Culture, teamwork motivate EA Jodi McKinney

JodiJodi McKinney is one to take a challenge head-on. Since arriving at KinderCare Education as the Executive Assistant to Wei-Li Chong, Executive Vice President of People & Experience, McKinney has always managed to stay one step ahead of her busy boss.

Whether it’s making sure Chong has everything he needs for his many days (even weeks) on the road visiting centers and meeting with families, or assisting with event coordination, McKinney is in control.

“I love staying one step ahead of Wei-Li,” she said. “While he’s on the road, I always make sure he’s prepared for the next thing.”

Though she only started supporting Chong in December, McKinney credits her success thus far on the quick connection she made with Chong.

“I’ve never had a boss that I just clicked with right away,” she said. “It usually takes three to six months, but in our case, it took three to six days!”

McKinney decided to leave a job she’d had for just a few months when she saw an opportunity at KinderCare Education. In her mind, the culture of an organization is paramount—a value she shares with Chong.

“I am thrilled to have Jodi on the team,” said Chong. “She’s a great fit for our culture and is awesome at her job. I really appreciate her sense of humor, which is a good thing to have when dealing with my schedule!”

“I wanted to work somewhere that I was excited about,” she said. “Wei-Li and I hit it off right away talking about culture, engagement, and transparency. He emphasized the importance of us working as a team.”

The importance of teamwork is something McKinney learned from years of playing soccer. She played for a Nike select team for four years, brushing shoulders with Olympic athletes, gold medalists, and stars like Mia Hamm. These days, her free time is occupied by hiking, wine tasting, and spending time with her family.

“I love to go hiking and camping,” said McKinney. “My goal this year is to climb Dog Mountain in the Gorge.”

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