A Pasadena native, Lena Kennedy has a vision and passion for her community. She is CEO/President of L.L. Kennedy & Associates, which provides consulting services on consensus-building strategies for political candidates, philanthropic organizations, corporations and individuals. In addition, she serves as President of Community Women Vital Voices, a non-profit organization whose mission is to improve women’s health and wellness.
Community Women Vital Voices sponsors a major conference each year, the So. Calif. Women’s Conference. Since 2000, over 32,000 attendees have received information on topics such as cancer prevention, stress reduction, nutrition, and overcoming trauma. Kennedy has also launched a consortium: Women in Leadership Vital Voices, as a means to help women lead public policy conversations on local and national stages.
Kennedy’s strategic consulting work led her to being named one of the top ten national fundraisers as reported by the Wall Street Journal in 2009. She is the former National Finance Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee, and she was appointed to the board of the Kennedy Center by President Barack Obama. Locally, she has served as a board member for many organizations, including the Pasadena NAACP, the Pasadena Arts Council, and Pasadena Playhouse Diversity Project.
Lena’s service to God is her guiding principle and central to how she lives her life. She describes herself as being part of a club, the “AME-ers” – people who were born into the AME family. Over the years, she has served the church in many capacities: YPD area director, local YPD director, trustee, Sunday school teacher, delegate to the Southern California Conference, delegate the General Conference, Vacation Bible School director, government affairs president, and missionary president. Currently, she is the local missionary historiographer, lay member and serves as an evaluator for Bishop Fugh Homeless Initiative.
Her diamonds are her children: Tyesa, Jonathan, Kari, and Chris, and her heartbeat are her grandchildren, Christopher and Savannah. Lena’s joy comes from her family and friends.
Her mission statement in life is: Everyone is of value and has something to contribute. Every voice is valuable to our society. She believes in the words of Mark Twain: Life is short, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that made you smile.