Golfer hits hole-in-one to win a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro
Kohler, WI, August 19, 2019 – What started out as a beautiful morning for golf at Blackwolf Run, became a magical day for Cambellsport resident Craig Hatch, who aced the 17th hole at Blackwolf Run’s River Course to win a 2019 Chevrolet Camaro from Van Horn Automotive Group.
Hatch, a brain cancer survivor himself, was participating in the annual Make-A-Wish Wisconsin golf outing, sponsored by Sargento and Johnsonville. Van Horn Automotive was the sponsor of two, hole-in-one contests at Blackwolf Run. With an 8 iron in hand, Hatch approached the 154-yard 17th hole of the River Course for his first tee shot of the day during a shotgun start. Hatch stated, “I didn’t think the ball actually went in! It was my first shot of the day and I was in disbelief. As the witness walked to the hole to verify that it was in there, I ran next to her because I couldn’t believe it. It was my first hole in one and my first time golfing in the Make-A-Wish golf outing.”
“This is my second time volunteering as a hole-in-one contest witness for the Make-A-Wish golf outing, said Sunday Strong, Executive Assistant at Van Horn Automotive Group. “It’s such a fun day for everyone. I’ve seen many golfers get close, but never make a hole-in-one; so to see Mr. Hatch achieve this feat was truly an exciting experience.” Teresa Van Horn, Co-CEO of Van Horn Automotive Group added, “We enjoy sponsoring great causes like Make-A-Wish alongside other area businesses to thank our communities for their patronage.”
About Make-A-Wish Foundation
Make-A-Wish® creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. We seek to bring every eligible child’s wish to life because a wish is an integral part of a child’s treatment journey. Research shows children who have wishes granted can build the physical and emotional strength they need to fight their illness. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, serving children in every community in the United States and in more than 50 countries worldwide. Together, generous donors, supporters, staff and nearly 40,000 volunteers across the U.S., grant a wish every 34 minutes, on average, somewhere in the country. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 315,000 wishes to children in the U.S. and its territories; more than 15,600 in 2018 alone. For more information about Make-A-Wish America, visit www.wish.org.
About Van Horn Automotive Group
Van Horn Automotive Group, Inc. is a family born, employee owned automotive group with headquarters in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Founded in 1966 by Joe Van Horn as a single Chevrolet dealership, and purchased by his children: Chuck, Teresa and JP Van Horn, Van Horn Automotive Group has grown to include 16 automotive dealerships, a finance company, a real estate business and several insurance companies. The group employs over 580 people throughout Wisconsin and Iowa. For employment opportunities visit the Careers page at www.vhcars.com.
Sheboygan South High School continues to demonstrate their dedication to teaching students about automotive and electronic mechanics. Their course titled: Automotive and Electro Mechanics, is a year-long introductory course that provides training for: tools, equipment, operation, maintenance, and most importantly safety. Students also learn about proper procedures for diagnostics and service.
Students receive hands-on practice
Students practice their skills on a variety of vehicles as well as industrial equipment and are taught procedures as well as electro-mechanical skills that can be applied to a career in automotive or manufacturing. Sheboygan South High School is currently looking at the possibility of receiving credits towards Lakeshore Technical College in automotive electricity.
Van Horn Automotive Group supports South High’s initiative to educate young students on automotive and electro-mechanical skills. “When South High reached out to us regarding donating a vehicle: it was a no brainer,” said Teresa Van Horn, Co-CEO of Van Horn Automotive. “We want to help empower our youth and support the community with a skilled workforce.” When asked about what the 2007 Jeep Commander could do for Sheboygan South High School, Collin Kachel, a teacher at the school, said that “The vehicle will be used as a training aid for the Automotive Mechanics class for the next 5 years. We greatly appreciate the donation as it is the first time our program has been able to utilize a clean, modern vehicle for training.”
