Guest Speakers and Performers

19th Secretary of the United States Army and local resident

Francis J Harvey

Holds a career with corporations (e.g., Westinghouse where he was President of multiple divisions and COO of the multibillion-dollar Industries and Technology Group,) that provided products and services to the federal government and in particular, the DOD. He served as Secretary of the U.S. Army under President George Bush for which he managed an annual budget of $98.5 billion and over one million soldiers, personnel, and contractors. Today, Secretary Harvey participates on a multitude of boards – both corporate and non-profit and is a valued Advisor to the Veterans Memorial & Support Foundation.
Town of Los Gatos

Mayor Rob Rennie

Mayor Rob Rennie is a Los Gatos resident and Bay Area native. His master’s degree in engineering (Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H) and bachelor’s degrees in Chemistry and Physics, (Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, N.Y) prepared him well for a career of nearly three decades in the semiconductor industry including five years in solar energy technology product development. Following retirement from tech, Rob became an entrepreneur in Town.
His background has benefitted Los Gatans. During his tenure on the Town of Los Gatos Town Council, Rob represented Los Gatos on the Silicon Valley Clean Energy Board. He was elected to Vice Chair and Chair, and now serves on multiple committees for the initiative which has been successful in delivering increased clean power and saving carbon. Rob also serves on the County Emergency Council, Santa Clara Local Agency Formation Commission, and as the alternate on the VTA Board. He has a strong history of volunteerism as a climate activist and environmental steward, and leadership positions (Chair, Vice Chair, Ex Board Member and more) for many community-related outreach concerns. Rob finds it rewarding and educational to be involved in multiple and diverse areas and constantly strives to better serve our Town which is evident given his loyalty to serving on the Town Council for the Town of Los Gatos since 2014.
Santa Clara County Fire Department

Fire Chief Suwanna Kerdkaew

Was appointed by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on April 22, 2022, into her post. She has extensive experience within the Department that according to Mike Wasserman, President of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, made Chief Kerdkaew an “ideal candidate for the role.” It is our desire to introduce Chief Kerdkaew to our community.
U.S. Airforce Veteran, public speaker, entertainer, and philanthropist

Mark Lindquist

Is a United States Air Force Veteran and actively involved behind the lines on the effort in Ukraine. Mark delivers a one-of-a-kind speech on 9/11 which he did for TED Talks. Mark is a nationally recognized singer of the National Anthem, something he has done 500 – 600 times for ESPN, CBS, Fox, Monday night football and sporting events.
U.S. Navy Reserve Captain, INDOPACOM JIOC Reserve Commander, Afghanistan and Iraq Veteran, and Apple Executive

Captain Doug Beck

Is eloquent and draws from his own experience as one who leads two careers – commercial and U.S. Military. Captain Beck is Vice President, Worldwide Education, Health and Government at Apple. Captain Beck voluntarily enlisted in the U.S. Navy and has served our country for 24 years. He survived deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and continues to serve in the Reserves today in combination with his Apple career. Captain Beck understands the meaning of giving back to preserve America’s freedom.
Commander, California Air National Guard

Brigadier General Steven J. “Bucky” Butow

Is the primary advisor to the Adjutant General on all programs, strategic planning, and operations affecting the California Air National Guard. He is responsible for the mission readiness and operational effectiveness across a broad spectrum of programs and activities involving five wings and over 4900 military and civilian personnel serving at ten locations within California. In this role, General Butow oversees development of operationally trained, equipped, and mission ready forces in support of national defense requirements and emergency response, relief, and recovery operations throughout California, protecting the state’s population of 40 million and the fifth largest economy in the world. General Butow is also the Director of the Space Portfolio at the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU). The Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) strengthens our national security by accelerating the adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and strengthening our allied and national security innovation bases.
Country Music Recording Artist

Sofia Costantini

Sofia Claire Costantini is a Bay Area native and country music recording artist. She is a regular on the rodeo National Anthem circuit, and she is our very own Miss San Mateo County. She will graduate from Menlo College this year with a degree in Business Marketing. You can download her songs on all streaming platforms.

San Jose Pop Up Choir

The San Jose Pop Up Choir is to establish a community of adults that are interested in singing, by providing a forum where they can sing together, share a love of music and build friendships through song. From spontaneous concerts in downtown San Jose, to caroling during the holidays and more, the choir performs diverse selections: individual songs, karaoke tracks, a cappella group songs, solos, duos, and themed singing for special projects. The San Jose Pop Up Choir makes friends, one song at a time.
One Country

Ric Hines

Ric Hines is the lead vocalist of One Country. This experienced vocalist of decades of performances was trained and mentored early in his career to be a lounge singer in the style of Frank Sinatra. Throughout decades of experience, Ric has been a lead singer for many different styles of music including Rock, Blues and Country. Ric was a signed Recording Artist with Ultimate Records for 5 years. As a Producer, he's Produced shows for many National Acts including Stevie Wonder, Charlie Daniels, Martina McBride, Waylon Jennings, The B52’s, Laura Nyro and Chris Isaak. Ric has several years of Artist Management experience along with being an owner of the iconic Cactus Club Venue in San Jose, California.

Gary Scott Thomas

Gary Scott Thomas found his life's career at the age of 13 when he got his first radio job. "I loved radio. I loved the theater of the mind. I loved sharing thoughts and ideas, making people laugh or think, and, honestly, not finding out if you did until much later. You really don't get to experience the moment with the audience, as a comedian on stage does. You get it as a memory from the audience, and that's awesome because it meant something to them; they carry it with them, and then honor you by sharing it with you. It then becomes 'a moment' for both of us." He has interviewed actors, athletes, politicians, scientists, authors, and a lot of singers. Gary also has hosted many live events and has a side job as an auctioneer, but he freely admits it's done more in an improv comedy style than what you would consider a traditional mode. San Jose has woken up to Gary’s voice for more than three decades as he hosted the morning show at KRTY-FM.

Lettie Smith

Playing the pipes is not all this musician does. Lettie Smith has twenty+ years of grant writing experience. She co-founded two non-profit organizations - the Cambrian Symphony and Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Pipe Band. She has served on three non-profit boards, has extensive e-marketing experience using Constant Contact, Wordfly and Patron Manager platforms, and is a professional bassoonist and bagpiper.

Ron Cassel

Ron Cassel spent multiple decades teaching America’s next generation including students at Los Gatos High School. Ron, now retired, is well known in the community and beloved by his students. Ron Cassel had the distinction of meeting a student in his first year of teaching who later went on to become a Vietnam Veteran and recipient of the Medal of Honor - Vietnam War Hero U.S. Army Sergeant First Class Sammy Davis. Ron will share Sergeant Davis’ story of sacrifice.

Guy Clark and Laura Shea-Clark

Guy and Laura have lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains since moving from Chicago in 2006. They perform with a wide variety of professional and community-level groups, including Santa Cruz Symphony, San Francisco Brass Band, Cambrian Symphony, Palo Alto Philharmonic, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, and Lyric Theatre. Laura is also a founding member and President of Athena Brass Band.