SVEC History

The Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) was envisioned by a group of engineers belonging to the Engineers Club of San Jose and led by Mr. Joe Louis in 1988. SVEC is a cooperative educational association of local engineering and technical societies that was formed to coordinate engineering programs, sponsor and promote educational activities, promote engineering career development among young people, and increase public understanding of the impact of engineering in enhancing the quality of life. It was also intended to integrate various engineering organizations throughout the Valley and the Greater Bay Area by providing a channel of communication and to enhance community exposure to engineering and technology.

The initial planning took place in April 1989. The organizations with great interest in this effort included: ASME, ECSJ, APWA, ASCE, and SWE. The first meeting of the Council prior to its incorporation took place at San Jose State University and Dr. Dick Ehrlich was nominated as the first President of the Council. A team consisting of Mr. Jim Hill (SAMPE), Ms. Mary Rogers (SWE), and Dr. Fred Barez (ASME) took on the charter of writing the Council’s BYLAWS. By June 1989, and by nominations from the floor, the first officers of the Council were appointed. These included Dr. Jay Pinson (ECSJ) President, Mr. Jim Hill (SAMPE) Vice President, Mr. Mario Baratta (APWA) Secretary, and Dr. Fred Barez (ASME) Treasurer. Mr. Peter Giles, President and CEO of the Tech Museum of Innovation and Mr. Paul Nyberg of Silicon Engineer Magazine were early supporters of the Council.

The first two organizations submitting their annual dues of $200 were ASME and APWA. The Law Offices of Sims and Gunkel of San Jose and the generous support of Mr. Phil Sims was instrumental in establishing the Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) to be registered as a California Public Benefit Non-Profit Corporation under IRS 501 (C) (3) status in September 1989.

Member organizations suggested having a logo for the Council. Several suggestions were presented and the current logo was designed by Dr. Fred Barez selected. It shows a silicon wafer with several integrated chips. The five marked dies indicate the original five member organizations.

By September 1989, the Council had prepared a flyer describing its goals and objectives. Through the generous offer of the Tech Museum of Innovation, the Council had a mailing address, phone line, newsline, and a fax number.

By late October 1989, the Council took on the responsibility of organizing the annual Engineers’ Week Banquet. This has become a major activity of the Council over the past years. In November 1989, Dr. Jay Pinson (ECSJ) proposed establishing the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame Award- The purpose of the award is to recognize persons within the Silicon Valley area who have earned distinction through engineering and technical achievements and who made outstanding contributions to the engineering profession and to the Silicon Valley community. The first year Hall of Fame inductees were Dr. A. Louis London, Mr. Leo Ruth, and Dr. Frederick Terman.

The Council’s first newsletter was published by February 1990 just in time for the Engineers Week Banquet. Gloria Montano (SWE) was editor of this publication. Through 1989 to June 1990, the Council membership grew to twelve organizations. Five Council Committees were formed. These included Education/Career Guidance, Special Events, Fund Development, Membership, and External Liaison.

Ms. Lucy Hsu (SWE) was elected as the 1994-95 President of the Council. SVEC was active in Outreach and Discover “E.” The membership of the Council dropped to twenty member organizations. The Hall of Fame inductees were Dr. Ginzton, Dr. Gunderson, and Dr. Nolte, Jr.

Mr. DeWayne Sharp (ISA) was elected as the 1995-96 President. Dr. Pefley, Dr. Perry, and Dr. Thompson were selected by the Hall of Fame Nominating Committee to be inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame. The Engineers Week Banquet had a few high-profile guests, including the U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. William Perry. The keynote speaker for the evening was Mr. Sy Liebergot of the Apollo 13 Mission.

In 1996, Dr. Sam David Haddad, (ASME, SAE, OE), was nominated and elected as the 1996-97 President. During this period a number of innovative approaches were pursued to include: Formation of an Industrial Advisory Board (IAB), Networking Forum, VIP and Co-Sponsored Seminars, First Annual Symposium, and a special training course. The Banquet attracted a record attendance of 517 with Dr. Perry as the featured speaker and Catherine Heenan of KRON as the MC.

The inductees into the Hall of Fame were Sam Cristofano, Jim Gibbons, and Bernard Oliver. Also, we recognized three major founders of SVEC; Jay Pinson, Joe Louis and Dick Ehrlich. The President put a great deal of effort into illustrating to member societies the “value-added” services of SVEC by visiting and speaking to them at one of their regular meetings. Also, during this year we joined the Non-Profit Development Center and we employed a part-time executive assistant. SVEC soared to represent 28 engineering and technical societies with increased prominence and visibility. For the first time, most of the proclamations from members of Congress and local Mayors mentioned SVEC. For the first time we had more nominations for Directors than available vacancies!

Our monthly business meetings every 4th Wednesday of the month in Building 160 at Lockheed Martin became the “talk of the town” with very healthy attendance mainly because the business part has been streamlined and we have introduced topical educational seminars and brief informative oral presentations by Silicon Valley based companies who sponsor a light dinner for the evening. In conclusion, we have created a real sense of accomplishment and purpose with our member societies, with an aggressive theme “The Sky’s The Limit.”

In June 1997, Dr. Sam Haddad was re-elected for a second term (1997-98) as President and Chairman of the Board of Directors according to SVEC Bylaws Article IX, Section 7(a) and section 7(b) with the following aggressive major policy statements and goals:

To continue to visit our member societies and initiate a “Celebration” of SVEC member societies.
Forge close collaborations with SFBAEC, PATCA, CLCPE, WITI and other like-minded entities and associations.
Secure primary funding for the 1998 SVEC banquet and for a part-time Executive Director.
Increase active involvement/participation of SVEC member societies.
Create additional “value-added” services.
Seek ways for more widespread recognition of SVEC in Industry and Government.
Enhance the newly established SVEC Industrial Advisory Board.
Promote Professional Development courses for the benefit of our member societies.

At the annual “Open House” on November 12, 1997 at the Tech Museum of Innovation we announced the following inductees into the SVEC Hall of Fame: William J. (Bill) Adams, Dr. Gordon E. Moore, Dr. Jay D. Pinson, and Anthony (Tony) Turturici. Also, we announced that HP has agreed to sponsor a one day educational retreat (December 13, 1997) for SVEC directors and officers at the Hayes Mansion.

The following is a list of past SVEC Presidents:

1990 Joe Louis

1991 Mario Baratta

1992 Fred Barez

1993 Fred Barez

1994 Pat Carroll

1995 Lucy Hsu

1996 DeWayne Sharp

1997 Sam Haddad

1998 Sam Haddad

1999 Nabil Ibrahim

2000 Steve Sherman

2001 Dave Licata

2002 Cliff Monroe, and Rendee Doré

2003 Steve Kang

2004 Felicita Saiez

2005 Richard Chung

2006 Ron Kane

2007 Barbara Roberts

2008 Elise Engelhardt

2009 Elise Engelhardt

2010 Dhaval Brahmbhatt

2011 KRS Murthy

2012 Laura Fechete

2013 Laura Fechete

2014 Michael Wright

2015 Michael Wright

2016 Elise Engelhardt

2017 Yashesh A. Shroff

2018 Yashesh A. Shroff