40 Under 40 Class of 2008

Kevin Jourdain

Age 36: City Councilor at Large, Holyoke

A lifelong Holyoke resident, Kevin Jourdain has made a career out of giving back to the community.

Fifteen years ago, he secured a piece of Holyoke history when, at age 22, he became the youngest person ever elected to the City Council. Now 36, he’s an at-large councilor, a seasoned veteran of Western Mass. politics, and an individual with a strong commitment to this industrial city and its future.

“My whole adult life has been in public service,” he said. “This is a great outlet to make a difference and an impact, as well as meet hundreds of people you never would have met before.”

Jourdain met some of those people through his extensive community service, entered into both as part of his duties on the City Council and on his own, to pursue personal passions. He’s a former board member of the T.J. O’Connor Animal Shelter in Springfield and the Valley Opportunity Council, and a current member of the Board of Trustees at Holyoke Community College.

“This position has been a pleasure because I feel strongly that HCC can become a real incubator of business and commerce for Holyoke,” he said. “It already has a great foundation and a strong sense of community, and I think it’s showing.”

That sentiment extends to other parts of Holyoke, too. Jourdain speaks enthusiastically about several projects in the city, including many with an educational component. He’s particularly excited about work beginning on a new intermodal transportation center, which, through a collaboration with Peter Pan Bus Lines, will create a bus depot in a former fire station, as well as an adult basic education center.

“This will be one more way to link Holyoke’s community,” he said, “especially its young people, to education in any way we can.”

Jourdain holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Economics from UMass Amherst and an MBA from Anna Maria College, and is currently pursuing a Juris Doctor from the Massachusetts School of Law in Andover. That’s in addition to raising three children under the age of 6 (Kevin Jr., Jacqueline, and Allison) in Holyoke along with his wife, Shari.

“I think no matter how busy we are, there’s always time to give something back,” said Jourdain. “I like this community. I like living here, and I made a commitment early on to get involved.”

Jaclyn Stevenson