SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Skinner Sales and Service Celebrates Grand Opening
Skinners recognized for contributions to community
By Marie L. Monyak


April 03, 2006

Ketchikan, Alaksa - Driving past 4950 North Tongass Avenue this past Friday evening, seeing flags and balloons, residents would have thought there was a party going on at the Chevrolet, Buick, Subaru Dealership, and they would have been right.

What was Lewis Chevrolet is now Skinner Sales and Service and Friday was the official ribbon cutting and grand opening. But it was more than just a ribbon cutting and celebration; it was a tribute to the man and woman that have extended their unselfish generosity to a grateful community.

jpg Ribbon Cutting

Rob Skinner, with the support of Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Weinstein and Chamber President Joe Johnston, cut the ribbon signifying the
official opening of Skinner Sales and Service.
Photograph by Marie L. Monyak

New owners, Rob and Kimberly Skinner, welcomed the community to their dealership with live entertainment, hors d'oeuvres, refreshments and the traditional cake, expertly decorated with the Skinner Sales and Service logo; three S's in the classic monogram style that is rapidly becoming familiar in Ketchikan and the surrounding areas.

After the initial social hour, Rob Skinner, with the support of Ketchikan City Mayor Bob Weinstein and Chamber President Joe Johnston, cut the ribbon signifying the official opening of Skinner Sales and Service.

Hailing from Southern California, Rob Skinner has been in Alaska for the last 12 years. Before arriving in Ketchikan, he was in Kenai followed by Juneau where he was a part owner of Capital Chevrolet. Skinner has 30 years experience in the automotive industry where he began as a salesman and worked his way up to his current position as owner of Skinner Sales and Service.

Skinner and his wife have six children; five still living at home, which may explain their deep commitment and involvement in so many organizations dedicated to children. It's because of that involvement that several local organizations saw fit to honor the Skinners Friday evening.

jpg Skinners

Big Brothers Big Sisters presented an award to the Skinners to recognize them for their generous donation of $25,000, the largest individual donation to BBBS ever in all of Southeast Alaska. From left to right: Sharlie Hayter, Amy Lloyd both of BBBS.
Kimberly and Rob Skinner and their son.
Photo by Marie L. Monyak

During the grand opening festivities, Sharli Hayter and Amy Lloyd of Big Brothers and Big Sisters (BBBS) presented the Skinners with a plaque which recognized them for their generous donation of $25,000, the largest individual donation ever in all of Southeast Alaska. Hayter spoke to the altruism of the Skinners in recognizing the need for BBBS to provide the mentoring and guidance necessary for so many children.

Amy Russell, District Executive of Scouting for the Southern Southeast Council, also spoke of the Skinners generosity. Recently appointed as District Chairman, Rob Skinner, as Russell explained, is furthering the cause of Scouting which promotes self confidence and builds character in young people.

The Boys and Girls Club is another organization dedicated to children that the Skinners assist, yet their philanthropy doesn't end there. Bob St. Clair, member of the Ketchikan General Hospital Foundation, also spoke to the gathering of the generosity of the Skinners when he publicly thanked them for their lavish donation of $25,000 for the Women's Diagnostic Imaging Suite.

The new Diagnostic Center will screen for breast cancer and will serve men and children as well as women for many diagnostic procedures. The center will cost $450,000. The Foundations goal is to raise $250,000 with the Hospital providing the remaining $200,000. With donors like the Skinners, the Foundation is well on their way to realizing their goal.

These are only some of the organizations the Skinners support. Rob Skinner also serves as the 1st Vice President of the Greater Ketchikan Chamber of Commerce and as such, he sponsored the Chamber's monthly After Hours Event on Friday evening in conjunction with his grand opening.

The community involvement and benevolence of the Skinners was apparent Friday evening but what of Rob Skinner's philosophy in regards to sales and the automotive industry? When asked what he found to be different or unique about selling automobiles in Ketchikan, Skinner replied, "We have a low [customer] traffic flow but the people are fair and they don't begrudge the dealership of making a profit."

"On the whole, people in Alaska are better to deal with in every shape and fashion," Rob Skinner added. By her own admission, Kimberly Skinner prefers to stay out of the spotlight but said about her husband, "Rob and I have shared some of the most profound experiences that life has to offer and I have come to know him as an extraordinarily principled man who is driven by the ability to increase his capacity to serve."

"Our business mission is tied very closely to the understanding that our customers are our neighbors and our friends." Kimberly Skinner continued, "We take that relationship very seriously from one end of our organization to the other."

That philosophy is evident when Rob Skinner speaks so highly of his staff. "We have an exceptional staff that continuously delivers service above the customer's expectation that continues after the sale."

Kimberly Skinner said it best, "Our customers can count on us to live up to our commitment to integrity. When we do this every day, we build up the lives of everyone in our community in so many ways. That is why we do what we do."


On the Web:

Skinner Sales & Service


Marie L. Monyak is a freelance writer living in Ketchikan, Alaska.
A freelance writer is an uncommitted independent writer
who produces and sells articles to a publisher such as SitNews.

Contact Marie at mlmx1[at]

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