Leadership

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.

Robert Bukala
President and CEO

Bob graduated from DePaul University with an MBA in Finance. During his 7-year tenure at Knightsbridge, he helped the company grow from 55 employees, to a 700-employee industry leader with $140M in revenue. He served as the CFO of Worldwide Consulting & Integration for Hewlett Packard, where he consolidated the company’s global consulting operations. He then served as the Vice President-Finance for EDS-Americans, a division of Hewlett Packard. Prior to joining Foundation Partners in 2012, Bob was Chief Financial & Administrative Officer for Geomentum Inc. (an Interpublic Group agency). Bob focused on strengthening the financial and administrative disciplines of all related businesses in addition to spearheading an industry-leading joint venture with a competitor organization and leading the integration of acquired agencies into the holding company. Bob brings to his role over 30 years of financial and managerial expertise backed by stellar results.

Richard Benton, CPA
Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Richard Benton

As CFO Richard's primary responsibilities include accounting, treasury, mergers and acquisitions and budgeting. Prior to serving as CFO, Richard served as VP FP&A, his primary responsibilities included support of the company's merger and acquisition strategy and all financial, planning and analysis functions. Prior to his VP of FP&A role he served as the company's Chief Accounting Officer for 6 years overseeing both internal and external financial reporting, internal controls, risk management and both treasury & equity sponsor relationships.

Prior to joining FPG at its inception in June 2010, Richard served as Keystone North America (KNA) Corporate Controller following the merger between KNA and Service Corporation (SCI) in early 2010. During their FTC mandated "held-for-sale" process, he simultaneously lead the accounting conversion project between KNA and SCI. Richard held various other accounting positions with increasing responsibility including Accounting Manager during his time at KNA. Prior to joining KNA in 2007, Richard was a Senior Auditor for Deloitte and Touche.  Richard graduated with Honors from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant in Florida and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Florida Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Jim Ford
Senior Vice President, Chief Customer Officer

jim

Jim has been involved in key management positions in operations, sales and marketing in all facets of the funeral industry for over 25 years.  He most recently was the Vice President of Business Optimization for Foundation Partners. He had also served as COO and Senior Vice President of Operations for the Neptune Society for 9 years. Earlier, he was with Service Corporation International (SCI) and served in senior management positions during his 16 years with the company. They included: Cemetery Division Area General Manager, Area Vice President in Chicago, Illinois, Northern Regional President in Kansas City, Missouri, Chief Operating Officer of SCI Australia in Sydney, and Midwest Regional President in Indianapolis, Indiana. During that time he served on the Boards of Directors of the Illinois, Michigan, and Wisconsin Cemetery Associations and the Board of Directors of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association. He is a native of Southern California, and was a licensed Funeral Director in California, and attended Loyola University in Los Angeles.

Justin Baxley
Senior Vice President, Business Development

Justin Baxley

Growing-up in and around the funeral and cemetery profession has given Justin Baxley a unique perspective on serving grieving families and being a person of influence in the community. A second generation Funeral Director, Justin received his Associate Degree in Mortuary Science from St. Petersburg College and Bachelor Degree in Business Management from Saint Leo University. Prior to joining Foundation Partners Group, Justin was President of Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services and Highland Memorial Park. Leading a 128-year old multi-location firm, and casting a vision for the future, Justin developed a passion for creating experiences that are personal, meaningful, and intentional. For three years, he served as Chief Customer Officer at Foundation Partners Group, leading the effort to empower funeral professionals with tools and resources which capture, acknowledge, and share life's purpose. Currently, he serves as SVP of Business Development, working to continue the company's growth and influence as the funeral and cemetery profession's most innovative privately owned consolidator. He is a past-member of the Florida Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services and a current member of the Board's Probable Cause Panel. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for The Funeral Service Foundation.

Julie Judge
Vice President, Human Resources

Julie graduated from Hood College with a degree in Management and Human Resources.  She has led Human Resources teams in the retail, financial services, hospital, senior living and home health industries. Most notably she served Citi Group as a Senior HR leader, the Cleveland Clinic as their VP of Human Resources and Erickson Living as their SVP of Human Resources.

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.

Julie has 25 years of domestic and international Human Resources experience and a passion for improving both the employee and customer/patient experience.

Dave Ugan
Vice President, Information Technology

Dave has specialized in developing innovative technologies that have allowed businesses to grow quickly and increase profitability. He has worked in leadership roles within a variety of industries including Attractions & Hospitality, High Tech, Banking, Medical Manufacturing and Professional Services. He has participated in two IPO’s, three turnarounds and has sat on the advisory board of two successful high-tech startups. Prior to joining Foundation Partners Group, Dave developed the on-line marketing, social media and digital asset management teams for Ripley Entertainment. Dave is a certified project management professional and has presented technology papers at industry conventions. Dave graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science, has an MBA in Operations and Finance from the University of Southern California, and has completed the Attractions Leadership Program at The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.