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Meals on Wheels Recipient of Pay-It-Forward Donation

Friday, March 2nd, 2018
Last week, the Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce held their 2018 Chamber Champions Gala at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake. In attendance representing Van Horn Automotive Group were Teresa Van Horn, Dick Strong, Sunday Strong, Jeff Niesen, Brian Wieland, and Crystal Dekker. Van Horn Automotive Group was a Platinum Sponsor of this event, as well as the host of the the “Pay-it-Forward moment” – a random drawing, allowing a chosen guest to select a charity for a $1000 donation. 

Brett Fosdick, Sales Manager at US Cellular, was the lucky recipient of the Pay-it-Forward award. He chose to pay it forward to Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County, Inc. He stated that he chose Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County because “they have helped out a peer of mine who was in need in the past.  I believe it’s a great service for people who aren’t able to leave the confines of their homes to be able to get meals delivered to their homes.” 

Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County partners with local farmers and gardeners to provide fresh meals for the elderly and homebound. 

Van Horn has sponsored the Pay-it-Forward donation for the past four years, benefiting other local organizations such as the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice, the Sheboygan County Cancer Care Fund, and RCS Empowers Inc. 

Teresa Van Horn believes it is very important as a pillar of the communities we live to give back to the community and support one another. 
“We have been very fortunate to have the support of our communities these past 50 years.  Pay-it-forward gives us the opportunity to say thank you and give the community the additional opportunity to help each other out.  The support that communities receive from our business and the many other businesses will help us to continue to grow and remain strong for the future,” says Van Horn.

For more information about Meals on Wheels of Sheboygan County, please visit


Tuesday, February 6th, 2018
Van Horn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat, located at 3000 Eastern Ave, Plymouth, WI, is proud to announce their status as #1 FCA dealer for new car sales in Wisconsin and #1 Ram dealer in the Midwest.  
Opened in 1987 as Chuck Van Horn Dodge, it was the second Van Horn dealership established after the original Joe Van Horn Chevrolet in 1966. After celebrating 50 years of business, the Van Horn Automotive Group opened a Truck Center in 2016 to create a destination for truck enthusiasts. “Having a dedicated location with Ram experts serving truck buyers has really helped us be successful in the market,” says Adam Gaedke, Platform Vice President for the Van Horn Automotive Group. “This is a very satisfying accomplishment considering the competition from larger metropolitan FCA dealers in the state of Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest.”
Van Horn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat of Plymouth and the Van Horn Truck Center employ over 45 people in both sales and service. “We’ve seen a lot of growth with the Automotive Group in just the last two years, expanding to markets including: Oconomowoc, Lomira and even Newhall, IA,” says Chuck Van Horn, CEO of Van Horn Automotive Group. “Its great to see one of our original locations stand the test of time and achieve this level of success in the backyard of our Plymouth headquarters. We really owe our success to the support from our local community and our employee owners in building a solid reputation.”

Van Horn Ford Chevrolet of Newhall Grand Opening

Tuesday, December 26th, 2017
Tuesday, December 12, 2017 was an exciting day for Van Horn Automotive Group- we held our grand opening celebration for our first out of state location in Newhall, Iowa!

We celebrated with a performance by Jazz band, Eddie Piccard, Lifetime Achievement Award presentations, a ribbon cutting ceremony, public open house, and giveaways from Hyvee, Cit Drel Supper Club, First Stop, and numerous Van Horn prize packs. Scott Saville, sports talk show host from KCRG, was our MC for the night. The event was catered by Hyvee, who provided two separate delicious food stations as well as an ice cream bar!

During the ceremony, Bill Grovert was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by Newhall Council Member, Bill Much. Steve Schallau also received this same honor presented by Van Horne Mayor, Martin Junge. Both of these awards were given to honor Mr. Grovert and Mr. Schallau’s work in the local automotive industry. Steve Schallau proudly presented Van Horn President, Dick Strong with a Ford clock that was displayed in the original Newhall Ford dealership. Teresa Van Horn presented a $2,000 check to the Benton Scholarship Fund. 

Van Horn Ford Chevrolet of Newhall welcomed over 200 guests to our celebration. Van Horn Automotive Group is looking forward to our future in the Benton County community.

More photos of our grand opening celebration can be found in our Facebook album.

