Asian American Professionals Worth Knowing



Profession: Senior Corporate Executive
Position: Director of Government Affairs for State Farm Insurance Companies

he nation's top auto and homeowners insurance company trusts Christie Kennett to keep it in the good graces of federal and state governments. That puts her in charge of building sound relations with lawmakers and keeping State Farm associates informed of changes in relevant regulations. As the only Asian American to head up government affairs for a Fortune 25 company, she stays in the social whirl as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals for the City of Bloomington, the Board of Directors for McLean County YWCA and for the ParkLands Foundation. She is also President of the Central Illinois Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA).

     Kennett worked her way through a poli sci degree at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbanato as a summer camp counselor and a piano teacher, then attended law school at St. Louis University School of Law. She remained on as a faculty fellow for a year carrying out research and helping faculty with writing and editing before joining the tax, real estate and corporate law practice at the St. Louis firm of Husch & Eppenberger. She then joined the securities law unit of State Farm's general counsel's office before being appointed to her present position.


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     "I am somewhat new to my role, and I am still getting used to serving in a non-legal capacity," she says. "As an attorney, I could often give my opinion and everyone seemed to just follow my advice. Now, people respond to my opinions with, 'Why?... Can you build a business case?... Is it in your budget?...'"

     Kennett is married to the head men's tennis coach at Illinois State University. They have two children, aged ten and eight. Whenever time allows, she enjoys training for the marathon with her running group. She also stays politically active by volunteering for campaign committees.

Top Corporate Executives Under 45


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