Thanks to support from its generous donors, the Funeral Service Foundation awarded $87,500 in academic and administered nearly $100,000 in funding for professional scholarships and NFDA’s Meet the Mentors program. With these funds, 26 students earned academic scholarships ranging from $2,500-$5,000; 21 professionals attended NFDA’s Professional Women’s Conference as David C. Baue Scholarship recipients; and 26 professionals participated in NFDA’s Meet the Mentors program in Washington, D.C.

Each year, the Foundation awards academic scholarships ranging from $2,500-$5,000 USD to students attending and actively engaged in coursework in funeral service education programs at ABSFE- and Canadian-accredited institutions, including scholarships geared towards military veterans. Awarded in two cycles and paid directly to institutions, the scholarships offset the costs associated with tuition, fees, books, and supplies. Applications will be accepted again this fall.

“Education is the cornerstone of a meaningful life and career,” said Funeral Service Foundation Chair Mark Krause. “Through the Foundation’s scholarships, we honor not just the ambition and hard work of students in funeral service, but also their role in shaping the future legacy of compassion within the profession.”

Academic Scholarship Spring Class of 2024:

Foundation ’45 Scholarship | $5,000

  • Eldrick Brown, Birmingham, Alabama (Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service, Houston, Texas)
  • Shoshana Deming, Baltimore, Maryland (Community College of Baltimore County-Catonsville, Catonsville, Maryland)
  • Cherie Digby, Buckeye, Arizona (Chandler Gilbert Community College, Mesa, Arizona)
  • Alyssa Ford, Lowell, Michigan (Worsham College of Mortuary Science, Wheeling, Michigan)
  • Meghan Nixey, Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada (Canadian College of Funeral Service, Winnipeg, Manitoba)
  • Toni Pletcher, Yellville, Arkansas (Arkansas State University Mountain Home, Mountain Home, Arkansas)
  • Dachota Thebo, Groton, Connecticut (Fine Mortuary College, Norwood, Massachusetts)
  • Tsun Hung Mark Wong, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (Canadian College of Funeral Service, Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Bob Horn Scholarship | $2,500

  • Steven Ringel, Nashville, Tennessee (John A Gupton College, Nashville, Tennessee)

Dennis Schoepp Memorial Scholarship | $2,500

  • Kelly Lasater, Billings, Montana (Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, Iowa)

Funeral Directors Life Memorial Scholarship | $2,500

  • Cristina Valles, El Paso, Texas (Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Chandler Arizona)

Harry Pontone Memorial Scholarship (NGL) | $2,500

  • Chloe Hennebury, Mount Pearl, Newfoundland, Canada (Canadian College of Funeral Service, Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Harry Pontone Memorial Scholarship (NGL) | $2,500

  • Cierra Jefferson, Midlothian, Texas (Northeast Texas Community College, Mt. Pleasant, Texas)

CANA/Jack Springer Memorial Scholarship | $2,500

  • Toyanne Baker, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania)

John Carmon Scholarship | $2,500

  • Camila Vintimilla-Caster, Fort Worth, Texas (Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, Dallas, Texas)

Joseph E. Hagan Memorial Scholarship | $2,500

  • Ashleigh Brune, Mesa, Arizona (Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Mesa, Arizona)

Louis & Jospehine Pontone Memorial Scholarship | $2,500

  • Berly Anez, Davenport, Florida (St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, Florida)

Mark Hornibrook Memorial Scholarship (NGL) | $2,500

  • Carolyn Cizmok, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada (Canadian College of Funeral Service, Winnipeg, Manitoba)

Mark Hornibrook Memorial Scholarship (NGL) | $2,500

  • William Trotman, Hyattsville, Maryland (University of the Disrict of Columbia, Washington DC)

Memorial Classic Scholarship | $2,500

  • McKenzie Widen, Concordia, Kansas (Des Moines Area Community College, Ankeny, Iowa)

Shipley Rose Buckner Memorial Scholarship | $2,500

  • Kassidy Goad, Fancy Gap, Virginia (Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Steve Lang Scholarship (Homesteaders) | $2,500.00

  • Kirill Anisimov, Trinidad, Colorado (Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, Colorado)

Steve Mack Memorial Scholarship | $2,500.00

  • Brian Poulin, Brighton, Massachusetts (North Shore Community College, Danvers, Massachusetts)

APFSP/James Daniel “Danny” Hutcheson Scholarship | $2,500.00

  • Korissa Holloman, Adairville, Kentucky (John A Gupton College, Nashville, Tennessee)

Academic Scholarship for Veterans:

The Funeral Service Foundation, in partnership with the ICCFA Educational Foundation, offers academic scholarships to United States and Canadian military veterans, as part of the Journey to Serve initiative. Offered twice a year, scholarships range from $2,500-$5,000 and are available to military veterans who are 18 years of age or older at the time of application and who are currently enrolled (or accepted into) in an ABFSE-accredited funeral service program. Learn more about the Journey to Serve at

Journey to Serve Scholarship | $5,000

  • Jennifer Jones, Clearwater, Florida (St. Petersburg College, St. Petersburg, Florida)

Hunter M. Harbeson Memorial Scholarship | $2,500

  • Michael Napolitano, Rochester, Minnesota (PIMS-Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

Passion and Gratitude
“I want to make it a daily task to guide families meaningfully as we plan celebrations that will remember, honor, and celebrate the lives of their loved ones. I am passionate about serving others, and I am determined to make a difference among those I will be privileged and honored to serve. This is why your scholarship is important to me.”

– Eldrick Brown, Foundation ’45 Scholar

“This profession is my priority, and I will continue to give such a great oath to this industry and the family’s I will serve. It is people like you who help students like me to continue to focus wholly on their education and focus less on the stress of paying for school.”

– Alyssa Ford, Foundation ’45 Scholar

“This scholarship is not just a monetary award; it is a source of encouragement and empowerment as I work towards achieving my goals in this meaningful and rewarding profession. Being a woman in the funeral service industry has its own unique challenges and rewards. As a female funeral director, I have found that I bring a sense of compassion and empathy to the job that is often appreciated by grieving families.”

– Kassidy Goad, Shipley Rose Buckner Memorial Scholar

“When I first began the process of changing my career path from computer science to funeral service, I had a lot of worries about whether I had made the right decision. I knew I needed a change towards a career that had more opportunity for education, community impact, and empathy. As I’ve progressed through studies, I’ve become more confident in that choice, and now the support I feel, both from you as well as the classmates and professors that recommended me to the scholarship, makes me certain that I made the right decision in heading into funeral service.”

– William Trotman, Mark Hornibrook Memorial Scholar

View photos of all the academic scholarship winners.


21 funeral service professionals and students received the David C. Baue NFDA Professional Women’s Conference Scholarships to attend the annual conference, held April 28 – 30 in Savannah, Georgia. Each scholarship covered registration fees, hotel and a generous travel stipend.

“Honoring my father’s dedication to women’s education is a joy for me and my family,” expressed Lisa Baue, immediate past chair of the Foundation. “These scholarships continue my dad’s legacy by empowering these wonderful scholarship recipients to positively impact their communities through education, and personal and professional growth.”

Since the scholarship’s inauguration in 2022, nearly 60 David C. Baue NFDA Professional Women’s Conference Scholarships have been awarded to female and non-binary funeral service professionals and students to attend this annual event with plans for 40 or more scholarships in the next two years.

2024 David C. Baue NFDA Professional Women’s Conference Scholarship Recipients:

  • Laura Adamo, Kuhn Funeral Homes, West Reading, Pennsylvania
  • Alex Adams, Erlewein Mortuary & Crematory, Greenfield, Indiana
  • Kerri Bittner, Sheets & Childs Funeral Home, Churubusco, Indiana
  • Teri Boda, Hulse Playfair & McGarry, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Lucia Dickinson, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Morgan Drew, Ballhorn Chapels, Sheboygan, Wisconsin
  • Natalie Enoch, Jones Funeral Home, Jacksonville, North Carolina
  • Monica Hall, Richard R. Robinson Funeral Home, Macon, Georgia
  • Tiffany Huger, Wiseman Mortuary, Fayetteville, North Carolina
  • Chanda Jeffers, Wylie Funeral Homes, Randallstown, Maryland
  • Caitlin Johnson, Kirk Funeral Home, Rapid City, South Dakota
  • Jennifer Lares, US Army Regional Mortuary, Germany
  • Rachel Mackey, Advent Funeral & Cremation Services, Falls Church, Virginia
  • Anna Nesbit, Soxman Funeral Homes, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Hannah Alyss Noe, Posey Funeral Directors, North Augusta, South Carolina
  • Mandy Rodriguez, Brown Funeral Home, Niles, Michigan
  • Melanie Siano, Holmdel Funeral Home, Holmdel, New Jersey
  • Megan Smith, McFarland Funeral Chapel, Tryon, North Carolina
  • Savannah Toews, Tri State Cremation and Funeral Services, Texarkana, Arkansas
  • Evelester Vargas, Logan Square Funeral Home, Chicago, Illinois
  • Joyce Williams, Stinson Funeral Home, Detroit, Michigan

