About Our Founder, Edward M. Dowd

Edward M. Dowd was a true Californian. He was born in San Francisco in 1945 and grew up in Salinas. After high school, Ed Dowd served in the United States Air Force from 1965 to 1969 before graduating from Santa Clara University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce.

Being so closely connected to the Bay Area and the Salinas Valley in Monterey County, Ed Dowd made it his mission to help maintain the natural integrity of the communities therein. After embarking on a successful career in real estate investment at Marcus & Millichap, Ed Dowd founded EMD Properties Inc. and San Jose National Bank and Commerce Savings and Loan in Sacramento. California Governor Jerry Brown appointed Ed Vice Chairman of the California State Athletic Commission, a role that led to his representing California at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Passionate about the arts and education, Ed Dowd also served on Santa Clara University's Board of Fellows during this time.

Finding The Silver Lining

In 1993, Ed Dowd was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at age 47. While most people consider MS a devastating diagnosis, he came to think of it as a blessing in disguise. Having been a devoted businessman for the previous 20 years, Ed Dowd's MS diagnosis gave him space to realize his love for philanthropy and giving back to the community.

In the years before his passing, Ed Dowd funded several projects, including the Edward M. Dowd Art & Art History Building at Santa Clara University and the Main Entry Pavilion at the Palo Alto Mountain View campus, as well as refurbishing the Courtyard and Mental Health Unit building at Natividad Hospital in Salinas.

The Edward M. Dowd Foundation continues philanthropic efforts he started to fulfill unmet needs and better the communities of Salinas and Santa Clara.