K’S AUTO CREW — K’s Auto is featured in this week’s edition of ‘Spotlight on Business’.From the left is Jack Zelenka, Rich Gollehon, owner Mike Naylor, Rod Foster and former owner Jerry Naylor. I-O Photo by Adam Jerome
By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
From a town rich in values and community comes our ‘Spotlight on Business’ which highlights a business, gives emphasis on their contributions to our community and remembers their history.
K’s Auto is engrained in Conrad culture as they have operated in the area since 1955 with the Naylor family, starting with Kenneth running operations since the founding.
Kenneth Naylor was first offered a store in Great Falls, but quickly decided to set down roots in the Conrad area due to the Golden Triangle and the fact that it produced most of the wheat in the state.
The original location was on fourth and Dakota.Five years later the operation moved to the Kellogg building.
In 1973 another move was in the works, this time just across the street to the store’s present location.
Kenneth Naylor retired after the last move and his son Kay Naylor ran the business until 1985 when he also retired.Kay remained active with the business deliveries until 2005.
Jerry Naylor took over after his father retired in 1985 and ran the business until he also retired in December 2012, although he still works three days a week.
Mike Naylor and his wife Shannon are currently the fourth generation owners.Mike hopes one day that K’s Auto will make it to a fifth generation as his girls have already shown an interest in the family business.
They currently employ four full-time employees and one part time employee that include, Rich Gollehon, Rod Foster, Jack Zelenka, Mike Naylor and Jerry Naylor.
When asked what makes your business unique to Conrad, Mike Naylor quickly answered, “Four generations.”
In today’s day and age it is difficult to find any business that has been run by one family for four generations even farming operations.
K’s may be an automotive and truck accessories store, but it is also more than that.It is a piece of Conrad history.
On the business side, K’s Auto has overnight delivery for over 400,000 part numbers.The company’s main goal is to go above and beyond to satisfy the customer.
If there is something they do not have, they will make sure that the customer finds a way to get what they need.
They have donated to charity organizations whenever the need arises and they also sponsor a yearly scholarship to Conrad High School graduate.
Conrad has been lucky to have a business like K’s Auto that signifies continuity and commitment to the customer.
Here’s to hoping that that the Conrad area will see this continue with a fifth generation owner in the future.