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Town of HillsboroughCandidate for City Council

Photo of Aaron Zornes

Aaron Zornes

Software Industry Analyst
2,418 votes (16.31%)
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • ACCELERATE WILDFIRE PREPAREDNESS: (1) clear the canyons now— not 3-5 years from now; (2) educate & facilitate property owners; (3) coordinate evacuation routes & refugee staging areas; & (4) fix emergency communications services
  • PROTECT OUR QUALITY OF LIFE: (1) ban gas-powered leaf blowers; (2) adjudicate rational cellphone tower placement; (3) proactively engage SFO re: runway noise; & (4) provide transparency/fairness in water rates
  • MODERNIZE CITY COUNCIL PROCESSES FOR "GOOD GOVERNANCE”: (1) provide transparency, participation & engagement via video stream of meetings (incl archive); (2) enable online & oral commentary, not just written; (3) enforce “open government”



Profession:Software Industry Analyst
Founder & Chief Research Officer, The MDM Institute (2005–2020)
Executive Vice President & Service Director, META Group (Stamford, CT) (1990–2004)
Senior Director of Product Marketing - INGRES, Relation Technology, Inc. a.k.a. INGRES Corp. (Berkeley, CA) (1984–1989)
Director of Product Marketing - ADABAS, Software AG (1980–1982)
Database Field Systems Engineer - Product Marketing, Cincom Systems (TOTAL Database) (1977–1980)


University of Arizona Master of Science in Management Information Systems (MIS), Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Systems Engineering (1976)
University of Arizona Bachelor of Arts in Business & Public Administration, Accounting, Economics, German, Management information Systems, Marketing, Public Administration, Systems Engineering, (1974)


I have lived in the SF Bay area more or less since 1976 since graduating from the University of Arizona with an MS in Management Information Systems (one of only five universities at that time offering graduate degrees in Computer Science).  I then spent almost ten years in Marin & San Francisco, before settling down in Hillsborough “for the schools & quiet”. I have also lived & worked in Washington (D.C.), Boston, New York City, & Sydney (Australia).  As the son of a career USAF sergeant, I spent 2-5 years each in England & the Philippines during my early school years.

Having participated in city council meetings for 15+ years, I bring my history of successful business leadership to address fundamental challenges facing our town.  I have global experience in diplomatically engaging diverse stakeholders to solve complex problems to everyone's mutual benefit.  These skills I acquired during my 40+ year business career, where I helped start several software companies that spawned the $750B software industry – including executive roles in both start-ups & very large-scale technology firms.

All three of my daughters benefited from West & Crocker schools, while I’ve been active with Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), Hillsborough Neighborhood Network (HNN), SFORUNWAYNOISE, Hillsborough Citizens Alliance (HCA), NO-MO-GAS-BLO, & other community programs. I am described as active high tech executive with 2,500+ Twitter followers; 7,500+ LinkedIn 1st degree followers; & in my spare time, I am a key Google field reviewer (50,000+ hits).

My most recent start-up endeavor was as the founder and chief research officer (CRO) for The MDM Institute.   As CRO, I became a noted speaker and author on Global 5000 enterprise IT issues and is the most quoted industry analyst on the topics of master data management (MDM), reference data management (RDM), customer data integration (CDI), and data governance. 

My annual client conference (MDM & Data Governance Summit) drew 300-1,200 attendees depending upon the geography and was the world’s largest event dedicated to Master Data Management during 2005-2020 (upwards of 5,000+ paying attendees per year).  Starting in San Francisco and New York City, it grew from its second year to add London, Madrid, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo and Toronto.

In my capacity as the world’s most noted authority on MDM, RDM, CDI and data governance, I was engaged to advise solution providers such as Accenture, Alliance, Acxiom, BearingPoint, Cognizant, Deloitte, DWL, EDS, Experian, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Informatica, Infosys, Initiate Systems, Journeé, KPMG, Microsoft, Omikron, Oracle, Orchestra Networks, PeopleSoft, Platon, Profisee, Progress Software, PwC, Reltio, SAP, SAS, Semarchy, Siebel Systems, Siperian, Tata Consulting Services, Teradata, Texas Instruments, TIBCO and Wipro on MDM customer requirements and product planning. 

Concurrently I consulted to very large companies such as: Allergan, American Express, Barclays, BCD Travel, Bell Canada, BMO, Caterpillar, Cisco, Citi, COUNTRY Financials, Educational Testing Svcs (ETS), EMC, Fidelity, GateGourmet, GE Healthcare, Highmark Vision, Honeywell, Information Handling Services (IHS), Intuit, Lloyds TSB, Loblaw, MassMutual, Mayo Clinic , McKesson, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), Medtronic, Microsoft, Motorola, National Australia Bank, Nationwide Insurance, NetApp, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Novartis, PC Connection, , Pearson, Polycom, Pratt & Whitney  Canada, Qwest, Ralph Lauren, Roche Labs , Rogers Communications, S&P Global, Scholastic, Schwab, Stryker, SunTrust, Sutter Health, T. Rowe Price, Telkom South Africa, TNT Express, UCB Pharma, UK Home Office, Visa Europe, W.W. Grainger, Washington Mutual , Westpac, Weyerhaeuser, Woolworths Australia and many other Global 5000 size enterprises to develop their MDM investment plans/architectures and related business strategies including e-commerce, digital transformation and Know Your Customer (KYC) initiatives.

