Holman: Driving What’s Right for Nearly 100 Years


As one of the largest privately owned dealership groups in the U.S., Holman has long been a revered name in South Jersey automotive sales and service. But there are other aspects of the company that aren’t as well known. The organization is comprised of seven integrated companies who deliver a wide range of holistic automotive and mobility solutions, ranging from fleet management and vehicle fabrication to insurance services and ultra-luxury automotive sales.

This past March, those seven companies – Holman Automotive, ARI, Auto Truck Group, Kargo Master, Holman Parts Distribution, Holman Insurance and Holman Growth Ventures – came together in a rebranding to continue ‘Driving What’s Right.’ Now the company is simply known by one name: Holman.

“At Holman, we’re not just in the automotive business, we’re in the people business,” says Kristina Nicoles, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, Holman. “We put people first.”

The company’s commitment to building a culture that emphasizes employee growth, appreciation and recognition is part of its foundation. It was started by company founder Steward C. Holman, passed down to his son and is now carried on by his granddaughter, Chair of the Board Mindy Holman. “The Holman family always wanted company culture to have an ‘it’ factor of service and collaboration in the air,” says Nicoles. “They wanted work to feel like family.”

Holman has been certified as a Great Place to Work since 2018 and Achievers has included the company on its list of the 50 Most Engaged Workplaces five times. And there are literally hundreds of opportunities for South Jersey residents to join the Holman family to find a welcoming work/life balance and a dynamic, fulfilling career. “You don’t have to know how to turn a wrench or sell a car to join the Holman team.”

In addition to the many Holman dealerships in South Jersey, the company’s corporate headquarters in Mt. Laurel is where more than 1,200 of the company’s 6,000-plus employees work in business development, account management, human resources, information technology and marketing, among other departments.

“Across the company, we love what we do and take pride in what we’ve been able to accomplish,” says Nicoles. “Our work is rewarding. It makes employees feel like we’re creating a better life for themselves and their familes.”

A dedication to employee growth

Holman embraces personal development by offering its employees, whom the company calls its “partners in excellence,” unprecedented opportunities across its businesses for education, growth and upward mobility. Tuition reimbursement is offered at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, so employees can further their education if they desire.

Through Holman University, the company’s in-house learning portal, there are always new opportunities for employees to learn and grow. There are new leader education programs, for when employees are newly promoted, as well as advanced leadership programs – so those who are already managers can develop the skills they need to bring out the best in their teams.

Those who aren’t in a leadership role also have access to courses, so they can learn new skills or explore other career paths. If employees want to learn about a different line of business at Holman, they can look through the courses and see what interests them. Working with their current leadership team, says Courtney Mullen, Director of Global Talent Acquisition, Holman, they can be set up with a mentor and consider various career options.

Some of the best things about working at Holman are the opportunities employees have to move internally across business lines, Mullen adds. “The opportunities for advancement and career development we offer our people, the upward mobility, are something special that you don’t find in every workplace,” she says. From entry-level to executive, “our employees don’t have to work anywhere else to build their careers.”

“Our work is rewarding. It makes employees feel like we’re creating a better life for themselves and their families.”

A culture of inclusion

Holman also emphasizes diversity and inclusion in their staffing and recruiting efforts. “We’re dedicated to letting everyone at the company have a voice, and employees feeling their voice is valued,” says Mullen.

Holman has an employee-led diversity and inclusion committee, composed of a team of diverse executive leaders. All leaders who manage people receive comprehensive diversity and inclusion training developed by an outside consultant. There are also many diversity and inclusion learning bundles offered at Holman University for non-management staff.

When it comes to cultivating employee experience in this area, “we’re listening, learning and growing,” says Mullen. “We’ve done so much over the last couple of years and have a lot more in the works that we’re really excited about.”

This includes the company’s expansion of its employee resource groups, such as the Women of Holman, an LGBTQ+ group called Holman Proud, and a group called Military Matters, among others. The groups are safe spaces where employees with common bonds and experiences can gather together to foster belonging.

Mullen says the way the groups have come about and how they have impacted Holman culture are a source of pride. “It’s not just the leaders saying we need to create these groups,” she says. “Our employees are telling us what’s important to them, and they are being heard.”

Serving the greater good

Another priority of work/life at Holman is a commitment to serving relentlessly – both to help fellow employees and their families’ needs and the community at large – through Holman community engagement initiatives. Between employee action, company grants and corporate sponsorships, donations have exceeded $1 million each year since 2010. Contributions have recently grown to be upwards of $3 million annually.

One of the key charitable initiatives every year is Holman’s partnership with United Way. Here, Holman and its employees pledge financial contributions to the United Way, and/or volunteer to serve various non-profit organizations throughout the community during annual Days of Caring. These Days of Caring might include volunteering to work on local construction or painting projects or spending time at area facilities helping children. “We really try to engage and support the organizations that are making a meaningful impact in the communities in which we live and work,” says Mullen.

The company also allows employees to request financial donations to serve causes that are near and dear to their hearts. Mullen recounts when some of her own family members were impacted by floods from Hurricane Ida and several homes were lost. She reached out to the Holman Employee Lifeline Program (H.E.L.P.) and the company donated money to her extended family. Through the good and the bad, she says, Holman employees are there for each other.

The impetus to build a strong culture in so many different areas is to be able to put ‘Driving What’s Right’ into practice. “We’re driving what’s right for our customers, we’re driving what’s right for our employees, we’re driving what’s right for the community,” says Mullen. “You’ll find Holman’s commitment to this motto in everything we do.”