Liz McKinley: Fueled for Success
Energy: Expects $185M in sales for 2020
Liz McKinley always had a taste for business. The founder and CEO of Huntington Beach-based fuel and petroleum products distributor Pinnacle Petroleum, Inc. chalks much of that up to her days playing tennis where her competitive spirit was balanced with a philosophy that, even after a bit of a tumble, all is not lost.
"I'm very competitive and I like to win," McKinley said. "I played [tennis] all throughout high school and a bit in college. The thing I always liked about tennis is if you screw up, you've got a chance for the next point to make it up. It's a good analogy in life. You get up every day and you may screw up one day, but the next day is a whole new day to attempt to do better."
McKinley, who is one of six executives honored by the Business Journal late last month with a Women in Business Award., she said she always knew she wanted to be in business for herself - an anomaly in a family where both her parents were in education.
She put herself through college at Oklahmoa State University studying finance and marketing, originally accepting a job with AT&T, Her university at the time sent out a book of student resumes to various employers, one of them being Koch Industries, Inc, which was looking to hire an oil trader.
The company took a look at McKinley's resume and gave her a call.
"I was so intrigued with the compnay and the jobs that they were interviewign for, and so when I got the interview with them, I rescinded the job acceptance with AT&T," McKinley said. SHe said she was the first female hired by Koch Industries at a commerical level.
That decision would send her on a path that played out over the next 30 years as she opened a Birmingham, Alabama office for Koch and then transitioned off to work as a commodities trader at other fuel companies, before starting her own business.
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