What inspired you to get started in the cemetery and afterlife care industry?
I’ve always been involved with cemeteries. When I was a kid, I accompanied my mother, an avid genealogist, on her journeys to cemeteries. Armed with freezer paper, charcoal, or a Crayon, I would help her record information from headstones for her genealogy research. One particular historical cemetery, the Washington Cemetery, became familiar to us.
After I completed tech school, a recruiter reached out to me with an interesting opportunity. A nearby cemetery was looking for someone to assist the new superintendent. The headhunter thought I would be a perfect fit for the position, given my familiarity with cemeteries. I got the job and worked there for several years.
After I moved from Pennsylvania to South Carolina, I unexpectedly crossed paths with one of the business partners who owned Greenhaven Memorial Gardens at the time. We got to chatting and he showed me some burial plans and ideas that he had for his cemetery. I noticed a few discrepancies and began asking him all these questions, which took him by surprise.
After I explained to him that I’d been in the industry for a while, he invited me to interview with his co-partner the next day. That was in October 2010. I was hired and started helping them part-time with sales, cemetery property management, advertising, and other tasks related to their venture.
When the original owner passed away in 2015, the other business partner and I had to come up with a strategy and succession plan for the cemetery. That's when I realized that this was my dream job. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. So, I asked to take charge.