AdvanceEDU Board Chair Kent Thiry was recently featured in the Denver Business Journal about the legacy he created as CEO of DaVita, Inc.—as well as the new legacy he is creating by helping organizations like AdvanceEDU launch and change the landscape of economic mobility here in Colorado.
In the article, Kent talks about growing up in the small community of Mequon, Wisconsin. “Those roots led to community becoming a fundamental part of Thiry’s ethos and identity…. ‘Many companies think about culture as a means to an end,’ he said. ‘If you have a good culture, you’ll be more successful. But I’ve felt culture is an end in and of itself. I want to create community where people feel cared for and respected and invested in. I don’t do it for business reasons; I do it for how I want to live.’ Kent’s coaching on community-building and organizational culture have been invaluable as the AdvanceEDU team launches.
The article also explains why Kent’s passion for innovating led him to help launch AdvanceEDU’s cutting edge college program. “Innovation in education is another top priority…. The idea is to provide students with a low-cost, online college through AdvanceEDU, a program launched this year. Thiry is the organization’s board chairman…. AdvanceEDU combines competency-based online classes with intensive student support through coaching and providing internet hotspots, computers and even meals. The program goes even further by ensuring students get paid for work-based learning that either helps them advance in their current career path or gets them experience in a new career.”
The article goes on to talk about how Kent has built a legacy as a connector and builder of community. “The people he has partnered with in various organizations see Thiry’s ethos reflected in the work he does.
‘Kent was leading the charge from the very beginning. He was leading the process of scanning for innovations we should be bringing to Colorado,’ said Lauren Trent, CEO of AdvanceEDU, the education program he helped create, is chairman of and helped fund through his foundation. She said his philosophies manifested in the way he mobilized the people who eventually became the architects of AdvanceEDU.
‘He’s effective at finding the right people, collaborating with them and listening to what students need and make sure that’s what we’re providing,’ she said.”
Read the full Denver Business Journal article here.