David Giuliani: 1946 – 2022
David Giuliani passed away peacefully on Thursday, March 3, surrounded by his beloved family and friends. He was 75 years old. David, a non-smoker, succeeded in keeping his metastatic lung cancer at bay for more than 5 years, making the most of that time applying his immense energy, intelligence and passion to his family, his large circle of close friends, and to the causes of climate action and progress toward a more sustainable, equitable and just world.
Born May 26, 1946 in San Francisco, California to Ferdinand and Rita Giuliani, David graduated from Junipero Serra High School. He then earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara followed by graduate level studies in Electrical Engineering and Business at Stanford University. His first job was at Hewlett-Packard where he helped develop the first hand-held electronic calculator as well as the original LED technology and oversaw operations in Singapore.
In 1975 he met and then married (in 1980) Patricia Roven, his partner, muse, and mentor until her death in 2019. Together David and Patty raised a wonderful family, developed phenomenally successful — and socially responsible — companies and enriched the lives of so many with their open, generous, and welcoming interest in all they met along the path of their extraordinary life journey together.
David was a remarkably capable inventor and successful entrepreneur, best known as the co-inventor of the Sonicare toothbrush and the Clarisonic skin care system, and as co-founder and CEO of both companies. David built Sonicare into the fastest growing private company in the U.S. (in 1997) before selling it to Philips Electronics in 2000. He also led Clarisonic onto the list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S., selling it to L’Oreal in 2011. Responsible for over twenty patents, David was especially proud of inventing a hand-held ultrasound device capable of measuring bladder volumes, markedly improving the care of hospitalized patients and of those with neurogenic bladders around the world. David was a featured speaker at the White House Conference on Corporate Responsibility, and in 1997 was honored as the “United States Small Business Person of the Year.” That same year, he was selected as the “National Entrepreneur of the Year for Manufacturing” by Ernst & Young.
In the last 10 years David turned his attention to philanthropy and solving the problem of climate change. He worked hard to bring together expertise from all perspectives, regardless of political orientation, to identify, quantify, and address key issues. As an entrepreneur he always looked for “win-win” solutions to address climate change and improve economic and societal health. He founded the non-profits Washington Business Alliance, Low-Carbon Prosperity Institute, Clean & Prosperous America, and Clean & Prosperous Washington. Through these organizations, David helped drive federal climate investments and was a key stakeholder in the passage of Washington state’s Climate Commitment Act (CCA) in 2021, which has been called the “gold standard” of state climate policy. David’s tenacity in pursuing passage of the CCA was born of his desire to devise a fair and equitable path towards climate goals, providing for a cleaner, healthier earth for his — and all our — children and grandchildren.
As passionate as David was in working toward a world with a sustainable and equitable future, he was most of all a “people person.” He sought out and thrived on meeting, learning from and about others, and fostering lasting bonds of friendship and teamwork.
David’s family was ever his greatest joy. He is survived by children Nicole Giuliani (Jeb Weinstein) and Dan Giuliani and his partner Regan Spencer; grandchildren Sam and Iris Weinstein, sisters Patrice Nicholas (Larry) and Mary Ashuckian (David); and devoted partner Tracy Bryan who provided love and support through his terminal illness. He is preceded in death by his wife Patricia Roven Giuliani and his brother, Steven.
In lieu of flowers, the Giuliani family asks that contributions /donations be made to local food banks.
Here are some donation options that you may consider.
The family also appreciates support for David’s climate work. Please donate to Clean & Prosperous Washington as we continue implementing David’s vision.
What people are saying
David was a remarkable leader who cared deeply about people and our planet. He was many things – an inventor, innovator, entrepreneur, philanthropist, husband, father and friend to many. David’s was one of the most dynamic voices for protecting us from climate change and building clean energy jobs in our state’s history. He has been inspiration to me. Our world is a better place because of him, and I hope his family finds comfort in knowing that David’s legacy is everlasting.
