The Foresight Companies, LLC provide the most comprehensive services to funeral service professionals nationwide. As a result, Dan Isard is nationally recognized as an authority in valuation, succession planning, business management, mergers and acquisitions, and preneed. He is frequently called upon as an expert witness in disputes arising within the funeral service industry. He and his staff have appraised over 2500 funeral homes, 800 cemeteries, and 300 cremation operators. They have coordinated hundreds of business transfers between every possible type of buyer and seller. The financial and business management consulting that they have provided over the years has enabled funeral service professionals and their families to reap well-deserved personal rewards while enhancing their ability to deliver quality services to their communities.
Active in the financial services industry since 1974, Daniel M. Isard specializes in advising owners of successful closely-held businesses. During the past three decades, he has developed close relationships with funeral directors, cemeterians, and combination operators across the United States, and has established his reputation as a trusted adviser to business owners and their families.
Dan Isard consults with clients on matters including feasibility studies, appraisals, mergers, acquisitions, business management assignments, family transfers, and securing financing. In addition, he continues to testify as an expert witness in litigation across the USA.
During his career, Dan has been privileged to present over 500 speeches to groups large and small, had more than 300 articles published in all major death care industry media, and written two books. Since 2005, Dan has been a monthly columnist for the NFDA’s The Director magazine, writing a column entitled, “Finance 101.” His column stresses the business-like applications of finance and business management within an industry that does not usually employ business protocols. In 2016 Dan and his team started writing a new monthly column for the ICCFA Magazine called “Cemetery Impossible”. The column, which focuses on cemeteries, highlights a problem and a corresponding fix. This is akin to the business fixing television shows where restaurant, hotels, and bars undergo reconstruction or implement new business practices.
In addition, Dan has been interviewed by and quoted in prestigious publications such as the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Forbes, Business Week, and Money Magazine. He has been interviewed for local TV and radio as well as CBS’s 60 Minutes, American Greed and NPR’s All Things Considered.
Director of Sales
Jeff is the Director of Marketing for The Foresight Companies, LLC. He is responsible for leading our company into the future by providing the finest level of service to our clients and elevating Foresight to a whole new level of market presence and reach by social media. Jeff has demonstrated a drive as a business person, an industry leader and brings experienced leadership on the battlefield of funeral industry innovation. Jeff knows about marketing a professional firm to tomorrow’s consumer.
Jeff started his funeral service career as a Sales Representative for Batesville Casket Company and had the opportunity to work with over 500 funeral homes assisting owners and directors with merchandising their products, training and formulating business strategies. During his tenure, Jeff discovered a need for developing a lean funeral home operating model with an emphasis on providing a “positive funeral experience.” As one of the Founders of the Family Choice Funerals & Cremations™ brand Jeff combines firsthand experience gained from managing and operating a funeral to provide training and Accounts Receivable Management solutions to funeral directors.
Jeff is a regular funeral industry guest speaker at conventions and meetings including the Asia Funeral Expo in Macau, China. As co-host with Ryan Thogmartin on the Funeral Nation TV web show, Jeff’s reach and influence in the funeral industry continues to broaden.
His Funeral Commander Blog has become a popular read globally in over 60 countries where Jeff offers his insights, opinions and humor from his perspective on varied subjects. Jeff has been published in several funeral periodicals including the Funeral Business Advisor, American Funeral Director, Southern Funeral Director, American Cremation & Cemetery, Connecting Directors and various newspapers.
Jeff attended College of the Albemarle, Elizabeth City State University and is a graduate of the North Carolina Military Academy. After serving 20 years in the North Carolina Army National Guard, Jeff retired at the rank of Captain. During his service, Jeff received numerous awards and citations including the Meritorious Service Ribbon and he is a Veteran of Operation Desert Storm. As a Platoon and Senior TAC Officer at Officers Candidate School, Jeff trained over 400 enlisted and non-commissioned officers to become commissioned officers and leaders, some still serving in combat today. Jeff currently resides in Phoenix.
Director of HR Services/Senior Business Analyst
Stephanie Ramsey decided to brave tornadoes when she graduated from a high school in Nevada to attend Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, OK. After completing a BS degree in Business with a specialty in International Management and a minor in economics, Stephanie was drawn to Arizona to attend The American Graduate School of International Business.
After graduating with a Master’s degree in International Management in 1988, she began working at Capital Analyst, Inc. where she met Dan Isard. Within a year Stephanie began working with Foresight Analyst focused on HR issues including designing employee handbooks and writing blood borne pathogens policies for the Foresight clients. By December of 1990, Stephanie was a full-time Customer Service Representative doing M & A, valuations, business succession planning and business consulting in addition to the HR work.
