Pennington Block Company owner and founder Charles Pennington was honored last week as the city of Corbin’s “Business Leader of the Year.”
The honor was bestowed on Pennington during the annual Business Appreciation Lunch, held at The Corbin Center. About 150 people attended the event.
Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney lauded Pennington as a hardworking visionary.
“Working as a bricklayer as a young man and noticing the sub par offerings of concrete blocks locally, Charles founded Pennington Block Company in 1956 in a barn off of Scuffletown Road in order to make better versions of the product he was working with daily,” McBurney said.
Pennington would work eight to 10 hour shifts as a mason, then manufacture bricks, by hand, in the evenings. Soon, demand for his product outstripped his ability to produce it. That’s when he decided to modernize and expand the block-making operation, and moved it to a larger area and facility off of South Main Street.
Pennington Block Company existed there until it closed. Pennington retired in 2017.
McBurney noted that Pennington Block Company produced block for “millions of block and supplied builders, both small and large, in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.”
Blocks from Pennington Block Company were used on projects like the American Greetings plant and Trademart Shopping Center, and many other businesses and residences.
“When you look around, you can see his products making up the foundation of our city and still holding strong,” McBurney said.
Pennington also was involved in other commercial ventures including coal, gas stations, motels and more.
McBurney presented Pennington, who was surrounded by family at the event, with a special plaque to commemorate the award.
In a brief speech, Pennington expressed gratitude.
“Thank you all for coming to see me get this award,” Pennington said.
Corbin City Manager Marlon Sams also acknowledged long-time City Collector Dorotha Weber for her service to the city. Weber retired last Friday after serving the city for 27 years.
“It’s been a good run. It’s going to be an adjustment for me, but I’m looking forward to it,” Weber said.
Anthony Powers, who had been serving as interim Vice President of Baptist Health Corbin since the departure of Larry Gray earlier this year, announced he had been named President of the hospital.
The event was catered by Bubby’s BBQ.
The Business Appreciation Lunch is held annually to honor and recognize the Corbin business community, and spotlight the contributions of certain individuals who have been important to industry in Corbin.