Kendrick was born in 1943, in Princeton, West Virginia, and graduated from West Virginia University in 1965. While at WVU, Kendrick was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. Kendrick was the Vice-President of the University's Inter-Fraternity Council in the year 1964. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from WVU in 2013. He also was the founder in 1968 of Datatel, Inc., a software development company, and served as a banking technology industry executive in Texas in the 1980s . In 1989 he became the lead investor in the Texas-based Woodforest Financial Group, the parent of Woodforest National Bank. Woodforest Nat'l operates in twenty states and has assets of over $4.5b.