Biographies/Key Management


Joseph U. Suhor III

Chairman & CEO

Joseph U. Suhor III began his funeral service career in 1977. After receiving an architectural engineering degree from Delgado College in New Orleans, he joined Acme Marble & Granite Company, a division of Stewart Enterprises in New Orleans. The New Orleans native also spent nearly a decade at LaClede Steel in sales and engineering.

In 1983, Suhor joined Sloan Enterprises, a 50-year-old family-owned burial vault business. He acquired the company in 1986 after serving two years as Executive Vice President, and the company became Suhor Industries, Inc. As Chairman & CEO, Suhor remains active on a day-to-day basis.

Suhor serves on the Board of Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. as Chairman and CEO, and the Board of Directors of Wilbert, Inc. (Plastic Services) as Chairman. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Pierce Mortuary Colleges. Suhor served as an Advisory Director at U.S. Bancorp in Kansas City and on the Board of Directors of the Epilepsy Foundation of Kansas and Western Missouri. He is a Board Member of the International Memorialization Supply Association (IMSA) and serves on the Board of Regents for the National Museum of Funeral History. Suhor is a retired Captain in the United States Army Reserve.

To contact Joe via email, click here.

Dennis P. Welzenbach

Chief Operating Officer/CFO

Dennis P. Welzenbach is a Certified Public Account who graduated from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, IA. Before joining Suhor Industries as Chief Financial Officer in 1987, he worked for 8 years at Ernst & Whinney, and served as Chief Financial Officer for John Massman Contracting for 5 years.
Welzenbach joined Suhor Industries, Inc. in 1987. Welzenbach oversees the day-to-day operations of Suhor Industries. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Suhor Industries.

A member of Missouri Society of CPAs, and the AICPA, Welzenbach is a licensed funeral director, a member of the Missouri Funeral Directors Association, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Wilbert Manufacturers Association serving as the President of that association from 1997-1998.

Welzenbach belongs to the Rotary Club and the Knights of Columbus. He also serves on the Board of Directors for Wilbert Funeral Services and Harvesters Community Food Network.

On March 14, 2011, Suhor Industries acquired controlling interest in Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. At the first board meeting held on March 16, Mr. Welzenbach was elected to be the new President and CEO of Wilbert Funeral Services.

Marvin G. Smith

Senior Vice President of Operations Marvin G. Smith is a Licensed Professional Engineer in the states of Iowa and Kansas. He graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and earned an MBA from St. Ambrose University in 1983.

Prior to joining Suhor Industries in 1995 as Senior Vice President of Operations, Smith worked for John Deere Harvester Works, Davenport Cement Company and Lafarge Corporation. At Suhor Industries, Smith manages operations for the company and has profit and loss responsibility for all locations.
Smith is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Society of Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning Engineers and a Licensed Funeral Professional in the State of Missouri. Smith is also a Certified Financial Planner, former president of Great River Road Credit Union and presently a member of the Board of Directors of the Wilbert Manufacturers Association.
To contact Marvin via email, click here.

Donald R. Robinson

Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Management Donald R. Robinson has over fourteen years of supply chain experience specifically within the funeral and cemetery industries.  After graduating from Taylor University in 1980 with a Bachelor of Science in Business and a minor in Computer Science, Robinson started his career with Marathon Oil Company.  He worked at Marathon for 16 years and held a variety of positions within the areas of information technology, finance, accounts payable, procurement and logistics. In 1996, Robinson joined Service Corporation International as the Director of Procurement and began efforts to reengineer the company's supply chain function.  He was named Managing Director of Business Support Service in 2003 and Vice President of Supply Chain Management in 2005.  Robinson and his team had oversight and responsibilities for a wide range of merchandize and supplies and maximizing the purchasing power of the funeral industry's largest company.  He also managed a variety of support functions including the automotive fleet, telecommunications, travel, shipping services, print production, fulfillment and distribution, office services and construction. Over the past six years, Robinson has travel extensively in order to identify and evaluate global sourcing alternatives for funeral/cemetery merchandize and supplies and toured manufacturing facilities in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, India, Thailand, Canada and Mexico. Robinson joined Suhor Industries in July 2009. He heads up the newly created Signet Supply™ division of Suhor Industries from offices in Houston. To contact Don via email click here.

Jeanette Geiser - Treasurer


Jeanette Geiser, born in the St. Louis, Missouri area, graduated from Columbia College, Columbia, Missouri in Business Administration. She joined the company in 1981 and worked in all areas of office administration. In 1995, Jeanette was promoted to Controller and in 2005 to Treasurer.

She currently supervises the cash management, payroll, payables and IT functions in the home office in Overland Park, Kansas.Jeanette, her husband, Jim , and their three sons live in Garden City, Missouri. To contact Jeanette via email click here.



