MARION - Watermark Auto Group announced Monday that Brad Poole, currently the Chief Operations Officer, has been selected as Watermark's new President, effective immediately.
Watermark Auto Group consists of 7 dealerships, representing 11 manufacturers, operating in two states, and employing more than 285 people.
Poole succeeds Michael Absher, who will take office as the mayor of the City of Marion on April 22. Absher will remain on the board of directors.
"During this time of transition, there is no one better qualified to lead Watermark Auto Group than Brad Poole," said Michael Absher, Watermark Auto Group's founder and former President and CEO. "Brad is a proven leader with the skills, business vision and the ability to see the company enter its next chapter."
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.
Watermark Auto Group also announced that David Griffin, previously Chief Financial Officer, will assume a new role on the Board as Executive Vice President.
A Marion native, David holds a degree in Finance from Millikin University and an MBA from St. Louis University. Prior to joining Watermark, he worked for 12 years at the Federal Reserve Bank in St. Louis.
David joined Watermark in 2007 and most recently served as the company's Chief Financial Officer, with responsibility for financial reporting, Human Resources and Information Technology.
David has two sons, Jake, a student at USI in Evansville, and Josh, a junior at Marion High School.