Van Horn Gives Back to the Food Pantry

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017


This past summer Van Horn Automotive Group purchased various livestock raised through the 4H program at the Ozaukee and Sheboygan County fairs. We had the meat processed and offered it to our employees in exchange for a donation to our local food pantries. Donations were made to the Plymouth Food Pantry, Kewaskum Food Pantry, Peter's Pantry, Fondy Food Pantry, Hunger Task Force, Stoughton Food Pantry, Oconomowoc Food Pantry, and the Sheboygan Food Pantry. Van Horn Automotive Group proudly supports our community food pantries and our local 4H programs.

Representatives from the Plymouth Food Pantry, Exhibitors from local 4H programs, and Ryan Thiel from Van Horn Automotive Group

Van Horn Ford of Lomira Grand Opening

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

On Thursday October 19th, 2017, Van Horn Ford of Lomira held a grand opening celebration in honor of their new Ford store located in Lomira Wisconsin. 

Among those who attended the event were Lomira city officials, Lomira High School staff and band members, area chamber businesses, and Van Horn associates. 
The celebration of the new store consisted of a ribbon cutting ceremony, and a public open house with entertainment. 
During the Ribbon cutting ceremony, President Dick Strong from the Van Horn Automotive Group spoke, as well as Roy Edwards, General Manager of Van Horn Ford of Lomira. Lomira High School Principle Deb Janke also took a turn speaking. Later on in the evening band direction Rod Eggert was presented with a $500 check for the High School Band will would use the money toward their trip. 

Entertainment was provided by the Lomira High School Band who played multiple songs for the public, as well as the High School Cheer Team, and WMBZ, 92.5 Buzz Country provided a live broadcast and backdrop of music.

Over 200 people came to celebrate this event, and all those who attended got to enjoy Sue’s Country Catering who served a homestyle meal for guests which included BBQ Pork and Turkey and Gravy.
The atmosphere of the grand opening celebration was neighborly and welcoming. The community came together and celebrated the event in a true warm and friendly fashion.
Van Horn Ford of Lomira is the 12thdealership to join the Van Horn Family.

Van Horn Automotive Group Adds Ford Lomira to Family of Dealerships

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

Bringing a wide selection of vehicles and new job opportunities

September 1, 2017
The Van Horn Automotive group has announced the purchase of Ford Lomira from Ernie Von Schledorn, located at 700 East Avenue, Lomira, WI. This marks the 12th dealership to be part of the Van Horn Automotive Group, and the 2nd Ford dealership, since Van Horn Ford of Oconomowoc was purchased from Safro in October 2016.

The location has a total lot size of almost 6 acres; capable of holding over 400 vehicles. A 32,000 square-foot, building includes an open-concept showroom and service center, complete with 10 service lifts. Roy Edwards will operate as the General Manager, bringing over 15 years of automotive business experience; most recently functioning as one of the top-performing general sales managers at the Van Horn Truck Center in Plymouth, WI. “This store has great visibility,” said Roy, “And the location allows us the serve the Highway 41 corridor from the Fox Valley south to Milwaukee.”


Growing a larger inventory and further developing the service center, Van Horn aims to double the staff from 20 to 40 employees. “We believe in investing in all the communities that we serve,” said Dick Strong, President of Van Horn Automotive Group. “People are our single greatest asset and we will support the people that live and work in Lomira and the surrounding area.”


Coming from the small town of Plymouth, WI, Van Horn Automotive Group CEO Chuck Van Horn appreciates the role and responsibility each business has in the community. “Our team all has a common vision,” says Chuck. “We strive to create a great experience for our customers. When the customer is happy, we are happy.”

