Melvin C. Payne, co-founder of Carriage, serves as our Executive Chairman. He previously served as our CEO from the Company’s inception in 1991 through 2023, and has been a Director since that same time. Mr. Payne has also served as Chairman of the Board since December 1996. Prior to co-founding Carriage, Mr. Payne held a variety of financial and executive leadership roles, including serving as an Executive Vice President for WEDGE Group where he focused on leveraged buyouts; serving as Chief Financial Officer and then President and Chief Executive Officer for Independent Refining Company; serving as the Head of the Chemical Division for Texas Commerce Bank; and overseeing the analysis and private placement of industrial and commercial loans at Prudential Insurance Company. Mr. Payne, a Vietnam Veteran, earned his Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Mississippi State University and his MBA from Tulane University.
Carlos R. Quezada was named Chief Executive Officer in June 2023. Mr. Quezada joined the Company in 2020 as Vice President of Cemetery Sales and Marketing. He was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing in 2021. On June 1, 2021, he was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Immediately before being named the Company’s CEO, Mr. Quezada served as its President and Chief Operating Officer. Before joining our Company, Carlos R. Quezada was a Managing Director at Service Corporation International ("SCI") from 2009 to 2020. At SCI, he played influential roles in both sales and operations, reinforcing his expertise in these areas. Mr. Quezada's professional journey spans more than two decades in the hospitality industry, holding diverse leadership positions, including Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chief Operating Officer for privately held multiunit entities in the sector. A fervent passion for enhancing customer experiences and delivering service excellence has driven his innovative company transformations throughout his career.
Donald D. Patteson, Jr. was the founder and, prior to its sale in June 2014, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sovereign Business Forms, Inc. (“Sovereign”), a consolidator in a segment of the printing industry. He also served as Chief Executive Officer of Sovereign from August 1996 until his retirement in August 2008. Prior to founding Sovereign, he served as Managing Director of Sovereign Capital Partners, an investment firm specializing in leveraged buyouts. He has also served on the Board of Directors of Rosetta Resources Inc. and Cal Dive International, Inc. Mr. Patteson received both his BA and an MBA with a concentration in finance from the University of Texas at Austin.
Chad Fargason currently serves as Senior Portfolio Manager for Vaughan Nelson Investment Management, an investment manager with approximately $15 billion under management. Mr. Fargason has been with Vaughan Nelson for more than ten years. Prior to joining Vaugh Nelson, he spent ten years with the global investment firm, KKR & Co., Inc. Mr. Fargason holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Rice University and both a Masters and Ph.D in Mathematics from Duke University.
Douglas B. Meehan has served as the Deputy Chief Investment Officer for van Biema Value Partners, LLC, an investment management firm, since 2012. Prior to joining van Biema Value Partners, Mr. Meehan worked as a research analyst at a proprietary securities fund within Sentinel Real EstateCorp., a privately held real estate investment advisor in New York. He also worked with Duma Capital Partners, a multi-strategy hedge fund, as a research analyst. Mr. Meehan received a BA in Philosophy from Columbia University, a PhD in Philosophy and Cognitive Science from the City University Graduate Center, and an MBA from Columbia Business School, where he participated in the Applied Value Investing Program.
Julie Sanders has over 30 years of financial and audit leadership experience, along with extensive experience in transformative initiatives as it relate to financial systems, including the development and implementation of large-scale enhancements and capabilities. Ms. Sanders currently serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Audit Executive at Dell Technologies (“Dell”), a publicly traded, technology and services company. Ms. Sanders joined Dell in 2002, and has held a variety of finance, accounting and management roles. Prior to her Chief Audit Executive appointment in 2021, Ms. Sanders was previously Senior Vice President, Global Auditing & Consulting, from 2018 to 2021, and Senior Vice President, Global Revenue, from 2014 to 2018, for Dell. In these leadership roles, Ms. Sanders was responsible for global revenue recognition, revenue operations and global accounting, along with overseeing financial planning and analysis for Dell’s commercial business. Before joining Dell, Ms. Sanders served as Chief Financial Officer for Jardine Foods and Merinta, and also held accounting and finance management positions at Bear Stearns and J. Crew. Ms. Sanders holds a B.B.A. in Accounting from Baylor University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Somer Webb has over 15 years of financial leadership experience, along with extensive experience in financial planning and analysis, M&A, and driving organic growth through business intelligence insights. She currently serves as Chief Financial Officer (“CFO”) of Authority Brands, a leading home service franchise brands company that includes 15 brands operated across more than 2,000 locations. Prior to her CFO appointment in January 2023, she was previously CFO for Solo Brands, Inc., a direct-to-consumer platform company for outdoor and lifestyle brands, from May 2022 to December 2023, and was CFO for Kent Outdoors, a sporting goods manufacturer, from January 2022 to May 2022. Prior to Kent Outdoors, she spent six years with Worldwide Express, a global logistics provider, where she held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility beginning in 2016 and ultimately served as CFO from February 2019 to January 2022. Before joining Worldwide Express, she held leadership positions at Southwest Airlines, DaVita Healthcare Partners, Match Group, Amazon, and Yum Brands. Ms. Webb holds a B.B.A. in Management Information Systems from Baylor University and an M.B.A. from The University of Texas at Arlington.