Lena L. Kennedy is the founder and conference director of the SoCal Women’s Conference & Expo. She is responsible for bringing together community-based organizations, businesses, and civic leaders to offer a free, annual health and wellness conference for women. Since 2000, over 22,000 attendees have been empowered by informative and practical lectures and workshops on health, wellness, and lifestyle led by renowned physicians and healthcare professionals. Conference attendees have also benefited from access to services such as health screenings and flu vaccinations.
Lena is a visionary leader and owner of L. Kennedy & Associates Consulting, a consulting firm that specializes in community and strategic consensus-building strategies for executives, policymakers, and political candidates. We focus on community coalition-building, philanthropic consulting, corporate advisement, and leadership/life coaching initiatives.
Lena’s career as a community builder and strategic consultant began over thirty years ago when she assisted with fundraising and campaign activities for Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley for Governor. Since then, she has worked with numerous candidates and elected officials, including President Barack Obama, Congresswoman Diane Watson, Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congresswoman Judy Chu, Congresswoman Maxine Waters, Congressman Adam Schiff, California State Speaker Karen Bass, State Senator Carol Liu, and Rev. Jesse Jackson.
As a key member of the National Finance Committee/Obama for America, and as one of the Vice-Chair for the DNC Lena not only helped organize several successful fundraising events in California but, she hosted events in many states. She served as co-chair of the National Women’s Leadership Initiative, hosted a national conference in October, 2008 with Michelle and Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and many other female elected officials from across the country. Lena is also a member of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Majority Trust. Most recently, Lena was appointed National Vice-Chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC).
Lena’s commitment to serving the community is evident by her board service for several notable organizations including the Pasadena Arts Council, Community Health Alliance of Pasadena, First AME Church Trustee (former), and Pasadena NAACP. She currently serves on the Pasadena Playhouse Diversity Committee, Planned Parenthood Pasadena & San Gabriel Advisory Council, and the Pasadena Symphony Advisory Council. She is the recipient of many awards for her work in the community, including the National Congress of Black Women, NAACP Ruby McKnight Award, 2005 Aspires West Pasadena Community Award, Ladies of Distinction, Pasadena Playhouse Wells Fargo Community Diversity Award, and the 1998 Pasadena NAACP Community Volunteer Award. She was named one of the Fifty Business Women of Pasadena in 2010, and she has also been featured in several publications.
Lena was educated and received professional training at Sawyer College, Pasadena City College, Indiana University School of Philanthropy, UCLA (public relations), the Center for Non-Profit Management, and the California Association of Non-Profits.
A native of Pasadena, California, Lena has deep-rooted ties to her community and draws strength from her family. She enjoys spending time with her children, Tyesa and Jonathan, and her two beautiful grandchildren.