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SVCN Announces CEO Transition Plan

Chief Executive Officer Patricia Gardner to Step Down in Early 2019 Board Search for Successor Begins this Fall

SAN JOSE, CA, Aug. 3, 2018 – The Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits today announced that Patricia Gardner will transition out of her position as Chief Executive Officer in early 2019. She will remain CEO through the transition while the Board conducts an extensive search for a successor beginning this fall and will continue as a Senior Advisor to the organization thereafter.

Patricia, who joined SVCN in 2001, has been a driving force in transforming SVCN for long-term, sustainable success. During her tenure, SVCN has coalesced nonprofits through difficult economic downturns and built their capacity to be stronger as service providers and as a community. Its focused advocacy has improved services for thousands of seniors, youth, families and those living in poverty in Santa Clara County and beyond.

Over the past two decades, SVCN has become one of the most respected voices locally and across the state with government, local foundations and most importantly the nonprofit sector. Growing from a small group of less than 50 agencies and a budget of less than $100,000, SVCN now represents over 200 agencies with an operating budget close to $1 million.

SVCN has earned a positive reputation for its commitment to strengthening local nonprofits and the collective impact of its advocacy. It has established training and leadership development programs for nonprofits of all sizes, led a robust policy advocacy program, and formed exciting partnerships securing a strong financial position and the committed support of many public and private multi-year funders.

Sandra Murillo, SVCN’s Chair of the Board, said, "Patricia has been critical to building SVCN’s community impact and guiding its growth over the years, and thanks to her leadership, SVCN is well positioned for continued success. On behalf of the Board and staff, we are grateful for Patricia's numerous contributions and accomplishments over her career and look forward to continuing to work with her as we implement this succession plan."

“My time at SVCN has been the singular best experience in my professional life. It has been full of exciting opportunities and experiences from seeing our local nonprofit sector transformed by our dedicated staff and partners; to decorating pumpkins and lunching with local “celebrities” who all showed up over the years to support this amazing organization,” Gardner said. “I want to thank the Board of Directors for allowing me the privilege to serve this extraordinary organization over the past 18 years. I also want to thank our staff, community of members, donors and advocates whose generosity and passion helped fuel our growth and progress.”

Ms. Murillo continued, “During this time of transition, we count on our network’s continued support so that the nonprofit community we serve can count on us. We are proud of what we’ve accomplished together to make SVCN a strong and healthy organization and have full confidence that we will continue to be strong for the local nonprofit sector and the communities it serves.”



Patricia Gardner has led the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits since 2001 after being a nonprofit executive manager for over 20 years. She believes nonprofits are central to the fabric of life, and through her role, at SVCN, she promotes the sector to make our community more aware of this valuable community asset.

In 2011, Patricia was selected as Woman of the Year by Assemblyman Jim Beall, saying Patricia’s "ingenuity and powerful advocacy has helped preserve our safety net in the face of dwindling budgets, allowing us to continue vital health and social services for families in need.” That same year, United Way Silicon Valley named her Community Builder of the Year, stating “Patricia is the gladiator of nonprofits working to preserve the safety net in our community.” In 2012, SVCN received the Community Builder Award from Community Solutions for her work to preserve funding for services. Patricia has also been recognized as a Women of Influence in Silicon Valley by the San Jose Business Journal and is recognized statewide as a leader in nonprofit advocacy and public policy.​ In 2018, Patricia received the Siempre Award from Grail Family Services, and was honored as Alumni of the Year from San Jose State University’s College of Social Sciences - Political Science.

Patricia has served on a number of key policy committees including the City of San Jose and County Senior Nutrition Task Forces, the Blue Ribbon Committee on Housing and Homelessness, the Juvenile Justice Systems Collaborative, Measure A-Hospital Bond Oversight Committee, City of San Jose General Fund Structural Deficit Committee and many others. She has spoken before numerous policymakers, elected officials and foundation leaders on nonprofit issues, governance and nonprofit contracting.

Patricia has B.A. degree in Political Science from San Jose State University and a Master's Degree in Nonprofit Public Administration from California State University East Bay. She is an American Leadership Fellow, Class XX.

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