Click on one of the people below to find out more information.

Management

Brad Poole, President
President, Watermark Auto Group / General Manager, Watermark Lincoln of Marion
800-225-2161

Brad is originally from Alliance, Ohio.  He moved to West Frankfort, Illinois,  in 1981 and graduated from Frankfort Community High School in 1987.   After high school, Brad attended and graduated from John A. Logan College and then transferred to SIU-C and graduated with a B. S. in Political Science with a minor in Psychology in 1991.  Brad has worked at the Ford Hyundai Lincoln dealership in Marion since 1992, and there, he has held the positions of Salesperson, Body Shop Manager, Sales Manager, and General Manager.  In April of 2013, Brad became partners with Mike Absher when Nissan of Marion became a part of the Watermark Auto Group.  In 2017, Brad became the Chief Operating Officer of the Watermark Auto Group while continuing to serve as General Manager of Watermark Ford Hyundai and as a partner at Watermark Nissan of Marion.  In 2018, Brad became a partner in the Watermark Insurance Group with Mike Absher and David Griffin.  Brad has been married to his wife Melanie since 1991, and they have one child, Mackenzie.  Melanie has been an English teacher since 1990, where she started her career in Cobden Unit School District 17.  In 1994, she took a position with Marion Unit 2 at Marion High School and continues to serve as an English teacher at MHS.  Their daughter Mackenzie is a senior at Saint Louis University who will graduate with a bachelor's degree in biology in May and will begin medical school at SLU in August of this year.

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Mike Absher, Chairman of the Board
Chairman of the Board

I was born and raised in Southern Illinois. I grew up in a "car family" on both the maternal and paternal-side as both of my grandfathers and both parents were car dealers. I started working in the shop as a custodian starting at age 12, and worked at the dealership until graduation from high school.

 

I graduated Marion (Illinois) High School and then attended the United States Military Academy at West Point New York with the intention of being a career Army officer. I ultimately left the Academy and the Army voluntarily and returned home. As a 48 year old, I wish I could talk to my 18 year old self and take back that decision as I regret not staying and serving my country. That experience though has instilled in me a profound respect for those that have served! I then enrolled in SIU-Carbondale and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in entrepreneurship. I worked at the family dealership throughout my college years as a warranty administrator and service writer.

 

Upon graduation, I was employed as Parts and Service Director, sales manager, used vehicle manager until I left the family company in 2003 to start a software firm named DealerWare LLC selling F&I Menu Selling software to car dealerships. We were very successful and this was the wildest ride of my life. We ultimately were endorsed by American Honda and were in the process of rolling out our software to the Honda dealerships nationwide, when our biggest competitor decided to take me out. And so, they did, and I sold DealerWare in 2006 to DealerTrack, Inc. 

 

I decided to get back into the business I missed so much and purchased Marion Ford, Inc in my hometown. I have since purchased three other dealerships, in Marion IL, Paducah KY, and Madisonville KY, and that has evolved into the Watermark Auto Group.

 

I have played the trumpet for nearly 38 years, and enjoy every opportunity I get to play in a brass quintet with some friends from high school and college. I also enjoy woodworking, and have lots of cool equipment that is really dangerous, but I never turn on because I am too busy in the car business.

 

I have been married for 24 years to Cheryl, who is a licensed non-practicing attorney. We have three sons aged 20, 17, and 13.


I am retired from service on the Southern Illinois Healthcare Board of Trustees and as President of our local school board, and was sworn in as Mayor of my hometown of Marion, Illinois on April 22, 2019.


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Sales

Chad Weston, Sales Manager
618-993-2161

Chad "Franchise" Weston was born and raised right here in Marion IL. Chad is truly a Watermark Ford of Marion success story. He started washing cars for us in 1997 while attending Marion high school. He worked here all through college and graduated from SIU. He sold cars for many years and now has worked his way up to the position of Sales Manager.  He knows exactly where every vehicle in our inventory came from and can tell you all about it.  He also is great at giving "Weston Words of Wisdom" to the sales associates.  At home though, Chad is all ears when it comes to his children.  He has a lot to listen to when his daughter, Ellie, starts talking about the cars her daddy sells.  His son, Cutler, is following in his dad's footsteps as Da Bears and Cubs are his favorite teams.

