Board Chairman & Trustee
John A. Sobrato is Founder and Chairman Emeritus of The Sobrato Organization (TSO), which was formed over a decade before the area became known as Silicon Valley. Since its founding, The Sobrato Organization has developed over 16 million square feet of office properties and 10,000 apartment units 100% family owned and developed without institutional partners.
Sobrato Philanthropies, which represents the Sobrato Family’s combined philanthropic efforts including the Sobrato Family Foundation (SFF), TSO and the family’s individual giving, has donated cash and real estate to Silicon Valley nonprofits totaling 590 million dollars.
For more than twenty years, SFF has invested exclusively in nonprofits serving those most in need in Santa Clara, San Mateo and Southern Alameda counties. The Foundation grants millions in multi-year general operating and strategic program support, along with rent free office space for 73 nonprofits, and free conference facilities hosting thousands of meetings by Bay Area nonprofits at its three Sobrato Centers for Nonprofits located in Redwood Shores, San Jose and Milpitas.
The Sobratos have long held that quality education, career pathways, and essential human services are the keys to creating opportunity for all in our local communities. The tens of millions of dollars they have invested in signature initiatives like the Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) program and their Pathways for Success and 21st Century Education initiatives have impacted the lives of more than 60,000 students across more than 100 California schools, supported thousands of local youth in accessing career opportunities, and cultivated hundreds of local employment partnerships.
In 2007, SFF was named the Foundation of the year by the National Association of Nonprofits. In 2013, the Sobrato Family Foundation was named the number one grantor in Northern California by the San Francisco Business Times. Every year since 2013, the Sobrato Organization, with only 50 employees total, has been recognized as either the first or second most generous corporation in the Bay Area, topping even the largest of corporations like Google, Wells Fargo and Cisco.
Honorary Doctorate Santa Clara University and the National Hispanic
University, Junior Achievement Hall of Fame 1989, United Way De Tocqueville Man of the Year 1994, National Conference for Community and Justice Man of the Year 1998, National Society of Fund Raising Executives Philanthropist of the Year 1998, Santa Clara Council Boy Scouts Distinguished Citizen 2000, Peninsula Boys and Girls Club Leading Citizen 2006, City Year Leadership Award 2008, NAIOP Developer of the Decade 2008, Joint Venture Silicon Valley David Packard Civic Entrepreneur 2012. Lefetime Achievement Award by the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in 2016.