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Inaugural ANA flight

Here’s food for thought . . . Show horses are great, but work horses are better.

As we prepared for the inaugural flight of All Nippon Airlines’ Dreamliner 787 from San Jose to Tokyo, looking at 13 television cameras along with print and radio media, all I could think was that three years of hard work had paid off.

San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, classy as always, took the podium to thank our staffs at City Hall, the airport and the Silicon Valley Leadership Group. After 36 months since the effort was launched, nearly two years since the mayor and I traveled to Tokyo to meet with ANA CEO Shinichiro Ito, the flight is now reality.

Our message to ANA had always been simple – you supply the planes and we’ll supply the passengers.

Making a promise is easy. Keeping it is where the real work begins. For the past year, our teams have reached out to hundreds of companies, scores of CEOs, underscoring the ease in which they and their employees could now fly between Silicon Valley and Tokyo. No more would they have to drive past one of our nation’s most on-time airports to slog up the Peninsula to fly from one of the least on-time airports.

Here is to those work horses who made our dream a reality: Bena Chang, Jessica Zenk, Ed Nelson, Joe Hedges, Kim Walesh, Ed Shikada, Ru Weerakoon and so many more.

Thanks to your efforts, Silicon Valley benefits.  It’s time to take your bow.

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