– Governor Jay Inslee
David Giuliani’s entrepreneurial spirit inspired him to create products that improve people’s lives. That same spirit moved him to devote his prodigious ingenuity, energy and resources to addressing global climate change. He was a thought partner to me as Governor and to many others. He left lasting impacts on our state and country. Mike and I will keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.
– Former Governor Chris Gregoire
David made the health of our lands and waters the focus of his work in the past decade. His work with the state, the tribes and the public at large on climate change policy will make meaningful changes in how we live here on this beautiful landscape is an example for the nation and the world. Many prayers and sympathy to his family and friends as he makes his journey to the other side.
– Leonard Forsman, Chairman of the Suquamish Tribe, and President of the Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians
David was an eternal optimist, a matchless combination of perceptive and sincere. He brought lawmakers together to address the intersection of transportation and climate policy. I could always count on David to raise my spirits while he offered thoughtful, actionable insight. I will miss him dearly.
– Secretary of State Steve Hobbs
Washington’s climate action–framed by the Climate Commitment Act–puts our state at the forefront of the global march toward science based net zero 2050 targets. We are showing the world a real life example of bold climate action that is possible when we come together. This historic legislation has David’s words, voice, policy, analysis, data and insight built into the fabric of the achievement. His moral authority and wisdom–wrapped around kindness and mentorship–helped guide us at every step. It is one bill in one state. But it is the law of the land and a shining global example because of David. It represents a foundation of progress that is literally unmatched. His personal and professional accomplishments were extraordinary. I am so honored to have been his partner in service. He was a light among the nations. May his memory be a blessing.
– Senator Reuven Carlyle
Thank you all for sharing such beautiful memories of my father. I am just so proud of the life he lived and the incredible impact he had on the world. He was one-of-a-kind and did things his own way, with a unique blend of integrity, creativity, and dynamism. He was a loving partner, an amazing father, and an exceptional role model for me and my sister. His legacy lives on in the strength of the institutions he built and the people he guided, mentored, and loved.
– Dan Giuliani, Volt Athletics
Celebrating the life of a special, talented, lovable if sometimes exasperating man. I loved having David in my life. There wasn’t a topic that we discussed that he didn’t contribute insight to nor a time when he didn’t seek and value my opinion. David never stopped living life – to the fullest. And David understood that much of the work we do impacts the lives of generations to come. His commitment to making that future better is an example to us all.
– Senator Lisa Wellman
David was a great friend and inspiration to us. We had many good times over good meals and wine. It was a blow when Patricia died, and another huge blow when David was diagnosed with lung cancer. He fought it valiantly and when it was time to let go, he did so beautifully. He will be missed.
He and Patricia gave a great deal to Cancer Lifeline, which was incredibly appreciated. What a gift they were to the world, and will continue to be through their many endeavors. Tracy, we so appreciate you being there through these last years. Sending love to Nicole and Dan and families.
– Lynn & Howard Behar, Cancer Lifeline
David was the inventor and founder of our Sonicare Toothbrush. We are saddened by David’s passing and it has a special significance to us all here at Philips Oral Healthcare.
This year, as we celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Philips Sonicare, and look back at how far we have come as a business – let us celebrate and remember the great inventor and entrepreneur who started it all. David’s intelligence, passion and energy should inspire us all.
– Michael-John Kuehne, CEO Philips Sonicare,
David contributed so much to advancing climate action in Washington and the legacy of that work will benefit Washingtonians for many years to come.
– Mike Stevens, Washington State Director, The Nature Conservancy
Breakfast at Burgermaster. That is how my friendship with David began decades ago. I (a UW periodontist), UW bioengineer Roy Martin and a representative from UW’s technology transfer met David there to discuss forming a company. One that would make a revolutionary toothbrush using acoustic energy. That company became Optiva, maker of Sonicare. Success was hard. But David was Star Trek’s Captain Kirk – no threat was too difficult to overcome.
Others have mentioned David’s extraordinary leadership ability. All true. Assembling a team and securing financing to start a new company is tough. David did it twice. But the most convincing proof of David’s leadership was his seamless transition from business leader to a leader in climate action.
