SJSU in the News: Nonprofit Exec, a Politics Grad, Honored “For What I Believe So Strongly”

Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits exec recognized by United Way

Originally published by the San Jose Mercury News Oct. 7, 2011.

By Mary Gottschalk

Patricia Gardner, a Rose Garden resident, has been recognized by United Way Silicon Valley with its Community Builder Award.

Gardner has served as executive director of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits for the past 10 years.

The council represents more than 200 health and human service nonprofit agencies in Santa Clara County.

In her role, Gardner mobilizes the nonprofit sector and the people they serve to be advocates and to educate policy makers on the importance of the nonprofit sector and the impact of budget reductions on client care. The council works to ensure that government funding is not cut for critical services.

Prior to taking the helm of SVCN, Gardner was development director of AchieveKids.

She earned her B.A. in political science at San Jose State University and her master’s in public administration nonprofits at California State University Hayward.

“To be recognized for what I believe so strongly in for our community is truly an honor. I feel so overwhelmed to receive this honor, given to me by my peers, by my sector, by my friends,” Gardner said.

The annual community breakfast held at Villa Ragusa in Campbell also honored Ned and Jimi Barnholt as philanthropists of the year; Live Oak Adult Day Services with its partner agency excellence award; and Intel with its corporate support award.