Editor's note: All six candidates were invited to provide to Cupertino Patch a biography and candidate statement. We are running the statements in order in which they were received.
This is first-time candidate Rod Sinks' bio and statement. Only minor edits for this website's management system were changed.
I started my career as an engineer for ROLM after obtaining a liberal arts degree from Grinnell College and undergraduate and graduate engineering degrees from Stanford University. Subsequently, I helped lead two high-tech start-ups from infancy to successful businesses in engineering management roles.
My ten years at Echelon, focused on smart networks for reducing energy consumption, concluded with a successful IPO in 1998. In 12 years at Omneon, I developed products for television producers and broadcasters. The venture resulted in a $300 million business recently acquired by Harmonic.
My career has given me broad experience in teamwork, perseverance, budgeting discipline, critical thinking skills, general management, and leading innovation.
I had the good fortune to live, study and work abroad for two years while in college. My wife is an immigrant and we have chosen to raise our family in this wonderful, diverse community. Our two bilingual children attend Cupertino schools.
I have been a resident and homeowner in Cupertino since 1987, and have actively worked to support our local schools and youth programs, such as leading the YMCA Adventure Guides Father-Daughter program with 300 members. I am a longtime Scoutmaster, having grown the program to 130 scouts and 45 trips annually.
I have supported our schools and teachers, and in particular have worked to strengthen music programs and spent time with middle school classes at Yosemite Institute. I am a proud new member of the Cupertino Rotary Club, and find great reward investing my time and energy in its many programs, which serve our community and world.
As someone who loves the outdoors, I’m passionate about protecting the natural beauty of this area and health of our residents. Last year, with a number of concerned citizens, I founded a non-profit called BACE ( bayareacleanenvironment.org).
Whether in business or civic life, I have long experience getting teams to pitch in and pull on the rope in the same direction at the same time. And that’s how I will move the people’s business forward on the council.
An effective council member brings more than a good head and heart to the job; they also bring their passions. For me, those passions are education, economy and environment:
- As a parent, I share your desire to prepare our kids for a world of great opportunity and challenge. Let’s give schools a better voice before we approve substantial residential development, and be proactive to improve traffic around schools. Fremont Union High School District Superintendent Polly Bove, board members Hung Wei, Bill Wilson and Homer Tong and the Cupertino Education Association (representing Cupertino Union School District teachers and staff) have enthusiastically endorsed me because they know I’ll build stronger partnerships between the city our schools.
- Having managed two startups from infancy to success, I know what it takes to create a vision, build consensus, and make it happen. We have a tremendous opportunity with Apple moving forward on its new, world-class campus. How we choose to develop the surrounding area should come with no less vision, creating dynamic public and retail spaces for all to enjoy. We can also attract the next wave of innovative companies to bring good jobs and economic benefits to the city. Tech leaders and innovators including David Tsang, Don Craig and former mayor Richard Lowenthal enthusiastically support me.
- The local quarry and cement plant were here before most of us, and like any business they have a right to operate if they observe applicable laws and regulations, but there are ongoing violations. Together, with Lehigh, the State Department of Conservation and the Sierra Club, we now have positive momentum. As the closest community to the plant, Cupertino must also be a leader, working with neighboring cities to ensure that regulatory agencies do their jobs to protect our air, water and land. I’m the only candidate endorsed by both the California League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club for good reason.
Every person in this city has interests, and our government was founded on the idea that everyone’s voice should be heard. My approach is to reach out and listen to good ideas from every corner. In office, I will be accessible to all, working to understand diverse views, and then seeking common ground on which to build a consensus. When it comes time to vote, you can be certain that I will put residents’ interests first.