Many people who have the financial success that David earned “drop out”. They join an exclusive club, buy a yacht and kick back to enjoy retirement. Not David. He chose to take on a much tougher threat – greenhouse gas emissions. He and his non-profit start-up, Clean & Prosperous Washington, played a critical part in passing Washington state’s carbon cap-and trade legislation. His grandkids, Sam and Iris, will be proud of grandpa’s dogged determination to limit global warming.
I miss David more than words can express. And I am deeply sorry for his family who I know are hurting. As a long-time friend, I offer my sympathy. I hope you find some comfort in how well David lived his life. Few will accomplish as much, but his love, generosity and efforts will inspire others for years to come.
– David Engel, Co-founder Optiva/Sonicare
A reporter asked why David didn’t just retire to the golf course. That got me trying to envision David, maybe in plaid pants sizing up a long putt — and I couldn’t do it. I don’t think he played golf. I can’t be sure, but what I do know is that he wasn’t the retiring type. He loved a challenge. And what he loved most was meeting a challenge with a team of collaborators. Last month as David accepted the first annual Madrona Leadership Award, he talked about “the work that we are doing to make the world a better place…“ His strong emphasis on the word “we” spoke to his modus operandi. Collaboration was a guiding principle, central to his success in accomplishing big things. He led by example, included everyone, and inspired all those around him to listen to each other, to learn from each other, and to always think big. David will be missed. But his lessons and inspiration will endure.
– Bill McClain, Sonicare / Clarisonic / Clean & Prosperous
David’s leadership here in Washington and far beyond was exemplary – a business leader putting his convictions, vision, intellect and resources behind a better climate future for all of us. We have been pleased to work with organizations David founded, the Washington Business Alliance and Clean & Prosperous Washington. Our sincerest sympathies at his passing to his dear family and his many friends and colleagues.
– Jill Mackie, Vigor
David was a very bright light that would shine whenever we ran into each other. When I would see David, wherever it was, my world would brighten. He really was a remarkable person. And though gone from this earthly place, David left so much of himself for all of us to remember and enjoy. May God’s grace be with his children and family.
– Sending love, Jeanne Cree
David really was a visionary inventor and entrepreneur and visionary strategist who seeded so much important work. Good sense of humor too and a great human being. He’s seeded so much of importance that will continue to bloom.
– Paul Loeb, founder emeritus, Campus Election Engagement Project
For my family and me, David was above all a good friend.
– Richard Winslow
David was a mentor, friend, and one of the kindest human beings I ever met. He believed that we could make a difference using our gifts. He had a way of bringing out the best in people. Because of him, we are leaving Washington a much better environment than the one we gave him. Those efforts, while monumental, are far from complete. Each of us can and should be committed to doing more. He’s shown us the way. His legacy is not just the work but the lifelong friendships he’s helped each of us create. We are bound and committed to continuing this journey. For that, we are eternally grateful. Today we can say rest well, our dear friend! Your work legacy lives on.
– Paula Sardinas, FMS Global Strategies/WBBA
I had the privilege for working for David at 2 startups. David was a great leader. He inspired his team to reach for the stars and to do the unthinkable. He was a true pioneer whose legacy continues on within each of us who worked for him. Rest in Power my friend. Thanks for all the lessons.
– Dwayne Bobbitt, Sonicare/Clarisonic
David was a friend, an inspiration, a leader and a visionary. He epitomized what it means to work for the benefit of others and his community. Whether it was Mercer Island or Friday Harbor, David gave tirelessly to his fellow residents with a determination to leave this world a better place than he found it. His commitment went much further as David worked tirelessly on both political and environmental causes. I and so many others will greatly miss him.
– Dan Grausz, Forterra NW; Former Mercer Island City Councilmember
He was such an amazing leader. Sonicare was such a special place. He made it not only a workplace, but a family. It was an honor to work for him.
