October 28, 2020

Below please find a press release that was recently sent to the media regarding the image posted on the SVO website yesterday. In the release you will note a press conference scheduled for tomorrow. Due to concerns around COVID, we ask that members do not attend this press conference. We will provide the video from the press conference shortly after the event concludes.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:

Madison Nguyen, Executive Vice President, madisonn@thesvo.com, (408) 398-9588

An image was recently posted on The SVO website that was blatantly racist, completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We are horrified by this image as it does not represent the values of the organization, the leadership, the Board of Directors or our members. For that, we apologize. There is no excuse. The Board of Directors is moving quickly and effectively to understand how this could have occurred, and to ensure it never happens again.  We understand that swift, effective action is required so that the other positive work and community support of the SVO is not impacted.

Effective immediately:

  • The President & CEO of the SVO, Matt Mahood, has been placed on administrative leave.
  • A qualified third-party investigator has been engaged to conduct a top down investigation to determine how and why such an image was posted. Their investigation will explore all levels of the Organization starting with leadership and will include inherent cultural issues in the Organization that might have contributed to this disgraceful post, along with recommendations for necessary changes.
  • All activities of the SVO political action committee (PAC) are suspended effective immediately.

The Board of Directors believes in San Jose and its citizens, and these initial steps are the first of many that are needed to ensure The SVO reflects the values of equality and inclusion we all share.

The SVO will hold a press conference on Thursday, October 29th at 10am.

The SVO Executive Committee of the Board of Directors

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