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Archive for March, 2019


Monday, March 25th, 2019

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 or call 920.783.6142 for more information.


Monday, March 18th, 2019

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


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.

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