Van Horn Automotive Group Adds Chevrolet Newhall to Family of Dealerships

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017
August 1, 2017
The Van Horn Automotive Group has announced the acquisition and purchase of Grovert Chevrolet, located at 7300 28th Avenue, Newhall, Iowa, from Bill Grovert to be effective as of August 1, 2017.
New Van Horn Automotive dealership in Iowa
As a well‐established automotive group, operating for over 50 years, this will be the first dealership location outside the state of Wisconsin. However, Iowa is not new territory for the Van Horn family. “My great grandparents immigrated from Ireland and settled in Ainsworth, near Washington, Iowa,” said Chuck Van Horn, Chief Executive Officer of Van Horn Automotive Group. “We celebrated our centennial on the family farm about 10 years ago, which is still owned by our cousin who is a 4th generation farmer.” Teresa Van Horn, Chief Operating Officer of Van Horn Automotive Group adds, “My father grew up on the farm in Ainsworth and my mother is from Davenport, Iowa. Our family is very happy to be back in Iowa; especially with a leading franchise like Chevrolet. The over 100‐year history of the Grovert dealership, and our shared passion for customer satisfaction, played a big part in our decision to purchase.”
Van Horn's first dealership outside of Wisconsin
Van Horn intends to increase vehicle inventory and further develop the service center, as well as grow staff. Jon Bell, a member of the acquisition team, will operate as the executive manager of Van Horn Chevrolet of Newhall. The Van Horn organization and their employees take great pride in their participation in civic and charitable causes and plan to be active supporters of the corridor area. “We strive to invest in all the communities that we serve, and make the customer experience our priority” said Dick Strong, President of Van Horn Automotive Group. “Coming from the small town of Plymouth, WI, and especially as an employee owned company, we understand and embrace the role and responsibility each business has in the community.”

Grovert Chevrolet was started in Newhall, Iowa 107 years ago by Bill Grovert’s grandfather. “This is now a time in our life that we want to spend more time with family and related activities” said Bill who has operated the dealership with his wife Susan. “We are thankful for the long-term employees and our loyal customers and friends who have made this a wonderful experience and we will always be grateful to them. Susan and I couldn’t be happier that the Van Horn organization will be the new owners. As they are the only true employee owned dealership in the area, we feel confident our former employees, who are all staying with the company, will be happy and our customers will enjoy a great experience”.

Van Horn Automotive Group Announces Executive Appointments

Friday, June 16th, 2017
June 16, 2017

Van Horn Automotive Group announced today the appointments of Adam Gaedke and Tim Goeckerman as platform vice presidents and Mark Watson as vice president of variable operations. The appointments are effective immediately.
As platform vice presidents, Gaedke and Goeckerman will oversee the operations and profitability of each assigned dealership, and their departments, including: sales, financing, service and parts. They will foster good working relationships with manufacturer and lending institutions, and monitor programs and policies related to customer satisfaction.
Gaedke will maintain his General Manager duties at the Van Horn Chevrolet and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat locations in Plymouth, WI. His responsibilities will extend to two more Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram dealerships in Stoughton, WI and Manitowoc, WI and Van Horn Budget Auto in Plymouth, WI. Goeckerman will maintain his General Manager duties at the Van Horn Hyundai locations in Fond du Lac, WI and Sheboygan, WI. His responsibilities will extend to the Van Horn Ford dealership in Oconomowoc, WI.
“Adam and Tim have proven their ability to operate successful dealerships over the years,” said Dick Strong, President, Van Horn Automotive Group. “Their business acumen, process improvement and strong leadership skills will establish best practices for others to learn from.”
As vice president of variable operations, Watson will optimize the efficiency of sales operations at all dealerships. This will include proper training, compliance and process execution for all sales and finance personnel.
“Mark has been an excellent finance director with a passion for training others,” said Teresa Van Horn, Chief Operating Officer, Van Horn Automotive Group. “His energy and drive for continuous improvement made this appointment an easy decision.”
Chuck Van Horn, Chief Executive Officer, Van Horn Automotive Group added “I have deep gratitude for each of these young leaders. They served as role models in developing a prosperous culture for both our company and our community. I am honored to have them leading this growing organization.”
Goeckerman joined Van Horn Automotive in 2005 as a business manager for Van Horn Hyundai in Fond du Lac, WI. Through the years, he held positions of sales manager, general sales manager and most recently as general manager for two Hyundai locations in Fond du Lac, WI and Sheboygan, WI. Prior to joining Van Horn Automotive Group, Goeckerman served as business manager at Bergstrom Automotive. He received a BS in business administration with finance emphasis from Marquette University in Wisconsin.

Gaedke joined Van Horn Automotive in 2003 as a salesperson for Van Horn Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat in Plymouth, WI. He ascended through positions of greater responsibility landing his most recent role as general manager for Van Horn Chevrolet and Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Fiat locations in Plymouth, WI. A University of Wisconsin-Stout graduate in Technology Education, Gaedke was a school teacher in the Sheboygan area before coming to Van Horn Automotive Group. Further education includes the completion of the NCM General Manager Executive Program.
Watson came to Van Horn Automotive Group in 2002 as a sales and finance manager at Van Horn Chevrolet in Plymouth, WI. After years of proven success, Watson advanced to his most recent position as finance director for the Van Horn Automotive Group. He is currently on the board of directors for the Van Horn Automotive Group and hosts annual WDS Advancement Academy training for next generation leaders. His prior experience includes car sales at Fairway Ford in South Carolina and finance manager at Performance Chevy Buick GMC in South Carolina.

