Penny Loughan, CEO of The Pantry of Broward has one common thread through her personal and professional life; service to others. This service is in the form of serving our country and our community. Penny served in the US Army for 21 years and retired awarded The Meritorious Service Medal.
Making Broward County her home after the Army, Penny brought her work ethics and training with her.
For eight years, she was a JROTC teacher at Piper High School. Under her command, this unit was designated a “JROTC Honor Unit with Distinction”.
Her next position was three-years, with the Cooperative Feeding Program, an agency feeding the homeless and families fallen on hard times. During this time, Penny and BJ Buntrock met. They took interest in the plight of seniors and their needs. This planted the seed for Penny’s newest entrepreneurship The Pantry of Broward. Together they designed and implemented a unique social service, tightly focused on the needs of seniors on a low fixed income and grandparents raising grandchildren.
The Pantry of Broward opened in July of 2008 as a one-stop shop for seniors. They have since carved an important niche in the growing spectrum of social service needs. With the support of key professionals and 200 volunteers The Pantry of Broward is having a major impact reducing the discomfort and suffering of seniors throughout Broward County.
What do you enjoy the most about your work? Actually being able to see the results of our efforts to help our clients
You are out in the public arena quite often; who is the most interesting person you have ever met? Susie Lavan
Is there a charitable event(s) you really look forward to attending each year? Dancing With the Stars of Broward.
What is your greatest strength(s) that makes you such an asset to your organization? My passion for our mission, our clients and our team that makes it all happen
What is your greatest challenge at this time? Bringing in enough money to keep our doors open
What is the most important thing you have learned through the years? If I am always honest and never lie, I never have to worry about what I said.
How do you relax? Sunny skies, lots of water, good deck chair and a great book
Do you have a favorite vacation spot? Any cruise ship going someplace warm for ten or more days.
How can we reach out to other people in the world? Networking
When you were a little girl, what did you say you wanted to be when you grew up? When I was a little girl we had the option of housewife, nurse, teacher or secretary, wasn’t interested so made my own path as I went.
What is your vision and hope for the future? The Pantry will grow, be funded and we won’t have to have a waiting list.
What do you think is the biggest problem we are facing in this country today? An angry& depressed population with politicians who have forgotten how to work together and just who they work for.
How do you want to be remembered by future generations? Loving, loyal, honest
If you were to write an autobiography, what would the title of it be? It’s Been A Long and Interesting Life. Or, how a little poor girl from the sticks of Vermont made it to the big city.
Who is your hero? Gloria Steinman
In order to thrive and survive in the corporate workplace, we sometimes have to desensitize ourselves in order to get ahead. Not being real and authentic, isn’t that a big sacrifice to make? If I ever become desensitized it will be time for me to move on and change careers.
How does one hold on to their true self in the corporate world and still become successful? By being true to yourself, and the ideals you hold on to.
How do you stay so motivated and committed? Again, Passion for what we do and what we see happening everyday at The Pantry.
When does someone know when it’s time to move on? When the inspiration is gone and they would rather spend the day in bed
What is your favorite sport? Professional Football
Do you feel women have made progress in their quest to be treated fairly and equally in the workplace? Of course they have made progress, but they still have a long way to go, and they need to learn to work together and quit competing with each other.
How does the “seasoned” woman compete in a marketplace that is focused on looking and being young? Young is a “mental” attitude. At The Pantry I’m considered a teenager.
Is there a special “aha” moment in your life when you knew “I get it now!”? When I became a Mom, I finally understood what all those other Mom’s had been babbling on about.
You are evidently a very capable and talented woman/man, what other talent do you wish you had been born with? A quicker wit
What will we find you doing on a Saturday night? Curled up in my papason chair with Netflix and my remote
What is your favorite room in your house? My computer/living room
If your house was up for sale, and a potential buyer did a walk through, what would your home say about you? Boy, she downsized after the kids left home.
What is your pet peeve? When people assume I have done “something” without asking me first.
What is your greatest weakness? Being uncomfortable asking for money for The Pantry. Love talking about our clients and our stories but when it comes time to say, “bring out those check books” I stumble.
What are you most disciplined about? Regulations and fairness.
If there were a movie being made about your life, what actor/actress would best play you? All the ones I would ever have hoped for are dead, and not familiar with some of the younger ones, but maybe Sandra Bullock
What is a moment you will never forget? The day my daughter was born
What is something you have learned from a pet? Unconditional love
.Do you have a Fashion Addiction? Just try to dress age appropriate
What is your favorite snack? Nuts of any kind as long as they are salted
What do you have to say to all the young women/men out there ready to take on the future? If you think you are ready then make sure you have work ethics and no matter what job you start at, give it 100% for as long as you are doing it.
How do we get our young people more interested in charitable giving and community volunteering? Start them young, and teach by example and let show them that life really isn’t “all about them” there are other people in the universe.
What would you like to see happen in our world, let’s say, five years from now? Probably what everyone wants, world peace, lots of jobs, stable economy—going to dream, dream big
What can we personally do to make things better for future generations? Teach them to fend for themselves and take responsibility for their actions. Make them understand consequences and not just how to spell it.
Thanks so much for being a special person on Blacktie-Southflorida's Have You Met!