Member Spotlight: Andrella Pusha

Realtor® Andrella Pusha is a Charleston native who works as a Commercial Associate with Carolina One Real Estate. She is a Retired Chief Petty Officer who was one of the first black women to graduate from the Navy’s Nuclear Propulsion Program. Andrella worked as a Nuclear Engineer for 20 years and was among the first women to be assigned to a nuclear-powered ship. Nuclear Engineers are responsible for generating clean water and making electricity, or as Andrella explains, “We brought the ship alive”.

Andrella shares that “The Navy was the best leadership course I could have taken. When I came in, there were the old guys that were about to retire, with the old mindset and mentality, the baby boomers, and later the millennials. Having to learn how to adapt and manage people across all of those age gaps, religious beliefs, morals and sometime lack of, colors; it’s probably the and biggest and best leadership course I could have asked for”.

Even before she achieved the rank of Chief, Andrella started a mentoring program for females, growing the group from 50 to more than a thousand in just three years. “I didn’t do it alone” she said, “I was able to employ my peers as well as supervisors and those below me. There is this thing called, leading from the middle. I learned to divorce titles.  You don’t have to be a leader by title, to be a leader by stature. Which is why when I became a Realtor®, I felt comfortable mentoring new agents. I understood leadership can happen at any level, and it shouldn’t be only from the person at the top”.

A few years before retirement someone asked what she wanted to be when she “grew up”. The question was asked jokingly, but the intent was to get her thinking about the transition to civilian life. She spent a year traveling and explored various business opportunities. “As a little girl, my grandmother, who was a successful businesswoman in the area, built and renovated houses. I understood, that generational wealth could be created via real estate. I started to look at how to create something that wouldn’t die when I die. What one generation doesn’t learn to keep or maintain; the next generation will lose. Which is why, I leaned into the idea of building something my children couldn’t squander” she said.

Pusha initially entered real estate as an investor in 2015 and earned her license in 2020.  She found inspiration in leaders of business and real estate. People that worked to break barriers like Montez Martin, her grandmother Rosabel Moultrie Logan and grandfather Henry Smith, who was monumental in the startup phase of many of the small black owned businesses in the area, and was known affectionately in the community as the “Black Mayor of Charleston”.

Andrella says her biggest challenge transitioning from the Navy to civilian life was resetting her mindset from, W2 employee to business owner. She put her head down and worked hard, but when she transitioned from residential to commercial real estate, there was no road map. She made the decision to pursue the commercial field after completing a SWOT analysis of her life and business. Once Pusha realized that while she was making the numbers, she wasn’t working in her passion, she knew she had to make the change.

In her second year as a CTAR Director, Andrella would like to see new agents better understand what the Associations provide for them and pursue more education—she believes that making good deals and good choices stem from education.

In addition to her leadership role at CTAR, she is also a first-year board member at the South Carolina Association of Realtors® (SCR) and the Hazel Global Foundation. In addition to being a Realtor®, she is a private banker, author, speaker, and in pursuit of RE Broker License. Her certifications and designations include: Lean Six Sigma Black Belt, Short Sales and Foreclosure Specialist (SFR), Military Relocation Professional (MRP), At Home with Diversity (AHWD), and Committed to Excellence (C2EX). She is a graduate of the CTAR Leadership Academy (2023) and the Civic Leaders Academy (2023) and was recognized as a 2023 Black Excellence honoree.

Remembering that we are in the business of building relationships and solving problems, being mindful of when and how to pivot, understanding current conditions, using foresight, and taking action is how to win in any market.

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