Matt Baskerville grew up in rural Wilmington, Illinois, attended National Louis University and Northwestern University, both in Evanston, Illinois, and graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois. Matt has been a licensed funeral director since 1995 and holds an Illinois Life Insurance Producers License. He has earned the designation as a Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC), as well as a Certified Crematory Operator (CCO) by the National Funeral Directors Association and maintains his credentials as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) through the Academy of Funeral Service Practice. In addition, Matt assists families as a Certified Funeral Celebrant, and acquired his training through the Insight Institute. Matt is an active member of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, where he has served as a District Board Member, Secretary/Treasurer, Vice President and is currently the 2023-2024 President. He is honored to be involved with the National Funeral Directors Association, where he served as a past committee member, and co-chair of the Pursuit of Excellence Program. He is also on the Spokesperson Team for the association. Matt was selected as a Mentor for the NFDA and Funeral Service Foundation’s Meet the Mentors Program at Emory University in 2018. Matt has a passion for service to families and has been blessed to build a team of loyal co-workers that hold the same core values and dedication to funeral service. In his limited free time, Matt is a foodie that enjoys traveling, collecting antiques, enjoying the theater and arts and spending time at the beach. As passionate as he is in serving his communities, he equally enjoys his time away to rejuvenate.
Georganne Bender is a speaker, author, and consultant who has helped thousands in the retail, restaurant, healthcare, deathcare, hospitality, travel, beauty, tech, auto sales and service industries grow their sales since 1990. Georganne and her partner Rich Kizer are listed among the Top 40 Omnichannel Retail Influencers. Top 100 Retail Influencers, and the Top Retail Industry Experts. As global retail thought leaders, they serve as Brain Trust panelists for Retail Wire. They made Meetings & Conventions Magazine’s list of Meeting Planners Favorite Keynote Speakers and were named two of Retailing’s Most Influential People. Their award-winning Retail Adventures Blog is consistently listed among important small business blogs. KIZER & BENDER are known for intensive research that includes focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and on-site studies. They began mystery shopping funeral homes in 2005 to bring you solid consumer intelligence you can use to better serve your own customers.
David Hernandez, Jr.
David Hernandez, Jr. is a first-generation funeral director, founder and operator of Jersey Memorial Group with funeral homes and cemeteries in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia with 13 locations serving 2000 families each year. Many of his firms are consistent with NFDA Pursuit of Excellence award recipients and as well as having the honor of Best of the Best in 2017. He is currently a Funeral Service Foundation Board Trustee.
Kris Kington-Barker is director of outreach and care provider programs and an educator for the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA). She previously was the executive director for Hospice of San Luis Obispo County for 10 years. Prior to her focus on end-of-life care, Kris’s career ranged from psychiatric nursing to hospital and rural health clinic administration and operations. She currently serves on the board of directors for Joshua’s House Volunteer Hospice, dedicated to serving terminally ill persons who are experiencing homelessness, and she is assisting in establishing end-of-life doulas as core members of their care team. She is a volunteer educator for the Humane Prison Hospice Project in California. Kris has been advocating the services and benefits that end-of-life doulas can bring to the dying, caregivers and end-of-life care teams since 2015 and in 2022 began serving on the NHPCO End of Life Doula Advisory Council. Kris continues to provide death doula services to her community as an independent doula, hospice and hospital volunteer, and volunteers for the EOLD Grief Support Program through the NHPCO.
Gail Marquardt is Vice President, Consumer Engagement, and manager of NFDA’s consumer education initiative, Remembering A Life, which educates consumers about the value of a funeral, the value of a funeral director and the importance of remembering loved ones after they die. Gail is passionate about the value of a funeral, the value of a funeral director and the importance of remembering our loved ones in meaningful ways.
Josh McQueen is the Vice President of Marketing and Product at Directors Investment Group (the parent company of Funeral Directors Life and Passare), where he oversees marketing campaign efforts and new technology products, all while helping funeral homes be more innovative.