Background provides Pendergraft perspective
by Jessica Loeding
Apr 07, 2014 | 1586 views | 0 0 comments | 43 43 recommendations | email to a friend | print
David Pendergraft serves on the board of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, acts with the theatre group Pumphouse Players and works for Zep, Inc. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
David Pendergraft serves on the board of the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce, acts with the theatre group Pumphouse Players and works for Zep, Inc. SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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An Oklahoma-born materials manager who attended college on an opera scholarship, David Pendergraft brings a versatility to the business world.

The 58-year-old father of two joined Zep, Inc. in Emerson four years ago as senior demand and supply chain manager.

“We cover a lot of bases — mostly demand planning, supply planning and some aspect of the warehouse, receiving in my case — as a team; we manage all of the production schedules, customer inventory levels and raw material deliveries for the facility,” Pendergraft said.

Currently, Pendergraft serves on the Cartersville-Bartow County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and is a participant in the chamber’s 2014 Adult Leadership Bartow. He also can be found onstage with the Pumphouse Players community theater group.

Name: David Pendergraft

Age: 58

Occupation: Senior Demand and Supply Chain Manager for Zep, Inc.

City Of Residence: Cartersville

Family: Girlfriend, Aimee Kerry; sons, Ben Pendergraft and Nick Powell; daughter-in-law, Molly Powell; granddaughter, Audrey Powell; and parents, Earl and Connie Pendergraft

Education: B.S. Education from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, 1983

How did you become a materials manager in the retail department of Zep? And what does the job entail?

A: At the time, Zep had gone a couple of years without a materials manager at their Emerson facility — that was four years ago. It’s been a great ride ever since.

It has also been a lot of fun getting to know everyone from Bartow County and whether they went to Cass or Cartersville and who’s cousins with whom and who used to work in which department over the past 20 years and the whole history of Enforcer and the snows of ’93, and seven buildings later we’re running about $110 million annually in sales.

We cover a lot of bases — mostly demand planning, supply planning and some aspect of the warehouse, receiving in my case — as a team; we manage all of the production schedules, customer inventory levels and raw material deliveries for the facility.

You serve on the board for the chamber. What do you see as the largest benefit to businesses of being involved with the chamber?

A: Working for Zep I see a lot of the current issues through the manufacturing lens, but there are so many great businesses in Bartow County and so many more on their way. This particular group of folks puts a lot of hard work into maintaining “unity in the community,” as Joe Harris would say. Building a lot upon leadership and advocacy, the Chamber of Commerce works directly with the city, county and state governments to help provide a strong and vibrant business platform that is providing growth and retention opportunities for all of our legacy businesses, as well as fertile ground for a multitude of manufacturing, retail and tourism businesses to thrive here in the very near future. Bartow County is one of four counties in northwest Georgia responsible for $26 billion in exports annually.

One of your other “hats,” acting, puts you on stage with the Pumphouse Players. How did you get into acting and what do you love about it?

A: I started acting in a play called “Equus” that was presented at the Dalton Little Theatre way back in 1980. My next role was Guildenstern in “Hamlet” at the Chattanooga Theatre Center and my next role after that was in Sam Shepard’s “Buried Child.” After that I went on to perform in 45 plays from 1980-91 everywhere from Chattanooga and Dalton to the Academy Theatre and Essential Theatre here in Atlanta to the Flat Rock Playhouse over in North Carolina and on to the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival up in Morristown, N.J. I love everything about it — theatre is a very collaborative, disciplined and creative environment.

I took 20 years off to help raise my younger son. Then I started back here in Bartow County about two years ago with Leslie McCrary’s Stageworks group — my first play back was “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare: Abridged” that we did at the Clarence Brown Visitor’s Center. I had an opportunity to work with Will and Morgan Brooks and Joel Coady and they were absolutely great. My biggest challenge was trying to learn lines again after 20 years.

Your faith is very important to you. Can you speak about how it impacts both your personal and professional life?

A: My personal relationship with God is the bedrock of my life. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

What makes Bartow County special?

A: The people. The people here are honest, hard working, loving-life-to-the-fullest folks, looking to take care of their families and their community as best they can.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

A: I went to college on an opera scholarship.

You were born and spent most of your formative years in Oklahoma. How did that experience shape who you are today?

A: It taught me the value of diversity. Oklahoma is a land rich with natural resources and straight-talking folks. Doesn’t really matter what part of the world you’re from, if you grow up in Oklahoma you learn to get to the point. So, how does one get to any one point considering five different tribal councils, a multitude of descendants from the land rush and a field full of oil barons? We work together and find a way. We just do it without a lot of talking.

What is the best advice you’ve received? And what advice do you give your sons?

A: If you want to be an airline pilot, go find some airline pilots and do what they did. Don’t ask someone who isn’t an airline pilot how to be an airline pilot.

What is your favorite meal?

A: Everything Aimee cooks.

When they make “The David Pendergraft Story,” which actor would play David P.?

A: Michael Keaton.