Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., a nonprofit educational organization honoring the achievements of outstanding individuals and encouraging youth to pursue their dreams through higher education, today announced that David Hoffmann, founder, and chairman of the Hoffmann Family of Companies, has been selected for membership in this prestigious organization. David Hoffmann joins 12 other exceptional business, civic and cultural leaders from across North America in receiving 2023 honors. For 76 years, the Horatio Alger Award has been annually bestowed upon esteemed individuals who have succeeded despite facing adversities, and who have remained committed to education and charitable efforts in their communities.
David Hoffmann grew up in a small country town outside of St. Louis with no running hot water until his sophomore year of high school. The son of a nurse and WWII veteran, Hoffmann’s work ethic and values were instilled at a young age, often joining his father in the early mornings picking up milk from the local farms and delivering it to the nearby community.
A star quarterback, he received a football scholarship to Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) and then later transferred and graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor of Science. Marrying his high school sweetheart, Jerri and David Hoffmann recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, raising 3 children and 12 grandchildren.
In 1989, he founded DHR International, the largest privately held executive search firm in the world. Shortly after, he established Osprey Capital, LLC, a private family office, to invest excess cash from DHR, growing it to be one of the largest family-owned offices in the world with over 110 brands in 27 countries and 200 properties all over the globe. Today, the Hoffmann Family of Companies portfolio includes businesses in agriculture, aviation, financial services, hospitality, business and professional services, industrial, marine, media and marketing, real estate, and transportation. Additionally, Hoffmann Commercial Real Estate is accredited with the revitalization of the downtown areas of Avon, Colorado (Beaver Creek, Colorado), Winnetka, Illinois (Northshore Chicago suburb), Naples, Florida (Florida’s fastest growing community), and Augusta, Missouri (America’s first American Viticulture Area) where they are the largest private commercial real estate owners in each, as well as Mackinac Island in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
“Looking back on his childhood and accomplishments, Mr. Hoffmann is the perfect example of what it means to be ‘self-made, I believe his story will inspire Horatio Alger Scholars who have faced similar adversities, proving that with hard work and determination, the American Dream is within their reach.”
– Terrence J. Giroux, executive director, Horatio Alger Association.
The Hoffmann family has demonstrated a significant commitment to the various communities they have lived in. In Naples, Florida, they made a sizable contribution to the Naples Children & Education Foundation – where David Hoffmann serves on the Board of Directors – an additional donation specifically for the construction of the organization’s new headquarters and the Naples Zoo, where they made a seven-figure donation towards the renovation of the zoo, naming the new entrance court in their name. The family also supports the Boys and Girls Club of Naples, the Everglades Foundation, Neighborhood Health Clinic of Naples, The Naples Players Sugden Community Theatre, and more.
Nationally, they donate to causes such as the Wounded Warrior Foundation, childhood type 1 diabetes research through JDRF and Type 1 Timer, public art installations, the Children’s Home & Aid Society where the Jerri Hoffmann Child & Family Center is named in honor of his wife and more.
David Hoffmann has been included in the 2022 Forbes Billionaires List, was named 2019 Man of the Year by Gulfshore Life Magazine, and has been recognized in the Florida Trend 500 list in 2020, 2021, and 2022, among many other accolades. David and Jerri now spend frequent time near their Missouri roots, just miles away from their childhood homes, where they have invested $150 million towards revitalizing America’s first wine region and the small town of Augusta, Missouri, and the surrounding area.
“Philanthropy is central to who I am, and I’m particularly drawn to organizations like the Horatio Alger Association that support deserving young people. An athletic scholarship allowed me to pursue a college degree, so I know firsthand how life-changing scholarships can be. The Association takes this a step further by providing other valuable resources to help students of today, and I am proud to become a part of this honorable community.”
– David Hoffmann
Since 1984, the Association has awarded annual need-based scholarships to high school students who have displayed dedication to pursuing higher education despite significant obstacles throughout their lives. The Association also aims to educate young people about the endless opportunities available by the free-enterprise system through commitment, honesty, and diligence. The scholarships are made possible through the Association thanks to the generosity of its Members, who will have collectively provided more than $245 million to 35,000 students by 2023.
“Each year, it is our utmost honor to present outstanding leaders who have displayed extraordinary perseverance in overcoming challenges with the Horatio Alger Award. Each of these incredible leaders has also shared their success with others, giving generously to important causes and communities in need. The 2023 awardees exemplify the Association’s mission and are proof that the American Dream is within reach for all who seek it.”
– James F. Dicke II, chairman, Horatio Alger Association and 2015 Horatio Alger Award recipient
David Hoffmann and the Member Class of 2023 will be formally inducted into the Association during the Horatio Alger Award Induction Ceremonies in Washington, D.C. from March 30 through April 1, 2023. The three-day event is an annual ceremony to honor both the achievements of Members and National Scholars, who will have multiple opportunities to meet, interact and exchange stories of perseverance.