This past Memorial Day, Van Horn Automotive Group, once again, took a community-driven approach to customer test drives. For every test drive taken May 24, 25, and 27, 2019, Van Horn offered to donate $20 to Children of Fallen Patriots, a foundation that provides college scholarships and education to children who have lost a parent serving in the military. “This is our second year running this event,’ said Marketing Director Ryan Thiel. “Our goal was to beat last year’s mark, and we were very happy to have achieved a 35% increase. We had great feedback from participants; even those not intending to buy a car that day. It’s important that we keep focus on those who gave everything for our freedom and their families.”
TEST DRIVE RESULTS
After the event, the totals were combined from all 15 Van Horn locations throughout Wisconsin and Iowa equaling 302 test drives and made a total donation of $6,500. “We believe that one of the best ways we can honor our fallen heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country is to invest in the future of those they loved most in the world – their children,” said David Kim, co-founder and CEO of Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. Since 2002, Fallen Patriots has awarded more than $30 million and assisted 1,417 students earn their college degree. “A college education is the key to a bright future for any child and the generosity of our supporters is making those hopes and dreams come true.”
THANKS FOR DRIVING
The Van Horn family would like to thank everyone that came out to test drive a vehicle. Whether it was a car someone was possibly interested in purchasing, or a ride in a convertible, we greatly appreciate everyone that came out.
New south side location provides state-of-the-art facility focused on customer experience.
Sheboygan, WI, May 10, 2019 – Van Horn Automotive, in partnership with Quasius Construction, broke ground on a new Hyundai dealership and service facility May 9th. Present were representatives from Van Horn Automotive Group, Quasius Construction, Sheboygan County Chamber and Mike Vandersteen, Mayor City of Sheboygan.
The Van Horn Hyundai of Sheboygan franchise dealership will move from its current north side location at 3512 Wilgus Ave. to the south side of Sheboygan at 5525 Racetrack Road. “The new 16,106 square foot Hyundai facility is designed to provide the best customer experience possible,” said Chris Merklein, Director of Van Horn Real Estate and Development. “Located just south of our newly acquired Nissan and Volkswagen store, the construction process and site-work will begin in mid-May – we will see structural steel going up in June – interior framing in August, and substantial advancement in late November. Van Horn Automotive Group is excited to be selling and servicing cars out of the new dealership in time for Christmas.”
The new facility will feature a state-of-the-art service facility with two interior service drive-through lanes and eleven service bays to increase car care efficiencies and perform higher quality repairs. Adjacent to the service area, will be a comfortable customer lounge area and 2,600 square foot showroom. Designed to be energy efficient, the building will provide LED lighting throughout. Customers will also notice the glass façade’ wall along the entrance providing an abundance of natural light into the store.
“Van Horn is really excited to sharing the new space with our customers,” said Kyle Fale, Van Horn Platform Director for Hyundai, Nissan and Volkswagen. “Hyundai has been a great brand to work with both for Van Horn and customers who have purchased vehicles. Hyundai’s 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty is the best in America and proves to be an extremely reliable car brand. Our location on Wilgus Ave has treated us well over the years, but we are ready for an upgrade. Customers will agree and be very happy when they see that we have built a facility for better vehicle purchase and service needs.”
Quasius Construction will serve as the construction manager of the project. Quasius has partnered with Van Horn early in the planning and preconstruction process to help identify design and construction efficiencies for their new facility. Designed using Hyundai’s brand and prototype store specifications, the new Sheboygan store is the second one of its kind to be built in Wisconsin.
“It has been a pleasure to work with the Van Horn Automotive group on this project, and to play a role in the development of Sheboygan County” stated Matt Quasius, President of Quasius Construction. “Anytime we can partner with someone who’s values align with Quasius, it provides tremendous impact.”
The new facility will also include a large employee training area that will help to retain and attract quality talent as well as allow for character and career development. “We always strive to continue our mission of empowering people and by creating this space, we can do just that,” stated Fale. The inside will feature a wall-hung TV for computer projection and training assistance. The training area will serve a variety of functions for: meetings, presentations, training and think tanks.
