Brynne Shanahan Kennedy
Brynne Shanahan Kennedy
|Brynne Shanahan Kennedy|
|Born||February 29, 1984|
|🏡 Residence||Roseville, California, U.S.|
|🎓 Alma mater||Yale University|
London Business School
Brynne Shanahan Kennedy is an American entrepreneur, philanthropist, author and public speaker. She founded Topia, a talent mobility software suite that companies use to move employees between roles and locations, and currently serves as chairwoman of the board of directors. Kennedy is also founder of Mobility4All, a philanthropic initiative that supports people impacted by poverty, conflict and climate change. Kennedy was an elite gymnast for the United States. Kennedy currently lives in Roseville, California and is running for Congress in California's 4th Congressional District (Cite: www.brynneforcongress.com)
Kennedy was born on February 29, 1984 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts to Alan Victor Kennedy and Katherine Shanahan Kennedy. Alan Kennedy was an amateur playwright and theater professor at Berkshire Community College. Katherine Kennedy is an entrepreneur and small business owner in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. She started her store, Out of Hand, in 1972.
Kennedy attended Berkshire Country Day School in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and Pittsfield High School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University, where she learned Mandarin Chinese and wrote her thesis on Chinese economic history. Kennedy is the first person in her family to attend an Ivy League school, and her father, Alan, was the first person in his family to attend college, funding his education through service in the ROTC. Kennedy earned an MBA from London Business School, where she graduated with a concentration in entrepreneurial management.
Growing up, Kennedy was an elite gymnast. for the United States. She started gymnastics at age 8 at Berkshire Gymnastics in Pittsfield, Massachusetts and then trained at Daggett Gymnastics in Agawam, Massachusetts and at New England Gymnastics Express in Newington, Connecticut. Kennedy was a three-time Massachusetts State Champion and qualified as an elite gymnast at age 13.
Kennedy competed as a junior national elite gymnast in 1998 and 1999, placing 9th All Around at the 1998 American Classic and 11th All Around at the 1998 US Challenge. Kennedy then qualified to the US National Training Squad, where she competed at the National Gym Festival placing 15th All Around and winning the team competition as a part of the East Team. After tearing two ligaments in her ankle, Kennedy finished her gymnastics career at Yale University, where she won four Varsity Letters, two Ivy League Championships and the Athletic Department’s Thomas W. Ford Graduation Award for Community Service
After graduating from Yale, Kennedy worked as an investment banker at Lehman Brothers in Hong Kong and India. After Lehman Brothers, Kennedy worked in real estate private equity at Standard Chartered based in Singapore. Kennedy founded MOVE Guides (now Topia) in 2010 while earning her MBA at London Business School, raising an angel investment round before graduating. The idea for MOVE Guides stemmed from Kennedy’s frustration working across locations while in finance and her belief that connecting people creates shared understanding and empathy. After extensive research, Kennedy identified that globalization, demographic changes and technology disruption would change the nature of work and make talent mobility software critical for companies and individuals. MOVE Guides originally focused on providing software and services for relocations. In 2017, the company shifted to provide relocation services only via partners and accelerated the development of its talent mobility software suite. MOVE Guides acquired Estonian software company Teleport in 2017 and Polaris Global Mobility (based in Bellevue, Washington) in 2018. In April 2018, MOVE Guides rebranded as Topia, introducing a comprehensive talent mobility software suite. Kennedy has led Topia as CEO since its inception. Under her leadership, Topia has grown to more than 100 customers and raised more than $100 million dollars in venture capital funding.
Kennedy founded Mobility4All in 2016 to support efforts to relieve the refugee crisis. She visited refugee camps in France and Greece, forming a partnership with nonprofit HelpRefugees to support humanitarian initiatives for those in the camps and pledging support from MOVE Guides. Members of MOVE Guides’ team have volunteered with HelpRefugees in Calais, France. Kennedy is a member of the Founders Pledge, committing 2% of her exit proceeds from Topia to philanthropy.
Recognition and awards
Kennedy is frequently recognized as a leading entrepreneur. In 2016, she won Entrepreneur of the Year in the Women of the Future Awards, Women in IT Awards and was a part of Management Today’s 35 Under 35. In 2017, she was named a Workforce Game Changer, one of 25 people changing HR, won Entrepreneur of the Year in the Stevie Awards and won the Worldwide Employee Relocation Council’s Meritorious Service Award for contributions to the global mobility industry. Kennedy has also won London Business School’s Distinguished Alumni Entrepreneur Award.
Writing and speaking
Kennedy has written a monthly column in the Financial Times called “Millennial vs. Boomer,” where she debated workplace issues with FT columnist and Edinburgh Business School Dean Heather McGregor (also known as “Mrs. Moneypenny”). Kennedy teaches a class at Stanford GSB on the Future of Work as a part of Rob Siegel and Jeff Immelt’s course, The Digital Industrialist. Kennedy is a member of TechNet, which advocates for policies for innovation and the future of work, and of ReadyNation, which advocates for funding for an accurate 2020 Census. Kennedy is currently working on a book due out in Fall 2019 with McGraw-Hill.
Kennedy was married from 2010-2016. She has no children and divorced in 2016. She is a passionate advocate of equality in and out of the home, and speaks openly about the challenges she faced balancing her career and marriage.
- "Pittsfield native top female tech exec". The Berkshire Eagle. December 21, 2018. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- "CEO steps down; will chair board". The Berkshire Eagle. February 7, 2019. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- "Brynne Kennedy". CrunchBase. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
- Cohan, Peter (March 28, 2018). "How 3 Successful Leaders Scale $100 Million Companies". Inc.
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- HINE, TOMMY (September 25, 1998). "POTENTIAL GROWS WITH GYMNAST". Hartford Courant.
- Deanne, Hoover (February 23, 1998). "Newcomers Shine In American Challenge". Orlando Sentinel.
- "Junior National Elite, American Classic". USA Gymnastics. May–June 1998.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
- "U.S. Challenge". USA Gymnastics: 30-31. September–October 1998.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
- "National Gymnastics Festival". USA Gymnastics: 18-19. September–October 1998.CS1 maint: Date format (link)
- "Yale Seeks Second Straight Ivy Title". Yale University Athletics. Retrieved September 5, 2003.
- "Kennedy Among Individuals Honored at the Senior Varsity Dinner". Yale University Athletics. Retrieved May 17, 2006.
- Parrella-Aureli, Ariel (June 26, 2017). "2017 Game Changer: Brynne Kennedy". Workforce.
- Staff Writer (October 24, 2018). "Optimal Mobile Workforce Management: An Interview with Brynne Kennedy of Topia". HR Technologist.
- Sommer, Brian (April 3, 2017). "digibyte – MOVE Guides moving on up as it acquires Teleport". Diginomica.
- Lunden, Ingrid. "MOVE Guides acquires Polaris Global Mobility to expand services for expats and relocation". TechCrunch.
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