Golden Acorn Award Nominations

Nominate Golden Acorn Award recipients. The Golden Acorn Awards has been a Menlo Park tradition for over 40 years. This event is a time to commemorate the volunteer efforts and contributions of individuals and organizations that make Menlo Park a wonderful place to live and work. Please help the Nominating Committee select award recipients in four categories.

Golden Acorn Award nominations due August 18

Award Categories

Business Excellence

This award is for any business that leads by example to effectively develop and encourage positive contributions to the Menlo Park community.

Community Service

This award is for a person, who, through his or her volunteer efforts, makes a significant contribution to the Menlo Park community or a specific non-profit organization.

Professional Excellence

The nominee is an individual or group making a difference in any field of public service through innovation, professionalism, and contribution.

Unsung Hero

The nominee is an individual or group making a substantive contribution through programs or services without need for recognition or remuneration.

Golden Acorn Awards

Thank You!

Nominate Golden Acorn Award recipients now. Thank you for helping us celebrate our community achievements!

Learn more about the Golden Acorn Awards.

2017 Downtown Menlo Park Block Party

Our 11th Annual Downtown Block Party is tomorrow at 5:30 pm on Santa Cruz Avenue.

Fun at the Block Party

Menlo on the Move | Smart Mobility for the Future

We’re on the move with smart mobility at our 2017 Block Party. Get rolling with electric vehicles, e-bikes, and trains. Test drive an electric vehicle and learn about charging summaries and deal incentives. It’s free to test drive! Be sure to bring your valid driver’s license. There will be ten electric vehicles of different models to test drive and several more electric vehicles on display.

Don’t have a driver’s license yet? We’ll test drive e-bikes and scooters, too! Or hop in on our trackless train and enjoy our bike rodeo. There’s more than one way to get to where you’re going. Explore your options with CalTrain and SamTrans!

Everyone is encouraged to ride their bikes to the event. Decorate your bikes and add lights to make a bike parade to the Block Party. The Menlo Park Police will provide safety tips on bike riding. A riding pattern will be set up for children to ride through.

Trackless Train - 2017 Block Party

Live Music, Dining, and Activities

Hungry for more? Feast your soul on live music and delicious café dining. The forecast is looking beautiful for Wednesday so relax in the summer breeze with outside café seating.

Roll into more fun with our inflatable slide and giant spinner. Let your creativity flow on our huge chalkboard. What will your future electric vehicle or bike look like? We’re curious to find out!

After the Block Party, catch a movie on the Paseo. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs for when the sun goes down and the silver screen goes up. The movie will be Cars, featuring hotshot race car Lightning McQueen. The movie starts at 8:30 pm.

It’s all happening tomorrow at 5:30 pm on Santa Cruz Avenue. See you there!

Lovely weather at the Block Party

Menlo Park Ranks 36th in Best Money Management Skills

WalletHub analyzed 2,534 U.S. cities on their money management skills based on 10 criteria. The 10 criteria were divided between debt level and financial behavior. Debt level looks at debt-to-income ratios on items such as credit cards, mortgages, and loans. Financial behavior looks at items like credit scores, late payments, and foreclosures.

Money Management in Menlo Park (99th Percentile = Best)

• Median Credit Score 753
• Credit-Card Debt-to-Income Ratio (5.63%) (94th Percentile)
• Mortgage Debt-to-Income Ratio (791.3%) (10th Percentile)
• Car-Loan Debt-to-Income Ratio (20.78%) (98th Percentile)
• Student-Loan Debt-to-Income Ratio (35.23%) (95th Percentile)
• Avg. Number of Late Payments (1.09)
• Avg. % of Credit Used (34.16%)
• Foreclosure Rate (0.0061%)

Increase your financial stability by learning more about money management.
First Republic Bank on “How to Teach Your Children About Investing”
Bank of the West on “7 Simple Steps to Saving More Money”
Union Bank on “Borrowing Wisely”

Be Alert for Scams

The Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce has received notices of active scams.


Do not click on links, especially if the subject or body of the email include vague terms (ex: “check out this stuff”) and/or solicitations.

