Meet Kieve Alumnus Joseph L. Holliday

11_02 Lawsin Valley


Joe originally hails from New York, NY and attended Kieve as a camper from 1995-1997 and 1999 and Kieve Council from 2002 to 2004.

Joe was a 2006 history major from Princeton University and completed his M.B.A. at Harvard Business School in 2015 (he brought his section to Kieve for a leadership weekend in the fall of 2013). Joe also served in the United States Army from 2006 to 2011 and was deployed overseas serving two tours, one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
Joe attributes his time at Kieve with his ability to lead:

“Kieve gave me a sense of self-confidence that I didn’t have before. I wasn’t the most coordinated or athletic kid at my school, but during my summers at Kieve I became good at things; riflery, sailing, rock climbing and that boosted my confidence. Beyond that, Kieve teaches you to assume that anything that needs fixing is yours to fix – don’t assume someone else will pick up that piece of trash, whether or not you were the one who left it there. Those leadership skills carried into my service in the Army, and in surprisingly specific ways like land navigation and knots during Ranger School! It wasn’t obvious to me at the time, but in retrospect it was important to my development. That thread started at Kieve.”

Joe reminisces:

“Part of the reason why I wanted to come back to Kieve and be a counselor was that it looked like a lot of fun. As a camper, I looked up to my counselors. They were my role models. Being a counselor gave me leadership experience, autonomy, and responsibility for young people, not only their safety but also their growth and happiness. I remember thinking that the trips were tough and my own counselors carried me forward with their spirit and morale and I wanted to do the same. Camp is a highly social environment and a place where I could really trust people to act first and foremost in in the interests of others. I still consider my friends from camp my closest, particularly those who were counselors with me too. Kieve is an environment that builds character and brings out the best in people.”

A Meaningful Experience:

“Writing mid-session letters to parents and then being thanked for helping their kid during the summer was particularly humbling and rewarding.”

Kieve vs. Army

“You would be surprised how much packing out for a wilderness trip is like pre-combat inspections… all the gear laid out and each item marked off on a checklist.”
Joe manages a team of engineers and analysts at Palantir, a data systems company based out of Palo Alto, California. In the office he needs to be a leader for the team, establishing success criteria and ensuring the team has the support it needs to accomplish these goals. Similar to when he was at Kieve, Joe feels responsible for the morale and spirit of his team.

Joe currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his wife and son.

16_10 Pt Reyes