By Leader Contributor Jessie Rigney
As a first-generation funeral director, Rick Carrillo knew from a young age that he wanted to join the industry.
Carrillo is now the president and founder of Carrillo Funeral Homes in Fort Worth, TX, serving families across four locations in the area.
He recently spoke with Marilyn Jones Gould, president of MKJ Marketing, to share his experiences as a first-generation funeral director and why serving his community has always been his dream.
“Since I was 19, my dream was to be a professional funeral director. After high school, I went to the Dallas Institute of Funeral Services. Down the road, I opened my own funeral home at the age of 23,” he said.
One unique way Carrillo has been able to serve his community is by being able to speak English and Spanish. This allows all family members to feel included during the process of memorializing their loved ones.
“I love my profession, and I love serving families. I’m grateful to speak English and Spanish because we want more families to understand our culture. We want them to know what they’re going to receive in their loved one’s time of need,” Carrillo said.
Throughout his decades of serving families, Carrillo has received many awards and honors.
“We’ve been in Fort Worth for the past 21 years, and we got recognized as one of the best businesses in the area, and I’m very proud of that award. Now, we’re serving the Dallas and Tyler communities as well,” he said.
Carrillo says having bilingual staff members also allows his firm to serve families even better during their time of need.
“I attribute a lot of my success to my staff. They’re magnificent. We’ve always hired only the best staff we can hire. They have to be bilingual, and their Spanish has to be excellent. About 98 percent of the families we serve are Spanish-speaking only, and even though their sons and daughters are bilingual, we want the father and the mother, or their grandmother or their grandfather, to understand what we’re saying in Spanish so they can have better options and they can tell us their loved one’s wishes so we can satisfy their needs and satisfy all of the family members we serve,” he said.
Carrillo also noted that branding has been an important part of cultivating his success.
“One of the things I’ve learned at the seminars we attend is to brand more. Anything that you do, whether that’s at the funeral home or the cemetery, it’s important to show your logo out there to your customers, also the families. Anything you give to the families, you’ve got to have your logo on there,” he said.
One of the ways Carrillo has expanded upon his branding is through his optimized website, along with additions to his facilities. Click here to see his website and location photos.