Funeral Industry News Funeral Industry Press Releases

NFDA Announces August 2013 Meet the Mentors Attendees

July 1, 2013

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.

NFDA Announces August 2013 Meet the Mentors Attendees

Last week, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) announced the names of the 50 funeral professionals who will have an opportunity to learn from three leading funeral directors and network with like-minded peers during the Association’s Meet the Mentors Program on August 19 and 20 at the Harvard Faculty Club in Cambridge, Mass. Meet the Mentors is being held in cooperation with the Funeral Service Foundation.

NFDA-member licensed funeral directors and embalmers under the age of 40 had an opportunity to enter a drawing for a chance to participate in this exclusive program. The names of the 50 participants were announced the week of June 24 through video drawings posted on the NFDA website and social media sites. The attendees are:

·         Ralph Barile Jr., Barile Family Funeral Home, Stoneham, Mass.

·         Matthew Baskerville, Reeves Funeral Homes Ltd., Wilmington, Ill.

·         Brian Bentley, D’Esopo Funeral Chapel, Wethersfield, Conn.

·         Brittany Boozer, Talladega Funeral Home Inc., Talladega, Ala.

·         John Brennan Jr., Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Carbondale, Penn.

·         Joanna Brief, Westchester Funeral Home Inc., Eastchester, N.Y.

·         Audra Brooks, Bouton and Reynolds Funeral Home, Stamford, Conn.

·         Travis Browne, Castle Rock Funeral and Cremation, Parker, Colo.

·         Frank Cagnina Jr., Woodridge Memorial Park & Funeral Home, Lexington, S.C.

·         Kellie Caposello, John E. Day Funeral Home, Red Bank, N.J.

·         Garrett Christensen, Williams-Gores Funeral Home, Delton, Mich.

·         Natalie Clink, T. M. Ralph Plantation Funeral Home, Plantation, Fla.

·         Zachary Coffin, Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, Concordia, Kan.

·         John Daviston, McKoon Funeral Home, Newnan, Ga.

·         Jason DeLeon, Memorial Funeral Home, San Juan, Texas

·         Peter Dilwith, Mililani Memorial Park & Mortuary, Pearl City, Hawaii

·         Matt Dixon, Dwayne R. Spence Funeral Home, Canal Winchester, Ohio

·         Lucas Dumont, Tasker Funeral Service, Dover, N.H.

·         Benjamin Faulkenberry, Dunklin & Daniels Funeral Home, Greenville, Ala.

·         William Fay II, Callahan & Fay Brothers Funeral Home, Worcester, Mass.

·         Karin Figueroa, Panebaker Funeral Home, Hanover, Penn.

·         Nicholas Fitzwater, Bartlett-Burdette-Cox Funeral Home Inc., Charleston, W.Va.

·         Amber Gilbert, Otts Funeral Home, Sulligent, Ala.

·         Scott Green, George Irvin Green Funeral Home, Munhall, Penn.

·         Lori Hall-Diaz, Diehl-Whittaker Funeral Service, Columbus, Ohio

·         Jennifer Harry, Meyer Brothers Colonial Chapel, Sioux City, Iowa

·         Brad Horner, Hooper-Huddleston & Horner Funeral Home, Cookeville, Tenn.

·         Samuel James, James Funeral Home, Huntersville, N.C.

·         Whitney Lang, Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home, Gulfport, Miss.

·         Adam Lockstone, R. L. Lockstone Funeral Home, Weatherford, Okla.

·         Gerald Macari, Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, Stamford, Conn.

·         Sal Mangano, Mangano Funeral Home, Deer Park, N.Y.

·         Sierra Mello, Gunderson Funeral Home & Crematory, Madison, Wis.

·         Tammy Miles, Roseberry’s Funeral Home, Friendship, Wis.

·         Faith Miner, French Mortuary Inc. – Wyoming Chapel, Albuquerque, N.M.

·         Ashley Moul, Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, Milford, Mich.

·         Nora Murphy, Piasecki-Althaus Funeral Home Inc., Kenosha, Wis.

·         Randy Nash, Spring Hill Funeral Home, Nashville, Tenn.

·         Corey Parker, Hall Davis & Sons Funeral Service LLC, Baton Rouge, La.

·         Joseph Ladd Pulliam, Jones and Son Funeral Home, Richton, Miss.

·         Whitney Rhodus, Brandon G. Thompson Funeral Home, Hammond, La.

·         Lauren Roberts-Worland, Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center – Market Street, Indianapolis, Ind.

·         Chad Saia, Brandon G. Thompson Funeral Home, Hammond, La.

·         Jes Scott, Osheim & Schmidt Funeral Home, Rapid City, S.D.

·         Jason Sheppard, Carmon Community Funeral Homes, Windsor, Conn.

·         Jason Steele, Arnett & Steele Funeral Home and Cremation Center, Pineville, Ky.

·         Jaime Steward, Murdoch-Linwood Funeral Home & Cemetery, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

·         Krista Vanlandingham, Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Center – Speedway, Indianapolis, Ind.

·         Neil Weiss, Cozean Memorial Chapel & Crematory, Farmington, Mo.

·         Jolene Winter, Brater Funeral Home, Harrison, Ohi0 

About Meet the Mentors

The 50 selected attendees will have an opportunity to meet and learn from three of the country’s leading funeral directors: William W. McReavy of Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel in Minneapolis, Minn., Brad Speaks of Speaks Family Legacy Chapels in Independence, Mo., and Paula J. Staab Polk of Staab Polk Memorial Home, Cremation Services of Central Illinois and Sangamon Prairie Reception Center in Chatham, Ill.

There is no cost to participate in the program itself; the 50 selected attendees only pay for their transportation to and from the program. The cost of the registration fee, access to the 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.

Complete details about the NFDA Meet the Mentors program, including the videos announcing the winners, can be found on the NFDA website,

Meet the Mentors Program Planned for March 2014

During the final attendee announcement video, NFDA announced that its next Meet the Mentors event would take place in March 2014 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. Information about that program, including details on how young funeral professionals can enter for an opportunity to attend, will be posted on the NFDA website,

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