published Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

Gerald Perritt named CEO of Chattanooga-based Kenco

Kenco Group Inc. forklift operator, Robby Johnson, transports Frigidaire appliances with his forklift while working in the 500,000 square foot warehouse.
Kenco Group Inc. forklift operator, Robby Johnson, transports Frigidaire appliances with his forklift while working in the 500,000 square foot warehouse.
Photo by Dan Henry /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

KENCO AT A GLANCE

• Founded: 1950

• Headquarters: Chattanooga

• Warehouse space: 25 million feet nationally; 4 million in Chattanooga area

• Employees: 3,400 nationally; 600 full time in Chattanooga

THE PERRITT FILE

The new CEO of Kenco, Gerald Perritt, graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1987. Before joining Kenco, Perritt served as senior vice president of contract logistics in the Americas for UTi Worldwide. He has been an active member of Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, served on the national board of directors of the Warehousing Education and Research Council, and on the government affairs committee of the International Warehouse Logistics Association.

Source: Kenco

KENCO’S CHAIRWOMAN

Before she bought a controlling stake at Kenco in 2011, Jane Kennedy Greene worked in alumni development for Vanderbilt University and in account management for several advertising agencies both in New York City and Dallas. She currently resides in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Greg and three children.

Source: Vanderbilt University

Kenco Group has appointed the first nonfamily president and CEO to run the sprawling logistics and warehousing enterprise.

Jane Kennedy Greene, a Texas-based advertising executive who took control of the logistics company in 2011 from her brother, Jim Kennedy III, on Tuesday appointed Gerald Perritt as the top executive of Kenco, completing the process of replacing her brother’s management team with a new one.

Perritt will report directly to the Kenco board of directors through Greene, who has served as both chairwoman and CEO since the 2011 shake-up. Greene, who was able to take charge after purchasing a controlling interest in the company, will continue in her role as board chairwoman.

Perritt formerly served as senior vice president of contract logistics in the Americas for UTi Worldwide.

“Gerald Perritt is a close cultural fit for our company,” said Greene, whose father and his brother-in-law, Sam Smartt Sr., founded Kenco in 1950. “With the continued growth of our company, the board recognized an opportunity to restructure senior executive leadership to best support our outstanding team, and to help direct and guide Kenco as we continue to fulfill our potential. Gerald will be an excellent person to lead us through these transitions and build on our successes.”

Until Tuesday, the privately-held company has remained tight-lipped about the rationale or details of recent changes at the top. A company spokesperson in 2011 said the moves had to do with succession planning, while co-founder Jim Kennedy Jr. called it a “reorganization.”

In a news release, Perritt said he was humbled to be chosen as the new leader for one of the top logistics companies in the U.S.

“I am honored and humbled to be joining the Kenco team as CEO,” said Perritt. “Over time, I’ve grown to admire a handful of companies in our industry and Kenco is right at the top.”

Previous CEO Gary Mayfield retired when Greene took over in 2011, with Shelia Crane taking over as president and Andy Smith moving into the chief operating officer. Crane has since moved up to a position as vice chairman, and Smith left the company in 2012. Sam Smartt Jr., son of the company’s co-founder and 30-year veteran, was named dealer-principal of Kenco Toyota-Life, which supplies fork lifts and other materials handling equipment.

Contact Ellis Smith at esmith@timesfreepress.com or at 757-6315.

KENCO GROUP COMPANIES

• Kenco Logistics Services

• Kenco Transportation

• Kenco Toyota-Lift

• Kenco Management Services

• JDK Real Estate

ABOUT KENCO

Kenco, a woman-owned company, provides logistics services, transportation, real estate management and material handling equipment to Fortune 500 companies like Whirlpool, Glaxo SmithKline, Electrolux, Green Mountain Coffee, DuPont, Mead Johnson, Ralston, Cummins and Stryker.

Source: Kenco

about Ellis Smith...

Ellis Smith joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in January 2010 as a business reporter. His beat includes the flooring industry, Chattem, Unum, Krystal, the automobile market, real estate and technology. Ellis is from Marietta, Ga., and has a bachelor’s degree in mass communication at the University of West Georgia. He previously worked at UTV-13 News, Carrollton, Ga., as a producer; at the The West Georgian, Carrollton, Ga., as editor; and at the Times-Georgian, Carrollton, ...

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