Cessna was born and raised in Arlington, Texas. She graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Psychology. After graduation, she joined Teach For America and served as public school teacher in the Bay Area, where she further developed her interest in understanding not only how individuals but also how organizations made decisions around growth. She subsequently worked as a management consultant at EY-Parthenon in New York City, where she worked closely with investment firms and corporate clients to evaluate growth opportunities and was reintroduced to her love of consumer brands.
After receiving her MBA from The Wharton School, Cessna joined PowerPlant Partners, where she invested in and worked closely with several high-growth, mission-oriented consumer product brands. Cessna joined Amberstone as a Principal and continues to lead sourcing, diligence, and portfolio partner support efforts.
Harvard University, BA
The Wharton School, MBA
Where did you get your start?
Stacking shelves, running the cash register (as soon as I could reach it), and helping my parents run their small convenience store in Fort Worth, Texas. My parents were refugees from the Vietnam War, owned the same store for over 30 years, and remind me that there are people behind every organization—from the entrepreneurs and business leaders, to their employees and customers—each with their own hopes, goals, and expectations. In “doing business”, this reminder has always served as a fundamental and grounding principle in working with the people and teams I have the opportunity to support.
Where is your happy place?
Pretty much any grocery store! We always referred to our convenience store as “the Store”. While we had distributors and bought items through wholesalers, some of my earliest and favorite memories were shopping for the Store at Walmart or some other grocery store in the wee hours of the night with my mom. She would always let me pick a new item to “test” at the Store. Today, my role in finding new products looks quite a bit different, but I have just as much fun getting to know the brands and also the people behind them!