Building and Branding an Empire – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Building and Branding an Empire

Holtz House of Vehicles President John Holtz P’09 gave a dinner talk, titled Building and Branding an Empire, at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 17 at President Mark D. Gearan’s House. He discussed starting and building a successful business through his experience as a respected owner of an automotive dealership.

Holtz began in the industry working at his father, Lou Holtz’s Buick dealership. The lessons he learned there combined with his educational experience at RIT and professional experience working in the sales department of the dealership after graduation gave him the basis for building a multi-million dollar automotive operation.

Holtz House of Vehicles is one of New York State’s most recognized and respected automotive dealer groups. After years of hard work and dedication of Holtz and his team, Holtz House of Vehicles has grown into a 280 employee, $185 million business.

As a lifelong resident of Rochester, N.Y., Holtz has always participated in many community activities. From 1994 to 1995, Holtz opened an Employment Outreach Center to help community members find work after the Eastman Kodak and Xerox cutbacks. For this work, he was profiled in Automotive News, “Face of the Dealer” in 1996. That same year, he was nominated at the national level for “Volunteer of the Year” by Volunteers of America, accepting their Maude & Ballington Booth award in 1997. In 2000, he received the Philanthropy Award from the National Society of Fundraising Executives.

In addition to his role as past President and Director of Rochester Automotive Dealers, he has served on numerous national automotive boards and dealer councils. In 1997, he was recognized in Washington, D.C. with the 1997 AIADA Top 5 All Star Dealer Award. In 2000, he received national recognition with the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award. John and Seana Holtz were one of nine recipients, chosen from a field of more than 6,000 nominations to receive Ford Motor’s All Star Dealer Award in 2008.