May, 1982 marked the beginning of PenGeo, Inc. George & Seretha Tinsley, two business minded visionaries created an institution and very appropriately named it after their 2 children, Penni and George. Little did they know that their dream would grow up to be such a grand institution. In 1984, they opened their first KFC restaurant with only 2 employees, George, Sr and Seretha. They had both excelled in the Colonel’s training program, so they knew just what to do. Customer service and quality in food preparation has always been their motto and guide in running their business. In 1986, they opened their 2nd KFC in nearby Haines City. And later on a 3rd KFC was opened in Baseball City. Also during that time, 6 KFC’s were in operation in Tampa, Clearwater and Hudson, FL.
Over the years, all but one, the first restaurant in Auburndale, has been sold. The Auburndale restaurant continues to be one of the highest volume units in the region for towns its size. What makes this restaurant special, our people. Two of our associates have over 20 years tenure each. Our average tenure for associates is seven years.
PenGeo, Inc.’s KFC provides a Special Dining experience. We pride ourselves on treating our customers like we want to be treated and that’s what makes the service we provide special. We’ve excelled in customer service and quality of food for over 20 years and our mission is to continue to do so. We not only have an experienced staff we have loyal and repeat customers.
Pengeo, Inc. is a perfect example of “Corporate Citizenship”at its finest. It’s involvement in the community extends beyond Business and into the heart of the community. The Tinsley’s are not just employers, they are mentors to their employees as well. It begins with such Company sponsored programs as the “Report Card Check”. Each employee whose attending school is asked to send their report cards into the office for review by the Tinsley’s. As a stimulus for improvement, special memos and incentives are given for improvement and encouragement for good grades. The annual $300.00 Pengeo, Inc. Book Scholarship for our employees is recognized by the Polk County School Board and has been beneficial in encouraging many employees to consider higher education as an option and helped many of PenGeo, Inc.s’ employees to further their education.
PenGeo, Inc. spearheads a Youth Leadership program for students throughout the county. This program is open to all students, the criteria being that they want to learn. No GPA or such requirements. This program works in partnership with the City and the Hospital in the area. We focus on career orientation, teaching young people 10 to 17 what it takes to make it in the world of work. A flagship program, we have been instrumental in touching thousands. Our company co-sponsored the first annual Teen Summitt. This event had approximately 500 young people in attendance from all over the state at no cost to the students. Seminars were given on topics like “How to handle your money wisely’‘, “How to complete an application and why a resume is important” and “The ABC’s of Business”, just to name a few.
It doesn’t stop there, Pengeo, Inc. partners with other organizations that make a positive impact on the youth in our local community as well as across the county and the nation. Knowing of our reputation with young people, organizations like the Boys and Girls Club, have often called on the Tinsleys’ and other Management of Pengeo, Inc. to assist with problem kids and sponsor team activities. Y.B.O.A. participants who travel across Florida and the nation are provided with a living example of what giving back is all about as the Tinsleys’ are in contact with them as they travel. Polk Community College and other community colleges in the state have found Pengeo, Inc. and the Tinsleys’ an ever ready source of support to their athletic and academic departments. Their employment of many of the students and athletes has been found to add that extra dimension of work ethic to the students.
The “Chicken Man” , as he is affectionately called by young and old alike, annually makes his presence known in the local parades celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Annually Pengeo, Inc. provides the Karamu (Feast), family style for the over 400 people in attendance. We work with the young people to provide a one hour skit to educate the attendees on the meaning, symbolism, and significance of Kwanzaa.
Both George and Seretha Tinsley, (and not just during Black History month),, go on the speaker’s circuit. They tell the story of PenGeo, Inc. d/b/a KFC by sharing our experiences in the business with the young people in the schools. On a more personal level, George and Seretha don’t limit their involvement to just youth, they speak annually at the prisons to encourage and educate those incarcerated. At various times and especially during the Holiday Season, Pengeo, Inc. partners with local churches, United Way and Catholic Charities to provide food for those in need. Separate and apart from other organizations, Pengeo, Inc. clothes needy children who might otherwise have to do without.
From a business point of view, Pengeo, Inc. has participated in the annual Black tie event, “Taste of Winter Haven”, for over 10 years. This prestigious event is sponsored by the Winter Haven Chamber and Pengeo, Inc. has been one of its Premier vendors. Dressed in tuxedos, red colonel type string ties, we present our KFC menu in extraordinary fashion. We feature a new product that gives the ‘atypical’ KFC customer a first hand introduction to our business.
These are just a few of the Community organizations the Tinsleys’ have shared their expertise with.
Community Board Memberships
United Way, Past Board member Polk Education Foundation Board Polk Community College Foundation Ridge Vo-Tech Advisory Council First Union Bank, Advisory Council Chamber of Commerce, SBA Forums Auburndale City Restoration Committee Polk Community College Speakers Bureau Coach, AAU/KFC Basketball Team Wachovia Bank Board Member
City of Winter Haven Community Service Proclamation Winter Haven Branch NAACP President’s Award Omega Psi Phi Citizen of the Year Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Citizen of the Year Haines City Dr. MLK Community Service Award National Coalition of Black Women Sponsorship Award City of Winter Haven Human Relations Committee Community Service Award Heartland Private Industry Participation Award