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Last Chance to Enter! NFDA to Host Meet the Mentors Program in March 2016

January 10, 2016

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Last Chance to Enter! NFDA to Host Meet the Mentors Program in March 2016

Funeral directors under 40, enter for your chance to participate today


Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is giving young funeral professionals another opportunity to learn from three of the profession’s top funeral directors and network with like-minded peers. Entries for NFDA’s eighth Meet the Mentors event must be submitted by midnight CST January 15, 2016. Meet the Mentors will take place March 13-15 at Emory Conference Center Hotel, which is located on the campus of Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia. Meet the Mentors is held in cooperation with the Funeral Service Foundation.


During Meet the Mentors, 50 licensed funeral directors and embalmers under the age of 40 have an opportunity to meet, learn from and talk with innovative and successful funeral professionals.

Meet the Mentors kicks off on March 13 with a reception, dinner and bowling for the mentees and mentors. On March 14, mentees spend the day with three of the country’s most respected funeral professionals:

  • Patrick Lynch, president and co-founder of the Clawson, Michigan, location of Lynch and Sons Funeral Directors. Lynch is a past president of NFDA and currently serves on the Spokesperson Team.
  • Kristin Newman, co-owner of Panebaker Funeral Home in Hanover, Pennsylvania. Newman also serves on NFDA’s Professional Development Committee.
  • Lynn Ochiltree, owner of Ochiltree Funeral Service and Aftercare in Winterset, Iowa. Ochiltree is Iowa’s representative to the NFDA Policy Board and serves on the Pursuit of Excellence and Professional Development Committees.


During the program, each mentor will give a presentation during which they will offer practical career advice and share lessons they have learned while building fruitful and fulfilling careers in funeral service. Following a panel discussion featuring Lynch, Newman and Ochiltree, participants have an opportunity to personally engage with each mentor in small group discussions. That evening, the attendees and mentors will relax and enjoy a delicious dinner.


On March 15, mentees will spend a half-day learning from Newman and Ochiltree. Both are first-generation funeral directors and will discuss the different paths they took to become funeral home owners; Newman and her husband Mike purchased an existing business and Ochiltree built a brand new funeral home.


There is no cost to participate in the Meet the Mentors program itself; the 50 individuals selected to attend only pay for their transportation to the program. The registration fee; exclusive access to three mentors; two nights lodging; select meals (reception and dinner on March 13; continental breakfast, lunch and dinner onMarch 14; breakfast and lunch on March 15 have 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 throughmidnight CST

January 15, 2016. 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 January 25, 2016, from among all entries received. Each day, Monday through Friday, NFDA staff and leaders will draw 10 names. The drawings will be available for viewing on NFDA’s website, social media sites and YouTube channel by 2 p.m. CST each day.


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


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