“I am always proud and happy to refer to our special relationships in sports, business and socially…continue to pave the way for the many, including me, who admire your integrity, intellect and style.”
GEORGE'S STORY: “Faith, tenacity, education, and a white-hot desire to turn obstacles to opportunities.``
Born George Penebaker (1946), Tinsley grew up in Smoketown, an inner-city neighborhood one mile southeast of downtown Louisville, Kentucky.
While Tinsley’s single mother worked, he was cared for by an elderly woman, Willie Tinsley. At the time, Tinsley said, Willie Tinsley was about 60 years old. During the 40s, she and her husband had been business people in the Louisville area, but because of the depression, “they lost everything”. “She had one leg and walked on a crutch. After her husband passed away, she relocated to another area [Smoketown] in which she could afford to live.” One day, after spending the day with Willie Tinsley, his mother did not return. He was 7 months old and Willie Tinsley took him in and raised him in her home; “a one-room place; with a kitchenette, that was no bigger than 8’x10’.
One day, after spending the day with Willie Tinsley, his mother did not return. He was 7 months old.
At that time, Tinsley’s self-esteem and confidence level was low. He said that he was an average student because “I really didn’t apply myself. I had nowhere to do homework and was not motivated. No one wanted to see my report card.” Tinsley added that he could not remember a time when anyone questioned him about a C, D of F. “But it was not cool to be an A student or to be at the top,” he said. “You were a square, and picked on. So early on, I was probably considered more of a clown. I wanted to be a part of the in-crowd.” However, Tinsley’s athletic skills and height began to open doors for relationships within his neighborhood and his school. He was playing basketball, football and running track on several teams.
The teachers and coaches began to take a great interest in Tinsley from the standpoint of his athleticism. “They knew a little bit about my circumstances,” he said.
Tinsley’s reputation for having a big smile and great personality opened doors in the late 50s and early 60s. “Some adults in the neighborhood and a few of my teachers took active interest in guiding me,” he said.
Tinsley’s athletic skills and height began to open doors for relationships within his neighborhood and his school.
“When you win a national championship as a freshman and you are a starter, you have some nice things happen to you,” he continued. “The pictures in the paper, the parades, speaking engagements; you suddenly feel a lot better about yourself and my confidence grew.”
“The whole picture changed.” Tinsley’s participation in college athletics offered unexpected rewards. He had the opportunity to experience traveling throughout Europe and Africa, with his team, to act as ambassadors, to teach basketball and interact with state departments in other areas.
“Graduating from college, playing in the ABA, marrying Seretha, and finding my family are major life markers.``
“I joined a fraternity and made the dean’s list. I started to date my future wife, Seretha.”
All of those things, he said, “made me want to be more and more successful, both academically and from a college community standpoint.”
“I also had to face my personal situation and become formally adopted into the Tinsley family. At the same time, I had to face the idea that I did have another family out there.” At age 27, Tinsley found his mother, father, and 17 brothers and sisters. “That was a defining moment,” he said.
“Graduating from college , playing in the ABA, marrying Seretha and finding my family. These, Tinsley said, “are major life markers that shaped his future.
Today, Tinsley leads PenGeo, Inc. and Tinsley Family Concessions, Inc. which own and/or operate over sixty (60) restaurants in Florida and Kentucky.
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He and wife Seretha have been married for over 38 years and the union produced their two (2) adult children, Penni and George, II.
Believing that the family that works together stays together, the Tinsley’s have always included Penni and George in their business operation. The Tinsley business pursuits started with PenGeo, Inc., named for Penni and George II, is his legacy contribution to securing their financial future.
Both Tinsley and his wife, Seretha, are business-minded visionaries.
Early on, Penni and George II, through their involvement in the restaurant, learned the value of hard work and ethics, and developed an appreciation for entrepreneurship.
“They worked as much as they could in the business,” Tinsley said about their early involvement with KFC. “It gave us the opportunity to have them involved as well as being able to help other kids.” Penni and George II are now part of the Tinsley Family Business with roles of responsibility.
Now considered an extended family business, Tinsley boasts 22 godchildren, of which three play significant roles in the Tinsley businesses. The others have moved on and discovered success in their own rights.
George and Seretha, in partnership, continue to diversify and develop Tinsley family businesses.
Tinsley business pursuits started with PenGeo, Inc., named for his children, Penni and George II.
View George's History of Achievement, Accolades, and Recognition.
Jerome Hutchinson, Jr.
“George Tinsley is one of the most inspiring and authentic speakers I have heard. He is commanding, energizing and leaves the audience with clear examples and guidance on how to live your best life.”
“George is the consummate professional, both on the basketball court and in the business community. If he kept score of his accomplishments with the local youth, his scorecard would be incredible.”
“George has a great business sense, an outstanding working knowledge of the business and a terrific, engaging personality. I feel much richer having had the chance to know George;”
“I was impressed with his on-court talents as a basketball player, but I am even more impressed with his business skills. George has attained a level of success in the business world that I admire and respect.”
GEORGE W. TINSLEY, SR.
The summarization of George Tinsley, Sr.’s continued road to success could liken to that of a rags-to-riches story. But faith, tenacity, education and a white-heat desire to turn obstacles into opportunities are the true gifts that catapulted his life to where it is today… Read More