Kenny Holdsman

Class of 2023

Kenny Holdsman has devoted the past twenty-five years of his career to the creation of empowering opportunities for young people, especially those from lower-income communities of color. Through a combination of education, leadership and workforce development, coaching and mentorship, family involvement, and high quality opportunities both in schools and in communities. He has held senior positions in the School District of Philadelphia; the Academy for Educational Development, a global non-profit; and two local sports-based youth development organizations. In addition to his passion for young people and social justice, Kenny has a proven track record in non-profit leadership including strategic planning, building organizational culture, fund development, board development and engagement, community partnerships, program design and implementation, measurement and evaluation, budget and finance, and operations. Kenny is also a fierce anti-racist who for 30 years has been a reliable ally and trusted bridge builder, particularly in relation to the Black community.

Currently, Kenny is a co-founder, CEO, and board member of Philadelphia Youth Basketball. PYB is a relentless and innovative youth development and community empowerment enterprise designed to create opportunities for thousands of young people to self-determine. Now in its 8th year of operations, PYB will soon be opening a $34 million state-of-the-art youth center in the Nicetown neighborhood of North Philadelphia. The Alan Horwitz “Sixth Man” Center, powered & operated by PYB, will become the hub of its operations in serving over 6,000 young people on an annualized basis, while PYB will also retain several of its current satellite sites in public schools, recreation centers, and universities to deliver its innovative basketball, academic and college readiness support, health and nutrition education, and leadership development initiatives.

Before creating Philadelphia Youth Basketball with a like-minded and diverse group of co-founders, Kenny served as the President of Legacy Youth Tennis and Education (formerly Arthur Ashe) from February, 2009 to June, 2015. Under his leadership, Legacy was able to build a sustainable business and revenue model, double the amount of donated revenue on an annualized basis, increase yearly earned revenue from $100,000 to $1 million, enhance the quality of programming, and build a range of systems needed to professionalize the organization. Kenny is most proud of efforts to build the capacity of staff colleagues who grew up in the organization, as young people and are now in positions of senior leadership.

Prior to joining Arthur Ashe, Kenny was a Senior Program Officer and Director of the Youth Engagement Team for the Academy for Educational Development in Washington, DC and New York City. Earlier, he was Director of Service-Learning and Freedom Schools for the School District of Philadelphia (1998-2003), an Adjunct Faculty Member at Temple University’s College of Education (2001-2002), an Associate Attorney at Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll in Philadelphia (1996-1998), and Legislative Director for U.S. Congressman Robert E. Andrews in Washington, DC (1990-1993). Kenny was a four-sport varsity athlete at Cheltenham High School and a college rugby player at Lehigh University, where he received his B.S. in Economics from Lehigh University in 1989. After his work on Capitol Hill, Kenny received a J.D. from Temple University Law School in 1996.

Kenny brings to his work a zest for empowering young people and communities through youth sports, mentorship, and real world leadership opportunities. In addition to his formal responsibilities with PYB, Kenny is a co-founder and board member of the Philadelphia Youth Sports Collaborative and member of the City-Wide Youth Sports Task Force, and for eight years served as a volunteer coach and program founder/coordinator of Rise Up Basketball in Mt. Airy. Kenny also has spent many seasons coaching young people in the Mt. Airy Baseball program and the Phillies Reviving Baseball in the Inner City program. Many of his closest friends and colleagues are youth sports coaches, organizers, and junkies.

Kenny is married to Amy Tress Holdsman. Amy is also a well-regarded social impact & philanthropic leader in the region. Amy and Kenny are the proud parents of Greg and Danny Holdsman. Greg is a podcast producer in Los Angeles and Danny is an emerging professional sports agent. Both young men are proud graduates of Central High School in the School District of Philadelphia, where each captained the varsity basketball and baseball teams. The Holdsmans live in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Northwest Philadelphia, and are members of Congregation Rodeph Shalom.