805 E. Howard St. Pontiac, IL 61764 Phone: 815-842-1149 Pontiac
29987 N. 300 East Rd. Streator, IL 61364 815-673-4320 Streator
1501 5th St. Lacon, IL 61540 309-246-2645 Lacon
A LIFE SPENT AT THE FARM AND DEALERSHIP Why I’ve Stuck With This Business for More Than 40 Years
In the spring and fall, Tim and I spend our time after work and on the weekends helping our brother Tom and our nephews on the family farm. I love the work and genuinely enjoy getting my hands on the equipment. It helps keep me up to date on the latest innovations John Deere is offering so I can better serve our customers. When you’ve been working with many of the same families for over 40 years, you form some pretty
I grew up on a family farm outside of Cornell with my seven brothers and sisters, where we learned about hard work and family values from the beginning. I attended the University of Illinois and received a degree in agricultural business. After returning back home, I worked for Valley View as a truck driver hauling rock up to Chicago twice daily. During that time, Delbert Gardner, who founded Gardner Sales and Service in 1947,
powerful relationships. I feel fortunate to work with so many people who, over the years, have really become both personal friends and customers, and I am proud to do everything I can to help improve their bottom line. On a more personal level, I have been happily married to my wife, Susanne, for over 34 years. We have four children and three grandchildren, with one on the way. Our son, Paul, is now a partner at KSR, while our daughter, Jackie, is our Marketing Manager. Our daughter, Jillian,
was looking for someone to pass the torch to. His three sons were pursuing professional careers in other fields, so he reached out to my father, Clare, who’d been a close friend and loyal customer of his and asked if any of his sons were interested in joining the business. My younger brother Tim and I eagerly accepted his offer in 1978. We both started out in the service department, and by the time we became full owners after Delbert’s passing, I was heading up the business side and Tim the service side. Since then, we’ve had
John Kelly and his family
works for Maui Jim in Peoria, and Eric, our youngest, recently graduated from Illinois State University with a business degree. We are very proud of our children and happy to pass on the same strong work ethic and family values we grew up on.
some of the most dedicated and hardworking employees work for us and have been fortunate enough to work alongside our children and other family members as well. We know our employees have always been the backbone of this business, and we are very grateful for the hard work they put in every day. When we merged in 2003 with Sauder Implement and Rupiper Equipment, we saw the same dedication in their dealerships and were proud to become one.
Thank you for trusting us with your business, and we promise to always treat you like family!
July - August 2018
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