Haraden was born into the car business. His grandfather, Joseph Haraden, established Mohawk Chevrolet on State Street in Schenectady, New York, in 1919. After earning an associate degree in 1977 from Northwood University in Midland, Michigan, Haraden began his career at the dealership.
“We acquired the Honda franchise in 1971 and built a new state-of-the-art facility in Scotia in 2010, which we have been expanding with a collision center, detail center and car wash,” he said. Today, Haraden and his brother, Steve, are third-generation dealers and co-owners of the family enterprise.
With his deep roots in the Schenectady area and extensive experience in the retail automotive industry, Haraden has been called on to play leadership roles in both the state and local auto dealer associations. He has participated in numerous committees and has recently served as chairman of both the New York State Automobile Dealers Association and the Eastern New York Coalition of Automotive Retailers.
One of Haraden’s greatest rewards is giving back to the community where his business has thrived. “Many people say, ‘it takes a village,’ but when I look back on the accomplishments of this organization and all the people that were and are a part of it, I would say, ‘it takes a movement,’” he said. “Nothing makes me prouder than to be able to reciprocate that help to whomever I can whenever it is needed.”
To that end, in celebration of his company’s 100th anniversary in 2019, Mohawk Honda will donate $10,000 to 10 separate charities, including Vanderheyden (youth, individual and family services agency in Wynantskill, New York); City Mission of Schenectady (meets the needs of the poor by providing shelter, food and empowerment); Special Olympics New York (Capital District); Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Capital Region; Boys & Girls Clubs of Schenectady; Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (Upstate New York/Vermont Chapter); Autism Society of the Greater Capital Region; American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (Capital Region, New York); Equinox (Albany-based human services agency) and Newmeadow (pre-school that aides children with autism and special needs in Saratoga County, New York). Mohawk Honda also made an additional $25,000 donation to the Lyme Action Network after a successful golf tournament. In addition, Haraden’s employees have committed to giving back 10,000 hours of community service during the company’s centennial year.
“I am proud that our organization abides by the same philosophies my grandfather established in 1919,” Haraden said. “Now, 100 years later, I am able to carry out his legacy using the resources he passed down.”
He added, “We were honored to receive a New York State legislative resolution this past spring recognizing the Haraden family for being in the automotive business and supporting our community for the last 100 years."
Haraden was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Robert Vancavage, president of the New York State Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Kara, have five children.