FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Winners of The First, First Fest Announced
First Annual Virtual Festival on New Year's Day Celebrates Valley of Firsts
San Jose, Calif. - January 28, 2009 - New Year's Day is always the first day of the rest of our lives, replete with reveries, reminiscence, revelations and resolutions. This year the people of San Jose and Silicon Valley had an opportunity to celebrate the history-making achievements that have occurred here in the Santa Clara Valley.
The First Fest website, provided an open invitation to the public to log on and submit their 'firsts.' A distinguished panel of judges, each significant for their own personal firsts included Janet Gray Hayes, first woman elected mayor of a major US City in 1974; Yosh Uchida, known for coaching the first U.S. Judo Team in the 1964 Olympics; and Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, Inc. and one of the first to lead the personal computer revolution of the 1970's in Silicon Valley.
The judges selected winners in five categories: personal, business & technology, sports, arts & culture, and historical. In addition, the site provided an opportunity for the community to vote on their "People's Choice" favorite, which was made up of two runner-up nominations from each category.
2008-2009 FIRST FEST WINNERS
Business & Technology Winner: The Integrated Circuits Industry
Sports Winner: Tommie Smith and John Carlos from San Jose State
Arts & Culture Winner: Irene Dalis
Historical Winner: San Jose State University
People's Choice Winner: Bean Spray Magic Pump
"This region has led the world in so many areas and has produced so many innovations," said Connie Martinez, Managing Director and CEO of 1stACT Silicon Valley. "The First Fest is our opportunity to take a moment to celebrate Silicon Valley as the Valley of Firsts."
Winners will receive a VIP, "first course" cocktail reception held for only the winners, judges, and First Fest founders on the terrace of The 88, one of the first new luxury high-rise condominiums in Downtown San Jose.
The event committee is made up of leaders of 1stACT Silicon Valley, History San Jose, Team San Jose, and the San Jose Silicon/Valley Chamber of Commerce. To view winners and all nominees and to submit a nomination for next year's festival, visit www.firstfest.org
# # #
About 1stACT Silicon Valley
About History San Jose
History San José, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and sharing the continuing history of the Santa Clara Valley, manages one of the largest and most comprehensive regional history collections in California. Its mission is to engage diverse audiences in exploring the varieties of human experience that contribute to the area's rich history. www.historysanjose.org.