Lifework Leadership Blog

Lifework Leaders Renewing Cities

Monday, March 30, 2015 •

Gordon Pennington returned to his Michigan hometown a new man ready to help create a renewed city

In the 1920s Owosso, Mich., produced auto industry supplies and other industrial goods. A five-story red-brick warehouse just off Main St. was once home to the world's largest coffin-maker, the Owosso Casket Company, which produced 150 per day during the 1918 flu epidemic. That building, now four-fifths vacant, symbolizes Owosso's prosperous past and troubled present. Is it possible for the building and the city of 15,000 to have a second life?

Owosso native Gordon Pennington, 59, knows second lives. He moved to and conquered New York City, becoming director of marketing for Tommy Hilfiger and other Fortune 500 companies. But the big city conquered him: Alcohol, cocaine, and divorce left him thinking of suicide until a morning in 1997 when he awoke to an impression of light that made him think the words "choose life" were burned on his retinas. "God was calling out to me," Pennington recalls. He regained his faith in Christ and put his life together.  Read more.

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