Leadership | Foundation Partners


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

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

Richard graduated with Honors from Florida State University with a BS in Accounting. He joined Foundation Partners at its inception in 2010 when it was created by an asset sale due to the merger of Keystone North America (KNA) and Service Corporation Inc (SCI). As KNA’s Corporate Controller, Richard led the accounting conversion project between the two companies and went on to become Foundation Partners’ first Chief Accounting Officer. In this role, he oversaw both internal and external financial reporting, internal controls, risk management and both treasury & equity sponsor relationships. Richard then served as VP of FP&A leading Foundation Partners’ merger and acquisition strategy and all financial, planning, and analysis functions. Richard 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.

Andrew Clark
Chief Customer Officer

Andrew is a graduate of the Funeral Service program at St. Petersburg College and began his career at Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services in Ocala, Florida. In early 2009, he was promoted to the position of Director of Operations for five locations, and upon Hiers-Baxley joining Foundation Partners in 2012, Andrew took on the role of Area Vice president for the Southeast Region overseeing operations in eight states. In 2018, Andrew accepted his current position of Chief Customer Officer where he leads all field operations, operational strategy, sales, and customer experience activities across the company.

In November 2011, Andrew was appointed to the Florida Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services where he will serve through September 30, 2019. Andrew is the former chairman of the Board of Directors for the Marion County YMCA as well as the Executive Board Chairman.

Sundria Ridgley
Senior Vice President, General Counsel

As General Counsel, Sundria is responsible for the legal function of Foundation Partners, including transactional, regulatory, compliance, acquisition, and litigation matters involving the company and its subsidiaries. Before joining Foundation Partners, Sundria served as Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, and Chief Litigation and Employment Counsel of Urban One, Inc. (f/k/a Radio One, Inc.), a publicly traded radio broadcast, cable television, and digital media company.

A native of DeLand, Florida, Sundria is a Dean’s List graduate of Georgetown University and Georgetown University Law Center. She is licensed to practice law in Florida, New York, Ohio, and Washington, D.C.

Mike Doyle
Senior Vice President, Operations Finance

Mike Doyle

Mike graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Mathematics and has an MBA in Finance, Strategy and Operations from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  Mike first joined Foundation Partners in 2011 as Director of Strategic Planning and has held a number of different responsibilities across the organization, focused on improving profitability through strategy, marketing, operations and finance.  Mike currently serves as SVP Operations Finance.   Prior to Foundation Partners, Mike was a consultant with Mercer in their Retirement, Risk and Finance Practice.  From late 2014 through early 2017, Mike served as SVP Ecommerce and Analytics at HomeTeam Marketing where he led the creation of the technology solutions business line and oversaw the company’s analytics strategy. 

Erin Whitaker
Senior Vice President, Business Development

Erin graduated from Georgia Tech University with a Chemical Engineering degree followed by an International MBA from the University of South Carolina. She began her career as a chemical engineer at Kodak but came back to her family’s funeral home and became a third generation licensed funeral director and embalmer. Taking what she learned from her family’s firm, Erin left to work as a consultant with The Foresight Company to help funeral homes and cemeteries across the country set and achieve their business goals.

Erin currently serves on the CANA Board of Directors and formerly served on the South Carolina Funeral Directors Association Board of Directors, the NFDA Public Relations Committee, and the Piedmont Technical College School of Funeral Service Advisory Board. She is a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, Certified Preplanning Consultant and holds a Black Belt in Six Sigma methodology.

Justin Baxley
Vice President, Business Integration & Assimilation

A second-generation Funeral Director, Justin received his Associate Degree in Mortuary Science from St. Petersburg College and bachelor’s degree in business management from Saint Leo University. Prior to joining Foundation Partners Group, Justin was Owner and President of Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services and Highland Memorial Park – a 130-year old multi-location firm in North Central FL. He has previously served as Chief Customer Officer and as SVP, Business Development at Foundation Partners Group. Currently, he serves as VP of Business Integration & Assimilation, working to ensure a best in class transition for firms joining the Foundations Partners family.

He is a past-member of the Florida Board of Funeral, Cemetery, and Consumer Services, former Trustee for The Funeral Service Foundation, and is active in speaking to the death care profession on issues relating to staying relevant to the changing needs of consumers.

