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Hats Off to Teachers!

Joint Venture and San Jose Chamber of Commerce launch special merchant discount program for Silicon Valley teachers

150 Valley Businesses Offering Savings on Products and Services

San Jose, Calif. | May 7, 2009 – Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network and the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce today announced the launch of Hats Off To Teachers, a unique regional program offering merchant discounts and savings expressly for teachers.

Launched in conjunction with National Teacher Appreciation Week, the program is part of Joint Venture’s Alliance for Teaching that focuses on strengthening teacher recruitment, professional development and national teacher certification for Silicon Valley teachers.

Under the Hats Off To Teachers program, teachers presenting valid identification to any of some 150 participating businesses may take advantage of savings on everything from office supplies, books, electronics and gifts to health and beauty products, food and dining, professional services, toys, pet care and automotive needs.

“No one is more important to Silicon Valley’s growth, success and quality of life than our teachers,” said Russell Hancock, President and CEO of Joint Venture. “It’s a shame that some spend their own money on school supplies. Thanking and rewarding our teachers is not just a good thing to do, but it’s a good economic strategy for our region.”

“Hats off to our merchants for their participation,” said Pat Dando, President and CEO of the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce. “Silicon Valley businesses of all sizes are helping teachers and enhancing their own community image at the same time. We encourage all of our members to sign up.”

Maurice Ghysels, Superintendent of the Mountain View Whisman School District and a member of the Alliance for Teaching Task Force, hailed the project as a welcome News Release: Hats Off To Teachers, Page 2 May 7, 2009 community effort to recognize the economic challenges teachers face both in the classroom and as residents. “As a superintendent, teachers are my greatest asset,” he said. “It’s wonderful when we can honor their work and help them financially.”

Currently there are some 20,000 teachers and 350,000 students in 500 schools across 55 school districts in Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.

Colleen Wilcox, Executive Director of Alliance for Teaching, said the new Hats Off To Teachers web site at contains a current listing of merchants offering discounts of up to 50 percent off products, services, memberships, entertainment and other purchases.

“The response has been overwhelming,” said Wilcox. “We are grateful to all the merchants and to the members of the Alliance for Teaching Task Force for helping us make this program a reality.”

Merchants currently participating in the program are located in San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Los Altos, Los Gatos, San Carlos, Menlo Park, Campbell, Saratoga, Mountain View, Cupertino and as far away as Berkeley and San Francisco.

Businesses wishing to participate in the program may register online at the Hats Off to Teachers site or contact the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Mountain View high tech marketing and publishing agency TDA Group donated its services to design the Hats Off to Teachers logo and website.

About Joint Venture: Silicon Valley Network

Established in 1993, Joint Venture provides analysis and action on issues affecting the Silicon Valley economy and quality of life. The organization brings together established and emerging leaders—from business, government, academia, labor and the broader community—to spotlight issues, launch projects and work toward innovative solutions. For more information, visit

About the San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce

The San Jose Silicon Valley Chamber of Commerce is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in the Santa Clara Valley. Membership represents 2,000 private sector companies and non-profit organizations with over a quarter million employees. SJSV Chamber of Commerce, a not-for-profit business association, promotes pro-growth fiscal policies and financial investment in order to stimulate Silicon Valley’s economy and create jobs.

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