Friday, January 24, 2014

A Message from New Leadership Austin CEO Christopher Kennedy

I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Chief Executive Officer of Leadership Austin. For 35 years, we have been developing and connecting community leaders in our effort to build a better region. Now, as the fourth CEO, I am anxious to build upon the organization's accomplishments and to continue to focus on exploring critical community issues, developing leadership skills to address those issues, and fostering relationships that help facilitate positive, collaborative civic engagement.

I joined Leadership Austin in 1995, when it was still part of the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce. I was not accepted into the ESSENTIAL class until my third application, but it was well worth the wait. My Leadership Austin experiences continue to influence how and where I spend my time. In addition, it has been a privilege to serve three terms on the Leadership Austin Board of Directors in 1996, 2001 and 2009. As I assume hands-on management of the organization, I plan to draw upon my perspective as someone who was served by Leadership Austin and someone who helped set direction for Leadership Austin.

My central belief is that we all share a role and responsibility to help shape our community. For the last 32 years, I've been fortunate to call Austin home and to work with smart people on exciting projects that have made a positive impact on our region. I look forward to working with each of you to shape creative experiences through which Leadership Austin can continue to make Greater Austin the best possible place to lead and live.

For over 35 years Leadership Austin's shared belief in the civic health of Greater Austin has been reaffirmed in our core values of Community Trusteeship, Inclusiveness, Collaborative Decision-Making and Personal Responsibility. These values have been our firm foundation as we have grown from the single program in 1979 to the five programs today.

I will continue the Leadership Austin legacy of energizing one another to create the community we call home. Our home is growing, changing and expanding. It attracts some of the brightest minds, most ambitious entrepreneurs and most dedicated community-builders. The challenges are many, but the opportunities provided by this growth are unmatched in any city in the United States. I look forward to diving into my new role with incredible support from the Board, staff, alumni and our community. As we celebrate our 35th Anniversary year, we can look back with pride on what we have accomplished and know that the best is yet to be realized.

Christopher Kennedy
Chief Executive Officer
Leadership Austin

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