2013 Dinner Release

                                                                                                                                                   THE COMMONWEALTH CLUB OF CALIFORNIA

                                                                                                                                  110th anniversary and

                                                                                                             25TH Annual distinguished citizen award dinner


                                                                                                                                         “THE NEXT 110”


                                                                                                                Susan Wojcicki, Senior Vice President, Advertising, Google

                                                                                                     Janet Wojcicki, Ph.D., M.P.H., Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF

                                                                                                                           Anne Wojcicki, Co-Founder, 23andMe

                                                                                                                          Jed York, CEO. San Francisco, 49ers

                                                                                                                   William K. Bowes, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award:

                                                                                              Esther Wojcicki, Founder and Senior Vice President, ClassBadges; Vice Chair, Creative Commons

                                                                                                 Stanley G. Wojcicki, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, Stanford University


                                                                                                                                            Dinner Chair

                                                                                                           Evelyn S. Dilsaver, Former Exec. Vice President, Charles Schwab


                                                                                                                                 The Palace Hotel, San Francisco

                                                                                                                                                                         Wednesday, APRIL 10, 2013


SAN FRANCISCO (March 4, 2013) — The Commonwealth Club of California will proudly present its prestigious Distinguished Citizen Award to sisters, Susan Wojcicki, Senior Vice President of Advertising, Google; Janet Wojcicki, Ph.D., M.P.H., Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF; Anne Wojcicki, Co-Founder, 23andMe; and Jed York, CEO, of the 49ers at this year’s 25th Distinguished Citizen Awards Annual Dinner. Esther Wojcicki, Founder and Senior Vice President, ClassBadges; Vice Chair, Creative Commons and her husband, Stanley G. Wojcicki, Ph.D., Professor (Emeritus), Department of Physics, Stanford University, will receive the William K. Bowes, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Awards.


The Distinguished Citizen Award recognizes individuals and their noteworthy contributions to local and global society. Event attendance is projected to be 500, and will include California’s most pioneering thought leaders in the arts, academia, business, philanthropy, and other fields. The annual dinner is the Club’s paramount fundraising event, providing resources to support its critical nonprofit public forum mission throughout the year.


The theme of the event is “The Next 110.” The theme, signifying the Club’s 110th year anniversary, will look back at its history, as well as, give a glimpse into what the future holds. The Club will honor individuals who have made a significant impact on our region by creating business and economic opportunities, or through their philanthropy and fundraising dedication, and have improved the fabric of our social and cultural organizations here in the Bay Area.


In recognition of the outstanding achievements and contributions of exemplary California visionaries, the Club will honor businesswoman and Senior VP of Advertising at Google, Susan Wojcicki, who was named one of the “World’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes in 2012. She is responsible for the invention of all of Google’s advertising platforms, including AdWords, Google Analytics, DoubleClick and AdSense, which brings relevant ad content to consumers online.  Her developments have revolutionized online advertising, making Google a primary source for the future of the advertising and technological industry.  She graduated with honors from Harvard University, holds a master's in economics from the UC Santa Cruz, and an MBA from UCLA.


The Club will also honor Janet Wojcicki, Ph.D., M.P.H., Adjunct Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, UCSF, for her work in pediatrics. As a fellow in the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and nutrition, Wojcicki has performed groundbreaking research on childhood obesity, HIV and nutrition. Her research analyzes the relationship between sociocultural background, behavioral practices and health outcomes. Wojcicki is involved with the Center for Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment (COAST) at UCSF. There she has focused on factors that develop at an early age in specific populations which contribute to pediatric obesity.  She recently recruited a mother-child Latino cohort to evaluate the relationship between exposure to maternal prenatal and postnatal depression and risk for obesity at age 2, 5 and 7. In addition to obesity, Dr. Wojcicki is also interested in how pediatric malnutrition can contribute to HIV progression and infection with HHV-8. Currently, Dr. Wojcicki serves on the San Francisco Unified School District Physical Activity and Nutrition Task Force where she hopes to pursue research regarding student nutrition.   Dr. Wojcicki received her bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Stanford University, a master’s degree in African Studies from UCLA, another master’s degree in Public Health from Berkeley, and a Ph.D. from UCLA in anthropology.  She did her postdoctoral training at UCSF in epidemiology/nutrition, and also received a master of science degree from UC Davis.


