ORLANDO, Fla. – Foundation Partners Group, a leading provider of innovative funeral, cemetery and cremation experiences and products, has announced the acquisition of the Cremation Society of Minnesota and First Memorial Funeral Chapel. The firm’s five operations are the first Foundation Partners Group locations in the state of Minnesota, according to a company news release.
“We are very excited to welcome the Cremation Society of Minnesota to the FPG family,” stated Bob Bukala, FPG president and CEO. “Kevin Waterston and his brother, Mark, are recognized as cremation ‘pioneers’ and have grown their operation to the point where nearly one out of every five cremations in the state of Minnesota is handled by the Cremation Society of Minnesota. In addition, they both have been industry leaders, given their roles as past presidents of the Cremation Association of North America. Like Foundation Partners Group, the Waterston family has truly embraced cremation.”
Leo Waterston founded the Waterston Funeral Home in 1955 (which subsequently became the First Memorial Chapel) at the current Nicollet Avenue location in Minneapolis. In the early 1980’s, with the rising cremation rate in Minnesota and across the country, the Waterston’s capitalized on this trend and started the Cremation Society of Minnesota. Over the next 30 years, the Waterston family added four additional locations in Edina, Duluth, St. Paul and the Brooklyn Park area of Minneapolis.
"When we first began to explore the possible sale of our business, we wanted to ensure our partner viewed cremation the way we do,” said Kevin Waterston, president of the Cremation Society of Minnesota. “With the cremation rate in Minnesota now over 60 percent, Foundation Partners Group is clearly the best option to help take us to the next level in how we address the needs of our families that choose cremation. Just as important, Foundation Partners brings a wealth of resources to our employees in the form of improved benefits and career opportunities that we as an independent company could not afford to offer – it is good for our families and good for our employees.”
The Waterson family will remain active in the business on a day-to-day basis and the five locations will continue to be led by Kevin Waterston. Operationally, the core values and services will remain the same, but the staff will now have access to Foundation Partners Group’s technology resources, such as the ShareLife multi-sensory platform, to expand the Cremation Society of Minnesota brand and build on its success.
“While I will be reducing my overall involvement in the business on a day-to-day basis, I’m excited about the many additional resources Foundation Partners Group brings to our organization that we didn’t have previously,” said Mark Waterston. “Our affiliation with Foundation Partners will help us expand and grow our business statewide.”
“Foundation Partners Group’s acquisition strategy is to partner with independent operators in funeral service who believe in better serving families regardless of their choice for final disposition and who understand how technology like our ShareLife platform and personal service can be combined to create life celebrations,” said Justin Baxley, senior vice president of business development at FPG. “The Waterston family has been innovators in meeting the ever-changing needs of families who choose cremation and we are excited to welcome them to the FPG family.”
For more information about Foundation Partners group, visit www.foundationpartners.com.