Selected Independent Funeral Homes Names New Board Directors

DISCOVER Funeral Industry News Funeral Industry Press Releases Selected Independent Funeral Homes April 12, 2022

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Selected Independent Funeral Homes Names New Board Directors

New Leaders to be Installed at 2022 Annual Meeting in Washington, DC 

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. — Selected Independent Funeral Homes has appointed two new Board Directors for Membership Groups 2 and 6 to help lead the world’s oldest  association of independently owned funeral homes. The new Directors will be installed, together with the newly elected Officers, later this year at the Annual Meeting, September 21- 24 at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, DC. 

Christopher Waite, fifth-generation Co-Owner of Waite & Son Funeral Homes, with locations in Medina and Brunswick, Ohio, will represent Group 2. Waite’s firm has been a Selected member since 2013. He is a graduate of Selected’s Leadership Academy (Class “Starship  Zen” of 2014-2016), has participated in the association’s Annual Meetings and Spring  Management Summits, co-hosted a Group 2 Roundtable Meeting and has been a featured  speaker for Selected Connections. 

Waite is optimistic about the future of funeral service. “I was told by my esteemed mentor that  Selected is the kind of organization that could help me develop into an unwavering  professional and build a community that fosters a lifetime of growth and learning. Over the  years, I have found this sentiment to be true, time and time again,” said Waite. “With gratitude and appreciation, I look forward to giving back to Selected as a member of the Board of  Directors. I believe there is much hope for the future of funeral service and that Selected can  continue to play an integral role in that bright future.” 

In addition to Waite’s involvement in Selected, he has also served on various Boards of  Directors, including the Medina Salvation Army and the Medina City Schools Foundation. He  currently serves as a Board Director for the Hospice of the Western Reserve Foundation. 

Barbara Risher Welch, Corporate President and Owner of Risher Mortuary & Cremation  Service in Montebello, Calif., will represent Group 6. Since Risher Welch’s firm joined Selected  in 2016, she and her husband have participated in the association’s Annual Meeting, as well  as two Group 6 Roundtable Meetings. Risher Welch is a member of Selected’s Programming  Work Group and served as Co-Chair for the 351-750 Volume Breakout Session at the 2021  Annual Meeting. 

Risher Welch values Selected’s strong community dynamic, and is delighted to join the Board  of Directors. “I am honored to be chosen to be on the Board of Directors for Selected Independent Funeral Homes,” said Risher Welch. “Since our firm was invited to join in 2016, I  was immediately welcomed and knew this is the organization I’d like to become more involved  with. The value in all that Selected has to offer its members is beyond measure, especially  because we are like-minded as independently owned.” 

As Risher Welch looks out on the horizon of funeral service, she sees rapid changes ahead.  She believes adapting to these changes is the most important issue facing independent funeral  service. 

“Change is coming with seemingly less traditional funeral services,” said Risher Welch. “We  should address these changes by using our ability to create customized funeral services  depending on the family’s wishes. As a Board member, I look forward to embracing all the  challenges that our industry is facing. I’ve always been proud to carry on the legacy my  parents, Ray and Marge Risher, have instilled in me. I know they would be pleased that I’m  assuming this role as a Selected Independent Funeral Homes Board member.” 

Selected’s Board of Directors includes President Josh Blake, Waco, Texas, Group 5; Board  Chair Robert Nunnaley, Carthage, N.C., Group 3; President-Elect Byron Calhoun, Bedford  Heights, Ohio, Group 2; Board Chair-Elect Al Asta, Phoenix, Ariz., Group 6; Steve Pierce,  Kansas City, Mo., Group 4; John Kepner, Huntersville, N.C., Group 3; John Keohane, Quincy,  Mass., Group 1; and Tom Antram, Albuquerque, N.M., Group 5. 

For more information on Selected’s programs, becoming a member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes or to locate a member, visit or call 800-323-4219. 


About Selected Independent Funeral Homes: Selected Independent Funeral Homes  ( delivers innovative and pertinent resources, solutions and  ongoing support necessary for enduring excellence to its international network of  independently owned death-care providers who aspire to be the very best in their profession. Members of Selected operate according to specific standards and best practices to provide the  public with reliable, high-quality service and funeral-related information.