President, Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes
Matt grew up in the rural community of Wilmington, Illinois, and attended National Louis University and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, as well as Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois. Matt is a first-generation funeral director, licensed since 1995, and owns and operates four funeral homes. He earned his designation as a Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC), as well as a Certified Crematory Operator (CCO) through NFDA, and maintains his credentials as a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). In addition, Matt assists families as a Certified Funeral Celebrant. He is currently Vice President of the Illinois Funeral Directors Association, chair of NFDA’s Pursuit of Excellence Program committee, and is also on the Spokesperson Team for NFDA.
Owner, AquaGreen Dispostions, LLC
Ryan is an Illinois and Indiana Licensed Funeral Director who has served families across the US. He graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science with Magna Cum Laude honors. While working at a funeral home, he became intrigued with Alkaline Hydrolysis/Flameless Cremation. Ryan dedicated over two years researching the process and met with numerous professionals / legislators to include Alkaline Hydrolysis as an approved method of disposition and helped write the rules and regulations in Illinois. Ryan started AquaGreen Dispositions in September 2012 and was the first in Illinois and the fourth Alkaline Hydrolysis facility in the country. He has been published in the Funeral Service Insider, Nomis Publication, WGN TV, NY Times, numerous news articles international and domestic, radio shows, spoken at many funeral organizations and is an approved Illinois Funeral Director Continuing Education Sponsor. Ryan is a well-known expert regarding flameless cremation and has been contacted by funeral directors across the nation and Europe interested in more information.
NFDA General Counsel
Chris has been serving funeral service for almost 20 years. He was in-house counsel for SCI from 2003-2008 before he started in private practice representing funeral homes, cemeteries, and crematories of all sizes across North America. Chris was General Counsel for the Texas Funeral Directors Association and General Counsel and on the Board of Directors for the Cremation Association of North America for over 7 years each. Chris founded The Farmer Firm eight years ago and served as outside general counsel to many successful businesses. As NFDA’s General Counsel, Chris provides counsel on litigation, regulatory matters, business matters, buying and selling, employment law, and any other legal matters our profession faces.
President, Krause Funeral Homes and Cremation Services
Mark J. Krause is president and owner of Krause Funeral Homes and Cremation Services, of Milwaukee, WI, and operates four funeral homes that serve over 1,300 families annually. He is a fourth-generation funeral director and has been in funeral service since 1976. Krause Funeral Homes and Cremation Services is nationally recognized for outstanding customer service and innovation.
Krause graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, earning bachelor’s degrees in both political science and history. Mark attended Worsham College of Mortuary Science and graduated in 1982. He earned a Master of Business Administration in 1993.
Krause is a founder and past president of the Funeral Service and Cremation Alliance of Wisconsin. He is also past president of Preferred Funeral Directors, International and past president of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. He is a nationally recognized funeral profession educator and regularly speaks at national, regional and state conventions and seminars.
Chief Operations Officer, MKJ Marketing
As the leader of MKJ’s website development team, Isaac Miller consults with funeral homes, cemeteries, e-commerce cremation providers, and monument companies on the design and function of their marketing websites. He also handles media buying for clients across the country, placing hundreds of thousands of dollars in traditional TV, Connected TV, display, and geofencing media each year. After graduating from Vanderbilt University with a degree in economics, Isaac earned his law degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.
NFDA Vice President, Cremation Services
Mike is a licensed funeral director and former vice-president of cremation operations at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Homes & Crematory (with 8 locations in Tidewater, Virginia), where he worked for 34 years. Mike is a graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and a member of the PIMS Board of Directors. He is a former president of the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) and was Chair of the CANA Operators Certification Program for 7 years. Mike writes articles for funeral industry trade publications and frequently presents cremation education programs at conferences across the country. He is the instructor for NFDA’s Cremation Certification Program.
Instructor, Milwaukee Area Technical College, NFDA Podcast Host, A Brush with Death
Gabe is a licensed funeral director in Wisconsin and Minnesota and is also a funeral service educator. Currently, he teaches embalming and restorative art and serves as the Funeral Service Program Coordinator at the Milwaukee Area Technical College. Gabe is also the host of the National Funeral Directors Association’s “A Brush with Death” podcast, host of NFDA Live, and a contributor to other NFDA projects and publications. He also owns a motorcycle urn company, EtURNal Ride, and creates custom engraved urns that serve as functioning motorcycle access covers. He is very passionate about serving families in their time of need and creating meaningful experiences for them and considers himself very blessed to be in a position to teach and inspire others to do the same. Gabriel has served his country as an Army Infantryman.
President, Schoedinger Funeral Home and Cremation Service
Michael Schoedinger is a 6th generation owner of one of the largest funeral companies in the U.S., operating 12 locations, three crematories, a monument company, and a pet cremation service in Ohio. Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service has been awarded the Family Business of the Year Award for Central Ohio and was second runner-up for the National Family Business of the Year Award. Michael is a licensed funeral director and embalmer, Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC), Certified Funeral Executive (CFuE), Certified Cremation Executive (CCrE), and Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP). He graduated from Upper Arlington High School and earned the rank of Eagle Scout; Miami University in Oxford, OH with a B.S. in Organizational Behavior and a B.S. in Personnel and Employee Relations; and the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science where he was class President