Your voice is the most precious tool that you possess. The moment you realize the power in your voice, is the moment you become powerful. This is a motto that Kendra repeats daily to herself before she speaks to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. Kendra currently serves as the Business Resource Manager at World Business Chicago for their newest initiative ChiBizHub. ChiBizHub is a free online platform that allows entrepreneurs the ability to connect to resources to start, scale and grow their businesses. As a Business Resource Manager, Kendra is able to educate, encourage and empower entrepreneurs and business owners across the Chicagoland area. Overtime, Kendra has developed a broad range of experiences across various sectors, public, private, and non-profit, that contributes to her resource work at World Business Chicago. Primarily, Kendra serves as a liaison to businesses and entrepreneurs by connecting them to vital resources locally such as local chamber of commerce, educational and governmental institutions. Immediately prior to working at World Business Chicago, Kendra was the Public Engagement Coordinator at the Office of the Mayor for the City of Chicago under Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s administration. During her time in the Mayor’s Office, Kendra served as a liaison between constituents and several city departments to resolve ongoing concerns in a precise manner. Kendra was also instrumental in forming block club initiatives, public safety bridge meetings and community lunches across the City of Chicago. These initiatives allowed residents and stakeholders to share their stories with government officials, become more informed on city programs and allowed a safe space for brainstorming sessions to occur. Before working in the Mayor’s Office, Kendra worked as a legislative aide for Alderman Walter Burnett, Jr. who serves as Alderman of the 27th Ward. In this role Kendra was able to assist residents across the ward with housing issues and/or concerns. Kendra was also instrumental in organizing job fairs for constituents of the 27th Ward.
Kendra has also spent over 6 years working in leadership roles at Best Buy’s Distribution Center and U.S. Cellular. In both organizations, Kendra was able to effectively coach and develop associates by using a performance based model to drive results. In addition, Kendra was able to create workshops and trainings to increase morale, diversity, technical knowledge and business acumen among leadership and agents.
A native Chicagoan, Kendra grew up on the Near North Side where she currently resides. She has a BA in Sociology from DePaul University and a MA in Human Resource Management from Keller Graduate School of Management. Kendra Thomas is the Co-Founder and Director of Community Engagement & Recruitment for Focus Fairies Mentoring, NFP where she ensures that the organization is focused on facilitating communication, involvement, service, interaction and acquiring quality talent with the community. Kendra’s passion for mentorship, coaching and development fueled her to partner with Kenya Conley and Darryca Brim-Mims to create a safe place for young women. Kendra has previously served as the Vice Chair of the Cook County Young Democrats and Chairman of the 27th Ward Young Democrats. Kendra is also a member of Sigma Beta Delta International Honor Society. Currently, Kendra serves as a Young Professional Mentor in the inaugural class for the Global Youth Ambassadors Leadership Program with Chicago Sister Cities International-World Business Chicago.