All Star Driver Education is one of the main driver ed programs in Ann Arbor. I had the unique opportunity to sit down with Brent Wall, the owner of All Star, and discussed all he had accomplished. All Star has proven to be unique by making their own videos and adding humor to the Drivers Ed experience. The videos include Tom Wall being captain drivers Ed and Brent playing his normal son.

1. How did you contribute to the development of All Star over the years?

On all levels I contributed to All Star. All of the behind the scene stuff, everything you don’t see I have most likely been apart of. I joined up with my dad in 1998 when the company was started in 1997, so I have been here since the beginning, which is different from so many other businesses you see today, usually the son takes over many years on. My dad and I even taught the classes.

2. What have you done to make the company more modern? I understand you have the app, but what else have you done?

Yeah, currently we are in the process of re-branding. If you look at our website right now you won’t see the classic kids in a car, we just developed a new logo. In fact, yesterday we got a car with our new logo on it.

3. And what does the App exactly do?

The App was made, well…  you probably wont like this, but the app was made to help parents make sure their kids are going not only at a safe pace but that they’re not texting and driving. It lets parents choose different driving zones and helps them monitor their kids.

4. Was this your dream job?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      No, I played basketball all through highschool and college; the real dream was to go to the NBA.

5. Did you have any influences growing up?

Definitely my parents, they were both teachers so when I got home from school they were getting home from work, so they were never working extremely long hours. Also they always had all of summer off like me. They were really the best parents for me and my sister.

6. What were you doing before All Star?

I was going to college for business. I studied things such as business marketing and finance.

7. Did you ever want to quit?

Yes, about 10 years ago my dad ( Tom Wall) and I were really butting heads on a lot of decisions.

8. Who originally had the idea of adding humor to your videos?

Definitely dad he wanted to make Drivers ed fun.

9. How was Captain Drivers Ed originally made?

Well originally Captain Drivers ed was supposed to be yellow and red, but one day I made it Red and blue for American colors.

10. How was your character made? (normal son)

You know, while filming the character just came into place and worked perfectly. My dad had the idea to make Normal Son and it is pretty cool when I get some odd looks from a group of teens and one walks over to ask me if i’m Normal Son.

11. Did you have a lot of work experience growing up?

No not a lot besides the typical paper route and working at a Footlocker at the mall.

12. How was your High School experience, were there any teams or clubs you were involved in?

Basketball was what I was really passionate for, I took it incredibly seriously. I also took my school work very serious but wasn’t part of many clubs.

13. Ok now, I ask this question for my own curiosity but who decorated your classroom for Drivers Education? I say this because I noticed a couple of Algonquian posters in it?

Oh yeah, my dad is actually the one who originally decorated that. He was a camp Director and I spent many summers up at Burt Lake. They use to have family camps so we would go quite often.

14. Any disadvantages with owning All Star?

Yeah like anything in life it has its positives and negatives. One of the hardest things about owning a business is learning to let go of things.

15. Have you ever heard of a terrible driver from your school and how does the company deal with complaints?

Yeah its unfortunate when we hear of things like that. In terms of complaints the driving instructors take care of them, but when my dad and I ran the business we would teach the classes and because it was our own business we took a lot of care into really listening to complaints, nothing against any of our teachers but naturally you care most when the business is your own.

16. If All Star never existed where would you be?

Probably California.

17. When did you officially take over All Star?

Around 2005 was when my dad retired.

18. Is it required to make your own videos for Drivers Ed?

No, infact we are the only drivers ed company that I know of that has made their own videos, most others just buy them.

19. Any plans to expand in the near future?

Yeah definitely, with the new logo and everything we are hoping to become a franchise. We really wanted to take this mom and pop type business and tighten up ship. Hopefully we will be able to expand into many different states. Although I understand I am extremely fortunate to be where I am now I am never satisfied. I always want to expand and get better. There is no Mcdonalds of driver ed schools and I hope maybe we can be that… or maybe just the Burger King.

20. Do you think this need to get better is from basketball?

Yes definitely.

21. Any big advantages from owning the business all alone?

With owning your own business you really have to be self motivated and very competitive. Playing basketball all through college really gave me a great drive to be competitive and to give everything I have.

22. Did any of your friends go to All Star?

Yeah as I grow older it’s really weird to see some of my friends kids go to All Star. I am 39 now and it use to be my parents friends kids going to All Star and now its mine.

23. Tom Wall founded the T wall foundation, do you have any interests in making your own foundation one day?

Yeah, actually I created a non-profit organization we are just waiting for the paperwork to get back from the government to prove it. The organization will be used to help educate kids and parents about driver safety. As early as elementary school or even teaching parents the importance of a booster seat in your car.

24. How did you acquire your corporate office and your All Star classroom?

Well my dad bought the office like anyone would buy a house and the classroom you were taught in actually was a barn. There was a dirt floor and if you looked up you could see right through all the floors. In fact I dont even think the driveway we had was paved at all like it is today. Although we just bought a new office across of Quality 16 about 3 weeks ago.

25. How did you deal with the market crash over those years?

Shockingly we were one of the few businesses that was not negatively affected by the market crash. In fact every year we increased in business. Even with the low economy most parents still found the money of 300 something dollars to get their kids to drive.

26. Now can you tell me when the non-profit or the Franchise will be developed?                                                                   Both, hopefully in 2015 it really depends on a lot of different things.