With over 25 years of real-world experience as a corporate executive and award-winning social entrepreneur, Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy understands the complexities of crafting success in today’s business environment.
She started her career as an academic – the youngest on the staff of the Harvard Business School. She was recruited from Wellesley College for her mix of writing and statistical analysis skills. As a Research Associate, she was one of the first non-Ph.D. staffers to consult and write case studies on Fortune 500 companies for HBS, as well as perform statistical/predictive analysis. She worked with Production Operations Management expert W. Bruce Chew on the second year “Operations Strategy” MBA course, and researched/wrote papers on small businesses with entrepreneurship expert, J. Gregory Dees. She is the author of multiple case studies published under Harvard Business School publishing.
She has world-class training, including a MBA from Harvard Business School, executive education in Global Leadership & Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. She also received training in Cable Management and Finance at the University of Denver. As a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, she serves on the Stone Soup Global Leadership Task Force and was part of the initial working group for The Oath Project.
She is a coach’s coach. She has mentored new certified coaches and provided over 2,000 hours of coaching to individuals. In addition to training as a Certified Professional Coach at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC), she learned directly from the masters. Her father, Dr. James Scott Kennedy, was a pioneer in Executive Leadership Training (the pre-cursor to coaching) in the 1950s, training executives from IBM and other top companies. He also worked with another pioneer, Arthur Lessac, and was the first to bring The Lessac Method of communications to colleges, including Brooklyn College and The New School of Social Research. Over the last 50 years, the method has been taught around the world. She also grew up with a “mompreneur” – her mother Janie Sykes-Kennedy, retired journalist from Columbia School of Journalism, ran a successful marketing consulting company which did business on five continents.
She has served as a C-suite advisor to legendary leaders. At Universal Studios, she worked directly with the acclaimed studio head and Hollywood mogul Lew Wasserman and head of production Casey Silver. At VH1, she worked directly for two channel Presidents – first cable veteran Ed Bennett and then music industry veteran John Sykes who was a member of the original founding team of MTV. At MTV Networks, she served as part of the core digital strategy group for Viacom presenting to media magnate and Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone and working with creative icon Chairman and CEO Tom Freston (another member of the original founding team of MTV). She also worked with the CFO and COO at MTV Networks and senior business development team at Viacom. As a consultant and coach, she has advised CEOs in a range of industries from real estate and beauty to television and retail. As a Young Global Leader, she has been in World Economic Forum working sessions in various regions to advise on global and national strategies with Presidents of countries and multinational CEOs.
She is known for her operational acumen – as an academic, consultant and a hands-on leader. She founded VH1 Interactive and the VH1@Work radio network. Over her career, she also managed a Viewers Services group (i.e. database management, direct marketing, phone, mail and email support), a 200-person digital operations, the building of a new television studio, the launch of six digital cable networks and the rebranding of a network. She has navigated through multiple company restructurings and helped acquire SonicNet on behalf of Viacom, including assimilating the staff. She has also taught “Consumer Behavior” marketing courses at the fashion college Laboratory Institute of Merchandising (LIM).
She has a knack for strategic alliances. At MTV Networks, she negotiated landmark content/distribution deals bringing in over $30 million into the digital division. She forced and managed major strategic partnerships such as Intel, Microsoft, Yahoo!, America Online, NsK/CDNOW, Lycos and Excite@Home. She negotiated VH1′s first deal with America Online which funded the new business. As Interim CEO for the national non-profit Yoga Alliance, she forged and managed strategic affiliations with entities such as the National Institutes of Health and the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care.
She brings a global perspective and creative eye to business. She produced some of the first on-air and online events with superstar artists such as Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney. She has also consulted for a film company start-up, a music festival in Cote d’Ivoire, and has managed cross-cultural teams in Kenya. Early in her career, she was an Assistant Buyer for the fashion merchandising company, Apparel Alliance. She has participated in the exclusive World Economic Forum events in Brazil, China, India, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, South Africa and Tanzania, and has been a discussion leader for the Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
She has led consulting and training programs for a range of entities such as Bloomberg Media, Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, Right Management, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Macy’s Corporate, Sagicor Jamaica Limited (Jamaica), the Young Executives Society (Slovenia), as well as government groups such as the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs and the New York City Department of Education.
Support her latest book, Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master. Millions across the globe have been inspired by 97-year-old Tao Porchon-Lynch - World War II French Resistance fighter, model, actress, film producer, wine connoisseur, competitive ballroom dancer, and yoga master. Named “Oldest Yoga Teacher” by Guinness World Records in 2012, Tao exemplifies her mantra: There Is Nothing You Cannot Do. Dancing Light is an inspirational autobiography that shows us what is possible–that we each can live to our Highest Potential and dance to our own rhythm. Learn more about Tao at www.TheTaoExperience. Terri is also directing and producing a feature-length documentary on Tao’s life.
Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy understands what makes a successful gathering for business events and retreats alike. Be sure to check out her client/past event list and demo video. Read what others are saying in our letters of reference and testimonials, and check out the media buzz and highlighted news & events. For all you need to get started, go to our Speaking Kit and FAQs. For additional questions, call 212-901-6913 or email email@example.com.
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