Born in York and raised in Aurora, Nebraska, Kirk is a 1987 graduate of Aurora High School. He graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University in 1992 with a B.S. in Business Administration and was inducted into the Nebraska Wesleyan University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2011.
After graduating, Kirk worked with the family business while living in Lincoln. In 1995, he married Aurora native Jennifer Huebert. Recognizing the need to be closer to the family business in Aurora and wanting to raise their family in central Nebraska, Kirk and Jennifer moved to Aurora in 1998.
For 25 years, Kirk has been Vice-President of Penner Patient Care, Inc., a distributor of bathing systems to nursing home and assisted living facilities in the Midwest. In 1997, the Penners started from scratch to create Penner Manufacturing and, in 2001, launched the Penner brand of bathing systems, a business that has grown from the basement of the house in which Kirk grew up, to a 30,000 square-foot manufacturing facility, employing 17. Penner Spas can now be found in 49 states, Canada, Mexico and South Korea.
Accomplishing this hasn’t been easy. Kirk logged nearly a million miles on the road to far corners of the country with a trailer of product models in tow.
Growing up in Aurora and Central Nebraska, Kirk understands the importance of agriculture to this state. Hamilton County, where his hometown is situated, is one of the top corn producing counties in Nebraska. Renewable fuels and a healthy livestock industry are major drivers in keeping rural Nebraska strong. With that in mind, Kirk calls for extraordinary and consequential tax relief for all small-to-medium businesses — and he has a documented plan to bring those businesses such relief. The ultimate beneficiaries of that plan, will be ALL Nebraskans.
Being active in his local community has been an integral part of who Kirk is. In that regard, in 2016 Kirk and sixteen local investors came to an agreement with Hamilton County to build a new privately-owned 64-bed nursing facility, stopping millions of dollars of losses from piling up even more on local taxpayers. Westfield Quality Care of Aurora broke ground in 2017, with expectations of occupancy to begin in 2018.
Kirk and Jennifer have two children — Allison, a junior at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, is studying accounting and is an all-conference setter on the volleyball team. Henry is a senior at Aurora High School and has committed to play basketball at The University of Nebraska-Kearney and study business next year. They attend Monroe Evangelical Free Church.
- 1992-Present Vice-President Penner Patient Care, Inc.
- 1997-Present Vice-President Penner Manufacturing, Inc.
- 2003-2015 Aurora Board of Education
- 2008-Present Board of Directors Aurora Development Corporation
- 2015-Present Hamilton Manor Nursing Home Board Member/President
- 2016-Present Chief Executive Officer-Quality Care Solutions, LLC.
- 2017-Present Aurora Board of Education