– Katrina Rockey, Sonicare Alumni
Losing David is sad: we will miss his humor, his wit, his big heart, he was special to me and so many others. I believe that, through the way David lived his life, he left a powerful and lasting message for all of us: you too can actually make the world a better place if you don’t take no for an answer but instead bring people together and use our collective knowledge and wisdom to invent a new way that makes life better for all of us. So long David.
– Jan Thijssen
I first met David Giuliani on a flight back to Seattle in 1996. I was preparing to graduate with my MLIS, and chatted with him on the plane. He asked if I needed a ride, and then gave me his business card and said to contact him when I graduated. I sent a letter after graduating, assuming he probably didn’t recall me or I would here back. A few days later, Debbie, his assistant called me and asked to interview with Optiva and I was hired. David was a great inventor and business man. He also cared about his employees and made sure pay was competitive, good health benefits, everyone had stock options, and access to education through the company for free. I once remarked in a training with him about being surprised we had copays for teeth cleaning, because we were a toothbrush company. He heard it and the next year, we had dental coverage that did not require a copay for teeth cleaning. David was excellent about mentoring young talent and helping them establish careers and gain the experience they needed. Patricia Raven was an active participant at Optiva too. She provided ESL classes for most of the production staff, and could walk down the production line and tell you the name and back story of most of the people who worked there. They were both committed to growing a great business, but also to making sure the employees could earn a living and have opportunities to move up, and on if needed. Many business leaders could learn from how David treated his employees. I will be forever grateful for the opportunities he provided to me. Patricia and David were lovely people.
– Tamara Saarinen
David’s legacy will positively impact multiple current and future generations, as he has laid out the foundation for a transformational shift of how us, humans, interact with our planet. David can rest in peace knowing the planet is a better place now because of his dedication to noble causes such as climate change and societal equity.
– Gustavo Occhiuzzo, EVCS – Green Commuter
If I could borrow one trait from David, it would be his amazingly purposeful optimism. Innovation and growth spring forward from the sense that something can always be done, and never for a moment did the warmth of that belief ever fail to shine in his presence. It’s been said that the pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. And the realist…adjust his sails. Though saddened by your passing, I hope you’re sailing into a beautiful sunset David.
– Bryan Wekch, Friend and former co-owner of Club Emerald
David excelled at all aspects of life. Husband to Patty, father to Nicole and Dan, friend to all he shared time with, brilliant inventor, steely entrepreneur and respected business leader. He left us far too soon as his future contributions would be just as impressive as his past acheivements. His legacy is truly remarkable and lasting to all he came in contact with.
– Jack & Anne Gallagher, Sonicare/Clarisonic
I had the privilege of working with David when I was his lawyer at the founding of Sonicare and for several years afterwards. I loved his combination of brilliance, charm, imagination and humor. He had great business judgment and was an astute evaluator of people. He was a wonderful client, always keeping me on my toes, questioning me, suggesting alternatives, helping to find the practical solution to thorny problems. I hope that I gave to him because I learned a ton from him. David was one of those people who makes a positive impression on you. I deeply value my time with him and we will all miss him a lot. I wish the planet had more people like David.
– Chuck Katz, Perkins Coie (Retired)
Perseverance in the face of challenge.
In 1992 I was fortunate to join David’s merry band of a dozen trying to change the world of oral care in the face of giant consumer multinationals. From humble beginnings on Mercer Island (first office above a veterinarian clinic, complete with barking dogs), little did we know that David would lead us to experience the highest of highs, from Sonicare becoming one of Oprah’s favorite products, to becoming the Sharper Image’s top selling product, to being the #1 fastest growing company on the Inc. 500, to the successful sale of the company to Philips Electronics.
But what most people aren’t aware of were the incredible challenges that David’s leadership enabled us to overcome. Two product recalls. Teledyne Waterpik violating our patent. Multiple legal battles with archrival Gillette. David’s dogged determination to fight through challenges was an inspiration to us all.
I will never forget David’s tenacity, his incredible work ethic, his walk and talks (and yes his terrible puns). Thank you for the adventure of a lifetime David.
