Pandora’s Top Leaders to Speak at Holy Names University

News Release

Media contact:
Lesley Sims, Holy Names University, 510-436-1405 or

Pandora’s Top Leaders to Speak at
Holy Names University

OAKLAND, CA; October 17, 2011 – Holy Names University (HNU) unveils a new speaker series focusing on how entrepreneurs can achieve their dream of starting a business. Pandora Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Tim Westergren, and Joe Kennedy, Pandora’s Chief Executive Officer & President, unite for a presentation together on Tuesday, November 1, 2011, at 4:30 p.m. – launching HNU’s Jim Durbin Entrepreneurship Series.

Joe Kennedy joined Pandora in 2004, following five-years at E-LOAN where he was President and Chief Operating Officer. Joe was a panelist at the Urban Entrepreneurship Forum sponsored by The White House Office of Public Engagement, the City of Oakland, the Oakland Inner City Advisors and the Oakland Citizen’s Committee for Urban Renewal and held at HNU in August.

At HNU’s Urban Entrepreneurship Forum, Kennedy provided some back story about Pandora during his presentation. He said, “Pandora is 12 years old. Tim (Westergren) founded the company in January, 2000, and worked through an incredible number of hurdles. He went to Stanford, but he was also a musician. For 10 years he was on the road and tried to be a rock star. He was also the composer for that band. Out of that experience and some experience doing compositions for film scores came his idea of the Music Genome Project® – connecting one song to another, enabling people to discover new music that they would love.”

At the same session, HNU President William J. Hynes told the forum audience, “Entrepreneurs see opportunities where others see problems. I think this is the best time for entrepreneurs because, boy, do we have problems! The fundamental thing is to discover the opportunity in the problem.” Hynes’ advocacy for entrepreneurship has taken shape with his most recent book project, The Principles of Entrepreneurship, which is based on interviews with a wide range of entrepreneurs.

“Joe and Tim embody the spirit of entrepreneurship,” said President Hynes, “and they come about it from two perspectives – one from the original idea and founding vision and the other from re-founding and recapitalizing a dynamic organization in today’s market.” The creation of the entrepreneurship series at HNU seeks to create a forum where budding and experienced entrepreneurs can share their vision and expertise. This series is named in honor of beloved HNU Professor Jim Durbin, Director of the MBA Program and Chair of the Business Department, who recently passed away.

The Jim Durbin Entrepreneurship Series is free and open to the public.

HNU is located on sixty acres in the Oakland Hills at Highway 13 and Redwood Road. Founded in 1868, HNU is a co-educational institution offering more than 25 bachelor’s and master’s degrees and various certificates and credentials.

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