Kenneth J. Virnig ’65 on May 2, 2010. Our dearest, most beloved and admired father, friend, mentor and godfather, Kenneth J. (Ken) Virnig passed away following a brief, but courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. He was born July 24, 1943, and lived in Monte Sereno. Ken is survived by one son, Kenneth J. (Chip) Virnig II, of whom he was very proud, in addition to countless friends and loved ones. Born and raised in Cupertino, Ken was the son of John M. Virnig and Anna M. Vlahovich-Virnig. Ken began his life in a modest farmhouse surrounded by beautiful cherry orchards. His love of hunting and fishing came at an early age, spending time with his father and friends hunting extensively near Los Banos. It was from these roots that Ken learned to place a high value on family and friends, honor and integrity. Ken attended St. Francis High School and was a member of the 2nd graduating class. He went on to attend Santa Clara University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Immediately thereafter, Ken decided to leave his home of twenty years and moved to Chicago, where he earned his MBA from Northwestern University. After completing his formal education, Ken returned home and joined IBM in San Francisco. He spent 11 years in a variety of Sales and Marketing leadership roles ultimately becoming the IBM Palo Alto Branch Manager. During his tenure at IBM, Ken’s sales and business acumen and overall dependability were recognized when he was promoted to work under the guidance of one of the top IBM Executives in Atlanta, GA. After two years in that role and well on the "fast track" to executive status at IBM, Ken chose instead to return to his beloved Santa Clara Valley and pick up where he left off in Sales and Branch Office Management. Ken’s entrepreneurial spirit eventually took him away from IBM in the late 1970s to pursue other ventures. Ultimately, however, Ken was drawn to the executive search business and in 1989 he co-founded Devine and Virnig, Inc. Recognizing the need for a "new brand" of executive search, Ken transformed Devine and Virnig into a renowned Executive Search Firm, focused on building Silicon Valley’s most successful pre-IPO and public companies. Ken was a six time honoree of the "Midas List," Forbes Magazine annual ranking of the Top 100 individuals nationally who have been most instrumental in building successful technology and life sciences companies. Other accolades bestowed upon Ken include Red Herring’s "Member of High Tech’s Inner Circle", one of nine individuals "Who Can Help a Start-Up Stand Out". Respected, emulated and revered, Ken’s impact on Silicon Valley is indelible in the many lives and businesses he helped develop and grow. Ken did so with honor and integrity, epitomizing kindness, intelligence and friendship, whether coaching a candidate on career direction or advising colleagues, clients or board members on hires who would make a difference in their business.Ken’s personal life was centered on his fondness of the great outdoors, high performance cars and spending quality time with his son and close friends. He was an accomplished hunter, whether it was a weekend getaway to his ranch or an extended trip to hunt big game in Africa, Ken was at peace in the wilderness and loved his hunting buddies dearly. Ken was a great story teller and lived and loved his outdoor life to the fullest, yet with benevolence and a sense of wonder. Beside his love of animals, Ken always saw the good in people, gave everyone a chance and never believed in "sweating the small stuff", or "mouse nuts" as he called them. A devout Catholic, Ken’s faith was his strength and his peace, providing comfort during his battle with cancer and knowledge that in the end, he was going home to Our Heavenly Father. Although his mission and purpose on earth is now complete, his life, love and legacy remain full and vibrant within the hearts and lives of those family, friends, and colleagues he has touched.

08 Nov 2018