Vietnam Veteran Receives New Horse Trailer to Carry On His Mission

Hoffman Auto Group proudly joined together with Turnpike Auto Body, NY Pickle Deli, Renee DiNino and iHeart Media to celebrate and honor Vietnam Veteran, Richard Kowalker, with the presentation of a new horse trailer.  Mr. Kowalker’s story is one of service, trials, triumph and honor. Having faithfully served as a U.S. Marine in Vietnam, later re-enlisting as a drill instructor, Kowalker held various civilian jobs and faced a time of struggle with post traumatic stress disorder. After working through his PTSD he attended a funeral of a Vietnam veteran who had recently been identified and brought home to rest, he remembered the honor bestowed upon President John F. Kennedy with a “riderless horse” and thus began his mission to carry on this tradition. He had honored over 700 fellow veterans when another challenge plagued him – his horse trailer was damaged in an accident and he had an upcoming funeral to attend.  Holding true to the Marine’s motto, “Semper Fidelis,” Rick remained faithful to his word and began an overnight 15-mile trek on foot with his two horses. With the help of the community and the kindness of Ken Yavis from NY Pickle Deli, he was assisted with a temporary trailer for part of this travels that day. That is when the community heard more about his dedication and mission prompting local businesses and individuals to come together in an effort to present a new trailer so he would have safe and reliable transportation to continue his mission to provide the riderless horse for at least 1000 veterans.


11700585_10153002257458595_9192228260016602571_oThe Hoffman Auto Group firmly believes in supporting and giving back to the community and has consistently demonstrated this over the 94 years we have been selling and servicing our vehicles. It is in the building up of the community and providing opportunities to help people thrive that we all benefit.


In our continued support of our military, we applaud the faithfulness of Mr. Kowalker who served our country in battle, has faced his personal battle of PTSD and since 2006 has given of himself to honor over 700 fellow veterans with his “riderless horses”


11713856_10153002257268595_199018618541173764_oWith over 80 people in attendance at the trailer presentation, we met an 83 year old Army veteran, Salvatore Malinguaggio (pictured with his grandson, Officer Kominske, and Susan Lane, Manager of Corporate Reputation and Community Outreach, Hoffman Auto Group) who
shared a story with us about when he was only seven years old he used visit Hoffman Auto Group in East Hartford and shine the shoes of our salesmen.


On behalf of Bradley Hoffman, the Hoffman family and the Hoffman Auto group, thank you to Mr. Kowalker for serving to our country, for not giving up when life became challenging and for honoring fellow veterans.

We sincerely appreciate you!



Take a look at the stories captured by WFSB Channel 3 news and FoxCT news.  See our photos on Facebook.
Mr. Richard Kowalker is a humble, dedicated and kind man! It was an honor to meet him and a joy to partner with others in the community to ensure he continues with his mission to honor fallen veterans.


Matthew S. Hoffman Named One Of Automotive News’ 40 Under 40

Automotive News has announced their national 40 Under 40 Retail: men and women recognized in the automotive industry across the nation as “up-an-comers” who have demonstrated their ambition, expertise and growth plans for this generation andMatthew-Hoffman-Automotive-News-40-Under-40 beyond. Hoffman Auto Group is proud to announce Matthew S. Hoffman, Vice President/Dealer Principal, has received this prestigious honor. Crediting his success to diligently proving himself in the nearly century old family owned and operated business, the support of his family both at home and in the office, and the employees who are devoted to raising the bar, Mr. Hoffman has excelled within the auto group. Starting as a lot attendant and now in his influential role as Vice President, Matthew remains focused on improving the business, giving back to the community and setting the bar high for his team. Matthew leads the charge to increase sales and service while running three of the ten Hoffman franchises with a commitment to exceptional customer service and a vision toward the 10th generation. Read the press release and see video footage from Automotive News here

Are you prepared if you get a flat tire?

Several fourth grade boys from the Roaring Brook School Scout Pack 274, known as the NOVA Patrol, can proudly state they are prepared to help in a roadside emergency. Welcomed by Hoffman Honda Service Manager Dwight Dery and Shop Foreman & Dispatcher Craig Pomeroy, the scouts participated in the exercise of changing a tire on a new Honda Fit. They were shown where the spare tire and jack were located in the trunk of the car and received instruction on the important steps to ensure safety. “It is a pleasure to open our doors at Hoffman Honda to the Scouts and assist in building their knowledge about vehicle maintenance and safety,” states Dery.

