Silicon Valley Forum Presents the 19th Annual Visionary Awards Honoring Silicon Valley Innovators Jennifer Pahlka of Code for America, Tom Wheeler of FCC, Carl Bass of Autodesk, and Andrew Grove, former Intel CEO (posthumous)

SAN JOSE, Calif.--()--Silicon Valley Forum today announced the honorees for their 19th Annual Visionary Awards, a celebration of notable Silicon Valley leaders in technology, education, venture capital, and entrepreneurship. Held each year at a beautiful historic venue, the Visionary Awards provides a rare opportunity to hear from legendary figureheads who have contributed to—or even created part of—Silicon Valley’s unique spirit of innovation and leadership.

“It’s both an honor and a delight to host this event each year,” said Denyse Cardozo, Silicon Valley Forum’s Executive Director. “It’s a wonderful chance to highlight the accomplishments of some truly inspiring people.”

Previous Visionary Award Winners include technology pioneers Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Tim Draper, Marc Andreessen, Marc Benioff, Vint Cerf, Esther Dyson, Jessica Jackley, Tim O’Reilly, David Kelley, and Steve Wozniak, to name a few.

Our 2016 Honorees are:

  • Jennifer Pahlka, founder and Executive Director, Code for America
  • Tom Wheeler, American businessman and politician; current and 31st Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
  • Carl Bass, president and chief executive officer, Autodesk
  • Andrew Grove, former Intel CEO (posthumous)

"It's a pleasure to be involved with this year's extraordinary group of honorees," said Kevin Surace, CEO of Appvance and Board Chair at Silicon Valley Forum. "It's a uniquely Silicon Valley group: a trailblazer in the coding revolution, a telecommunications pioneer, a leader in groundbreaking design and engineering, and a much-deserved posthumous tribute to the amazing Andy Grove. Each of the Visionary Award honorees embodies the very spirit of innovation, creativity, and fearless leadership."

2016 Visionary Awards partners include Accenture, Business Wire, and Deloitte. To request an invitation, or to inquire about partnership, please contact our Executive Director Denyse Cardozo ( The event is invitation-only, and will be held the evening of June 16th, 2016, in Burlingame, CA.

About the Honorees:

Jennifer Pahlka is the founder and executive director of Code for America, a national non-profit that believes that government can work for the people, by the people, if we all help. She recently served as the US Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, where she architected and helped start the United States Digital Service. She is known for her TED talk, Coding a Better Government, and the recipient of several awards, including MIT’s Kevin Lynch Award, the Oxford Internet Institute’s Internet and Society Award, and the National Democratic Institute’s Democracy Award. She spent eight years at CMP Media, where she ran the Game Developers Conference, Game Developer magazine,, and the Independent Games Festival. She is a graduate of Yale University and lives in Oakland, CA with her daughter, husband, and six chickens.

Tom Wheeler became the 31st Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on November 4, 2013. Chairman Wheeler was appointed by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the United States Senate. For over three decades, Chairman Wheeler has been involved with new telecommunications networks and services, experiencing the revolution in telecommunications as a policy expert, an advocate, and a businessman. He is the only person to be selected to both the Cable Television Hall of Fame and The Wireless Hall of Fame. Chairman Wheeler wrote Take Command: Leadership Lessons of the Civil and Mr. Lincoln's T-Mails: The Untold Story of How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War. His commentaries on current events have been published in the Washington Post, USA Today, Los Angeles Times, Newsday, and other leading publications. Chairman Wheeler is a proud graduate of The Ohio State University and the recipient of its Alumni Medal.

Carl Bass is president and chief executive officer of Autodesk, a leader in 3D design, engineering, and entertainment software. Bass co-founded Ithaca Software, which was acquired by Autodesk in 1993. Since joining the company, he has held several executive positions including chief technology officer and chief operations officer. Bass serves on the boards of directors of Autodesk, HP Inc. and Zendesk; on the board of trustees of the Smithsonian's Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, Art Center College of Design, and California College of the Arts; and on the advisory boards of Cornell Computing and Information Science, UC Berkeley School of Information, and UC Berkeley College of Engineering.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Cornell University. Bass is a maker and spends his spare time building things—from chairs and tables to boats, and most recently, an electric go-kart.

“I’m honored to be part of this program alongside such incredible leaders as Andy, Jennifer and Tom. It’s wonderful to be celebrating their accomplishments and those of all of our industry,” said Bass of Autodesk.

Andrew Stephen "Andy" Grove (born András István Gróf; 2 September 1936 – 21 March 2016) was a businessman, engineer, author, and a science pioneer in the semiconductor industry. He was one of the founders and the CEO of Intel Corporation. As a result of his work at Intel, along with his books and professional articles, Grove had a considerable influence on the management of modern electronics manufacturing industries worldwide. During his tenure as CEO, Grove is credited with having transformed Intel from a manufacturer of memory chips into one of the world's dominant producers of microprocessors. His first book on semiconductors, Physics and Technology of Semiconductor Devices has been used by leading universities. Another book he penned on business operation methods, High Output Management, has been translated into 11 languages. He also wrote over 40 technical papers and held several patents on semiconductor devices. Grove received honorary degrees from the City College of New York (1985), Worcester Polytechnic Institute (1989) and Harvard University (2000). In 2004 the Wharton School of Business recognized him as the "Most Influential Business Person of the Last 25 Years."

About Silicon Valley Forum:

For over 30 years, Bay Area nonprofit organization Silicon Valley Forum (previously known as SVForum) has fostered innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership in Silicon Valley. We function as a center of knowledge and connections, covering everything from the latest tech trends to the startup and investment ecosystem. We have a long history of creating successful events, programs and conferences that educate, train, inspire, and connect technologists, entrepreneurs, corporates, investors, innovation and startup hubs, and students—in Silicon Valley, throughout the U.S., and globally. We organize about 150 different activities per year, have over 20,000 subscribers/users, and work with over 40 countries worldwide.

Our partners include global leaders Accenture, Bank of the West, IBM, Microsoft, Qualcomm, Siemens, and TriNet, as well as leading law and venture capital firms and service providers. Silicon Valley Forum is a fully independent 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization.

For more information, visit our website at


Silicon Valley Forum
Micaela Youmans, 408-380-7241
Head of Marketing and Communications

Release Summary

Silicon Valley Forum today announced the honorees for their 19th Annual Visionary Awards, a celebration of notable Silicon Valley leaders in technology, education, venture capital, & entrepreneurship.

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Silicon Valley Forum
Micaela Youmans, 408-380-7241
Head of Marketing and Communications