In late 2002, Stephanie decided to step out from under Dan’s wing to learn a new industry, Native American Gaming. For 12 years, she worked for various tribes either as an employee or as a consultant performing financial analysis, business management consulting and leadership, auditing and many other roles. She has served as the Tribal Administrator for an Oklahoma tribe managing a staff of over 200 employees.
In the summer of 2014, Stephanie returned to her business management consulting roots by rejoining The Foresight Companies. As Senior Business Analyst, she interprets the needs of a client by studying and evaluating the financial and operating data of their company as well as handling HR challenges faced by our clients. She is a frequent speaker at national and state industry conventions and writes on HR issues for many of the funeral industry magazines. Currently she is working from Oklahoma.
Stephanie has a husband who she met at Oklahoma State University, a son who recently graduated from Oklahoma State and a daughter who is attending The University of Arkansas. She has a passion for horseback riding, hiking and reading.
Director of Administration
Ten years ago, Catherine Belliveau, a native Bostonian, left her quaint New England Village home and uprooted her family to the Wild West. She quickly fell in love with the topography of Arizona as well as the desert sunsets.
After completing a BS degree in Business with a focus in Finance she worked as a Retirement Asset Analyst at CIGNA. For the next 10+ years she focused on developing retirement investment products including, separate accounts, mutual funds and variable annuity/life products for leading insurance companies. In 2000 Catherine left the corporate world to focus on raising her two daughters but continued to work as office manager and marketing assistant for a local financial planner.
In 2012 Catherine returned to the full time working world as the Office Manager/Bookkeeper for a residential real estate development company. Shortly thereafter she met Dan Isard and in January 2014 she joined his business and they combined households as well. Their combined family includes three daughters, a son and a dog.
Catherine is responsible for operating the Foresight office and ensuring that the team has the tools they need to be successful. In addition she keeps Dan Isard traveling to the right cities at the right time.
When not at the office Catherine enjoys the amazing Phoenix weather playing golf, running and hiking the trails behind her home. In addition she likes to spend time scuba diving and exploring museums and foreign countries.
Senior Staff Accountant
Russell is a senior staff accountant at Foresight. He is responsible for providing quality accounting services to our clients. Russell is a recent graduate from Grand Canyon University, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and in 2018, his Master of Accountancy. He is currently pursuing his CPA designation.
While attending school Russell was able to maintain his standing on the dean’s list, be an active father, and work full time for a public tax service company. He is an expert at multitasking which helps him excel at Foresight as he services multiple client accounts while providing accurate accounting and tax preparation work.
When not focused on work or furthering his educational goals, Russell enjoys spending time with his two daughters. They participate in outdoor activities such as horseback riding and enjoy relaxing by watching movies.
Senior Staff Accountant
Rebecca is a senior staff accountant at Foresight. She works with the accounting services group to provide quality financial data to our clients. Rebecca has worked in accounting for over 20 years in a variety of industries including manufacturing and service. She has done accounting for small to mid-sized companies and held every accounting position from AP clerk to controller. Recently, Rebecca has worked on ERP conversions and compliance issues.
Rebecca was raised in Napa Valley, attended California State University and after living on the East Coast for 12 years, she moved to Arizona in 2006. Her hobbies include cooking, embroidery and fantasy football.
A Phoenix native, Kyle obtained his Bachelor’s in Economics and his Masters in Finance from the W.P Carey School of Business at Arizona State University in 2015 and 2017 respectively. Kyle joined the Foresight Companies in April of 2018 as a member of the business analyst team focusing on business and financial evaluations.
When out of the office Kyle is an avid gamer and poker player. However, Kyle does put family first, even if it means helping at the family business on days off.
Ryland is a marketing/administrative assistant with the Foresight Companies. Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University in 2018, he received his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing while obtaining an Associate’s degree in Computer Science. While he loves to be creative and draw outside the lines, he also helps the staff stay organized and focused on their daily tasks.
He is responsible for assisting the Foresight Companies’ staff with a variety of daily operational tasks, and assures their workflow stays seamless and organized. He fields incoming calls, sets meetings and works with marketing on our social media and community communication efforts.
Ryland was born and raised in Ontario, Canada. When he is out of the office he likes to hang out with friends, go hiking, swimming, ice skating and go on the occasional Flagstaff trip.
James Malone is a W. P. Carey School of Business graduate from Arizona State University. He graduated with a degree in Business Law while working as a Data Analyst for Insight Enterprises (A Fortune 500 Information Technology Provider.) James joined The Foresight Companies as a member of the Business Analyst team in 2019 where he works on our client’s business and financial evaluations.
