Debi Henning

Where do you work?

Fallon Ford-Toyota and American Auto and Home. We sell new and used vehicles, and service all makes and models of cars. At American Auto and Home we sell pre-owned vehicles and with in-house financing and conventional financing and furniture as well.

How long have you been in business?

The corporation started in 1956 and my husband Kurt and I started buying out two partners in 1984. We then became partners with Howard and Pat Henning, my husband’s parents. American Auto & Home was started in 1989.

Tell us about your family.

Husband Kurt Henning and son, Chris and wife Ember, and their children Kamiah and Miles, son Clint and wife Tyffani and their children Lili, Travis and Sterling.

Where are you from?

Hometown: I was born in Oceanside, Calif., and moved to Fallon when I was 12, making me a Fallon resident for 46 years.

How long have you been working?

I started work around 1989. Before that I was a proud stay at home mom until the boys went to school.

What do you do?

I am the secretary-treasurer of the corporation as well as a partner and work alongside my husband who is the dealer and my two sons who are also partners in our businesses. This last year was spent on our remodel of the Fallon Ford-Toyota dealership and designing it to fit with our area plus keep Toyota and Ford requirements in. We also opened a second repair shop for our pre-owned cars so that the Fallon Ford Toyota shop could keep timely service appointments. We also changed our business name from Right Away Auto Sales to American Auto and Home which meant a lot of paperwork changes.

What do you love most about your job?

Working with my husband and two sons and all the employees who are like family to me. They all mean a lot to me and I feel so blessed to have these people to work with everyday. They are quality people who carry the standard of the business which is “do what’s right with boundless service.” They realize that a business relies on its customers and without the customer we all wouldn’t be here.

What is your favorite success story?

I think I was able to make our businesses a fun and friendlier place to work for the employees. We do a lot of parties and barbecues for our staff and recognize the employee of the quarter who goes out of their way to deliver great customer service.

I think the interior design of the dealership was a success and feel proud to have a place customers can enjoy. It’s relaxed, friendly, and a little bit country like our great town.

What is the best advice you have ever received?

To treat people the way you would like to be treated.

What do you feel are the keys to success?

A great education, mentors who encourage you, being a person of good moral character, having goals, giving back to others and being the best you can be.

What inspiring advice can you give to the next generation of women in business?

Get a great education, learn how to be a good communicator by taking communication classes or learning how to be comfortable in front of crowds by performing or singing, great leaders are great communicators, who can talk and listen intently, be a part of groups and learn to work well with others, keep your word so people know they can count on you, be a decision maker, people who can make decisions can lead.

What are your hobbies?

I enjoy spending time with family and grandkids, traveling, reading and learning new things. Also like to volunteer and help others.

What do you love most about Churchill County?

It’s home, we have a great city government, friendly, caring people, great place to raise a family and low crime.

Anything else to share?

We have women in many lead positions in our companies and I believe the opportunities for success are extremely high for women in all forms of business.