Struggle, Faith, and Purpose — Tom Tognoli, Entrepreneur and Intero President and CEO

Tom Tognoli

Tom Tognoli

Tom Tognoli is living out the American dream.  In 2002, he co-founded Intero, an innovative Silicon Valley-based company, which grew to become one of the top real estate firms in the country.  In 2013, Intero accounted for over 11,000 transactions and $8 billion in sales.  The company’s success was noticed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.  In the spring of this year, Berkshire Hathaway’s affiliate HomeServices of America, the second largest independent real estate brokerage firm in the U.S., acquired Intero.  Tom Tognoli leads Intero as the firm’s President and CEO. Continue reading

“When God Calls, You Better Show Up!” — Neil Ahlsten, Entrepreneur

Neil Ahlsten

Neil Ahlsten

Throughout history, people have used the tools available to help them communicate with God.  Prayer is recorded on cave walls by the aborigines in Australia and elsewhere. Biblical prayer was put in written form and distributed when the printing press was invented.  Prayer was broadcast on radio by our leaders during World War II.  I recall the television day beginning in the 1950s with the National Anthem and prayer.  More recently, people have used PCs and the Internet to help them pray.  Prayer requests and prayers themselves can be emailed and sent as text messages. Continue reading

Survivor of the World Trade Center Collapse Finds Purpose — Michael Hingson

MichaelHingsonImagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – that’s 1,463 individual stairs.  Now imagine you are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you’ll be able to make it out of the building before it collapses or goes up in flames.  As you walk, you start to smell the heavy stench of jet fuel, making it hard to take each breath.  Now, in addition to all of that, imagine that you happen to be blind.

This was the reality for Michael Hingson on September 11, 2001, the day the World Trade Center collapsed.  Hingson made it through this traumatic experience with the help of his guide dog, with the teamwork of others on the stairs, and most importantly with help from God.  He says what got him through the toughest part of that day was when he literally heard God’s voice speaking to him.  Continue reading

Upcoming Events in Silicon Valley

In September and October, there are three events in Silicon Valley which we recommend checking out.  The first two are breakfast gatherings that focus on integrating faith and business; the third is Q Commons, a simulcast national gathering with local speakers focused on advancing good in our current culture.  These are all great opportunities to get inspired and learn how to integrate faith into our daily lives.

Michael ChangWednesday, September 17, 7:00 am – 8:30 am

Listen to Michael Chang tell his story and speak on the intersection of faith and business at the Stanford Faculty Club.  This is a Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast Networking event.  It is open to all, so feel free to invite a friend or a colleague. The cost is $20. Register Online

Darius Fong2Saturday, September 20, 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

Listen to Grammy Award winning producer and engineer Darius Fong speak on “Winning the Race” as a Christian entrepreneur at the Wedgewood Banquet Center.  The cost is $32.64. Register Online

 

Tim Keller.2jpgThursday, October 9, 2014 from 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Join 10,000 participants across 60+ cities for three National talks, including one by Tim Keller, on current cultural issues, followed by three Silicon Valley talks, all designed to help us consider how to advance good in Silicon Valley. Q Commons Silicon Valley is hosted at CityTeam International HQ, 2304 Zanker Rd, San Jose, CA 95131.  Fee: $30.72.  Register Online

Visit our Events page to learn more.

Helping Entrepreneurs Build High Impact Organizations — Josh Kwan

Josh Kwan

Silicon Valley based entrepreneur Josh Kwan co-founded a unique non-profit organization called Praxis to help entrepreneurs build companies and nonprofits to make a significant impact on the world.  He is driven by his Christian faith to see social injustice remedied and the poor escape the clutches of poverty.  The Bible verse Micah 6:8 sums up his drive:

He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.

Continue reading

“Ready, Fire, Aim” – The Story of Paul Ely, former Hewlett-Packard Executive and Board Member

Ely photoIt is the conventional wisdom that by the time people reach their 70s, they have made up their minds what to believe or not to believe about God.  Paul Ely, former Hewlett Packard executive vice president and board member, built his career defying conventional wisdom. On the God question, he defied conventional wisdom as well.  At the age of 76, a sudden and unexpected revelation from God caused him to seriously investigate the evidence for the existence and identity of God, ending in his full acceptance of Jesus Christ as his savior. Continue reading

Surrendering His Life and Work to God – Michael Griego

Michael Griego

Michael Griego

“Surrender” is a word not often heard in Silicon Valley.  But surrender is what God requires of those who are his followers, even those in Silicon Valley.  Jesus said in Luke 9:23:  “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”  The Message paraphrase of that biblical passage reads, “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat — I am.”
Continue reading

Inspiring and Equipping Entrepreneurs to Lead — Eleo Conference in San Jose on July 26

Venture capitalist Chi-Hua Chien at the 2013 Conference

Venture capitalist Chi-Hua Chien at the 2013 Conference

On Saturday, July 26, the second annual Eleo Conference will take place.  The conference features Silicon Valley business leaders.  Some of the speakers have been featured on this website, including:  Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware; Kevin Compton, venture capitalist, and Victor Ho, founder and CEO of FiveStars.

Other speakers include:  David Lane, partner, Diamond Ventures; Maria Zhang, senior director of engineering at Yahoo; Chi-Hua Chien, venture capitalist; and Adrianna Gascoigne, founder, Girls in Tech.

The conference is not specifically a “Christian” event, although many of the speakers are followers of Christ.  It is about leadership and how to build and run companies. The Eleo Conference provides a wonderful opportunity to invite friends interested in entrepreneurship and leadership. It takes place at:  South Bay Church, 1180 Murphy Avenue, San Jose, and runs from 1:00 – 6:30 pm.  Networking and beer tasting follow the event.

For more information and to make reservations, go to:  Eleo Conference.

Jason Johnson– A Serial Entrepreneur

Jason Johnson, August CEO

Silicon Valley is known as a place where entrepreneurship thrives. Recently, I had the opportunity to meet with Jason Johnson, who embodies the Silicon Valley entrepreneurial spirit.  He has successfully led four major start-up companies.  He co-founded Founders Den to help budding entrepreneurs.  His newest start-up is August, which he expects will become a leading provider of intelligent devices to manage the home.  Johnson is also a follower of Christ.  In my interview with him, we discussed entrepreneurship and faith. Continue reading

New Beginnings Community Church – Reaching Out To the Bay Area

NBCC logoIf you are driving down Springer Road in Los Altos – Mountain View on a Sunday morning, you will notice tall green banners and people on the side of the street with smiles on their faces waving to you. They are there to welcome you to a new church called New Beginnings Community Church of the Bay Area (NBCC). Continue reading