Montgomery Chamber of Commerce

Business Spotlight September 2020

Posted on: August 28, 2020 1:00 pm

First Star Safety

You’ll see examples of First Star Safety’s work in virtually every corner of our community. Our equipment can be found on roadways, highways, bridges, construction sites, and also events like the Flying Pig Marathon, NASCAR races and other events at the Kentucky Speedway, new buildings like the Princeton School Complex, to your local community festivals, farmers markets and fairs. From rooftops to roadways, First Star Safety is everywhere, working to keep you safe. When you think of orange barrels and cones, think of First Star Safety for these products and so much more.

Owner: Kelly M. Hollatz

Business Description: Construction and traffic safety supplies and equipment

Contact Info: 513-661-7827



Get to know more about Kelly M. Hollatz, Owner

What is your favorite part of your job?

One of our favorite parts of the job is the knowledge that we are serving a purpose and doing great work; we’re doing “our part” for our clients.  Our clients, mainly road and utility contractors hire First Star Safety as a subcontractor to help keep their valued team members safe while our on the road.  We’re honored to be trusted with their safety.  It’s a good feeling traveling all around the tri-state and seeing all the cones, signs, barricades and other equipment with FSS and our logo on them.  Furthermore, when projects are completed, it’s great knowing we had a part in so many successfully finished projects all around the tri-state.    

What is one of your favorite projects you have worked on?

We’re help with the safety at the casino, The Banks, many area universities and hospitals and we are currently working with the contractors building the FC Cincinnati stadium.  We helped to provide a great deal of traffic control for the Portsmouth Bypass, which to date is the largest project in ODOT’s history.  We also help with large scale sporting events like the NASCAR race at the Kentucky Speedway, that’s always a fun weekend.  

If you could explain your business in the simplest way, how would you?

We’re the orange barrel people!  Look around, our products and equipment are everywhere!  People often share their dislike for orange barrels, however, we are do our best to remind them that they should be a welcome sight, a sign of your tax dollars at work right in your own community, improving your community!

What are the three most important things about your business?

From the beginning I strove to stay true to my original mission and vision, providing quality products and equipment at a fair and competitive price, all delivered with superior service.  We really work to stay client focused and provide great customer service, whether you’re a loyal client who has been with us from the beginning or a new client, we strive to provide the best. 

Who are some of the people and businesses you would like to connect with?

I’ve always felt that anyone with a parking lot, vehicles and pedestrians alike traveling in or around their building, office, facility, property, they most likely need something we have!  Signs, cones, parking lot solutions, we have so many options that many may not have thought possible.  These solutions can be very cost effective and help increase safety and your team and clients experience.  We welcome guests to stop in our warehouse, we’re happy to show you around talk through the many options and choices and help come up with a safety plan.  No need to shop online and pay outrageous shipping rates, we have a it all right here locally. 

Do you have a short term goal?

To stay 1st Healthy, 2nd Happy, 3rd Open 4th Busy!  Given that we are considered an essential business, we have stayed open since the beginning of the pandemic.  We actually worked with several area hospitals providing them with traffic control equipment that they used for their “pop up” testing sites.  To date, everyone on our team has stayed healthy and we want to keep it that way.  We do our best within our organization to mitigate and minimize the risks to our team and clients by following all standardized CDC guidelines and protocols.  Furthermore, we are working a little harder to keep everyone happy.  Let’s face it, this has been a super stressful time for everyone, so we have learned that cookies and donuts help!  Our goal is to stay open and keep busy.  This is what so many of us here at FSS are good at, we have an amazing team here and everyone works so very hard.

Do you or your business donate to any charities? Which ones? Why?

We do donate our time and talents to a variety of community based charities.  Over the years we have helped provide cones for charity walks and fundraisers and fun events and activities for the Special Olympics.  Additionally, I (Kelly Hollatz) am on the board of directors for Dress for Success Cincinnati, an organization that she has participated for 10+ years. 

If you could change one thing about the world what would it be?

I would like to change how quickly and the way people react to things, news, each other etc.  I think if we all took the time to slow down, have a little patience and understanding with one another, really take the time to think things through and be a little less selfish and a little more selfless, things would improve drastically.  

What is your favorite place to eat in Montgomery?

I’ve always been a big fan of Stone Creek.  I really enjoy the atmosphere, creative menu and consistent quality.  I love the outdoor space; it’s a great spot for lunch.  My favorite “go to” order at Stone Creek is the Ahi Tuna!

What is one of your favorite quotes?

“The road to success is always under construction” …. And hopefully that road is lined with orange barrels from First Star Safety!