Advisory Council

Jon Ball

Jon Ball is a builder who retired 12/31/16, concluding a very successful 40 year career managing large, complex construction projects in most of the Western US. For the past 33 years, Jon progressed through the ranks at Hensel Phelps (HP), a highly respected and 100% employee owned commercial building contractor. For the last 20 years at HP, Jon provided leadership as a senior voice on their board of directors, while in command of all work in northern California.

Along the way, Jon’s responsibilities were expanded to include all of California, Hawaii, and Guam. Earlier in life, while still in his native state of Illinois, he achieved a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana campus, and later became a licensed professional engineer.

More recently, Jon has become a civic leader, with focus on: The Rotary Club of San Jose (past board member, and a cabinet member and in-kind general contractor sponsor of the Rotary PlayGarden, the Club’s $6 million centennial gift to the City of San Jose, and the residents of the neighboring communities). Silicon Valley Monterey Bay Council, Boy Scouts of America, which serves over 13,000 local youth (President, 2017 and 2018). Cancer CAREpoint (Jon and Paula are proud to be among the initial and continuing donors and supporters of this organization which provides free non-clinical support to cancer patients and their caregivers). Associated General Contractors of California (22 year member; President, 2015). Via Services, Inc. (Sponsor and in-kind project mentor). Most importantly, Jon is a founding director and chairman of the San José Light Tower Corporation, along with founding partners Steve Borkenhagen and Thomas Wohlmut.

Jon enjoys biking, sailing, climbing, sports cars, and helping others. Jon has been married to Paula for 39 years, and they are the very proud parents of their daughter, Kathleen.


Christine Davis

Raised and educated on the cattle ranches of New Mexico and Texas, Christine brings a tough and vibrant “cowgirl” energy to whatever she touches: marketing and development plans, philanthropic foundations, investment and consulting businesses, and, most recently, her participation in the Urban Confluence Silicon Valley competition.‍ Christine has had profound professional success.

She started her career working for Key Management Association for seventeen years, rising swiftly through the ranks to become CEO of the company’s two Northern California divisions, where she oversaw the retail meat business chain’s five Bay Area branches, and deeply honed her skills at a favorite side of business – sales and marketing.‍

In 1992, Christine retired from the industry to start a family. But God and the world had other plans for her! Instead of staying home with her baby, Cole, Christine was invited to be in charge of the massive Air Systems Car Show & Family Fun-Fest fundraiser, which unleashed her discovery of a new talent in event planning, and a passion for giving back to her community. Christine capitalized on the car show’s philanthropic popularity, and for eleven years brought fresh new energy to a full-time position as leader in all promotional marketing and special events for Air Systems Inc., a Silicon Valley mechanical contractor founded by her husband, John.

Christine further capitalized on her dedication to giving back, and founded the Air Systems Foundation, Inc., in 1997. The non-profit organization, which she continues to serve as president today, operates on the motto “Kids Are Our Driving Force,” and provides scholarships and grants for children in need.In 1999, Air Systems Inc. sold, and Christine and John became partners in TMFC Inc., their family investment and consulting business.

Currently, they focus on Club Auto Sport, where Christine steered the marketing, once again finding herself in a constant and vibrant flow of new ideas that she turns into effective, in vogue, and finger-on-the-pulse campaigns.‍ Christine is proud to serve on several notable boards, participates in a number of event marketing projects for local organizations, and continues to relish and channel her gifts of creativity, drive, and good business judgment based on decades of experience.

She has been recognized for her work through multiple awards, including the Leading Citizen Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Silicon Valley, the Extraordinary Women Making a Mark Award, the Legacy Award, and a Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award from the Boy Scouts of America. She has also received recognition as a Business Journal Woman of Influence, and received the Junior Achievement Leadership Award. Through her participation and dedication to multiple avenues of support for children, she helps to educate and direct a healthy and promising future for our country’s children.‍

In 2018, Christine intended to ride off into the sunset and enjoy a life of travel and family – but a real cowgirl never quits or gives up on a dream, no matter how big or bold it may seem. Enthusiastically she said “YES” to being a part of this prestigious San Jose Light Tower Corporation project in the epicenter of innovation. The icon waits – we will deliver!


Bill Ekern

Presently serves as the President of the Avenida de Espana Housing Board (under the auspices of the Santa Clara County Housing Authority) and as a member of the San Jose Arena Authority Board.


