This family-run airline - valued at over $90 million - didn’t get to where they are out of nowhere.
And for 29-year-old daughter and aviation pro Sherrexcia “Rexy” Rolle, there were certain steps she had to make to take her family business to the next level.
When running the daily operations and expansion of Western Air Limited’s aircraft fleet and international routes, Rexy reflects with Essence on how her parents’ beginnings inspired the airline.
“My mom [told] my dad, ‘Based on your background [as a pilot], and with me doing international business in school, we really should try to start an airline.’”
She believed her education and skillset ought to be used in service to family first.
“After I went to college, and got my Masters and JD, I really started to cater my interests to see how I could really serve the company that they have already established.”
And her passion soared the more involved she became: “Things I immediately started working on, I grew more and more passion towards.”
Standing up for herself and her business aided her credibility in a white, male-dominated industry, where the presence of a Black woman was constantly questioned.
“It wasn’t until [I started] speaking to people that they underst[ood], ‘she’s not just somebody’s assistant, she’s actually involved in the industry.’”
But when it comes to people dismissing her because of age, Rexy learned to let her reputation convince doubters.
“You’ll have people who would have known me as a child thinking, ‘What is this girl doing? So what if she’s a lawyer, or she’s experienced in XYZ, I knew her when she was 5-years-old.’ So it’s combatting that, and understanding that your work must speak for itself.”