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Aviation Leader Andrella Kenner, Founder and CEO of CI Squared Aviation

CI Squared Aviation led by CEO Andrella Kenner manages over twenty airports in the United States.
James Willamour
Creative Commons/Flickr
Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport

The Local Take closes out Women’s History Month by speaking with Andrella Kenner, founder, and CEO of CI Squared Aviation. Kenner started her career as a corporate mover and shaker after graduating from Tennessee State University with a degree in Business. She proved herself on teams where she was the only woman. She worked with a diverse group of companies, including Allstate, Siemens, and Sun Microsystems. She made a hard pivot to entrepreneurship after getting laid off and never looked back. CI Squared Aviation began with a tech contract to service the Veteran’s Administration. Along the way, she entered the telecommunications field, owning a small telecom before making another pivot into aviation management. She currently manages air traffic control towers, weather observation, and ground electronics for over twenty airports.

I ask Kenner to share about her youth. She grew up down the street from Tennessee State University, Fisk, and Meharry Medical School. She speaks about it being an exciting time for a little girl who grew up across the street from the historic Hadley Park. She speaks about the Civil Rights Movement and the students often organizing in the park before their marches. She also speaks about the educators at Pearl High School who were able to guide many first-time students through the college process.

Kenner attended Tennessee State with students from her high school. She talks about choosing to study business because she didn’t want to be an educator. At the school of business, corporate representatives came to campus to recruit students. Kenner went to every interview offered. Often she was flown to a corporate headquarters for follow-up interviews. She shared that it was the first time she had ever flown. A Vice President at Allstate was impressed and offered her a job making $14,000 a year. Kenner explains that she had made it! She traveled to Illinois with roommates and began her career. At Allstate, Kenner explains that she learned how to work in an environment with all men. Mostly white men, but she learned to go with the flow and stick to the process.

After climbing the corporate ladder and surviving several rounds of layoff, Kenner was laid off. She had always handled a few side clients and decided to make if her full-time job. She studied to earn an 8A government certification and bid on a tech contract with the Veteran’s Administration, and the rest is history. Kenner made another pivot from tech and telecommunication to aviation. She speaks about studying the industry and then hiring smart people. Eventually, she left telecommunications to focus on tech and aviation. She is currently the only African-American business women in her field of aviation.

Kenner is an active board member of the Atlanta Business League, for more information on her corporation CI Squared Aviation.