James takes great pleasure in serving those within his community. A cause that he has worked with extensively is Dream for Veterans and Dream Foundation. These organizations are dedicated to serving terminally-ill adults and their families by providing end-of-life Dreams that offer inspiration, comfort and closure. For the past four years, James has represented them in multiple venues and has spoken on the behalf of Dream Foundation and the families they serve.
James's hobbies include ballroom dancing, chess, and finding new ways to challenge himself. Whether it be enduring some of Arizona’s rigorous hiking trails, or learning a new skill, the challenge of something new is always exhilarating.
Joshua joined Foresight in August 2019 shortly after graduating from Arizona State University where he received his B.S. degree in Finance. He holds active memberships in the Financial Management Association and National Honor Society for his academic excellence. As a Business Analyst, his focus is on financial analysis, business transaction and valuation assignments.
Joshua was born and raised in the heart of Phoenix. Outside of the office, Joshua enjoys traveling, taking his dog Dexter on hikes, and participating in all the professional sports organizations Arizona has to offer.
Kelly is a staff accountant and the Foresight Company’s bookkeeper. She handles the day-to-day accounting related tasks and reports company financials to the management team. Her career has taken her from soft drinks and software to property management and construction industry supporting roles.
Kelly and her husband recently moved to Arizona in early 2019 from her home state of Virginia. The move was prompted by the warmer year-round climate and a lower cost of living. While she enjoys the warmer temperatures, she and her husband can typically be found indoors, engrossed in intellectual conversations or enjoying the latest movies and documentaries. She has a degree in Marketing from the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech.
Nina is the Executive Assistant at The Foresight Companies. Her responsibilities include planning, prioritizing and organizing administrative, office and marketing activities to support Foresight’s management team. Nina also updates social media marketing campaigns and the editorial submissions.
Nina holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration and her lifelong focus has been supporting others and helping them shine. She moved to Arizona from New Jersey in 2017, where she had a long career in both the private and public sectors. She spent several years in the pharmaceutical industry as an Executive Assistant, supporting C-suite executives in Sales, IT, Compliance, Regulatory and Clinical Development. In addition, she has planned and hosted corporate events across the globe and acted as Sales Coordinator and Oncology Compliance Officer.
Prior to her career in pharmaceuticals, Nina was a journalist and published in many local and county newspapers. Her background also includes roles in municipal and state government. She was a licensed Realtor for many years in New Jersey and currently holds an active Arizona Realtor license.
Nina has been a member of Toastmasters International for many years and currently serves as President of the Desert Ridge Toastmasters Club. She has a daughter, who is doctor in Arizona; a son, who is a detective in Pennsylvania; and three grandchildren.
Jared Tanke graduated Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University with a degree in Finance. He joined Foresight as a Business Analyst in September 2019 after working for Hillandale Capital, a small investment firm in Scottsdale where he was involved in deal sourcing, due diligence and market research.
Jared is excited to be a member of the Business Analyst team and help clients with business transactions, financial valuations and analysis.
Jared has resided in Arizona for the past four years and has enjoyed getting outside, playing sports and spending time with family. He is a very passionate tennis player and will play any sport that involves a racquet or paddle.
Staff Accountant/Tax Specialist
Nancy’s responsibilities at Foresight include personal and business tax planning, preparation and filings for our clients. In addition, she supports our Senior Staff Accountants in the completion of Foresight’s standard financial cycle reporting process.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in Accounting from National University (San Diego, CA). Nancy is currently enrolled in the university of Phoenix master’s in accountancy program and expects to graduate in March 2020. She has 12 years of public accounting and taxation experience, 2 years of experience in accounting for the private sector, and 1 year of experience in government accounting. In addition, Nancy has maintained her Enrolled Agent status from the Internal Revenue Service since December 2012.
Originally from San Diego, CA, Nancy and her husband moved to Arizona two years ago. She enjoys singing and playing with her two boys. In her spare time Nancy watches documentary films as well as comedy and fiction, works on jigsaw puzzles, knitting projects, plays board games, and travels.
2019 marks Curtis Rostad’s 50th year in funeral service. He has been fortunate to see funeral service from many vantage points- employee, owner, corporate employee, trainer, consultant, and association executive.
His first funeral home job and internship was in Rapid City, SD and began immediately after graduating from high school. In 1972 he attended Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science and upon graduation returned to Rapid City and obtained his funeral service license. In 1984 he moved to Rawlins, Wyoming to become the owner of what would become Rostad Mortuary. He also became part-time Executive Director of the Wyoming Funeral Directors Association and later served in that capacity for the Colorado Funeral Directors Association.
