Stoebner is a 1988 graduate of Hawaii’s Chaminade University of Honolulu, where he earned a B.A. in business. He started working in the retail automotive industry in 1980, doing odd jobs at a dealership run by his father.
“I would sweep the lot, wash cars and put on license plate frames,” he remembered. During college, he branched out into sales and became a closer team leader after graduating, managing five to six salespeople.
“I have always been a ‘motorhead,’” Stoebner said. “I also enjoying meeting new people and striking up conversations. The car business is a perfect fit for me.”
Stoebner learned every aspect of the industry and honed his skills by training, closing, selling backend products and getting deals approved through financing. He was promoted to sales manager and moved to another dealership before landing at Honda Windward in 1995.
“I moved my way up to general manager and have been in this position for the last 17 years,” he said. “I enjoy leading others and have had a great team of managers, as well as employees, working with me.”
Stoebner now owns the dealership with his father and sister, and his son, Michael, age 15, is the next generation to enter the family enterprise, working as a lot technician during school breaks.
A multiple recipient of the American Honda President’s Award, Stoebner’s dealership is a mainstay in his area and, he noted, that he is now selling cars to third generations of customers.
He is also an active member of his community, serving the Knights of Columbus; Hookuaaina, a community group that engages and improves the lives of young people by teaching them the ancient Hawaiian traditions of cultivating kalo; and Parents and Children Together, an organization that provides social services to Hawaii’s most vulnerable residents.
Stoebner was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Dave Rolf, executive director of the Hawaii Automobile Dealers Association. He and his wife, Jennifer, have four children.