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John Slone, Sales Manager

John "Sloneholio" Slone was raised right here in Marion IL. John started his career in the car business here at Watermark Ford of Marion in 2000. He has steadily moved up in titles and became a member of the Watermark Auto Group team in July 2014.  He spends time at his "home base" of Watermark Ford while also helping out at other stores.  He and his wife, Somer, and their little girl, Kinley and son, Nolan, are one of the nicest families you'll meet.  John is proof that good things happen to good people! 


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Russ Brown, Vehicle Acquisitions Manager
888-418-4162

Russ hales from Metropolis Illinois.  I swear he really is Superman!  Russ and his wife Carroll enjoy spending time with all the grandkids, nieces, and nephews and watching the Cardinals whip up on the Cubs. Russ has been in the car business for decades and now serves as our pre-owned acquisitions manager for the entire Watermark Group.  He travels as much as Santa Clause but he only gets 2 days off a week and not 364 days off!


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Jon Wofford, Finance Manager

If Jon's face or voice seem familiar, you may recognize it from local TV or radio. He came to the car business after 15 years as a television sportscaster. He got his start on TV-3 and was the voice of the Benton Rangers for a few years. He also worked in South Carolina and Nebraska where he covered events like NASCAR, NCAA, NFL and The Masters. He even got to play a round at Augusta National.


Even though Jon was born in Rockford, Illinois he considers Woodhull, Illinois to be his hometown. He grew up on a farm just outside the small town in northwestern Illinois. Jon attended SIU-C where he earned his degree in Radio & Television.  A diploma wasn't the only thing he got at SIU. He also met his wife, Kendra, who was born and raised in

Marion, where they currently live with their three children, Will, Gloria and Kathryn.


Jon is a huge sports fan! In his spare time he enjoys fishing, hunting, golfing and has even tried his hand at tennis. His favorite team is the Green Bay Packers. He also enjoys hockey. While in Nebraska he

actually learned how to skate and played in a men's league (he wishes there was ice in Marion!!!). He is also friends with the coach of the New York Islanders, Jack Capuano.  Jon is also a veteran. He served 7 years in the Illinois Army National Guard where he earned the rank of sergeant while with the 2/123 rd Field Artillery Unit.


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Jeff Cain, Sales Associate
618-499-2109

Jeff has spent most of his life in Harrisburg and more than half of it in the car business. As a proud father of three "busy" daughters, there is not much time left for hobbies! Jeff's strong sense of community and genuine concern for the customer is the driving force behind his longevity and success in the car business.

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Joseph Biermann, Sales Associate

Joseph Biermann is from Marion IL., and has been selling cars since the middle of 2012. When he isn't working, his life revolves around his his 4 children. He loves to be outside, swimming, doing yard work or just playing games. You can also find Joseph at the local gym almost every morning. He has a very close family, they've been going to the same church for over 25 years and still have lunch together every Sunday.

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Jace House, Sales Associate

Born and raised in Benton, Jace is new to car sales, but not a newcomer to cars.  He has been in sales for over 6 years and grew up in his father's full-service oil change shop.  Jace enjoys playing the guitar - something he started when he was 12 years old.  We can't wait to hear him play!  He is a single guy with a silky terrier named Lily.  He thinks of himself as a friendly guy and we do, too!


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Tom Madden, Sales Associate

I was born at Williams AFB in Arizona and currently live in Marion, IL. I have been in the car business since 10/2003. My wife, Merissa, and I have been married for 15 years and have 4 sons, 2 of which are currently serving in the armed forces. I have been involved in sports my whole life. My wife and I are active in Vine Church and we love to travel. 

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Michelle M. Laird, Sales Associate

Michelle is a great asset to Watermark Ford of Marion! She's originally from Marion but moved to California for 23 years before moving back in 2010. She has been in the car business since then, and we are glad she is with us! She enjoys cooking, listening to music and hanging out with her friends and family. She has 3 boys, Noel, Seth, and Sean.  Michelle is a record breaker too!  She still holds the mile record at Marion High School and also held the 800 records until just recently.



