Selected Independent Funeral Homes elected two new officers to its board who will be officially installed during the association’s Annual Meeting September 21-24. Byron Calhoun of Calhoun Funeral & Cremation Service in Bedford Heights, Ohio, will serve as president. His firm was the first minority-owned firm to join Selected, and Calhoun will be the first African American president in its history.
Calhoun is a second-generation funeral director. After graduating from Morehouse College, he attended Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and then earned his MBA at Baldwin Wallace University.
“My father was very proud and excited to be extended membership to Selected [in 2001],” Calhoun recalled. “It was somewhat of a crowning achievement for him. He passed away in 2016. I know he would be overwhelmed and overjoyed that the association has allowed me to serve as its president.”
Al Asta of Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, Phoenix, Arizona, will serve as board chair. Asta studied mortuary science at Cyprus College in California and has nearly 40 years of experience as a licensed funeral director. In addition to Selected, he is also a member of NFDA and the Arizona Funeral, Cemetery and Cremation Association.
Selected’s full Board of Directors includes President Joshua Blake, Waco, Texas, Group 5; Board Chair Robert Nunnaley, Carthage, North Carolina, Group 3; Board Chair-elect Al Asta, Group 6; President-elect Byron Calhoun, Group 2; Steve Pierce, Kansas City, Missouri, Group 4; John Kepner, Huntersville, North Carolina, Group 3; John Keohane, Quincy, Massachusetts, Group 1; and Tom Antram, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Group 5.
In other news, Selected held its 2022 NextGen Seminar January 30-February 3 at The Confidante Hotel in Miami Beach. The program brings together young funeral professionals, as well as those new to the profession, for educational and networking sessions. This year featured speakers Tim Bridgers, senior vice president of funeral home and cemetery lending at Live Oak Bank, and Jason Troyer, Ph.D., founder of Mt. Hope Grief Services and GriefPlan.com.
In addition, NextGen Co-Chairs Jay McAfee, Thomas McAfee Funeral Home, Greenville, South Carolina, and Quinn Haisley-Wheeler, Haisley Funeral & Cremation Service, Fort Pierce, Florida, addressed issues of importance during the “Next Practices Exchange” session.
During the seminar, Selected recognized Kyle Trimble, Dulle-Trimble Funeral Home, Jefferson City, Missouri, as its 2022 NextGen Professional of the Year. The award highlights the career achievements, community/organization involvement and awards/achievements of funeral professionals under age 50. selectedfuneralhomes.org