Ken Kelly – Star City Six
Family owned and operated, A1 Automotive (A1autolincoln.com) strives to provide the highest quality automotive repair to all makes and models. Ken Kelly is the service manager for A1 Automotive.
Tell us a little about your business.
A1 was started in 2005 here in Lincoln. We moved to our current location in 2015, which is right across from the Cornhusker Hotel in downtown Lincoln. Our purpose is to help people with their vehicle repair needs and live by our motto of “Always. Honest. Answers.” To us, that means providing our customers with integrity-driven service, ensuring that they know we would never take advantage of their business with us. Over the years, our shop has invested in a state-of-the-art alignment machine, brake lathe machine, the latest diagnostic computers, and most recently, a 12,000-lb lift for servicing bigger vehicles. The owner of A1 Automotive, Kendall Warnock, just had new floors installed in the shop as well. He will continue to invest in these improvements and equipment so that we can provide the best possible experience for our customers.
How did you get started in the business?
I was told that every time my parents couldn’t find me when I was a young boy, it was because I was underneath our family’s car looking up at the engine. I guess the car repair business was always in my blood.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally?
Doing a better job than yesterday.
What has been your most important achievement professionally?
Earning the General Motors “Mark of Excellence” award, 1985–2008, and Ford’s “Master Service Award” in 2008.
Tell us a little about your family.
I married my best friend Deborah. Together, we have four children and eight grandchildren. Deborah and I met through our small town’s community band. She played tenor saxophone and I played baritone sax. We inevitably passed the woodwind instrument playing gene to our kids.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off?
Road trips with my wife and mowing the lawn, which takes long enough for me to really clear my mind and do some good thinking/self-reflection.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know?
Our family has served in many inner cities across America, Mexico, and Romania, working with orphans, building orphanages, homes, and water processing plants, and ultimately rebuilding their communities.
What is your favorite quote or the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
“Always. Honest. Answers.”
If you could choose only one descriptive word to be remembered as, what would it be?
If you had a theme song, what would it be?
“In The Mood” by Glenn Miller.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life?
Music. In addition to playing the saxophone, I love singing Southern Gospel, Rock & Roll, Old Country, and the Swing. I’ve been blessed with the opportunities to play for presidents, the Pope, and for crowds at some of the most beautiful venues around the world. I also had the pleasure of playing under the direction of Herb Miller, the younger brother of one of my musical heroes, Glenn Miller.
What is your favorite TV show?
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Granite City Food & Brewery.