Huge Matters

Fuccillo sales vet gets top dog award.

Fuccillo. "Billy" is a household name in these parts. We've seen the commercials, the buses. Now, meet Fuccillo Hyundai's Ron Martin, 68, named Salesman of the Year 2009 by Syracuse Automobile Dealers Association.

Martin is a classic all-around American guy right down to his baby blue eyes. Originally from Pittsburgh, he is a conservative, a hard worker and a family man -- father of four sons, still in love with his wife.

The Martins moved to CNY while Ron was working for NCR (National Cash Register Company). He was a technology guy, as in "How could it be used to aid in business practice?"

After 18 years with NCR, he went to work for Cayuga Savings Bank, in information systems. When CSB merged with First Niagara, he was downsized out. Not to worry, he was in his late 50s and had $420,000 in his 401K retirement plan.

The Martins planned to still work a few years and then buy a cottage on a lake near where they grew up back in Pennsylvania. That was the plan. The reality is that over the next four years both his wife and one of his sons were diagnosed with cancer, times two.

Serious cancer, his wife's started as something simple in her kidney and spread to spindle cells in her face and then her neck. Their son George was diagnosed with testicular cancer, but also when they went in to operate, the doctors found cancer had spread into his chest cavity. Ron became the chief caregiver. Unable to find the time to work and regular savings out, they had to dip into that 401K earlier than planned. They were heavily penalized and taxed and ended up with a lump sum of $195,000.

When his two patients were finally on the mend, he was 63 years old and his finances down and nearly out.

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