Funeral Industry Press Releases

Enter Today: NFDA Will Host Third Meet the Mentors Program in August

May 29, 2012

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Enter Today: NFDA Will Host Third Meet the Mentors Program in August

Program returning to Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Mass.

Brookfield, Wis. – After hosting its second successful Meet the Mentors program in March 2012, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is giving young funeral professionals another chance in 2012 to learn from three of the profession’s top experts and network with like-minded peers. The next Meet the Mentors event, which is being held in cooperation with the Funeral Service Foundation, will take place August 27-28 at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Mass.


During Meet the Mentors, 50 licensed funeral directors and embalmers under the age of 40 will have an opportunity to meet, learn from and talk with three of the country’s leading funeral directors.

  • Robert J. Biggins, CFSP, CPC, is the owner of Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home in Rockland, Mass. He is a past president of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association and NFDA. Biggins takes great pride in his role as a caregiver whose mission is to help families “celebrate the dignity of life.” Biggins helps prepare the next generation of funeral directors to enter the profession through his involvement with the New England Institute at Mt. Ida College. He has served on its board of academic overseers and search committee.


  • John J. Horan, CFSP, is the president of Horan & McConaty Funeral Service/Cremation in Denver, Colo. Horan is a fifth-generation funeral director. Since purchasing Horan & McConaty in 1986, it has more than quadrupled in size, making it the largest independently-owned funeral home in Colorado and one of the country’s top ten independent firms. Horan & McConaty has earned numerous business and ethics awards. Horan is a frequent and much sought-after lecturer and writer on death, funeral service and bereavement.


  • Christie C. Whitaker, MSW, CFSP, of Whitaker Funeral Home in Newberry, S.C., has been a funeral director for more than 30 years. Whitaker is an expert in mass-fatality incident response. She has worked with the Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) of the National Disaster Medical System, which is part of the Department of Homeland Security, where she served as the national team leader for Family Assistance. She has been instrumental in developing disaster response protocols. Her work for the government and the private sector has led her to disaster sites including Ground Zero in New York City, the Southeast Asian tsunami, Hurricane Katrina and more.


During Meet the Mentors, each mentor will give a presentation during which they share lessons they have learned about how to build a successful and fulfilling career in funeral service. Following a panel discussion with all three mentors, participants will have an opportunity to personally engage with each mentor in small group discussions.


There is no cost to participate in the Meet the Mentors program itself; the 50 individuals selected to attend only need pay for their transportation to the program. The cost of the registration fee, access to the three mentors, one night of lodging, a reception and dinner the night before the program, and continental breakfast and lunch the day of the program – a $599 value – has been generously covered through a grant from the Funeral Service Foundation.


The names of the 50 participants will be randomly drawn from among all who enter via the NFDA website, Entries will be accepted through midnight July 13, 2012. Entrants must be NFDA members in good standing, licensed funeral directors and/or embalmers, and under 40 years of age.


The names of the 50 participants will be drawn the week of July 16 from among all entries received. Each day, Monday through Friday, a member of the NFDA staff will draw 10 names. The drawings will be available for viewing on NFDA’s website, social media sites and YouTube channel at 2 p.m. CST each day.


Complete details about the NFDA Meet the Mentors program, including eligibility requirements, can be found on the NFDA website, Members can also call NFDA at 800-228-6332 with questions.


NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving 18,500 individual members who represent nearly 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 43 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


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2012 NFDA International Convention & Expo
October 7-10, 2012 Charlotte, NC