The Nashville Predators have named Michelle Kennedy President & Alternate Governor, effective immediately. She will also continue to serve as Chief Operating Officer of the Predators, Bridgestone Arena and SS&E.
In her new role, Kennedy will lead the franchise’s day-to-day business operations, while collaborating with CEO Sean Henry on all major initiatives for the arena, SS&E, the team, partners, events and the lifeblood of the organization – its fans. Kennedy’s focus on the daily demands of the business will allow Henry to focus on the organization as a whole, while working with current Chairman Herb Fritch, incoming Chairman Bill Haslam and Nashville Predators General Manager Barry Trotz on advancing Bridgestone Arena venue redevelopment plans and external growth opportunities for the organization.
“We are pleased to elevate Michelle to the positions of President and Alternate Governor today,” says Fritch. “Speaking for the ownership group, we have great confidence in Michelle’s ability to lead the day-to-day business operations of the organization – she has proven that to us in her 15-plus years with the Predators in her various roles. Additionally, I applaud Michelle for her tireless work ethic, her dedication to our employees and for her commitment to the Nashville community and our fans. She is going to be a great President for all of us.”
Kennedy started with the organization as an intern before joining the Predators in March of 2008 as the franchise’s first in-house counsel. Also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), she took on the responsibilities of Chief Financial Officer for the Predators and Powers Management in 2010 in addition to serving as General Counsel. In 2017, Kennedy was named the organization’s Chief Operating Officer. She also serves as Chair for the Predators Foundation, one of the leading nonprofit organizations in Middle Tennessee.
“It has been a privilege to be a part of this organization for the last 15 years,” says Kennedy. “My earliest memories in this organization are of our ownership group acquiring a struggling franchise to prevent relocation; the progress we have made since then, becoming a core part of this community, an award-winning venue and a true hockey town, is extremely gratifying. With that said, I know that the best is yet to come, and that is what excites me the most.
“I am so appreciative of the trust that Sean and our owners have put in me over the years and for the confidence that this change in my role demonstrates. Sean has led our organization to a place of prominence in our industry, and I couldn’t be happier than I am to continue our work together. Tom Cigarran and Herb Fritch in their roles as past Chairman and current Chairman, have led an ownership group that has invested their time and resources to do what they set out to do in 2007… create something very special for this community; I’m proud and grateful to be a part of it.”
Kennedy, who earned undergraduate and law degrees from Vanderbilt University, began her career as an auditor at KPMG International, an advisory, audit and tax services company. She then worked for six years as Associate Director of Athletics for Vanderbilt, overseeing business operations, marketing and corporate sponsorship development. She joined the Predators after completing law school and earning a Juris Doctorate from Vanderbilt in 2007.
“Michelle and I have been working side-by-side for several years and this promotion is very well deserved,” says Henry. “She is one of the most hard-working, talented business professionals in our industry and she has absolutely earned this opportunity. I, and every member of the organization, look forward to continuing to work with Michelle, with a collective focus on driving great experiences and engagement for our Season Ticket Citizens and each of our event guests. This is great news for Smashville!”
In addition to being named to the Sports Business Journal’s “Game Changers Class of 2018,” Kennedy was a finalist for the Nashville Business Journal’s CFO of the Year in 2015 and was featured in Nashville Lifestyles Magazine’s Top 10 Women in Business in 2016. Recently, she was named a Nashville Business Journal Woman of Influence for 2023. In addition to chairing the Predators Foundation board, she currently serves on the boards of the Nashville Humane Society and the YWCA of Middle Tennessee.
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