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Salem, New Hampshire
“The retail automotive business has opened my eyes to the many people who are in need.”
Over his career in the automotive industry, Horgan has established himself not only as a successful dealer, but also as a pillar of his local community. “The retail automotive business has opened my eyes to the many people who are in need,” nominee Horgan said. “My experience with Toyota afforded me the opportunity to effectively serve both the customer and the community.”
A 1966 graduate of Cardinal Hayes High School in Bronx, New York, Horgan earned a B.S. in business management from St. John's University in Queens, New York, in 1971. He became interested in the automotive industry while selling Pontiacs and British Leyland products in Queens after college.
“I was intrigued with a company named Toyota in the early 1970s, which was up and coming in the automotive industry,” he said. Horgan was hired by Toyota Motor Sales in 1972 and worked closely with the company’s Japanese staff and multiple dealer operations. “I shaped my philosophy under the guidance of some very talented people at Toyota,” he said. “I acquired, firsthand, the real definition of kaizen – continuous improvement – from my Japanese colleagues.”
When Horgan was offered the opportunity to buy into a Toyota dealership in Salem, New Hampshire in 1985, he jumped at the chance. “My wife and I sold our home for the financial resources to partner with a successful dealer principal,” he said. “After approximately three years, I was able to purchase the remaining shares and become the sole owner.” In addition, he owns Rockingham Honda, also in Salem, and recently moved into a new state-of-the-art building complex. Horgan’s son, Ryan, is the Operations Manager at the dealership.
Horgan’s customer focused philosophy is the foundation of day-to-day operations at the family owned dealership. “A critical element to our success is commitment to the customer,” said Horgan. “We are a community of commuters who depend on their vehicles not only for work, but for daily necessities, since public transportation is limited in our area.”
After 31 years in business, Horgan has dedicated much of his personal time to many local nonprofit organizations. The Salem Boys and Girls Club is one such organization that Horgan has been involved with for many years. Throughout his direct involvement as past President and Board Member, he understands the important role the club plays in the lives of children and teens in the community. “It provides a desperately needed safe environment for our children and young adults, “he said. “The current drug problem in New Hampshire is a growing threat to our younger generation, and the club provides guidance and structure, and far-reaching impact.”
Horgan’s personal support has been recognized by the community with prestigious awards such as the Chief John P. Ganley Community Service Award, the Richard McCoy Business Person of the Year Award, and the highly regarded Rotary’s Paul Harris Fellow Award.
Horgan also supports the Salem Animal Rescue League, Salem High School Senior Safe Night with a car donated as the grand prize, Greater Salem Caregivers, and many other groups.
Horgan was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Peter J. McNamara, president of the New Hampshire Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Carolyn, have two children: Briana who lives with her husband in Hawaii, and Ryan, who is proud to continue in the family business and contribute to Rockingham’s community work.