Recognized for nearly three decades of service to the local community, Kenny Crenshaw, president of Herbi-Systems, on Tuesday was named the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur of the Year.
Crenshaw was announced as the sixth annual recipient of the honor at a luncheon held at the Bartlett Performing Arts and Conference Center. Chamber president John Threadgill praised Crenshaw’s business contributions and entrepreneurial spirit.
“Kenny is a longstanding member of our community and he’s developed his company as one of the leaders in the industry,” Threadgill explained. “Simply put, he’s a rock star in the weed world. Everybody’s heard Kenny say in those television ads, ‘Lemme kill your weeds.’ ”
Established in 1984, Crenshaw started off as a one-man operation and has worked to expand Herbi-Systems to 30 employees at a company that services more than 8,000 clients each year. From one used truck that he bought for $4,500 to use as a business vehicle, Crenshaw has seen his fleet expand to 30 trucks that cost from $40,000 to $100,000 each.
But Crenshaw’s entrepreneurial efforts didn’t just sprout in 1984. Instead, his business proclivities may be traced back to his days as a 12-year-old who operated his own lawn mowing enterprise. As he explained during the award ceremony, “I always liked being my own boss.”
Focusing on customer service, Crenshaw has watched his business prosper through the years because of a personal commitment to making sure that every client is satisfied with the services offered, he said. It’s that kind of attention to detail that has seen his company become the second-largest lawn care provider in Shelby County, only topped by national corporation TruGreen, which is also headquartered in Memphis.
“Bartlett is a great place to start and grow a business,” Crenshaw said. “We’ve been fortunate to build our brand name through our marketing efforts like a big business while keeping our service personal like a small business.”
For thousands of customers, Crenshaw is the owner of Herbi-Systems. For just as many others – if not more – he’s known for his entertaining television commercials and instantly recognizable billboards where he urges customers, “Lemme kill your weeds!”
“People come up to me all the time and ask me to say that line,” Crenshaw said. “From a marketing standpoint, it’s really worked for us. People remember it.”