Stefani Sakamoto

Aloha is not just a simple five letter for hello, goodbye, or love, but rather, it is the core of Tony Group Autoplex. With family at the core of this aloha fuels the customer experience and work environment. Founded by Tony Masamitsu, their humble flagship dealership in Waipahu proudly opened their doors in 1977. This humble operation expanded to two locations and is one of the largest automobile dealers in Hawaii. BBB and Trust provide local businesses, like TonyGroup, to develop into the successful companies they are today and prepare for the future.

For 42 years Tony Group works hard every day to ensure customers experience the warmth of aloha every time they stepped through their doors. Tony Masamitsu challenged his employees to exceed the standards and expectations of customers. These values carried on when his son, Stan Masamitsu, took over the company at the young age of 27. Although junior to many of his co-workers, Masamitsu was not completely green to his new position. He worked at various dealerships while attending school and took courses in addition to his on the job training. Despite having little time to be fully prepared to take over the company, Masamitsu said, “My father taught me valuable life lessons as both a father and a businessman.” His lifelong training in respect and honesty enabled Tony Group’s legacy of providing a world-class experience to flourish in Hawaii.

Maintaining these values and high standards for customer service would not be possible without the help of BBB. Masamitsu said, “For us, BBB is important because it gives us one additional way to get feedback from our guests, especially if they have some concerns.” Not only is strengthening customer relationships, an asset to their business, but having a strong partnership with BBB. If there are any issues Masamitsu said, “Since we have a good relationship with BBB, there is an issue BBB will act as a facilitator to help resolve problems between us and our guests.” BBB relieve some of the stress businesses deal by providing support and resources for companies. This allows Tony Group to focus on carrying out their mission and improve their business.

The 41-year partnership with BBB ensures that Tony Group can accommodate each customer with paramount concern. With the many lessons from his father, Masamitsu said one of the most important lessons he learned was, “To take the time to listen to ​what people say regardless of who they are. And to be upfront with your people, even if it is not always easy.​” By following the BBB standards, companies are able to build trust and transparency between the business and the customer. For local businesses and communities, BBB validates Tony Group’s commitment to providing quality services and products. The support from BBB makes sharing the aloha spirit with the world a little bit easier and make customers apart of the Tony Group ohana.

