A friend of a friend-Jessica Cosentino-Dena Kitts-July 14

One thing I have learned is that good friends have other good friends. This is a series of stories about “friends of my friends”. The post below is the story for July 14, 2015.

My goal in 2015 is to learn or get re-acquainted with 365 people and doing a daily post on the “the friend of a friend” is helping me get closer to my goal.

On Saturday we were in Atlanta, GA to celebrate the retirement of two people who had a big impact on a number of people’s lives. The party was for Kyle and Sarah Carter and was hosted by their two children Heather and Travis.

Attendees came from all over the country to attend especially people the Carter’s had worked with in Colorado, Missouri, and North Carolina. Also attending were individuals that Kyle Carter had hired at UNC Pembroke to serve on his cabinet.

Photo below is of UNC Pembroke senior leadership team and their spouses.

Pembroke Cabinet

Some in the picture above have recently left for other leadership positions. That included Ken Kitts the new president at North Alabama and his wife Dena Kitts. Ken got hired by Kyle Carter to become provost at UNC Pembroke in April 2011. He had previously worked at Francis Marion University for over twenty years.

Even though Ken Kitts is the new president at North Alabama his wife Dena Kitts has also got a new job. When you become a college president your spouse has to take on a new role as “First Lady”. That role involves having great people skills and Dena is well qualified. I can tell you that Florence, Alabama which is the location of North Alabama is getting a “First Lady” that they will find funny, enthusiastic and appreciative.

Dena is also a mom to two sons that she is trying lead thru transition. Her oldest son Colin is eight and her youngest Corbin is five. Dena knows her husband’s new job as a college president will be demanding of his time. She and Ken both a place a high priority on family.

Kitts Family (l-r) Corbin, Ken, Dena, and Colin.

Kitts Family

Six months ago their two sons left the only home they knew in Latta, SC and now are in a new place. The new place comes with some perks. The house they are provided is right next door to where the universities lion mascots live.

Photo of one of the UNA Lions


Dena has to balance Ken’s work schedule to include some family time. They will have a built in advantage that the boys will attend school at the Kilby Laboratory School which is on the campus of North Alabama.

I am really excited for Ken and Dena Kitts as they begin their new leadership journey. Dena has a friend named Jessica Cosentino that is also a new university “First Lady”.


Dena and Ken

The Friend of the Friend-JESSICA COSENTINO

Jesse shown on far left with Ken Kitts, Rich Cosentino, and Wendy Lowery

Jesse Cosentino

The First Ladies

Jessica husband is Rich Cosentino who on July 1, 2015 became the new president at Lander University which is located in Greenwood, SC. Rich was hired by Kyle Carter in 2012 to be on his cabinet as Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration. It did not take long for Rich’s wife Jessie to make friends with others including Dena Kitts.

UNCP Cabinet spouses with Rich Cosentino doing a photo bomb.

WTF with Rich

The spouses of Kyle Carter’s cabinet at UNC Pembroke along with Vice Chancellor Wendy Lowery all became good friends. That friendship was a big part for the group being successful with their professional responsibilities.

Jessie Cosentino will also make a dynamic first lady at Lander. She like Dena is very enthusiastic and student centered. I can see Jessie and Rich Cosentino as a team achieving great things in Greenwood, SC.

I also have a sneaking suspicion that Dena and Jessie will be sharing success stories with each other for a long time.


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