Sherrexcia ‘Rexy’ Rolle is the Vice President of Operations and General Counsel for Western Air, a Bahamas-based black-owned aviation business, which is also one of the largest privately-owned airline companies in the Bahamas. Founded by her parents – Captain Rex and Shandrice Rolle in 2001, Sherrexcia has been holding the fort for the business with a net worth of over $90 million.
Demonstrating her business mindset and zeal for hard work, she joined the staff at the age of 12 to build the airline with her family; her father – a professional pilot and flight instructor, and her mother – an entrepreneur.
She worked as a baggage handler after school and later took a role at the airplane inspections division, where she found the need to improve certain areas in airline operations. However, she waited until she was done with college before proceeding to address the challenges, which included the lack of diversity in aviation.
“I could have gone in two directions with watching this airline grow up as I grew up: either assuming it’s there at my fingertips or really taking a stance of wanting to improve upon what’s already there,” Sherrexcia said in an interview with xoNecole. “I wish for everyone to do the same in their lives. Take time to grow and learn every day. That’s how you become great!”
She noticed that the sector was dominated by men, particularly the management positions because women are deemed to be unqualified. Nonetheless, she was determined to change the narrative that a woman can succeed in the airline industry.
“The lack of diversity in aviation is what makes me work harder and it gave me the adrenaline rush to compete on a higher level. Executive positions in the airline industry (e.g. pilots, mechanics, dispatchers) are overwhelmingly dominated by males, so for women searching for those high positions, they are often automatically looked down on as not being technologically informed,” she told xoNecole.
Sherrexcia rejects suggestions that her position as Vice President of Operations was because it is a family business. Narrating her journey, she noted:
“I started from the bottom and worked my way up. When I was a young girl, I worked as a baggage handler after school. Back then, the airline had its ups and downs. There were constant delays and management issues, but we learned from all of this and remained resilient. I went to school. I studied my field. I put in a lot of work. Believe me, there’s nothing easy about my journey,” she told xoNecole.
For young entrepreneurs who want to be like her, Sherrexcia says her advice to them is to develop a passion for what they do. In addition, she adds that they must love the work they do.