Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Sacramento Steps Forward

KAI Partners Staff Profile: President & CEO, David Kendall

Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Community Service, Corporate Training, Entrepreneurship, Front Street Animal Shelter, KAI Partners, KAI Partners Staff Profile, Learning, Managing/Leadership, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Professional Development, Program Management, Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward, Servant Leadership, Small Business, Training, WEAVE, Workforce Development

There are many paths to success and while not everyone takes the same path, we often manage to arrive at the same destination. In our KAI Partners Staff Profile series, we share interviews and insight from some of our own employees here at KAI Partners. Our staff brings a diversity in education, professional, and life experience, all of which demonstrate that the traditional route is not necessarily the one that must be traveled in order to achieve success.

Today, we bring you the journey of our very own President & CEO, David Kendall! David founded KAI Partners in 2003. As our President & CEO, he is a managing director for the organization, as well as service delivery lead for a number of our clients.

KAI Partners, Inc.: How did you get into your line of work?

David: I spent nine years in the U.S. Air Force performing a technical role related to electronic warfare. At the same time, I was finishing up my undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems from University of Maryland University College. After the Air Force and graduating from college, I worked for several different companies in project manager and program manager roles.

KAI: Are there any certifications or trainings you’ve gone through that have helped in your career?

David: I have my Project Management Professional (PMP)®, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM®), and Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO®) certifications. I’ve found that certifications give us a common language to talk about a particular domain. They provide a framework to execute tasks in a specific order to achieve an outcome. They also provide a professional community and opportunities for community service.

KAI: What is your favorite part about your line of work and why?

David: For clients, my favorite part of my job is providing solutions to business problems. Helping solve problems means I can really see the value for our customers, partners, and our staff. My favorite part of being a small business President & CEO is individual and team development.

KAI: What is one of the most common questions you receive from clients and what counsel or advice do you give them?

David: I frequently get asked by clients, “How do I manage change across my organization?” I recommend building coalitions, identifying change agents, and including these people in the process early and often. Internally, I sometimes get the ‘What’s in it for me?’ question. I think it’s important to communicate why we do what we do and how this relates back to all aspects of a person’s work—their own development, the team’s development, our community, and our customers.

At the end of the day, our goal is to help provide more reliable services to Californians, so it’s important to keep this at the forefront.

Now that we’ve learned more about David’s background and current work as both consultant and KAI Partners’ President & CEO, here’s a little more about him!

Quick Q&A with David Kendall:

Daily, must-visit website: For work, I visit Asana.com. It’s a flexible work management tool that allows the team to create a set of business rules so everyone can work successfully. For news and information, I go to the New York Times, LinkedIn, and—of course—social media sites.

Preferred genre of music or podcast to listen to: The most recent audiobook I listened to was “Lab Rats: How Silicon Valley Made Work Miserable for the Rest of Us,” by Dan Lyons. I read this for the bi-monthly KAI Book Club. The book club is a newer endeavor for us internally. I’ve enjoyed the participation and a diversity of perspectives and thought-provoking discussion that comes out of our meetings. We also have a resident mixologist who creates thematic cocktails based on each book!

Best professional advice received: “Leaders are not appointed.” Another piece of advice I received is simply said (but not always simply done), and that is: Manage expectations. I’ve found that this applies to any management job at any level.

Book you can read over and over again: Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio.

Most-recent binge-watched show: “Letterkenny” on Hulu.

About David: Mr. Kendall’s career serving the public sector includes key consulting positions for various health and human services agencies. Mr. Kendall supports a number of community partners in the Sacramento region, including WEAVE, Sacramento Steps Forward, and Front Street Animal Shelter. In his spare time, David enjoys playing golf and cooking.

What IF Conference Recap

Alpen Technology Group, Community Service, Conferences, Event Recap, Healthcare, Information Security, Information Technology, Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward, Systems Engineer, Technology, WEAVE, What IF Conference


Photo Credit: Impact Foundry/What IF Conference

By David Baker, CSM

I recently attended the What IF Conference along with a KAI Partners colleague. This event was sponsored by the Impact Foundry and took place at the McClellan Conference Center.

The sold-out event brought together non-profits and service providers from across the region to network and share best practices.

This year’s theme focused on creating sustainable community change, which demands increased collaboration across the non-profit community and increased investment by funders.

Dan Pallotta, a renowned public speaker whose TED Talk is the most viewed in the history of the series, served as Keynote. His presentation brought to light the hypocrisy of society’s expectations of non-profits’ effectiveness and impact while limiting their ability to fundraise, increase overhead costs in order to scale, and attract talent by offering competitive salaries not common in the corporate world (where salaries are inflated and impact is questionable).

