|Front Office Biographies|
E.G. (Ken) Kendrick
Managing General Partner
A charter member of the ownership group that brought baseball to the Valley of the Sun, Ken Kendrick's involvement in the general partnership took on added significance in 2004 when he assumed the role of Managing General Partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Kendrick has taken an active role in the day-to-day operation of the D-backs and is the organization's designated representative when Major League Baseball owners convene during the course of the year.
During his tenure as the Managing General Partner, the D-backs have twice captured the National League West Division (2007, '11), reaching the National League Championship series for just the second time in the franchise's existence in 2007. As a commitment to the fans, Kendrick and the D-backs' ownership group continue to reinvest all profits into the team, as the club's payroll this season will be its highest since 2002, the year after winning the World Series. Under Kendrick's leadership, through equity and debt restructures, the team has eliminated more than $180 million of debt, putting the franchise on sound financial ground for years to come.
Kendrick is entering his 11th season in his current role and during that time, the franchise has become a model organization in Major League Baseball, hosting an All-Star Game at Chase Field in 2011, opening a Spring Training facility that is widely considered the finest in all of baseball in Salt River Fields at Talking Stick and becoming one of the largest philanthropic entities in the Valley with charitable contributions topping $37 million since the organization's inception.
In 2013, ESPN the Magazine rated the D-backs as the No. 1 team in all of Major League Baseball in its Ultimate Standings, which gauges succcess both on and off the field.
While the D-backs are his primary business focus, Kendrick has also helped to change the face of downtown Phoenix, as he was a principal in the development of CityScape, Arizona's largest commercial/retail real estate development just footsteps from Chase Field.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from West Virginia University in 1965, Kendrick started his career with IBM. Three years later, he founded Datatel, Inc., which has become the worldwide leader in the development of computer software for the management of infrastructure technology for colleges, universities and foundations.
As Datatel continued to grow and prosper, Kendrick stepped down from the daily oversight of the company to explore new business opportunities. He served as President of a Texas-based financial services technology company for four years in the 1980s. In 1989, Kendrick became the principal investor in Woodforest National Bank in The Woodlands, Texas, which now is one of the nation's largest employee-owned banks. Woodforest National Bank, a $3.8 billion entity with 5,000 employees, is a subsidiary of Woodforest Financial Group, which was founded by Kendrick and also includes Merchants' Choice Credit Card Services and Par Real Estate.
Kendrick also owns Bumble Bee Ranch, which is devoted to providing western lifestyle experiences to children's charities throughout Arizona.
He is very active in many philanthropic endeavors, beginning with his role as Chairman of the Arizona Diamondbacks Foundation. The D-backs organization, combined with its Foundation, has surpassed the $37-million mark in combined charitable giving since its inception, including more than $11 million in the last three years. In 2011, Kendrick received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor from the National Ethnic Coalition (NECO). He and his wife, Randy, were previously named the Living and Giving Honorees for the Desert Southwest Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Kendrick also received the Visionary Award from the Foundation for Blind Children, Spirit of the Children Award from Childhelp USA, Today's Kids/Tomorrow's Stars honoree of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Phoenix, River Conservator of the Year by the Roaring Fork Conservancy and was named Man of the Year by the March of Dimes. He also serves on boards for various charities including the Barrow Neurological Institute, Brophy College Prep, the Phoenix Art Museum, The Buddy Program, Childhelp USA, UMOM New Day Centers, Challenger Center for Space Science Education, TGen Foundation, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Roaring Fork Conservancy, Phoenix Children's Hospital, Arizona Heart Foundation and is Founding Chairman of the Datatel Scholars Foundation.
As a prostate cancer survivor, Kendrick has made significant contributions over the years to fund research in that field and in 2013, the Cleveland Clinic created The Kendrick Family Chair for Prostate Cancer Research.
Among the other endowments funded by Kendrick are Project Excellence, an educational program for inner-city youth at Phoenix Country Day School (PCDS) whose mission is to enrich, engage and empower first-generation students (the first in their families to prepare for higher education) from local public schools and the Loyola Academy, which provides education to 6th, 7th and 8th graders at Brophy College Prep who demonstrate academic promise but have had limited educational opportunities. In addition, Kendrick has supported the Tuzos Soccer Club since 2009 to underwrite the team's expenses with costs for registration, field-use fees, uniforms and equipment. The Club allows players from low-income families the opportunity to play in high-level tournaments, where players can be seen by college and soccer coaches and have the opportunity to receive scholarships.
An avid baseball card collector his entire life, Kendrick revealed in 2010 that he purchased the famed 1909 T206 Honus Wagner card that was once owned by hockey great Wayne Gretzky. The Wagner card and 34 other iconic and rare baseball cards in Kendrick's collection, titled "The D-backs Collection," were previously displayed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
A native of Princeton, W.Va., Kendrick is an alumnus of West Virginia University in Morgantown and sits on the Board of Directors for the WVU Foundation. In 2013, he received an honorary doctorate from the university, considered higher education's most prestigious recognition. He is the founder of the Center for Free Enterprise at WVU and he and his wife have established programs at WVU's College of Business and Economics focused on free-market research and at the WVU Eye Institute to support children's vision outreach programs. Kendrick funded the WVU Hall of Traditions, which provides a first-class showcase for the tradition of Mountaineer football and serves as a recruiting focal point at WVU. In 2006, Kendrick was inducted into the state of West Virginia's Business Hall of Fame and was also named to the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni. In 2011, he was inducted into the inaugural Roll of Distinguished Alumni at WVU's College of Business and Economics. He also sits on an advisory board of the University of Charleston in Charleston, W.Va., where he received an honorary Doctorate degree in 2005.
Kendrick and his wife founded the Freedom Center at the University of Arizona to promote, along four dimensions, the understanding and appreciation of the ideals of freedom and responsibility via published research, undergraduate education, graduate education, and community outreach. The Freedom Center also endows the Kendrick Chair in Philosophy and Economics.
In 2014, Kendrick will be inducted into the Sigma Nu fraternity national Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed upon less than 60 people in the nearly 150-year history of the organization. Among those enshrined are "Bear" Bryant, Pat Riley, Archie and Eli Manning, Harrison Ford, broadcasters Al Michaels and Joe Buck, as well as former Major League managers Dick Howser and Dallas Green.
Kendrick will also be honored this year with the prestigious Herman W. Lay Memorial Award by the Association of Private Enterprise Education, named for the former Chairman of the Board of Pepsi. The award honors individuals who have emulated the pattern of success and philanthropy that Lay lived while representing the best that the free enterprise system produces.
He, Randy and their two children, Cal and Catie, make their home in Paradise Valley, Ariz.
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