Regional Management


Dennis Brokaw -- Regional Manager Oregon

Dennis Brokaw joined Oregon SI Funeral Services division as Regional Manager in August, 2006. The division plant and headquarters is located in Clackamas, Oregon with warehousing operations in Salem and Eugene. Dennis is responsible for production operations in the Vault and Casket Divisions, as well as regional Marketing and Sales Development. Born and raised in the Portland area, this Oregon native spent 20 years in distribution, operations and general management with a national manufacturer/distributor of material handling equipment. He holds a BA degree in Business Administration from the University of Portland. Residents of Clackamas, Dennis and his wife, Kristi, have a daughter. The family loves to travel which gives Dennis plenty of excellent opportunities to enjoy his hobby, photography. To contact Dennis via email click here.


Chris Carson - Vice President SI Construction Services

Chris was born in Parsons, Kansas. He graduated from General Motors training center in Kansas City in 1972 and began working in vehicle and plant maintenance at Individual Mausoleum Company.

Together with a partner, he purchased the company in 1989 and developed an aggressive stance toward expansion in the retail monument trade and cemetery construction, which included mausoleums, lawn crypts, columbarium’s, and features and grew their business five fold. Suhor Industries purchased Individual Mausoleum in October, 2000, and changed the company name to SI Funeral Services in 2005.

Presently, Chris heads up Suhor Industries’ Construction division, where he is responsible for three crews installing lawn crypt and columbarium niche projects throughout the United States. Parsons residents, Chris and his wife, Joyce, have a grown daughter. To contact Chris via email, click here.


Mike Forbes - Regional Manager Southeast Kansas

Michael Forbes was born in Pittsburg, Kansas. In 1984, he studied archeology in Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, Turkey and Italy. He graduated from Pittsburg State University in 1988 with a degree in Business Administration.

Mike began his funeral service career in 1989 when he joined Individual Mausoleum Company, where he held the position of National Sales Manager, responsible for overseeing the operations of 14 retail monument stores. Suhor Industries purchased Individual Mausoleum in October, 2000, and promoted Mike to Regional Marketing Manager for the state of Kansas is 2001, and added the responsibilities of Parsons, Kansas Plant Manager in 2003. The Individual Mausoleum name was changed to SI Funeral Services in 2005. Parsons residents, Mike and his wife, Jennifer, have two daughters. To contact Mike via email, click here

Greg Kelsey - Regional Vice President New York & Pennsylvania

Greg Kelsey joined SI Funeral Services in May 2003.  As Vice President for the New York and Pennsylvania region, Greg is responsible for three manufacturing facilities, five warehouses and two crematory operations.  Prior to joining SI, Greg spent 20 years in the funeral service industry working his way up from a Customer Service Representative to a Plant Manager.  Greg is a member of the Cemetery Association of Western New York and the New York State Cemetery Association.  He resides in his hometown of Warsaw, New York with his wife Janice.  They have two grown daughters and a teenage son.  To contact Greg via email, click here.

Lance Ray - Vice President Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas & Arkansas

Lance Ray was born in Arkansas City, Kansas. He is a first generation funeral director with over 15 years of funeral service experience. He has worked in both independent and consolidator owned funeral homes and spent 9 years with Wilbert-based organizations. He was recognized for his performance with Wilbert as Rookie of the Year in 1998 and Regional Salesperon of the Year in 2002. He also received Wilbert's Ultimate Service Award in 2001.

Lance joined the Suhor organization in 1997 as Regional Marketing Manager for Kansas; was promoted to Vice President of Kansas in 2000; and has served as Vice President of SI's Oklahoma region since June 2005.  In 2006, Lance assumed responsibility for Colorado and Kansas regions.  In 2010 with Suhor's acquisition of Arkansas Wilbert Vault, Lance assumed the responsibility for the new Arkansas region.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in human resources management from Friends University, Wichita, Kansas, and is a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. Lance is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in both Oklahoma and Ohio. Lance resides in Edmond, OK, with his wife, Denise, and their three children. To contact Lance via email, click here.

Curt Shannon - Regional Vice President Texas

Curt Shannon was born in Fort Worth, Texas. He is a fourth generation funeral director who began his funeral service career in 1980 in a family-owned business. He has managed both independent and consolidator owned funeral establishments.
Curt joined Suhor Industries in 1998 as Regional Marketing Manager for the North Texas and Beaumont Regions. In 2004 he accepted the position of Vice President, Texas region overseeing operations in the state. He is also instrumental in the development of training on a company-wide basis.

Curt attended North Texas State University. In 1988, he graduated from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, where he served as President of the Pi Sigma Eta fraternity. Mr. Shannon is Past President of the Texas Funeral Supply Sales Clubs and served on the Board of Directors of the North Texas Funeral Director’s Association. Curt is also a member of the Tarrant Masonic Lodge #942 and the Moslah Shrine Temple. Curt is a lifelong resident of Fort Worth where he resides with his wife and two children. To contact Curt via email, click here.