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T.J. Barthelman, Sales Associate

T.J. Barthelman has been in sales here at Watermark Ford of Marion for over 3 years. He doesn't have to travel far to come to work as he is from right here in Marion, Illinois. Before coming to Watermark Ford of Marion, T.J. detailed cars for 2 years and sold cars for about 5 months. He enjoys going to concerts, playing sports, and hanging out with his friends and his dog named Hope.


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Drake Allen, Sales Associate

Drake has lived all over growing up. He currently resides in Carterville and has been in the car business for almost 3 years. Prior to that, he was in the sports journalism field for about 3 years.


In his spare time, Drake enjoys hunting, fishing, basketball, and football.

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Danny Bloodworth, "Dan Dan The Car Man"
Sales Associate & Commercial Accounts Manager
618-924-5855

Danny is originally from Marion, IL, but now resides in Herrin. He has spent almost 20 years in the sales industry and has had a passion for cars and trucks for as long as he can remember. Danny LOVES helping people find their PERFECT vehicle and will ALWAYS go the extra mile for his customers. 

In his free time Danny's favorite things to do are going to the St. Louis Cardinals games or the St. Louis Blues! He also enjoys smoking a fine cigar. He is married to his high school sweetheart, Kathy, and together they have two children and four grandchildren. They are have two VERY SPOILED Mini Golden Doodles. 

 

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Tiana Sutton, Rental Mananger, Service BDC

Tiana is originally from Southern Illinois and after living away for 10 years in the Twin Cities area, has moved back!  We are glad to have her on the Watermark Hyundai team and she is handling our Car Rental department.  Tiana enjoys spending time Netflix binge-watching with her husband, Doug, and being with her family and friends.  Tiana and Doug have two children, Acadia and Ian, and a cat, Trixi Mama.  


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Aubrey Pitts, Service BCD

Aubrey is the point guard for our team.  She does a wonderful job of distributing the customers to the right place and the right time.  She is one of the most dedicated people in the store and we hope she stays with us forever.  Believe it or not, she is a "speed freak".  When she isn't working she is getting her car ready to race!


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Seth George, Detail Manager/Vehicle Photos
618-993-2161

Seth, a Marion Native, began working for Watermark and in the car business for the first time in 2012. He currently manages our detail department and also takes vehicle photos. His son, Fletcher: keeps him busy and laughing nonstop. On the weekends, when he's not adventuring with Fletch, he travels regionally, playing country music with Murphy 500. 


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Service

Tommy Baker, Service Manager

Tommy Baker is a product of Marion, Illinois. He has lived here his whole life. Tommy began his career in the automotive repair business right here at Watermark Hyundai in 1986. Since that time, Tommy has become known & loved by customers for his easy going attitude and wealth of knowledge. Tommy can take the worst possible scenario and make it all seem ok. When Tommy is not coming in early or staying late, he enjoys being at home with wife Sue and their children Kyle & Chad. He is also a hunter & fisherman and loves riding his Harley. Tommy is a true asset to our dealership and we are so lucky to have him! 

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Nichoal Belcher, Service Advisor

Nichoal is originally from Pittsburg, Illinois. This is where the rest of her family (who just so happen to work here also) are from. Nichoal began her career in the auto business in 2003 and has worn many hats here at the dealership. She isn't afraid of hard work and truly cares about the customer! Nichoal loves her family time with her son, Jaxton. 

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Nicholas Luitjohan, Service Advisor

We are happy to welcome Nicholas Luitjohan to our Watermark Hyundai of Marion service team. He is from right here in Marion but currently lives in Johnston City. Previously, Nicholas worked as an AC/DC motor mechanic among other jobs.  He is engaged to his fiancé, Jessalyn Malone, and they are set to get married on May 20th, 2023. 


In his spare time, Nicholas enjoys drag racing, hanging out with friends, car shows and building cars.

