Chamber and CVB Celebrates 2014 Accomplishments at Pyramid Awards


On June 19, 2014 I hope you were one of the almost 300 attendees that attended our annual Pyramid Awards Dinner. If not, you missed out on an exciting evening, excellent food and great networking.

I’d like to list in my column this month my top 10 list of accomplishments for the year that I briefly discussed at the Pyramid Awards Dinner.  Here you go:

10.  The Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) generated press releases resulting in over $500,000 in trackable print & electronic media coverage.

9. Re-Launched the Silicon Valley Young Professionals (SVYP) and held several events during the year including a Big Wig Session at the 49ers Preview Center.

8. Activated the Chamber’s Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages to connect with our members through additional social media channels.

7. The Convention and Visitors Bureau’s Convention Sales, Marketing and Services department increased future hotel room night bookings by 45% over last year.

6. Santa Clara Convention Center’s December revenue was the highest ever to date for that month.

5. The Chamber increased Pyramid of Leaders membership by 42% over previous year.

4. website continues to average over 50,000 unique users per month and is our number one source for obtaining convention and meeting Requests for Proposals (RFPs).

3. Santa Clara Convention Center is projected to end the year with a profit for the fourth year in a row and is forecast to do the same next fiscal year.

2. The Chamber’s Government Relations Committee reviewed and acted upon over 50 bills that were to impact the business community.

1. Held the inaugural Silicon Valley Chamber Business Xpo bringing together 100 exhibitors, nine different chambers and close to 1,000 attendees.

Again, these are just a few highlights of what we are doing for you, our members, while you are busy working on growing your business.

Please let me know what you think we should focus on next year to assist your business growth.  I can be reached at or at 408-380-1231.

Steve Van Dorn

President and CEO of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau


Chamber Joins Silicon Valley Business Leaders on Visits to State Lawmakers

County Chamber Leaders Visit Sacramento

On May 20, 2014 Steve Van Dorn (President & CEO of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau) and several Chamber members joined other Silicon Valley business leaders on the Annual State Legislative Summit in Sacramento coordinated by the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. The entire group met with 25 assembly and senate representatives. Steve’s team of five met with three of the five legislators they were assigned. “Overall, it was a great experience that I recommend our members consider attending next year,” said Van Dorn.

The message the group delivered was clear and consistent. They asked that our elected officials focus on a number of areas. Here is a sample of what was discussed during the visits:

CEQA Reform: CEQA continues to be a burden to economic development across California. Abuse of this well intentioned legislation has become legendary. These abuses are currently threatening jobs here in Silicon Valley and must be reframed so the law can do what it was intended.

Expanding Government/Taxation: Businesses and individuals already pay a myriad of taxes and fees, and yet there is an insatiable need by state and local government for more. We must be prudent with our spending, provide room for the private sector to thrive, and be sure the tax revenue we do pay is spent efficiently.

Unnecessary Regulation: California is continually ranked as one of the worst states for doing business due to a burdensome regulatory environment and high cost of doing business. Removing unnecessary regulations and barriers that prevent business from expanding will create jobs in Silicon Valley and throughout California.

Workforce Education: We need innovative education and technical training that supports our industries and provides our citizens with pathways to stable careers and also the ability to move ahead and become higher-earning workers. This starts with pre K-12 education and continues to the college level and beyond.

“We received strong support on our focus areas from a few of the elected officials we met with, but there is still much work to do. The Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce will continue to advocate for your business so that it can continue to grow and prosper,” said Van Dorn.

Please let Steve Van Dorn know what you think we should communicate to our elected officials to improve the business climate in Santa Clara and Silicon Valley. He can be reached by email at or at 408-380-1231.

Be One of the First to Tour the New Levi’s® Stadium


The new home of the 49ers will be the stage for the team’s next generation of tradition and glory. Levi’s® Stadium will also have the attention of the world when it hosts events like Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7,  2016. Now is the time to get an insider’s look at the state-of-the-art venue. Learn how the stadium created the ultimate fan experience through innovation and technology.

From the playing field to the rooftop, understand how the building is the smartest and greenest in all of the NFL and be surprised as you walk the interiors viewing the amazing custom art collection featured throughout the building.

