Archive for the ‘ESOP’ Category
Business Owner, Husband, Father, Brother and Community Friend
Plymouth, WI, October 7, 2019 – Van Horn Automotive Group lost a proud owner, supporter, and friend , James P. Van Horn on Sunday, October 6, 2019. Son of founder Joe Van Horn, J.P. entered the family automotive business in 1997 after a successful career as a commodities broker in Chicago, IL and owning a seat on the Chicago Board of Trade. Over the years, J.P. grew to love the automotive business, but what he really enjoyed was the family business; working alongside his brother (Chuck) and sister (Teresa).
In the business world J.P. was thoughtful and deliberative; in his personal life, he was gentle, engaging and possessed a great sense of humor. He was admired by everyone who worked with him, and he truly loved what he did. Unfortunately, J.P.’s career was abbreviated when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2013. He remained as active as he could, until the disease took its toll. Although Alzheimer’s did all it could to take J.P.’s light, it did not take away the impact he made on the lives of those who knew and loved him.
J.P. is survived by his wife, Elizabeth, his two sons, Everett and Joe and his brothers and sisters Chuck, Teresa, Joann, and Suzy along with many nieces and nephews. On behalf of all Van Horn employee owners, our heartfelt condolences are extended to the Van Horn family.
The Van Horn Automotive Family
The Van Horn Automotive Group 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, the Van Horn Automotive Group has grown to include 17 automotive dealerships, a finance company, a real estate business and several insurance companies. The group employs over 550 people throughout Wisconsin and Iowa.
James Patrick Van Horn Formal Obituary (Hyperlink to site below)
The start of a new school year is exciting and hopeful for most families; but for others, it can be an anxious time. The expense of providing required school supplies is real, and sometimes overwhelming.
This year, the Van Horn Automotive Group organized a ‘Stuff the Trunk’ event; encouraging both employees and customers to donate school supplies to help area families start the year right. Each Van Horn dealership popped the trunk of a showroom vehicle, and invited people to stuff it full of notebooks, backpacks, markers, glue sticks and other necessary school items.
From mid-July to mid-August, fifteen Van Horn dealership locations and supporting departments were able to collect over 2,400 supplies for area students. The supplies were then provided to local community organizations for distribution, including: Boys & Girls Club, Salvation Army, United Way, Family Promise and a few individual schools.
“We are so appreciative of the efforts from our employee owners and our generous customers to make this event such a success,” said Ryan Thiel, Van Horn Automotive Group Marketing Director and ESOP Committee Member. Teresa Van Horn, co-CEO of Van Horn Automotive group added, “We have over 550 employees in our organization, and it’s very satisfying to see them dig a little deeper during a time when they are already spending their wages on school supplies and clothes for their own families.”
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.