Twins, Donald and Ronald Pennington, match the definition of compassionate, humble, and successful. Born in Lexington, Kentucky and now settled in Berea, they have been successful business partners since 1955.
In July of 1955, Ronald joined his brother in Berea after serving four years in the U.S. Air Force. They became business partners in that year, owning Pennington’s Department Store. The store was located at 422 Chestnut Street, where People’s Bank currently stands. The brothers owned and ran the store together until 1968.
While running the department store, they also opened Pennington Insurance Agency in 1959. After the department store closed, they opened Pennington Reality Company. Today, Pennington Insurance and Pennington Reality Company stand side by side in Berea.
Aside from their careers they have also maintained families. Donald Pennington is married to Jane B. Pennington. They have two children, David D. and Joseph P. Pennington. David has two children of his own, Donald’s grandchildren, Bianca and Blaine. Joseph also has a son, named John Matthew.
Besides being involved with his family, Donald holds a long list of responsibilities and accomplishments in the community. He was the Director of People’s Bank from 1975 until 1985, and Director of the year in 1983. He has also been President of Youth League, President of Berea Athletic Boosters Club, President of the Rotary Club, and President of the Boy Scouts counsel. Donald also served as “Commander of Cleveland Frost Post 50 of the American Legion.” Yet, he is not all work. He acted as the Director of the Berea Country Club from 1965 until 1970. So, it was no surprise that when asked what his hobbies are, Donald had only one reply, “Golf.”
Donald has had the pleasure to work on many boards during large and memorable expansions. In the past he has served as the secretary for the Hospital Board and was on the Board during their big expansion. Donald was also on the Berea City Counsel from 1958 until 1966. He was serving on the city counsel during an expansion of City Hall.
Donald has also put hours of hard work into his career life. He is a past president of the Madison County Realtors, and Realtor of the year in 1974.
Ronald Pennington also has a lot to be proud of in Berea. He is married to Henrietta Pacetti Pennington. They have a son, Stephen R. Pennington, and daughter, Lisa P. Caudill. Stephen is married to Sally B. Pennington, and they have two sons, John Michael and Christopher Lee Pennington. Lisa is married to Billy Michael (Mike) Caudill, and they have two children, Steven Davis and Erin Elizabeth Caudill.
Ronald has served in many honorable positions in Berea. He was a Charter member of the Berea Hospital Board. He received the “Red Tie” awardfrom Mayor Kerby due to his work as the Vice Chairman of the Berea Industrial Board. He has also been a member of Cleveland Frost Post 50 of the American Legion since 1956. In 1989, he was awarded the “Legion of Merit” award. As well as, serving as the Director of the board for what was Blue Grass R.E.C.C. (now Blue Grass Energy) from 1988 until 1999. In addition to all the accomplishments outside of his career, Ronald was also President of the Madison County Board of Realtors in 1970.
Ronald has also seen several areas of Berea grow. He was on the Berea board of education from 1964-1972, during the time that the current Berea Community School was being built. When the new Fellowship hall for First Christian Church was being built, he was serving as the Deacon, Board Chairman and Property Chairman.
Donald and Ronald Pennington have accomplished numerous feats individually, but together they have combined their talents and given back a great deal to Berea. In 1969 they broke ground on what is now Phillips Street, but at the time was Manious, to form Berea’s first designated Mobile Home Park. Later in 1971, they built what is now IGA on Clay drive; it became the second supermarket for Berea. Then, together in 1974 they worked hard to bring another Bank to Berea. At the time there was only two banks in Berea and they found it hard to help clients obtain a long term Real Estate loan. In May of the same year they purchased property on Chestnut Street to form what is currently FirstStar Bank. The Pennington’s are also strong players in the Cancer Movement in Berea.
A picture of Owsley Fork currently hangs in the Pennington office. Donald showed the photograph, “It’s a job I’m very proud of” he shared. He explained that Pennington Reality purchased the land that is currently Owsley Fork, for Berea College in 1972. There were several people who had to give up their homes in order for the purchase to be made. Yet, the results have benefited the town as a whole through the creation of a recreation spot, and the supply of drinking water.
Together Ronald and Donald, continue to be lively and successful. They have served on numerous committees and held many positions that have impacted life in Berea. Today, they can be found spending time with their families and running their companies as well as impacting their community.
Written by Hannah Billings
Copyright 2002 Bereaonline.com / DataStar Unlimited Inc.