Dan Welzenbach -- Regional Vice President Missouri



Dan Welzenbach assumed the Regional Vice President position for the Missouri SI Funeral Services division in May, 2006. In this position, Dan oversees the operations of the 12 Missouri and two Arkansas locations that distribute funeral, wastewater and agricultural products and services. His office is at SI’s Grandview, MO plant. Dan was born in Davenport, Iowa and raised in the Quad Cities area. Prior to joining SI, he was National Merchandising Manager for the supply and tool division of Hertz Equipment Rental Corporation and held various management positions with Payless Cashways Building Materials. With his over 23 years experience in retail and industrial sales and management, Dan has extensive experience in inventory analysis, budgeting and product merchandising. Dan enjoys most outdoor activities, especially hunting and golf. This Lenexa, KS resident and his wife, Amy, are the parents of a teenage daughter and son. To contact Dan via email click here.



Marketing Team

Lonnie Beeler - Regional Marketing Manager Oregon

Lonnie Beeler has served as SI Funeral Services’ Regional Marketing Manager for the Oregon, Washington and Northern California area since April, 2006. His duties include marketing and outside sales for the West Coast region, with office and plant in Clackamas, OR. Born in Portland and raised in the Columbia Gorge area, Lonnie spent 30 years selling custom wheels and managing a retail tire store before starting in the funeral business in 1992 as a casket delivery truck driver for Oregon Wilbert. He was promoted in 1994 to manager of their casket plant with duties that included ordering materials, production, inventory control, customer service, deliveries, hiring and training. He continued in this position in 2000 when SI purchased the company. In 2004, Lonnie opened the California casket sales territory for SI and added the Eastern and Southern Washington areas in ’05. Residents of Clackamas, Lonnie and his wife, Nancy, have two married daughters and one granddaughter. For 15 years, in addition to his other jobs, Lonnie coached girls’ basketball for the local high school. His favorite pastimes are golf, taking the family boating and watching one of his daughters coaching girl’s high school basketball. To contact Lonnie via email click here.


Eddie Bierschwale - Regional Marketing Manager Texas

Mr. Bierschwale oversees all marketing relations of the Texas region. Eddie joined Suhor in February 2005 as a Regional Marketing Manager. In this role, Bierschwale focuses on establishing and maintaining a consistent high level of training and merchandising in all markets of operation.

Prior to joining Suhor, Mr. Bierschwale worked with Brookehill Funeral Group as a location manager of the Oak Hills Mortuary in San Antonio, where he had worked as a funeral director and embalmer since 1981. To contact Eddie via email, click here.


 



Debbie Fleming – Regional Marketing Manager Pennsylvania


Debbie Fleming joined SI Funeral Services as Regional Marketing Manager for Pennsylvania and Ashtabula, OH, when SI purchased Horton Precast in December, 2006. A graduate of Gannon University in Erie, PA, Debbie has a BS degree in Biology and a minor in Accounting. She started in the funeral industry in 1970 working as an Administrative Assistant for two funeral homes, before switching to burial vault sales with Horton’s in 2000. Since 1980, she has served as Executive Director of the Erie/Crawford County Funeral Directors Association. Residents of Cambridge Springs, PA, Debbie and her husband, Don, have four children. Besides her full time jobs as Mom and SI Marketing Manager, Debbie has been a teacher for her home-schooled children for 15 years, as well as been involved in her church’s woman’s prison ministry. To contact Debbie via email click here.

 

 



Michael Nash – Regional Marketing Manager Missouri
 
Michael Nash, a licensed funeral director and embalmer, joined SI Funeral Services in May, 2005 as Regional Marketing Manager for Missouri Operations.

A native of St. Joseph, Missouri, Mike began working in the funeral industry while in high school as a part-time employee for Meierhoffer Family Funeral Home. He attended Missouri Western State College and received a mortuary science degree from Kansas City Kansas Community College in 1998.

In 1999, Mike began working for Stewart Enterprises, the parent company for D.W Newcomer's Sons Funeral Homes in Kansas City, Missouri. In December 2000, he joined Heaton-Bowman/Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel in St. Joseph and returned to Newcomer's to oversee the daily operation of their White Chapel facility in 2002.

Mike is a member of the Missouri Funeral Director's Association, the Knights of Columbus and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Padraig Pearse Division, Kansas City, Missouri. To contact Michael via email click here.


Matt Stewart - Regional Marketing Manager Oklahoma

Matt Stewart joined SI Funeral Services in November 2007 as Marketing Manager for the Oklahoma region.  Matt is a licensed funeral director and has spent more than 14 years in funeral service.  A graduate of the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, Matt also earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.  He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and resides in Ardmore, Oklahoma.  To contact Matt via email, click here.