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Robert Tinsley, Service Advisor/Dispatcher
618-993-2161

Robert is from Woodlawn, Illinois, and has been in the car business for over 30 years. We are thrilled he is back at Watermark Ford Hyundai of Marion as a Service Advisor / Dispatcher. 


In his spare time, Robert enjoys spending time with his family, playing pool and target shooting with friends.

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Chandra Prather, Service Clerk
618-993-2161

Chandra is originally from Harrisburg but currently resides in Eldorado with her husband, Eric Prather. Together they have a 26-year-old son, Christian, and a 23-year-old daughter, Chaitlyn. 


Chandra has worked a total of 17 years in car dealerships, and we are very happy she has decided to join our team.

When she isn't working, Chandra enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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John Ray, Service Technician

John calls Johnston City his 'home town', but is now living in Marion with his wife Debbie. John's first day as a professional service technician was in 1985. He has been fixing cars in the Service Department for 36 years. John is always making the guys back there laugh with his sarcastic sense of humor! When John is not working, he enjoys anything that has to do with cars-the faster, the better! He and Debbie also take the motorcycle out for a ride on the weekends. John says the best thing about working at Watermark Ford is the people! 

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David Roesener, Service Technician

David comes to us all the way from Addieville, Illinois and we sure are glad to have him on our team.  David is a Senior Master Certified Ford Technician. He is a big car fan and he also competes in truck pulling events several times a year. David and his wife, Jen, have two sons - Tyler and Matthew.

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Ben Quoss, Service Technician

Ben is our lead diesel technician here at Watermark Ford. He started his career in the QuickLane in 2009 and quickly moved his way up in the service department to become a Master certified technician. He is known for his attention to detail and takes pride in the quality of his work. Ben is an SIU graduate with a Bachelor's in Automotive Technology. He currently lives in Marion with his wife Jenna and his son Nolan. He loves spending time outdoors and camping with his family and his dogs Billy and Maggie.

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Aaron Mallery, Service Technician

Aaron comes to us from Carterville, IL. He has been a resident there his whole life. Aaron began his career in the automotive service field in 1999, right here at Watermark Ford. Aaron says some of the best things about working here are learning the new techniques & products as they are developed. He also enjoys helping solve problems for customers. In Aaron's spare time, you find him manning the grill (with a frosty beverage of course!). He will take any challenger in a washer throw game. He also enjoys a trip on his Harley motorcycle with wife, Tracy. 

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Clint Lodwick, Service Technician

Clint began working in our Quick Lane while attending SIU for automotive technology.   He then moved to our Service Department and became a certified technicians.  He is married the love of his life, Shantell, and has settled down in Herrin.  When he's not working here or remodeling their home, you will most likely catch him outdoors.... boating or just lounging by the pool...

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Charles Weekly, Service Technician

More details coming soon.

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Larry Blake, Technician


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Joseph Matuszczak, Technician


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Lloyd Beardsley, Techncian


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Dillion Bloodworth, Technician


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Parts

Mike Deaton, Parts

Mikey 'Too Tall' is a native of Creal Springs, though he now makes his home in Marion. Another one of the great guys in our Parts Department, Mike has been with us since 1991. He must have started when he was four… Mike says he gets along with just about anyone and that's what makes working here so enjoyable. Mike's hobbies include golfing and playing with his son Josh. He is also a great husband to wife Ronnette.

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Carrie Coleman, Parts

Carrie is back at Watermark where she belongs!  She works in the parts department doing several things to help our customers and her peers.  She proud mom to her daughter Maecee and she loves watching her play sports.

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Adam Pendergrass, Parts


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Zach Essary, Parts

Zach is from right here in Marion.  He started out as a porter in the service department and quickly worked his way into the parts department with his work ethic and attention to detail.  Anytime we ask Zach to do more, he replies with "no problem, that just one more thing I get to learn how to do!"  We need more Zach's!

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Ed Guldbrandsen, Parts

Ed was raised in Champaign, IL and moved to Goreville in 2001. After finishing high school, Ed was a Diesel Tech in the Army for 8 years. He has been an auto tech for 30 years in a GM dealership, independent garages and performance shops. He has also worked at O'Rieliys for 6 months. 