Both public tours and private group tours are available year-round. Levi’s® Stadium tours can be combined with a visit to the 49ers Museum Presented By Sony, stops to several premium club spaces and the NRG Solar Terrace. All locations are subject to change. For more information about public tours, please sign up for tour updates and you’ll be the first to know when tickets become available. Tickets start at $25 for individuals. Visit to learn more.

Rotary Club Hosting Silicon Valley BBQ Championships


The Rotary Club of Santa Clara has partnered with the City of Santa Clara to host the 2014 Silicon Valley BBQ Championships June 27-28 in Santa Clara’s Central Park at Kiely and Homestead. Admission is FREE. The championships are sanctioned by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS), the world’s largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts with over 15,000 members worldwide.

Proceeds of this event will benefit the children of the community through various programs the Rotary Club of Santa Clara supports, including Steps for Success and Christmas for Kids.

Beginning Friday, June 27th from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m., approximately 50 professional BBQ teams will be arriving from all over the United States to begin competing in four categories – pork ribs, pulled pork, chicken thighs, and brisket. Winners will take home prize money and bragging rights.

There will be dozens of vendor booths offering food, beer, wine and wares for your enjoyment. In addition to the BBQ teams smoking up the neighborhood with the tantalizing smell of roast pork, beef and ribs. There will also be a number of bands to entertain BBQ attendees through all of Saturday. The City of Santa Clara is hosting a special game and activity area for the kids as well.

Guglielmo Wines Served For President Obama


Last month at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, the Democratic National Committee, along with their featured guest, President Barack Obama, held a fund raising dinner for the party.

At the dinner, locally grown and produced wines from Morgan Hill-based Guglielmo Winery were served at the suggestion of George Patton, Food and Beverage Manager at the Fairmont.

According to Gene Guglielmo, Director of Sales and co-owner of Guglielmo Winery in Morgan Hill, Patton contacted him about serving Guglielmo wines exclusively at the event. “Patton told me he needed some special wines for an exclusive dinner with a group of VIPs. Oh, and one of them is the President of the United States!” says Gene. “That was a great phone call to receive! We have a very successful long-term relationship with the Fairmont, and this is certainly recognition of the quality of our locally grown and produced wines. We are very honored by the request.”

The Fairmont served the President and his honored guests the Guglielmo 2012 Private Reserve Pinot Grigio and the 2010 Private Reserve Pinot Noir. Several of the winery’s TRE label wines were offered as well.

The Guglielmo brothers, Gene, George and Gary, consider this a high honor and an acknowledgement of the longstanding agricultural and economic contribution on the part of the family and the important community partnership they have maintained for three generations. The Guglielmo Winery is the oldest continuously family owned and operated winery in the Santa Clara Valley, since 1925.

Gene was invited to the dinner, but at $32,400 a plate, politely declined.

The Guglielmo family invites all wine lovers who are curious to taste the wines served at the Presidential dinner to come visit the tasting room in Morgan Hill and sample the wines the President himself enjoyed. The Guglielmo Winery Tasting Room is at 1480 East Main Street, Morgan Hill and is open daily from 10am-5pm.

Member Referrals (June 2014)


We would like to recognize and acknowledge member referrals for the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce.  The following new members were referred by an existing member of the Chamber and we would like to recognize and thank them for their support.

Satish Ullal with Principal Financial Group and an Ambassador with the Chamber referred Sandeep Sharma with   If you are looking for a great system to plan, execute and manage events efficiently, contact Sandeep at (408) 221-0202 to learn more.   Do you need to review your insurance coverage for your home or business?   Contact Satish at (408) 273-7538 to get a competitive quote.

Hubert Gotuaco with Prolific Business Solutions referred Kym Cho with Ideology Studio.  For all of your marketing and web design needs, contact Kym at (408)280-1188.   If you need credit card or merchant services for your business contact Hubert at (408) 687-2518.

Want to see your name here?  If someone you know would benefit by joining the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce, please refer them to Carol Zimring, (408) 380-1236.  Every month we will publish new members who have joined and were referred by an existing member.   When a member has referred a total of three new members, they will receive a $100 advertising credit.