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History of the Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast

The annual Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast and smaller gatherings throughout the year are designed to introduce faith and prayer as vital elements of a meaningful and vibrant life, and encourage ongoing conversations on spiritual topics. For more information on future events please sign up for our email list at the 'Contact Us' tab on this website.

The Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast is part of the Altos Christian Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. It is neither a fund raiser nor associated with any particular church or denomination

  We are blessed to have had an inspirational group of speakers.

Steering Committee Members
for 2014:


Skip Vaccarello (Chair)
Phil Ahlfeldt
Sehin Belew
Ryan Derfler
Georgia Godfrey
Janet Goodman
Mike Griego
Tom Gutshall
Dustin Keele
Yoon Kim
Joe Lewis
Bill Ogdon
Tom Rees
Reid Rutherford
Charles Strouss
Don Thomas
Andy Wong



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2014 This marked the 20th Annual Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast. Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware in his address, "Balancing Faith, Family, and Work," challenged the overflow crowd "to be hot for the kingdom of God," to devote time to family, and to commit to radical philanthropy. Reggie Littlejohn delivered a compelling testimony about how personal suffering gave her a purpose for her life -- to found Women's Rights Without Frontiers to shed light on abused women, especially in China.
2013 "Film, Faith, and Pop Culture" was the topic addressed by keynote speaker Mark Joseph, film producer and founder of MJM Entertainment. Speaking also were Jaida Im, founder and Executive Director of Freedom House and Sanjay Poonen, President and Corporate Officer of Technology Solutions and the Mobile Division at SAP.
See 2013's archived website.
2012

"Leadership in Challenging Times" was the theme of the 2012 event. Dr Condoleezza Rice, professor at Stanford and 66th Secretary of State was the keynote speaker. Dr. Rice gave an inspiring testimony of her faith in Jesus Christ, the compatibility between faith and reason, and how her faith and prayer help her in challenging times. The event also featured testimonies and prayers by Betty Ann Boeving, Executive Director of the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition www.baatc.org and Chuck Reed, Mayor of San Jose.
See 2012's archived website.
2011

"Overcoming Life's Challenges" was the theme of the 2011 event. Steve Stenstrom, president of Pro Athletes Outreach (PAO) and former NFL quarterback, was the keynote speaker. In his talk titled Lessons from the West Coast Offense, Steve discussed lessons he learned playing college and professional football and how those lessons paralleled lessons God taught him about life. The event also featured personal testimonies and prayers by Randy Scott, Co-Founder and Executive Chairman of Genomic Health, Inc. and Tess Reynolds, CEO of New Door Ventures.
See 2011's archived website.
2010

The 2010 event featured Joe Ehrmann, former NFL player, coach, and community leader, and Tim Borland, president of Race for Good. The theme of the event was "Finding Meaning and Purpose in Life". Ehrmann talked about how the tragic death of his brother led him to search for meaning and purpose and ultimately lead to his commitment to faith and a life of service. Tim Borland described how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. In his case, Tim uses his gift of endurance running, including running in 63 marathons in 63 days in 2007, to raise money to find a cure for a rare children's disease, ataxia telangiectasia (A-T). The event also included brief testimonies and prayers by Don Johnson, chief of public safety in Sunnyvale and Susan Kammerer-Herman, executive director of Help One Child.
[View Program Handout]
2009

