AI Employee Spotlight – September 2018 – Kenn Hall

President and CEO of Anadarko Industries, LLC (AI), Kenn Hall, is in our spotlight this September.  He is employee #2, hired in 2004 as Vice President of Operations and has been President/CEO since 2016.  Born in Fort Worth, Texas to parents who were both teachers that he owes ”everything to them giving me the opportunity to succeed and attend Texas A&M University” after graduating from Trinity High School in Euless, TX.  After his graduation from A&M in 1991 with an Aerospace Engineering degree he started work in a position at NASA JSC working on mockups and trainers for astronaut training with Johnson Engineering, Tom Short’s company with Gene Cernan, the last astronaut to walk on the moon.  He later earned an MBA from Rice University which lead him into the management consulting arena with one of the Big 3 firms, Ernst & Young.  He was enjoying his time there when Tom Short recruited him to come back to work with him again and start up Anadarko Industries.

He said it is “amazing that AI is celebrating 15 years since it was incorporated. It has been a wonderful journey getting to work with Tom Short and building this company from the ground up. There are so many people to thank that had confidence in giving us our initial work allowing us to prove we could support them and succeed in this industry.”  Kenn also said that he has “been very fortunate to have worked with many great people” over the years.  These same concepts are reflected in the biggest accomplishment he cites for AI, receiving the USDA Small Disadvantaged Business of the Year award, and the “number of 10-year service awards we have given out to our employees and that some employees are starting to approach the 15-year mark. With contracts switching every 3-5 years, it is a testament to the type of employees we have that allows us to continue to win the follow-on contracts.”  Kenn has also been selected as Vice Chair of the NASA JSC Small Business Council Executive Leadership Team, and to serve on the Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering External Advisory Board.  Both selections have given him pause to reflect on the respect of his peers for what he has done in the industry.

Kenn met his wife, Melissa, at Texas A&M and knew she had to be an angel when he found out she was born in Utopia, Texas.  (The fact that they may have met in the famous “Chicken” in College Station rather than the library as he usually claims in no way tarnishes her halo.)  She has kept him on his toes over the years with her own successful professional career, which currently finds her at the VP level in Accounting and Finance.  They enjoy traveling together with their son, Hunter, who followed his parents’ footsteps this fall starting at Texas A&M’s Mays Business School.  Kenn looks back fondly on the days of coaching Hunter’s baseball, football, basketball, and lacrosse teams, and watching him play lacrosse through his high school career.

After having coached all of those years, he now enjoys hanging out with friends and family at Growlers in Friendswood, and spending time outdoors with Melissa and Hunter at their Texas ranch in Victoria/Halletsville.  That love of the outdoors is echoed in one of his favorite trips still being the Alaska Train Ride from Anchorage to Fairbanks… ”watching whales swim beside us, bear fishing salmon, landing on a glacier, and flying to the North Pole.”  He also chaperoned a 17-day Europe trip in 2017 that was also a great experience because of seeing so much of 7 countries in one shot!  And he topped that by being at Game 5 of the 2017 World Series when the Astros beat the Dodgers 13-12 in a 5-hour 17-minute slugfest.

Kenn tries to live according to two major guiding principles.  First the belief outlined in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” And the second to “always have a plan with goals, but also be flexible and it is okay to change the plan…but always have a plan.”  Of course it doesn’t hurt that if the plan changes in unexpected ways he can go take out any frustration on the drums, a skill he picked up in junior high and still practices to this day.