2015 Keepers Honoree – Weili Dai
October 19, 2015
Keepers of the American Dream are the heroes who embody the spirit of immigrant achievement, contribute significantly to the well-being of immigrants in the United States, and are advocates, in every sense of the word, for the value of immigrants and immigration to the nation.
President and Co-Founder, Marvell Technology Group
Thank you very much to the National Immigration Forum for this honor.
In 1979, at the age of 17 years old, I emigrated along with my family from Shanghai to San Francisco. At that time, I had to carry a pocket Chinese-English dictionary everywhere I went. During my undergraduate years at UC Berkeley, I knew that I wanted to be part of the high-tech environment. When my husband, Sehat Sutardja, and I embarked on launching a technology company in 1995, we started around a kitchen table, making cold calls from the Yellow Pages. What we did have is passion, commitment and dedication—and that drives everything we do. To me, this is the American Dream!
There is a remarkable quote from Dr. Maya Angelou that represents my basic philosophy of life. It goes like this, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” At home or in the office, I believe in two words: fair and care. Respecting my business partners, employees and customers like I would my family has always been important to me. It is one of the ingredients in my recipe for success. This philosophy also extends to my professional life with fellow immigrants who share my mission to better the lives of people around the world through innovative technology.
At Marvell, in the heart of Silicon Valley, we sit at the center of global talent and attract a diverse employee base from all possible backgrounds. It is the United Nations of people from all over the world who make a difference in Silicon Valley. I hope this award and our Marvell story over the past twenty years, from start-up to a leading global semiconductor company, will inspire more people to follow their dreams.
Once again, thank you very much to the National Immigration Forum for this honor.