Generationally Speaking – October 2014

See what makes us different … and the same!

Valley Automotive Repair and Electric in Maple Valley, Wash., has been serving the Maple Valley, Wash., community since 1981. It is family owned and run by Bryan K. Kelley, who purchased the shop in 2004. The shop may be familiar to readers as it was featured in the January 2014 issue of AutoInc. as a Top 10 Website. In this month’s Generationally Speaking article, meet Bryan Kelley, and Rush McKelvy, bookkeeper/manager for Valley Automotive Repair and Electric.

Bryan

Bryan K. Kelly
Generation X

What is one piece of advice your parents gave you that still sticks with you today?

My father always said, “Don’t give up.” Over the years, and especially in the beginning of business ownership, that advice kept my head down and my eyes on the real target. That target was, in many cases, unbelievably out of reach. I always found the will and strength to get the job done by not throwing in the towel.

What is the best decision you have ever made?

The best decision I ever made was to become the father of three beautiful girls.

Drink of choice?

A pint of dark hoppy porter.

How did you get into the automotive service business?

I was raised in the auto body industry. My father was a painter and a shop owner during most of my youth. My high school had an advanced auto technology program that furthered my knowledge and gave me a leg up in the auto repair field. By the time I was 19, I was the lead diagnostic tech at a Ford dealership.

Best vacation you’ve ever had?

A two-week adventure in Ireland. When you have beautiful castles, countryside, unfathomable beer and plentiful whiskey, it’s hard to not enjoy yourself.

What do you drive?

A 1999 Ford F-150 that oftentimes gets used as a parts runner for the shop.

If you had a free weekend by yourself, what would you do?

Free weekends are hard to come by with three kids under the age of 9. If I had a free weekend, I would go out to my cabin where there is no phone or Internet service. I would enjoy the weekend around a warm fire, cold beer and a few good books.

What piece of advice would you give a young person who is graduating from high school today?

Don’t tie yourself down with debt. That’s why I had the freedom to buy a business.

What do you like most about your work?

If I had answered this question years ago I would have said, “I love fixing the ‘unsolvable’ problem.” I still enjoy that, but today I take the most enjoyment out of watching my employees succeed. I enjoy working with my team and watching all of us grow.

What is one thing you wish you knew how to do?

I have always wanted to learn another language.

Speaking on behalf of your generation, how do you see the future of the industry?

Our industry is growing at a frantic pace. I think we are on the edge of a major transformation. The industry is going to remain strong, but I think repair shops will change. I look forward to this change, and I believe it is going to afford the youth of today new opportunities.

Rush

Rush McKelvy
Baby Boomer

What is one piece of advice your parents gave you that still sticks with you today?

If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

What is the best decision you have ever made?

College.

Drink of choice?

Coffee.

How did you get into the automotive service business?

By accident.

Best vacation you have ever been on?

Wyoming fishing trip.

What do you drive?

2009 Ranger, 1978 4×4 Chevrolet pickup.

If you had a free weekend by yourself, what would you do?

Read and watch sports on TV.

What piece of advice would you give a young person who is graduating from high school today?

Get two years of military service.

What do you like most about your work?

Problem solving.

What is one thing you wish you knew how to do?

Get a tour on the latest naval ships … flat-tops, etc.

Speaking on behalf of your generation, how do you see the future of the industry?

I think there will be more technology “gadgets” to define luxury.

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