Jesse Black grew up in beautiful Asheville, NC, where his love of nature and the outdoors blossomed. Jesse attended AB Tech Community College, where he received a degree in Automotive Repair. He is currently working on mastering steam structures and heavy equipment mechanics & operation. Jesse is passionate about hiking, camping, hunting and fishing. He also enjoys time spent working on and riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Will Fortenbaugh is Penland Contracting's GPS specialist / Heavy Equipment Operator and is extremely passionate about the stream restoration projects he's involved in. Originally from Maryland, Will is a graduate of Warren Wilson College located in Swannanoa, North Carolina, where he graduated with a B.F.A. in Fine Art. He has currently completed his first Rosgen course. Will is an enthusiastic muskie fisherman and is the current Vice President of the WNC Muskie Club. He also enjoys hiking, camping, and is an avid skateboarder.
Larry Penland, VP of Penland Contracting, has been working with the family business for over 35 years. Larry graduated from Western Carolina University with a B.S. in Earth Science and has since worked as Project Manager for hundreds of power line, dam construction, golf course construction, and stream restoration projects. Larry is an expert in leading complex specialty grading projects and is a graduate of the Level 1 & 2 Rosgen courses. Larry is very active in youth sports and is and avid trout fisherman and hunter. He also raises polled hereford cattle and working on his restored 1950's Willis Jeep truck.
Erin Mang was one of Penland Contracting's first summer interns and is now a proud full-time P.C. employee. Erin is a GPS Specialist and our resident staking super-star. She holds a B.S. in Natural Recources from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee. Her hobbies include farming, hunting, fishing, hiking, playing with her dog, and keeping the Penland Contracting boys in line.
C. Lewis Penland (AKA Lewis Jr.), VP of Penland Contracting, was a participant in the Mountain Landscapes Initiative Toolbox, a document created to aid in planning issues in Western North Carolina. He is a former chairman of the Macon County Planning Board and helped with the Clean Water Contractor classes. Penland Jr. has been on the board of many local environmental and educational organizations, including the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (now Mainspring Conservation Trust), Rabun Gap Nacoochee School and the Construction Management Program at Western Carolina University. He was involved in the Franklin to Fontana watershed study and consulted the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians on their erosion control standards. He is a graduate of WCU with a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and Technology, and has completed the Level 1 & 2 Rosgen courses.
R. Lewis Penland (AKA Lewis Sr.) formed Penland Contracting in 1968 and led the company in their involvement in the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway, interstate highways, numerous USACE projects throughout the southern United States and a large scale power line project in Panthertown Valley for Duke Energy. Lewis is a graduate of NC State with a B.S. in Agricultural Engineering, where he was a charter member of the Farmhouse Fraternity. Lewis Penland Sr. is still active in the company along with his two sons, Lewis Penland Jr. and Larry Penland. Lewis Sr. is well-known throughout Macon County NC for his philanthropy and has been especially supportive of recreational facilities, FFA, and agriculture-related youth activities.
Logan Needham is the Project Scientist and Project Manager for Penland Contracting, leading several stream restoration projects and supervising all staking including labor management. Logan is a graduate of Western Carolina University with a B.S. in Natural Resource Conservation and Management, with a concentration in Soil and Water Conservation. Some of his related course work was Soil Conservation, Soils and Hydrology, Forest Ecology, Hydrology, Contaminated Rivers, GIS/RIS classes, Landscape Ecology, Watershed Management, Microeconomics and NRM economics. He is a graduate of the Level 1 & 2 Rosgen courses. Logan is an enthusiastic trout fisherman and has been a popular trout fishing guide.
Keith Parker is a long-time operator extraordinaire who has worked with Penland Contracting for over 30 years. Specializing in equipment operation, heavy equipment mechanical repairs, labor supervision and structure placement, Keith is detail oriented and is a true "Jack of all Trades"! Keith is an active member and volunteer at Cowee Baptist Church. Keith enjoys camping and spending time with his family.