Honda Fit, Automotive Service

One of the goals the NOVA Patrol set for themselves this year was to earn their Arrow of Light, the highest award in Cub Scouting. Earning this rank prepares a Webelos (“WE’ll BE LOyal Scouts”) Scout to become a Boy Scout. Webelos Scouts who have earned the Arrow of Light Award have also completed all requirements for the Boy Scout badge. The determined group of 11 Weblos from RBS Scout Pack 274 are well on their way to earning the award this year. During their visit to Hoffman Honda, the Scouts eagerly put their strength to the test, raising a vehicle with a manual jack, removing lug nuts and replacing the tire with a spare to complete the process. Everyone had an opportunity to assist in the various steps, and there were a couple Scouts who had sisters attending who also enjoyed the learning experience.

11336848_10152712818121706_4081004168404828247_o-1“Our motto is ‘Be Prepared’ and we appreciate the guidance and instruction provided by Dwight and Craig at Hoffman Honda who graciously hosted our Pack,” stated Karen Morris, Cubmaster, RBS Cub Scouts Pack 274. Morris continued, “Since the heavy duty machinery isn’t available on the side of the road when you get a flat tire it was helpful for the boys to have hands-on experience tightening bolts and lifting tires.”

Chartered by West Avon Congregational Church, the Cub Scouts Pack 274 offers boys fun and challenging activities that promote character development and physical fitness. It is the combined efforts of parents, leaders, friends and community partners that the boys learn life skills, the importance of giving back to the community, compassion for others and courage.11289494_10152712818726706_909314365034372079_o

“Hoffman Auto Group places high value on helping the community to thrive and this includes enriching our youth. Showing children they are valuable by spending time to teach a new skill and providing opportunities to safely explore the world around them will strengthen our community one child at a time,” Susan Lane, manager of corporate reputation and community outreach, Hoffman Auto Group.

Hoffman Honda would like to congratulate the boys of Cub Scout Pack 274 in attaining their “Handyman” pins as a result of their participation at our service department.

See more photos on our Hoffman Honda Facebook page.

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Hoffman Audi Employees Continue Support of Special Olympics CT

On Sunday, May 17 at the picturesque Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, 758 Special Olympics athletes participated in track & field as well as aquatics events in the 2015 Northern Time Trials. Athletes, along with over 100 Unified partners from the participating schools, competed in order to place in the upcoming Summer games. The dedicated support of over 500 volunteers who give of their time and talents to support the athletes, assist with event preparations, athlete staging, timing and much more to ensure the event runs smoothly for all in attendance. Jeffrey and Nancy Hoffman who served as honorary chairs in 2014 assisted in securing the beautiful location for the Northern Time Trials and were pleased to join Mayor of Windsor, Donald Trinks, Hoffman family members and volunteers again this year in the opening ceremonies. “We have proudly supported the Special Olympics for many years,” remarked Jeffrey S. Hoffman, Co-chairman, Hoffman Auto Group, “and believe it is important to give back to our community in ways that impact the quality of life for those around us.” Nearly 60 Hoffman Audi employees and their families enjoyed the opportunity to return, once again, to cheer and encourage the hundreds of athletes.

11063781_10153243380025977_5174584527192813217_o-1“We are sincerely grateful for the tremendous support received from Hoffman Auto Group and its caring, dedicated employees. As a Presenting Sponsor of our Northern Time Trials, Hoffman Audi/Auto Group not only provided financial support, but also gave the priceless gift of caring, enthusiastic volunteers – sharing their hearts, their time and their joy,” said Sharon Rozum, Sr. Director of Partnerships and Corporate Relations, Special Olympics CT. She continued, “In addition to the Time Trials, it is our pleasure to partner with Jeffrey and Bradley Hoffman and the Hoffman Auto Group family for additional Special Olympics events throughout the year, including our Unified Sports® tournaments in schools across the state.”


