Jonathan Penny is joining the staff at Penny’s Concrete Inc., the company founded 82 years ago by his great-grandparents.
Penny and his wife, Kim, are moving back to Lawrence from Durango, Colo., where Jonathan Penny had been working in development with the Southern Ute Indian Tribe, while Kim Penny had been in real estate.
Jonathan Penny won’t have an official job description, but his upcoming arrival is being embraced by father and company CEO Bill Penny.
“We’re not big on titles around here,” said Bill Penny, whose Shawnee-based operation has 20 concrete plants in Kansas and Missouri, including one that opened 35 years ago at 800 E. Eighth St. in Lawrence. “He’s attracted to being closer to family, and that’s good for all of us.”
Penny’s Concrete also has Penny’s six sand-dredging plants, including one at 900 E. Eighth St. in Lawrence, and another just east of town at 1752 N. 1500 Road.
While the market for construction materials continues to lag, the company has managed to provide concrete for a variety of public jobs, such as a $130 million overhaul and reconstruction of the Kansas Turnpike through northern Lawrence.
“Penny’s Concrete is intact and moving forward, trying to do it in this economy,” Bill Penny said. “We’re planning on staying in business, hopefully for another generation or two.”