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NFDA Introduces the 2018 Meet the Mentors Program Participants

January 30, 2018

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NFDA Introduces the 2018 Meet the Mentors Program Participants

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is proud to announce the names of the 50 funeral professionals who will attend the association’s Meet the Mentors program, March 11-13 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. Meet the Mentors has been wholly funded by the Funeral Service Foundation since the program’s 2011 inception.

During Meet the Mentors, these 50 funeral professionals who are either age 40 or under or new to the profession (first licensed within the last five years) will have an opportunity to meet, learn from and talk with innovative and successful funeral professionals. It’s also an opportunity to network and form relationships with other new professionals.

The names of the 50 participants were announced last week through a series of video drawings, which were shared on the NFDA website and social media sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.).

About Meet the Mentors

During Meet the Mentors, attendees will meet, learn from, and talk with three innovative and successful funeral professionals: Matthew Baskerville, CFSP, CPC, CCO, owner of Reeves & Baskerville Funeral Homes, which has locations in Coal City, Gardner, Morris and Wilmington, Ill.; Erlinda Valdez, general manager of Wallin Funeral Homes, which has locations in Sanger, Fowler, Riverdale and Parlier, Calif.; and Victor C. March, Sr., president and CEO of March Funeral Homes in Baltimore, Md. March also serves on the Funeral Service Foundation Board of Trustees. Baskerville is a 2013 Meet the Mentors alum.

There is no cost to participate in the Meet the Mentors program itself. The Funeral Service Foundation’s grant provides exclusive, career-transforming access to three mentors and covers attendees’ registration fees, two nights’ lodging and select meals. The 50 individuals selected to attend only pay for their transportation to the program.

More than 600 young professionals and emerging leaders have benefited from the Meet the Mentors program, which underscores the Foundation’s mission to support all of funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and communities it serves. The program is part of the Foundation ‘45 Awards, which are designed to transform the careers of funeral service professionals through scholarships, awards, resources and mission-focused outreach.

Complete details about the NFDA Meet the Mentors program, including the videos announcing the 2018 Meet the Mentors participants, can be found on the association website,

The 2018 NFDA Meet the Mentors attendees are:

  • Tiffany Aguilar, Legacy Funeral Group, Seguin, Texas
  • Lorna Agusto, Granby’s Funeral Service, Bronx, N.Y.
  • Emily Ahern, Vincent Funeral Home, Simsbury, Conn.
  • Patrick Anderson, Anderson Funeral and Cremation Services, Belvidere, Ill.
  • John Appel, Garden of Memories Funeral Home & Cemetery, Metairie, La.
  • Blake Ashley, Martin Funeral Home, Mt. Morris, Mich.
  • Eileen Baldeshwiler, Sunset Funeral Home & Memorial Park, Evansville, Ind.
  • Jack Clock, Wm. Sullivan and Son Funeral Directors, Utica, Mich.
  • Devin Cole, Roller-Chenal Funeral Home, Little Rock, Ark.
  • Erika Collaros, Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service, Columbus, Ohio
  • Bryan Conyers, Blyth Funeral Home, Greenwood, S.C.
  • Paige Gaikowski, Scott Funeral Home, Jeffersonville, Ind.
  • Jay Garrett, Cotton Funeral Service, Newark, N.J.
  • Hanna Goffinet, Scott Funeral Home, Jeffersonville, Ind.
  • Jessica Goglin, Kuhler Funeral Home, Huron, S.D.
  • William (Cody) Gore, Scottsboro Funeral Home, Scottsboro, Ala.
  • Winston Grannis, Boone-Nickell Funeral Home, Flemingsburg, Ky.
  • Amanda Hall, Funeral Alternatives of Washington, Tumwater, Wash.
  • Cortney Heck, Brainard Funeral Home, Wausau, Wis.
  • Ben Hengesteg, Iles Funeral Homes – Dunn’s Chapel, Des Moines, Iowa
  • Dana Ivins, Wappner Funeral Directors, Mansfield, Ohio
  • Robert Justen, Justen Funeral Home, McHenry, Ill.
  • Mykal Jensen, Gunderson Funeral Home, Madison, Wis.
  • Kaitlynn Lenoir, Gunderson Funeral Home, Madison, Wis.
  • Rhonda McCann, McNabb Funeral Home, Pocahontas, Ark.
  • Brett McReavy, Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapels, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Nathan Minnich, Hoover-Boyer FH, Inc., Elizabethville, Penn.
  • Amanda Moss, Harris FH & Cremation Services, Abbeville, S.C.
  • Austin O’Neal, Cochran Funeral Home, Blairsville, Ga.
  • Justin Panske, Malcore Funeral Home, Green Bay, Wis.
  • Angela Plummer, Anderson & Sons Mortuary, American Fork, Utah
  • Jonathan Poling, Schoedinger Funeral Service, Grove City, Ohio
  • Shannon Powell, Barnes Friederich Funeral Home, Midwest City, Okla.
  • Brandi Reed, Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, Hamburg, N.Y.
  • Matthew Richmond, Williams-Gores Funeral Home, Delton, Mich.
  • Nicholas Ricci, Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home & Crematory, East Pittsburgh, Penn.
  • Dexter Ritter, D.L. Ritter & Co., Canton, Miss.
  • Parris Robles, Roller-Christeson Funeral Home, Harrison, Ark.
  • Arianna Rule, Mt. Sinai Memorial Chapels, Manalapan, N.J.
  • Constance Scheanon, Ducro Funeral Home, Ashtabula, Ohio
  • Ren Scherling, Darrell Howe Mortuary, Lafayette, Colo.
  • Jerelyn Serra, Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home, Chelmsford, Mass.
  • Amanda Stafford, Mueller Memorial, St. Paul, Minn.
  • Melody Stuart, McClure Funeral Home, Taylorville, Ill.
  • Kelly VanderLaan, VanderLaan Funeral Home, Hudsonville, Mich.
  • Sarah Whetstine, Barnes Friederich Funeral Home, Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Jennifer Harvey, Ogeechee Technical College, Statesboro, Ga.
  • LaTorria Williams, Davenport & Harris Funeral Home, Birmingham, Ala.
  • Andrew Wint, Wint Funeral Home, Clarkston, Mich.
  • Damon Wenig, Wenig Funeral Homes, Sheboygan Falls, Wis.

About NFDA –

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 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

About the Funeral Service Foundation –

Since 1945, the Funeral Service Foundation has served as the profession’s philanthropic voice. As the charitable arm of the National Funeral Directors Association since 1997, the Foundation receives operational support from NFDA and donors across the profession to help advance its mission to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities it serves.