Wilbert Funeral Services to Implement ESOP to Benefit Employees, Wilbert Licensees and Customers

October 2, 2014
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In a recent surprise announcement, Joseph U. Suhor, III, Chairman of the Board, Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc., informed employees and the Wilbert Licensee network of his intention to initiate an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) for the sale of his stock and the stock of the controlling group of shareholders.  This will allow employees to share in the company’s growth and success while also ensuring long-term commitment to its Licensees and customers.

This structure will distinguish Wilbert Funeral Services as the only known ESOP in the funeral service industry and ensures continuation of the company as an independent entity with a solid focus on the industry.

“Wilbert employees fully understand and appreciate the funeral service industry and as owners will be motivated for the long term,” stated Joe Suhor. “In a certain respect this continues the legacy established by company founder Wilbert Haase, who in 1947 chose to sell ownership in the company to the licensee network to strengthen the entity and engender growth.  Putting the future of the company in the hands of those who have made it successful just seemed like the right thing to do for them, for our licensee network, and for customers.”

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Suhor added, “I believe funeral service will always provide a valuable and vital role in society and the Wilbert Group of organizations is dedicated to provide products and services that will serve those needs, whatever they may be.  As employee-owners, the people that comprise Wilbert will be even more passionate about doing that.”

Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. is the leading provider of burial vaults through its network of nearly 200 Licensees throughout the United States and Canada.  The company also provides cremation urns, mementos and other cremation-related products through its North American network.  Additionally, other Wilbert Group divisions provide caskets, cemetery construction, monuments, lawn crypts, columbarium niches, mausoleums and various services.  Its Pierce group offers fluids and various products, and the Pierce Mortuary Colleges are noted as an industry-leading educational institution.

For more information, call (708) 865-1600 or visit www.wilbert.com.

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