Every death is sad and untimely, but, in the case of Gary Fazzino, sad does not capture the impact or scope of the loss on the tech sector and the world.
Gary Fazzino is not a household name, but his humanity and work has impacted us all. He was vice president of government affairs at Applied Materials. He worked for many years at HP before that in several leadership posts. He served on the ITI Board including time as our Vice Chairman and Chairman. He helped to found and served as president of TechNet. Gary was Mayor of Palo Alto for seven years, and served on the Palo Alto City Council for many more starting at the age of 24. That’s just part of his resume. But even the entire CV doesn’t come close to telling the story of the person.
Gary Fazzino was a stalwart for the advancement of technology and innovation in Palo Alto and across the country. His counsel was constantly sought out, his advice always sage. And he never took his eye off of what tomorrow might bring – the opportunities, the challenges, the changes that surely were ahead and how we could prepare to meet them. That certainly was the case for us here at ITI. Gary strengthened our advocacy with his leadership, his ideas, and his creativity. He devoted himself not only to his community and to his company, but also to the ideal that technology and innovation hold the power to transform the world for the better.
It was that devotion that sparked the ITI Board of Directors two years ago to create an annual award in Gary’s honor. The Gary P. Fazzino Award for Innovation Excellence recognizes “demonstrated and consistent leadership and exemplary service in promoting innovation and technology.” In truth, for the tech sector, there is no better definition of consistent leadership, no better demonstration of exemplary service that the work and the life of Gary Fazzino. A poet once called for men with “strong minds, great hearts, true faith, and ready hands.” Gary was one of those men, in a class by himself. We will miss him dearly.
Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Annette, and their children. We hope they and us will continue to be guided by his great spirit.
Editor’s note: Applied Materials issued a statement about Gary today. You can read it on the company’s website.