The Santa Clara Convention Center was the setting for the June 14, 2012 Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau’s Annual Pyramid Awards Dinner. Over 200 people enjoyed the elegant evening as Chamber leaders were recognized for their hard work at this celebratory occurrence.
The year was prosperous as it marked the first in several years that the Convention Center turned a profit. The gala honored the outstanding contributions to the Chamber and community by its members.
The evening celebration started with no-host cocktails and a silent auction, followed by a stylish dinner, awards presentations, review of the year’s accomplishments and installation of new 2012/2013 Officers and Directors for the Board of the Chamber.
Special awards went to John Waller (The On Hold Experience), Chamber Ambassador of the Year; Lidia Blair (Pizza Party), Individual Member of the Year; and to Mission College (represented by Dr. Laurel Jones, President), Business Member of the Year.
In addition, retiring City Manager Jennifer Sparacino was recognized with a special Outstanding Business Supporter award, with the plaque noting, “for your remarkable vision, dedicated support of the business community and commitment to excellence for the City of Santa Clara.”
Outgoing Chair Chris Citti (Citti’s Florist) passed the gavel to incoming Chair Doron Noyman (Keypoint Credit Union). Other incoming officers are: Chair Elect, Dr. Laurel Jones (Mission College), Treasurer Gary Nobile (Better Homes & Garden Real Estate), Vice Chair, Industrial, Commercial & Economic Development Elizabeth Mason (Intel), Vice Chair, Convention & Visitors Bureau Barbara Ratcliffe (Biltmore Hotel & Suites), Vice Chair, Government Relations David D. Tobkin, CPA (David D. Tobkin, CPA/Professional Accountant) and Vice Chair, Membership Services Paul Dines (Edward Jones).
Other Chamber Board of Directors are: Brendan Harrington (Lexus of Stevens Creek), Chris Boyd (Kaiser Permanente), Edward Costa, Jr. (Neto’s Sausage Company), Elizabeth Williams (The Tech Museum), Kimberly Nichols (Institute for Business & Technology), Joe Sweeney (Arcadia Graphix), John Elwood (Swinerton Builders), Lou Mariani, Jr. (Mariani’s Inn & Restaurant), Miles Barber (Santa Clara Weekly), Phil Lindecker (Ecclectica Exposition Services), Richard M. Johnston (Graphic Packaging), Robert Gunsalus (Santa Clara University), Steve Weakland (San Francisco 49ers), Thomas Irpan (Marvell), and Wil Lacro (United Way).
The keynote speaker was Larry Gerston, PhD, Professor of Political Science at San Jose State, who discussed the 2012 election cycle and the results of the recent primary. Gerston has served as a political analyst for local TV and radio stations for over 30 years. Gerston also discussed his recently released book, “Not So Golden After All: The Rise and Fall of California.”
Silent auction items were available for bidding throughout the evening, starting during the cocktail reception. Winners were announced at the conclusion of the event.