Ken was born and raised in El Paso, Texas and moved to Austin in 1981 to attend the University of Texas. “Like many of us here, I fell in love with Austin and decided to make it my home,” he said. Ken lives in South Austin. "I like South Austin for its laid-back atmosphere and unique, non-chain businesses and the people here are fantastic."
Ken most recently owned a local newspaper, the Slaughter Creek Reporter, and a furniture consignment store. A kidney illness in 2011 caused him to give up those businesses. I have to go to dialysis three times a week, and now I focus on my health, which is something I did not do when I was working 80 hours a week. Kidney disease is humbling . . . and now that I am living with it, I have gained a new perspective on what is important – the time you spend with friends and family.
Ken also spent a 21-year career with the IRS as a public affairs officer. He has worked as a marketing director, magazine publisher, caterer and disc jockey. He enjoys reading, golf and late-night conversations with friends and family. Ken particularly enjoys working with young adults as a life coach. “I studied leadership coaching in Colorado and worked with high school students as a project administrator for the National Hispanic Institute here in Austin. I enjoy working with young people on their communication and thinking skills. It is always fun and keeps my thinking young,” Vargas said. “I’ve done a lot of things in my career, and enjoyed learning from each challenge.
Ken also serves as president of the South Austin Business Association, which he likens to a chamber of commerce for South Austin. It is a group of like-minded business professionals who want to learn together and promote their trades in South Austin. "It is exciting to see it grow from an idea to an organization that will have an impact in the community. We are planning civic projects to leave South Austin a little better than we found it."
A few years ago, Ken had the opportunity to help relatives find and purchase investment property. "I was fascinated with the process and loved the hunt of looking for those properties. From there I decided to learn more about real estate and get my license." In 2012, Ken joined Keller Williams to begin his professional career.
Ken is married to Suha and together they have three adult sons. Together, they are very active in their church community working closely with the youth group. Ken welcomes personal relationships and believes that coffee meetings are a great way to get to know someone. "In my work with newspapers and magazines I was always interviewing people. My favorite stories were of ordinary people doing extraordinary things."
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