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.

Steven D. Metzger

Steven D. Metzger joined Carriage in May 2018, was appointed Senior Vice President and General Counsel in 2019, and was subsequently named Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Secretary in 2021. Mr. Metzger oversees Acquisitions and Business Development, HR, Legal, and Risk Management. Before joining Carriage, Mr. Metzger served as Senior Vice President, General Counsel & Secretary for a publicly traded company in the restaurant industry. Prior to that, he spent seven years with Service Corporation International (“SCI”) where he served in various leadership roles, including Managing Counsel for the Legal Department and Chief Compliance Officer for SCI’s registered investment advisor. Mr. Metzger began his career as a litigator at a Houston law firm and received both his BA in Government and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin.

Paul D. Elliott

Paul D. Elliott joined Carriage in September 2012 as our Regional Partner – West and was promoted to Senior Vice President in February 2017. Prior to joining Carriage, Mr. Elliott served as a Managing Director for Service Corporation International (“SCI”). From February 1995 to August 2012, Mr. Elliott held various management roles in sales and operations within SCI. From September 1984 to December 1994, Mr. Elliott was a partner in his family’s funeral home in Kansas. Mr. Elliott is a graduate of the University of Kansas and the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service.

Shawn R. Phillips

Shawn R. Phillips joined Carriage in September 2007 and was promoted to Senior Vice President in February 2017. He had served as our Regional Partner – West from 2007 to 2011 and currently serves as the Regional Partner – Central. Prior to joining Carriage, Mr. Phillips served from 1983 to 2007 in various leadership and operational roles with other publicly traded funeral and cemetery service companies. From 1979 to 1983, Mr. Phillips worked for an independent funeral operator. Mr. Phillips is a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer and a graduate of the Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College.

Robbie Pape

Robbie has 30 years of industry experience, including positions in funeral/cemetery operations, finance, sales, systems, process improvement, and audit. Robbie spent her childhood moving every two years as the daughter of an Air Force Colonel. She is a Certified Public Accountant with a degree in Marketing and Information Systems from Baylor University in Waco, Texas. She serves as President-Elect for the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (“ICCFA”) as well as being a member of the Finance Committee. Robbie is also active in the Cremation Association of North America and served as a board member until the fall of 2021.

Peggy Schappaugh

Peggy Schappaugh joined Carriage in August 2003 as an Operations Analyst and was promoted to Vice President of Operations and Acquisition Analysis in 2020. Mrs. Schappaugh has also served in other operationally focused roles within Carriage. Prior to joining Carriage, Mrs. Schappaugh served as an accountant at a publicly traded oil and gas company. Mrs. Schappaugh is a CPA and possesses a BBA in Accounting from Texas A&M University in College Station.

Shane T. Pudenz

Shane T. Pudenz serves as our Vice President of Sales and Marketing and joined Carriage in October of 2020. Prior to joining Carriage, Mr. Pudenz worked in several roles at Service Corporation International from 2012 to 2020 where he successfully lead multimarket sales organizations as Sales Director in addition to other roles he held prior. Mr. Pudenz has a Bachelors Degree in Mass Communications from Grandview University in Des Moines, IA.

Rob Franch

Rob Franch serves as our Chief Information Officer and joined Carriage in April of 2022. Prior to joining Carriage, Mr. Franch served as the Chief Technology Officer for Cushman & Wakefield from 2014 to 2022, where he led the Application, Infrastructure and Collaboration delivery to over 48,000 colleagues across 60 countries. Mr. Franch has also held previous senior leadership roles for AON Corporation, Bank of America, and LaSalle Bank. Mr. Franch is a graduate of the University of Iowa.