Faces of Pitcairn


Kelly_Pennekamp

Kelly Pennekamp

Controller
September 2020

With schools back in session, whether remote, in-person or a hybrid version, many working parents are facing a new challenge of work-life balance. Pitcairn is revered for its flexible, family-focused culture, which is one of the core attractions for retaining employees. Our average employee tenure is over 10 years. 

Controller Kelly Pennekamp began her career at Pitcairn over three years ago, switching industries, and joined a firm that she felt aligned with her work-life values. We asked her what attracted her to Pitcairn and how she’s handling the “new normal” when balancing her career and home life.  

Why Pitcairn?

When I was looking for my next professional opportunity, it was very important to me that my work and career fit for my family. As a family business, it seemed like Pitcairn understood and supported the concept of work-life balance. When I interviewed and realized the family culture was pervasive throughout the organization, it felt like the perfect choice.

And now, three years in? Is Pitcairn supporting your work-life balance?

Yes, Pitcairn understands that all employees’ home situations are unique and how work requirements are met within their home situations are unique too. The pandemic has made this more evident to everyone.  Even pre-pandemic, Pitcairn has afforded this working parent (me) the flexibility, room, and trust to meet my professional demands without sacrificing my personal ones. If this meant running out to take care of a pediatrician’s appointment, I was treated with professionalism and trusted to be professional in return in meeting my job responsibilities. Now in the current pandemic environment where my personal and professional lives are running next to each other… literally… professionalism and trust on both sides, I feel, have been key ingredients in Pitcairn’s ability to transition to the “new normal”.

How is Pitcairn allowing you to be the best Controller that you can be, especially during a pandemic where it is necessary to work remotely?

I feel that everyone at Pitcairn is rooting for each other to succeed. That positive support and encouragement work up and down the org chart. Pitcairn is a firm where job descriptions and the people that fill them do not work within a fenced-in division of responsibility. Our flexible culture was prepared for a crisis. Processes that worked pre-pandemic worked the same remotely when the pandemic hit. Everyone’s goal was to work towards the success of the company regardless of our job description. 

Tell us about your team.

My colleagues, Jen Mercurio and Eddie Leon, have a long tenure with the company’s Corporate Finance team and in the industry – two things I do not have. Having worked in the manufacturing, software, and biotech industries, I bring a different approach to the mixture, which complements our team. Jen, Eddie, and I have built a strong relationship. We trust each other and want to see each other succeed both at and outside of Pitcairn.

And outside of Pitcairn, what is it that you like to do for yourself?

I run a tight ship at home with three active children… four, if you count Greg, my husband, as he has his own interests that I need to prepare all of us for. I can be found most days running kids to lacrosse or swimming meets, games, and practices. Additionally, we are a family of skiers – water and snow. I personally love to read on the beach and certainly find time to fit that in as well.