I have an unusual combination of skill-sets. My background along with hands-on industry experience enables me to quickly analyze core problems, develop and prioritize solutions and implement strategies for quick turnaround.
I began my career as a “project manager” for a diversified holding company that bought distressed companies in a variety of industries restored them to health and resold them. Turnarounds suffer two shortages: time and money. At this company I learned to optimize both. I have a degree in psychology and am a Certified Exit Planner (CExP). In 1978 I passed the CPA Exam on the first attempt and was awarded a Certificate in Public Accounting through the University of Illinois. However, I do not practice accounting and do not maintain a license to practice. In order to comply with state laws I do not use the title CPA or Certified Public Accountant.
My career in “Death-Care” started thirty years ago as President of the financially distressed OGR Service Corporation, the for-profit arm of The Order of The Golden Rule. After five years and the successful rebirth of that company I went on to become President of Brown-Wynne Funeral homes and cemeteries. There I built upon the already successful legacy of a highly respected company; ultimately orchestrating its sale for a multiple in excess of 10 times EBITDA.
During this period Mr. Wynne and I acquired J.J. Fallon Company, the 28th largest retail florist in the FTD network. It was my task to reorient the company strategy and create new growth and value. Our success in this venture was due to a dual strategy which involved development of an innovative method of controlling cost-of-goods sold and the redefinition of our business to create clear market differentiation. The impact on profits and market share caught the attention of the “Top 100” FTD members and set new standards for that industry.
After the sale of Brown-Wynne, I became president of Trust 100, a company I helped found in 1985. As president, I built the company to become one of the largest preneed marketing companies in the nation. Trust 100 was the leading innovator of strategies like prearrangement centers and co-op advertising. I am most proud of the many affiliates who, even today, claim significant market share improvement as a result of our efforts.
In addition to the weekly Creedy Commentary, I frequently contribute to industry trade journals and speak at trade conventions. Among my affiliations outside the DeathCare industry are The Center For Creative Leadership, The Performance Institute and Human Synergistics.
I believe in giving back and so was recently honored to serve as Chairman of the Funeral Service Foundation.
I live in Raleigh, NC, with my wife of more than 40 years and love to dote on my six grandchildren.