– Eric Meyer, Former Sonicare/Optiva
I was intrigued by David’s legacy when I joined Philips Sonicare as CEO in 2002. I reached out to David and developed a warm, engaging and inspiring relationship. He was a person that could not take ‘no’ for an answer, not in his intellectual engagements, business engagements and personal life. He fought for life with all his means, for his family, for the world and for himself. He will be missed.
– Conrad Smits, Former EVP Philips
I first met David shortly after the Sonicare sale to Philips. He was excited to tell me about the idea for a new product that he was working on and he invited me to his primitive work space on the ship canal where he showed me the prototype for the new skin care brush that became Clarisonic. I was fortunate to serve as the company’s outside lawyer from that day until its sale more than 10 years later. David was a great teacher and he learned from everyone with whom he met. After the sale of Clarisonic (at the closing dinner in fact) we both discovered we shared a love for playing acoustic guitar and he mentioned that he was part of a wonderful class that met weekly. I quickly signed up and David and I shared attending those classes for the better part of the next 9 years. This involved exploring just about every restaurant in the Roosevelt District, and particularly the Italian ones where he could speak Italian with the proprietors. I was fortunate to share many wonderful meals and conversations with him and see the joy that music brought to his life, particularly when life was most difficult it was a great escape. I will miss my good friend but I feel very fortunate for the times we spent together.
– Gary Kocher, KL Gates
I had the privilege of being David’s guitar teacher for many years, in our evening classes for adults. I’ll always remember him as relentlessly upbeat, and a hard worker, with a real passion for the music he loved. He was modest, unassuming, and fun to be around, with an utterly infectious grin, even through some deeply challenging times. While I had only an inkling of his many achievements, those who where lucky enough to know him well will be equally unsurprised that he never spoke of them at all. A truly remarkable man, a good friend, and a great spirit, whose life, like a great song, has a sweetly memorable coda.
– Joe Vinikow, archtop.com
David and I met while chaperoning an 8th grade dance at Lakeside. Our children were classmates. Years later, we met again to discuss our company’s real estate investments. David and Patricia became clients and over the next 20 years we would meet over breakfast or lunch and review their investments, catch up on our families, on their community service and on life. What made David unique as an investor was his unfailing gratitude. He would always pick up the phone after every investment and say thank you.
I will miss David as a client, as a fellow islander, and as a friend.
– Dave Mandley, PrivatePortfolio Group LLC
David was an inspirational leader that will be dearly missed. While I only knew David for five of his last 75 years it was a life changing experience for me. His commitment to climate action Nationally and in Washington state was nothing short of amazing. He possessed the fantastic ability to see past what others viewed as insurmountable barriers and focused on accomplishing what needs to be done, rather than what can be done. His ability to successfully overcome challenges that caused many before him to stumble was aided by his willingness to work productively with all parties involved, and his focus on fostering motivated teams dedicated to the work. He accomplished so much during his life, and it sadden me to think how much world-wide progress will surely be missing David.
– Greg Rock, Clean & Prosperous America
I got to know David through Clean and Prosperous America, one of the organizations he started to make a difference on climate through organizing young, non-urban and BIPOC voters. The unique approach reflected David’s strategic thinking. Without a doubt, he will be leaving a lasting legacy through CaPA as well as his many other endeavors to save the future of the planet. David was wise, insightful, generous and optimistic. He cared deeply. He was an inspiration and he will be greatly missed. My deepest condolences to his family.
– Ning Mosberger-Tang, Clean and Prosperous America Board
I recall David’s view that ~ “impactful projects take around 7 years to reach fruition”. We began working together on Co2 pricing strategy around 7 years prior to passage of the Climate Commitment Act. Those who support low carbon business & social prosperity can thank David for a massive educational…..bipartisan….effort. He was a leader of humans, a visionary, and his impact on Co2 & energy policy should stand the test of time. Most importantly, David was a kind-hearted person.
Thank you Alan C. for introducing me to such a fine man.
