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Chuck Toeniskoetter to receive Distinguished Business Leader award

March 30, 2013

Chuck Toeniskoetter has spent a lifetime building and developing in Silicon Valley, and not just well-known and elegant structures. He's also built a lot of good business and personal relationships over the years and even helped bring Team San Jose back from the brink a couple of years ago when he took over as its board chair.

So it's pretty deserving that the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is recognizing him next month with its Distinguished Business Leader Award. Chamber CEO Matthew Mahood calls Toeniskoetter's business skills and philanthropy "legendary and exemplary," and those are sentiments that would receive board agreement from those who've known him and worked with him.

The award is one of several being presented at the chamber's Annual Membership Luncheon on March 28 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara.

Other honorees being recognized at the event include Joanne Maguire, executive vice president for Lockheed Martin Space System, as Businesswoman of the Year, and Goodwill Silicon Valley CEO Michael E. Fox Jr. as Businessman of the Year. Silicon Valley Leadership Group CEO Carl Guardino will be honored as Business Advocate of the year, and Planet Orange Termite and Pest Control is receiving Small Business of the Year honors.

The chamber is also inducting five organizations that have all been in business for at least 50 years to its Business Hall of Fame: law firm Hoge, Fenton Jones and Appel; Joseph George Fine Wines; San Jose State University; San Jose Water Company; and Winchester Mystery HousVALLEY'S OSCAR CONNECTIONS: Oscar paid a visit to the San Jose Rotary Club last week -- that is, one of the gold st atuettes that's presented at the Academy Awards every year. History San Jose Collections Manager Ken Middlebrook brought the award to the club's annual talk on the Oscars and explained its interesting history.It's an honorary award that was presented in 1959 to inventor Lee de Forest who developed the technology to put sound on film in the 1920s. His wife gave it to Douglas Perham -- a radio pioneer, electronics collector and friend of de Forest's -- and the Oscar arrived at History San Jose as part of the Perham Collection donated to the museum in 2003.

And the valley has another Oscar connection. Drew Olbrich of Palo Alto, Gunn High graduate Dan Wexler and Lawrence Kesteloot of San Francisco were honored Feb. 9 at the Science and Technical Academy Awards in Beverly Hills for creating a computer graphics lighting system at DreamWorks. It was their system, called Light, that helped computer-animated toons "Shrek" and "Madagascar" look so good.

LOCKS FIND HOME: The Los Gatos Art Museum held a reception last week to unveil the new home of "Locks of Love," the collection of padlocks with tender messages that had been hanging on the Main Street bridge over Highway 17 until Caltrans ordered its removal.

The new wall at the museum incorporates chain link fencing so new locks can be added year round and celebrated on an annual basis.

ON BOARD: Christopher DiGiorgio, Accenture's managing director in Northern California, is the new chairman of the Tech Museum's board of directors. He takes over from Ann Bowers, the philanthropist and education advocate who had been only the second woman to lead the board.

DiGiorgio says he's excited to work with Tech Museum President Tim Ritchie to usher in a new generation of science and technology museums. Bold innovation is something Silicon Valley residents have come to expect from its institutions, DiGiorgio said, and it's up to them to deliver on those expectations.

Contact Sal Pizarro at spizarro@mercurynews.com. Follow him atFacebook.com/mercurynews.aroundtown and Twitter.com/spizarro.

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