“Keep Looking Forward”

City Mission CFO Denny Kennedy outside the chapel

City Mission Hires New CFO

“I love working at the Mission,” smiled Denny Kennedy, City Mission’s new Chief Financial Officer, who was hired back in late February.  “It’s nice to be around people who have a passion for what they do.  How could you not be inspired?”

Kennedy was born and raised in Brookline, which he called the, “best place ever to grow up,” and he is still connected with many of his hometown friends.  Brookline was a very congested area when he was young.  “I could reach out my bedroom window and touch the house next to me,” he explained, but there was always something going on in the neighborhood and something new to learn.

After graduating from Seton LaSalle Catholic High School, he earned an accounting degree from West Virginia University.  Right after college, he was hired by Deloitte, one of the largest accounting firms in the world.  “I cut my eye teeth there,” he said, learning everything he could and earning his Certified Public Accounting (CPA) license while working there.  His experience at Deloitte launched him into a very diversified career over the next few decades.  

“I’ve had to reinvent myself a few times,” he said.  “I’ve learned to always look for the quickest way to get up to speed and make an impact.  But no matter what I’ve done, I’ve always enjoyed it.”

“We have to keep looking forward rather than backward,” he said of the Mission.  “I think I can bring a lot of value in helping us to move forward.”

For 14 years, he worked for Servistar Hardware Corporation in Butler, where he created an arm of the business that built point-of-sales/inventory control computer systems for their retail outlets.  He also acted as the Corporate Controller for 84 Lumber.  After that, he consulted in various industries as a CFO for hire, and for the past five years, he has been a Professor of Corporate Finance at the University of Pittsburgh in Greensburg.  

“I’ve always flourished in positions where I had a lot of autonomy,” he said of his varied career.  And as a manager, he gives his employees the same freedom to think and learn and innovate that made him successful.  “I like to help people get better at what they do,” he added. “It’s very gratifying.”  

His goals for City Mission are to help improve processes and solidify the future of the Mission.  “We need to have a laser-focus on our cashflow and watch every nickel we spend,” he said.  “And I want to make sure that any information we provide is not only accurate but communicated in a concise way.”

“We have to keep looking forward rather than backward,” he said of the Mission.  “I think I can bring a lot of value in helping us to move forward.”

In spite of his successful and diverse career, the thing Kennedy is most proud of in life is being a dad.  “I always wanted to become a father, because I had a great one,” he said.  “No matter what I do for a living, being a father will always be my greatest accomplishment.”  He has four children – a high school freshman, a college freshman, and two adult children.

“I have unbelievable kids,” he said.  “They’re good students.  Good people all-around.  “They overwhelm me with what they’ve been able to accomplish.”

“You can’t be their best friend, but they have to know there is unconditional love.”

When he is not at work, Kennedy enjoys spending time with his family and being active in his church community.

About City Mission:  For over 75 years, City Mission has sheltered, healed, and restored the homeless to independent living—without discrimination. City Mission’s comprehensive program addresses both short-term needs like food and shelter, and long-term needs, including drug and alcohol counseling, mental health and medical treatment, legal aid, and employment training. City Mission’s goal is to help each man, woman, mother with children, or veteran who walks through our doors to become a healthy, productive member of society. With your help, we can help our residents renew their lives.

June 19, 2020
Gary Porter - Communications Manager
Gary Porter
Communications Manager
Gary has been with the mission since 2017. He writes many of our resident stories, getting to know many of them and seeing their transformations at the mission from the start.

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