Funeral Service Foundation Awards 10 2016 NFDA Professional Women’s Conference Scholarships

April 17, 2016

Brookfield, Wis.  – In alignment with its mission to fund projects and programs that support all of funeral service in building meaningful relationships in the community the Funeral Service Foundation awarded scholarships to 10 women to attend the 2016 NFDA Professional Women’s Conference, which was held April 8-10 in Cape Coral, Fla.

“The Funeral Service Foundation has been supporting the Professional Women’s Conference since the beginning,” said Foundation Executive Director Danelle O’Neill during a special luncheon to honor the scholarship recipients. “In fact, since 1998 more than 110 women have received scholarships to attend the NFDA Professional Women’s Conference because our donors understand this professional development opportunity enriches our profession and our communities.”

The 2016 NFDA Professional Women’s Conference Scholarships were made possible, in part, through the generosity of long-time Foundation donors Nomis Publications Inc., Messenger LLC, Wilbert and Trigard. In addition, Foundation Partners Group, for the third year in a row, sponsored the Foundation’s annual conference kick-off event.


“Yearly support for this professional development scholarship program and the conference kickoff event is a true testament to our donors’ commitment the Foundation’s mission, and to the women who have been called to a career in funeral service,” said O’Neill.

Scholarship recipients were selected based upon their answers to questions about why they chose a career in the profession; the professional accomplishment of which they are most proud; a mentor who has helped shape their career; and reasons for wanting to participate in the conference.

“We’re thrilled to see this professional development scholarship program continue to grow,” said Stephanie Kann, Foundation trustee and chair of the scholarship sub-committee. “It’s an honor for the sub-committee to provide deserving women the opportunity to attend the only conference within funeral service that focuses solely on the professional development of women.”

Scholarships covered the recipients’ conference registration fees, and provided a $1,000 travel and accommodation stipend; a record $10,000 was awarded to this year’s winners. The 2016 Professional Women’s Conference Scholarship recipients are:

  • Monique Murray Fowler, Murray Brothers Funeral Home, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Veronica Haskell, Haskell-Hott Funeral Homes, Princeville, Ill.
  • Heather Heath, Brown Funeral Home, Niles, Mich.
  • Ann-Marie Kieffer, Alexander Funeral Homes, East Chapel, Evansville, Ind.
  • Jenna Leisner, Skradski Family Funeral Homes, Gladstone, Mich.
  • Kathy Lentz, Kindred Sol, Bethlehem, Pa.
  • Cheryl Demko Morello, Sheehan-Hilborn-Breen Funeral Home, West Hartford, Conn.
  • Katie Reynolds, Dignity Memorial Services, Thornhill, Ontario, Canada.
  • Tiffany Sims, Royal Funeral Home, Huntsville, Ala.
  • Lisa Wright, Shannon Funeral Service, Shelbyville, Ky.

Learn more about the 2016 winners.

Since 1947, more than 6,000 funeral service professionals have benefitted from the Foundation’s involvement in academic and professional development opportunities. Please visit for more information about how to contribute to, apply for or establish a scholarship fund.  Applications for scholarships to attend the 2017 NFDA Professional Women’s Conference will be available online early next year.

About the Funeral Service Foundation –

The Funeral Service Foundation is the leading public foundation dedicated in perpetuity to serve the funeral service profession.  In alignment with its mission, the Foundation supports all of funeral service in building meaningful relationships in the community by commissioning innovative research, funding programs and professional development, administering and awarding scholarships and assisting communities in crisis.

2016 Professional Women’s Conference scholarship recipients with Funeral Service Foundation supporters and representatives


Font row (l-r): Cheryl Demko Morello, Jenna Leisner, Kathy Lentz and Veronica Haskell, scholarship recipients; Peggy Rouzzo, Nomis Publications, Inc. Back row (l-r): Kim Graham, Nomis Publications, Inc.; Amy Elliot, Foundation Partners Group; Katie Reynolds, Monique Murray Fowler, Ann-Marie Kieffer, Heather Heath, Lisa Wright and Tiffany Sims, scholarship recipients, Sheri Richardson Stahl, Foundation trustee; Danelle O’Neill, Foundation executive director. 

CDFuneralNews is the leading online daily publication for funeral professionals with a reader base of over 45,000 of the most elite and forward-thinking professionals in the profession. With we have created a global community through an online platform allowing funeral professionals to Stay Current. Stay Informed and Stay Elite.

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