Starmark® Cremation Products began in 2004 designing and marketing a small line of engineered cremation solutions with mixed success. Today, Starmark shares a 130,000 sq. ft. manufacturing space at 1620 Rich Road, Richmond, Indiana and manufactures hundreds of alternative containers and rental inserts daily.
Starmark (a division of Vandor Corporation) manufactures cremation products sold directly to Funeral Homes and Crematories nationwide and through a growing network of casket distributors. The leaders at Starmark have deep roots in the casket business. In 1989 Alan Elder (Starmark Chairman), Mark Elder and Gerald Davis (Starmark President) founded Elder Davis, Inc. (now owned by others) with its products including the original Elderlite® Corrugated Fiberboard Casket (started by Vandor in 1983). Fast forward to today; Starmark offers economical cremation products in lightweight corrugated fiberboard and cloth covered products to meet the needs and wants of cremation client families.
Our R&D Team led by Gerald Davis continues to innovate and continuously improve the Starmark product line. As the industry changes so should your product mix and your message to cremation families. With the nationwide cremation rate rapidly closing in on 50% does your product mix represent this change in the market? Are you using products from traditional casket manufacturers that treat cremation product design and development as an afterthought?
The team at Starmark thinks only about cremation and products for the changing industry landscape. Starmark is 100% focused on providing Sensible Solutions® for cremation that improve funeral home revenue from direct to full services.
- Starmark is the nation’s highest volume manufacturer of rental casket inserts.
- The TransPorter® is the most used alternative cremation container that includes an interior (in the USA).
- The Sure~Lock™ urn is the highest volume urn sold in the USA (Three sizes available).
When our customers are successful, we are successful—and we want to do whatever we can to help make you successful.
Meet Our Team
Gerald Davis and his wife Annette have four married children and seven grandchildren. Gerald studied music principally at Fort Wayne Bible College and Ball State University. Gerald met Annette in 1973 while serving as director of a US Army musical variety show in Europe.
Gerald has been involved with Indiana based casket manufactures since 1977; first at Spartan Casket in Lynn, JM Hutton in Richmond, Affiliated Funeral Supply Central in Fountain City, one of three founders of Elder Davis 1990-97 as the company was sold to York Group (now Matthews International) and after a few years of early retirement and commercial real estate, Gerald accepted the position of President of Vandor Corporation in Richmond, Indiana.
Vandor operates both plastics injection molding and funeral products divisions. Vandor is diversified and manufactures a wide variety of casket interior components, Starmark Cremation Products, Vision Caskets, Automotive components as well as packaging reels for the wire and cable industries.
Brought up working with the Vandor team, since graduating from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio and marrying Teal in 1986, Alan wears many hats and continues to enjoy anything that can help improve Vandor’s customers (including innovations such as those of Vandor affiliates Elder Davis and Starmark Cremation Products). Father to Chase, Sydney and Landon, Alan enjoys family, gardening and travel in his free time.
In Memoriam of Mark Elder
As I recall, it was in the late 70’s that I first met Marks father, Bruce Elder…. I met Mark a few years later as he helped the Spartan Casket team learn how to install casket interiors. It didn’t take long to realize the apple does not fall too far from the tree. Mark was enthusiastically curious about people, his faith, business, and new ideas. Little did any of us know we would become partners for nearly three decades in various businesses?
Some may call it luck, fate or coincidence, but our partnerships grew into friendships with a deep appreciation for the incredible talents of everyone. Mark had an exceptional ability to immerse himself into details. Mark always said he just needs to understand all the intricate details so he could be of the highest use to customers and partners. He loved people, loved knowing people and especially how he could help them be successful.
Mark was incredibly analytical…. Especially in his younger years, Mark often worked day and night, sleeping in his van on a sales trip or on the office floor to catch an early morning nap. In many ways, Mark’s work was his masterpiece. Mark loved Excel spread sheets more than any person I have ever known. Mark’s spreadsheets were very entertaining as he used nearly every color in the rainbow to highlight columns and rows.
When Mark visited customers, he discussed products but most of the time was spent understanding the customer. He often gathered incredible details on every customer’s family, their children, hobbies, birthdays and anything else that would fit on color highlighted 3X5 notecards. I often thought Mark kept the 3X5 notecard and Highlighter suppliers in business. Mark loved people at an extraordinarily deep and compassionate level.
The loss of Mark has been difficult for Julie, their children, the Elder family and so many coworkers throughout the operations. A new employee that never met Mark asked me if Mark was my brother. With teary eyes I said yes, I have lost a partner as close as a brother. Mark was a friend to all and a fellow believer in life beyond.