In his spare time, Ed works on cars and trucks and continues remodeling his home. He also likes to hunt, fish and enjoys shooting guns and bows.

He has been married for 35 years to his wife, Renee. They have 2 boys Matt & Mitch and 2 dogs.

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Bobby Throgmorton, Parts Manager

Bobby hails from the great city of Vienna, Il where he was born. Bobby began his career at Watermark Ford of Marion in 1982. He started as a parts counter person and worked his way into the management position in 1990. Since that time, the parts department has become the most consistent department at the dealership. Bobby's dedication to his job and his family is truly outstanding. He and his wife Sherri are so proud of their son Bryan and daughter Brittany. Running a close second, however, is Mr. John Deere. Bobby loves his quiet time on the tractor. When he isn't chilling on the tractor or slaving at the dealership, he's watching some top fuel racing action. He and his wife love traveling and spending time with friends and family, especially if there is a race nearby. Bobby is an excellent person as well as an excellent employee.  


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Henry Gunderson, Parts Driver


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Quick Lane

Kenny Branson, Quick Lane Service Manager
618-993-6900

Kenny is on his second tour of duty with the dealership.  His wealth of knowledge in many areas makes him valuable to us and our customers.  He previously managed the used car auction and our detail department and assisted with the used car pre-delivery process.  We are excited to announce that he is now our Quick Lane Service Manager. He loves spending time with his three children.


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Joel Barter, Quick Lane Assistant Service Manager


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Jacob Kennedy, Quick Lane Advisor

We are pleased to welcome, our newest Quick Lane Service Advisor, Jacob Kennedy! He is from right here in Marion where he lives with his wife, child, a baby on the way, and a dog.


Prior to working at Watermark, Jacob worked at UPS and Rural King. In his spare time, he enjoys hunting, shooting, and gaming. 

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Andrew Hughes, Service Advisor
Quick Lane Service Advisor
(618) 993-2161

Andrew's hometown is Sesser, Illinois.  After he graduated from John A Logan Automotive School, he joined our Quick Lane family and is doing great.  When he's not here working on cars, he spends time with his beautiful daughter, Kaylee.

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Melanie Belcher
618-993-6900

Melanie is truly the "Queen" of the Quick Lane. Melanie helped open the doors to Quick Lane in 2002. Since then, she has helped thousands and thousands of customers with their maintenance needs. Melanie keeps her family very close to her, literally. Her husband Greg, daughter Nichoal, and son Nathan all work at the dealership. Melanie and Greg live in Pittsburgh, Il and try to spend as much time with their grandchildren Emma, Jaxton and Leo. 

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Allen Gulledge, Quick Lane Shop Foreman & Alignment Specialist

Allen was born & raised in Carterville, Illinois. He ventured into the car business nineteen years ago and has ever looked back. Allen has been a big part of our Service Departments & Quick Lane since 1992! He will tell you that he loves working here because he is getting to do what he is good at - fixing cars! When Allen is not at work, he enjoys relaxing, riding on his motorcycle, and rooting for Da Bears! When he's at home, Allen gets to see his wife, Bren, children, Kelsey & Jordan and grand-daughter, Braelynne.

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Eric Rhinesmith, Quick Lane Tech

Meet, Eric! He is originally from Sterling Heights, MI and now resides in Marion, IL. He has been in the car been 4 years now and we are blessed to have him on our team!

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Danny Brandon, Quick Lane Technician


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Tucker Farner, Quick Lane Technician


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Terrell Henderson, Quick Lane Technician


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Terry Hendrickson, Quick Lane Porter


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Anthony McKeown, Quick Lane Technician


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Lane Cross, Quick Lane Technician


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Alva Bennett, Quick Lane Technician


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Donald (JR) Adams, Technician


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Brendan Stearns, Quick Lane Technician

Brendan is from Ava, Illinois, but now resides in Marion with his wife, Ebony Alexis Lee Stearns, and son, Jenson Everett Stearns. He enjoys working on vehicles and hanging out with his family.

