Twenty-seven funeral service professionals will participate in the 2024 National Funeral Directors Association’s 2024 Meet the Mentors program. This year, the program will be held March 19-22, in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the association’s annual Advocacy Summit. 

The 2024 Meet the Mentors Participants are:

  • Camille Bourbeau, O’Connor Brothers Funeral Home, Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Kortez Boyd, Westside Funeral Home, Fairfield, Alabama
  • Alexandra Caselli, Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Darian Chalmers, Brunswick Memorial Home, East Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Cheyanne Cobbs, Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Monique Dallaire, Roan Family Funeral Home, Pembroke, New Hampshire
  • Jordan Fenner, Hinkle-Fenner Funeral Home, Davis, West Virginia
  • CaMille Gates, Cozine Memorial Group – Broadway Mortuary, Wichita, Kansas
  • Jesse Gomes, Molloy Funeral Home, West Hartford, Connecticut
  • Wylie Halferty, Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory, Rock Island, Illinois
  • Chelsea Hogan, Blileys Funeral Home, Richmond, Virginia
  • Angelina Huddleston-Kush, Heritage Funeral Homes, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
  • Kayla Hutter, Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Dominique Johnson, The House of Johnson Funeral Home, Detroit, Michigan
  • Steve Johnson, H.E. Turner & Co. Inc., Batavia, New York
  • Morgan Liscio, Old Bridge Funeral Home, Old Bridge, New Jersey
  • Nicole Lutz, Mueller Memorial, St. Paul, Minnesota
  • Rachel Mackey, Advent Funeral and Cremation Services, Falls Church, Virginia
  • Kathryn (Katie) McFadden, Leonard Funeral Home, Dubuque, Iowa
  • Amber Perez, Heritage Funeral Homes, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
  • Charles (Ron) Poston, Robinson Funeral Home – Powdersville Road, Easley, South Carolina
  • Kelsey Ricci, Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home Inc., Baltimore, Maryland
  • Joe Louis Sanchez, Kreidler Funeral Home Inc., McAllen, Texas
  • Alexandria Shadof, Heritage Funeral Homes, Oak Creek, Wisconsin
  • Ashley Smith, Smith Family Funeral Homes, Benton, Arkansas
  • Katlyn Taueetia, Coleman-Taylor Funeral Services, Cecil, Pennsylvania
  • Tyler Wilson, Evergreen Funeral Home, Louisville, Kentucky

During the transformational Meet the Mentors, funeral professionals who are age 40 or under or are 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. Meet the Mentors also helps participants to network and form relationships with other new professionals.

Mentees will spend the day on Capitol Hill with NFDA Advocacy Summit attendees. They will participate in meetings with Members of Congress sharing the story of funeral service and advocating on behalf of the profession.

Three highly esteemed funeral professionals will serve as the 2024 program mentors:

  • Virginia “Jenni” Bryant, CFSP, CCO, is the general manager of Smith Funeral and Cremation Services, which has several locations in Maryville, Tennessee.
  • Jay Dietz is the vice president of operations for Vertin, which is based in Minnesota and is one of the largest privately held family-owned funeral home companies in the Midwest.
  • Kenneth Howe, CFSP, is the president, CEO and owner, of Holman Howe Funeral Homes, which has several locations in southeastern Missouri.

Meet the Mentors has been wholly funded by the Funeral Service Foundation since its 2011 inception. The Funeral Service Foundation’s generous grant provides exclusive, career-transforming access to three mentors and other leaders in the profession, and covers attendees’ registration fees, three nights’ lodging and select meals. The individuals selected to attend only pay for their transportation to and from Washington, D.C. The Funeral Service Foundation’s support of Meet the Mentors helps fulfill its mission of lifting up grieving communities by investing in people and programs that strengthen funeral service.

The names of the 2024 Meet the Mentors participants were selected at random from among all who enter via the NFDA website. Complete details about the NFDA Meet the Mentors program can be found on the NFDA website,

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