Called “smart with a heart,” Teresa Kay-Aba Kennedy has a multidisciplinary background that helps her innovate and transform businesses and lives. Her work is purpose-driven and inspired by her own journey. In 1997, she was in the hospital dying. As a Harvard Business School-trained strategist and the youngest Vice President at MTV Networks, she had reached success by external measures but was not managing herself very well and her workaholic lifestyle triggered an autoimmune response. Having grown up with holistic health practices, she healed using her own integrated protocol including yoga, meditation, a gluten-free clean diet and mindset shift. Then, she dove deeply into what made the human body, brain and spirit thrive and dedicated her career to helping others transform.
As President & CEO of Power Living Enterprises, Inc., she has trained thousands around the world in her “whole-person” approach to wellness, success and leadership. Through her digital platform, www.IAmPowerLiving.com, she offers tools and training to build mental fitness, physical wellness, and authentic success melding real-world experience with mind-body practices and the latest research in positive psychology, quantum mechanics and neuroscience. A certified yoga teacher for 20 years, she founded the first yoga studio in Harlem, served six years on the Board of Yoga Alliance (including Chair and Interim CEO), and started introducing mindfulness in corporate settings long before it became mainstream. She has produced hundreds of virtual/in-person programs with organizations such as Deloitte Financial Advisory Services, MetLife, and Bloomberg Media. In 2009, she was selected as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader recognizing her “professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential for shaping the future of the world.” She has participated in exclusive Forum strategy sessions with multinational CEOs, presidents of countries and leaders in Brazil, China, India, Jordan, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, South Africa, Tanzania and Switzerland, including being a Discussion Leader on “The Economics of Happiness” at the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos.
Focused on delivering extraordinary experiences and spurring positive social impact, she has shared her views around the world from discussing heart-centered leadership at the Bled Strategic Forum in Slovenia and being the international headliner for Estee Lauder’s Global Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign event for 800 women in Santiago, Chile, to moderating for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations, teaching yoga to global leaders on a private section of The Great Wall of China, and debuting “The Gandhi Effect” to a standing-room-only audience at the Newark Peace Education Summit hosted by His Holiness The Dalai Lama. As biographer for yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch, she co-authored two award-winning books, Dancing Light: The Spiritual Side of Being Through the Eyes of a Modern Yoga Master (2015) and Shining Bright: Quotes and Images to Inspire Optimism, Gratitude & Belief in Your Unlimited Potential (2017), and spent a decade traveling the globe curating one-of-a-kind events at places like the Pentagon, United Nations, Core Club in New York, Age of Happiness Festival in Montenegro and World Government Summit in Dubai. They did 66 events together spanning ten countries, and were featured in Athleta’s Power of She campaign in 2017 for their work inspiring women and girls. View video and blog. When Tao passed away in 2020 at 101 years old, she had become a global historical icon through their collaboration and Terri’s branding/media efforts. Watch tribute video.
In 2016, Terri created Elder Dignity to advocate for elder rights and spur reform in the U.S. guardianship system after her aunt was entrapped in a fraudulent guardianship in Florida. She has spoken at various forums including World Elder Abuse Awareness Day in D.C. and the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee, as well as produced two social impact videos, The Deception of Protection (2019) and Silent Torture: Trafficking Through Guardianship (2020). Her family took care of her father, Dr. James Scott Kennedy, for eight years at home when he was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, so she understand the caregiver’s journey. In addition, she has been a volunteer leader for the American Heart Association since 2007, serving on the International Stroke Committee, New York State Stroke Committee, New York State Advocacy Committee, Multicultural Leadership Committee, Harlem Go Red Committee, Social Media Subcommittee, and National Spokesperson Panel. She produced and hosted their first Power New York City Health & Empowerment Symposium at Columbia University.
A technology evangelist, she founded VH1 Online and the VH1@Work Radio Network in the early 1990s. As Vice President of Business Development & Operations for MTV Networks Interactive, she managed a 200-person team, negotiated landmark deals personally bringing over $30 million to the division and ran one of the only profitable online businesses at the time. She launched “The Suite” of six digital music cable TV channels including MTV2, hard rock/heavy metal channel MTV “X,” Latin music channel MTV “S,” R&B channel VH1 Soul, VH1 Country, and jazz/new age channel VH1 Smooth. She also produced some of the first integrated broadcast and webcast events with superstar artists such as Michael Jackson, Garth Brooks and Paul McCartney. Working with the President of VH1, she led the planning, development and roll-out of a new TV production studio, and implementation of the channel repositioning resulting in the new branding of “VH1: Music First,” as well as award-winning shows such as VH1 Behind the Music and VH1 Storytellers. Before joining Viacom, she worked as Creative Consultant at Universal Studios with their Executive Creative Group and legendary studio head Lew Wasserman. At 20 years old, she was recruited from Wellesley College to consult, perform predictive analysis and write case studies on Fortune 500 companies for Harvard Business School’s second-year Operations Strategy course.
A seasoned writer/producer, she has contributed to The Huffington Post, the World Economic Forum blog, the Gates Foundation’s Impatient Optimists, and has been featured in various media such as CNN, NBC, The New York Times, and Oprah’s book, Live Your Best Life! See media. She is also the producer of the audio program, Power Living Mini-Escapes: Relaxation Techniques for Any Situation (2004), and author of 40 Days to Power Living: How to Think, Eat & Live on Purpose (2006), The Power Living Pledge: An Affirmation for a Purposeful & Powerful Life (2007), and Seven-Day PWR Detox: Cleanse Your Body, Mind & Spirit While Living Your Daily Life (2009). Always seeking to learn, she has degrees in Sociology, Studio Art, Business and World Religions, and has done Executive Education in Global Leadership & Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Yale University Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore. Although she is American, she was born in Ghana, started school in Australia and studied design in Italy. She has received many honors and her accomplishments were added to the U.S. Congressional Record.
Watch videos on her work, background and playtime. Learn about her family background.
Awards & Honors