Leaders of the PACT

Sal Pizarro | San Jose Mercury News | Link to Article

Grassroots organizers People Acting in Community Together also honored a pair of community stalwarts — San Jose Sharks Chief Operating Officer John Tortora and Valley Medical Center Foundation CEO Chris Wilder — at its PACT Leaders Luncheon in Santa Clara on Thursday.

Wilder, who has a reputation as one of the best nonprofit fundraisers in Silicon Valley, told the audience of more than 500 people that being able to take “risks” — like standing up for what you believe in — is much easier for people who don’t stand to lose their only job or their family’s home when they do. Organizations like PACT, he said, gives people the support to take those risks and learn to handle uncomfortable situations.

“They band together and get things done and they do it in a way that is risky for them,” he said. “PACT allows for the kind of risk that the average person can take.”

Tortora received the award the day after the Sharks’ season-opening win over the Los Angeles Kings, but his honor was directed at the work with the Sharks Foundation.

“While the connections between PACT and the Sharks may not be obvious, we actually have a lot in common,” he said. “It is hard to imagine San Jose today without PACT or the Sharks, both sharing a common commitment to the community particularly in the fields of education and healthcare. We also share the common commitment of beating L.A. in hockey.”