News Release

Silicon Valley Education Foundation Fundraiser June 9

Event honors Cisco's John Chambers with Business Leader Award
Jun 09, 2009

SAN JOSE, CA – June 9, 2009 - The Silicon Valley Education Foundation will host its 5th annual Pioneers & Purpose dinner on Tuesday, June 9, at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose.  This year, Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers will be honored with the Pioneer Business Leader Award for 2009.

The event, from 6 to 9 p.m., is a fundraiser benefitting programs for school children across Santa Clara County.

Chambers, global corporate leader and philanthropist, is receiving the special award for his deep commitment to education.

Chambers is one of Silicon Valley's most prominent business leaders who has spent the past 18 years building Cisco into a multi-billion-dollar corporation, while simultaneously leading numerous corporate social responsibility initiatives around the globe, many focused on improving access to education and healthcare.

Included among those initiatives was contributing $825,000 in cash and product grants to assist the Silicon Valley Education Foundation in the development of the Foundation strategy and for infrastructure and building of  "Lessonopoly" open-source software tool.  Lessonopoly allows teachers across school campuses to lead and share lesson plans and collaborate on teaching materials and strategies.

"I'm proud to be recognized by the Silicon Valley Education Foundation, an organization that has been focused on improving education through connecting businesses to schools and investing in teachers and other key programs," said Chambers. "Cisco is dedicated to transforming education through technology, and together with the help of the Foundation, we can improve access to education, give every child an opportunity to learn, and build a stronger workforce for our future."

SVEF CEO Muhammed Chaudhry said, "John's contributions to education and technology have made a huge impact on Silicon Valley and the world. His work has transformed lives across the globe and has helped students prepare to be the industry leaders of tomorrow. His commitment exemplifies the kind of leadership defined by this award."

Proceeds from the event will go toward the education foundation's work to raise student performance in the critical areas of math, science and the English-language arts across Santa Clara County's 34 school districts.

The evening begins at 6 p.m. with an hors d'oeuvres reception, followed by dinner at 7 p.m. In addition to the award to Chambers, a Santa Clara County  family that has overcome hardship will receive SVEF's Family of Distinction Award.  

The Fairmont is located at 170 S. Market St., San Jose.  For more information, to purchase tickets ($150) or learn about sponsorship opportunities, call (408) 790-9400 or visit