“A traveler without knowledge is a bird without wings.”
People Who’ve Hopped on Board
at San Jose Silicon Valley Tours
Shawn Prescott, President and Founder. A South Bay resident for over 20 years, Shawn first moved here to complete her law degree at Santa Clara University. After becoming an attorney, she took the road less traveled and, instead of practicing law, taught at San Jose State University. More recently, she worked as a commercial banker in San Jose. In 2010, after assessing the local business scene and her personal strengths, she came up with the idea of founding a company—unique to the San Jose and Silicon Valley region—that offers narrated bus tours of the area’s best known and most intriguing sites. For Shawn, San Jose Silicon Valley Tours is the perfect place to blend her business background and entrepreneurial passion with her life-long love of travel, history, education, and connecting with new people. Currently, Shawn is also a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and previously served on the Board of the Rotary Club of Santa Clara, Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley, and History San Jose. Shawn also served as a Historical and Landmarks Commissioner for the City of Santa Clara.
Board of Advisors
Steve P. Van Dorn. The President and CEO of the Santa Clara Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau since 2002, Steve is responsible for managing the Chamber of Commerce & Convention-Visitors Bureau as well as the 302,000 square foot Santa Clara Convention Center. Previously, Steve was Director of Sales and Marketing for the Santa Clara Convention and Visitors Bureau. In this position he was responsible for all convention sales and marketing for the City of Santa Clara and Convention Center. Before that, he worked for six years in sales positions for Hilton Hotels Corporation and for two years as a convention sales manager with the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. Currently, Steve also serves as a board member for the Mission City Community Fund and the NOVA Workforce Board, and he is a member of Santa Clara Rotary Club.
Tom Bondi. Tom is a Tax Principal and Director of the Emerging Business Services Group for Berger/Lewis, serving start-up and early-stage technology and non-tech clients. Tom also oversees the stock options area for the firm, which assists companies and individuals in managing, implementing, and planning for stock options; leads the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group; and assists companies through venture capital or angel financings. In his capacity, Tom is an advisory board and board member for a number of companies in the valley. Tom earned a B.S. degree in finance from Santa Clara University and is a certified public accountant with more than 30 years of public accounting experience. He also has served as interim-CFOs for many early-stage companies in Silicon Valley.
Jay Landrum. Jay is an attorney who practices corporate and intellectual property law for Landrum and Company. He has extensive experience representing companies in all stages of operation, developing creative, business oriented solutions. He has served as General Counsel, Sr. Vice President and Corporate Secretary for a NYSE company and as a founder and former CEO of a health products company. Currently, he is founder/CEO of an Internet-based electronic signature site. He holds a law degree from Pepperdine University, School of Law; an M.B.A. from Pepperdine University, School of Business and Management; and a B.A. in English from Santa Clara University. He serves as a Board Member on several non-profit organizations, including Boys and Girls Club of America of Silicon Valley and Peace-It-Together.
David Meuel. A Silicon Valley resident for more than 35 years, David has worked as an independent writer and communications consultant/strategist for more than 80 high-tech and financial services companies. Among them are Visa International, Visa USA, Apple, eBay, Cisco, National Semiconductor, Cadence Design, and Intel. During his career he has also written more than 300 speeches and presentations for more than 75 executives, including the CEOs of eight Fortune 1000 companies and several well-known Silicon Valley figures. In addition, David has taught at DeAnza College in Cupertino, has written several pieces about Silicon Valley history, and is the co-author of the book, Building Strategic Relationships, an examination of organizational partnering.
David J. Micheletti. Dave is the President of Micheletti & Associates. He shares his time between the executive management of the firm and the development of customer accounts, primarily serving medium to large commercial and employee benefit organizations. Dave obtained his Bachelor’s degree for Risk Management and Insurance from San Jose State University in 1975, and began his insurance career with Micheletti Insurance Agency that same year. In 2004 Dave became the firm’s President and Board Chairman. He has obtained the professional designations of Chartered Property and Casualty Underwriter, and the designation of Associate in Risk Management. Dave stays active in both professional and community activities; and currently is serving as a board member of the Boys & Girls Club of Silicon Valley, and with Catholic Charities as a member of the Annual Planned Giving Committee.
Ivonne Montes de Oca. Ivonne is president of The Pinnacle Company, Marketing & Public Relations. Ivonne has thirty years of professional experience in communications starting as a journalist. During her journalistic career she wrote for the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal about high-tech, financial and global markets. In addition to numerous industry awards - including a Silver Anvil - Ivonne received the Outstanding Woman of Silicon Valley award and the Woman of Achievement Award. She’s on the board of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and of the American Leadership Forum. She’s also a founding member and past president of the board of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley
Sean O’Kane. Sean is a Bay Area native currently employed at Cadence Design Systems as the Executive Director of Chip Planning Solutions. He is also a former board member of the Cancer Support Community Silicon Valley. At Cadence, Sean has managed relationships with the top ten semiconductor companies around the world and, between 1995 and 2010, was mainly involved with the strategic planning, writing, and delivery of corporate presentations for companies and industry tradeshows. In addition, Sean has a rich background in the entertainment industry, beginning as a stand-up comedian; working with such notables as Jay Leno, Dennis Miller, and Dana Carvey; and winning numerous awards for his acting and voice work.
Ervie L. Smith. Ervie is the President and CEO of Ervie Smith & Associates, a consulting firm with expertise in fund raising and foundation management. A 35-year veteran of the philanthropic field, Ervie is currently working with Focus Business Bank to help develop banking programs for nonprofit organizations. Ervie also has a long record of community involvement and achievement in the South Bay. As a member of the Rotary Club of San Jose, she has served on the board as Vice President, chaired several committees, and served as President of the Endowment Board. In addition, Ervie has been active in the American Leadership Forum, Silicon Valley YMCA (past chairman), San Jose Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (past chairman), San Jose State University Foundation, and Advisory Board for the Markkula School for Applied Ethics.
Rochelle Stone. Rochelle is the co-founder and CEO of Starker Services, Inc. Headquartered in Silicon Valley, it is the oldest independent 1031 tax deferred exchange company in the country. Rochelle is a nationally recognized speaker on the subjects of investment real estate and tax-deferred exchanges for real estate boards, bar associations, and investment and professional groups. She has appeared on CNN and been a featured speaker for the National Association of Realtors numerous times. Rochelle co-authored the book, Real Estate Exchanges: Using the Tax Deferred Exchange in Real Estate Management, and she has written articles for such publications as NREI Magazine and U.S. Business Review. In addition, Rochelle is the founder of 1.2.1. Foundation, Inc., an NPO formed to assist people affected by disaster.
E. Christopher Wilder. Chris is the Executive Director of the Valley Medical Center (VMC) Foundation. He has led the effort to raise funds for and awareness of Silicon Valley’s largest (and only public) medical center since 2003. During that time, the VMC Foundation has raised more than $30M for the only hospital in Silicon Valley that serves anyone, regardless of ability to pay. He was named “Outstanding Professional Fund Raiser for 2008" by the Association of Fund Raising Professionals. Chris’s 20-year career in the public benefit sector includes stints as a consumer activist (Fund for Public Interest Research, 1990-1996); the head of the Vanished Children’s Alliance (1996-1999), a national missing children’s agency; and the head of City Year San Jose/Silicon Valley—the nation’s premiere AmeriCorps program (1999-2003). Chris also serves as board member and past chairman of San Jose Jazz and has performed music of many genres in more than two-dozen nations.