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NFDA Announces March 2013 Meet the Mentors Attendees

For Immediate Release: January 21, 2013

Association announces the date and location of the next Meet the Mentors event

Brookfield, Wis. – Last week, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) announced the names of the 50 funeral professionals who will have an opportunity to learn from three leading funeral directors and network with like-minded peers during the Association's Meet the Mentors Program on March 18 and 19 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga. Meet the Mentors is being held in cooperation with the Funeral Service Foundation.

NFDA-member licensed funeral directors and embalmers under the age of 40 had an opportunity to enter a drawing for a chance to participate in this exclusive program. The names of the 50 participants were announced the week of January 14 through video drawings posted on the NFDA website and social media sites. The attendees are:

  • Michelle Anthony, College Place, Wash.
  • Brian Bartlett, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • David Bell, Owensboro, Ky.
  • Jonathan Bender, Clifton, N.J.
  • Shawn Brown, Gainesville, Fla.
  • Brandon Burkhead, Blairsville, Ga.
  • Joshua Cioci, Alliance, Ohio
  • Brett Eidson, Lebanon, Mo.
  • Benjamin Eldridge, Primghar, Iowa
  • Daniel Enea, CPC, Ocoee, Fla.
  • Thomas Fletcher III, Westminster, Md.
  • Anne Geib, New Philadelphia, Ohio
  • Mario Gethers, CFSP, Moncks Corner, S.C.
  • Brantley Gurley, Goldsboro, N.C.
  • Brian Hahn, Parkersburg, W.Va.
  • Jana Haldenwang, CFSP, Oneida, N.Y.
  • Tommy Harris, CFSP, Chesnee, S.C.
  • Cheri Jefferson, Covington, Ga.
  • Sabrina Joynes, CFSP, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Amanda Keith, Louisville, Ky.
  • Christopher Keyes, Cassopolis, Mich.
  • Meghan King, Danville, Va.
  • Leah Kucera, Schenectady, N.Y.
  • Mitchell Kyker, Harriman, Tenn.
  • Kyle LeMieur, Little Falls, Minn.
  • Christopher McCord, CFSP, New Market, Ala.
  • John McHugh, Chevy Chase, Md.
  • Mark Mier, Manchester, Iowa
  • Amy Miller, Greenwood, Ind.
  • Curtis Mills, Clinton, Mo.
  • Kenneth Morgan, Corbin, Ky.
  • David Neal, Danville, Va.
  • Victoria Ordoyne Thomas, Houma, La.
  • Lauren Polanski, Hamburg, N.Y.
  • Jamie Ricci, Ottawa, Ill.
  • Daniel Jon Rush, Philip, S.D.
  • Melanie Scheid, CPC, Lancaster, Penn.
  • Aaron Scott, Jeffersonville, Ind.
  • William Skidd, Associate CPC, Norwalk, Conn.
  • Robert Smith III, Chicago, Ill.
  • Evans St. Forts, North Miami Beach, Fla.
  • Veronica Thomas, Brunswick, Ohio
  • Martha Thompson, Hammond, La.
  • Nicholas Tomasello, Runnemede, N.J.
  • Bodi Topham, Tooele, Utah
  • Edward Torres, Swanquarter, N.C.
  • Ryan Tucker, Denver, Iowa
  • Marty White, Strasburg, Va.
  • Jessica Williams, Houma, La.
  • Eric Wilsey, Saugerties, N.Y.

About Meet the Mentors

The 50 selected attendees will have an opportunity to meet and learn from three of the country's leading funeral directors: Lisa Baue, a third-generation funeral director and president/CEO of Baue Funeral Homes, which operates four funeral homes in St. Charles, Mo.; Michael Schoedinger, CFSP, CPC, the president of Schoedinger Funeral & Cremation Service in Columbus, Ohio, a funeral home with 15 locations that has been owned by his family for six generations; and Richard Tetrick, CFSP, the president and CEO of Heritage Family Funeral Services, which includes 21 funeral homes in four states, six cemeteries in two states and several other funeral-related businesses.

There is no cost to participate in the program itself; the 50 selected attendees only pay for their transportation to and from the program. The cost of the registration fee, access to the mentors, one night of lodging, a reception and dinner the night before the program, and continental breakfast and lunch the day of the program – a $599 value – has been generously covered through a grant from the Funeral Service Foundation.

Complete details about the NFDA Meet the Mentors program, including the videos announcing the winners, can be found on the NFDA website,

Meet the Mentors Program Planned for August 2013

During the final attendee announcement video, NFDA announced that its fourth Meet the Mentors event would take place in August 2013, at the Harvard Faculty Club on the campus of Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. Information about that program, including details on how young funeral professionals can enter for an opportunity to attend, will be posted on the NFDA website,

NFDA is the world's leading and largest funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 39 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

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Contact: Jessica Koth, 262-814-1536,