Meet the Staff

 

Brad Poole
President, Watermark Auto Group / Co-owner, Watermark Nissan of Marion
bradp@watermarkautogroup.com

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.


 
Mike Absher
Chairman of the Board
618-969-8320

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.


 
Kevin Jones
General Manager
kevinjones@nissanofmarion.com

Kevin is from DuQuoin originally, but now calls Pinkneyville home.  He has been in the car business since 1980 and has held many positions.  He is now the General Manager at the all new Watermark Nissan of Marion.  When Mike Absher and Brad Poole decided to buy the Nissan franchise they immediately knew that Kevin was the man to run the daily operations.  When he isn't running circles and wearing many different hats at the dealership, Kevin enjoys watching his daughter play softball for the Rend Lake Warriors.  Kevin has seven children total and ten grandchildren.  He and wife Marie love to travel and especially enjoy Panama City Beach.


 
 
Damon Wright
Finance Manager
damonwright@nissanofmarion.com

Damon is from Salem, Illinois and has lived there his whole life.  He has been in the car business since 1999 and before that was a financial advisor.  He was Kevin Jones' first choice for a finance manager at the new dealership.  The two of them had worked side-by-side for several years already.  Damon and wife Patricia Wright have two children, Joshua and Sophia.  Together, they make a beautiful family.


 

Gloria Greer
Sales Associate
gloria@nissanofmarion.com

Gloria is from a very small Southern Illinois town, New Minden, IL. She has been in the Automobile business since 1985. Spending most of her career locally, between a dealership in Carbondale and one in Marion. She decided a few years ago to move to Florida for warmer weather and most recently was employed at BMW, VW, Porsche of Ocala. However, desiring to be close to family, Gloria and husband Charles decided to move back home.  Gloria feels especially blessed to be able to spend time with her 90 year father! Gloria likes to cook, travel and spend time with family.

She would like to invite all her past customers to come in for a new or pre-owned vehicle, or just come by and say hello.


 

Keith Lynam
Sales Associate
keith@nissanofmarion.com

Keith joined Watermark Auto Group in September of 2014. He has been in the Automobile business in southern Illinois for over 12 years. And has helped thousands of customers find the right car with a kind and honest approach! Keith is looking forward to opportunities to grow with Watermark 

Keith was born and raised in Council Bluffs Iowa. He is Married to his best friend Carole for 14 years, they have four children between them and 4 grandchildren. 

Keith Spent over 20 years in the insurance business as a regional manager for AFLAC. 

Keith enjoys spending time with his family. Keith is supporting Carole in her ongoing courageous battle with Stomach Cancer. After trying his hand at stock car racing for a few years he is now a NASCAR fanatic. Keith is very community oriented and lives in Christopher IL. Keith and Carole enjoy their hobby within the local haunt industry. They have spent many years running their own Haunted house benefiting local charities and now focus on their home haunt and lending a hand to other local haunts. 


   
Gary Stark
Sales Associate
gary@nissanofmarion.com

Gary is a welcome addition to our team here at Watermark Nissan of Marion.  After being in private business, Gary joined us in 2015.  Gary likes to go hiking, running and spending time with his family and church family.  Gary and his wife, Leslie, have a son Ryan who recently graduated from high school and will be studying meteorology at Mississippi State University. Go Bulldogs!



 

 
 
Scott Phelps
Sales Associate
scott@nissanofmarion.com

Scott was raised in Eldorado, Illinois, where he graduated high school.  He returned to Marion and has resided there for the last 30 years.  Scott began his career in banking, holding various positions.  After 23 years, he felt that there was a need for a career and life change.  Since then, Scott has been in the car business for almost 5 years.

On April 8, 1989, Scott married the love of his life Gayle Saffelder.  Gayle works as a registered nurse at the Marion Veteran's hospital.  They have two children, Shelby and Connor Phelps.  

Scott and Gayle have been greatly involved in the Marion community.  They are members of the St. Joseph Church.  Scott has served on a number of boards and committees while in Marion.  These include the pastoral council at St. Joseph Church, American Red Cross Blood drive coordinator, Chamber of Commerce, Hospice of Southern Illinois volunteer, Marion Soccer board, Knight of Columbus officer, and Rotary Past President.

Scott enjoys spending time with Gayle at some of Southern Illinois's local vineyards, playing golf, refereeing a spirited game of soccer, and enjoying a nice Sunday afternoon in the pool with friends. He also enjoys any time he can spend with his family.

 



Wayne Warner
Product Delivery Specialist
(618) 969-8222
wayne@nissanofmarion.com

More details are coming soon.

 
Marie Jones
Receptionist
618-969-8222

Marie has been with Watermark Nissan of Marion since December of 2016. Previous to working here, she owned and operated her own hair salon for 27 years. She currently resides in Marion, with her husband of 21 years, Kevin. Together they have 7 children and 10 grandchildren. When Marie is not working, she enjoys traveling and spending time with family.



 

Marina Newberry
Receptionist
618-969-8222

We would like to welcome Marina Newberry back to our Watermark family. She has been in the car business for 5 years now.


Currently, she works as a receptionist for both Marion Ford and Nissan of Marion. Marina is married to Dustin Newberry and has two twin baby girls, Kennady, and Evelyn. She also has two labradors, Duke, and Ally.  


