Meet the staff of Auto Connections of Bellevue in Bellevue, WA
Scroll down to find out more about the staff at Auto Connections of Bellevue:
Stu Cordova - Owner, Sales
Born in Seattle, we moved to the Eastside in 1963. After graduating from Bellevue High School in 1971, I went to work for my Dad - who owned one of the first small grocery stores in the Bellevue area. I also enjoyed spending time restoring and selling old cars, a hobby that helped pay for college tuition. I eventually received my BA degree in Counseling and Education from Western Washington University and went on to work as a rehabilitation counselor for troubled kids, helping bridge communication between school, home, and the community. After 15 years as a counselor, my youthful hobby of working with cars led me to a part-time sales position at a small dealership and out of social work. Within just a couple years I realized that in order to conduct business the way I wanted - which was to sell cars with honesty and integrity - I needed to start my own company. And I'm now proud to say that this year, 2017, marks my 20th year as owner of Auto Connections in Bellevue!
Jason Chen - Sales
I was born and raised in Taiwan. At the age of 14 I left my home country to pursue my education in Canada as a foreign exchange student. Later, at the age of 16, I completed my high school and college education in the United States. Leaving my family in Taiwan, I became my own guardian. The life experience of taking care of myself from early age taught me a lot about life. I would describe myself as a self – motivated individual. Auto Connections of Bellevue allows my self-motivation to thrive – as I believe it is a key element of success. Among my love for cars, I enjoy biking, basketball, trading timepieces, and traveling. I am honored to speak both English and Chinese.
Simon Crinks – Sales
While my roots are in California, I’ve been living in the Seattle area for over 35 years. My passion for cars was handed down from my father, who raced in England when he was younger and was an avid car buff all his life. I’ve personally owned close to 50 different vehicles, so the car business seems like a natural place for me to be. I started about 15 years ago, at age 32, and I absolutely love every aspect of it! I think I’ve worked at just about every position the industry has to offer - which has really helped me gain an wonderful insider “insight” and allows me to keep my customers as informed as possible throughout the entire buying process. At Auto Connections, Stu really cares about his customers which, in turn, permits me to take care of mine the way I’ve always wanted to – with integrity and transparency. Most of the cars I sell are “specialty” cars – ones I personally love - and I insist they meet the same high standards that I would expect when I was a consumer. Sometimes I feel like I’ve been doing this all my life and it’s truly a pleasure to work in an environment where it’s a priority that customers are given straight answers and made to feel as comfortable as possible. In fact I never get tired of hearing a customer pleasantly say at the end of a sale that “This was NOT what I expected!”
Keith Dinsmore - Wholesale and Retail Sales
Having 40 plus years of experience in the Auto Industry in many different roles and capacities, I believe I have a very broad knowledge of our business. I spent over 20 years either selling or managing new car franchises and have seen just about everything in terms of how dealerships approach selling cars and how they view and treat their customers and what I can confidently say is that Auto Connections of Bellevue is at the very top of the list for the quality of vehicles and the integrity of how we do business. I love knowing that every car that we have for sale has been thoroughly vetted for both structural and mechanical integrity and is ready to be enjoyed for the long term. Cars are more than just a way to make a living to me. I am a true enthusiast and take great pride in representing unique, desirable and reliable cars and trucks at a very high value. I realize that cars can be anything from a passion and personality extension to a highly counted on appliance and I work hard to find the right vehicle for those extremes and everything in between! I have grown up and raised my four boys right here in the Puget Sound area and am very proud to represent Auto Connections of Bellevue for the last 10 years. This is a business that you can truly count on doing things the right way.
Kurt Geibel - Sales
A native of Seattle, I've lived in and around the city my entire life, except for a few college years in Santa Rosa, California. I consider myself an entrepreneur, and I love the art of making deals. My true passions in life-in no particular order-are skiing and snowboarding, selling, boating, more selling, playing with my daughter, and closing deals. Whether its cars, boats, motorcycles, or houses, I'm either buying or selling, and somehow I keep a roof over my head. It used to be about how much money I could make, but now it's about my quality of life. Working at Auto Connections, and for Stu, gives me that quality, and I hope to pass that on to my customers. The reason I sell cars at Auto Connections is because I want to change the stereotype of the used car business. Everyone thinks it's a place where you're going to be misled and mistreated, and end up with a lemon. But our company offers its customers more, because our business plan is simple: we treat people with respect and honesty, we deliver a reliable product, and we stand behind that product.
Rondi Horrobin - Broker/Sales
The car business is in my blood. I’m the 3rd generation of an automotive family, as my grandfather, dad and brother all started dealerships in Washington. During high school I worked in the office at Horrobin Ford in Tri-Cities, then in 1973 my family moved to Bellevue and I began my college career in business at the University of Washington. Following college, I held sales and management positions at new car dealerships in Seattle and Bellevue before opening “The Car Company” in 2001. My experience includes finance and insurance, appraisals and reconditioning as well as new and used sales. Now working for Stu at Auto Connections, I’m able to spend more time with my clients, taking care of all their automotive needs. Many of my clients have been customers since I first started in business and they know I’ll work hard to get them what they want. I like what I do and that helps too! Civic and community are important to me - I’ve been involved in Bellevue Rotary for 14 years and have been on the board of directors for the YMCA Eastside. In my spare time you’ll find me outside golfing, biking, or skiing depending on the season.
