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The Leader – December 2012

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Welcome to The Leader

During a conference on post-war production early in his career at Hewlett-Packard, Co-Founder and CEO David Packard – the founder of the Leadership Group – told a crowd of older, grizzled CEOs that HP’s commitment was “as much to their employees, their families and the communities in which they did business as it was to their shareholders.”

They almost laughed him out of the room.

Yet that vision and those values to “Our employees, their families and the communities in which we do business” has become the gold standard of great Silicon Valley companies, and the measure of success we try to achieve at the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.  It is also why, more than eleven years ago the Leadership Group formed its non-profit Foundation.

Now, 8 years later, the Foundation has just finished our 8th Annual Applied Materials “Silicon Valley Turkey Trot,” which attracted 24,500 participants to downtown San Jose, raising $1.2 million for Second Harvest Food Bank, the Housing Trust and the Children’s Health Initiative.  On Sunday afternoon, December 16, the Foundation will launch its inaugural “Santa Run Silicon Valley” with an ambitious first-year goal to have 2,000 participants in a 5-k run or walk to benefit “Downtown for the Holidays” as well as to collect 1,000 children’s books for our “1,000 Hearts for 1,000 Minds” tutoring initiative for K-6 students in disadvantaged communities.

The Foundation also co-leads the annual “Pasta Bowl” with the 49ers Foundation to fund after-school programs through Fresh Lifelines for Youth and City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley, and the Annual “Sierra Road Cycling Challenge” during the Tour of California to fund the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s “Fit for Learning” anti-childhood obesity program in 250 K-8 schools.

Our Foundation’s goal is simple – live up to Mr. Packard’s expectations to serve the families and communities in which we do business.  Silicon Valley has seen incredible success; but our region’s success should not be measured solely by the patents we file and the products we produce.  It should also be measured by the people we touch and the communities we serve.

All Nippon Airways Makes Its Way to San Jose

By Bena Chang, Senior Associate,Housing & Transportation

Beginning in January, a new kind of airplane will be seen in the skies above San Jose. All Nippon Airways (ANA) is bringing one of the world’s first Boeing Dreamliner 787 airplanes to the Mineta San Jose International Airport for its new San Jose to Tokyo flights. This state-of-the-art plane features advanced passenger comfort amenities and a carbon fiber shell that dramatically increases fuel economy and reduces emissions.

The inaugural flight is on January 11, 2013 and the airline already is taking reservations.

This new connection between San Jose and Tokyo is a significant victory for those who travel to Asia and want to use an airport with easy access and an excellent on-time record. The ANA flight, with connections throughout Asia, is the culmination of more than two years of work by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, its member companies, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Airport Director Bill Sherry.

The ANA flight marks the first time since 2006 that San Jose’s airport has had direct service to a city in Asia. To help reach this milestone, the Leadership Group conducted a 318 Member Company survey in partnership with the San Jose Silicon Valley, Milpitas and Santa Clara Chambers of Commerce and city partners. The survey found that 74 percent of companies preferred to fly out of San Jose. In 2011, San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed and Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino flew to Tokyo to personally make the pitch to ANA for the new flight. The Leadership Group also formed a 30-member CEO Airport Task Force, Chaired by Leadership Group Board Member Mac Tully, President and Publisher of the San Jose Mercury News. Using survey data along with face-to-face meetings with Silicon Valley executives, we helped convince ANA to make the significant investment to begin San Jose to Tokyo flights.

In addition to the new flight, the San Jose airport completed a $1.3 billion modernization effort in 2011. The facilities are now LEED Certified Silver and boast business-friendly amenities like power outlets at seats and free Wi-Fi. The airport’s runways are long enough to accommodate international flights with aircrafts like the 777 and 747. The airport also has one of the nation’s best on-time records and is a reliable and convenient choice for Silicon Valley residents and workers. The members of the CEO Airport Task Force now actively engage with domestic and international carriers on high priority business destinations. Moving forward, our CEO Airport Task Force is turning its focus on securing additional long-haul flights to top international business destinations like London, Frankfurt, China and Canada, and leading domestic destinations like New York, Boston, Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Leadership Group’s Top Accomplishments for 2012

By: Staff

The Leadership Group led many efforts to improve the quality of life and economic vitality of Silicon Valley in 2012. Arguably the most significant of these victories was the groundbreaking for the BART to Silicon Valley Extension, securing funds to electrify Caltrain and the naming of Silicon Valley as one of the three first regional patent offices in the nation.

  • For decades, bringing BART to Silicon Valley has been the top transportation priority for the CEOs who drive the Silicon Valley Leadership Group’s agenda. On April 12, the first phase of the BART Silicon Valley project broke ground, and this 10-mile extension to San Jose’s Berryessa neighborhood is now well underway. To make this happen, the Leadership Group led two successful sales tax measures over 8 years to fund the extension and other key Silicon Valley transportation improvements. In 2000 and 2008 voters overwhelming decided to be a part of the solution. But the BART to Silicon Valley effort isn’t over. The second phase will bring BART another 6 miles through downtown San Jose to Santa Clara. We will continue to lead this effort in 2013.
  • Saving and enhancing Caltrain is another key transportation priority for the Leadership Group. In 2012, we advocated strongly at the regional and state-level to fund early investments in regional transportation systems like Caltrain as part of the high-speed rail (HSR) program. In July, the Legislature agreed with us, approving funding for strategic regional transit improvements like Caltrain electrification, which will help reduce noise and emissions along the tracks from San Jose to San Francisco. Later in the summer, the California Transportation Commission, on which Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino serves, approved funds to electrify CalTrain.  The electrification project provides a welcome increase in capacity with more trains running, service frequency and station access, as well as greater fiscal stability. Caltrain electrification could be complete as early as 2019.
  • When we were successful in 2011 to secure language in the patent reform bill to have the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office select three new satellite patent offices through a competitive process – we knew Silicon Valley should be at the top of their list, given that the Valley has the most number of patent applications per capita in the country. Working together with Reps. Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo and Mike Honda, the Leadership Group advocated strongly to convince government officials to place a regional patent office in Silicon Valley. To make it happen, we worked closely with San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, the City of San Jose and other local organizations to put together an extensive proposal for a Silicon Valley patent office.  In late June, we made a final push, hosting Azam Khan, the Patent and Trademark Office Deputy Chief of Staff, who was in charge of the process to determine where the regional offices would be located.  On July 2, it was announced that Silicon Valley would be one of three new regional locations for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). We are excited to work closely with the USPTO and the business community to establish a cutting edge Silicon Valley office to serve innovators and entrepreneurs throughout the United States and the Pacific Rim.
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