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Blair Nelsen says...

Selling our company after 120 years of family ownership was a very difficult decision. Having developed a relationship with both Tom and Jake Johnson over [...]

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Our History

HRM0387Johnson Consulting Group was started by Tom Johnson in 2000. A native of Indiana, Tom graduated from Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. After graduation he joined Fifth Third Bank in Cincinnati, Ohio. He held several positions at the bank during his tenure and ultimately served as an Officer in the Correspondent Banking Division. In that position Mr. Johnson was responsible for inter-banking relationships in the states of Ohio and Indiana.

Mr. Johnson then joined Hillenbrand Industries in Batesville, Indiana where he was hired as Director of Training for Batesville Casket Company. Later he became Director of Sales Support and Manpower Development and ultimately developed, implemented and directed the company’s National Account Division.

Mr. Johnson then joined International Funeral Services (IFS) in San Diego, California, which was the second largest group of funeral home and cemetery operations in the United States at that time. At IFS he developed and implemented their funeral home PreNeed sales division and ultimately became General Manager of IFS’s largest operation, Greenwood Memorial Park in San Diego.

When IFS was sold to its largest competitor, Johnson left the company and became President of Pierce Brothers Mortuaries and Cemeteries in Los Angeles, California. In his 10-year tenure at Pierce, the company grew from 17 locations to a total of 64 locations and became one of the most prominent and largest independent operations in the United States.

When the owner of Pierce was having financial problems in some of his other holdings, it was decided to sell Pierce Brothers to Service Corporation International (SCI), the world’s largest chain of funeral homes and cemeteries. It became apparent after the takeover that the two operating philosophies would not work in concert. Therefore, Mr. Johnson founded a new company called Prime Succession located in Batesville, Indiana. His role was that of President and Chief Executive Officer. Equity financed by Golder, Thoma, Cressey, Rauner (GTCR) in Chicago, Illinois, Prime was a true success story in the history of the funeral profession. In only three years, starting with no operations, Prime Succession grew to 184 locations in 19 states.

Although Prime was positioned for a public offering, The Loewen Group of Vancouver, British Columbia offered the company a consideration, which far exceeded its valuation as a public company. GTCR, which owned 80% of Prime, opted for a cash sale of the business, which ranks as one of the best investments in the history of their firm.

After spending a few years in semi-retirement, Johnson embarked on a new career with his founding of Johnson Consulting Group in 2000. The initial focus was financial consulting, especially in the fields of mergers, acquisitions and divestitures. In 2004, Tom’s son Jake joined the company. Jake’s strong foundation in accounting, financial analysis and cash flow forecasting is complemented by technology savvy and broad general management qualifications in business development and operations. In his former position as Executive Vice President and General Manager at Palm Mortuaries and Cemeteries, he provided key operations leadership to the Palm Cemetery Division. Jake began his career at Keystone Group Holdings (now Dignity Memorial Network) as Associate Director, Corporate Development, where his financial analysis and forecasting expertise was foundational to the firm’s growth. Jake’s educational credentials include a BSBA degree in Management with an emphasis in Accounting and Financial Analysis from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. Rounding out his financial portfolio, he is a licensed Real Estate Agent and licensed Investment Advisor representative. Jake is also a member-emeritus of the Funeral Service Foundation Board. After a few years at Johnson Consulting, Jake advanced to President & CEO. In that position Jake provides strategic direction and marketing innovations that laid the groundwork for the company’s rapid growth, gaining recognition as the premiere total solutions provider within the funeral industry.

Johnson Consulting’s first office was set up in a small building next to one of their funeral homes located in Phoenix, Arizona. Business systems were further enhanced and the first employee is hired in early 2005. Shortly after that hire, Johnson Consulting Group embarked on additional value-added services to it’s clients. It is during this time that JCG begins offering Financial Accounting, Management Consulting, Loan Sourcing, and Customer Satisfaction and Sales monitoring systems. In 2008 the company outgrew its building and relocated to its current offices in Scottsdale, AZ. The company has experienced double digit growth since it’s inception and continually expands and improves its deliverables to its funeral business customers. JCG currently offers these services to funeral businesses across the U.S. and in Canada and has become the premier and complete “Total Solutions” consulting company to the funeral industry.