Served as the City of San Jose’s Diridon Project Manager, leading the City's efforts to assure implementation and development of a world class transportation center as the catalyst for economic and cultural growth for the City and Bay Area.  Projects involved coordination of transportation agencies and the City of San Jose to create the rules and structure that will be necessary to integrate a new intermodal transportation center with private development to assure the success of both the transportation systems and the private investment in this expansion of the City's downtown.  Also was a member of the City’s negotiating team working with Google on its Downtown West development project.  Led the coordination with economic and development consultants as part of the negotiation, and led the team creating the Diridon Infrastructure Fee plan to assure development within the Diridon Station Area. (2016-2021)


As the Interim Planning Director for the City of Milpitas, was responsible for the implementation of the City's Transit Area Specific Plan designed to support the new BART station and linkage to the VTA light rail system.  More than 3,000 housing units were permitted along with a new hotel and several hundred thousand square feet of commercial retail during this one year effort.(2015-2016)


As the Assistant City Manager for Development, following on the role as Community Development Director, was responsible for the implementation of the City's Downtown Precise Plan, bringing to the city more than 2,500 housing units and nearly one million square feet of new office to establish Redwood City as a significant player in transit oriented development and design.  Also negotiated the Development Agreement with Stanford University to bring its plans for new office development and campus support with the first community benefit program for the City. (2011-2015)


From 1998 to 2011, and the demise of redevelopment in the state, served as the Director of Project Management/Special Projects for the City of San Jose's Redevelopment Agency.  During this tenure led the design and implementation of significant projects such as the MLK Library (the first joint public and university library in the United States), the Tech Museum of Innovation, the Mexican Heritage Plaza, Horace Mann Elementary School, the transformation of the California-Fox Theatre into the home of San Jose Opera, and the reconstruction of the Civic Auditorium, and modernization projects at Municipal Stadium.  Also served as City liaison to the Arena Authority during this period.


For the City of Albany, California, served as the city's first Community Development Director.  Although the primary focus of this work was administrative and organizational development, led the design and implementation of the redesign and reconstruction of the City's main shopping street, Solano Avenue.  Also negotiated agreements with Caltrans to improve the connection of the city's sole redevelopment area with Interstate 880. (1994-1998)


Served as the Senior Development Officer for the San Jose Redevelopment Agency and the Director of Public Works for the Town of Los Altos Hills.  (1985-1994)


Laura Guio

Laura Guio is currently the IBM General Manager, Kyndryl Strategic Partnership, IBM Senior State Executive for California and Co-Chair of the Native American Diversity Council. Her responsibilities cover all business unit interactions between IBM - Cisco and Apple.

In her previous role, Laura was the General Manager, Cisco and Apple Partnership, where she was responsible for developing and leading joint offerings through collaboration with the Partner and IBM Clients. Clients understand and need high value integrated solutions used to evolve their enterprises IT value.

Laura has held several other positions including VP, GTS WW Center of Competency – Leading IBM technical solutions with sales WW. VP, IBM Storage Business Line Executive, driving the corporate wide Storage investment. Her role as the Growth Markets Unit VP of Storage Sales from 2009 through 2012 based in Shanghai China was one of the best learning roles in her career. In that position she led the Storage sales responsibilities of 149 countries, driving over 1 billion in sales annually. In her 31 years at IBM, a significant portion was spent developing and leading SW engineering, operational infrastructure, customer support and services which have prepared her to be a strong technology leader across IBM’s products and services. She maintains strong client relationships as an executive in IBM which she believes is key to providing value to our customers.

Ms. Guio is a recognized leader in the Silicon Valley community. She serves as the Senior State Executive for California. This position provides leadership for IBM in the community, linking our corporate citizenship activities with strategic IBM initiatives, and leveraging the resources of IBM to achieve strategic business goals. She serves on the Board of Directors for Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG) which is comprised of 70 CEOs & CIOs from leading companies in Silicon Valley with the objective to drives program and campaigns that affect the economic health and quality of life in Silicon Valley. She is the co-chairs for the SVLG Racial Justice & Equity Task Force. She helped establish and serves on the Board of Directors for San Jose’s “Talent Task Force” lead by the Mayor of San Jose.

