Welcome to A-F Motors …
From the desk of Tadd Wormet...
It’s been nearly 50 years since my dad, Bud Wormet, started A-F Motors with a mentor who believed in his potential for success. As a young mechanic at Kenyon Follett’s Coloma dealership, Dad was also picking pickles and moonlighting as a bartender. Mr. Follett found him in the cucumber patch one day and told Dad that anyone willing to work that hard deserved a chance to be in business. The Chevy Garage in Adams was his opportunity to combine earnest work ethics with his deep-rooted values of honesty and trust.
A-F Motors was incorporated in March 1965 and in May was granted a franchise from Chevrolet Motor Division to sell and service their product at the current location in Adams. Dad, with six employees, quickly built a reputation for honest deals and dependable service, and within eight years he became sole owner. He celebrated twenty-five years as a Chevy Dealer with recognition from General Motors in 1990. He was diagnosed with a rare terminal cancer in 2004 and was fighting for his life when General Motors commemorated his forty years in business as a dealer for Chevrolet in 2005.
Dad was an honorable man, but not complex. Settling in his hometown after serving in the Air Force, he was simply energetic, fun-loving and hardworking. He truly cared about his customers, friends and employees, who were magnetized by his positive attitude, ready smile, firm handshake and genuine interest in their needs. He believed in God, in himself, in his family and community—standards instilled in me by his example.
I didn’t start in a pickle patch. In fact, some might assume the old cliché “born with a silver spoon,” which may have been the case if Dad hadn’t been such a strong fore-runner. In 1987 when I received my degree in sales and marketing from Madison Business College I was full of ideas on how to change the world, including how Dad ran the business. But I quickly learned that A-F Motors wasn’t what needed changing; it was I who needed to reconsider before expecting to run the business or fill Dad’s shoes.
Seven years in the Air Force matured me. When I came on board at the dealership in 1994, after starting a family of my own, I had a much deeper respect for my dad’s business and personal values. Selling cars long-distance from the payphone at the squadron had made me wiser and more appreciative of how Dad treated people. I recognized that I had much to learn, and what my dad could teach me about the business was something I wanted to know. I had become more the man I needed to be to effectively join his team and carry out the responsibilities of a highly respected Chevy dealer’s son, which was often difficult because Dad held such high standards for me as well. I was far from being ready to fill his shoes, but I envisioned a time in the future when those shoes would fit.
I participated in the traumatic year of trials and contingencies after a devastating fire destroyed the original A-F Motors building in March of 1996. I supported Dad in his dauntless determination to keep from shutting down for even a single day, because he felt he owed it to his employees and our community to stay in business.
Throughout the years that followed our rebuilding, I came to a heartfelt understanding of Dad’s ethics:
- Treat people fairly, honestly and with respect, and they’ll help you earn a living.
- Just be honest; look them in the eye and let them know this is your best deal.
- Take good care of your customers and employees, and they’ll take care of you.
By the time Dad was ready to relinquish the role of dealer, I was branded with the image to uphold, be it his standards or simply what our customers deserve. Honored to accept the challenge, I invested in the corporation and became the Chevy Dealer in November 2005. We lost my dad less than two years later in September 2007.
With the help of God, my family, my partner and step-mom Penny, my faithful brother Tim and our hardworking loyal staff, I am dedicated to the legacy established by my father: sustaining a family business based on honesty and trust.