Kenny Crenshaw is a formidable leader. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) for Tennessee named him its 2009 Small Business Champion for Tennessee and the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce honored him as the Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012. He was applauded as a tireless supporter of small business by the NFIB and lauded as an individual who has made a noticeable contribution to the local economy by the Bartlett Chamber. His business was named a Top 5 Finalist in the 2014 (and 2013) Memphis Business Journal Small Business Awards, 26-60 employee category, which signifies that Herbi-Systems is among the most successful businesses in the Mid-South and is credited with shaping the Memphis economy. His company also won two Bartlett Chamber Barty Awards (for Marketing and Customer Service) at the 2013 ceremony in July.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam appointed Crenshaw to the state Pest Control Board in Dec. 2012. As a member of the board, Crenshaw advises the Commissioner of Agriculture on issues related to the pest control industry and certifies applicants in the industry for licensing. Members are chosen based on their expertise and experience in the field and serve a 4-year term.
Crenshaw also received the Patriot Award in 2012 given by the Employers in Support of Guard and Reserve. The award is presented to a supervisor or boss who has been nominated by an employee of the National Guard or Reserve for granting flexible work schedules and leaves of absences.
An advocate for small business, Crenshaw has been a National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) member for more than 20 years. He was one of the founding members of the Memphis Area Action Council of the NFIB where he served as chair for seven years. He also served on the state Leadership Council of NFIB.
A volunteer leader within industry organizations, Crenshaw is a board member of the Memphis Assoc. of Turf and Ornamental Managers (ATOM) (2010-present), a member of the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP); Tennessee Vegetation Management Association (TVMA), past board member; and Mississippi Vegetation Management Association (MVMA), past board member, president (1999 and 2007).
Crenshaw’s Roots and Herbi-Systems History
Born to be an entrepreneur with a love for the outdoors, Crenshaw had his own lawn mower repair shop by age 12. After high school, he turned his entrepreneurial eye toward agribusiness. A former rodeo cowboy, he went on to Northwest Junior College in Senatobia, Miss. on a rodeo scholarship (1980-1982) and obtained his associate’s degree in agriculture. He earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering technology and business from Mississippi State University (1984) while competing on the MSU rodeo team. He also was a contestant at the College National Finals in Bozeman, Mont. (1984). Following graduation, Crenshaw competed as a semi-pro in the International Professional Rodeo Assoc.
Crenshaw climbed the ladder of success from the ground up, mowing lawns for Taylor Pest Control while a student. After college graduation, he joined investor Bob Taylor in a partnership and the two founded Herbi-Systems together in 1984. Crenshaw was the only employee and eventually bought Taylor out to take the sole leadership reins.
Crenshaw began his Bartlett-based business with one used Ford truck, which he bought for $4500, to currently 40 trucks costing upwards of $50,000 to $100,000 each. He saw employees grow from zero to 50 and clients from zero to 9,000 plus industrial business from zero to 15,000 miles of roadside. Crenshaw’s business philosophy is to hire good people and get out of their way. He has a long-tenured management staff and an increasing and loyal client base.
Herbi-Systems is now the largest locally owned lawn care company in the Greater Memphis area while Crenshaw is considered the face of lawn care, thanks to more than a decade of television commercials that bear his image with the familiar line, “Lemme Kill Your Weeds®.” Kenny and his wife Melissa reside in North Shelby County and have five children – Joel, 26; Michael, 25; Amy, 23; Jenna, 21; and David, 19 – all of whom have been or currently are home-schooled. Son Michael was a member of the Shelby County 4-H Forestry Team that won the national championship in 2012. Son David is on the rifle team at the University of Memphis and was a member of the 4-H Air Rifle Shooting Team that won the state championship and national qualifier in 2016. He also was on the 4-H Forestry Team that placed second at Nationals in 2016. Kenny is a beekeeper while both Melissa and Kenny are 4-H air rifle coaches.
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