The National Funeral Directors Association is proud to establish the NFDA Inspiration Award, a recognition that will be conferred annually on an exceptional female or nonbinary individual who has made noteworthy professional contributions to funeral service or a related field, according to a news release.

The inaugural award will be presented during the 2023 Professional Women’s Conference in San Antonio, May 5-7, 2023. NFDA is grateful to National Guardian Life for sponsoring the Inspiration Award.

Nominations will be accepted online from Feb. 15 to March 31. The ideal nominee is an enterprising individual who consistently takes the initiative to elevate the funeral service profession. They serve as a mentor to colleagues. Their energy and independent spirit serve as an example to others. Their efforts result in significant accomplishments at the local, national and/or international level.

“As more and more women and nonbinary individuals enter the funeral service profession, it is important that we recognize the significant impact they are making,” said NFDA Training and Development Manager Melissa Posey Loose. “There have been so many phenomenal individuals who have broken barriers, been mentors and helped raise the bar for everyone who works in this profession, and NFDA is delighted to recognize their incredible contributions.”

Jennifer Kaset, regional vice president of NGL, said she is “honored and thrilled” to be a part of the new initiative with NFDA. “I am looking forward to seeing who the first recipient of the NFDA Inspiration Award will be!” she said.

NFDA is seeking nominations of female and nonbinary individuals who exhibit the following strengths: leadership, creativity, noteworthy professional accomplishments and a commitment to improving funeral service. The ideal award recipient is also a mentor, been involved in their community, and displays outstanding professional and personal qualities.

The honoree must be currently employed in the funeral service profession or a death-care-related field with a minimum of five years’ experience working directly with families. They must also identify as a female or nonbinary individual, be actively involved in community and professional service organizations, be actively involved in efforts to educate the public about the value of meaningful memorialization and/or funeral directors and participate in professional development activities.

Nominations will be accepted online at from Feb.  15 to March 31 (5 p.m. CT).

The winner will be selected by a distinguished panel of judges. The winner of the NFDA Inspiration Award will receive an all-expenses (up to $1,000) paid experience to the Professional Women’s Conference to receive the award.

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.  For more information, visit

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