Location: Millersville, MD
Industry: Technology (IT consulting)
CEO and Senior IT Consultant
Aida Keehner founded her IT firm Atruent out of a desire to create and maintain high-value relationships with clients. “By listening carefully to our customers, we better serve them and better manage our own resources,” she says. “Everything begins with relationships.” Working as a system administrator for other IT support companies, Keehner enjoyed meeting and working with a variety of business owners and staff. “I not only provided tech support, I developed friendships, and those relationships are very important to me professionally and personally,” she says. “Many of these same businesses are clients of mine today.”
Quick Tip: “When you like what you do, you enjoy working with people and you care about the people you are supporting, it shows.”
Keehner is passionate about supporting women in technical careers. Having grown up in Europe, Keehner was shocked to discover the disparity in the ratio between men and women in the U.S. tech industry. To encourage young women to consider technical careers, Keehner speaks at high schools, takes on interns, writes blogs and actively seeks to network with other women in her field, she says.
At Atruent, Keehner says, fun is a key component to success. “Success means you’re happy to get up in the morning and go to work, looking forward to Monday morning because you get to work with your friends,” she says. “Otherwise, all that effort is just drudgery, and who wants to do that?”