TOKYO — Most know Carl Guardino as CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group, the high-powered lobbying group of powerhouse companies from Apple to Cisco Systems.
It’s no secret he’s a fitness fiend, having helped launch San Jose’s annual Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot 5K and 10K runs for charity. And he’s also a bit of a wonk. During a trip to Japan this week as part of a delegation from San Jose tied to the launch of the All Nippon Airways’ Dreamliner 787 San Jose-Tokyo route, he brought along a copy of California’s 2013 budget for, uh, light reading on the plane and hotel exercise bike.
But few may not know that he is also a closet comedian. During the ceremony marking the first ANA flight from Mineta San Jose International Airport to Tokyo, Guardino, who acted as master of ceremonies, showed off his comedic chops.
As a host of dignitaries including former Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta, U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos and ANA Chairman Yoji Ohashi, each equipped with a big pair of scissors, prepared for the traditional ribbon cutting, Guardino quipped: “These scissors are important, but you can’t bring them on the airplane.”
The festivities also included the drinking of sake, of which Guardino deadpanned, “The sake is being distributed to everyone — with the exception of our pilots on the trip today.”
Earlier in the ceremony, with the Dreamliner’s engines running and ready to go, Guardino had to cut the program short. “It would be a tragedy if our long remarks lasted longer than the flight (from San Jose to Tokyo),” he said to waves of laughter.