Leadership

Combining industry leaders and business savvy.

Experienced business executives and veteran funeral home owners lead the Foundation Partners team, bringing their years of experience to the table. They combine their business expertise and innovative vision to help their Partners and Team Members navigate through the challenging waters of the changing funeral industry. Their invaluable insight and compassionate approach propels our Partners and Team Members to success as they care for Families across the country.

Executive Leadership Team

Chris Blackwell
Interim Chief Executive Officer

As Interim Chief Executive Officer, Chris Blackwell brings over 25 years of experience as a successful finance and investment executive. He oversees the company’s long-term growth, vision, and strategy, establishing Foundation Partners Group as an innovative leader in its industry. His leadership roles include Head of Investment Banking for Canaccord Genuity and Group Leader and Managing Director of Diversified Industries and Sponsor coverage at both CIBC and Scotia Bank. Chris also brought his expertise to international markets, having lived in Hong Kong while leading CIBC World Markets’ investment bank for Asia. A former Partner at Access Holdings, Chris holds an Honors Business Administration degree from the Ivey Business School at The University of Western Ontario and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Joseph Lauro
Interim Chief Financial Officer

As Interim Chief Financial Officer at Foundation Partners Group, Joseph Lauro brings a wealth of financial leadership experience and a track record of guiding companies through transformative change. With over 30 years of executive financial expertise, Mr. Lauro has successfully managed diverse companies and led significant capital market transactions. His strategic insights and hands-on approach make him a valuable asset in driving financial performance and facilitating growth initiatives. Mr. Lauro holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Georgia and was a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) inactive in Georgia.

Lee Senderov
Chief Marketing & Digital Officer

As Chief Marketing and Digital Officer, Lee is responsible for implementing, overseeing, and managing digital marketing and sales strategies that advance Foundation Partners’ brand organic growth. Previous roles include President of Digital at Richline Group, a Berkshire Hathaway Company and various roles launching and growing private equity and venture capital-backed start-up companies. Lee has a History degree from Brandeis University and obtained her MBA from the Harvard Business School.

Scott LePage
Executive Vice President of Operations

As Executive Vice President of Operations, Scott leads the funeral homes, cemeteries and back of house business areas for Foundation Partners Group. Under his guidance, Operations focuses on delivering world-class customer service, developing team members and achieving company business performance goals as we evolve to an industry-leading organization that paves the way for the funeral home of the future. Scott's career includes 12 years at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts where he was President, Americas and supported growth efforts for over 8000 hotels. His career started with the U.S. Navy where he flew F-14s, supporting operations in the Persian Gulf. Scott has an MBA and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.

Andrew Clark
Chief Customer Officer

As Chief Customer Officer, Andrew leads all front-of-house field operations, operational strategy, and customer experience activities across Foundation Partners Group. He joined Foundation partners in 2012 through its acquisition of Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services in Ocala, Florida. Andrew’s early success as Director of Operations with Hiers-Baxley honed the skills necessary for his current position, which he accepted in 2018. He graduated from the Funeral Service program at St. Petersburg College and began his career at Hiers-Baxley. Andrew has served on the Florida Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services since 2011.

David Noble
Senior Vice President, Strategy and M&A

As Senior Vice President of Strategy and M&A, David oversees strategy, operations analytics, M&A, and the emerging business unit for Foundation Partners Group. David previously worked at Bain & Company, where he focused on private equity diligence and strategy for consumer products, healthcare and software companies, and Google, where he supported Nest’s smart home hardware strategy. He has an MBA in Finance and Strategy from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and completed his undergraduate degree at Duke University.

Julie Judge
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

As Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Julie oversees all aspects of Foundation Partners Group’s Human Resources department. Her 25 years of experience in the field allows her to successfully plan, coordinate, and direct the company’s recruitment, training, and implementation of resources and benefits. Before joining Foundation Partners, Julie was the Senior HR leader at CitiGroup, the VP of Human Resources for the Cleveland Clinic, and the Senior Vice President of Human Resources at Erickson Living. Julie came to Foundation Partners in 2017 from Maxim Healthcare, where she served as the first Chief Experience Officer (CXO) in the home health industry. She graduated from Hood College with a degree in Management and Human Resources.

Field Advisory Board

Isabel Vieira

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is the daughter of emigrant parents from Portugal and first generation born in the United States.  After a 15-year career as Office Manager with Ernst & Young, she pursued a desire of exploring the death care industry.  She graduated from Mercer College where she received her degree in Mortuary science.  In 2005, she move to Florida with her family and purchased Beach Funeral Home, where she ran the business along with her husband, Mannie and son Christopher.  In 2019, they teamed with Foundation Group and currently is the location leader of two funeral home facilities.  She is a member of Holy Name of Jesus Church where she is an active member serving as a lector and on occasion serves as grief counsellor. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling and playing with her three amazing grandchildren.

Stephen J. Marana, Jr.

Steve is originally from Central Pennsylvania, and has been in the funeral industry since the mid 90’s. He is a graduate of Mount Aloysius College and St Francis College with a degree in Business Management, and received his degree in Mortuary Science from John Tyler College. Steve has worked in all aspects of the funeral industry, including stand-alone funeral homes and Funeral Home/Cemetery properties. He is a Certified Funeral Celebrant, CANA certified crematory operator, and a member of The Knights of Columbus. Steve is our Area 2 Central Market Leader, overseeing locations in KY, MD, NC, TN and VA. In his free time, Steve enjoys volunteering with “Food and Friends”, visiting local nursing homes/assisted living facilities with his dog for Pet Therapy, cooking, traveling abroad and riding his motorcycle. His ability to lead by example and foster community relationships is beneficial to the continued success of Foundation Partners Group.

Cole Waybright

A native of West Virginia, Cole is a graduate of Alderson-Broaddus University and the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.  After starting his career as a funeral director at independent funeral homes in Ohio and West Virginia, Cole quickly moved to Service Corporation International (SCI) where he advanced from Managing Funeral Director to Corporate Trainer to Senior Area Sales Director covering four states. Throughout his career Cole has held a variety of leadership positions in both at need and preneed sales, as well as cemetery sales. Cole is the former chair of the West Virginia Funeral Directors Association PAC and was on the board of the West Virginia Cemetery and Funeral Home Association. His strong background in sales and sales training, along with his deep understanding of preneed marketing, will help Foundation Partners successfully integrate innovative products and services into field operations.