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 Marketing
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 Business Analysis
Kevin, like many Mid-westerners, had the good sense to come to Arizona for college. He attended Arizona State University and received a B.S in Marketing in 1992. He began a career in research and consulting for a multinational firm located in St. Paul, MN. His focus transitioned to financial analysis and consulting and that continued upon joining Foresight in 2003.
In addition to valuation and general consulting assignments, Kevin takes particular interest in business succession and M&A assignments as well as managing the business analysis staff. Businesses rely on sound business and financial data. The primary function of the Business Analysis group is to interpret the needs of a client by studying and evaluating the financial and operating data of their company. The work we do will assist management in operating more efficiently and effectively. This department is responsible for generating reports summarizing financial data for use by executives, managers and other stakeholders when making business decisions.
Kevin enjoys spending time with his young, entrepreneur son and their two Labrador Retrievers. Kevin’s hobbies include reading, movies and chess as well as golf and other outdoor activities Arizona weather permitting.
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.
Marketing Development Manager
As Marketing Development Manager, Steve brings an extensive breadth of knowledge from his experience in the funeral service industry. His primary focus is building and refining relationships with funeral home owners to gain an understanding of their objectives, challenges and strategies for the future.
Steve Zittle is a native of Baltimore, MD and holds an A.A.S. degree in Mortuary Science from Catonsville Community College, as well as a B.A. in Business Administration from Ashford University. He began his career in funeral service as a licensed intern in 1991 and has been licensed in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina.
In 2010, he helped launch the Family Choice Funerals & Cremations brand in Virginia Beach, VA, and was made a partner in 2013. Under his leadership the brand’s two locations have grown to serve over three hundred fifty families annually. He will continue to serve as Executive V.P. of Operations for Family Choice.
Mr. Zittle also owns the Select Cremation & Burial brand, which he started in 2014. Select Cremation currently operates on an online platform, and is poised for expansion of physical locations as well. Steve is passionate about improving the operational effectiveness of funeral directors and funeral home owners.
Steve and his wife, Kristi have thirteen children, three grandsons, and live in Mooresville, NC. In his free time, he enjoys rooting for his beloved Baltimore Ravens.
Shannon has a Bachelor of Science in Sociology from Arizona State University. For the past 20 years, she has worked in various industries ranging from Aerospace Engineering firms to Staffing and Recruitment, and has worked as variety of roles specializing in Administrative and Accounting.
Shannon’s role at Foresight is as a Bookkeeper / Financial Clerk. Shannon brings her many years of experience to her role at The Foresight Companies. She is highly motivated and strives for accuracy and timeliness to all of her work.
Outside of work, Shannon enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage daughters. She and her husband have owned their own small business for the last 17 years. Her hobbies include reading, sewing, and believe it or not, video games.
Director of Operations
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 staff accountant at Foresight. He works closely with Mark McGaffin to assist in providing quality accounting services to our clients. Russell is a recent graduate from Grand Canyon University, where he received his Bachelors of Science in Accounting. He is currently pursuing his Masters of Accountancy. While attending school Russell is able to maintain his standing on the dean’s list, be an active father, and work full time. He is an expert at prioritizes and multitasking which helps him excel at Foresight as he services multiple client accounts while providing accurate real time accounting.
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 or enjoy relaxing by watching movies.
Director of Accounting Services
Mark is the Director of Accounting Services for the Foresight Companies. He will be leading our staff in providing financial information that allows our clients to have a picture of their day to day, week to week and month to month financial position. Mark will also be interfacing with our Business Analysis group to provide up to date financial information that they will use to help our clients add value to their company.
Mark’s past professional experience includes working with closely held businesses as well as their owners providing audit, accounting, tax and business consulting services. Mark has served and continues to serve on business and non-profit boards of directors in Phoenix to share his experience and give back to our community.
Mark is originally from Upstate New York and attended Siena College outside of Albany, New York. He received his Bachelors in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting and became a CPA after moving to Arizona. Mark has worked with companies with operations throughout the United States and a few with international operations as well.
When he’s not having fun working, Mark enjoys watching professional, college and high school sports. He also has four children all in the Phoenix area and has coached each of them over the years in a variety of sports. Mark also coached junior high and high school basketball at a few local schools. He enjoys traveling and spending time in California with his children and their significant others. Reading, movies, and philosophical discussions fill up the rest of his free time.
Senior Staff Accountant
Rebecca is a senior staff accountant at Foresight. She works with Mark McGaffin and 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.
Salwa is an administrative assistant at the Foresight Companies. She is responsible for assisting the Foresight Companies’ staff with a variety of daily operational tasks, and assures their workflow stays seamless and organized. She fields incoming calls, sets meetings and works with marketing on our social media efforts.
Salwa moved to the United States of America from Yemen. She is currently pursuing her Accountancy degree at the W.P Carey – ASU. Her hobbies include painting and reading.
Senior Staff Accountant
Rodger is a senior staff accountant at Foresight. He works with Mark McGaffin and the accounting services group to provide quality financial data to our clients. Rodger has worked in accounting for over 20 years, primarily in public accounting firms. He has experience with a wide variety of industries from nuclear power plant cleaning to home building construction to restaurants.
Rodger was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. He received his bachelor’s degree from Kaplan University. He moved to the Phoenix area in November 2012. His hobbies include bowling, hiking, bicycling, and trying to cook.
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.
Graduating Magna Cum Laude from Arizona State University in 2018, he received his B.S. degrees in both Finance and Economics while minoring in Mathematics. He was part of the Investment Banking and Consulting Club as well as the Financial Management Association facilitating the growth of his passion for finance.
Jarod joined the Foresight team in the summer of 2018. As a Business Analyst, his focus is on financial analysis and valuation assignments.
For fun, Jarod stays active playing softball multiple nights a week. He enjoys being active with friends and builds many of his relationships through sports like golf, football, volleyball and bowling.
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.