Passion and Gratitude

“To be recognized as a scholarship winner has been one of the proudest moments of my career! The event was very unique and special to me to be surrounded by my peers and many achieving their goals at the highest level and having a true reverence for the profession was deeply inspiring!” – Melanie Siano

“Attending the Professional Women’s Conference allowed me to connect with so many dedicated, inspiring and leading women in the funeral profession. I have already applied knowledge I learned here to my workplace and I’m confident these positive impacts will continue. I hope to one day help other women along as you have helped me.” – Rachel Mackey

“As a woman in the funeral service industry, I am constantly inspired by the incredible women who have paved the way before me. Your generosity not only helps me further my own career but contributes to the advancement of women within our field.” – Kerri Bittner

“I had several takeaways from this conference and thanks to you, I can dream it, believe it, work on it and live it!” – Tiffany Huger


Held in conjunction with the association’s annual Advocacy Summit, 26 funeral service professionals participated in the 2024 NFDA Meet the Mentors program in Washington, D.C. Held March 19-22, Jay Dietz, Kenneth Howe and Virginia Bryant served as this year’s mentors, sharing their experience and knowledge with this year’s rising stars.

Attending on behalf of the Foundation was Foundation Chair Mark Krause said, “I am honored to be involved with Meet the Mentors – to meet young people who will become tomorrow’s leaders and introduce them to thoughts and ideas that they can use to make a valuable impact in the years to come – there’s nothing more important to me personally and to the Funeral Service Foundation.”

NFDA-members, licensed funeral directors/embalmers age 40 or under, or newly licensed within the last five years, are invited to participate in the program and are chosen by random drawing. The Foundation’s support provides complimentary registration, two nights of lodging, attendance at the Welcome Reception, and all meals during the event.

2024 Meet the Mentors Program Participants: 

  • Camille Bourbeau, O’Connor Brothers, Worcester, Massachusetts
  • Kortez Boyd, Westside Funeral Home, Fairfield, Alabama
  • Alexandra Caselli, Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home & Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Darian Chalmers, Brunswick Memorial Home, East Brunswick, New Jersey
  • Cheyanne Cobbs, Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home & Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jordan Fenner, Hinkle-Fenner Funeral Home, Davis, West Virginia
  • CaMille Gates, 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, Joseph W. Bliley Funeral Home, Richmond, Virginia
  • Angelina Huddleston-Kush, Heritage Funeral Home-Greenfield, Greenfield, Wisconsin
  • Kayla Hutter, Jefferson Memorial Funeral Home & Cemetery, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Dominique Johnson, The House of Johnson Funeral Home, Detroit, Michigan
  • Steve Johnson, E. Turner & Company, Batavia, New York
  • Morgan Liscio, Old Bridge Funeral Home, Old Bridge, New Jersey
  • Nicole Lutz, Mueller Memorial, Sain Paul, Minnesota
  • Rachel Mackey, Advent Funeral & Cremation Services, Falls Church, Virginia
  • Kathryn (Katie) McFadden, Leonard Funeral Home & Crematory, Dubuque, Iowa
  • Amber Perez, Heritage Funeral Home-Milwaukee, Greenfield, Wisconsin
  • Charles (Ron) Poston, Robinson Funeral Home & Crematory, Easley, South Carolina
  • Kelsey Ricci, Mitchell-Wiedefeld Funeral Home, Baltimore, Maryland
  • Joe Louis Sanchez, Kreidler Funeral Home, McAllen, Texas
  • Alexandria Shadof, Heritage Funeral Home, Greenfield, Wisconsin
  • Ashley Smith, Smith-Benton Funeral Home, Benton, Arkansas
  • Katyln Taueetia, Coleman-Taylor Funeral Home, Cecil, Pennsylvania
  • Tyler Wilson, Evergreen Funeral Home & Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky

Passion and Gratitude

“Meet the Mentors was such an eye-opening experience. I was able to learn so much from so many different funeral service professionals. This program inspired me so much to dream bigger in my career.”

“This was a program that included a great mix of funeral directors and embalmers from all over the country. It was a chance to take a pause from serving and celebrate ourselves as professionals. We developed friendships and connections that we will carry with us for the rest of our careers and lives. I can’t say enough good things about this experience.”


  • CANA 106th Cremation Innovation Convention: Applications close June 12, 2024

  • 2024 NFDA International Convention & Exposition: Applications will open June 3, 2024, and close July 24, 2024.

About the Funeral Service Foundation –
Since 1945, the Funeral Service Foundation has served as the philanthropic voice of the funeral profession and has identified as the charitable arm of the National Funeral Directors Association since 1997. Donors and volunteer leaders profession-wide support the Foundation in its mission of lifting up grieving communities by investing in people and programs that strengthen funeral service.

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