2016 is a year of milestones for Hoffman Honda, marking 40 years of the dealership serving the Avon/West Simsbury area. Employees, friends, and family gathered at Hoffman Honda on June 14 to celebrate this and many other achievements.
Jeffrey Hoffman, Co-Chairman of Hoffman Auto Group, remembers the moment he got the call that the Honda brand would be added to the Hoffman family. He shared with everyone his excitement when he was standing in the showroom at 10:30 a.m. on December 9, 1976. It was Hoffman Auto Group’s first foray into Japanese brands, and paved the way for Toyota and Nissan, building the Avon Auto Park into what it is today.
Three Hoffman Honda employees also celebrated some milestone anniversaries. Simon Karikari, Sales and Leasing Consultant, has been with Hoffman Honda for five years. “When Simon came in to buy his car,” remembers Matthew Hoffman, Vice President of Hoffman Auto Group, “I could see that he was a natural salesman.” Simon had been working in a management position at a grocery store, but Matthew convinced him to join the team at Hoffman Honda. Simon, who currently holds a second job as an X-Ray technician, quickly became one of the best Sales and Leasing Consultants for Hoffman Honda, “always at the top each month,” said Sam Pines, Director of Fixed Operations for Hoffman Auto Group.
Jim Berube, Service Manager for Hoffman Honda celebrated his 15th anniversary with Hoffman Auto Group. Jim has done a lot for Hoffman, working at Lexus as the assistant service manager before his promotion as the service manager for Hoffman BMW of Watertown. Most recently, Jim has been appointed the service manager at Hoffman Honda. Co-chairmen, Jeffrey and Bradley Hoffman, along with Matthew Hoffman, Vice President and Jonathan Hoffman, Manager of Fixed Operations, all shared their heartfelt thanks and enjoyed a few laughs with all in attendance.
It was also a special moment for Phyllis Keyes, Corporate Secretary for Hoffman Auto Group, as she celebrated 45 years with Hoffman Auto Group. The Hoffmans shared how Phyllis had been with the company since the acquisition of the Hartford Capitals basketball team 45 years ago. She stayed with the company, becoming part of the family, shared Jeffrey and Bradley. Phyllis showcases the dedication and loyalty of Hoffman employees.
Hoffman Honda Welcomes 4th Master Technician
The Hoffmans took this day to also celebrate Hoffman Honda’s newest Master Technician, Josh Villafane. Villafane started working for Hoffman Auto Group seven years ago as a lube technician. Since then, Josh has embarked on a journey from lube tech to Honda certified master technician.
To become a Master Tech, technicians must work in a Honda dealership for at least two years. They then have to take hundreds of courses online and in person at a Honda training center. “It usually takes about ten years to achieve Master Tech status,” said Dwight Dery, who recently retired as service manager for Hoffman Honda and returned for the day to celebrate this momentous occasion. Dery continued, “Josh accomplished it in five years!” He shared how Josh was always the first one in the shop every day and the last one to go home, having to wait for a bus back to his home in Hartford.
Josh took his online classes during slow times at work and looked up to Hoffman Honda’s other three master technicians Jose Pena, Ken Becker, and Eric Delka. Jim Berube, Service Manager, said Hoffman Honda’s Master Technicians are all highly dedicated workers. They’ve had the best training and really understand the Honda product. “At Hoffman Honda, customers can rest assured that their vehicle will get checked and diagnosed properly. Not many other dealerships in the area have technicians at this level of training.”
Once again, we would like to congratulate all employees in reaching these milestones and thank everyone for their hard work and dedication.