– Tyler J. Krutzeldt, CFA, Mont Vista Capital
David and Patty gave me, a retired – dropout – hippie, opportunities to drop-back-in. They helped me find and develop a successful lifelong career and they were great friends for a large part of that journey. I was not the only one to be blessed by knowing and working with these very real and loving people. -Ah and challenging too. David would often gently push me outside my ‘comfort field’ so I could learn and do more than I thought possible.
Last Thursday both Kathryn and I had one of those days when everything just would not go together. Little issues with every step all day. I chose to believe there was a major wrinkle in ‘the force’. Goodbye, David. Know you did good for many of your fellow travelers. I miss you -Pen
– Penrose (Pen) Stout, Stout-consulting
True innovators can change the world. A visionary, David was a champion for addressing the impacts of climate change – not only in his leadership through Washington Business Alliance and climate policy, but in his support of Forterra’s work in mass timber.
David understood the power of place, community, and innovative thinking. His memory will continue to inspire us toward new ways of connecting — through land conservation and community work — to make this place we love a healthier and more sustainable Washington for all of us.
– Michelle Connor, President and CEO, Forterra
I knew David for about the last decade, and got the chance to work with him pretty closely during that time on climate change. There were a few things that stick out to me the most.
First, he was just an incredibly wonderful, warm human being. Always nice, always friendly, always gracious. Second, he was relentlessly positive. For sure on the work with climate change, where he was always pressing urgency but also always looking for ways to bring people together, believing that if people come together, good things happen. But also with his attitude toward cancer. I talked to him multiple times in the past years while he was in a hospital bed. He was always realistic and honest about his health condition, but stayed positive and gave off great forward looking energy. Last, he was just a fierce advocate for climate change. Fierce, unrelenting.
David was a wonderful person. I will miss him.
– Gregg Small, Climate Solutions
I was one of the lucky ones. I had the opportunity to work with David at Clarisonic from the very early days, when David would randomly set himself in the next cubicle and listen. He was incredibly gifted at listening, absorbing and then teaching. I believe teaching was one of his greatest gifts. And through his teaching, his teams grew multi-dimensionally. We learned to think differently, to reach for more promising results, to collaborate with those inside and outside our circles, and to embrace the team conclusion — because we had reached it as a team. His legacy is immeasurable. I am grateful for my memories, for those “let’s take a walk” days (and the lessons involved), and for his mentorship.
– Robin Chikos, Clarisonic
I met David when I was an engineering summer intern (in 1987) at International Biomedics. His leadership, engineering skills and business acumen were inspiring and impactful to my eventual career as a research engineer and entrepreneur.
– Ralph Jorgenson, Engineer and Public School Math Teacher
I first met David at an ultrasound seminar at ATL (Advanced Technology Laboratory) which was an ultrasound company that later became Philips Ultrasound. For several years later David Engel and I had been working on an ultrasound toothbrush concept at the University of Washington. I realized it would be difficult to produce enough ultrasound energy delivered to the end of toothbrush bristles to be effective. In the course of our work, we lowered the frequency to an audio range where it was possible to produce more deflection at still a high rate of motion. However, such a device produced an irritating sound until we reduced the sound frequency to around 200 Hz. The mechanism we used to produce the vibration utilized piezoelectric material which needed little electrical current but required high voltage. David Engel and I along with the UW Technology Transfer had been trying to find a company that would license our development but with little success until we met with David Giuliani for lunch. We presented to him our concept and the prototype we had at that point. David G. listened but didn’t say much until he started talking about how it could be redesigned. As we were both engineers, I knew the syndrome, he also was hooked on the idea at that point.
David G. was the driving force at forming a company, raising money, and developing the company to bring the Sonicare toothbrush to the market. Early in the work, a conceptional change spearheaded by David G. was from switching from a piezoelectric device to using an electromagnetic method of producing the vibration but still using the resonance effect. This allowed using low voltage, low power, and yet driving a full toothbrush head that made the sonic toothbrush concept practical.
There are many wonderful things that can be said about David Giuliani but some that impressed me: he was a good listener, he learned a new concept quickly, even a new field he dug into it and soon mastered it. Overall, he was a great team leader, and one of his many excellent traits was he always had a positive outlook on things. We all miss him.
