SAN JOSE, California, [June 15, 2020] – The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), along with our friends at Team San Jose and the community at large, are mourning the recent passing of Karolyn Kirchgesler.
Karolyn arrived in San Jose from Minnesota in 2013, with over 30 years of experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. She served as the President & CEO of Team San Jose until she formally resigned in April this year.
“Karolyn hit the ground running when she arrived in San Jose - building meaningful relationships within the City and with our members,” said Matthew Mahood, president & CEO of The SVO. “She proactively and effectively engaged with The SVO and other stakeholders to successfully drive the mission of Team San Jose. She got stuff done! Her sudden passing has left a large void in our community. She will be dearly missed.”
During her 7 years in San Jose, Karolyn served on The SVO board of directors, in addition to the board of directors at Joint Venture Silicon Valley, the San Jose Sports Authority, and the San Jose Police Foundation. She was recognized by The SVO as the 2019 Businesswoman of the Year, and was also named a 2014 Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal.1
Prior to Team San Jose, Kirchgesler was a board member for Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI), the leading convention and tourism industry association. She was also a leader of Visit Saint Paul, and held executive level roles with Greater New Haven Convention and Visitors Bureau (Executive Director), Sioux Falls Convention Center (Director of Sales & Marketing) and Aberdeen Convention and Visitors Bureau (Executive Director).
Due to the ongoing pandemic, a celebration of life service will not take place. Anyone wishing to remember Karolyn may honor her devotion to animals by donating to your local Humane Society, animal rescue group, or to the World Wildlife Fund. 2