Kendra Gardiner

Chief Performance Officer at JumpStart, Inc.

Kendra Gardiner

Kendra Gardiner

Chief Performance Officer at JumpStart, Inc.


Kendra Gardiner
Chief of Staff

Kendra brings to JumpStart 18 years of diverse experience, ranging from entrepreneurship to corporate roles in strategic marketing and new product development, to serving as a strategic and operational leader working in scaleup companies. In her role as Chief of Staff, she acts as a thought and action partner for the CEO, president, senior executive leaders, board of directors and staff. Her primary responsibility is to shape, implement and optimize JumpStart’s strategy, operations and talent priorities. Kendra also plays an integral role in cultural and workforce development and oversees the administrative functions of the organization as well as lead select, strategic, pilot-stage initiatives.

Prior to joining JumpStart, Kendra spent her professional career in manufacturing. Most recently, she served in small to mid-size scaleup companies where she worked across both commercial and operations-focused roles to help transform outdated business models into sustainable and stable models for growth.

Prior to entering the scaleup world, Kendra was with PolyOne Corporation where she held a variety of leadership roles. From industry management, to her work as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, she worked on many strategic initiatives in new product development, commercial excellence and operations improvement.

In addition to her professional career, Kendra spent her early years before college exploring entrepreneurial endeavors in building and construction. At a young age, she bootstrapped her way to a multi-state construction operation which ultimately laid the groundwork for her formal education six years later.

Kendra graduated from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA.

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Chief Executive Officer at JumpStart, Inc.

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Executive Vice President, Eaton Business System & Sustainability at Eaton Corporation

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Previous Member, Board of Directors, Co-Chair Development Committee at Lake Erie Nature and Science Center

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Dean of Graduate Studies & Research at Youngstown State University

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Vice President for Research & Dean of the Graduate School at University of Akron

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President & Chief Executive Officer at Innovation Works, Inc.

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Vice Chancellor for Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Economic Development at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder at Ellevation, Inc.

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Chief Investing & Services Officer at JumpStart, Inc.

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Venture Partner at JumpStart Ventures /Ohio

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Kendra Gardiner
Chief Performance Officer at JumpStart, Inc.
B.S. in Chemical Engineering

The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is a public research-intensive university in the U.S. state of Illinois. It is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system. The University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign is the second oldest public university in the state (after Illinois State University), and is a founding member of the Big Ten Conference. It is considered a Public Ivy and is a member of the Association of American Universities.


The College of Business is the business school at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It offers programs in accountancy, business administration, and finance. The undergraduate and graduate accounting programs are regularly ranked as the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report. The College of Business as a whole is ranked 12th in the same rankings, as of 2012. The accounting programs also consistently rank within the top five of the Public Accounting Report. The Chronicle of Higher Education ranked the Department of Finance third in faculty scholarly research productivity.

Career History
Chief Performance Officer

JumpStart, Inc. is a non profit organization that supports entrepreneurial service organizations. The firm advises, invests in, assists and accelerates Northeast Ohio's early-stage ideas and companies. The company was founded in 2004 and is headquartered in Cleveland, OH.

Senior Professional

PolyOne Corporation (NYSE: POL) is a global leader offering a comprehensive array of specialized polymer materials, tailored services and end-to-end solutions. We have: More than 10,000 customers globally More than 35,000 polymer solutions More than 60 manufacturing and distribution facilities Operations in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, and Africa Corporate headquarters in northeast Ohio (U.S.A.) (2011) Annual revenues of $2.9 billion We understand that, in today’s competitive, warp-speed global economy, your success depends on being first to market with innovative, value-creating materials and services. That is why we manufacture many materials to help solve the demanding application and business needs of molders and processors. For more information on our solutions, visit Products & Services. Our solutions are the right choice for customers who want to achieve profit and growth with innovative products, enter new markets, expand globally and much more. In this high-stakes environment, you can rely on us as your strategic partner – a partner whose notion of service goes well beyond merely supplying needs, to delivering better business solutions. Our commitment to you as a PolyOne customer is a core principle, embedded in every dimension of our company

Awards & Honors
Crain's Cleveland Business - 40 under 40
Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certificate
Other Affiliations

Kendra Gardiner is affiliated with JumpStart, Inc., PolyOne Corporation

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