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Mark Kennedy  

Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Strategic Advisors LLC; Former Minnesota Representative

Mark Kennedy brings deep insights from his experiences in business, public service and global engagement to the podium. Kennedy has the unique perspective of being a first generation college graduate who has served at the lowest and highest levels of both business and government. Having traveled to nearly 40 countries over the last three decades, Kennedy has gained the insights of their business, political, military and civic leaders, as well as taxi drivers and people on the street.

"Kennedy doesn't ignore the elephant in the room; to the contrary, he looks it straight in the eye" -- John King, CNN News

During a 20 year business career, Mark went from selling bait at a gas station to being a senior executive with the Fortune 100 company now called Macys. Kennedy led 20,000 teammates at ShopKo, a multi-billion dollar retailer (subsidiary of SUPERVALU). He helped Pillsbury acquire Hagen Dazs and spread it around the globe.

From an internship at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to serving three terms in the United States Congress (2001-7), Mark knows the importance of each vote, having won his first election by 155 votes. As someone elected and reelected as a conservative in a light blue state like Minnesota, Kennedy understands the need to build bridges to advance common objectives. Mark led bills with twenty liberal Members of Congress and more than half of the liberal Members sponsored one of the bills that he authored. Kennedy also served as a Presidential appointee to the Advisory Committee on Trade Policy and Negotiations under both Presidents Bush and Obama.

Mark Kennedy has now returned to the private sector, first in a global role with Accenture, a leading consulting firm, and now serves as the Chief Executive Officer of Chartwell Strategic Advisors LLC.

I can count 'em on one hand the people who are brave enough to say, 'Here's what's coming guys!'" -- Glenn Beck

Kennedy is passionate about giving people power, choices and consequences and about the power of purple, attracting some liberal blues to join with conservative reds to dissolve the gridlock that threatens to suffocate your future and our country. In his speech "Purple People Power," he delivers ideas and images that make you think and make you laugh.

Mark has been instrumental in founding three lecture series -- the Minnesota Rough Riders, the Frontiers of Freedom Lecture Series at St. Johns University and the Economic Club of Minnesota.

Kennedy graduated from Pequot Lakes High School in 1975 and St. John's University in 1979. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant and went on to receive his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in 1983.

Kennedys business career prior to the U.S. Congress included working for The Pillsbury Company, assisting with their acquisition of Hagen-Dazs and arranging for financing to support their international expansion. As a senior executive at Federated Department Stores, he helped the company position itself for growth to become, as Macys, the worlds leading department store.

Kennedy graduated from Pequot Lakes High School in 1975 and St. John's University in 1979. He began his career as a Certified Public Accountant and went on to receive his M.B.A. from the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business in 1983.

Kennedys business career prior to the U.S. Congress included working for The Pillsbury Company, assisting with their acquisition of Hagen-Dazs and arranging for financing to support their international expansion. As a senior executive at Federated Department Stores, he helped the company position itself for growth to become, as Macys, the worlds leading department store.

Mark and Debbie, his wife of 30 years, have four successful and opinionated young adult children. When not traveling, they live in Watertown, Minnesota.

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