Experienced. Professional. Specialized.

James R. Starks, CFuE, CCrE

As a lifelong funeral professional, James R. Starks has long been focused on protecting funeral homes and crematory operations from exposure to liability.

With an extensive background in all areas of the death care profession, he earned his expertise in operations management as President of Kerley & Starks, a family funeral home operation, which handled over 600 calls per year. There, he managed 75 employees in four funeral homes, three cemeteries, a crematory, and a vault manufacturing facility.

When the family business was sold to Prime Succession, he became the organization’s Director of Compliance. There, Jim oversaw risk management for over 130 funeral homes to maintain strict compliance with local, state, and federal regulations. He played a similar role as Vice President of Compliance & Operation Support at Keystone Group Holdings, overseeing all aspects of risk management and internal operational audits for over 200 Keystone locations throughout the United States and in Canada. He developed a Compliance Manual that has become the chief compliance reference book for Keystone and created standardized cremation policies and procedures for all Keystone locations.

A nationally recognized trainer on funeral home and crematory risk management, Jim has been a featured lecturer at Keystone Group Holdings annual meetings, a regular presenter at the ICCFA University’s College of Cremation Services, and has lectured to private firms and both regional, state, and national associations. Jim serves as the Dean of ICCFA University’s College of Cremation Services.

Jim is a graduate of the University of Wyoming and the Mid-America School of Mortuary Science. He is also a graduate of the ICCFA University. He maintains his licensure as a funeral director and embalmer in the states of Michigan and Indiana and is certified as crematory operator by both ICCFA and CANA.