In a statement Chuck Van Horn, Van Horn co-CEO of Van Horn Automotive Group, said “With the acquisition of Nissan/Volkswagen, and the addition of the new Hyundai location, we are committed to developing the Sheboygan South Business Park. As a student pilot, I fly above the new locations getting excited about how we can continue to play a part in making this area a more desirable and attractive destination for Sheboygan County and beyond.”
About the Quasius Construction
Quasius Construction, located in Sheboygan’s downtown district, delivers innovative construction solutions and services to clients throughout Wisconsin. Established in 1891, Quasius assists clients throughout their entire project life cycle, from conceptual design through construction completion, helping clients make informed decisions and meeting challenging project demands and budgets.
About Van Horn Automotive Group
Van Horn Automotive Group, Inc. is a family born, employee owned automotive group with headquarters in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Founded in 1966 by Joe Van Horn as a single Chevrolet dealership, and purchased by his children: Chuck, Teresa and JP Van Horn, Van Horn Automotive Group has grown to include 18 automotive dealerships, a finance company, a real estate business and several insurance companies. The group employs over 580 people throughout Wisconsin and Iowa. For employment opportunities visit the Careers page at www.vhcars.com.
This race season we all have a driver to cheer for and a great cause. Van Horn’s own Brian Wieland will be getting back behind the wheel because of his love for the sport, but also because of his passion for recovery. Brian will be racing in the Plymouth Dirt Track Series in the B Mod division. All winnings will be donated to Samaritan’s Hand – a drug and alcohol clinic and sober house in Sheboygan County. “Recovery is a personal interest of mine, and I want to continue to support healing in our community, says Brian Wieland, Used Car Director for Van Horn Automotive Group. “I love Sheboygan County and I’m always inspired by the great businesses that provide the community with an amazing place to live, work and grow. It is my mission to continue to help make a difference.”
Brian’s first race will be Saturday, April 27 in Plymouth at the Sheboygan County Fair Park. The full 2019 Plymouth Dirt Track Racing Schedule can be found here http://www.plymouthdtr.com/schedule.html.
In addition to racing, Brian’s schedule includes 2 brat frys, Saturday night pit sessions, 5 Road America Race displays and a final year-end event. Any questions regarding sponsorship opportunities or events, contact Brian Wieland at email@example.com.
On Friday, April 12, 2019, members of the Van Horn Automotive Group attended the annual Top Workplaces Awards Presentation, hosted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee. Those in attendance included Teresa Van Horn, Co-CEO and Jenny Krebsbach, Controller. “There was a lot of excitement in the room. They had encouraged the audience to bring their spirit, so there was a lot of cheering. As we grow, we haven’t lost sight of the importance of our employees. We listen to them, learn from them, and appreciate each person. I am very proud of our organization and look forward to the exciting things to come,” stated Krebsbach. The Van Horn Automotive Group ranked 21st among midsized companies in Wisconsin. See the full list here: https://projects.jsonline.com/database/2019/4/top-workplaces-2019.html#!/sizebandrank.asc.1/
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s annual Top Workplaces list showcases 150 outstanding businesses in southeastern Wisconsin. Companies are measured on qualities such as company leadership, career opportunities, workplace flexibility, compensation, benefits, and the impact company policies have on innovation and morale. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has been awarding the Top Workplaces in the area for the past 10 years.
The Top Workplace Award has a HUGE meaning for Teresa Van Horn. “We’ve been working extremely hard to create an enjoyable working environment and this means we’re making progress. It tells me that our employees enjoy coming to work and like the direction we’re headed. A happier employee translates into providing a better experience for our customers which means continued growth for our dealerships.”