– Roy Martin, Co-founder Optiva/Sonicare
I’m so sorry to hear this. I know he was a tremendous part of the effort to get WA action on climate. My deepest sympathies to you and his family and friends.
– Rajinder Sahota, Deputy Executive Officer, Climate Change and Research, California Air Resources Board
In my long life I have never known a truer friend or better person than David. I met him at HP in the summer of 1967. For several years, we worked together, backpacked in the Sierras, and sometimes hung out in his tiny attic apartment in Palo Alto. David played Segovia pieces on his twelve string guitar, worked on his Russian translating computer program, shared Buffy Saint Marie. We never lost touch. Always a xmas card at the very least with his affectionate, leftie scribbles. It was a honor to know him. David would have carried me, and you, thru hell and high water if we had let him. We all loved him. I am mourning David, our friend. An inspiration and light has gone out that can not be replaced.
– B. Lavonne Rotz
I met David and Patricia when a mutual friend referred me to help with a real estate purchase. They were both so down to earth and genuinely kind human beings. They both were so upbeat through their difficult challenges. They inspired me to live in the present and “make it a good day”! Nicole, Jeb, Dan, Regan, and Tracy I am so sorry for your tremendous loss of a wonderful father and friend! I am lucky to have known him.
– Cindy Verschueren, John L. Scott Real Estate, Mercer Island
I only knew/worked with David briefly at the Washington Business Alliance on a grant to improve disability hiring. I was certainly aware of his success as an inventor, entrepreneur, passionate climate advocate, and love of his family. As impressive as those accomplishments were however they were just parts of what made David, David. Above all else he was a humanitarian with a tremendous capacity for compassion and empathy, humble yet confident that he could facilitate meaningful change. He will be missed. RIP
– Mike Hudson, Skagit Valley REACH Center
I had the pleasure of working for David at Optiva. What stands out to me is that David believed in humanity. The production floor had first generation staff from well over 40 different countries. These were hard working people looking for a fresh start in America and a better life for their children.
In order to help our staff, David and Patricia created classes to teach English to the staff. Your mom was one of the teachers and this provided a tremendous opportunity for these first generation immigrants to better themselves.
The wage offered to our production staff was much higher than any other jobs in the area. The benefits were fantastic, which also included bonuses for all staff. I can still remember John Tubbs on the production floor, handing out bonus checks to our staff for $5,000 or more. This was 1999 dollars too. Staff were crying and hugging John, as this was transformational money for their families.
David Giuliani had a huge impact making the world a better place.
– Dean Baker
In 1992 David visited my 5th grade class and brought a miniature, working, magnet powered ‘rail gun’ or catapult. I like to think that shortly thereafter similar tech and magnets became the center of his revolutionary Sonicare toothbrushes. Few people have street cred with 5th graders, venture capitalists, and climate activists. David was one of them. He’ll be remembered, and missed.
– Josh Drake, GHV (Global Health Visions)
I worked almost continuously with David (and as a close friend) on his and my projects for the last 33 years. It is hard for me to believe that his starting of new initiatives has ended with his death.
His legacy of successful entrepreneurial and political ventures will continue long into the future. David’s current climate action projects WaBA, LCPI, CAPA, CAPWA continue under his substantial endowment funding. I never knew David to not have a big important project to work on. As others have said – he did not know the meaning of retirement.
I have a hard time believing David is no longer going to be calling me to discuss ideas / projects – there is a big hole in my life. Rest in Peace David, your family, friends and the world will sorely miss you.
– Steve Meginniss, Many projects with David since beginning of Sonicare until his death.
I knew David for a fraction of his remarkable life, about 7 years, but he had a lasting impact on my own life and that of so many others. We shared a passion for solving the climate crisis, and from David I truly learned that persistence and passion are most useful if you also had something of practical value to offer. I joined LCPI in 2018 and became part of the team that David assembled and that evolved into Clean and Prosperous Washington. I was also lucky to know David as a friend and fellow San Juan Islander. To quote John O’Donohue, David had “a mind that loves frontiers”, but he also had a huge heart, a fun-loving spirit, a real love for life, and cared deeply about people and the planet. I’m so sad that he is gone, he was truly unique.
