Getting Personal: Anthony Pendleton

Getting Personal: Anthony Pendleton

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, one of our 40 Under 40 honorees, Anthony Pendleton, chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood. He's a senior manager in the business advisory services department at Martin Hood. He served in the Marines and is involved in several charities.

Anthony, where did you grow up?

I was born and spent time until fourth grade in Sauk Village, then moved to just outside of Sadorus and was there until I left for the Marine Corps. Quite a change going from the suburban areas of Chicago to my nearest neighbor being a quarter mile away.

Tell us about your family.

My wife, Pamela, and I were high school sweethearts who met while both students at Unity High School in Tolono. We just celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary in 2018. She is currently teaching English to students in China via the internet. We have two sons we adore, Jaxon, 8, and Phoenix, 7 months. Our house is rounded out by our dog Valkyrie, cat BlackJack and some fish. Needless to say, there's rarely a quiet moment in our household.

Did you enlist in the Marines before or after college?

A little of both actually. I spent a year at the University of Illinois and graduated from Parkland before joining. Upon graduating from Parkland, I was still unsure of what I wanted to do, so I saw it as having a couple choices; get a job that would likely pay less than what I saw as my potential, continue on to a four-year university and get a degree in something I wasn't even sure I wanted to do or join the military. I chose the military because I saw it as an opportunity for new experiences, a way to get my college paid for, time for me to decide about my career path and to serve my fellow citizens. Once I got discharged, I finished my degree at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.

What did you learn from being a Marine?

The biggest things would be discipline and drive. You learn early on that you can push beyond what your mind tells you is possible to do things you didn't think you could. The leadership skills you learn as you advance are irreplaceable, though the same techniques don't necessarily transition well to the civilian world. The brotherhood that you develop with your fellow Marines is something that is hard to explain if you haven't been there. I still consider the men and women I served with my brothers and sisters. If you asked my wife, she'd say it's my ability to fall asleep nearly anywhere at any time. No matter what, I don't regret the decision at all and would encourage any young person to at least investigate the option of military service.

Tell us about the Leatherneck MC.

The Leatherneck MC is a motorcycle club for Marines and Navy Corpsman who served with Marines. It was really a continuation of the brotherhood you experience while on active duty. I was part of the Black Sheep chapter that was located here in central Illinois. Our main mission was to support the VA hospital and long-term residents there. We did things like go play bingo with them, bring them needed supplies, etc. An absolutely positive experience. While there, I met many veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. It awes me the experiences they had compared to most of us, including myself. At an age when many people are still going home for school breaks and things like that, they were in a foreign country just hoping to come home. Unfortunately, I had to part ways with the club a couple years ago, but again, an absolutely fabulous experience where I met many great people.

You have volunteered for many charities. What motivates you, and how do you find the time?

Some are current activities, some are former and some one-time events, but all are fabulous causes and organizations. For those I am currently active in, usually the time commitment is not as bad as one might think. It helps that my wife is also active in some of these as well, so she's understanding of the time sacrifices we have to make sometimes. What drives me is my passions and a joy in serving others. My son Jaxon was diagnosed with autism, and several of these organizations serve special needs individuals. Animals are another passion of mine. I tend to derive my own happiness in seeing the happiness in others, whether it be family, friends or complete strangers. I truly believe in giving to others. We're all just humans who are really trying to achieve the same things, happiness and a better life for ourselves and our kids, grandkids, etc. So why not try to help each other get there.

Speaking of the Humane Society, do you have a favorite pet? Is it from the shelter?

I love all animals, but dogs tend to be my favorite. Dogs show so much love, even when they may have been mistreated, or unloved, they're loyal and often quick to forgive. Our current dog Valkyrie is not from the shelter but rescued from a flea-ridden farm over near Decatur. She's a Lab/pit mix and such a sweetheart of a dog, though a little bit neurotic, so she fits right into our family.

How did you prepare to pass the CPA exam?

Study, study and then study some more. There are several review courses that you can use, both self-study, and some that are more lecture-like. It really is just a matter of buckling down and studying. Luckily, it's broken into four parts, so you kind of know where to focus your studying before each part, since you can select which part to take next.

Will you do my taxes?

Of course! I think I can speak for everyone at Martin Hood as well as myself when I say that we always welcome new clients and would be more than happy to help you with any accounting needs, including, but not limited to, taxes.

If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite? What would you serve?

My family. I started to answer with some famous people (Dalai Lama, Marcus Lemonis and Daymond John), but family is what's really important, and during tax season, we don't get a lot of dinners together, at least not near as many as I'd like. We'd probably have pizza from Monical's or Old Orchard because that's something we can all agree on.

What was your first job, and how much did you make an hour?

My first "real" job was probably as a newspaper delivery boy for The News-Gazette. I don't recall exactly what I made, I think it was a percentage of the subscriptions I delivered to. I do remember that I was not very good at it because I'm not a morning person, so if there's anyone there who was there while I was a delivery boy, I sincerely apologize for my performance 25 years ago.

How do you handle a stressful situation?

Sometimes well, sometimes not so much, but I think that's everyone. Mostly, I try to keep a level head and first assess if there's anything I can do about the situation. If there isn't, I try to accept that fact and take things as they come. If I can do something about it, I try to figure out the best course of action and pursue that. From there, I just do the best I can with whatever comes.


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