Community Champs

By Sal Pizarro | San Jose Mercury News | Link to Article

COMMUNITY CHAMPS: Chris Wilder and I met again under more comfortable circumstances Thursday when the VMC Foundation leader was announced as one of this year's Community Champions that will be honored at the PACT Leadership Luncheon on Oct. 13.

The other honoree this year is San Jose Sharks COO John Tortora. While it's tempting to think the team's Stanley Cup run had something to do with it, it's really about the team's long-standing work in the community, especially through the Sharks Foundation.

 The announcements were made at the San Jose home of two longtime supporters of People Acting in Community Together (PACT): Former Mayor Susan Hammer and her husband, attorney Phil Hammer.

Along with announcing the award recipients, Friends of PACT co-chairs Brenna Bolger and Cindy Ruby, along with PACT Executive Director Akemi Flynn, also introduced the crowd to a pair of real heroes: PACT Parent Leader Delta Chavez and her daughter, Carolina. Since becoming involved with PACT in 2014, Chavez said she's become much more involved in helping to shape the future of her four kids, two of whom are students at Downtown College Prep.

Ironically, she said one of her challenges was speaking in public, but she did a fine job before an audience that included corporate and nonprofit leaders. "By speaking up, we can make a big difference," she said to quite a bit of applause, earning the moniker, "The Delta Force" from Synopsys CEO Aart de Geus.