God’s Providence brought us all together, sustained us together and now comforts our grief.
We deeply miss you Mark Elder…
Gerald Davis, President
Customer Service Manager
A native of Richmond, Indiana Becky began her career in the funeral industry with Vandor Corporation in 1986. Vandor expanded and formed Elder Davis, Inc. to focus on other funeral products and the distribution of Elderlite caskets. After enjoying success with Elder Davis, Becky returned to Vandor Corporation and today is Customer Service Manager for the Starmark Cremation Products Division. In addition to all aspects of customer service, Becky handles logistics and participates in product planning and implementation, just to name a few.
Outside of work she enjoys spending time with grandchildren, camping and boating at the Ohio River and taking the occasional motorcycle ride.
Customer Service Representative
Carol started working for Starmark in January 2010. This is her first job in the casket industry but she is no stranger to customer service. Carol has over 30 years of customer service/management in retail and the private sector.
Carol proudly says, “My job is to provide the best customer service I can. I want to make sure that everyone that calls in has a pleasant experience and wants to call back. I believe in our products and want our customers to believe in them also.” She says the favorite part of her job is getting to talk with people from all over the United States and hearing their stories.
When she isn’t working she spends time with her husband, family and friends, loves spoiling her grandkids and is active in her church.
Customer Service Representative
Rhoda started working in Customer Service at Starmark in August of 2014. She just recently started working in the casket industry. Prior to Starmark Rhoda has worked in other customer service positions in different industries. As a customer service representative she assists customers with Starmark products that meet their needs. Rhoda says, “Each day brings something new for me to learn, which keeps my job interesting.”
Sales & Marketing
Sales & Marketing Associate
Arie Elder begins his career in Sales & Marketing with Starmark. Arie joins several other Elder family members at Starmark, including his father Mark Elder who serves as Starmark’s Vice President of Sales. Arie is a welcome addition to the growing staff.
Arie is a sports enthusiast who was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He moved to Michigan at a young age, where he grew up in Rochester, Michigan and in the spring of April 2014 graduated from Grand Valley State University with a bachelor’s degree in Business, Marketing – Sales. He moved back to Richmond following graduation and enjoys sports and fitness of all types from basketball to golfing in the warmer months.
Research & Development
Justin Davis is the Project Engineer for Starmark Cremation Products. He is primarily responsible for Product Development, Marketing, and Product Photography. Justin is no stranger to the funeral industry, previously working at C.J. Boots Casket Company in Anderson, IN as their project manager. Justin also has deep roots in the industry; his Grandfather was the founder of Goliath Casket Company and his father; Gerald Davis is the President of Vandor Corporation.
Justin grew up in Lynn, Indiana; just 16 miles north of Richmond. After graduating HS, Justin pursued a college education in Indianapolis, IN. Justin holds a bachelor degree in Computer Graphics Technology as well as an Associate degree in Organizational Leadership and Supervision from the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology. Justin, his wife Lynnette and daughter relocated back to the Richmond area to pursue his career with Starmark.
Florida Regional Manager
Chad has been with Starmark since the company began in 2004. He started working at Starmark’s parent company (Vandor Corporation) in 1998. Vandor Corporation does many things but began by making interior components for the casket industry. That casket interior business continues today. In July of 2016 Chad was promoted to Regional Manager for Starmark of Florida.
Chad has recently re-located to the Starmark of Florida Lakeland office to act as the Regional Manager. Those duties as well as managing Starmark of Florida’s marketing efforts (ad design, brochures, website, social media, conventions etc.) keeps him busy enough but that’s far from the only thing he does. He also has the opportunity to work with the R&D team and works hands on with Starmark customers. Chad graduated with a degree in Industrial Design from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and received his certificate in Organizational Leadership and Supervision from Purdue University.
When he’s not working he loves traveling and spending time with his wife of over 20 years and their 9 year old daughter. He also plays guitar (horribly), attends comic book conventions and plays the occasional video game.
Chad started working at Starmark in November of 2011 as Shipping & Receiving manager. Prior to coming to Starmark he had worked for 24 years in the Plumbing & Heating Industry, holding various positions during that time. Previous positions included Warehouse Manager, Customer Service Rep, Sales Rep and numerous warehouse positions.
As a Shipping & Receiving Manager his duty is to ensure quality product reaches its destination in a safe and timely manner. He enjoys interacting with the customers that come in to pick up their product.
When he’s not working he enjoys golfing and fishing and watching his two children Garrett and Sidney as they are active in sports and 4H. Chad has been married to his wife Lori for 18 years.