In 2004, Laura received the YWCA Tribute to Women in IndustryAward and in 2021 is the recipient of the Women of Influence Award from Silicon Valley Business Journal. She has served on the Board of Directors for the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley CIO forum, UPWARD and PBWC. Additional, Laura is on the Board of Directors for the Compassion Center which serves the homeless in south Santa Clara County.

Ms. Guio graduated from San Jose State University in 1986.


Mark Purdy

Mark Purdy was a sports columnist at the San Jose Mercury News from 1984 until his retirement in 2017. During his time there, Purdy was honored by the Wall Street Journal for writing one of America’s Top 10 sports columns and on multiple occasions was named to the Associated Press Sports Editors' annual list of America’s Top 10 Sports Columnists. In the course of his 43-year journalistic career, Purdy covered 14 Olympic Games, 32 Super Bowls, 22 World Series and numerous other high-profile sports events. In the Bay Area, he is known as the newspaper columnist who gave the name "McCovey Cove" to the body of water behind right field at AT&T Park as a tribute to former Giants' slugger Willie McCovey. In 1989, Purdy was a member of the Mercury News staff that received a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the "World Series earthquake" that struck the region before Game 3 at Candlestick Park. Purdy has also made broadcast appearances on ABC's Nightline, Court TV and ESPN "Outside the Lines," as well as on NBC Sports Bay Area’s programming. After his retirement from the Mercury News, he joined the Bay Area Host Committee for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Game at Levi's Stadium, serving as a consultant and editorial content contributor. In 2021, he became the first journalist inducted into the San Jose Sports Hall of Fame. A native of Celina, Ohio, Purdy is a 1974 graduate of Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Before moving to San Jose, he held reporting or column writing positions at the Cincinnati Enquirer, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune.


Fernando Zazueta

Fernando Zazueta was born in México and brought to California at 2 years of age. He was a migrant farm worker child and attended sixteen schools, graduated from San José (SJ) High School and received a BS degree from San José State University. He worked as a stockbroker, banker, and accountant before receiving a law degree. He is a naturalized citizen and was officer in the USAF Reserve.

In law school he organized paid interpreter court services using law students, wrote a guide for the use of court interpreters and was a special consultant and contributor to a Judicial Council report on the language needs in California courts and developed interpreter language competency certification to make the justice system more equitable for non-English speakers.

He is a native Spanish speaker, and speaks some Italian, Portuguese, and French with varying degrees of fluency. For years he was the legal advisor to the San José Consulate General of México. His wife Cecily and he traveled throughout Europe for a year and were volunteers on a Rotary Club trip to Guatemala assisting a team of plastic surgeons as interpreters for parents of children with cleft-lip and palate congenital defects. He, Cecily, and their three adult children received the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley’s La Familia Award in recognition of their civic involvement.

As a lawyer for over 40 years, Zazueta represented injured persons, many of whom had language barriers, and he was active in Hispanic and mainstream local, county, state, and national bar associations.

Zazueta is a member of the San José Rotary Club and various of its committees, served on its Board and as Club President. He chaired the San José Unified School District Advisory Council on Alleviation of Ethnic and Racial Isolation of Students in response to a federal court-ordered lawsuit and has held numerous directorships for non-profit organizations including eight years on the San José Museum of Art Board.

He was incorporator and for 15 years was founding chairman of the Mexican Heritage Corporation Board and helped guide construction of the $34 Million Plaza which for years presented the San José Mariachi Festivals and he was a frequent MC for Latino parades.

Zazueta received the first Leadership Excellence Award from the San José Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce on whose board he served for six years. He is active with a philanthropic organization which supports local needy children, mothers, the elderly, the sick, and the poor. He was “Father of the Year” for the local chapter of the American Diabetes Association, was Alumnus of the Year for the College of Business at SJSU, and received an Annual Award presented by the St. Thomas More Society of Santa Clara County and was on the inaugural Smithsonian Institute’s National Board for Latino Initiatives.

He helped found La Raza Historical Society of Santa Clara Valley (LRHS) and chaired its Board with the objective of documenting and digitizing the documents, photographs, and oral histories of Raza men and women (including Cesar Chavez, Herman Gallegos, Hermelinda Sapien, and Blanca Alvarado) who helped make the Santa Clara Valley what it is today.

Fernando Zazueta brings an important perspective to Urban Confluence Silicon Valley as it works to build the Breeze of Innovation.