Dando Extends Stay as Chamber CEO

Pat Dando confirmed Wednesday that she will be extending her stay as CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. Dando has held the role since the summer of 2005 and was expected to have her last day at the end of this month.

Dando, a former city councilmember who went on to become Vice Mayor and lost a close mayoral election to Ron Gonzalez in 1998, said the committee organized to find her replacement is still conducting its search. She added that she designed some criteria for the search but is not involved in the process. No firm time frame for the committee to come to a decision exists, Dando said.

“I think it’s more important that they find the right person than rush to a decision,” she said. “I’ve invested a lot of time and energy into the chamber, so I’m not going to leave them high and dry.”

Dando said that ideally she would like to leave the chamber by June, but that doesn’t necessarily mean a new CEO will transition into the job immediately. When Dando’s predecessor, Jim Cunneen, left the chamber to go work for Cisco following four years as chamber CEO, there was about a month in between his departure and her arrival.

Gerry DeYoung, the chair of the chamber search committee, did not return a message requesting comment.

Josh Koehn is a former managing editor for San Jose Inside and Metro Silicon Valley.


  1. The only 2 real purposes of San Jose / Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce are:

    1) Elect business friendly SJ Mayor and Council members – Reed, Liccardo (presumed next Mayor, Constant, and Oliverio

    Reed with Chamber support has politically turned Nguyen from Labor to Chamber and 2-3 previous labor Council members are now independents
    Chamber has done very well politically under Dando’s leadership defeating most labor candidates

    Labor’s leadership continues to be very weak, can’t or won’t read voters and has made many serious ego driven political mistakes after Amy Dean left

    2)Lobby city for $ 10’s millions tax subsidies for downtown, housing developers and it’s members businesses

    Chamber can not actively bring businesses or jobs to San Jose because it’s a regional Chamber not a local Chamber  

    It’s Silicon Valley members are also members of their city’s Chambers and have objected to SJ/SV regional Chamber helping jobs poor City of San Jose bring businesses and jobs to San Jose with SVif t company members have threaten to resign they help SJ  

    City of San Jose foolishly pays $1 million or more of your taxes to SJ/SV Chamber and Downtown Association for ineffective business and jobs economic development which goes most to pay for 2 former San Jose Council member matrons, former 20 year RDA employee who illegally lobbied Council for tax subsidies and contracts as Downtown Association’s Executive Director and Chamber parties as an offset to Labor’s Team San Jose tax subsidies  

    Got to keep San Jose’s political players happy with taxpayer’s money and it doesn’t matter if they don’t do what public thinks city paid them to do since city government will not hold them accountable

  2. When I recieved news of Ms. Dando’s return to our midst, I am reminded of an old story concerning a young man who was jilted by his girl friend for another man.

    The young man wanted to “end it all” by wading out into a nearby river to drown his self. When he got into the river and realized the water was about to go over his head, he waded out of the river thereby saving his self and expected everyone to thank him for saving his self since he was in our midst, again.

    As a student of San Jose government, I have oftened seen the two (2) former San Jose City Council Members who are on the Chamber of Commerce’s payroll, come into city hall and ponificate, in a dreadful monotone, the position of the “Chamber” on issues they would like to see changed concerning various aspects of city operations.

    It is of interest to note these two “Chamber matrons” had ample opportunity to influence the “same” aspects of city operations they would like to see changed now; (i.e. employee pensions,deficits from unfunded mandates, deferred maintenane, sick -leave buy outs and what have you) but, they did realitively nothing while in public office but strut around city hall while wasting the taxpayer’s money.

    I wonder to this very day what earthly purpose these former politcos do for the “Chamber” outside of being lobbyists, twisting “political ears and arms” when ever they show up at city hall, for nobody really pays them any heed. And when their two (2) minutes at the podium are up, they have to sit down and shut up.

    My advice to the “Chamber”…board up your building as a reflection of all the vacant store fronts in the Downtown…then entreat the Office of Economic Development to hire you as “consultants”. Misery loves company.

    David S. Wall

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