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Labor Secretary Thomas Perez is the featured speaker at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s “Annual Public Policy Luncheon;” Sobrato’s and Morgridge’s named “Spirit of Silicon Valley – Lifetime Achievement Award” recipients

SAN JOSE – Oct. 26 – U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez is the featured speaker at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s “Annual Public Policy Luncheon” on Oct. 30 and will participate in a panel discussion that will cover topics like the Trans-Pacific Partnership and other issues of importance to our region and nation’s economic competitiveness.

In addition, the Silicon Valley Leadership Group is pleased to announce that the recipients of its 2015 “Spirit of Silicon Valley – Lifetime Achievement Award” are long-time Silicon Valley philanthropists and business leaders John A. and Susan Sobrato and John and Tashia Morgridge.

The awards will be presented to the Sobrato’s and Morgridge’s at the “Annual Public Policy Lunch,” which is being held at the Santa Clara Convention Center.

 The “Spirit of Silicon Valley – Lifetime Achievement Award” is presented annually to outstanding community leaders and is based on three criteria: Impeccable Ethics, Business Excellence and
Community Engagement.

Among the past honorees are Dr. Gordon Moore, Ko Nishimura, Norman Y. Mineta, Aart de Geus, Rep. Anna Eshoo, John Doerr, Rep. Zoe Lofgren, John L. Hennessy and Mike Splinter.

Here is additional information about the award recipients:

John and Tashia Morgridge

John and Tashia Morgridge’s upbringing in the idyllic 1950s Wisconsin suburb of Wauwatosa gave them a shared appreciation for both high-quality education and the great outdoors. Today, the chairman emeritus of Cisco Systems and the former special-education teacher and education author reflect their gratitude for that past with their philanthropy.

In 1992 the Morgridges formed the Tosa Foundation, a family foundation that was named after their shared Wisconsin high school, fulfilling their early interest in giving anonymously. The Morgridges have given back to their home state by taking the lead on a long list of large initiatives, such as a $175 million gift to create the Fund for Wisconsin Scholars, which will give college tuition grants for low-income students attending Wisconsin’s public universities. Also on the list is the Wisconsin Technology Initiative, which provides technology such as interactive white boards, Chrome books and TelePresence to forward-thinking school districts. In addition, John was instrumental in creating the Discovery Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a public-private partnership for collaborative research among a range of disciplines.
John A. and Susan Sobrato

 The Sobrato tradition of civic involvement began with Ann Sobrato (1915-2000) who exemplified the ideals of hard work and public service, and cultivated these same values in her son, John A. Sobrato, founder and principal of The Sobrato Organization, one of the most successful real estate development organizations in California.

For more than 50 years, John A. and his wife Susan have shared their business success with the Valley, raising their three children—John Michael Sobrato, Lisa Sobrato Sonsini and Sheri Sobrato—to engage deeply in community concerns. This multi-generational legacy of philanthropy was formalized by Lisa in 1996 with the establishment of the Sobrato Family Foundation (SFF), a private family foundation committed to sustaining the philanthropic legacy of the Sobrato family.

In April 2012, John A. and Sue Sobrato, along with their son John M. Sobrato, joined the Giving Pledge initiative started by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates. They are the first multi-generational signatories of the agreement. “Each of us has provided that 100% of our wealth will be given away during our lifetimes, or left to the Sobrato Family Foundation. We hope that this legacy of giving would encourage others to commit their financial resources to worthy nonprofit institutions.”

Media contact: Steve Wright / [email protected] / 408.501.7853

About the Silicon Valley Leadership Group

The Silicon Valley Leadership Group, founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard, represents nearly 400 of Silicon Valley’s most respected employers on issues, programs and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley, including energy, transportation, education, housing, health care, tax policies, economic vitality and the environment. Leadership Group members collectively provide nearly one of every three private sector jobs in Silicon Valley and have more than $6 trillion in annual revenue. For more information, visit  or call (408) 501-7864.

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