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

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!

Volunteer with Hoffman Audi at the Special Olympics Northern Time Trials

SpecialOlympics-Northern Time Trials

Are you looking for a way to give back and get a boost at the same time? Do you want to inspire and encourage others? Then we have a great opportunity for you!


Getting involved with Special Olympics is about transforming lives, including your own. It’s about making your community and neighborhood a more welcoming and accepting place. Mostly, it’s about creating lifelong friendships and a new way of thinking about others – rewards of immeasurable value.

Come join the excitement at the upcoming Northern Time Trials, scheduled for Sunday, May 17th at Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, CT. Athletes and Unified Partners from across the state will compete in athletics and aquatics as they qualify for the summer games.

You and your family can help make this a very special day for the athletes and their families. Join the Hoffman Team today by filling out this form. You can select from the volunteer options in the dropdown box.

Special Olympics would not exist today — and could not have been created — without the time, energy, commitment and enthusiasm of its diverse volunteers.



Hoffman Audi Joins Hundreds at American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Luncheon

The American Heart Association – Connecticut, held their 10th annual Greater Hartford Go Red For Women Luncheon on Wednesday, March 18 at the Connecticut Convention Center. With over 750 attending, representing hundreds of local businesses, the luncheon raised an impressive $400K through corporate sponsors and individual contributors. New to the event this year was the Women’s Wellness Showcase with exhibitors presenting different aspects of wellness, ranging from educational materials, health screenings, chair massages, an invigorating Zumba demonstration and even a selfie station to pose for a photo and share a “Life is Why” moment.

A common theme throughout the event was the importance of advocating for your health by taking steps toward living healthier lives today. One of the many highlights was Leigh Pechillo, who shared her story beginning with her infant son, Robby, who required open-heart surgery to repair a valve when a murmur had been detected. Her experience with heart disease continued as her father battled several cardiovascular complications. These experiences prompted Leigh and her family to become involved as volunteers and give back to the AHA, helping raise awareness and funds for an organization that had benefitted

Leigh's family receives the Heart Saver Hero award. Given to recognize anyone who assisted in any part of a survivors' story.

Leigh’s family receives the Heart Saver Hero award. Given to recognize anyone who assisted in any part of a survivors’ story.  
Photo by Mike Musto, Hoffman Auto Group

their family personally. Little did she know that her personal experience was about to take a direct hit on her heart. As she recalled a typical Mother’s Day morning with her husband, son and daughter, she was treated to breakfast and smiles from her children. It was a good day, but she felt a little “off”, heartburn, she thought. After a call to the doctor who suggested it could be heartburn or possibly angina, he advised starting with an antacid and if the discomfort remained, it would be necessary to go to the hospital. Leigh had a variety of thoughts: “angina? Not possible,” “I’m a mom and have too much to do,” “I’m too young for a heart attack.” Continuing through the morning, Leigh still didn’t feel well and went to the bathroom to see if they had any antacid. At that point she dropped to the floor in full cardiac arrest and does not recall anything until waking up four days later at Hartford Hospital.

Doctors found a 70% blockage in the left anterior descending artery, also known as the “widow maker” because a blockage in this location often results in death. When asked why she thinks she is alive today, Leigh credits “prayers from family and friends, CPR administered by her husband and EMTs, the doctors and nurses who cared for her, and the American Heart Association” for its dedication to wiping out this disease.

Rhonda Hall, National Go Red Spokesperson

Rhonda Hall, National Go Red Spokesperson. Photo by Mike Musto, Hoffman Auto Group

Rhonda Hall, National Go Red Spokesperson, also shared her inspirational story of change, leading to a healthier life through diet and exercise. Ms. Hall asked attendees to make the simple but important pledge to reduce sodium intake. Her small but sustained changes resulted in significant weight loss and reduced need for diabetic insulin. In agreement with all of the presenters of the day, Rhonda reminded everyone to be their own advocate. “Know your numbers and use them as a baseline to make small changes toward better health,” she said. As a special education teacher in Springfield, MA, Ms. Hall also addressed teaching children, both at home and in schools, about the importance of healthy choices and advocating for themselves.

The American Heart Association puts emphasis on teaching our youth about healthy living as well as what to do in an emergency. Leigh Pechillo and her family are strong supporters in the local efforts to engage school children with “Jump Rope for Heart” events that engage elementary and middle school students with jumping rope as a fund-raising event while empowering them to improve their own health and help other kids with heart-health issues. Additionally, there is a nationwide effort to have CPR training in all high schools, ensuring more people are properly trained and ready to save a life in those critical first moments.

Deborah Denno, Sylvia Guinan, Dave Federman, Scott Goodwin, I. Bradley Hoffman, Zachary R. Hoffman, Matthew S. Hoffman, Monica Hoffman, Jonathan T. Hoffman, Megan Hoffman and Brian Vendig. Photo by Mike Musto, Hoffman Auto Group

Deborah Denno, Sylvia Guinan, Dave Federman, Scott Goodwin, I. Bradley Hoffman, Zachary R. Hoffman, Matthew S. Hoffman, Monica Hoffman, Jonathan T. Hoffman, Megan Hoffman and Brian Vendig.
Photo by Mike Musto, Hoffman Auto Group

Hoffman Audi has been proud to support the American Heart Association and continues partnership to ensure lives are saved through increased awareness of the risks, education to improve the health of our lives and an overall decrease in heart disease and stroke in women. Bradley Hoffman, Co-chair of Hoffman Auto Group and American Heart Association Board Member, emphasized the importance of supporting the AHA to make a difference in the lives of people like Leigh. “Open your heart and dig deep whether it is $25, $100 or $1000,” Bradley stated, “because your donation helps save lives of people like Leigh, and perhaps your own, by supporting the programs and education provided by the AHA.” Get informed today by visiting and learn how you, too, can join the efforts to wipe out cardiovascular disease.

Hoffman Audi East Hartford

American Heart Association Go Red for Women Luncheon 2015.  
Photo by Mike Musto, Hoffman Auto Group