Distinguished Alumni

Penny Behling

Penny Behling is a 1996 graduate of LMU with a bachelor of arts in communications and English. While at LMU, she was a disc jockey for the campus radio station. She also served as a news reporter, anchor and producer for the campus’s live, televised community newscast.

Behling has gone on to do great things after graduating. She is a self-made business woman who is now spearheading awareness of a new water sport in this region called dragon boat racing. She owns Dynamic Dragon Boat Racing, LLC, which produces and manages dragon boat festivals for charity. Armed with a background in media and communications, and a passion for the sport, she organizes all aspects of the events, including securing sponsorships, promotion, race day management and logistics.

Behling is a nationally recognized leader in dragon boat event services and serves as producer of the Knoxville and Chattanooga dragon boat festivals, as well as service provider for various dragon boat events around the country. She recently organized the United States Dragon Boat Federation Club Crew National Championships in conjunction with the Chattanooga Dragon Boat Festival, featuring 85 teams.

Among her credits, she has produced the Knoxville Dragon Boat Festival, which included 61 teams and raised $125,000 for Knox Area Rescue Ministries; produced the Chattanooga Dragon Boat Festival and US Club Crew National Championships, which consisted of 85 teams total and raised $75,000 for T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital; and has raised nearly $1 million for East Tennessee charities over the past five years from annual dragon boat events.

Behling has seen her own business clientele grow exponentially since 2009, by 80 percent. She also co-edited “Reaching for Life,” an inspirational book of stories about breast cancer survivors and dragon boating. She’s coached numerous clinics for various dragon boat clubs around the country, and steered in dozens of dragon boat races in the U.S.

She serves on committees with the United States Dragon Boat Federation to help make the sport better across the country. She is currently serving as advisor to the newly formed SRDBA, the new governing body of dragon boating in the southeast.

Behling, who is married to Chris Behling, a 1993 LMU graduate, was named LMU’s R. Martin Peters Young Alumnus of the Year in 2010.