Every February, Van Horn Automotive Group Gives hosts the Pay-It-Forward moment at the Sheboygan County Chamber of Champions Gala. The Pay-It-Forward moment a random drawing, allows a Gala guest to select an organization close to them for a $1,000 donation made by Van Horn Automotive Group. Past Pay-It-Forward winners are Meals on Wheels, Sheboygan County Cancer Care, RCS Empowers, and Sharon S. Richardson Foundation.
This year, Joe Widder from BW Papersystems in Sheboygan was the lucky recipient of this award. He chose Great Marriages for the donation, since his parents are long time mentors for the organization.
Pictured are Van Horn Automotive Group Co-CEO, Teresa Van Horn, Joe Widder of BW Papersystems, and Crystal Dekker, Van Horn Automotive Group Public Relations Coordinator
Executive Director, Jocelyn Medrek, of Great Marriages stated “The mission of Great Marriages is to prepare and strengthen relationships, enrich marriages, and keep families together. Singles, dating, engaged or married couples are welcome to attend Great Marriages’ events! We are here to help you learn valuable relationship skills so we can be a community of vibrant, strong, joyful, life-long marriages. Our children need to know what a healthy marriage looks like so they can have successful relationships in their future.”
Medrek and Great Marriages associate, Winter Kohler, met with Ryan Thiel and Teresa Van Horn of Van Horn Automotive Group to present Great Marriages with the $1,000 donation. Also present for the check presentation was Pay-It-Forward winner, Joe Widder.
From left to right: Jocelyn Medrek, Ryan Thiel, Joe Widder, Teresa Van Horn, Winter Kohler
Great Marriages accomplishes their mission through couple-to-couple mentoring programs, monthly events, marriage retreats, corporate lunch and learns, and workshops. To view Great Marriages’ upcoming events, please visit www.great-marriages.org/events or call 920.783.6142 for more information.
Van Horn employee owners (shown left to right): Brian Wieland (Used Car Director), Laura Pehler (Photographer), Hannah Vassar (HR Coordinator), Chuck Van Horn (Co-CEO), Tonya Stahl (Vice President, Wisconsin Consumer Credit), Ryan Thiel (Marketing Director), Tom Stocco (Chief Financial Officer)
Award demonstrates a strong commitment to employee ownership.
Wisconsin Dells, WI, March 15, 2019 – The Wisconsin Chapter of The ESOP Association recognized Van Horn Automotive Group as 2019 Company of the Year at its Annual Spring Conference in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. The ESOP Company of the Year award is presented to a company that demonstrates a commitment to employee ownership, as exhibited by involvement with the Association and its programs, communication with employees, and commitment to the Association’s vision.
Out of the 185 employee owned companies in Wisconsin, the ESOP Association considered 5 finalists and awarded 1 winner for this award. Each applicant was asked to provide examples of creating and supporting a working environment of employee ownership. “When we received word that we were getting the ESOP Company of the Year Award, we were ecstatic!” said co-CEO and ESOP Trustee Teresa Van Horn. “Since we started the ESOP in 2015, we’ve been diligently working to build awareness and value among our “employee owners”. It’s a long process, but it’s really starting to pay off in the mindset of how our employees treat each other and their customers. It really creates a forward-thinking attitude, and we are committed to building the strength of our ESOP for many years to come.”
Alicia Diekow, ESOP Chapter Administrator expressed, “The selection committee enjoyed reading about the various ways that Van Horn has worked to be recognized as an ESOP company with their ‘I OWN IT’ t-shirts and internal competitions as well as in their communities with a slogan of “Family Born. Employee Owned.” This recognition by the Wisconsin Chapter of the ESOP Association qualifies Van Horn Automotive Group to be considered for the National ESOP Company of the Year, which will be announced May 22, 2019 at the 42nd Annual ESOP Conference in Washington D.C.
