percent of California’s state income tax.

* From the right, I hear that 47 percent of American adults pay zero federal income tax and zero state income tax.

Here’s my view – 100 percent of us benefit when we have good schools; decent roads; and a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens. If you agree, then 100 percent of us should be willing to contribute to funding these priorities.

It’s tempting, yet all too easy, to say what we want, but then insist only others pay for it. Let’s unite, invest, and strengthen our nation. That’s a movement I could get behind – 100 percent.

If You Mess Up – Fess Up!

December 1  |  Uncategorized  |   Carl Guardino

Why is it so hard for some people to apologize? This seems especially true for public officials and CEOs.

At our recent Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot”, which I founded seven years ago and still direct through our Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, we had some challenges with traffic and with congestion at our race finish line.

While we have been putting on the Turkey Trot for seven years, the race has grown exponentially every year. This year, the race included 21,000 adult participants and another 1,100 kids. With the larger numbers, we had congestion – both in traffic before the race and for our runners at the finish line at the race.

On Monday, I sent out both a thank you – but also an apology – to all 22,000-plus participants. People don’t want to hear excuses, but they do appreciate being heard, and knowing someone is working on solutions to any problems they experienced.

More than 200 participants responded to my letter of apology. As you might expect, the responses were gracious, solutions-oriented and thoughtful.

When you make a mistake; when you mess up; – fess up.

Overwhelmingly, people understand that we are all human and that mistakes happen. Just try not to make the same mistakes twice, and own the ones you do make.