20 Under 30: Sarah Kerner

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

Photo Kevin O'Riley

Legal Counsel, Springfield-Branson National Airport

Born: March 20, 1979

If Sarah Kerner were a character in Die Hard 2, she would be the woman calmly saying things like “Mr. McClane. You absolutely may not go out on that tarmac with a sub-machine gun.”

Fortunately, most legal issues at Springfield-Branson National Airport are more laid-back than a John McTiernan movie. Originally a traditional lawyer at a local firm, Sarah grew tired of the courtroom scene and took a job with Springfield City Attorney Dan Wichmer’s office six months ago (the city owns the airport, so Sarah reports to both Wichmer and airport administrator Gary Cyr). Much of her work involves hammering out contracts with airlines and contractors at the airport, making sure all dealings conform with Missouri’s open-records laws, and making sure the airport remains a self-sustaining entity (no city taxes are used to run it).

It’s a tough job, especially with a new $100 million-plus terminal scheduled to open next year. Sarah likes the job because it appeals to her preemptive nature: Whereas traditional legal work involves cleaning up messes, as legal counsel she helps prevent them. “I like a challenge,” she says. “An airport is kind of like a little city, with all kinds of issues.”






What's Your Favorite:

Tie between Legally Blonde and Grease.

TV show?
How I Met Your Mother


Childhood cartoon character?

Sports team?
Missouri Tigers

Adult beverage?

Local bar AND restaurant (name both)?
Bar: Patton Alley Pub
Restaurants: I like too many to choose, but some of my favorites are Touch, St. Michaels, Galloway Station, and Umi

Legal term (in Latin, please)?
force majeure (it's actually French, though)

Airport (not Springfield)?
Austin, TX (it has great post-security-checkpoint BBQ sauce to take home as a souvenir!)




What's the first website you check every day?
Bloglines.com for my friends' facebook updates

One night, no consequences, whom do you seduce?
Matt Damon—Uh, I mean Matt Kerner. Hi honey! I love you!

What's the best thing about being younger than 30?
Taunting my co-workers! But they're going to get me on my birthday next year.



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