For Immediate Release: January 27, 2020
Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is proud to announce the names of the 50 funeral professionals who will attend the 2020 Meet the Mentors Program: Presented by the Funeral Service Foundation, March 8-10 in Atlanta, Ga. Meet the Mentors has been wholly-funded by the Funeral Service Foundation since the program’s 2011 inception.
During Meet the Mentors, these 50 funeral professionals who are either age 40 or under or new to the profession (first licensed within the last five years) will have an opportunity to meet, learn from and talk with innovative and successful funeral professionals. It’s also an opportunity to network and form relationships with other new professionals.
The names of the 50 participants were announced during the week of January 20 through a series of video drawings that were shared on the NFDA website and social media sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
About Meet the Mentors
Meet the Mentors attendees will spend time with three of the profession’s highly esteemed funeral directors: Matt Bailey, CFSP, a fourth-generation funeral director and the owner/operator of B.C. Bailey Funeral Home in Wallingford, Conn.; Amy Cunningham, a New York state-licensed funeral director and the owner of Fitting Tribute Funeral Services in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and C. Lynn Gibson, Ph.D., managing partner of Smith Life & Legacy Funeral Home in Maryville, Tenn., and the vice president of Grandview Cemetery.
There is no cost to participate in the Meet the Mentors program itself. The Funeral Service Foundation’s generous grant provides exclusive, career-transforming access to three mentors, and covers attendees’ registration fees, lodging and select meals. The 50 individuals selected to attend only pay for their transportation to the program.
Nearly 600 young professionals and emerging leaders have benefited from the Meet the Mentors program, which underscores the Foundation’s mission to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and communities it serves. The program is part of the Foundation ‘45 Awards, which are designed to transform the careers of funeral service professionals through scholarships, awards, resources and mission-focused outreach.
Complete details about the NFDA Meet the Mentors program, including the videos announcing the 2020 Meet the Mentors participants, can be found on the association website, www.nfda.org/mentors.
The 2020 NFDA Meet the Mentors attendees are:
- Allison Christine Anderson, Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes, Morris, Ill.
- Jennifer Badgett, Defenbaugh-Wise-Schoedinger Funeral Home, Circleville, Ohio
- Philip B. Box, Searcy Funeral Home & Crematory, Enterprise, Ala.
- Reginald Travis Bush, Williams Funeral Home Inc., Opelousas, La.
- Amanda Michelle Calzadias, Mehl's Colonial Chapel, Watsonville, Calif.
- * Frank A. Cagnina Jr., Courtney Funeral Home, Walton, N.Y.
- William Brandon Chambers, Herlihy-Chambers Funeral Home, Mansfield, Ohio
- Edwin Coots V, E.M. Coots' & Sons Inc., Jeffersonville, Ind.
- * Jayson Dahlgard, Carpino Funeral Home, Southbury, Conn.
- Jeri Lynn Davenport, Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home, North Little Rock, Ark.
- * Joseph Demerly, Simplicity Lowcountry Cremation & Burial Services, Bluffton, S.C.
- Joseph Fenner, Radney's Funeral Home Inc., Alexander City, Ala.
- E. Forrest Fuehrer, Ludvigsen Mortuary, Fremont, Neb.
- Erika Terese Furey, Schoedinger Funeral & Cremation Service – Midtown, Columbus, Ohio
- Brady Goska, Gunderson Funeral and Cremation Care, Madison, Wis.
- * Christopher Halsey, Hankins & Whittington Funeral Service, Lake Wylie, S.C.
- Evan Hansen, Minnehaha Funeral Home, Baltic, S.D.
- Alecia Gale Hellkamp, Neidhard-Minges Funeral Home, Harrison, Ohio
- Ryan Hughes, Hughes Family Tribute Center, Dallas, Texas
- Amanda Leigh Kus, Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, Stamford, Conn.
- Joy Donna Lieb, Austin & Bell Funeral Home, Hendersonville, Tenn.
- Caleb Massey, Lowe Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., Burlington, N.C.
- Keith P. Mattei, Newcomer Cremations, Funerals & Receptions, Orlando, Fla.
- Keith W. May, Gilberg-Hartwig Funeral Home, New Bremen, Ohio
- Tamika McDade, Cornerstone Funeral Services & Cremations LLC, Birmingham, Ala.
- Melissa Mellen, Townley & Wheeler Funeral Home, Ballston Lake, N.Y.
- Elyse Minges, Neidhard-Minges Funeral Home Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio
- Kasie J. Morris, Panebaker Funeral Home & Cremation Care Center Inc., Hanover, Pa.
- Blake Phillips, Texarkana Funeral Home Inc., Texarkana, Texas
- James Richard Posey, Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home Inc., Covington, Ga.
- Sarah B. Rehberg, Heritage Funeral Home, Milwaukee, Wis.
- Mandy Rodriguez, Brown Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Niles, Mich.
- Josh Rudd, Rogers & Taylor Funeral Home, Tremonton, Utah
- Matthew Scarpelli, Scarpelli Funeral Home, Cumberland, Md.
- Lee C. Schubert, Muehl-Boettcher Funeral Home, Seymour, Wis.
- Allison M. Slipsky, Schoedinger Northeast Chapel, Gahanna, Ohio
- Ottilie Elizabeth Sommars, Twiford Funeral Homes LLC, Elizabeth City, N.C.
- Rosemary Starcovic, Schoedinger Northeast Chapel, Gahanna, Ohio
- James Weston Stephens, Wenig Funeral Homes, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.
- Timothy A. Szczesny, DeMunn Funeral Home, Binghamton, N.Y.
- Lexi Taylor, Wilson-St. Pierre Funeral Service & Crematory, Greenwood, Ind.
- Stacy D. Thurman, F.L. Sims Funeral Home, East Point, Ga.
- * Jacey Layne Trammell, Seydler-Hill Funeral Home, Gonzales, Texas
- * Jasson Thomas, Lemley Brown Service Funeral Home, Oneonta, Ala.
- * Christian Turley, Anderson & Sons Lone Peak Chapel, Lindon, Utah
- Dean Van Nort, Piper Funeral Home, St. Marys, Kan.
- Jean Wallace, McNeill Mackie Funeral Home, Saint Pauls, N.C.
- Noah Watry, Rozga Funeral and Cremation Services, Milwaukee, Wis.
- Sierra M. White, Lee Funeral Home Inc., Clinton, Md.
- Amanda Wilson, Fairhaven Memorial Services, Mission Viejo, Calif.
NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 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 www.nfda.org.
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Note: Individuals with an asterisk (*) by their name are unable to attend. The following alternates will attend in their place:
- Kelli Blankenship, Jones-Wynn Funeral Home and Crematory, Villa Rica, Ga.
- Jessica Bowen, Spry Funeral Home, Inc., Huntsville, Ala.
- Monica Burchi, Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Ann Arbor, Mich.
- Kyle Eveland, Goebel Funeral Home, Inc., Crooksville, Ohio
- Chandra Patel, Newcomer Cremations, Funeral and Receptions, Louisville, Ky.
- Ashley Skaggs, Tuscaloosa Memorial Chapel Funeral Home & Crematory, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
- Allison Voorhess, A.H. Peters Funeral Home, Groose Pointe Woods, Mich.
Contact: Jessica Koth, 262-814-1536, firstname.lastname@example.org