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About Us

Passare is helping funeral professionals reimagine the funeral experience.

Company History


18 of the largest independent funeral home owners in the nation commissioned a landmark funeral service study conducted by McKee, Wallwork & Co.


Passare was established as a result of the study’s findings in order to meet the changing needs and preferences of today’s funeral consumers.


As a tech start-up, Passare developed a robust educational consumer website along with a unique cloud-based platform for funeral professionals and families alike.


Passare launched the funeral industry’s only collaboration platform to help simplify the funeral planning process.


Passare was acquired by Directors Investment Group, and under new management, the company grew its customer base by over 300% in 9 months.


The focus of Passare became “continuous improvement.” Based on customer feedback, Passare produced regular updates to the system approximately every 3 weeks.


Passare integrates with top funeral industry vendors and joins Selected Independent Funeral Homes' Preferred Partner program!


Passare releases the next generation of the Family Collaboration Center along with several new features to help funeral directors save time and enhance efficiency.

Meet the Team!

Board Members


Andrew Kothmann

Software Engineer

Chris Baber


Connor Schafer

Strategic Development Representative

Daniell Jara

Product Analyst
Erin Merriout

Erin Merriott

Account Success Manager

Jay Thomas


Jessie Goggans

Operations Support

Josh McQueen

Director of Sales

Julie Hofmann

Account Success Manager

Kayli Denson

Sales Coordinator

Kelly Gilgenbach

Director of Sales

Kelsey Swearingen

Director, Operations & Support

Larinda Smith

Larinda Smith

Account Success Manager

Leigh Adamski

Strategic Development Representative

Leslie Oglesby

Sales Coordinator

Nick Tunheim

Product Manager
Shane Jewell

Shane Jewell

Sales Coordinator

Sharaie Heizelman

Sales Coordinator

Sylvie Cottrell

Software Engineer

Tarrence Price

Operations Support

Click on a board member to learn more!

Duffy Swan


French Funerals – Cremations

D.F. “Duffy” Swan, Chairman of the Board, currently resides as Chairman of French Funerals-Cremations and the French Family of Companies, after having previously served as President and CEO. Duffy holds a BA in Political Science from the University of New Mexico and has also attended Executive summer programs at both Harvard and Wharton.

He devoted 35 years in the telecommunications industry and served in a number of management and executive capacities. In 1986, he became Vice President and CEO for USWEST-New Mexico and in 1991 became part of USWEST’s International Division and directed startup businesses in Russia, Hungary and Malaysia.

He retired from USWEST International in 1997 but returned to the telecom industry in 2000 when he became Vice President for a rural, domestic startup VALOR Telecomm. Additionally, Duffy served two different periods as UNM’s Director of Development and President of its Foundation. In 2004 he joined the French family of companies which he has since lead to becoming one of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s premier businesses and one of the nation’s leading providers of service in the funeral industry.

Gary Freytag

President and CEO

Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum

Gary Freytag has been the President and Chief Executive Officer of Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum since joining the organization in 2003.

Gary holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Dartmouth and a Master of Business Administration with distinction from Harvard. He joined the Spring Grove Family after previously serving as President of Information Alternatives, a Cincinnati based technology-consulting company where he led efforts to expand its customer base into new markets including distribution, government and wireless.

Prior to that, Gary served as Treasurer of Eagle-Picher, a diversified manufacturing company with nearly one billion dollars in worldwide revenue. There he was responsible for managing their debt reduction strategy and re-introducing them to Wall Street. He also spent 10 years in manufacturing as President of Performance Manufacturing, a Cincinnati-based company that produced industrial products. His other business experience includes management consulting and venture capital.

John Horan


Horan & McConaty

John Horan serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Horan & McConaty Funeral Service/Cremation and is a fifth generation funeral director. He received his bachelor’s degree in Business from the University of Colorado and later attended the San Francisco College of Mortuary Science where he was the recipient of the Hosford Leadership Award. John has achieved the designation of Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP), which is the highest professional designation one can accomplish in funeral service.

In addition, John serves as a board member of numerous organizations such as The Samaritan Institute and Counseling Centers, the Denver Hospice, The HeartLight Center, The Colorado Ethics in Business Awards, and The Libby Bortz Assisted Living Center.

Kris Seale


Directors Investment Group

Kris Seale serves as the Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer of DIG and its subsidiaries, including Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company (FDLIC).

In addition, Kris currently sits on the board of directors of the Community Bank of Snyder and the Abilene Youth Sports Authority. He is a member of the Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants and is a graduate of Baylor University with a Bachlor of Business Administration degree.

Kris grew up in the funeral service profession as the son of a funeral director, the late Bill Seale, who served as a funeral director for over 57 years. He is passionate about inspiring employees, sales professionals, and client to succeed in all aspects of life, from their spiritual lives, to their personal lives, to their business and work life. He is also committed to serving funeral directors and clients by providing them with valuable services and excellent products through DIG and its subsidiaries.

Mark Krause


Krause Funeral Homes and Cremation Services

Mark Krause is President of Krause Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with Bachelor Degrees in both Political Science and History and attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science where graduated in 1982. Mark subsequently received a Master in Business Administration Degree in 1993.

Additionally, Mark is a founder and Past President of the Funeral Service and Cremation Alliance of Wisconsin (FSCA) as well as Past President of Preferred Funeral Directors, International (PFDI) and Past President of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA). He is a nationally recognized funeral profession educator and regularly speaks at national, regional and state conventions and seminars. In 2008, Krause also addressed the International Chinese Funeral Exposition in Shanghai. He served as a professor and Dean at the ICCFA University teaching in both the Cremation Services and 21st Century Services Colleges. Mark has also chaired numerous national and state funeral profession conventions and regularly contributes to industry publications.

Steve McKee


McKee Wallwork & Co.

Steve McKee is President of McKee Wallwork & Company and author of Power Branding and When Growth Stalls. He has nearly three decades of experience as a leading brand strategist and is the pioneer of MWC’s noted Charrette planning process. He is a longtime marketing columnist for and has been published or quoted in The New York Times, USA Today, Advertising Age, Adweek, Investor’s Business Daily and The Los Angeles Times (among others), and has appeared on CNBC, ESPN2, CNN, Bloomberg radio, and network television affiliates across America.

Todd Carlson


Funeral Directors Life Insurance Co.

Todd Carlson has worked in funeral service continuously since receiving his Bachelor of Science in Mortuary Science from the University of Minnesota in 1989. He worked 5 years as a funeral director and has spent the balance of this time focused on funeral pre-arrangement. Todd is a licensed funeral director and insurance agent, and is a Certified Pre-Planning Consultant®, a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner®, and a Certified Cremation Arranger®.

Todd is Executive Vice President of Sales and Chief Sales Officer for Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company (FDLIC) and FDLIC’s parent company, Directors Investment Group. Since joining FDLIC in 2006, Todd has lead the sales team to account for more than $1 billion in preneed sales. Before joining FDLIC, Todd was the Preneed Services Director for the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association where he oversaw the Minnesota Funeral Plan®. The Minnesota Funeral Plan® provides funeral and cremation pre-funding products and services to funeral homes and is a wholly owned, for-profit subsidiary of the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association. Prior to this, Todd was a Regional Sales Director for Assurant Preneed where he received “Sales Person of the Year” honors in 2000.

Company Benefits

Passare offers a generous compensation and benefits package to team members.

Join Our Team!

Competitive Compensation
Dental/Vision Insurance
Health Insurance
Charity Giving Match
Life Insurance
Health and Wellness Center
401(k) Contribution Match
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