Eric Polderman - Wholesale and Retail Sales
I was born and raised in Amsterdam and have lived in the US for over 20 years. After college, I started my career in the retail auto business and spent 10 years working for large dealerships as a salesperson, then as a finance manager and eventually working my way up to sales manager. I was given the opportunity to become more independent, (something I always wanted), when Auto Connections offered me a position 10 years ago and I'm happy to report that I have never looked back. I now have the ability to sell cars the way I want to, for a quality organization and work with some of the best people in the business! When I'm not working I love to travel, a hobby I learned at an early age from my parents as my father was an engineer for KLM Airlines and we were able to enjoy all the flight benefits that came with his position. I've traveled and lived in several places, including the US, Indonesia and Bangladesh. I love to Cruise and have enjoyed several European, Transatlantic, Panama Canal, Caribbean and Alaska trips. When I am at home I like taking road trips to Walla Walla wine country , spending time with my Yorkies as well as playing golf, soccer, running and of course partaking in happy hour as much as time allows!
Chris Smyth – Sales
I've spent the last 25 years in the auto industry in many different roles. I've always enjoyed being around nice cars and helping clients acquire these cars while bypassing the traditional high pressure purchasing process. As the newest member of Auto Connections of Bellevue family, I really enjoy the friendly, low pressure environment that Stu has created here over the years. As a lifelong resident of the Bellevue area, I'm looking forward to being a part of their continued success for many years to come. My interests are golfing, skiing and live music.
Frank Vena - Wholesale and Retail Sales
I was born and raised in the Mt. Baker area, moved to Mercer Island as a teenager and graduated from Mercer Island High in 1972. I attended Gonzaga & Seattle U. where I played baseball and worked towards earning a degree in education. At the age of 22, I was offered a contract to play baseball for the Philadelphia farm system but since I was engaged to be married at the time I decided it was best to start working and settle into my life vocation instead. My father was in the auto industry, loved it and was very successful, so I called him and said "Dad I think I want to sell cars too”. He responded "No you don't", but I showed an early promise and used my persuasive skills to "sell" him on the idea. He asked me to be patient, made a few phone calls and eventually helped me land my first job. That was 35 years ago and I’ve been in the car business ever since. I spent the first 25 years working for new car dealerships as a sales rep. and in management. During that time, I discovered that I had an aptitude for appraising and buying pre-owned cars for inventory and eventually gravitated towards that aspect of the business. I meet Stu Cordova (founder of Auto Connections) through business and in 2003 he mentioned he was expanding his dealership - adding a buyer - and asked if I would be interested. I jumped at the opportunity and I’m happy to say that the past 10 years have been absolutely the best and most enjoyable for me so far. Stu sets the tone, allowing us the freedom to conduct business in a professional, relaxed, low pressure atmosphere and I consider my association with all the members of the Auto Connections “family” to be one of the greatest blessings of my life. My wife Rebecca and I live in Newport Hills, she’s a Special Ed teacher at the International School and we love to golf, swim, play tennis and enjoy spending lots of family time with our 6 children - three of whom are also in the auto industry!
Mark Walesby - Sales
I’ve been in the car business about 13 years – all at Auto Connections of Bellevue. I simply love people and cars! It’s great working at Auto Connections, as it allows me the ability to provide people with a quality product at a fair price.
I’m able to treat people how I like to be treated – fairly, honestly and with integrity. My leisure time is spent golfing, fishing, and skiing and I’m proud to say that I’m active in my church and I’ve been married to the same great lady for over 32 years!
Heidi L. Webster – Broker/Sales
I’ve spent my entire life in the automotive industry. Beginning my career with General Motors Institute in Michigan and working as a cooperative student with Chevrolet Motor Division. Upon graduating, I spent the next five years working as a factory service and sales consultant with Chevrolet in Seattle, Salt Lake City, and San Diego. After five years, I left Chevrolet to enter the fascinating world of advertising. I implemented regional and national advertising campaigns for Chevrolet, Cadillac, and Honda dealers throughout the Midwest and in Southern California. In 1987, I began my career as an automotive purchasing consultant in Los Angeles. This position also took me to Denver and back to Seattle in 1992, where I’ve been assisting individuals and companies with the purchase and/or lease of new and used vehicles.
Marco Yaya - Retail Sales
I am a life-long car and motorcycle enthusiast. Started early in life restoring classic Italian motorcycles in my spare time and later on building and racing cars. In the late 90's I joined Corporate America where I spent most of my professional career - I kept motorcycles and cars as a hobby during that time. Having spent the better part of 20 years in the services industry, I learned the importance of customer relations and value-added transactions. I do not consider myself a salesman, I actually think I am quite a bad one. I am first and foremost a car enthusiast and this is why I chose Auto Connections for the next step in my career - it is the perfect environment for me. When I'm not working with customers at Auto Connections, you'll find me building custom motorcycles or restoring an old car of some sort.
Rusty - Official Greeter
I came from a shelter in Idaho where I was scheduled to go to W.S.U. for research when Stu adopted me. I've been working at Auto Connections for 13 years now and my job is to greet everyone who comes in. Unlike some auto dealerships, Auto Connections is an honest business, and I'm a symbol of that because dogs don't lie. In fact, I couldn't work here as the greeter if I didn't believe in our business philosophy. I'd just stay at home instead. It's important to me that customers feel relaxed, and I'm looking forward to greeting you when you visit. When I'm not working, I like to work out, walk in the morning, and jog in the afternoon. I also love to chase squirrels, and chew on stuffed teddy bears. Of course I love to chase cars, too!