Selected Independent Funeral Homes Honors David Speaks as 2016 Recipient of Prestigious NextGen Award

February 1, 2016
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DEERFIELD, ILL. —January 28, 2016— Selected Independent Funeral Homes has named David Speaks of Speaks Family Legacy Chapels in Independence, MO as the 2016 recipient of its NextGen Professional of the Year Award. Speaks was honored at a ceremony at the opening reception of the group’s annual NextGen Seminar, held January 24-28 at the Renaissance St. Croix, Carambola Beach. Recipients are presented a physical award and reimbursed for the meeting registration. The award highlights career achievements, community involvement and achievements of funeral professionals under the age of 50.

Speaks serves as Vice President & Director of Community Relations at Speaks Family Legacy Chapels. He is the sixth recipient of the award, and is honored for his true passion and dedication to the profession, his firm, and the community.

“What a complete honor this is,” said Speaks. “To be recognized with this award by those I consider the best and brightest in my profession, is very humbling. I absolutely love the opportunity to help members of my community, and will continue to strive to do my best to validate this award!”

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Speaks is responsible for leading a variety of events in the community and continually finds ways to put a personal touch on every program. Since 2007, he has organized 14 grief conferences for professional caregivers with speakers such as Dr. Alan Wolfelt and Dr. Bill Hoy. He also organizes an annual service of remembrance and has executed three successful blood drives.

At his first NextGen Seminar in 2006, Speaks was introduced to the film series “Lest They Be Forgotten.” Using the films as inspiration, David developed an annual event that included a documentary shown at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library. He expanded the reach of the messaging by bringing the film series to local nursing homes.

In 2010, this event earned Speaks Family Legacy Chapels the ICCFA KIP “Keeping it Personal” Award for outstanding attention to veterans.

In his continued efforts to offer a more personalized service to the families he serves, Speaks completed Insight Celebrant Training to become a Certified Celebrant in 2015.

Not only has he attended seven NextGen Seminars and numerous other Selected meetings over the years, Speaks served as a co-chair of the 2015 NextGen Seminar.

Outside of work, he is the former Vice-President of the Evening Optimist Club of Independence, a group committed to making a positive impact on local youth. For more than ten years, Speaks has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, delivering hot meals to elderly residents of Independence every week.

Selected Independent Funeral Homes created NextGen to develop young funeral professionals as well as acknowledge those new to the profession. The four-day NextGen Seminar, held annually, offers educational and networking sessions for its attendees. Further information on Selected Independent Funeral Homes can be found at www.selectedfuneralhomes.org.

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About Selected Independent Funeral Homes: Founded in 1917 as National Selected Morticians, Selected Independent Funeral Homes (www.selectedfuneralhomes.org) is the world’s oldest and largest association of independently owned funeral homes. Members of the association are expected to operate according to specific standards and best practices in order to provide the public with reliable, high-quality funeral services and funeral-related information.

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