Honoree Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andMe, the personal DNA analysis company, has led a distinguished career in the biotech industry. Through its use of genomics, the 23andMe kit she has developed, allows the individual to see personal ancestry, lineage, and gene data. The DNA analysis uncovers one’s likelihood of contracting certain genetic diseases.  The individual can then cater his/her health to specific genes.  In 2008, 23AndMe’s personal genome testing kit was named TIME’s “Invention of The Year.”  Through analysis, 23andMe have identified the gene associated with Parkinson’s disease, as well as, the discovery of the gene that reduces the risk of one contracting Parkinson’s. Wojcicki’s company brings this technology as means to inform and impact the world with groundbreaking discoveries in health research.  She received her B.S. from Yale University in biology.


The esteemed Jed York, CEO of the San Francisco 49ers, will also be recognized at this year’s dinner. As this year’s contenders at the 47th Super Bowl, the 49ers gained momentum and a multitude of praise. York spearheaded a successful ballot measure, in 2010, to develop the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified NFL stadium.  The structure is currently being built in Santa Clara, CA and is expected to open with the 2014 season. A LEED certified building confirms that the architectural design was completed with sustainable and societal benefits such as water and energy efficiency.  He currently sits on the board of the Tipping Point Community, a poverty-fighting organization, and the board at The Commonwealth Club. York graduated from Notre Dame with degrees in Finance & History.


The Club looks forward to recognizing educators Esther and Stanley Wojcicki, the parents of the Wojcicki sisters, with the William K. Bowes, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award. The Commonwealth Club pays homage to them for their overwhelming dedication to education and research which have enriched the lives of so many here in the Bay Area and beyond.  Esther Wojcicki is creator and Senior VP of ClassBadges, Vice Chair of Creative Commons, and a longtime educator.  ClassBadges is a revolutionary website for teachers which allows them to award their students customized badges for their various accomplishments. As Vice Chair of Creative Commons, a nonprofit that advances knowledge and creativity by giving access to copyright licenses, Wojcicki addresses education and learning. She currently teaches at Palo Alto High School where she launched their first journalism program. Additionally, she regularly blogs for the highly acclaimed Huffington Post.  Stanley G. Wojcicki, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, Department of Physics, Stanford University has completed research in the area of experimental particle physics. He has sat on numerous advisory committees to the American Physical Society and the U.S. government. He was head of the High Energy Physics Advisory Panel, which advises the United States Department of Energy.  Wojcicki most recently was awarded by the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research for his work with the MINOS detector and neutrino oscillations.


Evelyn, S. Dilsaver, chair of the 25th Annual Dinner Committee, currently serves on several boards for local organizations, and was the former Executive Vice President of Charles Schwab and President and CEO of Charles Schwab Investment Management is.  In these positions she built a highly functional team, significantly growing existing distribution and created new distribution capabilities to expand from $137 billion to $210 billion in assets under management within 4 years. In addition to Chairing the Board of Cal State East Bay Foundation, she was also Chair of the Board for Women’s Initiative, a non-profit organization on which she is still very active.  The group helps lower income women become economically independent, by providing a one-stop organization for training, micro-finance and mentoring to help them start their own businesses. She brought this non-profit through its embryonic stages to a robust and healthy growing organization, helping to launch1200 new businesses a year.  Other Dinner Committee members include: Dr. Gloria C. Duffy, Maryles Casto, Skip Rhodes, Russ Yarrow, Colleen Wilcox, Alec Hughes, Michael Carr, Dan Ashley, and Jaleh Daie, Oona Marti, Caroline Moriarity Sacks and Holly Friden.


The Commonwealth Club's 25th Annual Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner will take place Wednesday, April 10, 2013, at The Palace Hotel in San Francisco. This dinner marks the Club’s 110th anniversary and promises to be a very special evening, beginning with a reception at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. For tickets and information, please call Holly Friden at 415-869-5909 or visit www.commonwealthclub.org.


Each year since 1903, The Commonwealth Club has held a gala dinner celebrating its anniversary, and since 1988 has presented its Distinguished Citizen Award to one or more individuals, recognizing their noteworthy contributions to local and global society.  The 2012 Distinguished Citizen Award recipients were Dr. Steven Chu, Ron Conway and Dr. Susan Desmond-Hellmann.  Nancy Hellman Bechtle received the William K. Bowes, Jr. Lifetime Achievement Award.  Prior honorees have included The Honorable George P. Shultz and Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, Brad Bird, Jack O’Neill, Dr. Bill Rutter, Toni Rembe and Arthur Rock, former Secretary of State Dr. Condoleezza Rice, David Packard, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Chris and Warren Hellman, the Lane Family and Sunset Magazine, the Honorable William H. Draper, III and Stephen D. Bechtel, Sr.


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Contact Information: 


Contacts: Riki Rafner


Loriana Mitchell


For Immediate Release