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NFDA Presents Meet the Mentors

In cooperation with the Funeral Service Foundation.Website2013MTM

March 13-15, 2016
Emory Conference Center Hotel
Atlanta, Georgia

Take a chance to be a part of something extraordinary – Meet the Mentors!

This professional opportunity is unlike anything else you've experienced. Fifty NFDA-members who are licensed funeral professionals under the age of 40 will be randomly selected from a pool of entries to learn from and talk with some of the profession's leading funeral directors. Just think how much could be gained by sitting down with the stellar leaders in your profession and talking with them about their businesses.

Attendee Announcments │ ScheduleFAQs

Thank you to the 2016 Mentors!


Kristin K. Newman is co-owner of Panebaker Funeral Home and Cremation Care Center, Inc. in Hanover, PA, a member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. A first-generation funeral director and embalmer, she attended Taylor University in Upland, IN, earning her B.S. degree in Elementary Education and Middle School Science.  She then attended Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, earning her A.A.S in Embalming and Funeral Service. In 2006 she and her husband purchased Panebaker Funeral Home. In response to the needs of the community they opened a pet crematory and established the community’s first cremation care center. Panebaker Funeral is a four-time recipient of the NFDA Pursuit of Excellence Award and was named Hanover Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year. Kristin has served on the NFDA Professional Development Committee for three years. 


Patrick E. Lynch, CCO, owner/operator of Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors of Clawson, Michigan, one of seven Lynch family owned firms in the suburban Detroit area, is the 2011-12 past president of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). Lynch is a second-generation funeral director and a 1972 graduate of Wayne State University Department of Mortuary Science, where he served as class president. An active member of his state and national associations, his 2003-2004 presidency of the Michigan Funeral Directors Association (MFDA) was marked by the passage of landmark consumer protection legislation and a series of regional interdisciplinary conferences called "The Good Death, Good Grief and Good Funerals." In October 2007, Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors was profiled in the FRONTLINE documentary, "The Undertaking," that aired on PBS. Portraying a moving, insightful view of funeral service, "The Undertaking" emphasized the important work funeral service professionals perform every day. On September 22, 2008, "The Undertaking" won an Emmy Award in the "Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming" category.  


Lynn Ochiltree, CFSP, received a B.A. degree from Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Following graduation, he attended the Kansas City College of Mortuary Science, receiving a degree in Mortuary Science. In 1996 Lynn founded Ochiltree Funeral Service and Aftercare in Winterset, Iowa; he also owns and manages Grief Support Services, a bereavement care organization partnering with funeral homes to provide the educational aftercare newsletter Transitions and Renovations, designed to help grieving families adjust to life changed by loss. Lynn has served nine terms as NFDA Pursuit of Excellence chair, in addition to serving as a Policy Board Representative for Iowa. A past president of the Iowa Funeral Directors Association (2004-2005), Lynn remains active at the state level. He is also on the Advisory Board of the Mortuary Science Program at Des Moines Area Community College.

 Here is what past participants are saying about Meet the Mentors:

Meet the Mentors was beyond my expectations!

This experience was invaluable. I am grateful to have met the mentors, but especially to have met my peer group.

It was a phenomenal experience! The opportunity to meet some of the greatest minds of Funeral Service was very valuable! 


Many thanks to the Funeral Service Foundation for helping make the "Meet the Mentors" program possible!FSF-Logo2

*Meet the Mentors will be held March 13-15, 2016 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta, GA. The names of 50 NFDA-member, licensed funeral directors/embalmers age 40 or under who will be invited to participate in the program will be chosen by random drawing held January 25-29, 2016. The drawings will be viewable on daily beginning the week of the drawing.

One entry per person. Registration is not transferable. Spouses and guests are not eligible to attend. You must be 40 or under and an NFDA member at the time of entry. Previous Meet the Mentors attendees are not eligible to attend.

NFDA reserves the right to cancel the program due to circumstances beyond its control. NFDA’s liability for any cancellation shall not extend to claims, including, but not limited to, travel expenses, cancellation fees, lost wages, inconvenience and other related costs.