Michael Kennedy

Advanced Cabling Systems

City: North Little Rock
Category: Business Executive of the Year
Year: 2008

After recognizing the importance of networking and security 10 years ago, electrical engineer Michael Kennedy packed up and moved to Arkansas to work for the ESI Group. Soon afterward, Kennedy joined Advanced Cabling Systems Inc. of North Little Rock, where he became president and part owner about a year later.

Kennedy said his management philosophy is "Hire for attitude and train for skill. We don't really care if they've been in our industry before or if they have any knowledge of what we do. We're looking for morally sound people who have a good, hard work ethic."
Having the right people deliver the product is essential to a successful business, Kennedy said.

The chief executive officer whom Kennedy most admires is Bob East of East-Harding Inc., "who has said to hire people smarter than you and let them impress you with their abilities," Kennedy said.
While under Kennedy's direction, Advanced Cabling saw its revenue grow to $7 million in 2008, up 27 percent from 2007. It has averaged 20 percent growth during the last three years.

Kennedy works to ensure Advanced Cabling has a fun work environment for his 52 employees.

"We keep telling our people over and over, 'If you're not having fun at work, you're not being productive.'"

It's not all fun and games, however. Kennedy tries to create a challenging corporate culture to continue to cultivate employees. "We try to continually create new challenges for people so that they are always growing and learning," he said.

The biggest challenge Kennedy faces in his position, he said, is keeping up with ever-changing technical trends.

Kennedy serves his community in several capacities. He's on the board of UAMS Family Home, which offers affordable lodging to cancer patients and parents of premature infants being cared for at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Kennedy also is a board member of Our House and the Downtown Partnership.

Purchase Tickets > Nominate Someone for the ABOYs >