Sometimes be a mistake expert
Top 10 Inspiring Leaders of 2022
Sometimes be a mistake expert by IE Magazine
Don Madelung; President & CEO of Pierce Mortuary Colleges
Pierce Mortuary Colleges, Inc. operates three non-profit colleges in Dallas, TX, Jeffersonville, IN, and Decatur, GA. They train funeral directors and embalmers. These colleges have led the funeral service business since the 1900s. Pierce Mortuary Colleges have approximately 1,500 students, as well as 200 instructors and staff.
Don Madelung leads by example in Boomer-to-Gen Z business strategies. He is always available to meet their needs as President and CEO and has addressed his employees as partners, which demonstrates servant leadership. As a facilitator, he helps everyone perform efficiently. His intelligence and 40 years of college administration experience make him special. His colleagues often ask him about policy, procedure, and people; they know he will let them choose a decision based after he shares his experiences and presenting them with possibilities.
Don believes companies define company culture many ways and talks about how great companies have strong cultures that they define. Culture may include ethics, morals, and law. It also covers employee treatment, appreciation, listening, and value. The colleges respect students, instructors, and subordinates as partners and colleagues. Their teamwork helps run and grow the colleges, and in addition, transparency, for example, increases understanding of socioeconomic issues. Their three colleges' ethnic mixes make them welcoming and diverse.
Don thinks financial budgets and goals helps define the group. When their Board of Directors approves the annual budget, college presidents have the same decision-making authority as CEOs. Entrepreneurship and fresh ideas are encouraged for institutional growth. Operations and education vice presidents serve department leaders and staff. "What would you do or decide if you owned this college?" prevents analysis paralysis and guides decision-making. He has grown from his mistakes and says that failures shape employees' attitudes and experiences.
Their academic information system tracks students from enrollment to graduation (and beyond). Blackboard and Anthology are being implemented to provide better student data and faculty support. The company wants faster receivables and account processing. Most importantly, their IT team prevents cyberbullying and theft with cutting-edge measures and their online communications are encrypted and secure.
Don claims his firm is the largest non-for-profit mortuary science educational corporation in the US, with three mortuary science colleges. There are 58 colleges and universities in the US that train funeral directors. Pierce graduates about 40% of the nation's funeral directors and embalmers, which means bigger is better. Most of their peers are educational institutions that offer many career routes but receive little administrative assistance. Over the past seven years, their advertising and marketing skills have grown. Don says, "My marketing genius and secret sauce will be released after my retirement."
Don advises prospective nonprofit business entrepreneurs to act like company owners to succeed in today's business climate. Don recommends a detailed business plan and values corporate ethics. Hire, mentor, and train smarter individuals than yourself and teach through experts' mistakes. Instead of micromanaging, provide your team with training, money, tools, and people. Don’t make excuses and use your creativity. Learn from the mistakes and, finally, invest in the company.
Don says their consumers are mostly young adults. The college prepares students for the national board exam to become certified funeral directors. They offer every modern resource for on-campus and virtual learning. Student Financial Aid Title IV funds 75% of the student’s tuition along with scholarships. The colleges also are big supporters of veterans (including the Yellow Ribbon program). Life-management counselors, tutors, and academic advisors help students manage the stress of college life.
Don considers funeral education unique and necessary. When mortuary science was young, our colleges were founded. PMC's industry has changed. Today, the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, and Mid-America College lead funeral service education and will continue to do so. Don reported a political shift in states that require graduates to be certified funeral directors. The legality of the National Board Exam that certifies funeral directors in various jurisdictions is being questioned. State licensing processes in these states may conflict, he adds.
Don wants to keep funeral service schools growing and predicts a five-year market share gain. He claims 24% college growth since 2017, and the next five years will grow, maintain, and prepare the infrastructure for new prospects. Our Department of Education composite score is 3.0, which is the highest possible score. As change is in the air, he's certain they'll grow what they've established under current and future leadership. States are reviewing state and national funeral director certification examinations. Cremations are replacing burials. It will demonstrate that colleges and PMC administration are willing to change course. Acquisitions, green startups, and/or renting premises in areas without funeral service education will increase our company. Businesses and colleges will help us grow, and as we continue to grow, and help the funeral service industry.