Professional background: Pennington has worked in the real estate industry for 30 years and was an intricate part of the teams that opened the first Northwest Arkansas offices for Flake & Kelley Commercial and Moses Tucker. In her existing role, she manages the second-largest commercial real estate property management team in the state, overseeing 10 million square feet. She supports Susan G. Komen and the American Diabetes Association.
What has been the most fulfilling moment of your career so far? Having several of the younger professionals that I have mentored and taken under my wing succeed and grow into savvy business men and women. That by far is my greatest joy and accomplishment.
What is something distinctive people would be surprised to know about you? I am a country girl at heart. I grew up in northeast Oklahoma with a Native American stepfather who afforded me a childhood rich in Native American history and culture.
What was your dream job as a kid and why? I wanted to be a DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] agent. Growing up in northeast Oklahoma, the drug exposure kids face was immense. I have always wanted to make a difference in others’ lives.
What advice would you give young women who are currently at the beginning of their careers? You are only as good as the team you build. Everyone has their own goals in mind, and it can feel like we need to step on others to achieve those goals or come out on top. I am here to tell you that is not the case and would encourage you to hire and cultivate from all talent groups and to always treat others as you would want to be treated, which should always be with dignity and respect.
Of all the mentors in your professional career, who has been the most influential and why? Dr. G.A. and Elsie Sexton were a huge influence in my early career and life. Ms. Elsie exhibited, on a daily basis, what a strong independent business woman looks like, which has by all means attributed to my success and many of my life choices.
What character traits do you feel have benefited you in your success? In this day and time, honesty, integrity and loyalty are hard to come by, and I learned early on that it is better to tell people the truth than to sugarcoat it. You may not always get what you want to hear from me, which can make me unpopular at times, but you will get a true answer that you can take to the bank.
How do you spend your time away from work? What are your hobbies? I love being outdoors. My favorite downtime usually consists of running or hiking. I am kind of an introvert at times who loves spending time with her dogs away from the hustle and bustle.
What’s your biggest passion and why? My passion is to be good at what I do and to mentor and/or help as many people as I can along the way. I want to add value to people’s lives. I want people to smile when they hear my name because I made a difference in their lives in a positive way.
What’s the next big personal or career challenge you plan to take on? I recently lost a friend who struggled for years to find personal happiness, and in return, made some poor health choices. I would like to become more involved with organizations that will allow me to give back by helping others to make healthier choices and most importantly encourages them to love themselves along with finding some inner peace and happiness.
Can you share what you have learned about your business from the COVID-19 pandemic? COVID has forced the world into a new reality. It has demonstrated how connected we are and how that connectedness is a source of great vulnerability. To survive, we have to become more agile in our ability to adjust or change our business model with rapidity to ensure that we are providing our clients and tenants with the foremost in service and support.
What’s your favorite app at the moment? I use LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram on a daily basis for business connectivity purposes. However, with everything going on in our world, my husband and I are both finding a little comic relief from day-to-day stresses in TikTok.