For Immediate Release: January 30, 2017
Contact: Jessica Koth, 262-814-1536, firstname.lastname@example.org
Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is proud to announce the names of the 50 funeral professionals who will attend the association’s expanded Meet the Mentors program. Meet the Mentors will take place March 12-14 at Emory Conference Center Hotel, which is located on the campus of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Meet the Mentors has been wholly funded by the Funeral Service Foundation since the program’s 2011 inception.
This year, in addition to accepting entries from funeral professionals who are under the age of 40, NFDA, for the first time, invited funeral directors who have been licensed for less than five years (no age requirement for new licensees) to participate in the drawing for a chance to attend Meet the Mentors.
The names of the 50 participants were announced last week through a series of video drawings, which were shared on the NFDA website and social media sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc).
“Congratulations to the 50 funeral directors who were selected to participate in Meet the Mentors,” said NFDA President Ashley Cozine, CFSP, CPC, CCO. “I’m looking forward to meeting you in Atlanta and I’m confident this event will offer the energy, inspiration and encouragement you need to build a fulfilling career in funeral service."
About Meet the Mentors
During Meet the Mentors, attendees will meet, learn from, and talk with three innovative and successful funeral professionals:
James “Jimmy” E. Altmeyer Jr., president of Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory in Virginia Beach, Va.; and James “Jimmy” M. Olson, owner of Olson Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Sheboygan, Wis. Altmeyer and Olson will be joined by a third mentor whose name will be announced in the weeks to come.
There is no cost to participate in the Meet the Mentors program itself. The Funeral Service Foundation’s grant provides exclusive, career-transforming access to three mentors, and covers attendees’ registration fees, two nights’ lodging and select meals. The 50 individuals selected to attend only pay for their transportation to the program.
More than 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.
“The Foundation is privileged to help you unlock your potential and take your careers to the next level,” said Funeral Service Foundation Chair Bill Wappner. “I’m honored to represent the Foundation at this year’s program. Your good work drives our good work, and I’m eager to hear your stories and discuss how the Foundation can help you continue build meaningful relationships with the families and communities you serve."
Complete details about the NFDA Meet the Mentors program, including the videos announcing the 2017 Meet the Mentors participants, can be found on the association website, www.nfda.org/mentors.
The 2017 NFDA Meet the Mentors attendees are:
- Elizabeth A. Baker, Preston-Schilling Funeral Home Ltd., Dixon, Ill.
- Glenn Blumenstein, Potter Funeral Home, Willimantic, Conn.
- Damian Bordell, Perinchief Chapels, Mount Holly, N.J.
- James P. Brady, Campbell & Thomas Funeral Home, Richboro, Penn.
- Devan Brazil. Farwell Funeral Service, Merrimack, N.H.
- John Bubbico, Daniels Family Funeral Service, Rio Rancho, N.M.
- Amanda Caceres, McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, Summerville, SC
- * Andrea Cappiello, B.C. Bailey Funeral Home, Wallingford, Conn.
- Ryan Cattoni, AquaGreen Dispositions, South Holland, Ill.
- Tyson Clemons, Valley Mortuary, Driggs, Idaho
- Amanda Coleman, Moore Funeral Homes, Potosi, Mo.
- Joseph V. Costello IV, Costello-Runyon Funeral Home, Metuchen, N.J.
- Rona Koenig Cristadoro, Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home and Cemeteries, Mandeville, LA
- * Bill Dugan, Dugan Funeral Chapel, Fremont, NE
- Josh Faulkner, Omps Funeral Home Inc., Winchester, Va.
- Zachery Ferrell, Peck Funeral Home, Hartselle, Ala.
- Robert M. Girdner, Girdner Funeral Chapel, Yreka, Calif.
- * William Cody Gore, Scottsboro Funeral Home, Scottsboro, Ala.
- * Chris Hays, Miller-Schapmire Funeral Home, Hartford, Ky.
- Veronica L. Houston, Robbins Funeral Home, North Providence, R.I.
- Kristal Hyde, Memorial Mortuaries and Cemeteries, Cottonwood Heights, Utah
- Jocelyn James, Marcus Jackson Funeral Home, New York, N.Y.
- * Kristine Jerry, Coastal Cremations, Leland, N.C.
- Christopher D. Jones, Signature Group, Mansfield, Texas
- Christie R. Keen, Upton-Hay Funeral Home LLC, Celina, Tenn.
- Brandi Q. Klughart, Butler Funeral Homes, Springfield, Ill.
- Heather Kreider, Horan & McConaty Funeral Service, Centennial, Colo.
- * Aaron C. Kucharik, Price & Sons Funeral Home and Monument Company, Garden City, Kan.
- * Carrie Lally, Skradski Funeral Home, Kansas City, Kan.
- Kyle Otis Lancaster, Butler Funeral Home, Bolivar, Mo.
- Sarah Lee, Hardage-Giddens Oaklawn Chapel, Jacksonville, Fla.
- Jenna Lucas, The Island Funeral Home and Crematory, Bluffton, S.C.
- Jesse McElroy, Perman Funeral Home and Cremation Services Inc., Pittsburgh, Penn.
- Jessica Moratto, Callahan Edfast Mortuary, Grand Junction, Colo.
- Jordan Mullens, Schmidt Funeral Home, Katy, Texas
- Douglas Nohava, Minnehaha Funeral Home, Garretson, S.D.
- Joseph A. Pavao Jr., Conway, Cahill-Brodeur Funeral Home, Peabody, Mass.
- Art Pecht, Brunswick Memorial Home, East Brunswick, N.J.
- Whitney Price, Whitaker Funeral Home, Newberry, S.C.
- Benjamin Reiff, Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory, Independence, Iowa
- Jennifer R. Schlueter, Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home Inc., Philadelphia, Penn.
- Lennette Smith, Kraft Sussman Funeral Services, Las Vegas, Nev.
- * Sahara E. Steedle, Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, Stamford, Conn.
- * Richard H. Tomlinson, Robinson Funeral Home, Easley, S.C.
- Brad Walker, Walker Funeral Home, Spanish Fork, Utah
- Laura E. Warman, Highland Park Funeral Home, Kansas City, Kan.
- Rachel Wartes, Gunderson Funeral Home, Madison, Wis.
- Cori Carmine Wilson, Goldfinch Funeral Home, Murrells Inlet, S.C.
- * Ryan Wilt, McDermott Funeral Home Inc., McKees Rocks, Penn.
- D.J. Wright, Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Flemington, N.J.
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 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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* Editor's Note:
Andrea Cappiello, Bill Dugan, William Cody Gore, Chris Hays, Kristine Jerry, Carrie Lally, Sahara Steedle, Richard Tomlinson and Ryan Wilt are unable to attend Meet the Mentors.
Attending in their place are:
- Sean Allan, Gorsline-Runciman Funeral Homes, Lansing, Mich.
- Tiffany Dowell, Watson-Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg, Ill.
- Michael Kulbacki, Mount Sinai Memorial Chapels, East Brunswick, N.J.
- Kaceylee Meyer-Nienstedt, Shimon Funeral Home, Hartford, Wis.
- Alexandra Petrini, Cypress Lawn Funeral Home, Colma, Calif.
- Bryan Stucky, Wallin Funeral Home, Oak Harbor, Wash.
- Megan Veselka, Schmidt Funeral Home, Katy, Texas