MTD Dealer Profile: Ken Towery
Name: Kenneth Woodrow Towery
Family: my wife, Dr. Joanne Towery; son, Kris Towery, and daughter-in-law, Sarah; daughter, Lorea Ware, and son-in-law, Donald; grandchildren, Trey and Chandler; stepson, Michael Plichta and his wife, Nicole, and grandchildren, Colin, Madison and Katelyn.
My hobbies and interests include: golf, fishing and boating. My favorite childhood memory: My mother was a great cook and every Sunday was the family “fried chicken day.” She made the best-tasting fried chicken and gravy in the world. For dessert, my mother made a dish called “Apple Pan Douties” with a sweet cream sauce that would just melt in your mouth.
My biggest regret:I don’t really have any big regrets. I do not dwell on things that did not go as well as I would have liked. I try to look to the future, keep positive, enthused and with a good attitude regardless of what happened yesterday. I try to learn from the past and not lose my focus on the future so that I do not make the same error twice. My favorite book: The Bible is my favorite book and I try to live my daily life by it. Whatever troubles or adverse situation you might have in your life, you can find the answer to that problem in the Bible. Other books that I enjoy are related to helping me be a good leader and motivator so that I might help bring our team members to a higher level in business and their personal lives. Zig Zeigler’s writings and seminars (audios) are hard to beat. Great books to read are “Lead Like Jesus” by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges; “One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard; and “Let Freedom Ring” by Sean Hannity. Another is “Even Big Guys Cry” by Alex Karras. Alex was the brother of Lou Karras, who was a very successful tire dealer in Chicago. He served several years on the executive committee of the National Tire Dealers and Retreaders Association.\
What I’m reading now: A book I have just started reading is “The All-Star Sales Book” by Billy Cox and dedicated to Zig Zeigler. This book talks about setting goals and creating a “Dream Book.” I am not a novel reader. The time I have to read I spend on books that will help keep me focused, inspire me, and build my faith and character and help me set examples for my 200 team members.
My favorite sport: basketball. Being a Kentucky hillbilly and going to the University of Kentucky, I was fortunate my first year of college to room with the basketball players and hear all the behind-the-scenes stories of Coach Adolph Rupp and his style of motivation and coaching. Great memories!
My favorite athletic team: My favorite team would be the Kentucky Wildcats basketball and football teams. I must add to this that the “Big Orange” team in Tennessee, the University of Tennessee (my wife’s school) Volunteers, is also one of my favorite teams — two great rival schools! My favorite pro team is the Indianapolis Colts and, yes, they have Peyton Manning from UT.
My favorite movie: “Doctor Zhivago.”
My favorite pet: Dogs! Dogs! Dogs! I used to raise and show Alaskan Malamutes, but my favorite dog was a black lab that I had for 17 years.
My favorite food: seafood, especially king crab legs and grouper.
My favorite music: My wife and I are swing dancers, so it has to be blues music and good old rock-and-roll. We are music lovers and love sound tracks from movies such as “Mama Mia” and “Phantom of the Opera.”
To relax, I like to:We have a great getaway place. It is our cabin located on Barkley Lake, a large lake in western Kentucky in the “Land Between the Lakes” area. There is nothing better for us than at night sitting on the deck of our cabin (summer or winter), overlooking the water and watching the sun disappear behind the opposite shoreline. As darkness begins to set in, the stars and moon begin to show and sometimes the Milky Way is very visible. This becomes our quiet time together. The smell of the fresh air, free of any pollution, is so terrific. There are absolutely no city noises at all but only the sounds and noises from nature. We have lots of coyotes in the area and with their howls at night, they can be heard for miles. And there are screech owls in the background making their calls to each other.
It sometimes becomes a little spooky! Canada geese and blue heron join in with their own unique sounds, particularly during the mating season. It is just a great time of the day to wind down and relax and enjoy some of the gifts that sometimes we seem to miss or forget about in life. And while we are enjoying the closure to our day’s activities on the deck, we have a nice crackling fire blazing in a five-foot-high chiminea (see photo).
My favorite politician: Ronald Reagan.
Am I a morning or a night person? I lean more to being a morning person. It just seems to be a better day if I get off to a fast start and not be behind the eight ball of spending extra time trying to find out what has already happened that day. Although, many nights if there is some special project that I’m keyed up about, I can sure keep going into the late hours of the night. If I could change one thing about myself: I would like to be a little more patient. I sometimes feel all things have to be done today.
My goal in life is: to be the best steward as I can of following God’s word. Also, I hope that I can personally make some positive impact or help those people who I’m in contact with who have problems in their lives. Every Monday morning our company has a prayer group in our boardroom at about 9 a.m. and we invite anyone from our company staff to employees of our warehouse to attend if they so wish. The smartest thing I’ve ever done: is not skip around from one vocation to another. I have spent 50 years in the same business, the tire business.
The greatest thing about the tire industry today is: its future. We have come from “one-car families” to families having a car for every person who is old enough to drive. And in many families (my own included!), there is that “extra” car that is only driven on the weekends. The good news for the tire industry is that our society has an addiction to the automobile and they will continue to run on some type of tire. It is a great business today and will be just as great tomorrow. I love it and can’t get enough of it! The best to you, and God bless!