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As Lake View has evolved over its 150 year history, its needs have changed as well. When Kathy Goss was appointed President and CEO in 2013, her marching orders were to implement a strategic plan that had been completed many years before. There were five goals; to enhance the Cemetery’s image and visibility, strengthen the composition and structure of the organization’s boards, build out fundraising efforts, explore revenue enhancing possibilities to provide a sustainable business, and strengthen the maintenance and development of the cemetery grounds. “The challenge is to make the most of the resources we are entrusted with for the benefit of future generations,” Kathy says. “I know of no other business where you have to warranty your product in perpetuity. Lake View’s greatest assets are also what requires the most capital. A master plan to meet maintenance and expansion requirements for the next ten years has been our highest importance”.
“I know of no other business where you have to warranty your product in perpetuity. Lake View’s greatest assets are also what requires the most capital. A master plan to meet maintenance and expansion requirements for the next ten years has been our highest importance”.
Managing operations at Lake View is a delicate balance of preserving the historic significance of the place while ensuring that systems and infrastructure are modernized and prepared for the future. Chief Operating Officer Marilyn Brandt oversees the day-to-day operations that includes burials, security, headstones, horticulture, coordinating with contractors and partners, and anything related to the buildings on the grounds. Marilyn shares: “There are a lot of issues to manage across our 285 acres. I love all aspects of my work at Lake View—which could be coming up with a solution for an existing problem or creating new spaces for burials. Using new trends in cremations and casket interments is all about how we can help the community we serve.”
With burial space for another 100 years, Kathy and Marilyn lead their team with a focus on planning for future development including tree care, burial space, and ensuring that the infrastructure can accommodate future development. This includes examining how to sustainably develop new space that are in alignment with the historic architecture of the cemetery. “People are moving toward more environmentally focused burials, so that is a consideration as we plan for the future”, Marilyn states. “What can we do differently than what was done 150 years and how can we create systems that are sustainable?”
“What can we do differently than what was done 150 years and how can we create systems that are sustainable?”
Two areas of priority include preserving Lake View’s magnificent tree canopy which includes more than 10,000 trees, many of which are more than 100 years old. In addition, improving the water systems that stabilize the pond behind Wade Chapel and making necessary changes to the drainage system are both of the utmost importance to the future of Lake View and this team is committed to that vision. “The history and design of Lake View makes it one of a kind,” says Marilyn with a smile. “It is a retreat. It’s an oasis in the middle of an urban renaissance. Experiencing the wildlife, history, horticulture and community all at once, there is nothing quite like it.”
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