According to this article in the Kokomo (Indiana) Perspective, the Ellers Mortuary and Cremation Center was acquired by Service Corporation International in 2016. Some feared that the acquisition would cause the Kokomo business, that had been in business since 1924, to lose its personal touch.
However, according to General Manager Jaime Handy, “the acquisition has actually strengthened the company’s ties to the community”. The funeral home has actually expanded the services it can offer to the community.
Ellers Mortuary and Cremation Center now:
- Offers affinity program discounts to certain businesses and members of the American Legion and VFW
- Has a 24-hour telephone counseling service that provides emotional support to those in need
- Has remained active in nonprofit endeavors
- Has added an on-site cremation center and offers free cremation seminars
You can access the Ellers Mortuary and Cremation Center web-site here.
Funeral Director Daily take: I found this article very interesting in that I find very few smaller communities write about positive aspects of acquisitions by larger companies. And, acquisitions by larger companies have been going on in smaller communities for a long time. Most of the time, the train of thought is that a larger company is taking over a home grown company so it will not be good for the community.
However, when done right, while not being perceived as “local”, in most instances the “local” people continue to work at the company and can continue to give that home grown feel. And, the larger acquisition company can provide resources that a local, home grown company sometimes cannot.
I know that there are really strong feelings on both sides of this issue in funeral service. But the fact is that acquisitions and growth by larger entities will continue to happen. In my community, in the recent past, we have had local automobile dealers purchased by larger companies, radio stations purchased by larger companies, a medical clinic purchased by a larger company, and industrial factories purchased by larger companies. It just isn’t in the funeral business.
And, while I liked and cared for those families and/or individuals that operated the businesses prior to the sales, I am hopeful that the new companies will also be good to the community. In this day and age, they know that if they aren’t, then their business will suffer.