OGR Board Spotlight: S. Chase Lewis


Introducing the Board Spotlight, a fresh addition to our bi-weekly newsletter. This feature illuminates the trailblazing individuals who are steering the course for OGR with their forward thinking approach. For more information, click here.

S. Chase Lewis is the Funeral Director/Embalmer at  Lewis Funeral Homes, Inc. in Milton, Florida. In addition to his place on the OGR Board, Lewis also serves as the chair of the OGR Future Leaders Council. The OGR Insights Newsletter caught up with Chase to talk about working in a family firm, relaxation outside of work, and the value of OGR involvement. 

OGR: Tell us about your family, pets, and where you call home. 

SCL: I'm S. Chase Lewis, happily married to Rhonda since May 16, 2014. Our family joyfully welcomed a new addition in 2023 - a playful frenchie named Tobias. When I married Rhonda, she was already a mother of three, turning me into a step-father of three wonderful children. Over time, our family expanded even further, making me a step-great-grandfather to eight. 

In our close-knit family, my brother Trent and his wife Diandra have two little ones, Rhett (5) and Brinleigh (1). Living in the charming town of Pace, Florida, my parents, Sam and Debby are our neighbors. 

Professionally, I find fulfillment in my work, focusing on funeral preparations, cremation, and cemetery tasks, including crafting and placing monuments for our firm. Beyond my primary responsibilities, I engage in side projects like learning to weld and working on motor or car services outdoors. Actively participating in local initiatives, I contribute to building pole barns by gathering materials and assisting with material movement whenever time permits. 

OGR: What do you do for fun or to relax? 

SCL: For me, enjoyment stems from the satisfaction derived from elevating something beyond its previous state - whether achieved through cleaning, fixing, or restoring it to a like-new condition. I relish the process of breathing new life into objects. Furthermore, I derive immense joy form the art of BBQing or smoking, especially when it involves pork butt, ribs, or brisket, on my egg. 

Engaging in yard work provides me with another avenue of pleasure. The act of completing tasks and enhancing the overall aesthetics of my surroundings brings a profound sense of fulfillment.

I find relaxation only when I've succeeded in ensuring that both the yard and home are impeccably clean and neat. This accomplishment marks the moment when I can truly unwind and appreciate the results of my efforts. 

OGR: How did you first become involved in OGR, and what motivated you to do so? 

SCL: As the fourth generation in our family firm, I proudly continue a legacy where each of the previous three generations actively participated in OGR at different points in time. My uncle, Mike Lewis, a former board member, played a pivotal role in my involvement. He invited me to join the Young Professionals, now known as Future Leaders, and was instrumental in establishing this group alongside Peter Urban. Subsequently, in 2021, I was invited to join the Board of Directors, contributing to the fulfillment of a board seat change and also representing a seat for Future Leaders. The culmination of this journey came in 2022 when I was honored to be re-elected to the Board by the membership. Throughout this experience, I have had the privilege of continuous learning from the dynamic OGR community. 

OGR: What made you want to join the OGR Board of Directors? 

SCL: I eagerly embraced the opportunity to join, feeling honored not just for myself, but also because it allowed me to further strengthen the connection between our firm and OGR. This association has proven instrumental in fostering growth for both entities through shared connections, educational pursuits, and meaningful conversations with like-minded colleagues - many of whom I now appreciate and consider friends. The experience has been enriching, and I take pride in contributing to the collaborative and supportive environment that characterizes our relationship with OGR. 

OGR: What message or advice would you like to share with other members who might be considering getting more involved? 

SCL: In the face of today's challenges, such as corporate pressures, competitive job markets, buyouts, and mergers, it is imperative that we unite to navigate these complexities. By coming together, we can collectively educate ourselves on strategies to move forward and support each other through these transitions. Organizations like ours play a crucial role in facilitating these collaborative efforts and addressing a myriad of challenges. Active involvement, be it through participating in meetings, engaging in virtual education sessions, or joining roundtable discussions and study groups, is key to fostering a resilient and supportive community that can adapt and thrive in the face of evolving circumstances. 

OGR: What other board work, volunteering, or side work do you do? 

SCL: I hold a seat on my local cemetery committee, actively contributing to discussions and decisions related to cemetery matters. Additionally, I play a role in ensuring the security of our church service by serving on the church security team. In the kitchen, I lend a hand in cooking, with a knack for frying chicken. 

As mentioned earlier, I am involved in the transportation of pole barn materials to job sites. I also take on responsibility such as ordering blueprints for the builders I assist from time to time. This diverse range of involvements reflects my commitment to both the community service and hands-on contributions to various projects. 

OGR: Is there anything else we should know about you? 

SCL: I sought greater involvement in our organization because I find fulfillment in contributing and helping. Balancing my commitments allows me to enjoy time working on personal projects, relishing moments from home, cruising on our boat, and soaking in the Florida sun. Despite feeling blessed, I'm continually striving to enhance my home and create an even more enriching and comfortable environment. It's a constant journey of improvement and gratitude. 

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