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During the past twenty years, publicly owned corporations have sought to consolidate the funeral business much like what has occurred in other businesses. Until recently, this consolidation was occurring at a feverish rate, resulting by the year 2000 in one funeral in three in the United States conducted at a funeral home owned by a publicly held funeral corporation. Recently, consolidation ground to a near halt, because the corporate consolidated funeral homes have not done well and as a result can no longer afford to continue their acquisition binge. Their demise can be linked to operating these businesses to satisfy the stock market's desire for continuously increasing revenues and profits, usually at the expense to customers in the form of high prices not justified by their quality of service. Many funeral homes in Central Iowa are owned and operated by these large publicly owned corporations.

Iles Funeral Homes is owned and operated by the second generation of the Iles Family to do so. Both of the current owners are sons of the founder Charles W. Iles. The current owners are Mark H. Iles, President and General Manager, and C. Michael Iles, Manager of Finance and Administration. Mark & Mike have sought to continue and enhance the philosophy of service and treatment of our customers originally developed by their father, Chuck. They also have sought to continue and enhance the family's involvement in the community based upon the example established by Chuck Iles and his father (the late Charles F. Iles) before him. Lastly, Mark & Mike have sought to attract and retain the best funeral directors and embalmers in the industry, a business philosophy also employed by Chuck. After all, it was Chuck Iles' philosophy of service, treatment of customers, involvement in the community and quality of staff that caused Westover to prosper from its inception in 1960.

If we were asked to recommend a funeral provider in another town or city, we would generally recommend a family owned funeral home because: 1) They provide better service due to the presence of local ownership. 2) Decision making associated with responding to customer needs is better because those decisions can be made locally and quickly. 3) The money customers pay for funeral services stays local rather than flowing to remote corporate managers and stockholders. 4) Local owners tend to be more involved in the community, and many times assume positions of leadership.


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