At a virtual event held on October 2, 2020, Ruge’s Automotive, based in Rhinebeck, NY, was honored with the University of Vermont Grossman School of Business Multi-Generational Family Enterprise Award. The award is bestowed annually upon companies that demonstrate excellence in family and business governance, financial success, contributions to community and industry and innovative practices.
“It’s a very special honor for our family to receive this designation; the virtual ceremony was really inspiring,” said Kristin Ruge Hutchins, 3rd-generation President of Ruge’s Automotive. “We’re so grateful to everyone involved. Not only do we want to express our gratitude to UVM, but also to our colleagues and our community, all of whom are really an extension of our family. We wouldn’t be able to achieve what we do without their support.”
The 2020 panel of judges, unanimous in their decision to select Ruge’s, included Michael Bergman, Bergman Real Estate Group; Ted Castle, Rhino Foods Inc.; Jen Kimmich, The Alchemist; Evan Langfeldt, O’Brien Brothers; Steve Schlesinger, Schlesinger Associates; Kristina von Trapp Frame, Trapp Family Lodge; and PramoDITA Sharma, Sanders Professor for Family Business, Grossman School of Business (non-voting chair).
“The team Ruges are so deserving of this prestigious award, and it’s wonderful to see them honored,” said Joe Monaco, Director of Sales and Marketing at Ruge’s. “They’ve been community-minded since Joseph Ruge first opened his doors nearly 100 years ago, sponsoring groups like Astor Services for Children and Families, Taconic Little League, Hudson Valley LGBTQ Center, Meals on Wheels, Northern Dutchess Hospital Foundation, Anderson Center for Autism and many others.” Ruge’s recently covered overdue balances for students in Millbrook and Rhinebeck School Districts who qualified for the Free and Reduced Meal Program. Along with serving on several boards such as the Frost Memorial Fund, Dutchess County Agricultural Society, M&T Bank, and Wells Manor, Lewis Ruge co-chaired the Campaign for Northern Dutchess Hospital, helping to raise over $20 million, and Kristin Ruge has co-chaired the Hospital Board, served as Vice President of the Rhinebeck Chamber, and is an industry leader who mentors other females in a male-dominated industry. “The entire family really rolls up their sleeves anytime they’re asked to volunteer,” said Monaco. “What’s more is that they create a really positive work environment for our team.”
“Through these annual awards, The Grossman School of Business at UVM is raising awareness about the importance of paying attention to every layer of a family enterprise,” said Scott Hutchins, 2nd-generation UVM graduate and Vice President/CFO at Ruge’s. “It’s great for their students to learn what it takes to make a family endeavor work.”