Gary Svanda brings 40 years of business experience and 10 years in local government to his race to represent District 3 on the Madera County Board of Supervisors.
The local businessman was born and raised in a little town in Southern Illinois. After graduating from college in 1969, he moved to Northern Indiana to join the Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. Two years later a mentor, who happened to be his uncle, persuaded him to return to Illinois to work in a new car dealership. The plan was for Svanda to learn the business from top to bottom and then buy it, and that is just what happened.
Then in 1989, searching for a business opportunity in California, Svanda came to Madera to look into the possibility of buying Darwin Shebelut’s car dealership. Svanda liked what he saw, made the deal, and moved with his family to Madera. He operated the dealership until 1997, when he decided to make a career transition and joined the local securities office of Edward Jones. It was a good move for Svanda, who is gratified at his good fortune of being successful in attracting, keeping and satisfying a large number of “good Madera people.”
After being in business in Madera, Svanda decided to become more involved in the community. His first foray into community service landed him with the Madera Chamber of Commerce as its president. That resulted in his networking with several leaders of Madera and joining the Madera Breakfast Lions, which pulled him into myriad community projects...