Turfgrass Council of North Carolina – Member Spotlight on Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient Willie Pennington
North Carolina Turfgrass – Turfgrass Council of NC
Willie Pennington joined BASF in 1972 as production manager at the manufacturing site in Tucker, Georgia. He moved to Charlotte, North Carolina in 1975 and served as Sales Representative for the agricultural products business, covering soybean, corn and cotton markets. Pennington earned three sales of the year awards for increased sales of new products.
In 1991, he was promoted to Market Manager / National Accounts Manager in the Specialty Products Department to develop business plans for distributors, resellers and 3rd party customers. Pennington supported the development of the NPV model for BASF products in the Turf and Ornamentals markets. Beginning in 1978, he was involved with BASF active ingredients in markets other than soybeans and cotton, before BASF officially established a Specialty business in the T&O segments in the mid 90s.
In 1996, Pennington became Regional Accounts Manager, covering the eastern U.S. for the T&O business. His primary responsibilities included distributor and reseller calls from South Carolina to Maine.
In 2000, he was promoted to Fumigation Specialist managing the golf course renovation (regrassing) projects in the U.S. He worked with golf course architects and builders on more than 75 golf courses and athletic fields to improve turfgrass stands and improved playability. Pennington implemented training courses, developed protocols, and supported the writing of a fumigation manual in the state of Virginia.
He collaborated with Certis USA / (Advan LLC) as a fumigation specialist to complete the transfer of the sale of the fumigation business from BASF to Kanesho Soil Treatment, and provide technical experience in the re-grassing of golf courses.
Pennington is a Past President of the Pesticide Association of NC and Board Member of The J C Raulston Arboretum at NC State University. He is also a Past President of the Board of Directors of the NC Cooperative Extension Service Foundation (NCCESF) and past member of the Board of Directors of the Central NC Chapter of the National Assn. of Investment Clubs (NAIC) and has provided investment education to Investment Clubs.
Pennington has served on panels at Crittenden conferences to discuss golf course renovations with Architects, Builders and prospective golf courses. Projects renovated include:
- University of DE, Newark, DE
- University of VA, Charlottesville, VA
- University of SC, Columbia, SC
- Warren Memorial Stadium (NFL Pro Bowl), Maui, HI, with George Toma
- Cincinnati Bengals Stadium, OH
- Reading Phillies, Reading, PA
- Philadelphia CC, Philadelphia, PA
- Wilmington CC, Wilmington, DE
- Bayshore CC, Miami, FL
- Loxahatchee CC, FL
- Frenchmen’s Creek, FL
- PGA West, LaQuinta, CA
- Olympia Fields CC, Olympia Fields, IL
- Medinah CC, Medinah, IL and others.
Pennington retired as Sales Representative – North Carolina and South Carolina where he promoted the proper use of BASF active ingredients on golf courses, Lawn Care, nursery, greenhouse and landscape markets as well as introducing new active ingredients in market segments.
Awards / Recognition:
- Three (3) Sales Awards with the BASF Professional & Specialty Solutions business.
- Green Resource LLC (2019) – Industry Service Award (along with Pat O’Brien, USGA)
- Triangle Turfgrass Association (2019) – Lifetime Member
- Turfgrass Council of North Carolina (2019) – Lifetime Achievement Award
Pennington has served his community and the world by completing 16 or more international Mission trips (Austria, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Italy) with trips planned to Ecuador and Spain in February and October 2020.
Pennington is a graduate of Tuskegee University (formerly Tuskegee Institute); 1970 – BS, Chemistry Education.
He was a four-year letterman and cocaptain of the varsity football team; AllConference selection – 1968.
Thank you, Mr. Pennington, for your dedication to the industry and your influence in the North Carolina turfgrass community and beyond!READ THE ISSUE