In 1995 he sold the mortuary to the Loewen Group and continued to manage it until being asked to join Prime Succession as their Director of Education.
For 6 years he worked for the Foresight Companies and left to take the position of Executive Director of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association in 2005. He retired from IFDA at the end of 2016.
Along the way he has become a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP); Certified Association Executive (CAE); Certified Forensics Examiner (FACFEI); received an honorary doctorate from The Dallas Institute of Funeral Service; and was awarded the Sagamore of The Wabash from the Governor of the State of Indiana. He is well known as an author and speaker within funeral service.
He and his wife, Jodie moved to Fountain Hills, Arizona in 2018 to escape cold winters and be closer to family.
He has now rejoined The Foresight Companies on a part-time basis to assist clients in the areas of human resources as well as OSHA and FTC compliance.
If he is not immediately available, he is probably outside enjoying the Arizona weather or is in Wyoming with his two daughters, son-in-law, and three grandchildren.
Doug Gober began his funeral service career thirty-nine years ago as a sales representative in the casket industry. He has earned numerous national awards from various organizations within the death care industry. Doug also served as a consultant on various marketing and merchandising projects conducted on an international scale.
In 1995, Doug joined The Doody Group as Executive Vice President working in the United Kingdom and France. Doug successfully directed the European operations for the company. He was instrumental in planning and implementing several innovative merchandising concepts and products created by The Doody Group, Matthews International and other leading manufacturers. Doug was a pioneer in developing the York Merchandising SystemsTM, which offered in more than 6,000 funeral homes in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. He also presented marketing and merchandising seminars to industry professionals worldwide.
In 2011, Doug joined Carriage Services, Inc. as the Director of Development and Marketing. Doug identified, developed and led the execution and implementation of Carriage’s strategic planning initiatives. Doug and his staff developed internal and external training programs to improve the service and merchandise offerings of Carriage.
In 2012, Doug joined Live Oak Bank based in Wilmington, North Carolina. Live Oak Bank lends money to small businesses in select industries, one of which is death care management. As a result of his extensive experience in funeral service, accounting and finance, Doug served as an industry liaison and Senior Loan Officer, connecting those in death care management with the opportunity of financing.
In September 2014, Doug formed Gober Strategic Capital to broaden the range of counsel and resources he brings to death care businesses. In addition to helping arrange financing through Live Oak Bank, he helped business owners make the most of their strategic and market opportunities.
In his quest to provide funeral and cemetery owners successful business solutions, Doug has recently partnered with The Foresight Companies. Foresight enables Doug to expand his service offerings to include Accounting, Business Valuations, Human Resource Services, Strategic Business Analysis, Family Surveys, Accounts Receivable Management and Market Research as well as Financing.
A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Doug graduated from the University of Alabama in 1977, where he earned a Business Degree in Accounting. Subsequently, he became a Certified Public Accountant specializing in industrial audits and corporate taxes.
Doug is married to Victoria Amato and is based in New Orleans. He is the father of four children and has four grandchildren.
As Chief Operating Officer, Chris Cruger provides leadership, management and vision for The Foresight Companies in order to ensure that the proper resources, people and controls are in place to serve our clients. It is Chris’ responsibility to employ the best possible business practices to maximize client satisfaction with a seamless client service profile across the entire Foresight organization.
Chris began his career in funeral service twenty-three years ago as a financial analyst in corporate development for SCI, where he ultimately spent 13 years. Chris quickly rose through the ranks at SCI where he was Vice President of Business Development, responsible for Corporate Development, Real Estate, Construction and Affiliate Relationships.
Chris’ experience in the funeral industry spans throughout North America, across five continents and 25 countries. Over the past twenty years, Chris has analyzed several thousand funeral homes and cemeteries and has a unique depth of perspective in this industry. Chris has a demonstrated cross-dimensional experience in finance, sales, transactions and operational management with both public and private companies and their Board of Directors.
Chris has led multiple engagements on Corporate Strategy to create the long-term corporate strategy for SCI, multiple regional consolidators and independent operators in the funeral Industry. He has an extensive knowledge of business plan development, implantation and turnaround management.
Chris regularly consults with members of the financial community on matters related to the funeral industry and has strong relationships in capital markets.
Chris is a native New Englander who attended Lehigh University where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration with a focus on finance and accounting.
Chris is married to Lyndsay Anne and the father of two boys. His passions include golf, fitness, hunting, fishing, travel and being outdoors.