Tim Bridgers, Senior Vice President of Funeral Home and Cemetery Lending, Live Oak Bank. As a former business owner, Tim understands the challenges that business owners face. Combined with his extensive experience in financing, Tim’s team has provided over $500 million in loans nationwide to owners of funeral homes, cemeteries and cremation businesses. He was recently named a Funeral Service Innovator by American Funeral Director magazine for his thought leadership and innovation in creating the Inventory Growth Loan for cemetery inventory expansion. He serves as a Trustee for the Selected Educational Trust board. Tim studied Mechanical Engineering at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Business at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and completed his Finance degree at Liberty University. This diverse education prepared Tim for success in sales, marketing, and management.
Bob Gordon, Jr, President and CEO, Cypress Lawn Cemetery. Bob is a California native and 1988 Business Administration and Marketing graduate from San Diego State University and has been in the funeral service and cemetery industry since 1980. As a 4th generation funeral industry leader, he was born into a funeral and cemetery family and began his career in funeral service at the age of 15 on the grounds crew of his grandfather’s firm, Oakdale Mortuary & Memorial Park in Glendora, California. He eventually would work in every position at the cemetery and funeral home, rising to the level of Vice President and remaining there until he left the family business after 14 years of service. As the SCI Market Sales Director for Orange and San Diego Counties, his leadership encompassed twelve locations, including six large funeral home/cemetery combinations and six stand-alone locations that together produced $85 million annually in arrangements. For over 18 years, Bob had consistently ranked as one of the top Sales Executives in SCI North America prior to accepting the position of President and CEO for Cypress Lawn Cemetery Association. Bob has been at highest leadership role with Cypress Lawn for over two years and continues to make a difference at this successful bay area funeral and cemetery company. He is also a licensed funeral director and cemetery broker.
Welton Hong, Founder and Owner, Ring Ring Marketing. Welton is the author of Making Your Phone Ring with Internet Marketing for Funeral Homes, 2019 Edition. He specializes in helping independent funeral homes and other cremation providers grow their businesses by utilizing cutting-edge online marketing techniques. Welton is a regular contributor of articles about deathcare marketing to The Director, the official publication of the NFDA. Prior to starting Ring Ring Marketing, he was a senior technologist at R&D facilities for Intel, Sun Microsystems, and Oracle. Welton has a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Steve Shaffer, President and CEO, Homesteaders Life Company. Steve, who joined Homesteaders in 2014, is a well-known and influential executive in the funeral and cemetery business. Prior to joining Homesteaders, Steve co-founded and served as President-CEO of Foundation Partners Group, LLC. He led an organization created to combine the best aspects of conventional end-of-life care with new ideas and technologies. His experience in the funeral service profession helps ensure Homesteaders is well-positioned to continue its strong tradition of growth, profitability and financial strength. Steve completed two three-year terms as a Funeral Service Foundation Trustee. He earned an undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Bloomington.
Angelique Simpson, Professional Development Manager for Matthews Aurora. Angelique has been a much sought-after speaker, trainer and personal development coach for individuals, teams and corporations for the past 25 years. Angelique is well known for her high energy and dynamic training programs that express learning in an exciting way. Angelique’s journey as a Trainer started in the healthcare industry, but through the years she has supported training for the real estate industry, the medical field, funeral service and legal firms to name a few. Angelique joined the Matthews Aurora team in 2016 where she gets to share her positive energy and true passion for Professional Development. Angelique is a UCLA graduate and lives in Seal Beach California.