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.

Field Advisory Board

Marie Henry


Marie has more than 20-years of experience in the funeral services industry progressing from accounting and corporate training roles to general manager at Service Corporation International (SCI). In 2016, she was recruited to the Chief Operations Officer position at OM Stone, a national monument company. Marie joined Foundation Partners in 2017 as a Market Leader responsible for managing their 5 businesses in Portland, Oregon. Marie has been a Certified Funeral Celebrant for nearly a decade and continues to share her passion for helping families create unique expressive ceremonies that honor the life story of their loved one. Marie holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a human resources minor from Warner Pacific College. She was a member of the State of Oregon Mortuary and Cemetery Board from 2015 to 2016 and served on the Metro Cemetery Advisory Committee from 2014 to 2019. She was also appointed to be a board member for the Cemetery Association of Oregon (CAO) in May 2019. Marie’s strong operational and leadership background, along with her passion for creating meaningful experiences, provides a perfect sounding board for evaluating and operationalizing innovative products and services at Foundation Partners.

Danny Jefferson

A native of North Carolina, Danny has dedicated over 40 years of his life to helping families and mentoring future leaders in the funeral services industry. A graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Mortuary Science, Danny was selected to the dean's list every semester and earned a Scholastic Achievement Award. He is a nationally licensed funeral director/embalmer as well as a licensed life insurance agent. Danny serves on numerous community boards and foundations in Kernersville, NC where he is the Managing Director of Pierce-Jefferson Funeral Home. He currently serves as a District Director for the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association and was recently elected to the office of Secretary/Treasurer. Danny has been recognized with numerous awards by his local community as well as his peers having been selected as the 2017 National Funeral Director of the Year. Danny provides his unrivaled operational experience and his insights on optimizing the customer experience to the Foundation Partners team to help ensure all locations can exceed their families’ expectations.

John T. McQueen, CFSP

John is a third generation native of St. Petersburg, FL with roots dating back to the days when Spain controlled Florida. As a second-generation funeral director / embalmer, John grew up working alongside his father in the family funeral home, Anderson McQueen. Upon the death of his father in 1987, John, along with his siblings, took over running the family business. John graduated Valedictorian from Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service and in 2010 became the President and CEO of Anderson McQueen upon buying out his siblings.  Under his leadership, the firm continued to grow into the largest family-owned funeral home in Florida with six funeral homes, a cemetery, an onsite private crematory and a pet cremation division.  John has been active in numerous professional associations on a state, national and international basis, serving in a variety of capacities from committee member to board member to president.  John is well-known throughout funeral service as an innovator, speaker and leader.  John’s expertise in brand segmentation, culture building and pet cremation is invaluable to Foundation Partners’ ongoing growth initiatives.

Paul Neville


Paul grew up in Colorado Springs, Colorado where his father was stationed at the U.S. Air Force Academy. He attended the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and is a 1984 graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in Pittsburgh, PA.  During his career, Paul has held several leadership positions with Service Corporation International (SCI), the Keystone Group and Foundation Partners. In 2011, when Foundation Partners purchased Bring’s Broadway Chapel in Tucson, Paul became the General Manager. He is past president of the Arizona Funeral, Cemetery & Cremation Association and is currently on the Board of Directors for the association. Paul is able to provide direct and honest feedback from a location level experience that is invaluable for the success of Foundation Partners’ initiatives going forward.

Kevin Waterston

Kevin grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota where his family established a funeral home in 1955. After attending the University of Minnesota, he became a licensed funeral director in 1981. Having lived above the funeral home until age 21, he became keenly aware of every aspect of operations, from car washing to marketing. In 1980, Kevin and his brother Mark traveled around the country looking at a variety of cremation businesses searching for a model they could  emulate back home. After learning all they could, they founded the Cremation Society of Minnesota (CSM) and a system of doing business that is still in place today. Kevin is currently leading CSM as Managing Director and is a past president of the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) & Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC). Kevin brings a wealth of experience and innovative ideas to Foundation Partners as well as a passion for growing cremation businesses.

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.