Melvin C. Payne

Melvin C. Payne, co-founder of Carriage, has served as our CEO and a Director since our inception in 1991, and 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

Carlos R. Quezada was named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2021. He joined Carriage in June 2020 and previously served as Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. Prior to joining Carriage, Mr. Quezada was a Managing Director for Service Corporation International from 2009 to 2020, where he served in leadership roles for both sales and operations. Mr. Quezada joined the deathcare industry after serving in the hospitality industry where he held a variety of leadership roles, including Chief Operating Officer, President and Chief Executive Officer for privately held multiunit companies. Mr. Quezada has a Masters in Management from Tulane University and an MBA with an emphasis in Finance from Universidad Francisco Marroquin.

Donald D. Patteson, Jr.

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.

Douglas B. Meehan

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.

Barry K. Fingerhut

Barry K. Fingerhut, who previously served on our Board from 1995-1999, has served as the Chief Executive Officer and majority equity owner of Certification Partners, LLC, a developer and global distributor of vendor neutral IT content and certifications, since the fall of 2010. Prior to 2010, he focused much of his career investing in small capitalization companies in a variety of industries.

Mr. Fingerhut received a BS with distinction from the University of Maryland and an MBA with distinction in Finance/Investments from New York University.

Dr. Achille Messac

Dr. Achille Messac previously served as the Dean of Engineering for Howard University, as well as for Mississippi State University. Prior to his leadership roles at those institutions, Dr. Messac served as a senior member of the technical staff at Draper Laboratory where he contributed to work in critical areas of aerospace engineering, including work for the Space Shuttle and Space Station. Dr. Messac has also served on the Board as Faculty Senate President for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, as Department Chair and professor at Syracuse University, as professor at Northeastern University, and has served on the Board of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.


Dr. Messac received his BS, MS and PhD from MIT in aerospace engineering and is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, The American Society of Mechanical Engineering, and The American Association for the Advancement of Science.