For Immediate Release: December 22, 2014
Brookfield, Wis. – John H. Fitch Jr., who has served as NFDA's senior vice president of Advocacy since 1997, will be retiring from the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) on December 31, 2014.
"One of the things that members tell us they value most about NFDA is that we have staff in Washington, D.C., diligently protecting their interests," said NFDA President Robert C. Moore IV, CFSP, CCO. "John's passion for the political process and advocating on behalf of our members and the families they serve is ingrained in the history of NFDA and I am deeply grateful for his many years of faithful service."
Fitch established NFDA's year-round presence in Washington, D.C., by establishing the association's office in the nation's capital; NFDA is the only funeral service association with a full-time presence in Washington, D.C.
Through his persistence, Fitch cemented NFDA's role as a leading resource for Congress, regulatory agencies and other federal leaders on all funeral service-related issues.
"Whenever I needed the National Funeral Directors Association, John Fitch was my 'go to' guy," said Jack E. Lechner Jr., CFSP, superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery. "He has been an active advocate for veterans inside and outside of NFDA."
Said Michael Luke, joint mortuary affairs officer of the U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), "USNORTHCOM is very appreciative of the outstanding support and work John has provided to the Joint Mortuary Affairs Office over the past several years. John's ceaseless efforts of ensuring NFDA's and its members' expertise was always provided in the nation's mass-fatality management planning efforts has always been appreciated."
"I've worked with John for almost 20 years on OSHA and related workplace issues on behalf of NFDA members and funeral service. During this time, I've admired his ability to instantly grasp the essence of a complicated regulatory issue and follow through with an appropriate and effective response," said Edward Ranier, NFDA OSHA and labor legal counsel.
Paul Sledzik, director of the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Transportation Disaster Assistance Division, said, "John's work has forged a partnership between the NFDA, the NTSB, and air and rail carriers – a partnership that ultimately benefits the family members of those who have lost loved ones in major transportation accidents. John is also respected in the mass-fatality community, where he has represented the funeral industry's important perspective in national-level discussions."
"John Fitch has lead NFDA's environmental effort for nearly twenty years, encouraging NFDA's members to be stewards of the environment, good environmental citizens, and in compliance with the complex environmental rules that apply to funeral service," said Carol Green, NFDA environmental compliance counsel. "He has been on top of key developments at [the Environmental Protection Agency] and the agencies whose pronouncements about formaldehyde impact NFDA's members. John has been an effective advocate for funeral service, a thoughtful educator, a terrific colleague, and a good friend."
"We are incredibly grateful to John for everything he has accomplished for our members," said NFDA CEO Christine Pepper, CAE. "The relationships that John has built will serve NFDA and its members – and indeed the entire funeral service profession – long into the future."
She continued, "John leaves us with a tremendous foundation for us to continue our advocacy work in Washington, D.C. We have a great team in place and our efforts on behalf of members and the profession will continue. I am confident we won't miss a beat when the next session of Congress begins."
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 39 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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Contact: Jessica Koth, 262-814-1536, firstname.lastname@example.org