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NFDA Announces Meet the Mentors Program Attendees

For Immediate Release: February 3, 2014

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 17 and 18 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel 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 27 through video drawings posted on the NFDA website and social media sites. The attendees are:

  • Jason R. Abner, Heritage Funeral Home, Indian Trail, N.C.
  • Shaylene Barrus, Big Sky Cremations & Twitchell Funeral Service, East Helena, Mont.
  • Matthew R. Bailey, B.C. Bailey Funeral Home, Wallingford, Conn.
  • Carl F. Brendel, The Good Funeral Home, Altoona, Penn.
  • M. Kelly Byrd, Gordon Funeral Service, Monroe, N.C.
  • Anthony J. Cantalupo, Bruswick Memorial Home, East Brunswick, N.J.
  • Kevin Comber, Bradley Funeral Home, Marlton, N.J.
  • Jeffrey Conforti, Piasecki-Althaus Funeral Home, Kenosha, Wis.
  • Jeffrey L. Cox, Waasatch Lawn Mortuary, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Brad Crowther, Dahl Funeral Chapel, Bozeman, Mont.
  • John Daviston, McKoon Funeral Home & Crematory, Newnan, Ga.
  • Gerado "Jerry" Delgadillo, Guerra Gutierrez Mortuary, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Peter Dilwith, Mililani Memorial Park & Mortuary, Wahiawa, Hawaii
  • Brent Dotson, Dotson Funeral Home, Maryville, Tenn.
  • Joseph Aaron Ellison, Ellison-Cleckler Funeral Home, Clanton, Ala.
  • Brian Folsom, Folsom Funeral Home, Dedham, Mass.
  • * Tiffany Foster, Ellestad Camacho Funeral Home & Crematory, Mount Horeb, Wis.
  • Madison M. Fox, Deiters Funeral Home and Crematory, Washington, Ill.
  • Emily Gordon, Spadaccino & Leo P. Gallagher & Son Community Funeral Home, Monroe, Conn.
  • Cyrise Hall, Brampton Funeral Home & Cemetery, Brampton, Ontario, Canada
  • Clay Jorgensen, Memorial Mortuaries, Murray, Utah
  • Chad Keefe, Keefe Funeral Home, Cambridge, Mass.
  • Tim Keefe, Keefe Funeral Home, Cambridge, Mass.
  • * Sarah Kempf-Heiderman, Craig K. Kempf Funeral Home, Marshall, Mich.
  • Christopher Keyes, Adams Funeral Home, Decatur, Mich.
  • * Caroline McGill, Gray Funeral Home, Clinton, S.C.
  • * Nathan Miller, Thomas McAfee Funeral Homes, Easley, S.C.
  • Joshua J. Myer, Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, Concordia, Kan.
  • Randolph R. "Randy" Nash Jr., Spring Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery, Nashville, Tenn.
  • Fiona Anne Nicholson, Gutterman Warheit Memorial Chapel, Boca Raton, Fla.
  • Ludmilla De Oliveira, Ferdinand Funeral Homes & Crematory, Miami, Fla.
  • Corey Parker, Hall Davis and Son Funeral Service, Baton Rouge, La.
  • Ashley Price, William Rowe Price Funeral Home, Meyersdale, Penn.
  • Amber Beattie Randall, Crestview Memorial Funeral Home, Adamsville, Ala.
  • Jerri Reed, Calahan Funeral Home, Chicago, Ill.
  • * Whitney Rhodus, Brandon G. Thompson Funeral Home, Hammond, La.
  • Krystal Riddell, George Darte Funeral Chapel, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
  • Christopher Ross, Moore-Cortner Funeral Home, Winchester, Tenn.
  • Samantha Rossi, Muzyka & Son Funeral Home, Chicago, Ill.
  • * Kaitlin Rowell, Bond Funeral Home, Schenectady, N.Y.
  • Katharine H. Samford, Williams Funeral Home, Lawrenceville, Va.
  • * William Scott, Scott Funeral Home, Jeffersonville, Ind.
  • Abby Shurtz, Smith Family Mortuaries, Derby, Kan.
  • Mitch Steinhoff, Eidsness Funeral Home, Brookings, S.D.
  • * Tara Taylor, Fitzgerald Fuenral Home & Crematory, Rockford, Ill.
  • David Twiford Jr., Twiford Fuenral Home, Manteo, N.C.
  • * Mark Alan Vancura, Singleton Funeral & Cremation Servcies, Glen Burnie, Md.
  • Brent Warner, Carter-Trent Funeral Home, Kingsport, Tenn.
  • Crystal Weaver, Heritage Funeral Home, Spokane, Wash.
  • * Michael Williams, Williams-Lisko Funeral Home, Jamestown, N.D.
  • Joseph L. Wood, Shook Farmer Funeral Home, Roseland, N.J.

About the NFDA Meet the Mentors Program

The 50 selected attendees will have an opportunity to meet and learn from three of the country's leading funeral directors: Carey Bliley of Bliley Funeral Homes in Richmond, Va.; F. Daniel "Dan" Moloney Jr. of Moloney Family Funeral Homes in Lake Ronkonkoma, N.Y.; and Dana Jones Wynn of Jones-Wynn Funeral Home and Crematory in Villa Rica, Ga.

During Meet the Mentors, each mentor will give a presentation during which they share lessons they have learned while building successful and fulfilling careers in funeral service. Following a panel discussion featuring Bliley, Moloney and Wynn, participants will have an opportunity to personally engage with each mentor in small group discussions.

There is no cost to participate in the Meet the Mentors program itself; the 50 individuals selected to attend only pay for their transportation to the program. The cost of the registration fee, access to the three 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 $699 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,

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,

* Notes:

Jill Bradley Ingram of the Bradley Funeral Home in Marleton, N.J., is unable to attend Meet the Mentors. Tiffany Foster was selected as an alternate.

Paul Hutchison of Mattson Funeral Home in Forest Lake, Minn., is unable to attend Meet the Mentors. Sarah Kempf-heiderman was selected as an alternate.

Mark A. LaPlante of Lyndahl Funeral Home in Green Bay, Wis., is unable to attend Meet the Mentors. Nathan Miller was selected as an alternate.

Thomas DeMarco of M. David DeMarco Funeral Home in Monroe Township, N.J., is unable to attend Meet the Mentors. Caroline McGill was selected as an alternate.

Whitney Rhodus of the Brandon G. Thompson Funeral Home in Hammond, La., is unable to attend Meet the Mentors. Kaitlin Rowell was selected as an alternate.

Andrea Armintrout of Lane Family Funeral Homes in Austintown, Ohio, is unable to attend Meet the Mentors. William Scott was selected as an alternate.

Jeffrey D. Jones of Townsend Brothers Funeral Home in Dublin, Ga., is unable to attend Meet the Mentors. Tara Taylor was selected as an alternate.

David Durston of the Zaagman Memorial Chapel in Grand Rapids, Mich., is unable to attend Meet the Mentors. Mark Alan Vancura was selected as an alternate.

Katy P. Beard of the Green Funeral Home in Danbury, Conn., is unable to attend Meet the Mentors. Michael Williams was selected as an alternate.