How did you get into this industry? Was working in the funeral industry something you ever pictured yourself doing?
I had never pictured myself working in this industry, until I got connected with Wilbert in 2011 while looking for some new career opportunities online. I have only been in the industry for a little over 7 years, but I feel right at home.
What is your favorite part about working with Wilbert and working in this industry altogether?
My answer for both is exactly the same. I love how caring the people are.
I remember during my interview for my current position, my soon to be supervisor had said that if any of the funeral directors and professionals in the funeral industry had chosen a different career path it would likely still be a position of care. I see exactly what he meant more and more each day. The people I am surrounded by in this industry are truly some of the most caring people I have ever met and I enjoy working with them. I am proud to be part of the Wilbert team and this industry.
Specific to Wilbert, I like that we have a long history as a company and appreciate the longevity of the staff. Our management is very focused on the funeral industry and the employees, and that is reflected in the growth we have seen over the past several years. It really puts a firm stake in the ground that we are committed to the funeral service industry. Having a solid management team with this commitment and passion is a blessing.
What would you say is one of the most challenging aspects of your position as Director of Marketing?
Both as my professional challenge as well as for the company as a whole is the multi-tiered structure in how we get our products to the market. We reach the market through our network of licensees and some company-owned locations, who then work directly with the funeral service providers, who in turn bring our products to families. So our challenge in marketing is to develop programs, materials and tools that will support these various tiers, with the ultimate buyers being the families. We always need to ensure these materials will help funeral professionals articulate the value of our products to those families. The Wilbert Group also continues to grow our product and service offerings and our marketing needs to support this diversity. So this is all challenging, but also extremely rewarding.
Looking forward to the future, what are you most excited about?
I’m actually excited about changes that are happening as a result of new generations entering our industry. While the fundamentals of this industry and serving the families will never change, we seem to be at the point where there is a generational change. This demographic change isn’t affecting just the funeral service industry but across the board, as we are seeing more and more millennials in management positions. To see the newer generations come in with fresh ideas is something I am excited about. We are also seeing more and more funeral homes embrace technology and push the boundaries for what funeral service is supposed to look like. I am excited for the track we are on right now – change isn’t necessarily something this industry is good at accepting, but the newer generation is making it possible for some really cool ideas to come to life.
What will be new with Wilbert in 2019?
Well, that’s really a work in progress as we continue to expand and enhance our product and service offerings. Over the past several years, The Wilbert Group has been on an active and exciting growth path but management is very careful to look for synergies that can also benefit our network and the funeral professionals we collectively serve. I also think a very interesting trend is today’s consumer desiring a more personalized experience which applies in our industry as well. We are working to provide more custom options than ever before, options that families and funeral directors will appreciate.
When you aren’t working, what are your favorite things to do in your spare time?
One of the reasons I love working in marketing is because I thoroughly enjoy communications and the written word, so even in my spare time I try to find time to read for pleasure as well. At this point in my life I love just taking in the time with my family and our first grandson, as well as getting ready for another grandchild that is on the way. I also enjoy listening to and playing music. Even though I am a little bit rusty, I do play the keyboard and my new year’s resolution is to practice more. FBA