The 2009 event featured medical doctor Cheryl Ho and NASA Astronaut, Rex Walheim. Both spoke on the theme "The Joy of Serving". Cheryl recalled the path that took her from a comfortable childhood in Cincinnati to serving the homeless and disadvantaged in Santa Clara County and how her desire to serve comes from her relationship with Jesus Christ. Rex discussed his passion for flying and how God's plan led him on a varied path where today he serves as an astronaut who has flown on two missions. The audience was also privileged to hear San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed offer a prayer for leadership and Atherton City Council member Elizabeth Lewis offer a prayer for local needs.
[View Program Handout]
2008 "Finding Meaning in Life" was the theme of the 2008 event which featured Walt Wilson, a Silicon Valley businessman, and Shirley Pounds, director of CityTeam San Francisco. Walt, a former Marine, discussed how his commitment to personal faith in Jesus Christ in the service gave meaning to his life thereafter. Shirley discussed how God led her from a small town in the Midwest to her work with the poorest of the poor in San Francisco and how she and countless volunteers find meaning every day caring for the disadvantaged.
[View Program Handout]
2007 "Finding Joy in Your Life" was the theme of the event featuring Dennis Bakke and Pat Chen. Bakke is the co-founder and former CEO of AES Corporation, an $8 billion energy firm, Imagine Schools, and author of Joy at Work. He talked about how to find joy at work. Chen is a champion of prayer, founder and president of First Love Ministries International and the founder of "The Secret Place" prayer room on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. She talked about the power and meaning of prayer.
[View Program Handout]
2006 "Finding Purpose in Your Life" was the theme of the event which featured speakers Kim Woody and John Sage. Both speakers found purpose through prayer and openness to God. Kim Woody started Jeremiah's Promise, a program which provides a loving home, mentoring, and educational opportunities for foster youth who turn 18 and have no other resources. John Sage was led to start Pura Vida Coffee, a for-profit company which generates ongoing financial support for charitable organizations worldwide.
2005 Michael Halloran, a former professional skier and founder of several companies, talked about what it is like to survive a life-threatening illness, to be given a second chance, and discover that the priorities and values of daily life are changed forever. Laura Lou Tolles, author of books for both parents and children, spoke about how prayer sustained her through her battle with the devastating effects of Lyme disease.
2004Kevin Compton, general partner with the venture capital firm, Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, talked about the sustaining power of faith and prayer. Tess Reynolds spoke about how personal tragedy changed her life.
2003 Kim Oden, former Stanford volleyball player and current coach and counselor at Saint Francis, spoke about how she felt called to leave college coaching to mentor high school students. Tom Gutshall, co-founder and chairman of Cepheid and Chairman of CityTeam Ministries, gave a personal testimony and talked about the power of prayer in his life.
2002Dorothy Garcia, whose husband perished in the 9/11 Pennsylvania plane crash, gave a moving story about how God and prayer sustain her. Dr. Joseph Roberson, a physician and founder of the California Ear Institute at Stanford, and his wife Julia Roberson, inspired us with stories about ear surgery and faith.
2001 Brent Jones, a Young Life graduate and former 49er All Pro tight end, spoke about what it means to be a Christian football player. Marshall Heller, Bible Study Fellowship lecturer, discussed prayer in his life.
2000Normajean Hinders, a marriage and family therapist, talked about the power of prayer in her life. Jim Stump, spiritual mentor to athletes at Stanford, and Steve Stenstrom, former Stanford and 49ers quarterback, shared their testimonies.
1999Elaine Stedman, wife of Ray Stedman, founder of Peninsula Bible Church, came from Oregon to speak on the gift of prayer. Dr. Arthur Halliday, a Los Altos physician, explored prayer in the practice of medicine.
1998Nan and Chuck Geschke held the packed room spellbound with their recounting of the horrific experience of Chuck’s kidnapping five years earlier and how prayer sustained them through the ordeal. Chuck is the co-founder and was president of Adobe Systems.
1997 Thomas Kinkade, “Painter of Light”, discussed how his faith and prayer inspire his art. Sally Forster, Bible Study Fellowship lecturer, shared four steps to a vital prayer life.
1996Greg Jamison, president of the San Jose Sharks hockey team, and Patti Pierce, founder of Women at the Well, shared their personal faith.
1995Gini Bunnell, artist and Bible Study Fellowship lecturer, and Tom Campbell, State Senator talked about the power of prayer in their lives.