Marina and her family live in the town of Cobden, go Appleknockers. She enjoys fishing, netflix, reading and being with her family.  



 
Steve Alfter
Service & Parts Director

Originally from Aurora, Steve now lives in beautiful Ozark.  He has been in the car business since 1984, in the service arena since 1990 and has worked with Nissan for over 16 years!  We are lucky to have Steve on our team!  When Steve isn't working, he likes to hunt and go horse-back riding.  He and his wife, Kara, have one son, Adam.  They have a bunch of other "children" - Tucker & Boomer (horses), Spencer, Little-Bit & Sissy (dogs), CeCe, Gee-Gee, Sonny, Shadow, & Sambra (cats) and 13 chickens!



 
Cynthia Stewart
Parts Manager
618-969-8222

Cyndi is from Herrin and now Galatia is called home.  Don't let her being new to the car business fool you, Cyndi has a lot of experience in the parts and service business; for the past 6 years, she has worked in the ATV, UTV and motorcycle industry.  Cyndi likes fishing, riding her Teryx, swimming and spending time with her granddaughter, Rylee AND... she still finds time to work on remodeling her house.  Cyndi and her husband, James, have a son, Nick and daughter-in-law, Chelsea (Rylee's parents). They also have a dog, Itty.  

 
 

David Hayes

Parts Consultant

618-969-8222


Although David is new to the automotive business, he brings a lot of experience to our team.  David was in the power sports business for over 31 years as a dealership owner representing Honda, Kawasaki, Polaris, Yamaha & Arctic Cat.  David enjoys power sports (can't imagine why) and music.  David is married to his beautiful wife, Wanda.  



Josh Bloodworth
Service Consultant
618-969-8222 

Josh is a resident of Carterville. His passion is cars and he has turned that passion into a career. He started int the car business in 2005. He has been certified through Ford as a technician and has now moved to the business side of things as a service consultant for Nissan. He is a prime example of what hard work and dedication can bring! Customers can recognize him by the smile that is always on his face! When he isn't helping our customers, his time is spent with his wife, Paige and two son's Kaden and Jamerson & daughter Skylar.



Tyler Huber
Express Lane Service Consultant
618-969-8222   
Tyler joins us from Edwardsville and now lives in Carbondale.  We are pleased to announce that Tyler is now an Express Lane Service Consultant. He has been working in the automotive industry for a little over two years and has earned his Associate's Degree in Automotive. Tyler is currently attending SIU Carbondale to get his Bachelor's Degree in Automotive Technology.  When Tyler has free time, he enjoys fishing, archery and street racing (in his own car).  Tyler is engaged to his fiancée, Becky.


Cody Jones
Service Technician
618-969-8222

Cody is originally from Aurora, graduated high school in Herrin and now lives in Carterville. He has been in the car business for 13 years and working with engines since he was 13 years old. Before children, his hobbies were anything dirt bike related. Now, he spends every chance he can practicing softball and coaching games with his older girls and hanging out with this 1 year old daughter - watching her grow. He and his wife, Kaci Jones, have 3 girls Khloe who is 9, Kalli who is 8 and Rilyn, who is 1. 


Rich McPherson
Service Technician
618-969-8222

Rich currently lives in West Frankfort, Illinois.  He has been working in the Automotive Industry since he was 16 years old. He has received 2 college degrees in Automotive Repair. He is ASE Certified and Nissan Certified. In his spare time, Rich enjoys riding his 4-wheelers and spending time with his son Logan. He also enjoys taking his boat out to go fishing with his family. Rich is also a US Army veteran and he is a huge Patriots fan!

 
Isaac Phipps
Express Lane Technician
618-969-8222

Ike is from Pittsburg, IL. He has worked at various construction jobs before coming to Watermark Nissan. If there is a local rodeo going on, you will find him wrestling steer and busting broncs. 


 
 

Darrell Coleman
618-969-8222

More details are coming soon.

 

 
 
Josh McReynolds
Quick Lane
618-969-8222

Josh was born and raised in West Frankfort. He has been working on cars for about a year and enjoys learning more and more about them. In his spare time, he enjoys working on his car and hanging out with his friends. He is currently single and loves his German Shepherd, Baxter and peek-a-poo, Rocky.
 

 

Timmy Rich
Porter / Express Tech
618-969-8222

Timmy is originally from Chicago and now resides in Creal Springs. Prior to coming to work at Watermark Nissan of Marion, Timmy worked at Rural King and Fazoli's. More details to come! But we are happy to have Timmy join our team.
 





Zach Smith
Porter/Express Tech
618-969-8222

Zach was born in Herrin and went to Marion High School. He currently lives in Herrin. He has worked in the car business for 10+ years either detailing cars or building car parts. When Zach isn't at work - he enjoys hanging out with his son.

 

Charles Hunter Rheaume-Frey
Detail
618-969-8222

More details coming soon. 

 



Robbie Groves
Detail
618-969-8222

Robbie has been in the car business since 1989. When Robbie is not hard at it making a car shine he enjoys fishing, playing pool and going to car shows. Robbie and Sonya married in 2014 and live in Herrin. They have five sons and one grand daughter.