Pat Dando announced that she will be leaving the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce after a six-year stint as head of the local group. “It’s time for a new chapter for me, personally and professionally,” she explained. She added that she wanted to wait until the elections were over before announcing her decision.
Dando’s high profile public career began in 1995, when she was elected to City Council. She spent ten years as a city council member, and went on to serve as vice mayor before leaving to work with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger briefly as a public liaison. From there she went on to become President of the Chamber, succeeding Jim Cunneen.
The Chamber went through a series of dramatic changes during her tenure. It relocated to its current offices, and it became more politically active, culminating in its successful 2006 campaign to get Chuck Reed—a former chair of the Chamber’s board—elected as mayor. It also defeated the city’s campaign donation limits on independent political groups, giving the body more clout in the succeeding elections. Most recently, it played a big role in the fight over arbitration and pension reform for municipal employees.
Dando inevitably found herself in frequent clashes with the city’s powerful unions, led by the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council. Upon hearing of Dando’s resignation, it released a statement saying that it “looks forward to working with the new chamber CEO and its board of directors in making Silicon Valley a place for families to prosper and flourish.”
Dando has no immediate plans for the future. She says she wants to spend more time with her husband, visiting her grandchildren.
Read More at The Mercury News.