On Saturday, May 14th, Silicon Valley’s heavy hitters gathered under one roof to honor visionary Intel co-founder and ocean leader Gordon Moore at the biennial Monterey Bay Aquarium David Packard Award Dinner. More than 400 event-goers were greeted by Julie Packard, Monterey Bay Aquarium Executive Director and Vice Chair of the Aquarium’s Board of Trustees, and Meg Whitman, President and CEO of Hewlett Packard Enterprise, at the Hewlett Packard Enterprise headquarters in Palo Alto. As guests were ushered in, they were greeted to an ocean-themed pavilion as well as cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
“It is so important that we use the technology available to us to learn about our oceans, which have such a huge impact on the future health of our entire planet,” said Whitman in her welcoming remarks. ” I am deeply grateful to all of you for supporting the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its work to understand and protect our oceans.”
Whitman emceed the event, with a keynote address given by Marcia McNutt, President of the National Academy of Sciences. There was also a scene-stealer video message by event co-chair Bill Gates. Packard and Board of Trustees Chairman Stephen C. Neal presented Moore with the prestigious David Packard Award, a commissioned glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly.
Moore’s acceptance speech conveyed a multitude of thoughts and memories about his life, work, and fishing with David Packard. “I really am honored to get this award,” he said. “It really makes me proud. David Packard had so much influence on what went on in this Valley, in the nation and in the world.”
As attendees dined, Packard praised the many accomplishments of honoree Moore and discussed the link between his legacy and that of her father David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett Packard and the Monterey Bay Aquarium – as an innovator, entrepreneur and ocean conservationist.
McNutt’s also cautionary about the critical role the global ocean plays in mitigating the impacts of global climate change, and the urgent need to address the challenge. “While we’ve been working to save the oceans, the oceans are saving us,” she said. “If it were not for the oceans, the amount of global warming we would otherwise experience would be truly intolerable.”
The night ended with Packard’s inspiring remarks about the achievements and vision of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, followed by a video highlighting the global impact of Monterey Bay Aquarium’s research and conservation programs. “Everyone here tonight has had a hand in putting the Monterey Bay Aquarium on the map,” she said. “I am so deeply grateful for your support and energized by your confidence in our work. Today, thanks to you and to our fantastic team, our research tells us we are the most admired aquarium in the world. And, we’re well on our way to pursuing my dream of leading a transformation of public aquariums worldwide to be agents for change.”
The dinner raised nearly $4 million to support the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s path-breaking conservation efforts and education initiatives and the Aquarium’s new Center for Ocean Education and Leadership. Event co-chairs included Marc Benioff (Salesforce), Peter Bing, John Chambers (Cisco), John Doerr (Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers), Bill Gates, Vinod Khosla (Khosla Ventures), Brian Krzanich (Intel), Pitch Johnson, Steve Luczo (Seagate), Shantanu Narayen (Adobe), Arthur Rock, and Inaugural David Packard Award recipient George P. Shultz.Vice Chairs included John H.N. Fisher, Tom Patterson (Madrone Capital); Satya Nadella (Microsoft); Paul Roche (McKinsey & Company); and John Thompson (Microsoft).