Denver native Kendra Sandoval is the eldest of four siblings that grew up on the Northside. She was steeped from an early age in local/state politics and social justice issues. Her first job was washing ‘hojas’ for tamales. From there, she moved up to tamale maker alongside her Gramma at La Casita, her family’s thriving Tamale business, and a 40+ year Denver institution.
Kendra began teaching special education at Denver’s Baker Middle School, while serving as an appointee as the Northwest Denver Community Liaison for Mayor Webb. Three years later, she earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University. As part of her Master’s thesis, Sandoval designed and implemented an environmental leadership curriculum for students at Denver’s Lake Middle School. After graduation from Naropa, Mayor John Hickenlooper appointed her to staff the Greenprint Denver initiative, the City of Denver’s earliest sustainability program. In 2007, Kendra created the role of Outreach Director for the Alliance for Sustainable Colorado at the Alliance Center, the first-of-its-kind, multi-tenant, nonprofit center headquartered in Downtown Denver.
In 2011, Kendra was one of seven paid staff on Michael Hancock’s first mayoral campaign where she connected Hancock with Latino and sustainability voters throughout Denver. Mayor Hancock then appointed her to serve as Denver’s Director of Community Affairs. There, she co-designed a local social enterprise-training program for the working class poor with manufacturing of local goods to be distributed throughout the Denver economy.
After serving in the Hancock administration, Kendra left to found Sandoval & Sandoval, LLC., a MWBE-certified political consulting and sustainability firm, specializing in community organizing/engagement and empowering Latinos and other marginalized constituencies to connect with and engage in local public and political processes. As CEO Kendra recruited and mobilized over 900 volunteers to staff hundreds of community concerts, festivals, and events for the Scientific & Cultural Facilities District (SCFD) Reauthorization Campaign. Concurrently, she developed a climate change curriculum and taught the staff at the Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in the areas of climate education, outreach, recruitment, rapid response media, and facts dissemination. At this same time, she ran a yearlong series of job fairs for people pursuing employment at Denver International Airport.
In 2019 Kendra left Denver to serve as Director of Community Affairs, Student Development and Leadership for the University of Santa Barbara, California for Associated Students, a 501c3 funded for and by the students. In the midst of this brand new career, leading a 400 student organization, with a staff of 32, one weekend in July at her high school reunion, she found herself falling in love with her soulmate. Seven months later and unknowingly days before COVID changed the world, she returned to Denver.
Today, Kendra is the CEO of SSLLC and is an accomplished one-of-a-kind program and campaign strategist and Consultant. In 2020, she wrote and published the book Rest, Listen, Love – Learn to Live Joyfully With Chronic Pain, describing her fifteen year journey with bone on bone arthritis with which she created a seven practices program she uses for motivational online coaching. Kendra lives with her husband near Denver, Colorado. She loves hiking, camping, swimming, reading and traveling with her friends and family. You can find Kendra on Linkedin, Facebook, or at restlistenlove.com.
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