LifeArt appoints Central Co-op man as chief exec
LifeArt UK has appointed one of the funeral profession’s leading figures to oversee a period of growth, as the business seeks to increase the adoption of greener coffins in the British and Irish markets.
Kevin Crute, former Head of Funerals at Central England Co-op joined the Gloucester-based manufacturer of traditional and personalised coffins as Chief Executive on January 6.
LifeArt is the world’s leader in manufacturing personalisable, low emission coffins and caskets. The company operates factories in Australia, Hong Kong and the UK.
Kevin’s appointment comes after a year of sustained growth for LifeArt amongst independent funeral businesses and co-operatives in the UK.
He will be responsible for brand building, logistics and nationwide adoption of LifeArt’s coffins, which produce up to 87% less greenhouse gas emissions during cremation and use up to 80% fewer trees in their manufacture.
The appointment will allow LifeArt UK joint venture partner Simon Rothwell, to focus on customer relationships, along with stakeholder strategy and engagement across Government and industry.
Commenting on his appointment, Kevin, who also served on the Executive Committee of the National Associated of Funeral Directors for two years, said he was looking forward to helping more families make better environmental choices in funerals.
“It’s an incredibly exciting time to be joining LifeArt. The LifeArt team is transforming the funeral market, having started an important conversation about the sustainability of coffins and emissions from the cremation of coffins.
“Over the coming year, my aim will be to ensure more funeral directors offer LifeArt as a first choice and equip arrangers with the tools they need to help families personalise the funeral they are arranging, whilst also understanding the implications of cremating chipboard and MDF.
“I will also be building new processes into the business to enable us to capitalise on our current growth trajectory. We will be seeking to establish new manufacturing and distribution sites to help to retain agility as we expand,” he said.
LifeArt International Executive Chairman Mike Grehan said Kevin’s appointment marked the start of an exciting new chapter for the business in the UK.
“Kevin is hugely respected across the British funeral sector and his experience in running large, multi-site businesses is second to none, making him an ideal fit for us.”
Simon Rothwell said the appointment was great news for LifeArt and its customers: “I’m looking forward to working alongside Kevin to enhance the customer journey and build upon the relationships we’ve developed over the past two years. It also provides an opportunity to strengthen our Government and industry stakeholder activity.”
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