Mail Forms

Are you expecting to receive a form to renew a permit or license? If not, it may be a scam. Be aware of organizations posing as government bodies.


Validate who the email/mail is coming from

The Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce will never contact you requesting payment for fictitious business name renewals, business license renewals, permit expiration, or other business operation matters.

If you receive any forms requesting payment for business operations by mail or email, you can validate the legitimacy of the request by contacting San Mateo County and/or the City of Menlo Park.


Articles with further information about scams

Bank of the West on “With tax season comes heightened alert for fraud” and “Charity scams: Make you’re your money gets to the right place”

Hybridge on “Email Spamming: Don’t click on anything!”

Team Logic IT on “5 Ways to Start 2017 Cyber Safe & Secure”

Menlo Park: 19th Best Place to Raise a Family in California

Menlo Park was ranked the 19th Best Place to Raise a Family in California. The study was conducted by WalletHub who compared 240 California cities. To compare the California cities, the analysts used 21 key metrics under four main categories.

Family Life in Menlo Park Rankings (1=Best, 120=Average):

78th in Family Life & Fun

  • 25th in Average Commute Time

29th in Education, Health & Safety

  • 10th in Percentage of Children Aged 0 to 17 Lacking Health-Insurance Coverage

59th in Affordability

  • 22nd in General Affordability

18th in Socioeconomic Environment

  • 50th in Separation & Divorce Rate
  • 11th in Percentage of Two-Parent Families
  • 18th in Percentage of Families Living Below Poverty Level
  • 3rd in Unemployment Rate

You can read more about the study here.

40th Annual Golden Acorn Awards

Our 40th Annual Golden Acorn Awards reception on Tuesday, September 20th 2016 was a resounding success. We were delighted to have Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, speak at our reception. She spoke of Facebook’s desire to locate headquarters in Menlo Park and how thrilled they are to be a part of our community. Sheryl inspired us with her words of how there is an entrepreneur in all of us. She shared her support for all of the award recipients with the Women’s Startup Lab’s mission to support women in the business industry to the Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation with raising funds for the schools her children go to.

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Each award recipient thanked the community for their support of their endeavors in business, investment, safety, and education. They all hope to continue serving the community through their inspirational leadership and growing organizations.

Receiving the Public Service Award, Police Chief Robert Jonsen humored us with his joke of giving an acorn to The Alamanc for publishing his “mug” on the front cover. Chief Jonsen supported Sheryl Sandberg’s support of women being strong with how he met his wife at a bench pressing competition.

Congratulations to our award recipients!

Innovation & Technology Award
Sponsored by Facebook
Women’s Startup Lab

Deanna Kosaraju from Women's Startup Lab, who received the Innovation & Technology Award, with Mayor Rich Cline.
Deanna Kosaraju from Women’s Startup Lab, who received the Innovation & Technology Award, with Mayor Rich Cline.


Business Excellence Award
Sponsored by Flegel’s Home Furnishings

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

Ted Schlein from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who received the Business Excellence Award, with Mayor Rich Cline.
Ted Schlein from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who received the Business Excellence Award, with Mayor Rich Cline.


Public Service Award
Robert Jonsen, Chief of Police, City of Menlo Park

Police Chief Robert Jonsen, City of Menlo Park, who received the Public Service Award, with Mayor Rich Cline.
Police Chief Robert Jonsen, City of Menlo Park, who received the Public Service Award, with Mayor Rich Cline. 

Community Service Award
Sponsored by Bohannon Development Company
The Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation

Jennifer Dahmus and Susannah Hill from Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation, who received the Community Service Award, with Mayor Rich Cline.
Jennifer Dahmus and Susannah Hill from Menlo Park-Atherton Education Foundation, who received the Community Service Award, with Mayor Rich Cline.


We send a huge thank you to all of the people, organizations, and sponsors who made our 40th Annual Golden Acorn Awards a resounding success! Thank you for commemorating the accomplishments of our award recipients with us!

You can view more pictures on our Facebook Page. Launches 2016 Commuter Challenge

Rethink Your Commute … and Be Rewarded! is pleased to announce the 2016 Commuter Challenge, this year’s campaign to reward commuters who choose transportation modes other than driving alone. Between April 1st and May 31st, people who join the challenge and commute to, from or through San Mateo County using an alternative mode will be eligible to win weekly prizes and one of five grand prizes.

