Meet Gordon Pennington

We are thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce our wonderful community in the Umpqua Valley to Gordon Pennington. Geneva Academy is hosting three events on November 1st, 2018, to inspire you and engage you in the classical and Christian education movement that is sweeping the nation!

Special Events

  • Coffee Talk for Geneva Academy parents, grandparents, interested families, and area pastors
  • Leaders Talking Legacy, a luncheon for local leaders in financial planning, estate planning, and community development
  • Appreciation Celebration & Social for generous friends and donors to Geneva Academy

If you’d like more information on one of the special events, please complete this form and our Vision & School Advancement team will connect you!

Meet Gordon Riddle Pennington, III

Gordon is a cultural commentator, lecturer, consultant, and advisor to organizations, corporations, governments around the world.  He has a broad perspective on history and global experience gained from travels and work in 56 nations.

He is the Managing Director of Burning Media Group, a media and marketing communications firm based in New York City.  He has been described by The Wall Street Journal as “a Hi-Tech Traveler in Lo-Tech Countries.”  He is especially focused on cultural transformation, education, human rights and freedoms and how technology and media are changing societies and cultures globally.

As a marketing communications and advertising professional, Gordon Pennington has worked as a corporate director of marketing as well as advisor to some of the world’s largest companies. He also has a vision for the restoration of the American small city downtown culture.

Pennington is a communications theorist and practitioner with a particular interest in the impact of contemporary media and its effects, both conscious and subconscious, on individuals, families, societies and global culture. Beyond critical analysis, his work is focused on the creation of effective strategies in the development of brand value.  He has developed cultural content while seeking to understand constructive ways to evaluate, discern, interpret, and respond to the communications and media onslaught in the technologically focused West as well as in the developing world.

“No amount of infrastructure repair, or wealth creation, or cultural development, or social improvement, or building great things will matter at all, if we do not fully address the crisis in education.  There will simply be no persons of courage, conviction, compassion, or competence to lead in the future.  We are a society racing toward fiercely competitive ideological outcomes, and the classical Christian education model affords the best hope of being prepared for a more noble future, one that can save us from failed states of chaos and anarchy.  There’s more at stake than almost anyone realizes today.”

In his travels to 56 countries with a special interest in developing nations, he has been described by The Wall Street Journal as “a Hi-Tech Traveler in Lo-Tech Countries.” If “the media is the message” as Marshall McLuhan asserts, Pennington seeks to better understand messaging and assist clients in making their communications more effective in reaching highly targeted audiences. Pennington views the subject of media and cultural change not as an academic, or an observer, but as a communications insider.  After developing award-winning marketing communications for Citicorp and serving as a consultant to both Chase Manhattan Bank and J.P. Morgan Bank, he turned to fast growth consumer product markets, serving as Director of Marketing for Tommy Hilfiger, where he helped position it as the fastest growing fashion company in the world.  His experience spans changing international markets.

Working with The United States Council on Economic Development, Pennington led the team to assist American CEOs in assessing emerging Soviet investment opportunities at the end of the Communist era and hosted Mikhail Gorbachev’s senior economist Leonid Abalkin on his historic visit to New York City.  He has also managed marketing and strategy assignments and been advisor to Apple Computer, British Airways, the CBS Television Network, the Coca-Cola Company, Equinox Fitness, the Oxford Analytica, Meyado Investment Bank of London, Her Majesty’s Ministry of Defence in the UK and the Jonathan Edwards Center at Yale University where he is also an advisory board member.

Along with his career in marketing and communications, Mr. Pennington has a keen interest in education. He has been a trustee of The Universal Literacy Project and gained a rich understanding of the significance of literacy as a fundamental necessity in the development of sustainable cultures and economies, with a particular interest in the international educational setting as well as consultant advisor to the Association of Classical Christian Schools.

He has appeared on television and lectures in the United States and abroad where he has been a speaker on media, culture and communications and other related subjects at Columbia University, New York University, Yale, Princeton, Michigan State University, The University of Virginia, Universite de Montreal, Guelph University, McMaster University, McGill University, Oxford University and Cambridge University and the National University of San Marcos in Lima, Peru. He has provided briefings on media, culture, and communications to The White House, members of Congress and the Senate in the United States and members of the British Parliament, the Peruvian Congressional leadership, as well as to members of the Supreme Court of Peru and judiciary bodies in Peru, Columbia and Canada. He studied international human rights law at the University of Strasbourg and has been a visiting scholar at the Wolfsberg think tank for Union Bank of Switzerland.

Pennington was co-Chairman of the Aldous Huxley Centenary in conjunction with the BBC, has served on Carnegie Hall’s Second Century Council, was co-chairman with George Plimpton of the Tanzania Wildlife Fund’s benefit initiative for the African Rainforest, has been a featured speaker and advisor to the International Arts Movement working with Makoto Fujimura, member of the board of the Jose Limon Dance Company and Foundation in New York City, and founding vice president and board member of New York City based non-profit organization charity: water.  He has addressed screenwriters at ACT One and members of the USC Film School in Hollywood, California on the theme of culture and media Influence in the film industry.  His photography has been published in The New York Times and he has produced and directed four documentary films including Media Meltdown.

He travels widely in speaking, consulting, listening and learning, and divides his time between New York City and his 108 year old family home in Owosso, Michigan.


“If change is the only constant, constant preparedness for change is the only path to sustainability.”

“History ultimately judges every civilization by the way it has exploited or protected its most vulnerable citizens.” 

Gordon Riddle Pennington


Listen to two BaseCamp Live interviews here!