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 10 automotive dealerships, a finance company, a real estate business and several insurance companies. The group employs over 500 people in Southeastern Wisconsin.

Teresa Van Horn "Dances with the Stars" for Charity

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017


On Saturday, May 20, Teresa Van Horn participated in the Movers & Shakers Gala at Lakeland University. Celebrating its 10thyear, Gala proceeds support student scholarships and raise money and awareness for local charities in Sheboygan County. 

Teresa Van Horn and dance partner, Jay Morth, perform at the 2017 Movers & Shakers Gala
In 2015, Teresa Van Horn performed in this event with a group, and awarded a scholarship to a Sheboygan County Christian High School student. “It was fun, but I was kind of in the background; more of a cheerleader,” said Van Horn. This experience, and a little coaxing from around the office, inspired Teresa to participate as a featured contestant in 2017.

Van Horn Automotive Group volunteers performing at the 2015 Movers & Shakers Gala
At this year’s event, Teresa Van Horn partnered with a talented, professional ballroom dancer, Jay Morth to perform a foxtrot routine. Her charity of choice was Samaritans Hand, a non-profit drug and alcohol clinic that provides assistance for recovering addicts in the Sheboygan County Area. “I chose Samaritan’s Hand because there is such a great need for their services in our county. Drug and alcohol addiction has adversely affected the lives of too many people. Helping them and their families overcome that addiction and getting back to leading happy, successful lives is crucial,” stated Van Horn.

The 2017 lineup included seven area celebrities:

  • Conrad Barrows – sponsored by the Melitta S. and Joan M. Pick Charitable Trust and his charity was the Wisconsin Military Network. 
  • Kristin Blanchard – sponsored by the Grover Family Foundation and her charity was the Lakeshore Community Health Care.
  • David Gallianetti – sponsored by Sun Graphics Media and his charity was the Sheboygan Public Education Foundation. 
  • Lindsay Harrison-Eirich – sponsored by friends of Lindsay Harrison-Eirich and her charity was Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.
  • Lauren Hydock was sponsored by Masters Gallery Foods and her charity was the Sheboygan County Humane Society. 
  • Teresa Van Horn – sponsored by Van Horn Automotive Group and her charity was Samaritans Hand. 
  • Amber Willis – sponsored by Legend Larry's and her charity was Camp Evergreen.

For a full recap of the event, including results and photos, visit

Van Horn Donates Van to Sheboygan County Humane Society

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017


It's officially spring, and to kick the season off, Van Horn Automotive Group has donated a 2012 Chrysler Town & Country Touring to the Sheboygan County Humane Society.

The Sheboygan County Humane Society is an open admissions shelter (that turns no homeless animals away) located in Sheboygan, WI. For over 50 years, they have been providing care for the lost and mistreated  animals of Sheboygan County. They take care of 2,500 pets a year, so every donation they get helps so much. Leah Helms, Executive Director of the Sheboygan County Humane Society, said that food and care-taking costs add up to about $275/animal. 

“The employee owners at Van Horn hold a special place in their heart for animals. They are the innocent ones. They don't have the power to protect themselves in our society. Van Horn really wants to help those who are innocent victims,” says Chuck Van Horn.

Van Horn is very fortunate to be able to donate a van to help with some of the organizations needs for the pets. They often need vans to pick up large donations, to bring animals to vet services, to bring in aluminum cans to get weighed and turned in, and to run errands. It is important to have transportation methods to rescue abused or neglected animals from a poor environment.  The vans also help with transport to adopt-a-pet events and to local assisted living facilities to bring the pets for visits with the patients.

Leah Helms wanted to thank Van Horn saying,“When a community joins together we can do powerful things. Thank you Van Horn for supporting SCHS; together we are making our community a better place to live.”

Adam Gaedke, General Manager, presenting keys to the Sheboygan County Humane Society 

To learn more about the Sheboygan County Humane Society, visit them at 3107 North 20th Street, Sheboygan, WI 53083 or online at

Here is a list of current donation items needed:

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