Patti Kenner is an indefatigable advocate for social causes, including arts education, women in politics, Holocaust survivors and history. In addition to serving as a long time Guild Hall trustee, Patti is board member of the Defiant Requiem Foundation, the Museum of Jewish Heritage-A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, Carnegie Mellon University, and many others. In 2019, she underwrote the Patti Kenner Fellowship in Arts Education at Guild Hall to help enhance educational programming for youth. Patti was born in New York City and grew up in Harrison, NY. She graduated with a degree in French from Carnegie Mellon University and received her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Columbia University Teachers College. Following 10 years of teaching, she joined her father at Campus Coach Lines, the charter bus company he founded as a student at the University of Michigan in 1928, and which he ran until he passed away recently—at 104. Patti is now President of Campus Coach.
Patti has served as a trustee of her alma mater Carnegie Mellon for over 25 years and just dedicated the Askwith Kenner Global Languages and Cultures Room, featuring virtual reality stations that enable students to take simulated trips around the world. Combing her love of education and the arts, Patti serves on the board of the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan which brings theater and music to the Ann Arbor community. She is currently co-producing a documentary film on the Swedish architect, businessman, diplomat, and humanitarian, Raoul Wallenberg, who saved tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary, and was a student at the University of Michigan. For over 30 years, she served on the Board of the Educational Alliance, a 125-year-old social service agency on the Lower East Side. Patti has one daughter, Julie, who lives in Aspen, Colorado, and four wonderful grandchildren. She is proud of her lengthy Board service to Guild Hall and to be part of an organization that gives back so much to the community. She dedicates her commitment to Guild Hall to the memory of former Chairman, Mickey Straus, who insisted Patti become involved with this important institution.