Seretha Tinsley and her husband/business partner, George embody their motto...Corporate Excellence and Community Service. Seretha has been a trailblazer and overachiever her entire life. She became the first African American female to attend and graduate from Ky. Wesleyan College in 1971. In the mid eighties, Seretha became the one of the first black female General Managers in radio. Seretha was not only a “first” in many ways, she was a top achiever, having been awarded. Ky Wesleyan’s top student honor, the Oak and Ivy. Additionally, she was recognized as America’s top Radio Station General Manager. As an entrepreneur, civic leader, mother and wife, Seretha’s commitment to excellence has always been her calling card.
Born and raised in Louisville, KY, Seretha Summers graduated from Louisville Male High School in 1967 and went on to matriculate at Kentucky Wesleyan with a degree in Education in 1971.
Desiring to become a Missionary, Seretha took a 2 month trip to West Africa, visiting 6 countries and studying with educators from across the country. While in Africa, she developed such a respect for the way Africans were so informed about Americans and other Countries, she realized she could be more effective by becoming an educator in the US where she could have a greater impact on empowering young lives with knowledge.
Following her trip to Africa, Seretha embarked on what became a stellar career as an Elementary Teacher in the Jefferson County School System. While teaching, Seretha took an internship with her father, William E. Summers, III at WLOU Radio Station in Louisville. Working each afternoon, and on school holidays, she was introduced to the Broadcasting business by doing Community Ascertainments for licensing. Her father mentored her by having her start from the bottom and working her way up. Having worked the non-paying internship for 2 years, Seretha, counseled by her Mother, Eleanor Hutchinson, and ‘other father’ Jerome Hutchinson, she made the career move that would change her life. She retired after 3 years of teaching 5th grade and went to work full time at WLOU Radio Station. With role models such as her parents and the legendary Baltimore Broadcast Attorney Vince Pepper, she realized that business and radio was in her blood.
During her first 5 year tenure at WLOU, Seretha served as Program Director, Talk Show Hostess, and Operations Manager. When her husband, George, was relocated to Atlanta, GA, Seretha contacted Ragan Henry, owner of WAOK Radio and secured an entry level position with his Company. Within 6 months, Seretha was appointed Station Manager of WAOK and was instrumental in developing many initiatives, one of which was the 1st Annual WAOK Summer Gospel Songfest which was a catalyst for bringing business, church and community together.
After 3 short years, George, was relocated back to Louisville. Once back in Louisville, she returned to WLOU, this time, as Station/Sales Manager. Having worked in Atlanta, a major market, Seretha was able to take WLOU to large market status
thanks to her Programming and National Sales experience.
While working at WLOU, Ragan Henry, her previous employer at WAOK in Atlanta, called Seretha to offer her the position of VP/General Manager of WPDQ in Jacksonville, FL. Seretha accepted the opportunity. This time, George and 2 children, relocated with her to Jacksonville. While in Jacksonville, Seretha left her mark and received the ‘Radio Manager of the Year’
Award at the Jack the Rapper Annual Convention.
In 1983 George approached Seretha about going into business for themselves. Together, they stepped out on faith, quitting their jobs, to become KFC Franchisees. Being a consummate professional, Seretha, set out to learn every aspect of the business before entering into the venture. She went to “Chicken University” at the KFC Corporate Offices in Louisville, KY. After completing Chicken U, Seretha then worked in other Franchise Restaurants to get hands on experience.
That 1983 ‘Leap of Faith’ landed Seretha and family in Winter Haven, FL with their 1st KFC restaurant being built in Auburndale, FL. The company was named PenGeo, Inc. after their children, Penni and George. Twenty-five years later, Seretha and George have amassed restaurants and concessions generating over $40 million in annual revenue. In 2007, she proudly relinquished her title of Vice President of all companies to her son George II but remains active in each company as CFO. Seretha manages a staff that oversees all Administrative and Fiduciary responsibilities.
Seretha’s community service and progressive leadership has earned her numerous honors, recognitions and media coverage. She maintains her passion for teaching by incorporating it into every walk of her life. She is not just a phenomenal business woman; she takes pride in assisting others in reaching their “phenomenal potential”.