Mike Kennedy, Senior Sales Associate
Senior Sales Associate, Mike Kennedy is a straight-up, no fuss kind of guy. And that’s what his customers at Holloway Ag love about him. They know they will always get the best and most practical solutions coupled with excellent customer service.
“I love building strong relationships with my customers,” Kennedy says. “It’s the best part of this job!”
Kennedy is a native of Bakersfield, CA, with deep roots in the Valley. In fact, he and Holloway’s Director of Agronomy, Steve Lenander grew up together. Kennedy is also an avid fisherman and has always been drawn to the ocean. He was interested in law enforcement and studied criminal justice at Bakersfield College. In one of his classes, he had a professor who inspired him to pursue a career with the Coast Guard.
“This professor looked at me and said, ‘Mike, you love law enforcement and you love the ocean, you need to go get a job with the Coast Guard!’ So, I headed up to Alaska and that’s what I did,” Kennedy laughs.
Kennedy was in the Coast Guard for nine years doing search and rescue as well as federal law enforcement protecting fisheries and wildlife from poaching and illegal hunting. First, he was stationed in Petersburg Alaska where he helped countless disabled boats on the Alaskan waterways and protected the natural wildlife of our 49th state. From here, he moved to Eureka California where he was a search and rescue small boat operator for the high surf of Humboldt Bay.
After nine years away, it was time to come home and be near family while he and his wife of 28 years, Geri, raised their two children. So, Kennedy went from the high seas to the oil and gas industry.
“I had an opportunity with the San Joaquin Bit Company on their sales team,” Kennedy says. “Sales is in my nature because I am a real people person and love helping people find the best solutions.”
Kennedy stayed with the San Joaquin Bit Company for 21 years working with drilling operations to get the proper equipment and tools to drill for oil, natural gas and geothermal. He covered the west coast, building great customer relationships along the way. But the oil and gas industry is volatile and Kennedy was ready for an opportunity with more stability and where he could stay in the Central Valley. That’s what drew him to agriculture.
“Steve [Lenander] and I grew up together and he was always talking about how great Holloway and the ag industry is, so when I started looking to make a shift, but stay in sales, he had me meet with Brian [Maxted] and we went from there,” Kennedy remembers.
For the past three years, Kennedy has been on the sales team at Holloway helping growers with products and services to help reach their soil and yield goals. He enjoys being a part of a company that has been around for almost 90 years and still continues to thrive and innovate on behalf of the grower. But he is most proud of providing Holloway’s Red Ribbon Service to his customers.
“We approach all of our growers, new and existing, with our Red Ribbon Service,” Kennedy smiles. “That means we bring experience, longevity, care and customer service to each and every interaction. We are there for that grower.”
Kennedy knows that every recommendation he makes depends on the soil. The Holloway agronomy team is the first line of analysis to determine the deficiencies in the soil and how best to restore optimal health. That’s why we say, it all starts with the soil at Holloway Ag. And Kennedy works with all kinds of soil – his customers are growers with vineyards, orchards and row crops.
“I get ‘em all!” Kennedy laughs, “Which is great because it gives me a lot of variation and provides me with key learnings that I can cross-over from time to time.”
And speaking of cross-over, several former oil and gas clients are ag clients now as well.
“The whole valley is connected,” Kennedy says, “I think the ag world is my fit. I really enjoy the relationships I have built and it is just a great industry to be in.”