Wednesday, January 10, 2018

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David Kennedy named 2018 Grand Marshal

The York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade Committee is pleased to announce that David Kennedy will be the Grand Marshal of the 35th Annual York Saint Patrick’s Day Parade, to be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018, along Market Street in downtown York.

David is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of Aspire Ventures, LLC, a technology-focused venture capital firm.  The company was founded in 2013 by a group of successful entrepreneurs, operators, investors and philanthropists to create a new kind of business enterprise, combining the key elements of a dedicated tech company with those of an early stage venture capital firm. The company has acquired and invested in three principal technologies: mobile, machine learning, and cloud computing.  Its business model is to create companies, rather than products, and to invest technology, funding and a variety of other resources in order to accomplish transformative change and a positive societal impact, with a primary focus in the healthcare space.  Most recently, David was CEO of appMobi, Inc., whose development tools and cloud services platform enabled any web developer to create and deploy customized applications for smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices.  David had been an active “angel” investor in appMobi since 2007, and in February of 2013, the company sold its developer tools division to Intel Corp., and established a strategic partnership through which Intel offers appMobi’s entire complement of engagement and monetization cloud services to all Intel tool developers. 

Prior to his work with appMobi, he was CEO/Vice Chairman of Interep National Radio Sales in New York, and also served as CEO of Susquehanna Media Co., one of the largest and most well respected major market radio, cable and internet companies in the U.S., with whom he held positions for 33 years.  During the 1970s, David held various on-air and management positions at the company’s radio stations until being promoted in 1983 to Vice President Planning and Research for Susquehanna Radio Corp. In August of 1989, he was named Senior Vice President and assumed direct responsibility for several midwest stations while managing group planning and research operations for all Susquehanna stations. David has chaired, actively participated in, and received numerous accolades from the boards of directors of the National Association of Broadcasters, Radio Advertising Bureau, Broadcasters Foundation of America, and the Library of American Broadcasting Foundation among many others.

David is a graduate of the University of Toledo (OH) and he holds master’s and doctoral degrees from Bowling Green State University (OH).  He and his wife, Beverly, have three children and nine grandchildren.

Community Activities

            York County Community Foundation, Inc.
Former chairman, Board of Directors; chair, Management Assistance Committee

            American Red Cross
            Former chairman: Board of Directors and Executive Committee of American Red Cross, York County (PA) Chapter. Past member: Resolutions Committee, American Red Cross National Organization

            United Way of York County
            Former chairman, Board of Directors; Strategic Planning Committee

            Cultural Alliance of York Country
            Immediate Past Chairman, Board of Directors

            Leadership York
            Former member, Board of Directors; Former Mentor, Mentorship York program

            WITF Enterprises (Public Broadcasting, Harrisburg, PA)
            Member, Board of Directors

David Kennedy shares background on Irish Heritage

Ireland is a part of me through my father's side of the family.  Both of his parents were born and raised in Ireland, his father from Pettigo in County Donegal and his mother from Enniskillen in County Fermanagh.  My grandfather came to the US in May of 1921 aboard the SS Aquitania when he was 23, and my grandmother joined him in October of 1925, having traveled on the SS Caledonia.  They set up house in Plainfield, NJ, just outside NYC, where my father was born.  Within a few years, they left the New York area and moved to Toledo, OH to follow my grandfather's work.  

My grandfather was one of 6 children, and my grandmother one of 11.  None of my grandfather's siblings joined him in the US, but 3 of my grandmother's sisters settled in Toronto, Ontario, so they became a part of our lives, as well.  I still have relatives in both Ireland (with whom I've never spoken, unfortunately), and Toronto (with whom I do speak).  

Neither of my grandparents ever had the opportunity to return to Ireland.  Perhaps for that reason, all things Ireland were omnipresent in their home in Toledo, where I was born, and the customs, hospitality and humor of the homeland became a part of my education from my earliest days, and represent some of my fondest memories as a child.  


Cultural Alliance of York County President Mary Anne Winkelman, who is also a parade committee member, said, “I cannot think of a better choice for Grand Marshal for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Dave has given so much to this community in so many ways and is a fitting representative of his Irish heritage.”