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CAR OF THE WEEK
Electric Wrangler a Possibility according to Jeep
With plans to convert to electric power for its entire range of vehicles by sometime next year, there has been a justifiably large amount of speculation as to the future of Jeep’s beloved Wrangler as part of the behemoth brand’s electrification strategy. As an off-road super hero, the Jeep Wrangler has long been the standard for varying types of utility range. The question remains however as to whether or not an electric version would be a true next step for the model. According to a report from motor1.com, Mark Allen, head of design at Jeep, says it’s only a matter of time before Jeep fans find their answer saying, “I truly believe that if we do an electric Wrangler, sometime in the future, that would actually be a better Wrangler.” According to the same report, Allen believes the Wrangler’s electrification would make the vehicle more capable off-road, and have the ability to expand its performance range even further. Unsurprisingly, as of now, the possibility of an electric powered Wrangler is still in its infancy, but with its massive electric overhaul on the horizon, it could only be a matter of time before Jeep fans are plugging in, before heading out into rugged terrain.
The Car of the Week is sponsored by Ruge’s.
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Ruge’s Automotive Receives Multi-Generational Family Enterprise of the Year Award
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 BusinessMulti-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.”
Members of the Ruge/Hutchins family, winners of the University of Vermont Multi-Generational Family Enterprise Award