Traffic on San Mateo County roads and highways is at an all-time high. Not only does traffic waste time and money for commuters, but it also contributes to poor air quality. According to the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), nearly 70 percent of the Bay Area’s carbon monoxide comes from motor vehicles, which are also the greatest contributors to ozone in the Bay Area.

The 2016 Commuter Challenge encourages people to use public transit, shuttle, carpool, vanpool, bicycle, walk or telework, and be part of the traffic solution. “Eliminating a few solo driving trips each week is an easy way for commuters to make a positive impact,” said John Ford,’s Executive Director. Driving less will reduce GHG emissions while also helping to relieve congestion on the roadways. “Together, we can make a measurable difference to reduce our carbon footprint,” Ford added.

By signing up at, and adding their commute alternative trips, registrants will be entered to win one of the featured weekly prizes (Fitbit Alta, Timbuk2 bag, wireless earbuds, gift cards and more). Participants also earn a chance to win one of the five grand prizes ($300 Clipper card,
GoPro Hero, Garmin Edge Cycling computer, $400 REI gift card or Fitbit Surge GPS watch) at the end of the challenge.



For more information, visit

Summer Spare the Air Season is Underway

The summer Spare the Air season is in full swing. Join the Spare the Air Employer Program and learn how to Spare the Air every day!

The Spare the Air Employer Program is a network of Bay Area employers who are doing their part to improve local air quality. The program connects businesses to resources and information to educate employees, support commute alternatives, and develop clean air practices in the workplace.

During the summer months, Spare the Air health alerts are issued when ozone pollution is forecast to reach unhealthy levels. Ozone, or smog, can cause throat irritation, congestion, chest pain, trigger asthma, inflame the lining of the lungs and worsen bronchitis and emphysema.

The single most effective way for residents to reduce smog is to drive less and the daily commute is an easy way to cut back. Air District survey results show that Bay Area employees are more likely to adopt alternatives to driving alone when encouraged to do so by their employer. Do you have the information you need to help your employees rethink their commute? Join the Spare the Air Employer Program to learn more!


Discover the History of Menlo Park

Local author releases new book featuring stunning, vintage images3372MENLcvr.indd
Telling a story in pictures is Menlo Park, the newest addition to Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series. The book by local authors Janet McGovern, Reg McGovern, Betty S. Veronico, and Nicholas A. Veronico is now available for purchase at the Menlo Park Chamber. The book boasts vintage images, many of which have never been published, and showcases memories of days gone by.

Menlo Park is ideally situated on the center of the San Francisco peninsula, benefitting from the bayside’s near-perfect weather. In the late 1800s, the area’s temperate climate drew many of San Francisco’s elite to build lavish summer estates in town. During World War I, the area played host to the Army’s Camp Fremont, and when World War II came to town, Menlo Park was home to Dibble Army Hospital. The city grew up along El Camino Real, and its downtown retail district centers around Santa Cruz Avenue. Today, Menlo Park is a suburban oasis of beautiful homes with a thriving business community that incorporates a number of leading high-tech companies.

Highlights of Menlo Park include:

  • Menlo Park gives a look back through photographs and other images to show the changes in the city from its earliest days to the present.
  • Many of the photographs are from the Menlo Park Historical Association’s excellent and wide-ranging archives.
  • Menlo Park has twice been the home to extensive military grounds, the first of which was the 7,200-acre Camp Fremont during World War I.  The second came during World War II, when the former Hopkins estate made way for the 2,700-bed Dibble Hospital.  Part of that site later became the location for the present Civic Center.

Signed copies of Images of America: Menlo Park are available at the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce, 1100 Merrill Street, Mon-Thurs 9am-4pm.

For more information contact the Chamber, or call (650) 325-3818

Arcadia Publishing is the leading publisher of local and regional history in the United States.  Our mission is to make history accessible and meaningful through the publication of books on the heritage of America’s people and places.  Have we done a book on your town?  Visit