Van Horn Automotive Group became the first partially employee-owned car dealership group in Wisconsin in 2015. The group’s 500 full-time employees own 30% of the company as part of the employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). Due to growth and expansion of the Van Horn Automotive Group, full-time employees have increased by over 100 in the last year and turnover rate has decreased by 8%.
About the ESOP Association
The ESOP Association is America’s largest employer-sponsored advocacy and education association focused on employee stock ownership plans. For more information on the Association, visit www.esopassociation.org.
About Van Horn Automotive Group
Van Horn Automotive Group, Inc. is a family born, employee owned automotive group with headquarters in Plymouth, Wisconsin. Founded in 1966 by Joe Van Horn as a single Chevrolet dealership, and purchased by his children: Chuck, Teresa and JP Van Horn, Van Horn Automotive Group has grown to include 18 automotive dealerships, a finance company, a real estate business and several insurance companies. The group employs over 580 people throughout Wisconsin and Iowa. For employment opportunities visit the Careers page at Van Horn Careers.
On September 17, 2018, Van Horn Automotive Group purchased Nissan and Volkswagen dealerships in Sheboygan. In celebration of the new location, Van Horn Nissan Volkswagen of Sheboygan donated $100 from each unit sold in October and November to Safe Harbor of Sheboygan County. Established in 1990, Safe Harbor has provided assistance to individuals in Sheboygan County that have been affected by sexual assault and domestic abuse in their time of crisis.
Van Horn Nissan Volkswagen sold a total of 101 units in their first two months of operation, totaling a donation of $10,100. “This unique kind of fundraising promotion is a great way to increase awareness of our services. The funds we received help us provide the critical direct services victims of abuse need. Services include: emergency hotline, shelter services and supplies to provide immediate safety, victim accompaniment which helps victims navigate systems and other community services that can help people move toward a life without violence,” said Laura Roenitz, Executive Director of Safe Harbor.
Leading into the Holidays, Van Horn Automotive Group also collected items through a supply drive involving all Van Horn dealerships throughout Sheboygan County. The monetary donation, as well as the supplies, were presented to Roenitz and Safe Harbor on December 14, 2018. Supply drive items included: paper products, towels, cleaning supplies, and laundry necessities – items the shelter can always use.
Van Horn Automotive Group is proud to support the communities in which they operate, and will continue to give back time and talents to make them stronger.
If you or someone you know is in need of services provided by Safe Harbor, please call their helpline at 920-452-7640.
The celebration began at 4:00pm with a ceremonial ribbon cutting that included City Officials, State Representatives, Van Horn Executives, and the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce.
Van Horn President and COO, Richard Strong welcomed the 200 guests stating, “we’ve been growing a lot, internally, and externally. We have expanded into Oconomowoc and Stoughton, and up into Manitowoc, but we’re really happy to be able to invest in Sheboygan County again.”
At 4:30 the entertainment began in the Nissan showroom with a Karate Demonstration from black belt, Kevin Horne with his students Colby and Nick Grams followed by a special performance from the D’Werdenfelser Schuhplattlers in the Volkswagen Showroom. “As we planned this Grand Opening, I felt it was important to recognize the origin of each manufacturer brand by connecting entertainment and merchants from our local community that embrace these cultures” stated Crystal Dekker, Marketing Administrator for Van Horn Automotive Group.
Headquartered in Plymouth, Wisconsin, Van Horn Automotive Group has been present in Sheboygan County for over 52 years. The acquisition of Van Horn Nissan and Volkswagen of Sheboygan brings local ownership back to this dealership and adds two more brands to the Van Horn family, which also includes: Ford, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram, FIAT, Hyundai and Mazda.
To continue the celebration, Van Horn Nissan and Volkswagen of Sheboygan is donating $100 for each unit sold during the months of October and November to Safe Harbor of Sheboygan. “The important part about when businesses like Van Horn invest in Safe Harbor, it is about spreading the word and really getting the people that need help,” added Laura Roenitz, Executive Director of Safe Harbor.