News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 1, 2013

Newsmakers: Dec. 1, 2013


TERRE HAUTE — At its annual meeting on Nov. 21, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana elected Sharon Russell of Terre Haute as the board of directors’ affirmative action officer.

Mark Fuson, president of Fuson Automotive Inc., a Buick, Cadillac and GMC dealership in Terre Haute, has been nominated for the 45th annual TIME Dealer of the Year award.

Fuson is one of a select group of 57 dealer nominees out of 17,000 from across the country who will be honored at the 97th annual National Automobile Dealers Association Convention and Exposition in New Orleans, on Jan. 25. He will represent the Automobile Dealers Association of Indiana.

The award is sponsored by TIME in association with Ally Financial, and in cooperation with NADA. A panel of faculty members from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan will select one finalist from each of the four NADA regions and one national Dealer of the Year.

The announcement was made by Jed Hartman, group publisher of Time Inc. News and Business; and Tim Russi, president of auto finance for Ally Financial.

In its third year as exclusive sponsor, Ally will recognize dealer nominees and their community efforts by contributing $1,000 to each nominee’s charity of choice. Nominees will also be recognized on the recently launched website,, which highlights the philanthropic contributions and achievements of auto dealers across the U.S.

The TIME Dealer of the Year award is one of the automobile industry’s most prestigious and highly coveted honors. Recipients are among the nation’s most successful auto dealers, who also demonstrate a long-standing commitment to community service.

“The fact that we have been doing this for so long now, we have earned the reputation of being fair and honest and offering a great value,” Fuson said in the July/August 2012 edition of Terre Haute Living, a bimonthly publication of the Tribune-Star. “We offer good service after the sale and that has helped us build a base of repeat customers for whom we are truly grateful.”

A third-generation dealer, Fuson has deep roots in the area, having graduated from Terre Haute South Vigo High School in 1975, and in 1979 from Indiana State University with a bachelor’s degree in business management.

Fuson held various jobs throughout school before entering his family’s business, which was founded by his grandfather in 1926. “I truly worked at our dealership since I was a young child,” he said. “As I grew old enough, I worked summers in our body shop, parts department, service department, business office and sales department.”

He assumed full responsibility for the dealership when his father passed away in 2005.

Active in his local dealer association, Fuson has served as president of the group four times since 1979 when he joined the dealership full time. He was awarded the Herman R. Goodin Civic Service Award by his state association in 2009.

That involvement includes serving on the boards of the Froderman Charitable Foundation, which provides funds to various religious, educational, medical and charitable causes, Union Hospital Foundation, Union Health System and the Selective Service System for the United States (regionally). He is a member of the Carmelite Monastery Advisory Committee, Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Workforce Development Committee and the Kiwanis Club of Terre Haute.

Fuson also gives back on an individual level. He was chosen to be durable and health care power of attorney for a disabled and retired employee, as well as a retired priest. “I take care of all of their housing, food, financial and medical needs,” he said, while spending many hours with the men each week.

 Fuson was nominated for the TIME Dealer of the Year award by Martin A. Murphy, executive vice president of the Automobile Dealers Association of Indiana. He and his wife, Susan, have three children.

Each year the Indiana CPA Society recognizes CPAs who have served their profession and/or communities in an outstanding manner. The contributions these professionals make reflect positively on the individuals as well as the CPA profession.

Terri J. Svihla of Terre Haute was one of 10 major award winners honored at CPA Celebration on Nov. 15 at the Indiana Roof Ballroom in downtown Indianapolis.

Svihla, of Svihla & Associates, received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest award given by the society annually.

As the founding member of Svihla & Associates CPAs, Svihla has worked to become a trusted adviser by providing close personal and professional attention to each client. She has more than 25 years public accounting experience. She is invested in her profession and the community through her service on boards and committees within the Terre Haute community and in professional societies.  

From 2000-01, she served as chairwoman of the Indiana CPA Society Board of Directors, and in 1999 was the recipient of the Chair’s Award for outstanding dedication and service to the society. As a member of INCPAS, she has served on numerous committees including government relations, privately owned and emerging business, small business, small firm and workforce issues. She is also a member of the American Institute of CPAs and served on the AICPA Council in 1999 and 2000.