High achievers on our radar this month, from Bay Area heavyweights to the next generation of power players.
Her Data Driven Dual Axis Solar Tracker has nabbed Georgia Hutchinson the Samueli Prize at Broadcom’s MASTERS competition this year. Her winning invention is a new kind of solar panel that makes renewable energy more accessible by cutting costs and upping efficiency. Oh, and did we mention she’s a 13-year-old science whiz from Woodside Elementary? “Many scientists believe that climate change is impacting recent weather events — from hurricanes to the conditions that make wildfires worse,” she says. “It is now more important than ever to reduce our carbon footprint by investing in renewable energy.” A little louder for the people in the White House, Georgia!
The Stanford alumna and New York Times best-selling author of The Crown’s Game and The Crown’s Fate has a new read hitting the shelves this month: Circle of Shadows, the first installment of her highly anticipated young adult fantasy series. A description of the novel’s plot: “Love, spies and adventure abound as Sora and Daemon unravel a complex web of magic and secrets that might tear them — and the entire kingdom — apart forever.” Skye is celebrating the book’s release with a launch party at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park on January 21, where she will be in conversation with South of Sunshine author Dana Elmendorf.
Stanford being the breeding ground for innovation that it is, it should come as no shock that yet another alum is making big moves. But Kevin Sun is one of those people whose accomplishments still make us tilt our heads in awe. After completing his undergrad at Stanford in 2015, he went on to earn his master’s in music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music before returning to his alma mater as a medical student, where he’s still crafting his music chops under senior piano lecturer Thomas Schultz. On January 19, Sun will present a solo performance at Campbell Recital Hall, featuring works from composers like Hyoshin Na, Schubert and Bach-Busoni. Bravo, Kevin. Bravo.
The attorney is fighting on behalf of Ndume, the gorilla caught in the middle of a nasty custody battle between the Gorilla Foundation of Wood-side and the Cincinnati Zoo. Ndume came to Woodside from Cincinnati nearly three decades ago as a companion for Koko — the gorilla made famous for learning ASL. Now that Koko has passed, the zoo is reclaiming its stake on the gentle beast. Pitre and his team argue that a move so drastic could do damage to Ndume’s emotional and physical well-being. The gorilla’s fate is yet to be determined, but thankfully, folks like Pitre are fighting for the animal’s best interest.
Mary and Brent Gullixson
This mother-son real estate team persuades us to use such clichés as “power duo.” How else can we describe the pair who sold former Seagate CEO Stephen Luczo’s Atherton palace for a cool $16.5 million? The Gullixons have sold more than $3 billion worth of homes in Atherton, totaling close to $5 billion in sales for residential homes across the Peninsula. REAL Trends and the Wall Street Journal ranked them as the 18th team in the nation by transaction volume for 2018. They’ve been no stranger to this list over the years, regularly landing in the top 20. That’s some family tradition!