As an IT Professional who provides Managed IT Services to small businesses and non-profit organizations, it was interesting to me to learn that IT is low on the priority list of non-profits and yet can yield the most value and ROI.

The What IF Conference provided an excellent opportunity to meet non-profit leaders and discuss the benefits of IT and how it can help them meet their goals. For example, a smooth-running IT infrastructure can help non-profits serve the community faster and more efficiently by:

  • Establishing network uptime, so clients can always reach you;
  • Keeping computers updated with the latest Microsoft patches so employees don’t lose productivity due to a slow computer; and
  • Increasing network security to prevent network breaches or virus attacks.

One panel that focused on the value of IT was Mini City, a start-up based in Atlanta, Georgia, that provides a platform dedicated to serving the homeless population in the area.

Mini City is technology-driven and is a great example of how technology can help non-profits and their customers. To date, Mini City has secured 500 Near Field Communication-enabled wristbands. Like Fitbit, this is wearable technology and serves as an identification tool for homeless residents and a connection to services at no charge to them. I thought it was awesome to see how technology is used to help the homeless.

In our local region, KAI Partners staff have participated in the Sacramento Steps Forward Homeless Point-In-Time (PIT) counts, which helped gain a better understanding of the structure and data recuperated during an event like the PIT count. We also support key healthcare services through our work with healthcare-focused state agencies, and support non-profits like WEAVE to be more productive and effectively serve their community through our managed IT and consulting services.

KAI Partners strives to support systems with our IT and consulting services so that we can assure our vulnerable communities are getting the most from the talented non-profit staff who work tirelessly to provide services to them.

About the Author: Mr. Baker has 11 years of experience in IT ranging from help desk to network/systems engineer and working with different technologies such as Cisco, SonicWALL, Dell, VMware, and Microsoft. Mr. Baker currently works for KAI Partners as a Systems Engineer, helping clients meet their IT needs. For fun, Mr. Baker enjoys enjoy BBQing, photography, and fitness.

Giving Tuesday: Sacramento Edition

Community Service, First Responder Support Network, Front Street Animal Shelter, Giving Tuesday, River City Food Bank, Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward, The WorkShop, WEAVE

Happy #GivingTuesday, Sacramento! With Thanksgiving behind us, we’re now officially in the holiday season. We always want to keep our eye on what’s important, which is why we wanted to highlight some of our favorite charitable organizations in the Sacramento area—and, we’d love for you to share your favorite community service organizations with us, as well!

WEAVE, Inc.: WEAVE is the primary provider of crisis intervention services for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault in Sacramento County.

Sacramento Steps Forward: Sacramento Steps Forward is a nonprofit organization committed to ending homelessness in our region through collaboration, innovation, and connecting people to services.

First Responder Support Network: The mission of the First Responder Support Network (FRSN) is to provide educational treatment programs to promote recovery from stress and critical incidents experienced by first responders and their families.

River City Food Bank: River City Food Bank’s mission is to alleviate hunger in Sacramento County by providing healthy emergency food and other assistance.

Have canned goods to donate? The WorkShop Sacramento is home to a River City Food Bank donation bin this season—stop by 3301 C St. #1000 with your non-perishables!

Front Street Animal Shelter: The Front Street Animal Shelter not only cares for lost and abandoned animals in our community, they also provide a variety of services that protect both citizens and animals.

Happy #GivingTuesday!

Community Service Profile: Sacramento Steps Forward

Community Service, Organization Development (OD), Sacramento, Sacramento Steps Forward

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Image credit: Sacramento Steps Forward

KAI Partners is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all who live in the Sacramento area. To that end, we have been working closely with Sacramento Steps Forward (SSF), a local 501c3 organization which works to end homelessness in the Sacramento Region.

We have been working regularly with SSF on a variety of activities, including facilitating the SSF Board Retreat and facilitating board member engagement for their envisioned growth in the region. We are confident that helping SSF from the inside will result in helping SSF’s cause externally, as well.

According to Kris Lea, KAI Partners’ Organization Development (OD) expert, the work that SSF does is unique because it involves multiple organizations, such as businesses, churches, and all levels of government. Kris says, “OD is a field of practice that helps individuals, teams, and organizations be more effective. Although most frequently OD is applied to one company, the values and techniques are applicable to the type of social change work that SSF is doing to end homelessness.”

Looking ahead, KAI Partners is excited about SSF’s expansion of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a software program that works as a homeless information database by matching people who are homeless with appropriate levels of housing. SSF hopes to soon partner with other cities in the region to expand this system and help even more people in need.

We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with a compassionate organization like SSF to help give back to our community. To learn more about Sacramento Steps Forward, or to get involved yourself, please visit http://sacramentostepsforward.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoStepsForward/