In Memoriam

Mark Cooper

Member since 2009

Area of Concentration
Development and Maintenance of Cemeteries

Managing partner
Seaside Memorial Park & Funeral Home, Rose Hills Cemetery & Funeral Home, Corpus Christi, Texas

Mark began his career at a very young age helping his grandfather hand dig graves. Born in East Texas he began his over 50-year funeral career with Anderson Clayton Brothers managing funerals and cemetery operations on a daily basis. He later went on to use his vision of cemetery operations at Restland Funeral Home and Cemetery in Dallas, TX. This was prior to its acquisition of Restland to Stewart Enterprises, which then was serving over 4000 families a year.

Mark has served as President of the Texas Cemetery Association Board for several terms and is still an active Board Member. Mark has now been with Carriage Services for 12 years and offers his time to assist with any MP’s that may have questions or are seeking advice regarding ROI for cremation garden mausoleums, chapel mausoleums, cremation niches or any other construction aspects or projects.

Kristi Ah You

Member since 2018

Area of Concentration
Social Networking, Community Engagement, Marketing and Photography

Managing partner
Franklin & Downs Funeral Home, CA

Kristi has experience in Social Networking, engagement of community, Public Relations, Marketing and Photography. She is willing to share her experience and provide suggestions to assist you in communicating with your own community on a larger scale, while building your funeral home brand in a way that connects with families, building trust and credibility as the premier funeral home in your region.

James Bass

Member since 2016

Area of Concentration
Financial Performance & Competitive Market Advantages

Managing partner
Emerald Coast Funeral Home, McLaughlin Mortuary & Okaloosa Crematory FL, McLaughlin Twin Cities Funeral Home & Crematory FL

After working decades with large 10 tier multiple locations in Texas and New Orleans, and now in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, James has acquired the knowledge to manage Centralized Care Services for staffing and the financial responsibilities that come with managing labor costs, revenue forecasting and executing plans that produce organic call volume growth strategies to grow & maintain highly profitable businesses locations. James offers his time to discuss with Managing Partners’ questions that they may have, with regards to ideas to help MP’s focus on leadership, improving operating & financial results as we progress thru 2019 and on into the 2023 Good to Great Journey.

Jason Cox

Member since 2020

Area of Concentration
Community Involvement, Market Share Growth in a declining market, and Fiscal Management

Managing partner
Lane Funeral Home and Crematory, South Crest Chapel, Rossville, Georgia

Jason has been with Lane Funeral Home and Crematory, South Crest Chapel since February of 2001 and Managing Partner since 2011. Jason and his staff have understood and have prioritized the importance of their community reputation. They are involved in the community through many civic organizations, chamber and governmental boards and church affiliations. Throughout the years Jason has demonstrated knowledge in managing labor costs, maximizing gross margin and market share, and managing a centralized crematory for several area funeral homes.

Ben Frieberg

Member since 2020

Area of Concentration
Branding within the funeral profession is my passion. Conceptualizing & creating specific assets to enhance my funeral home’s perceived value + family/client experience/relations.

Managing partner
Harvey-Engelhardt Funeral & Cremation Services, Fuller Metz Cremation & Funeral Services, Lee County Cremations, Fort Myers & Cape Coral Florida

Ben offers his time to discuss with Managing Partners’ questions that they may have, with regards to branding or digitization.

Tim Hauck

Member since 2019

Managing partner
Harvey-Engelhardt Funeral & Cremation Services, Fuller Metz Cremation & Funeral Services, Lee County Cremations, Fort Myers & Cape Coral Florida

Tim began his career in Funeral Service in 1986 after graduating from Miami Dade School of Mortuary. He joined the Carriage family in 1995 and currently serves as managing Partner in Lee County Fl for three Carriage Funeral and Cremation businesses. Tim has been a resident of Lee County the past 47 years where he has served on numerous community service organization boards along with State associations. Serving a high cremation market in a very competitive market, Tim and his team continue to grow market share and revenue and have been fortunate to achieved Pinnacle status the last four years along with the Good to Great Award in 2017. Tim is engaged to Rachel and has two Daughters and enjoys the Florida outdoor Lifestyle with golf and boating.

Justin Luyben

Member since 2017

Area of Concentration
Team Building, Dealing with Struggling Markets, and Market Share Protection

Managing partner
Evans Brown & Hemet Valley Mortuaries – CA

Justin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business from California State University, Fullerton, and he is a licensed funeral director, crematory manager and pre-need counselor in the state of California. He joined Carriage in November of 2007 through the acquisition of a family business and was promoted to Managing Partner in 2011. Justin oversees the operations of 4 funeral homes that average 1,000 calls annually and also manages a crematory. He excels at developing a team and leading people to a common goal.

Steven Mora

Member since 2013

Area of Concentration
Relationship Building, Cemetery Operations and Strong Sales Retention

Managing partner
Conejo Mountain Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory CA.

I foresee that Conejo Mountain Funeral Home, Memorial Park, & Crematory will continue to be a leader in our market community by simply applying the basic principle of treating each person that walks through our doors like family. Our successful relationships with our families are testaments to who we are as a company.

As managing partner, I know that my attitude and the attitude of my staff deeply affect how we convey the essential compassion and attention-to-detail that our families deserve: i.e. The “trickle-down” effect. In other words, caring, well-informed employees translate to comforted, well-served families and, ultimately, the overall successful “Guest Experience”. One person, one family at a time.

I asked a customer who recently lost a family member what made her Conejo Mountain experience meaningful and comforting. Her answer: “That’s easy: The people who work here.”
Steve has been overseeing Funeral Home/ Cemetery combination operations for over 30 Years. Steve would invite any Managing partner to please contact him at anytime.

Tom O’Brien

Member since 2017

Area of Concentration
Pricing Power, Margin Analyses, Cost Management, Staff Recruitment, Financial Reviews

Managing partner
O’Brien Funeral Home in Bristol, Connecticut

Tom returned to the family business after spending 10 years with ExxonMobil, and joined Carriage in 1996. Tom has assisted many of our locations in the northeast in identifying opportunities for revenue enhancement, cost management, and staff recruitment and motivation. He is fully committed to the Carriage culture of decentralized earned autonomy and the need for continuing innovation to enhance the client/guest experience.

Jim Terry

Member since 2016

Area of Concentration
Industry Trends, Presentation, and Adaptation

Managing partner
James J. Terry Funeral Home

Jim has experience and a reputation for building successful businesses, having formed a large healthcare company in 1991 and later establishing the James J. Terry Funeral Home in 1997 – growing the firm to over 350 calls annually. With more than 40 years experience in the industry, Jim has built these business using three fundamental philosophies – attention to detail in the funeral home’s appeal, presentation and service, the ability to recognize industry trends and adapt to consumer demands, and above all else, compassionate care to all.

Nicholas Welzenbach

Member since 2019

Area of Concentration
Disruption & Integration of New Offerings. Challenging Status Quo & Taking Risks.

Managing partner
Darling & Fischer Campbell Memorial Chapel, Darling & Fischer Chapel of the Hills, Los Gatos Memorial Park, Los Gatos, San Jose & Campbell California.

Nicholas Welzenbach is a second generation funeral professional. He has been serving families for nearly 20 years. He began his career in San Diego. He and his wife Kendall relocated to the Bay Area 10 years ago. Nicholas is the Managing Partner of Darling Fischer in Campbell & Los Gatos as well as Los Gatos Memorial Park. Nicholas is an active member of the community. He serves on the Board for both the Campbell Chamber and the Los Gatos Chamber of Commerce, the Campbell Veteran Memorial Foundation Board, and is an active Los Gatos Rotarian.

He and his staff are working daily to care for families, while also working to reinvent funeral service around Celebrations of Life and by helping families find new and unique ways to tell their loved ones stories. While funeral and cemetery service are his life’s work and passion. What he truly loves is being with his family. Kendall and Nicholas have a daughter Audrey, and a son Lachlan. His daily work has shown him the true value of every moment.

Frank Forastiere

Honorary Member

Area of Concentration
Market Changes; Ways to Adapt to Changes, Staff Accountability

President
Forastiere Funeral Homes

As president of four funeral home locations in Western Massachusetts, I encouraged our company’s partnership with Carriage beginning in 1998. We have been a leader in our market, creating positive customer/guest experiences and unique ceremonies and services, all while achieving high levels of customer satisfaction. We also have experience dealing in competitive markets and in anticipating change within those markets, as well as defining the benefits that can be derived from making good choices related to change.

I am always willing to share ideas and experiences with my peers and assist in implementing plans for success. A member of the Standards Council since its inception, I am honored to be part of the reboot and the forward focus upon which the company has embarked.