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Funeral Service Foundation Welcomes New Executive Director

October 18, 2015

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Funeral Service Foundation Welcomes New Executive Director

Brookfield, Wis. — The Funeral Service Foundation welcomes Danelle O’Neill as its new Executive Director. O’Neill fills a vacancy created by Kathy Wisnefksi’s departure in March to join the National Alliance for Grieving Children. The selection was made after a national search and selection process completed by the Foundation’s board of trustees and the National Funeral Directors Association.


“We are very pleased with this appointment,” said Steve Shaffer, COO of Homesteaders Life and 2015 Foundation chair. “The Foundation has been serving funeral service for 70 years, and it was important that we appoint someone who would build upon the work of those before us. In the few short months since Danelle assumed the role, she has brought exceptional leadership and vision, and already shows a deep sense of commitment to our profession.”

O’Neill’s 20 years of experience in mission-driven work solidly positions her for this role. She has served non-profits at all program, fundraising, executive and leadership levels. O’Neill most recently served as the Executive Director for the Wisconsin Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where she increased revenue by 54 percent. O’Neill holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


“The Foundation’s unique mission to fund the projects and programs that fund all of funeral service in building meaningful relationships in the community drew me to the position,” said O’Neill. “I’m looking forward to working with the board of trustees to address the changing landscape of funeral service and strategically position the Foundation to serve the next generation of funeral service professionals.”


The Funeral Service Foundation will be located in NFDA Central at next week’s NFDA International Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Indiana. Attendees are encouraged to stop by to learn more about the Foundation, share ideas with O’Neill and the Foundation staff, and make a donation to advance the Foundation’s mission.


About the Funeral Service

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.