Tell us a little about yourself
A major driving force in my life is my love for food. Practicing nutrition at home and with 4-H, took me to the White House to meet Michelle Obama, representing Hawaii at the first Healthy Lunchtime Challenge. This one-in-a-lifetime experience inspired me to help my community eat healthily. My passion for food and healthy eating sparked the inspiration for my Girl Scout Gold Award project. I volunteered for a 120 hours on my service action project and helped over 200 children and their families. I chose to focus on children in low-income communities where many were from English as a second language families because Hawaii’s children have the highest obesity rates, and do not have access to educational opportunities on healthy eating. Many of these children do not receive nutritional education in school because there is no state requirement to educate youth on healthy eating. I combined Food (Passion), Cooking and Teaching (Skills), and Obesity (Issues) to create A.L.O.H.A. (A Life Of Healthy Actions); A.L.O.H.A. educates youth on healthy eating. In order to make the presentations engaging for everyone, I created games and simple handouts to teach nutrition. To increase the sustainability of A.L.O.H.A., participants signed the A.L.O.H.A. Pledge, and I designed a website with information on healthy eating. The A.L.O.H.A. website shares my project process through a blog, a video that showcases my research, the project’s effects and outcomes, nutritious recipes, tips on healthy eating, and helpful local/national resources.
List and explain any awards received related to academic achievement
2018 JROTC Legion of Valor Bronze Cross
2018 Army JROTC LET III Cadet of the Year
2018 Critical Issues Forum Award of Excellence and Youth Communicator
2017 JROTC LET II Cadet of the Quarter
2017 JROTC LET II Superior Cadet
2017 JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl Level II Honorable Mention
2017 Recognition for Excellence in JROTC
2016 JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl National Competition Finalist
2016 JROTC LET I Cadet of the Quarter
2018 FCCLA State Gold Medalist— Interpersonal Communications
2017 FCCLA National Gold Medalist— Job Interview
2017 FCCLA State Gold Medalist— Job Interview
2016 FCCLA National Gold Medalist— Career Investigations: Chef
2016 FCCLA State Gold Medalist— Career Investigations: Chef
2018 Girl Scouts of Hawaii–Gold Award
2018 American Legion Auxiliary Aloha Girls State Excellence and Competition 
Certificate
2018 Recognition Award for the Oahuan 
2017 Recognition Award for the Oahuan
2016 Recognition Award for the Oahuan
2018 Recognition for Excellence in English
2017 Recognition for Excellence in Asian History
2016 Recognition for Excellence in English
2016 Punahou School Key Clubber of the Month
2012 – 2016 4-H Top in Show for Food Show Competition
2010 – 2016 4-H Blue Ribbon winner for Photography
2010 – 2013 4-H Top in Show for Fashion Show/Sewing Competition
2009 – 2016 4-H Blue Ribbon winner for Food Show 
2009 – 2013 4-H Blue Ribbon winner for Fashion Show/Sewing Competition
2009 – 2016 4-H President’s Choice for Food Show
2016 Aloha Harvest Compassion in Arts Competition Honorable Mention— 
Photography
2015 Punahou School Solo and Ensemble Silver Medalist— Oboe Level 2-3
2015 Hawaii Food and Wine Festive Healthy Lunchtime Challenge Finalist
2012 Family and Consumer Sciences Educators Honorable Mention— Essay
2012 Hawaii Representative for Healthy Lunchtime Recipe Contest— Let’s 
Move, Sponsored by First Lady Michelle Obama– An all expenses paid trip to Washington D.C.
Describe at least three school-related extra-curricular activities
Marching band provided the opportunity to be a part of something greater than myself; it demonstrated everyone’s role is integral to a complete performance. I taught everyone to be confident performers and to believe in themselves. The entire color guard this year were first or second year members with little or no performing experience. I was very proud watching everyone be successful, especially their performance at the Rainbow Invitational. Yearbook is not a class and is completely voluntary. I had the opportunity to document our school’s history for four years. As a leader, I experienced how various levels of dedication affect the whole by dealing with people working under pressure to meet deadlines. Through FCCLA, I earned two gold medals at the national level and three gold medals at the state level for Career Investigations, Job Interview, and Interpersonal Communications. It built the necessary skills required for my future career. These experiences are used daily at work as a Student Aide. I support my school by ensuring notes are received/delivered to students and faculty members in a timely fashion, deliver mail, organize schedules, and post announcements. These duties require diligent communication, analysis skills, and the ability to promptly deal with a situation. I shared how to be job ready with my fellow peers and cadets to ensure that they have successful futures. Stepping on to the stage gives me a rush of adrenaline; it is a mixture of butterflies in my stomach and a feeling of being at home with the joy and pride of dancing. After my first Nutcracker performance, I yearned to broaden my styles from ballet to tap, hip hop, jazz, and hula. Dance allowed me to use myself as a canvas to express my emotions for 13 years and created a foundation for attaining knowledge.
Explain at least one leadership role that you have held
As the Battalion Commander for the Punahou JROTC program, I work with two instructors and 115 cadets to ensure they are motivated to be good citizens, develop leadership skills, and utilize their knowledge to maintain our honor unit with distinction status. In my four years, I honed my leadership skills by being the best role model that I could be. I nurtured my JROTC family, organized events that provided skills to sustain the future of our battalion, participated in almost a hundred hours of community service, and expressed the necessity of a healthy lifestyle. I worked with my staff to establish strong communication pathways so our team goals became a reality. JROTC provided me with opportunities that I never ever dreamed of: national competitions, international forums, career exploration, meeting dignitaries, and representing Punahou. My experiences compelled me to promote a legacy of leadership skills for cadets to become successful.
2018 – 2019 Army JROTC Battalion Commander
2017 – 2018 Army JROTC First Sergeant
2017 Army JROTC Platoon Sergeant
2018 – 2019 American Legion Auxiliary Aloha Girls State Governor
2018 Color Guard Section Leader
2017 – 2018 JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl Team Captain— Leadership 
Team
2016 – 2017 JROTC Leadership and Academic Bowl Executive Officer— Leadership 
Team
2016 – 2017 Army JROTC Squad Leader
2016 – 2017 Color Guard Squad Leader
2018 – 2019 Oahuan–– Yearbook Senior Section Editor
2017 – 2018 Oahuan–– Yearbook Art Director
2016 – 2017 Oahuan— Yearbook Student Life Editor
2015 – 2016 Oahuan— Yearbook Underclass Editor
2014 – 2015 Eighth Grade Homeroom Representative
2012 – 2012 Class President— one trimester Mr. Tam
2011 – 2011 Class President— one trimester Mrs. Ford
2011 – 2013 Cookie Co-Chair— Girl Scout Troop
2011 – 2015 Dance Teaching Assistant— Tap, Musical Theater and Street Dance