More Than a Cemetery: Interview with Funeral Leader Mitch Rose


By Leader Editor Kara Apel

Woodlawn Cemetery is more than a place of eternal rest — it’s a tourist destination, an internationally accredited arboretum, a National Historic Landmark, and a cemetery that’s actually growing when many aren’t.

Established in 1863, many influential New Yorkers — including athletes, celebrities, and musicians — are laid to eternal rest among this 400-acre urban oasis within the Bronx, NY. Woodlawn is also home to a state-of-the-art crematory and a historic chapel that recently underwent a major restoration.

This past July, MKJ Marketing’s video production team traveled to Woodlawn Cemetery for a multi-day shoot, which is when MKJ President Marilyn Jones Gould spoke with Woodlawn President & CEO Mitch Rose about his keys to success as a leader.

You won’t want to miss a minute of this interview, which includes:

  • Details on upgrading their crematory and witnessing facility
  • Keys to providing many different final disposition options, specifically for cremation families
  • Strategies for increasing your cemetery revenue 3x
  • Marketing to ethnically diverse communities
  • How funeral homes and cemeteries can partner together

Rose has worked in the industry for over 30 years, including as an Area Manager at SCI and a Managing Partner at Carriage Services. In 2010, he joined the Woodlawn team as Vice President before being promoted to President in 2014. In his time as President, the cemetery’s annual revenue quadrupled.

“I like to think of Woodlawn as the perfect balance of serenity — serenity of the monumentation, the large mausoleums — all entwined among 6,000 trees, as well as 17 miles of roads. When I think of a cemetery, I think of the importance of serenity for families that come and reflect on the loss of their loved one and what that means to them to be able to have that peaceful moment,” Rose said.

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