The Bay Area Council on Wednesday, October 26 held its 71st Annual Dinner and Bay Area Business Hall of Fame presented by Union Bank, inducting Cisco Executive Chair John Chambers and former Intel Chair Jane Shaw into the newest class of business and philanthropic leaders. The evening opened with an announcement of a $100,000 grant by Union Bank in support of the Bay Area Young Men of Color Employment Project (BAYEP), which the Council is leading in partnership with several key regional and national workforce development groups to expand career and employment opportunities for a segment of the population that has been historically underserved and underrepresented in the workforce. Julius Robinson, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility for the Americas for Union Bank, announced the grant and recognized Fred Blackwell, CEO of the San Francisco Community Foundation, and James Head, CEO of the East Bay Community Foundation, for their partnership in the effort
In his acceptance remarks, Chambers spoke about the importance of the award in highlighting the urgency for business leaders to embrace a new era of digital technology. Chambers said the U.S. is badly lagging the world in preparing to lead in a digital world that is rapidly transforming. He said that while the Bay Area is unquestionably the innovation center of the world, our success does not entitle us to relax.
Shaw talked poignantly about the importance of teamwork and personal relationships in her success as a leading executive in the pharmaceutical industry and board member for companies like Intel, McKesson and Yahoo. She also spoke about her focus on bringing more women into executive and board leadership roles and the importance of mentoring in helping expose women to greater leadership opportunities.