Member Monday Bio – Kendra DeCoste

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Name: Kendra Decoste
Current JLSD role/placement: Action Learning Team (ALT) Chair
Number of years in the Junior League of San Diego: 9

Kendra is a native Californian, but also is a “military brat,” and has lived somewhere new every three years. She hasn’t been in any other Leagues; she moved to San Diego 9 years ago and joined JLSD right away! First introduced to the Junior League by her mom’s love of cookbooks, Kendra’s sister briefly served in the Junior League of Las Vegas and currently serves in the military. Currently, Kendra works as a global alliance marketing manager for a tech company up in the Bay area called VMware, so she works remotely from home. Kendra has been in tech marketing from the start of her career and has managed marketing for five of the top ten software companies. Currently, she manages a $6M marketing budget and work with two of our alliances (Dell and Intel) planning joint marketing programs in America, Europe, and Asia Pacific/Japan. She is on the phone for 6 hours a day on conference calls with other countries – in her pajamas or exercise gear. Kendra says, “If they ever mandate video conferencing, I am seriously in trouble!”

Describe your involvement in the League and why you got involved.
I had just moved to San Diego, didn’t know anyone yet and thought it would be a great place to meet some women who also care about the community they live in. It was! I wasn’t aware at that time of all the training and leadership opportunities that would be available to me but have taken advantage of that as much as possible over the years.

Do you have a favorite placement?
I have two – Nominating, because it was a small group of internal leaders I enjoyed working with and reaching out inside the League, and Impact Co-Chair, as it was fun working on a lot of different community volunteer projects and seeing our impact in San Diego.

Tell us about your current placement?
I chose this placement because I was on the ALT committee last year and wanted to continue to work on the JLSD policies and procedures to see it through to completion this year. Our team helps the Board of Directors and the EMT to revise the current JLSD policies and create a set of operational procedures to ensure that all members have a searchable, easy-to-refer-to document that they can follow for guidance when executing any JLSD activity. My favorite part of this placement is working within the leadership teams and ensuring our policies are clear and concise. This placement is important for our League because our policies are a set of rules to follow, so ensuring they are up to date is a good governance practice. I hope everyone utilizes the policies and procedures document once it’s completed, and finds it a useful resource.

What advice do you have for other members about choosing a meaningful placement?
My advice is to make sure you try out a placement in all areas of the League so you can get out of your box a bit and hopefully find something you really enjoy doing.

What have you learned and/or gained from being a member of the League?
So many different leadership skills (always a work in progress!), knowledge about how to run a committee meeting/Marketing council/etc., and the interesting process and division of governance and management.

What JL committee position or project did you find most beneficial to your personal and/or professional growth?
Marketing Director – it was difficult to juggle with work but a great growth experience for me.

What’s been your favorite GMM location and/or speaker?
My favorite GMM location was the Braille institute, and my favorite speaker was hearing some former foster children that were part of the CASA program speak about their experiences.

Finish this sentence: Being a member of the Junior League inspires me…to help others.

What do you love about being a member of Junior League?
The camaraderie that happens when you have a common goal of helping others in your community.

Any advice for members?
Involve yourself in as much as you are able to – you will enjoy the League so much more.

Tell us about your family.
I have a husband Bill, a cat named Kitty, and a German shepherd named Jordan and of course love them all! We have lived in North Park for the past 9 and ½ years. My parents recently retired and moved back to the San Diego area so we enjoy spending time with them, and my brother in law moved here from Boston and just opened a restaurant in North Park so that’s been a fun new project.

What activities do you enjoy outside of Junior League?
Exercising, hiking, and traveling.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Alexanders in North Park

Who is your favorite sports team?
I’m not really in to sports, but my husband is – enough for both of us and then some, so by default, the New England Patriots and the Red Sox.

What is your favorite quote?
“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart”- Helen Keller

One of your favorite websites and why?
Google – it knows almost everything!

Fun fact or something unique about yourself? Something people could be surprised to know about you?
I love kickboxing!

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