David “may you continue to inspire us to enter each day with a generous heart. To serve the call of courage and love” John O’Donohue
– Sarah Severn, Clean and Prosperous Washington
I had the privilege of working with David at Optiva/Sonicare and Clarisonic. He was a gifted man, so intelligent, interesting, strong and humble. A man that I and many others respected and loved dearly. I’m a breast cancer survivor so when Clarisonic partnered with “Feel Good Look Better” I had the opportunity to share my story with some of my coworkers and David at one of their presentations at Clarisonic. Afterwards, David came up to me and said that I would make a good public speaker. I was elated with the compliment from David and walked on clouds for months! I can’t say enough about David. He and Patricia faced their heartaches with so much determination and strength. They shared their hearts and beliefs with everyone. Rest In Peace David and my condolences to your family.
– Debra Garrison, Sonicare/Clarisonic
In 30 years of friendship David has been for me a model of steadiness, clarity, loyalty, and above all decency. He could engage with and talk with anyone, leaving each person feeling special. To his and Patty’s non-stop medical struggles of the past 17 years he brought such intelligence and intentionality. I never saw him feeling a victim of such unfair fates. His life and friendship has been a great gift and inspiration for me. I’ll keep asking: “How would David approach and think about this?”
– Bob Campbell, grateful friend
Our lives were incredibly enriched knowing David and Patricia as friends, investors, bike riders, political co travelers, and even shirt tail relatives. Like many, I think of David often in the mornings and evenings as I fire up my Sonicare. And agree, he was the incredibly focused, creative, and inspirational entrepreneur so many of us remember. I will focus on the perhaps less recognized but exceptionally important political contributions made by David over the last few election cycles. And I don’t mean financial – I mean the laser focus, engineering talents and entrepreneurial skills he brought to a Democratic party badly in need of those talents. He made a real difference.
We miss you David, and you too Patricia.
– Joe Schocken, Broadmark Realty Capital
Although I hold the David and Patricia Giuliani/Oliver Press Endowed Chair in Cancer Research at Fred Hutch, I only met David three times before COVID shut everything down. But what impactful interactions they were. David seemed both otherworldly – moving in an unbounded dimension of competence, effectiveness and optimism about the future – yet thoroughly grounded in what was important in life – people. I feel so privileged to have shared some time with him, and I will strive to honor his legacy. My condolences to his family and friends.
– Stephanie Lee, Fred Hutchinson
I first met David while caring for his wife, Patricia, on our stem cell transplant service in 2006 while I was an oncology fellow. I knew I had to be well-prepared every time I went into her room because of the sharp and insightful questions that David would invariably ask. Later, David and Patricia very generously supported the research on lymphoma immunotherapy that I was doing at Fred Hutch with my mentor (and the Giulianis’ good friend), Ollie Press. Their support was critical in nurturing a CAR T cell project in its vulnerable stages and allowed it to take off and become a clinical trial that is now showing a high response rate in patients with lymphoma. I remain deeply grateful for David’s generosity and the stimulating conversations we had, and impressed with his incredible passion, intellect, and vision for making a better world.
– Brian Till, Fred Hutchinson
Although I met David and Patricia in 2014 at a fundraiser for affordable housing on San Juan Island, I didn’t get to know him until after he moved full time to the Island during the pandemic. I was very grateful to become friends with him, and enjoyed sharing some of my favorite hikes and talking with him. What a great conversationalist! I remain in awe of his many accomplishments – and especially his work on the climate crisis and energizing young voters.
David was one of the most positive people I’ve met. He looked at problems and saw potential solutions. He had an open mind and saw the good in most people. He was a proponent of gratitude. He meditated and did yoga, all of which impressed me greatly.
David was an amazing person and I miss him. Sending love to his children, family and friends.
– Nancy DeVaux