One Very Generous Couple
Initially reluctant to come forward, Erik and Diane Hoffer decided to publicly declare their support of the Charlotte Community Foundation, hoping to influence others to give.
Diane explained, “I am uncomfortable announcing that we’re giving money to charity, because to me, that seems very private. On the other hand, if it can inspire people to give as well, in whatever capacity they can, then I’m willing to forego some of my privacy.”
To acknowledge the significance of their donation, the CCF has named the main building at its complex the Charlotte Community Foundation Hoffer Center for Philanthropy. (The headquarters also houses the Virginia B. Andes Training and Education center.)
CCF has been on the Hoffer’s radar for years and they have given anonymously to a number of the nonprofits the foundation supports.
They decided on the unrestricted naming donation recognizing that the CCF is more aware of all the needs in the community and their methods are designed to achieve maximum results for the highest number of people with the lowest internal costs possible.
An innovative inventor and successful entrepreneur, Erik Hoffer created over 20 original product technologies in and around cargo security and authenticity. He holds many patents, including 15 for what he called “tamper evident tape,” which reveals unauthorized access to a protected object, and four others for transportation security products.
Hoffer founded CGM Security Solutions in 1977 to manufacture and market his patented technologies for products that deal basically with deterrents. He has worked with the Department of Defense and operated two factories in New Jersey, where the Hoffers lived for some 20 years.
The Hoffers supported numerous charitable causes in New Jersey and began rescuing abused and neglected German Shepherds in 1992.
Lingering effects of nerve damage and illness Erik suffered while serving as a sergeant in the U.S. Army in Vietnam necessitated that he move to a warmer climate.
In 2003, two years after they arrived in Florida, Diane joined the Animal Welfare League (AWL) board of directors, and she remained on the board nine years.
“We started re-homing German Shepherds through the AWL 10 years ago,” she said. “We’ve now expanded to shelters from Sarasota down through Collier and Hendry counties.”
The Hoffer Family Foundation founded Southwest Florida German Shepherd Rescue in 2007. Now the largest such rescue in Florida, the program has found homes for nearly 1,000 purebred German Shepherds.
The Hoffers, who both have degrees in industrial psychology, have been married 27 years. They established their foundation as a legacy for their daughter Kelly.
Their recent gift will allow CCF to put more funds into the community in many different avenues, including community initiatives, community investment grants, education initiatives and disaster recovery.
Donor funds are invested along with CCF’s managed assets. When it comes time for annual scholarships, distributions or grants to be made, donors can rest assured that recipients and nonprofits are closely vetted and monitored. We thank Erik and Diane Hoffer for their investment in Charlotte County and the legacy they have created.