First generation Funeral Home Owner Attributes Success To Professional Associations

April 24, 2014
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Ricardo Carrillo has dual citizenship with the U.S. and Mexico, which is reflective of his childhood growing up on both sides of the border.  He made his decision to become a funeral director for a high school class assignment to write about a profession in which he would like to work.  Two decades later, Mr. Carrillo owns and operates three funeral homes in the Dallas – Ft. Worth Metroplex and a Mexican casket company.

Mr. Carrillo attributes his success as an owner and manager to his participation in the funeral profession’s primary professional associations; in fact he is the only owner to be a member of the profession’s three most exclusive associations:

  •             Preferred Funeral Directors International
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  •             Selected Independent Funeral Homes
  •             Order of the Golden Rule

Although all three associations are by invitation only, several memberships came with acquisitions.

“There is a distinct advantage to being a multi-generation funeral business family, as past practices contribute to building a better organization, and family members accumulate skills as they learn from their parents and grandparents.  I don’t have that advantage, so it was necessary for me to learn from those around me, which is why I began participating in professional associations.

I have found owners and staff members to be generous with their advice and guidance, and welcoming to a new member. The national associations provide services and benefits not available from the smaller associations.  Preferred Funeral Directors International is like a large study group in that I know every member personally, and have had opportunities to visit members’ firms,” says Mr. Ricardo Carrillo.

One of Mr. Carrillo’s most significant successes was acquiring a Ft. Worth funeral facility from Service Corp. International and turning it around to become a large volume business with a very high burial rate.  This success was followed by two additional Dallas area acquisitions.  Mr. Carrillo continues to seek acquisition opportunities in major metro areas with significant Mexican populations.

Mr. Carrillo further comments, “an interesting outcome of my association participation has been the interest expressed by other members in changing their businesses to accommodate the growing Mexican population.  Mexicans have very strong religious and cultural beliefs regarding the ceremony surrounding death.  Much of my success comes from my understanding and appreciation for Mexican culture.”

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