It’s March, 1997, and the Manufacturing Group becomes the sole business voice to advocate for the creation and funding for a new train – the Altamont Commuter Express, or ACE – providing rail service linking the Central Valley with Silicon Valley. March marks the date that the California Transportation Commission grants the final $13.7 million to make the first two round-trip trains a reality. Service begins just 19 months later on October 19, 1998.
In other news, January 1 of 1997 also marks the retirement date of the Manufacturing Group’s second CEO, Gary Burke, when he takes an executive position at NASDAQ. A young man named Carl Guardino is hired to fill the big shoes left vacant by Gary Burke, and his predecessor Peter Giles.