Prior to founding the MDM Institute, I was the conference chairman for world’s largest and most successful data warehouse conference as well as co-chairman for the world’s largest customer relationship management (CRM) conference. 

In my 40+ year business career, I also held line and strategic management roles in leading vendor and user organizations, including executive and managerial positions at Cincom Systems, Ingres Corp. (a.k.a. Relational Technology, Inc.), META Group, Software AG of North America, and Wang. 

I received my M.S. in Management Information Systems from University of Arizona in 1976 and completed a modest amount of work towards my doctoral degree before the “call of Silicon Valley” captivated me and I moved to San Francisco in 1977.  This was concurrent with my secondary career as a rock musician and recording artist recruited to the Bay Area by the Bill Graham Organization to record at the Record Plant in Sausalito.

Who supports this candidate?

Featured Endorsements

  • Terri Cruce – executive, former HNN director/vounteer (Hillsborough Neighborhood Network), HCSD parent, 13 year reside
  • Larry Friedberg – former eBay exec; co-founder Hillsborough Citizens Alliance (HCA), 25+ year resident
  • Sally Meakin – founder, SFORUNWAYNOISE.COM, 40+ year resident

Organizations (3)

  • Hillsborough Citizens Alliance (HCA)

Individuals (29)

  • Drs. MaryAlice & Josiah Ambrose – medical practitioners, 10+ year residents
  • Jim Arbeed – top Hillsborough realtor, 40+ year resident
  • Nadine Taylor-Barnes – communication executive at Stanford University, 20 year resident
  • Ben Barnes – high tech executive, 20 year resident
  • Toni Bones – small business owner, mother of 2 HCSD students, resident 7+ years resident, Hillsborough native
  • Valentina Yasinsky, DDS & owner at Geary Dental Center, 8+ year resident
  • James Wrathall, retired investor (philanthropy, environment), 50+ year resident
  • David Shaywitz – physician-scientist currently in biotech, 10+ year resident
  • Lev Ryzhikov – CEO & founder at Prolev Technologies, 8+ year resident
  • Orna Resnekov – molecular scientist, board member, 20+ year resident
  • Annie Pong – ABC News producer, 15+ year resident
  • Tito Pombra – compliance consultant, 7+ year resident
  • Hema Pombra – DDS, 7+ years resident
  • Dr. Rajesh Parekh – retired McKinsey consultant, 6 year resident
  • Dr. Jean Parekh – McKinsey senior partner, 6 year resident
  • Dennis Moore – tech executive & founder, 16 year resident
  • Julia & Kurt Meiswinkel -- small business owners, 20+ years residents
  • John Liu – attorney & entrepreneur, 14+ year resident
  • John Lavrich – top Hillsborough contractor, 20+ year resident
  • Crystal Kwok – financial executive, 14+ year resident
  • Sean Jiam – technology executive, 8 year resident
  • Dr. Mana Jamali – orthodontist, 15+ year resident
  • Tim Guleri– MD Sierra Ventures, 15+ year resident
  • Robert Fletterick – emeritus Professor of Biochemistry & member National Academy of Sciences, 20+ year resident
  • Dr. Poriya Dokhanchi – orthodontist, AYSO coach, 15+ year resident
  • Carol Cicerone – public broadcasting content manager, 15+ year resident
  • William Cicerone – retired, 20+ year resident
  • Jindong (JD) Chen – computer scientist, entrepreneur, 9 year resident
  • Diana Brainard – physician-scientist currently in biotech, 10+ year resident

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy

As a 30+ year resident with a proven community advocate record, I will ensure Hillsborough fully benefits from 21st century processes by focusing on issues fundamental to the quality of life we enjoy while championing the need to improve upon the status quo.

Having participated in city council meetings for 15+ years, I bring my history of successful business leadership to address fundamental challenges facing our town.

I have global experience in diplomatically engaging diverse stakeholders to solve complex problems to everyone's mutual benefit.  These skills I acquired during my 40+ year business career, where I helped start several software companies that spawned the $750B software industry – including executive roles in both start-ups & very large-scale technology firms.

My stewardship of residents’ trust will focus on citizen input, public transparency & good governance with a focus on fixing “quality of life” issues.

Rather than serve on boards, I have focused on driving results that directly impact our community – including wildfire preparedness, cellphone towers, emergency communications, home/auto burglary prevention & transparency/good governance.

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