We are pleased to continue our series of Sponsor Spotlight articles in which we profile from time to time a different CFSA member company that has chosen to sponsor a program or activity. CFSA is very fortunate to have many generous companies that financially support the association during the year, and this is an opportunity for us to thank them and to profile their company for the entire membership. Cardinal Casket Company, based in Orlando, Florida, most recently sponsored at our 2015 CFSA Fall Conference & Trade Show. Kelly Greenwood, Vice President and Co-Owner, sent us an impressive history of the company, which we have adapted below.
In the summer of 1973, Mann Alday, left Orange State Casket Company to pursue a dream of owning his own family-operated casket company located in Orlando, Florida. Mann, using his experience as a production manager at Orange State, developed the business and groomed it to meet the needs of the local, independent funeral director. He continued to own and operate the business through the 1980’s, however, during the early ‘90’s, Mann contacted one of his local independent customers, Manny Adams and James Cardinal, about the prospects of buying the business. In May, 1994, Mann Alday completed the sale of Alday Casket Company to both Manny and James.
In May, 1994, Cardinal Casket Company was established to provide a new chapter in the continuation of Alday Casket Company. It was a very interesting time in the funeral industry in the state of Florida. In 1995, two events happened that further established Cardinal Casket Company as a viable casket supplier. First, was the addition of William “Bill” Bowers, former production manager of Orange State Casket Company’s Orlando facility. Bill brought with him over 30 years of experience, along with a vast knowledge of the production processes and the current customer needs within the industries. Second, was the addition of Kelly Greenwood. Although, not from the funeral industry, he had a background in aviation maintenance, was knowledgeable in production and computers, and was energetic and a proven leader. Manny and James, coupled with the addition of Bill and Kelly, along with their small support staff, led Cardinal Casket forward and doubled the business by 1997. Unfortunately, Bill Bowers passed away unexpectedly in November, 1997. Although he would be forever missed, Cardinal continued to grow.
In 2000, Cardinal hit a milestone in the company’s history when it delivered 1,000 caskets that year. In 2001, Cardinal added two important individuals to its staff, Henry “Hank” Morgan, a 22-year veteran from Batesville, and David Thomas, a 17-year veteran from Clarksburg Casket. The next step was the addition of a distribution warehouse in southern Florida, for supplying funeral homes in South Florida and the Caribbean. Cardinal Casket purchased Sun Casket Company in Hallandale, Florida, in 2003, and reached another milestone with 2,500 caskets sold and delivered.
Business continued to grow and expand throughout the 2000’s, and along with it, so did the footprint of Cardinal’s business. In late 2008, Sun Casket Company was re-born, this time supplying premium imported caskets from many different global partners. The success of the Sun Casket imported casket line was overwhelming, with sales quickly spreading throughout Florida. Funeral directors were requesting these imported options quicker than expected, some not even in the company’s current delivery areas. Together, Cardinal Casket and Sun Casket moved forward, continuing to grow their customer base. In 2014, Cardinal Casket purchased Guyton Casket in Jacksonville, Florida, and later moved into a new Jacksonville facility in January 2015. The transition was very successful, and soon orders were coming in from funeral homes in Charleston, South Carolina, and southeast Georgia, in addition to the Jacksonville local customers.
Today, both Cardinal Casket and Sun Casket are on pace to have a record sales year, now with more than 400 active customers, 7,000 casket sales/year, 37,500 square feet of building space, more than $1 Million of standing inventory, 25 dedicated employees, and 12 delivery vehicles. For additional information, please contact Kelly Greenwood at email@example.com or 407-425-0583.