Dado and Maria Banatao - The Banatao name is known in the high tech world as synonymous with vision and achievement because of Dado Banatao’s record as an engineer and entrepreneur. But, in all fairness, the name could be as highly-regarded for the vision that Dado and Maria Banatao bring to their charitable investments.
Dado and Maria established the Banatao Family Filipino American Education Fund with the Asian Pacific Fund in 2002 to help California high school students of Filipino heritage pursue careers in science and engineering, fields where Filipinos are underrepresented. This assistance is especially important as university fees continue to rise, and as promising young people and their families struggle for the students to get a good education.
“Maria and I hope this will inspire [students] to dream big and to make the sacrifices needed to continue their education so they can fully contribute to society and make their dreams a reality,” said Dado. “Having grown up in a rural area of the Philippines, my background has made me passionate about education. I know how education can transform lives, because it transformed mine.”
The Banataos share the Asian Pacific Fund’s commitment to youth and created this scholarship to encourage excellence in math and science fields.
“Setting up a scholarship program has given us a chance to use philanthropy to pass on our family values,” said Maria. “Our whole family is working together on this to benefit the Filipino American community, and the people at the Asian Pacific Fund have been very involved in helping us achieve our goals.”
In addition to the Banatao Education Fund, Dado and Maria have been recognized for their extensive Board service and generous support of organizations like the Center for Information Technology in the Interest of Society (CITRIS), a project of the University of California. Dado is the managing partner and founder of Tallwood Venture Capital. Dado serves as chairman for SiRF Technology and current Tallwood portfolio companies. Maria is on the Boards of the Lucille Packard Foundation for Children’s Health, the Ayala Foundation USA, and the University of California, Berkeley Foundation. Dado and Maria’s three children–-Rey, Desi and Tala–-are all involved in the Banatao Education Fund and share their parents’ view about the rewards of giving back.
We respect the diversity among Asian Americans and we strive to be responsive to the needs in each community. Although many of our donors support charities across a broad range of communities and needs, they often have personal priorities they want to address. Donors, through us, can learn about needs in Asian communities that they did not know existed. The Fund monitors issues in the Asian community and also receives professional advice in evaluating which programs and organizations to support.