Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. Promotes Mark Bates To President & CEO
OVERLAND PARK, KS – Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. (“WFSI”, “Wilbert”, or the “Company”) is pleased to announce the promotion of Mark Bates to President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) effective July 1. Mr. Bates joined WFSI in January as part of the Company’s acquisition of Norwalk-Wilbert Vault Company (“NVC”), which he acquired in 2007 and operated for thirteen years. He relocated from Connecticut to Overland Park, Kansas upon joining WFSI, where he has served as Chief Operating Officer. In his new role, Mr. Bates will work closely with the WFSI Board of Directors and senior management to implement WFSI’s strategic plan.
Mr. Bates has a diverse business and entrepreneurial background and worked for five years in finance prior to acquiring NVC in 2007. Under his leadership, NVC expanded significantly, growing into the largest Wilbert licensee in the Northeast. Wilbert’s management team identified his business and leadership skills, and invited him to join the Wilbert Board of Directors in 2016. Mr. Bates has further demonstrated his commitment to the funeral profession and the products that support it by serving on the board of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association (“NCBVA”), including a term as President. He has also served on various boards for cemeteries and other funeral service groups.
“Mark has brought tremendous insight to the Board and ultimately the entire Wilbert network,” said Dennis Welzenbach, current President and CEO of WFSI, who will transition to a senior leadership role in corporate development when Mr. Bates assumes his new role. “I am confident that Mark will be an excellent steward and guiding light for Wilbert going forward.”
“I am honored to be selected as Wilbert’s President and CEO and am pleased to be able to continue working with all of the Wilbert family. With the support of Alleghany Capital, our financial partner, I look forward to being able to invest in the success of our talented employees, hardworking licensees, and loyal customers,” remarked Mark Bates. “Wilbert is undoubtedly the leader in burial vaults and related burial and cremation products and services, and I know that together we will build upon this firm foundation to continue to meet the industry’s future needs with innovation and unparalleled service.”
About Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc.
Established in 1880, Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. is a licensor of, and supplier to, independently owned concrete burial vault manufacturers that are licensed to manufacture Wilbert® brand burial vaults under an intellectual property license agreement including the sale of cremation products, vault forms, liners, and other related products to the licensees. The company sells other funeral industry products directly to funeral home customers through its vast distribution network. Wilbert’s Company Store division manufactures and distributes vaults, caskets, lawn crypts, monuments, and other precast concrete products as a licensee. Substantially all of the company’s customers are located in the United States and Canada. For more information about Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc., visit www.wilbert.com or call 913.345.2120.
About Alleghany Capital Corporation
Alleghany Capital Corporation owns and manages a diverse portfolio of non-financial businesses for its parent company, Alleghany Corporation (NYSE:Y). Alleghany Capital’s investments are categorized as either industrial businesses or non-industrial businesses. The industrial businesses include: (i) Precision Cutting Technologies, Inc., a holding company with four operating businesses: (a) Bourn & Koch, Inc., a provider of precision automated machine tool solutions; (b) Diamond Technology Innovations, Inc., a manufacturer of waterjet orifices and nozzles and a provider of related services; (c) Coastal Industrial Distributors, LLC, a provider of high-performance solid carbide end mills; and (d) as of March 2020, Supermill LLC, a manufacturer of high-performance carbide end mills; (ii) R.C. Tway Company, LLC (dba “Kentucky Trailer”), a manufacturer of custom trailers and truck bodies for the moving and storage industry and other markets; (iii) WWSC Holdings, LLC, a structural steel fabricator and erector; and (iv) Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc., a provider of products and services for the funeral and cemetery industries and precast concrete markets. The non-industrial businesses include: (i) IPS-Integrated Project Services, LLC, a design, engineering, procurement, construction management and validation service provider focused on the global pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries; (ii) Jazwares, LLC, a global toy, entertainment and musical instrument company; and (iii) CHECO Holdings, LLC, a hotel management and development company. For additional information about Alleghany Capital Corporation, please visit www.alleghanycc.com.