Holman: Driving what’s right for nearly 100 years


Since the day Steward Holman founded the business in 1924 as a single Ford dealership in South Jersey, Holman’s success and growth has been built on a steadfast commitment to always do the right thing for their people, their customers, and their communities. During the course of nearly 100 years, a lot has changed but this simple principle and the company’s deeply rooted core values remain the same, continuing to guide the organization as Holman prepares to embark on its second century in business. 

With an extensive family of dealerships in the region, Holman, one of the largest privately owned dealership groups in the U.S., has long been a well-respected name in South Jersey automotive sales and service. However, there are several other divisions of the company that you may not be as familiar with. Today, Holman is a global automotive services organization that delivers a wide range of holistic automotive and mobility solutions, ranging from fleet management and vehicle fabrication to insurance services and, of course, retail automotive sales and service. 

“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 fostering a culture that emphasizes employee growth, appreciation, and opportunity are tenets of its corporate philosophy. It was started by company founder Steward Holman, passed down to his son Joseph Holman, and is now carried on by Joseph’s daughter, Chair of the Board Mindy Holman.

“Our purpose as an organization is simple but incredibly important; together we seek to provide a rewarding career and a better life for all employees and their families,” says Nicoles. “Simply put, this is the Holman Way; it shapes our culture and how we work together to guide our business and ensures we continue driving what’s right.”

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 six 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,” says Nicoles.

In addition to the many Holman dealerships throughout South Jersey, the company’s corporate headquarters is located in Mt. Laurel where more than 1,300 of the company’s 6,700-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 families.” 

A dedication to employee growth

At Holman, one of the core values is “together, we are passionate about our work and find new ways to do it better.” The company embraces and prioritizes 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. Additionally, through Holman University, the company’s in-house training and development program, there are always new opportunities for employees to learn and grow both professionally and personally. 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. Employees can also work with their current leadership team to connect with a mentor and explore various career opportunities explains Courtney Mullen, Director of Global Talent Acquisition, Holman. 

“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 rather unique 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 and advance their careers.”

 A culture of inclusion 

Holman also emphasizes diversity and inclusion in their staffing and recruiting efforts. The company prides itself on fostering an inclusive work environment that creates opportunities for all to flourish and make meaningful contributions to the success of the organization. “We’re dedicated to letting everyone at the company have a voice, and employees feeling their voice is valued,” says Mullen.  

To that end, Holman has a DEI Council to provide strategic oversight of their ongoing DEI efforts and to work with employees to capture their experience to ensure the organization delivers tangible results based on the voice of the employees. The council, which is comprised of a diverse group of executive leaders and frontline employees from around the business, helps to define the path forward for the organization.

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, Holman Proud (LGBTQ+), Holman AsPIRE (Asian/Pacific), Holman S.O.U.L., Woman of Holman, Holman Neurodiversity, and Holman Heroes (Military and Emergency Responders). These groups are safe spaces where employees with common bonds and experiences can gather together to foster belonging. Last year, Holman introduced three new resource groups and it anticipates further expansion in the years ahead.

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.” 

“Our purpose as an organization is simple but incredibly important; together we seek to provide a rewarding career and a better life for all employees and their families.”

Serving the greater good 

Another priority of the culture 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.”