thecarrollnews.com

Personality profile: Barry Hennings

Taylor Pardue Staff Reporter

October 11, 2013

Barry Hennings was and is a sports fan.


He grew up in East Bend and attended the elementary school there before graduating from Forbush High School in 1980.


Hennings played the big three in sports — baseball, football and basketball — but it was basketball that really captured his heart.


He was a two-time all conference and two-time all tri-county player, and second runner up for the player of the year in Northwest North Carolina, among other achievements.


He was also on the first Yadkin team to appear in the Frank Spencer Holiday Classic in Winston-Salem. The team beat the defending champion and other 4A schools before losing in the finals to West Forsyth.


Hennings caught an elbow to the eye during one of the games and had to have his black eye stitched before the next game. He said people who attended the game still come up to him and talk about it.


Although he had several offers to play for Division 2 schools he decided to attend North Carolina State University and earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering. He graduated cum laude from State in 1984 with a degree in civil engineering.


That year was a big one for Hennings. He graduated, got a job, got a different job, and married his high school sweetheart Penny Williams — all before the year’s end.


Hennings and Penny will be married 29 years this month. They have two children, Barrett, a senior at Forbush High, and R. Parkley, a sixth-grader at Forbush Elementary.


Hennings said Barrett is the sixth in his class and is visiting colleges in preparation for his high school graduation. R. Parkley is 12 years old and seems poised to follow in her father’s footsteps with his love for basketball.


After leaving his first job in 1984, Hennings joined John S. Clark Company. Hennings said he loves construction and enjoyed getting to travel all across the southeast working on projects for the company.


Hennings worked as project manager, vice president of operations and at the Mount Airy office running the largest division of Clark’s before being promoted to president and CEO in 2011.


His career with the company spanned 27 years.


The company was bought in 2007 by a Japanese construction company. As the recession took its toll, the company began looking to sell John S. Clark.


Hennings and the chief financial officer for John S. Clark began putting together a management team and investors to purchase it from the Japanese company.


After three months of negotiations, however, the company decided to close John S. Clark rather than sell it.


Hennings and the management team decided to make the jump to Omega Construction out of Pilot Mountain. The relationships and contacts from 30 years of doing business went with them.


Hennings described the union as a match made in heaven, and described the transition as seamless.


Hennings was appointed president of Omega Construction in August 2012.


Since that time he said the company has seen steady growth and has been selected as a Triad Business Journal Top 50 Company as on of the top 50 fastest growing companies in the Triad.


Reach Taylor Pardue at 835-1513 ext. 15 or tpardue@civitasmedia.com.