Pioneer Vocational Industrial Services announces new executive director

Published 10:00 am Friday, August 13, 2021


News release

Darin D. Pendergraft was named the Pioneer Vocational Industrial Services new executive director at the board of director’s July 19 meeting. Pendergraft will take over position on Aug. 16.

Email newsletter signup

Pendergraft is a Lincoln County native and graduate of Berea College. For the past 28 years, he has held multiple production control and logistics positions with Hitachi Automotive Systems in Harrodsburg.

His hiring is the result of the upcoming retirement of Mike Pittman who has served as executive director for over 10 years. Pittman came to Pioneer when the organization was in significant financial and organizational distress. Under his leadership, the organization has been revitalized and has expanded its services to clients and area industrial customers.

Also retiring from Pioneer is Steve Lovell who has served as Pioneer’s director of marketing and production for the past four years.

Both Pittman and Lovell will assist in an orderly transition of responsibilities to Pendergraft as needed.

Pendergraft has been described by those who know and have worked with him as a thoughtful, methodical and analytical person of integrity. He described his interest in Pioneer and a change in career focus as motivated by a desire to help others reach their potential, contribute, feel empowered and be successful.

Pendergraft resides in Boyle County with his wife, Michelle Feistritzer, a teacher and former coach at Boyle County High school. Together they enjoy activities with their extended families, in their church (Saints Peter and Paul) and traveling.

Since 1969, the mission of Pioneer Vocational Industrial Services has been to provide vocational development and extended employment programs to people who are disabled and/or disadvantaged in order to assist them in obtaining employment and maximizing their independent living skills. For the past 50 years, Pioneer has assisted people with disabilities in reaching their full potential through therapeutic, non-competitive paid work experience while providing reliable and accurate assembly, inspection, kitting, packaging and other services to industries in the region.    

Pioneer Vocational Industrial Services is located at 150 Corporate Drive in Danville.