Bennett takes on the role of pre-planning advisor
Dallas resident Scott Bennett has joined Dallas Jewish Funerals as pre-planning advisor. As part of his role, Bennett will meet with families and individuals to focus on pre-planning requirements and needs. “It’s the smart thing to do,” he said. “Smart financially, and a great gift of love to our children, who will sincerely appreciate not having to worry about funeral arrangements and financing when it’s time to go.”
Bennett’s previous job experience included chief marketing officer for the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, Georgia, as well as advertising, marketing and sales executive involved with national and international brands including Anheuser-Busch, Kraft, British Aerospace and Verizon.
Raised in Dallas from the early 1960s, Bennett celebrated his bar mitzvah at Temple Shalom, attended Richardson High School, and graduated from the University of Texas-Austin with a bachelor’s degree in advertising.
He went to work for the ACS in 2007 because a decade earlier, his then 6-year-old daughter, Ana, had been diagnosed with a rare and life-threatening form of leukemia, acute myeloid leukemia.
“I remember my wife and I thanking the doctors and nurses daily for all they did for our daughter, and our family,” Bennett said. “Each night I would say a quiet prayer asking God for our daughter’s recovery and to send thanks to the anonymous research lab scientists who developed the experimental drug protocol that was being used to treat our daughter.” Shortly after joining the American Cancer Society, Bennett met Dr. Jerry Yates, the head of cancer research at the Society. Soon to retire, Bennett asked Yates to share his crowning career achievement. “Without blinking an eye, he said he led the team that developed the first successful experimental protocol to successfully treat acute myeloid leukemia. With tears in my eyes I thanked him for saving my daughter’s life,” Bennett recalled.
Bennett and his family (including wife, Cristy, and son, Sam) returned to Dallas in 2013 to be closer to family. Daughter Ana is in Indiana and his other son, Evan, resides in Atlanta. Shortly after arriving in Dallas, Bennett ended up looking after his father’s affairs and ongoing care when his mother suddenly passed away. “With the help of many including my wife, my sister, Stacy Horowitz, and my brother Gary, we dove in to help my father. We had to deal immediately with his living arrangements, care and financial situation,” Bennett said. In the process Bennett met with quite a few people in estate planning, including Zane Belayea, owner and chief operating officer with Dallas Jewish Funerals.
“I met Zane at a networking event when I returned to Dallas,” Bennett said. “Zane later helped me, and my family pre-arrange our father’s funeral. About three years later, my father passed away. The funeral service was perfect. The rabbi was excellent. Everything was planned in advance, so when my father passed, our family could focus on grieving and not having to worry about funeral arrangements and financing. I found so much comfort in the process that I referred other families to Zane.”
Belayea eventually recruited Scott to join him and focus on pre-planning in the Jewish community. According to Belayea, Bennett “enjoys engaging families and has a sincere, transparent way of helping people navigate through a process that some of us have a difficult time confronting.
“I remember Scott’s initial reaction when I approached him about working in the business, said Belayea. “He said he could hear his mother’s voice, proudly saying, ‘My son, the funeral director!’”
Bennett is passionate about funeral pre-arrangement. “It’s a smart thing to do,” he said. “Smart financially, and a great gift of love to our children, who will sincerely appreciate not having to worry about funeral arrangements and financing when it’s our time to go.”
In his free time, Bennett enjoys golf and photography. He’s also the founder of My Home My Life, a nonprofit dedicated to meeting the housing and social needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.