Our Leadership

Built to lead

The leadership team at JCG consists of a group of professionals with vast knowledge of the funeral profession. Their intuition, business acumen, and innovative spirit guide and inspire all of us to provide continually better service to our clients.

Jake Johnson

President & Chief Executive Officer
Jake Johnson has rapidly advanced into senior leadership roles and gained respect throughout the funeral and cemetery industries. He is known as an innovator, change agent and thought leader. Jake’s success is based on his unique ability to identify simple solutions to complex business problems and communicate across all levels of the organization, instilling positive morale, empowerment and employee ownership to drive service excellence. His strong foundation in accounting, financial analysis and EBITDA forecasting is complemented by technology savvy and broad general management qualifications in business development and operations. As President & CEO at Johnson Consulting, 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. 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.

Tom Johnson

Founder
Tom has pursued a highly successful career in multi-site funeral home and cemetery management, as well as acquisition and divestiture activity in the death care industry. After beginning his career in banking and then serving in several key positions with Batesville Casket Company, he became President and CEO of Pierce Brothers Mortuaries & Cemeteries in Los Angeles. There, he grew the company from 17 locations to a total of 64 funeral homes and 14 cemeteries, making it, at the time, the largest regional independent funeral and cemetery operation in the United States. When Pierce was sold to SCI, he left the company and founded Prime Succession, which grew from no operations to 146 funeral homes and 17 cemetery locations in only three years, becoming the largest national independent operation in the country. After Prime Succession, Mr. Johnson started Johnson Consulting Group, which has become the premier consulting company in the death care industry focusing on mergers & acquisitions, business valuations and appraisals, accounting services, management services and training, and business financing. Mr. Johnson’s expertise in funeral home and cemetery management, combined with his strong background in banking and finance, gives him a unique understanding of operational and financial matters relating to the death care profession.

Jeff Casey

Chief Operations Officer
Jeff joined Johnson Consulting Group to assist in their management consulting efforts. Jeff brings over thirty years of funeral home and cemetery management experience to the Johnson Consulting team. Jeff is a graduate of Cypress College of Mortuary Science in Cypress, CA and began his career in 1980 with Pierce Brothers Mortuaries and Cemeteries in Los Angeles. After Pierce Brothers was acquired by SCI, Jeff continued with SCI to serve in various local and regional management positions including Regional Vice President in the Western Region. He continued his career with Prime Succession in California and Florida, where he was the General Manager of Fred Hunter Memorial Services in Hollywood, Florida. In addition to his duties with Fred Hunter, he served as a Regional Vice President, leading the Prime Succession Florida locations. Jeff’s local, multiple location and regional experience, along with a keen customer service focus, provide distinctive insight as an operational consultant.

Bob Ekins

Director of Business Development
Bob joined Johnson Consulting after 20 years of experience with three of the industry’s leading companies. After graduating from Spring Hill College in Mobile Alabama with a Business Management degree, Bob began his funeral service career with Batesville Casket Company. His roles included sales territory responsibility, national accounts, cremation specialist and selection room design including merchandising. In 2002, Bob joined Forethought Financial Services as Director of Business Development. His responsibilities included assisting funeral home and cemetery owners with solutions for existing trust funds and new preneed insurance business. The role evolved into client relations with multiple marketing partners across the country. In 2011, Bob was named Vice President of Sales for Trust 100, the oldest and one of the largest marketing partners to assist client funeral homes with Advance Funeral Planning. These career experiences have made Bob the ideal asset for Johnson Consulting Group to be responsible for client relations and business development.

