Pat Lopes Harris, 408-656-6999
SAN JOSE, CA – Business and community leaders Joseph and Nicki Parisi will receive honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters at the San Jose State University Commencement ceremony.
“Joseph and Nicki Parisi are outstanding role models for our students,” said President Mohammad Qayoumi. “They have achieved great success with their ‘working smart’ and ‘can-do’ attitudes while never losing sight of their roots, giving back to the university and community they call home.”
Joseph and Nicki Parisi founded Therma Corporation in 1967. The business combines Joseph’s academic interests with Nicki’s family history. Joseph studied mechanical engineering at San Jose State, while Nicki comes from three generations in the plumbing and mechanical contracting businesses. Today, Therma is a renowned mechanical contractor serving commercial, industrial and biomedical concerns in Northern California. One of the largest design/build mechanical contracting firms in the Bay Area, Therma has employed more than 1,500 people.
As Therma’s president, Joseph Parisi was inducted into the Junior League Business Hall of Fame and is a recipient of the David Packard Civic Entrepreneur Award. He serves on the boards of the Tower Foundation of San Jose State, the Valley Foundation, Joint Venture Silicon Valley, Pacific Valley Bank and the Valley Medical Center Foundation. He is past director of KTEH, past president of the local Sheet Metal Contractors National Association and a founder of the Santa Clara Valley Contractors Association.
As Therma’s chief financial officer, Nicki Parisi developed a computerized accounting system to track customer requirements and provide necessary documentation for corporations, which became the envy of the industry. She is a founding member of The Doves Club, the California chapter of Las Palomas, an organization dedicated to inspiring women to participate in local charities through leadership, volunteerism and giving. She has served on other corporate boards and is on the board of the Nobb Hill Association.
The Parisis have taken leadership roles in fundraising for many local organizations, including the United Way of Santa Clara County (now United Way Silicon Valley), American Cancer Society, Valley Medical Center Foundation, House on the Hill, March of Dimes, Arthritis Foundation, National Kidney Foundation and the American Heart Association.
Commencement will begin at 9:30 a.m. May 25 in Spartan Stadium. Approximately 8,000 candidates who completed their studies in August 2012, December 2012 and May 2013 will be eligible to participate.
San Jose State University — Silicon Valley’s largest institution of higher learning with 30,000 students and 3,850 employees — is part of the California State University system. SJSU’s 154-acre downtown campus anchors the nation’s 10th largest city.