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Receptionist

Tabetha Ward, Receptionist
618-993-2161

We are so excited to welcome Tabetha back to Watermark Ford Hyundia of Marion.

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Kay Bittle, Receptionist

Kay is the heart and soul of Watermark Ford Hyundai.  One of the nice things about her is, she doesn't have to use the intercom to page someone.  Her voice can be heard all across the campus.  She takes care of so many things for us and she is so absolutely dedicated to her peers and our customers that we are blessed to have her.  She loves taking trips with and to see her children and grandchildren.  We love you, Kay!


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Body Shop

John McKeown, Body Shop Manager

John comes to us from West Frankfort where he is surrounded by his beautiful girls.  He has 3 daughters and is married to his wife Lori.  They keep him very busy with lots of "honey do's".  John started at Watermark Ford as a porter several years ago and through his dedication and hard work he has worked his way up to his current position.  John's greatest asset is his tremendous ability to communicate with our customers.  His dedication to his customers and their satisfaction makes him such a valuable employee.  John is the "grill master".  He can grill just about anything to perfection.  The problem is, he always finishes his plate and never brings us any leftovers!

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Donald Scott, Body Shop Technician, Estimates

Donald was born in Central, Illinois and graduated high school from Granite City. In 1980, he joined the military. In 2014 he moved to Southern Illinois, and lives in Herrin with his wife, Florie. Donald has been in the body shop business a long time, his 1st auto body job was in 1977 as a sophomore in high school.


In his spare time, Donald likes to hunt & fish and is a motorcycle enthusiast. He has been married for 26 years and he and Florie have 2 adult children, Rachel & David. They enjoy vacationing in Florida every chance they can get. 

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Cole Absher, Body Shop Assistant


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Rickie Mann, Body Shop Technician


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Brad Bundren, Body Shop Technician

Brad lives in Marion, after relocating from his home town of Creal Springs. He has been a big part of our Body Shop for since 1999. He began his career in the car business here with us and he'll tell you the people he works with are what makes his job great. When Brad isn't working, he can be found spending time with his family. He also enjoys Nascar racing on Sundays.

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Barry McIntosh, Body Shop Technician

Barry is a Marion native, now living in Creal Springs with his wife, Teresa, and daughter Kaelyn. Barry is almost part of the background here at the dealership. You see, he started his career in the automobile business here in 1985! He is one of the "gentle giants" in our Body Shop and says he loves working for his manager in that department. When Barry is not working, you can find him in the woods or by water. His favorite hobbies include fishing and big game hunting. If it has a tail-it's a target!

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Matt Lampley, Body Shop Technician

Matt has been with the dealership since 2009.  He works in the paint department in the body shop.  Matt has many skills and we are very lucky to have him working with us.  Matt and his wife Keisha live in West Frankfort with their 2 children.

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Jon O'Neal, Body Shop Technician

Jon is a member of our Body Shop team. With over 13 years of experience, he is sure to get the job done right! Jon has lived in Carbondale his whole life and has two children Damian and Gracelynn. When not working, Jon enjoys playing with his children and is also into keeping a fit & healthy lifestyle. 

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Mike Thomas, Body Shop Technician


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Ivan Dixon, Body Shop Technician


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Jason "Shorty" Rector, Body Shop Prep

Shorty is a Carterville resident, born and raised.  He is the Mighty Mouse of our detail department and has now joined our prep team in the body shop.  Sometimes it seems like he's running circles around himself getting things done.  Jason has one child, Cody, and he also enjoys hunting, fishing and watching sports.  His favorite thing about his job is the people he works with.

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Porter

Charles Frey, Porter


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Stan Kent, Porter


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Detail

Jim Weinel, Detailer

Jim is originally from the land of Dorothy....Junction City, Kansas.  He now lives in Marion with his wife, Cheri.  When Jim isn't busy detailing hundreds of cars a month, he enjoys fishing and catching a Nascar race.

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Kyger Guyton, Detailer


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Zachary Karnes, Detailer


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John Potter, Detail


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Jonathan Morgan, Detailer


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Brett Carrier, Detailer


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