The oath of the Special Olympics athlete is “Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.” Everyone who participates in an event, whether they be the athlete, family member, or volunteer is touched by this spirit of integrity, pride and hope. The athletes give their all to the sports in which they participate and do so with perseverance and joy. At times, one may experience uncertainty or nervousness, but with the gentle guidance of the supportive Unified partners, Special Olympics staff and compassionate volunteers, they walk, run, or swim their way to a personal victory.


“Making an impact in the lives of those around us is an important component to the Hoffman Auto Group culture,” states I. Bradley Hoffman, Co-chairman, Hoffman Auto Group, “and we are continually seeking to partner with other like-minded companies which results in a stronger and more sustainable community.”

Enterprise Rent-A-Car is one such company that has both business relations as well as community outreach partnership with the Hoffman Auto Group. “As a company, Enterprise Holdings prides ourselves on strengthening our communities one neighborhood at a time,” stated Lawrence Kucharski, Vice President and General Manager. “As a sponsor of Special Olympics, we are involved with an organization that supports team members who come from all of the neighborhoods we are proud to do business in,” Kucharski continues, “the Northern Time Trials were an excellent opportunity for our employees to get personally involved with the athletes.  We had over 45 employee volunteers that were able to support, encourage and cheer on these amazing athletes and the hard work and dedication they bring to their events.



There are many ways you can inspire and encourage others by getting involved with Special Olympics Connecticut.  Learn more today!

Hoffman Auto Group Helps Hartford Public Library Take a ‘Leap Into Learning’

(News release:

From the community Hoffman Auto Group Helps Hartford Public Library Take a ‘Leap Into Learning’
By Community Contributor Susan Lane
APRIL 27, 2015, 5:34 PM

The Hoffman Auto Group has donated a 2015 Ford Transit to the Hartford Public Library to support a new and critical program to help children receive the educational advantages needed for success.

Anne Melissa Dowling, Raine Busgith, Jonathan Hoffman, Matthew Poland, Bradley Hoffman, Matthew Hoffman and Greg Davis

Anne Melissa Dowling, Ranie Busgith, Jonathan Hoffman, Matthew Poland, Bradley Hoffman, Matthew Hoffman and Greg Davis

With the gift of the new Ford Transit, more children and families will be provided the resources to increase their children’s preparedness for kindergarten. Ranie Busgith, Early Literacy Librarian, is now able to bring the library to families as well as offer needed transportation for programming. “Hartford Public Library is thrilled to receive the generous gift of the Leap Into Literacy van from Hoffman Auto Group,” said Anne Melissa Dowling, President of the Hartford Public Library Board of Directors.  “We know, from the work that is being done by Ranie, that our community outreach is the key to helping our youngest residents arrive at kindergarten having reached all the developmental milestones necessary to succeed.  The Leap Into Learning van will enable us to do more of this outreach, and to transport preschoolers to the Library for educational visits.”

Alison Coolbrith, Barry Lastra and Sandra and Howard Fromson presented the new Hartford Public Library initiative called “Leap Into Learning,” which was designed to provide Hartford’s young children the preparation to enter Kindergarten with the skills required to achieve and continue on a lifelong path of learning and growth. A startling 67% of students entering Kindergarten are not adequately prepared, making learning a greater challenge as they struggle with limited resources to catch- up, according to research conducted by The Bissell Foundation.

“Our community thrives when children are given opportunities to learn and develop into successful young men and women,” said I. Bradley Hoffman, Co-Chairman, Hoffman Auto Group. Hoffman continued, “It is important for local businesses to join together and help establish the infrastructure supporting families in the community.”

The good news is for every dollar spent on students the research shows a reduction of seven dollars required for remediation. Sadly, remediation usually does not occur until the first year in college so it is vital to provide early intervention programs. “It is important to do equitable things and have services for everyone,” stated Matthew Poland, Chief Executive Officer, Hartford Public Library. He continued, “Everyone should have a chance for their children to enter school and be well prepared.”

Jeffrey S. Hoffman, Co-Chairman, Hoffman Auto Group, agreed “The city of Hartford is growing and boasts a competitive employment environment but we must not forget to boost the educational opportunities for our young people as well.”