15 Minutes with Pam Kenn LB’19

15 Minutes with Pam Kenn

We recently sat down with Pam Kenn LB’2019, Senior Vice President of Community, Alumni, and Player Relations for the Boston Red Sox, for our latest “15 Minutes With” interview. Pam spoke about her LeadBoston experience, her career, and the importance of inclusion in a male-dominated industry. 

Can you tell us about your experience in LeadBoston and how it has impacted your career path?  

Participating in LeadBoston, without exaggeration, changed the way I walk through the world both professionally and personally.  I humbly learned what it meant to embrace discomfort, how to listen actively and without judgment, the importance of meeting people where they are, and how being vulnerable opens you up to new relationships and opportunities to learn and grow.  It has made me a more inclusive and compassionate leader, while also strengthening my convictions and confidence when taking stands on issues or for people who need support. 

The experience opened my eyes to the many wonderful and expansive changes in our city, while also shining a light on the challenges and inequities that still exist.  We have come so far but still have many gaps to close and finding a role in making change can be hard, but it is necessary to move forward. 

What are a few of your most meaningful milestones since you participated in LeadBoston?  

Since participating in the program, I partnered with my colleagues in the Red Sox organization to form the Social Justice, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Council whose work is aimed at making the Boston Red Sox organization one of belonging, diversity, and opportunity both internally and externally with the ultimate goal of making Fenway Park a welcoming an environment for all.  I have also taken a deeper look into ways I can personally effect change in my community and have joined new non-profit boards to see how I can make more substantial and lasting impact in the lives of others. 

This will be your last year with the Red Sox. What are your future plans?   

In the short term, I will use the time away from the club to reset and reprioritize.  When you are in the thick of the baseball seasons for half of your life, it can be hard to take a step back and see the big picture.  For nearly 25 years, work came first over all other aspects of my life, and I am looking forward to figuring out what is next, where my experience and skills will take me, and finding the right balance between my career and my family. 

What did you learn about leadership during your career with the Red Sox that you’ll bring with you?            

My time with the Red Sox has taught me that being a leader isn’t about telling people what to do and how to do it; it is about getting to know your people and putting them in a position to succeed.  It is about making decisions based on what is best for the organization, not for the growth of individuals.  And that you can get all of the education and “hard skills” for the position you hold, but often following your gut and your instincts is just as important. 

During your career, how has professional sports become more equitable and inclusive? And what changes would you like to see in the future?  

Over the last 24 years, I have seen firsthand the growth of women in leadership roles throughout the sports industry both in C-suite level positions and on the field of play.  More and more women are being hired in traditionally male-dominated (and previously male-exclusive) areas throughout sports at all levels.  And the rise in the popularity of women’s sports is exciting and long overdue, and I will enjoy watching it grow for years to come. 

We have also seen an increase in sports organizations facing social issues head on as well as self-reflection in the areas of DEI&B.  We are seeing heritage being celebrated in more meaningful and public ways at sports arenas, the establishment of employee resource groups and more inclusive hiring practices becoming the norm in front offices, and more openness and accountability than ever before.   

How have you stayed connected with other LeadBoston alums? 

My LeadBoston cohort was exceptional, and I have not only stayed in touch with many of them, but I have engaged in community partnerships and collaboration with several.  I have visited with them at Red Sox games, volunteered for or contributed to their non-profit organizations, and consulted with them on projects. But more than the professional relationships, I have developed friendships that will last me a lifetime and I look forward to tapping into the experience and knowledge of this well-rounded group to help guide me with the next phase of my career. 

About LeadBoston 

Our signature leadership program, LeadBoston, supports all individual participants as they create and implement a leadership commitment. This leadership commitment is an action plan that confronts some of the systemic inequities they’ve learned about and that are showing up in their organization. This plan, and the collective LeadBoston experience, empowers leaders to create meaningful change in their workplaces, in their communities, and in the city of Boston itself. Staff work alongside alums for a year following the program to ensure participants have what they need to see their plan through.

Applications for the LeadBoston class of 2025 open on May 31!  Click here to learn more.