Lori Salberg, CSE, CXE

Director of Technology
Lori joined Johnson Consulting Group in 2017, bringing experience in cemetery, funeral home, and pre-need sales management. Along with sales and operations management, Lori directed the development of two propriety cemetery and funeral home enterprise software systems. Lori began her career in 2001 as a Family Service Counselor for the Catholic Cemeteries in San Jose; became sales and marketing manager, and eventually rose to Associate Director of their three cemeteries. In 2010, Lori furthered her career as GM at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery and Holy Angels Funeral and Cremation Center in Hayward, CA, where she also joined the Catholic Management Services leadership team. As Director of Administration and IT, Lori brought management expertise and software solutions to cemetery and funeral home clients. In 2015, Lori joined PlotBox as VP of Sales. Lori contributed to the development of a SaaS cemetery software program and was principally responsible for introducing it to the US market. At JCG, she continues to define and develop tech solutions for funeral home and cemetery clients. She is Chair of the ICCFA Membership Committee. She also serves on the ICCFA Sales and Marketing Committee, Catholic Cemetery Conference Marketing and Membership Committee, and the New York State Association of Cemeteries Publications Committee. Lori balances her passion for helping clients prepare for the future with raising her three children, Catalina, JJ, and Lyla. She spends a lot of weekends at dance competitions and baseball tournaments.

Cyndi Simmons

Controller
Cyndi joined Johnson Consulting Group in 2010, bringing with her an extensive background in Accounting and Finance. In her previous roles Cyndi has made an impact in the Accounting profession by process improvements and client communication. Prior to coming to JCG, she was recruited to develop and implement an Accounts Receivable process for a national company, which resulted in the recovery of over 1.5m in outstanding receivables. As the Controller, her solid accounting practices, business ethics and leadership provide the clients and staff with the accuracy and integrity that they require and have come to depend on. As Johnson Consulting Group continues to grow, Cyndi is developing process improvements, both internally and externally, to maintain and ensure the highest level of standards for our clients.

Karen McCurdy

Director of Mergers and Acquisitions

Karen McCurdy is a graduate of Florida State University (1991), she received a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate. Upon graduation, Karen began a career in appraising both commercial and residential properties. She continues to maintain her real estate broker’s license and State Certified General Appraiser License.  After appraising for 3 ½ years, Karen accepted a position with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection as an Appraiser Specialist.  She reviewed statewide appraisals related to the acquisition, sale, lease and disposition of all real property.  In addition, she performed desk and field reviews of proposed properties for state acquisition. In May 1996, Karen began a career with Thomas-Pierce & Company as a Project Manager. In 1999, she was promoted to Sr. Financial Analyst. Some of her responsibilities include evaluating the operating and financial performance of client companies, assisting in negotiating the sales of client businesses and working through client transactions. Karen enjoys the challenge of working with the diversities of each business and assisting each client in meeting his or her individual needs.

Nelson Thulin

Director of Business Consulting

Nelson Thulin began his funeral service career at a family owned funeral home in Wisconsin and over the course of 30 years, his work experience has included independent ownership as well as corporate leadership roles. His management experience ranges from a single location serving approximately 100 families a year to multi-location markets serving over 2600 families. As a mortuary science student, Nelson received the J.M Nolte Scholar Award and continues his education as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner through the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice as well as collaborating with and learning from other funeral professionals. Nelson emphasizes a keen focus on the importance of exceeding expectations of client families and providing a meaningful and memorable experience for their guests, resulting in a loyal advocacy of our profession as well as continued growth of individual businesses.

Phil Sinn

Director of Accounting and Finance
Phil graduated from Dickinson College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and then continued his education by completing his MBA at LaSalle University with concentration in Finance and Accounting. Phil brings to Johnson Consulting over twenty years of experience working for large and small companies focusing on executing business initiatives and improving processes. For over a decade he held a leadership role at Ditech mortgage developing financial models and performing operational planning and analysis. Previously, he worked on an Arthur Andersen engagement with Hyperion, a large international software company, and managed the revenue accounting group. Phil has a strong technical background working with ERP systems to create forecasts, budgets and financial statements. He strives to exceed the expectations of both internal and external clients.

Whitney Nikander

Project Manager
Whitney is passionate about positioning teams for growing together and organizations for scalability. At Johnson Consulting Group, she works to create processes and cultivate relationships that promote culture and operational efficiency. Whitney brings to JCG a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Grand Canyon University along with varied experience working with executives from engineering to technology companies. As Project Manager, she is a support to all departments to empower the JCG team to continue being what we are – excellent at serving our Customers. In her free time, Whitney enjoys traveling, arranging flowers, spending time outdoors and discovering local restaurants with friends and family.

Let’s start the conversation

With a clear understanding of where the profession has been, and a compelling vision of where it’s going, we help our clients reach new levels of success. Let's talk about how we can do the same for you.