Community

Winning Together: Celebrate, then Motivate

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July 21  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

April 12 of 2012 was “Kind of a Big Day.”  It started with a lunch-time launch, a celebration, with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, with 450 Valley leaders hosted by Member Company Marvell.  The reason to celebrate?  Our $900 million “Full Funding Grant Agreement” had been awarded by the Federal Transit Administration as “matching funds” for the first ten-mile extension of BART to Silicon Valley, with stations in Milpitas and the north San Jose neighborhood of Berryessa. 

Coupled with $740 million in matching funds through the California Transportation Commission, construction of the first ten-mile segment is allowed to proceed (as the 2008 “Measure B” ballot language stipulated that the new 1/8 of one percent sales tax could only begin once the federal and state matching funds had been secured).  

Never one to waste a large crowd of leaders, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Senator Feinstein agreed in advance to not only celebrate the BART matching funds, but to motivate the gathered leaders for our next big mutual effort – to “Save San Francisco Bay” through a Bay Restoration and Flood Protection initiative.  On-stage, CEO Carl Guardino and Senator Feinstein briefed the audience about this new partnership, with great partners like Save the Bay and the Bay Area Council in attendance.  A new four-year effort of collaboration is launched.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: 1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds

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July 20  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Through the vision of then San Jose City Councilman Sam Liccardo and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, a new education initiative – relying solely on the generosity of volunteers – is launched.  “1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds” envisions a volunteer army of busy tech employees, senior citizens and adults who donate one hour each week, for as short a duration as 15 weeks, to tutor a student in the “safe space” of a local public school, in reading, science or math.  

Over the next five years, nearly 750 adults volunteer within existing organizations like “Reading Partners” and “We Teach Science” to help students in traditionally underserved communities.  The results are measurable and meaningful, with marked improvements in the lives of children eager to learn.  

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: Keeping CalTrain On-Track!

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July 19  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

San Francisco and San Jose Railroad Company provide the foundation for Silicon Valley’s Caltrain

It’s January 11, 2011, and an emergency meeting is held with 200 grassroots and grasstops leaders from throughout the region, gathered together for the express purpose to save and strengthen Caltrain.  Budget issues and a bad economy threatened service on the venerable train, in continuous operation since Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States.  The Caltrain Joint Powers Board was faced with slashing 50 percent of the service to keep the train in operation.  The Leadership Group stepped forward to rally the region to save the train, in partnership with Congressmembers Jackie Speier and Anna Eshoo and a host of public, private and non-profit leaders.  Eight Town Halls from San Francisco to Gilroy were held, along with extensive polling to determine if Caltrain might secure a dedicated, permanent source of revenues for its operations.  

Through belt-tightening and a slightly better economy, the worst of the service cuts were avoided.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: Girl Power

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July 18  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

On February 12, 2010, Burnett Middle School in downtown San Jose is selected to host the Inaugural “Women & Girls Leadership Summit,” with 450 Middle School “girls” and 150 women executives, rising stars and elected leaders.  The Goal – motivate young women in middle school with mentors and role models to stay in school, study STEM and engage in their communities.

Inspiring speakers that inaugural year included former HP CEO Carly Fiorina and Congresswoman Jackie Speier.  In just the past seven years, the Leadership Group has hosted 15 “Young Women’s Leadership Summits,” touching the lives of thousands of students and the adults investing the time to stand with them.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: Every Vote Counts

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July 17  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Not until four weeks after the November 2008 election, was it determined that “Measure B,” a one-eighth of one cent sales tax to fund the operation and maintenance of the future BART extension for Silicon Valley had been passed by the electorate.

On Election Night, four weeks earlier, it appeared – to some – that we had lost.

Four long weeks later, once every absentee ballot and provisional ballot had been counted, the yes votes slowly gained momentum to meet and exceed the required two-thirds threshold.  Yes, out of nearly 700,000 votes cast, Measure A earned 66.78 percent of the vote, winning by the razor-thin margin of .11 percent of the vote.  

“Whew.”

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: A Labor of Love

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July 14  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

It’s Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2007, when the call comes in. Governor Schwarzenegger asks the CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group to serve as one of only nine appointees to the powerful California Transportation Commission, which has also been tasked with allocating most of the $19.95 billion “Proposition 1-B” funds for transportation improvements throughout California. The answer is an enthusiastic “YES.” For only the third time in the history of the “CTC,” a representative from Silicon Valley has a seat at the transportation table. The first Commissioner was former Leadership Group CEO Gary Burke, and the second was former County Supervisor Dianne McKenna.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Winning Together: Five for Five.

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July 13  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

Under the bold leadership of action hero turned Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and the unfailing direction of California Alliance for Jobs CEO Jim Earp, five infrastructure initiatives are placed on the November 2006 ballot.  Propositions 1-A; 1-B; 1-C; 1-D and 1-E are simultaneously placed before voters, to fund vital improvements for water, levees, education, housing and transportation.  The Silicon Valley Leadership Group is named one of only seven Statewide Co-Chairs for the entire package of improvements, and one of only two State Co-Chairs for the Housing Bond (Prop 1-C).  All five pass on Election Day.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

We’re Talking Turkey . . . Turkey Trot, that is!

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July 12  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

San Jose Fire Chief Jeff Clet crossing the finish line at the 2004 Applied Materials Turkey Trot

It’s Thanksgiving morning, 2004, when CEO Carl Guardino and his wife Leslee wake up to a radio report by Jim Taylor of KCBS, talking about “20,000 people gathered downtown, walking and running to help feed the hungry.”  He wasn’t talking about wealthy Silicon Valley, but the much smaller city of Sacramento.  Inspired by the community call-to-action, Carl thought “someone should do that here in Silicon Valley,” and decided that perhaps that “someone” was us.  Six months later, Applied Materials executive Joe Pon generously agreed that the company would serve as our Title Sponsor, and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation launched the inaugural run for Thanksgiving Day – November of 2005.

Ten days before the inaugural race, with more than 225 volunteers secured to help on race morning, barely 100 people had registered to participate.  Panic set in, but our sense of purpose never left us.  On race morning, more than 900 people showed up to register on-site, delaying the start of the race by nearly a half-hour.  That first race recorded 1,900 paid participants, supported by 240 volunteers, and raised $132,000 to help families in need throughout Silicon Valley.  A new Thanksgiving Day tradition was born.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Home, Sweet Home

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July 11  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

It’s November of 2002, and the Leadership Group and its CEO are tapped by Governor Gray Davis and the powerful President Pro Tem of the State Senate – John Burton – to serve as one of only two Statewide Co-Chairs of “Proposition 46,” the $2.1 billion Statewide Housing Bond.  It is the largest Housing Bond in the history of the United States, and wins with 57.5 percent of the vote.  Well over 100,000 individuals and families are served through Proposition 46, from those who are homeless to those seeking to purchase their first home.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.

Great Companies Build Great Communities

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July 10  |  Community  |   Carl Guardino

It’s June, 2001.  The Leadership Group lays the groundwork to launch its c-3 Foundation, with a separate Board of Directors and two-person volunteer staff.  The Leadership Group’s CEO volunteers to also serve as the unpaid Executive Director of the Leadership Group Foundation, drawing down an annual salary of “zero” each of the past 16 years – and, as he frequently says, he is “worth every cent.”

Results: To build community and help the needy, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation  founded and directs the Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot,” the “Santa Run Silicon Valley” and the Lam Research “Heart & Soles” Run.

Join us for our 40th Anniversary Celebration on Friday evening, July 28.