Senior Vice President of Funeral & Cemetery Lending, Live Oak Bank
Tim Bridgers, Senior Vice President of Funeral & Cemetery Lending at Live Oak Bank, has helped hundreds of funeral home owners access the capital they need to build, buy, grow and sell their business. Tim understands the challenges that business owners face. He recently received his MBA from the University of North Carolina and owned/operated a business for ten years. He has served as a Trustee for the Selected Educational Trust board, and on the advisory board of Worsham College of Mortuary Science. He has presented at ICCFA, NFDA, Selected National meetings and many state association events providing continuing education to funeral and cemetery professionals.
Vice President of Operations, Vertin Company
Jay Dietz is an accomplished and passionate operations leader with deep roots in funeral service since 1993. A graduate of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, Jay is a licensed funeral director in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. After joining Vertin in 1995, he spent the next eighteen years as a managing funeral director of firms in West Central, MN, until becoming a key member of the organization’s leadership team in 2013. Today, as Vice President of Operations, Jay is responsible for all funeral home operations, providing strategic leadership and ensuring all associates have the resources, tools, and support they need to offer the highest level of service to all families. The Vertin Company owns and operates funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries in 7 states in the upper Midwest.
President and Chief Operations Officer, Park Lawn Corporation
Jay Dodds is President and Chief Operations Officer for Park Lawn Corporation with more than 39 years of experience in the funeral and cemetery profession. He holds a funeral directors and embalmers license in both Texas and New Mexico. In addition, he is a certified cremation operator. Jay served as founder, owner and President/COO of the Signature Group. Prior to founding Signature, he was the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of another U.S. publicly traded company where he served in a senior operations leadership role for 17 years. Jay is the immediate Past President of the International Cemetery Cremation and Funeral Association, Trustee Emeritus for the Funeral Service Foundation, Trustee of the ICCFA Educational Foundation and a board member of the Pierce Mortuary Colleges.
NFDA General Counsel
Chris has been serving funeral service for almost 20 years. He was in-house counsel for SCI from 2003-2008 before he started in private practice representing funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematories of all sizes across North America. Chris was General Counsel for the Texas Funeral Directors Association and General Counsel and on the Board of Directors for the Cremation Association of North America for over 7 years each. Chris founded The Farmer Firm eight years ago and served as outside general counsel to many successful businesses. As NFDA’s General Counsel, Chris provides counsel on litigation, regulatory matters, business matters, buying and selling, employment law, and any other legal matters our profession faces.
Author, Entrepreneur, Speaker
Named by Forbes Magazine as one of 20 speakers you shouldn’t miss, Jeff Henderson has become a trusted voice for businesses and non-profit organizations. His career experience not only inspires groups and individuals but also provides tangible strategies to help them grow. Ultimately, Jeff’s aim is to help organizations build a good name where both purpose and profit thrive. His best-selling book, Know What You’re FOR, launched a movement in non-profits around the world and has become a focal point for many businesses. Jeff has worked for well-known organizations such as the Atlanta Braves, Callaway Gardens, Chick-fil-A and North Point Ministries, one of the largest churches in America. While there, Jeff where he led three churches over 17 years and helped launch North Point Online, one of the largest online ministries in the world.
Sheri Jacobs, FASAE, CAE
Founder, President and CEO, Avenue M Group
As the founder, president and CEO of Avenue M Group, Sheri Jacobs is a leader, innovator, and visionary whose organization has helped more than 225 associations, small and large, tackle their most challenging issues. A senior executive, best-selling author of Pivot Point: Reshaping Your Business When It Matters Most, and association management veteran, Sheri applied her experience in research, marketing, strategy, and financial modeling to create a unique firm that helps associations achieve their goals. Sheri has served as a key member of the senior staff at three associations with a track record of double-digit growth for membership and meeting attendance. Sheri has served in numerous leadership and volunteer roles, including on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) and the ASAE Foundation. In 2021, Sheri completed the Northwestern University Leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Certificate program.
Senior Managing Director - Central Business Unit, Service Corporation International
Vern Pixley is the Senior Managing Director, Central Business Unit, for Service Corporation International. He currently supervises over 3,000 associates across twenty markets comprised of 45 cities in 19 states. He leads over 300 locations serving 64,000 families. Vern has a drive and a passion to have a best-in-class workforce with the most accomplished consumer-oriented staff in the industry. His goal and the goal of his team is to enhance relationships with customers and simplify their experience while providing product and service innovations that create ways to remember a life lived.
President & CEO, Foundation Partners Group
Kent Robertson is President & CEO of Foundation Partners Group, responsible for overseeing the company’s long-term growth, vision and strategy. He is an experienced entrepreneur and corporate leader. Highly skilled in leading and motivating high-performance management teams, Kent has a demonstrated history of success in taking companies from founding to IPO. Prior to joining Foundation Partners as Chief Operating Officer in early 2020, Kent was Founder and CEO of Fenix Parts, a leading recycler and reseller of OEM automotive products. Prior to Fenix, he spent more than 20 years with Stericycle, the nation’s leading provider of healthcare waste services. Kent is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma with a degree in Economics.
Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer, Legacy Funeral Group
Bill has been with Legacy since 2006 and is a US Army veteran as well as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. He holds an associate degree in Mortuary Science and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management. Bill has worked in the funeral profession since 1993 in various roles, from funeral director to manager as well as regional management for multiple states. As Chief Operating Officer for Legacy, Bill is responsible for overseeing all operations within Legacy Funeral Group. Bill’s heartfelt mission is to offer the highest level of personalized service to client families every day and empower Legacy’s employees to serve them “one family at a time.” Seeing that every family receives the best service and merchandise that Legacy firms can offer and creating a work environment that each employee enjoys is a goal that Bill and the Legacy management team strive to accomplish every day. Bill served multiple years as President of the Louisiana Funeral Directors Association as well as Commander of his local American Legion Post.