Steve Borkenhagen has been an entrepreneur and business owner in Silicon Valley since 1975. He opened Camera One Theater, the first repertory cinema in San Jose, along with partners in 1975. During the years since, Steve has founded and operated multiple bars and restaurants in the South Bay Area including Eulipia Restaurant from 1977 to 2012. He studied Classics at San Jose State University after attending Santa Clara University and New College of California in San Francisco. Steve worked in the energy management field for two years as an energy auditor and is a certified LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional). He was also the project manager and part of the founding team of the San Pedro Square Market, a public market built in the tradition of Pike Place Market and other public markets. He worked with his family to found and operate Cafe Stritch, the Bay Area’s pre-eminent jazz club from 2013 until 2018. In 2017 Thomas Wohlmut, Jon Ball, and Steve started the San Jose Light Tower Corporation, a non-profit organization working to build an iconic world-class landmark in downtown San Jose. Steve has been on numerous non-profit boards over the past 30 years including Notre Dame High School, the San Jose Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Santa Clara University Department of Pastoral Ministries, the San Jose Downtown Association, Loaves and Fishes Family Kitchen, JW House, and Music for Minors. He has been an active member of the Rotary Club of San Jose for over 25 years, participating in numerous philanthropic domestic and international programs.
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.
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!