Alumni Spotlight: Everett Kenyatta, Co-founder, Managing Partner, and COO, Grovider, Board of Directors, Lantern Theater Company; Education Committee member, Business on Board Alum, 2018

Rebellion takes on many forms. As a teenager, my rebellious nature was much like a tornado—simply showing up randomly and leaving destruction in its wake.  As an adult and business leader, I have learned to be much more strategically rebellious.  This is what led me to the Chamber’s Arts + Business Council and, eventually, Business on Board.

In elementary school I played the trombone in the school band. In addition, I learned to play the autoharp, xylophone, and triangle. In junior high school I was cast as Romeo in our 8th grade homage to Shakespeare. These experiences are now decades in the past but are no less unforgettable. They have helped to shape me…my love of Glenn Miller, Fred Wesley, Trombone Shorty, and the often ambiguous and humorous language of Shakespeare. Fast forward, these experiences have largely disappeared from public schools. I want to see that change. How?  Join the board of an organization that is philosophically aligned, and help that organization do the work of expanding arts education to Philadelphia’s children. Strategic rebellion.

In 2018, I was sold on Business on Board and how the program could offer me not only membership in the board of a non-profit arts organization, but also the knowledge and skills to best bring my value to that board. The knowledge was priceless. The Law & Ethics: Board Roles & Responsibilities segment was overwhelmingly the most intellectually challenging, but the panel discussions—one led by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance and another led by several non-profit Executive Directors—proved to be the most enlightening.

After a short observership, Philadelphia’s Lantern Theater Company and I chose each other because of a shared commitment to bring arts education to Philadelphia school students. Lantern’s award-winning education program includes everything from classroom performances of Shakespeare plays to Act 48: Continuing Professional Education for teachers.

Business on Board should be the program of choice for any professional who wants to commit to substantively supporting the arts in Philadelphia. The knowledge gained will not only make one a more productive board member, but it will also serve to enhance overall leadership skills. Additionally, the extraordinary presenters and cohort members will prove to be an invaluable network of thought partners, colleagues, and friends. The health of Philadelphia’s arts organizations rests with the care of people willing to provide strategic and financial support. For those interested in taking up the mantle—being strategically rebellious—Business on Board is the first step.

Everett Kenyatta is an innovative business leader who combines risk, strategy, and planning to create positive outcomes.  He is the Co-founder, Managing Partner, and Chief Operating Officer of Grovider, a tech-enabled knowledge management consulting firm, in addition to being the owner of the newly formed Kenyatta Company, a residential real estate management firm. He is a graduate of Central High School of Philadelphia and received both his undergraduate business degree and MBA from Rosemont College.

Business On Board

Business on Board trains professionals in nonprofit board service and matches them with arts and culture nonprofits seeking board candidates.

With a comprehensive program led by local experts in the sector, participants are equipped with the knowledge, strategies and tools to maximize their effectiveness and understanding of board leadership. Business on Board is the only program in the Greater Philadelphia area that focuses on the unique needs of the local arts and culture sector and offers a robust observership experience that lasts anywhere from a few months to a year. Professionals seeking to serve on a board and those already serving on a board are welcome to participate.

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