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Funeral Service Foundation Welcomes Six New Trustees and Elects its 2016-2017 Executive Committee

2017-18 Funeral Service Foundation Board of Trustees (front row, l-r): Victor March, Secretary/Treasurer Steven Gackenbach, Chair-elect Stephanie Kann, Foundation Executive Director Danelle O’Neill, Chair Bob Arrington, Immediate Past Chair Bill Wappner, NFDA CEO Christine Pepper, Jim Breaux. Back row (l-r): Jay Dodds, Bill McComb, Brad Speaks, Allan Cole, Kim Medici Shelquist, Joan Billman, NFDA Liaison R. Bryant Hightower, Anthony Guerra, Robert Biggins, Davin Mullen and Eric Tanzberger. Not pictured: J. Mark Busch and Chris Trainor.

2017-18 Funeral Service Foundation Board of Trustees (front row, l-r): Victor March, Secretary/Treasurer Steven Gackenbach, Chair-elect Stephanie Kann, Foundation Executive Director Danelle O’Neill, Chair Bob Arrington, Immediate Past Chair Bill Wappner, NFDA CEO Christine Pepper, Jim Breaux. Back row (l-r): Jay Dodds, Dave McComb, Brad Speaks, Allan Cole, Kim Medici Shelquist, Joan Billman, NFDA Liaison R. Bryant Hightower, Anthony Guerra, Robert Biggins, Davin Mullen and Eric Tanzberger. Not pictured: J. Mark Busch and Chris Trainor.

Brookfield, Wis. – The Funeral Service Foundation’s Board of Trustees voted in six new trustees and elected its 2017-2018 executive committee at its annual fall meeting held during the NFDA International Convention & Expo last month in Boston. Noteworthy additions to the board include Stephanie Kann, the first woman elected to serve on the Foundation’s executive committee, and Allan Cole, the first-ever trustee from outside the United States.

Representatives from across the funeral service spectrum serve on the Foundation’s board. And in accordance with its bylaws, the board consists of 60 percent NFDA-member funeral directors. Trustees volunteer their time and talents to advance the Foundation’s mission to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities it serves.

“Our board holds a deep respect for the funeral service profession, and takes its role very seriously,” said Foundation Executive Director Danelle O’Neill. “Each of our new trustees will add great expertise to the board, as well as a demonstrated commitment to the Foundation’s mission.”

The newest trustees are Bob Arrington, owner, Arrington Funeral Directors, Jackson, Tennessee (Arrington has served as the NFDA liaison since 2013); J. Mark Busch, vice president and funeral director, Busch Funeral and Crematory Services, Cleveland, Ohio; Allan Cole, president and owner, MacKinnon and Bowes, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; R. Bryant Hightower, owner and funeral director, Hightower Family Funeral Homes, Carrollton, Georgia (NFDA liaison); Brad Speaks, president and CEO, Speaks Family Legacy Chapels, Independence, Missouri; and Eric Tanzberger, senior vice president and CFO, Service Corporation International, Houston, Texas.

The Board of Trustees also elected Arrington as Foundation chair; Stephanie Kann, program director, Worsham Community College, Wheeling, Illinois as chair-elect; and Steven Gackenbach, group president of memorialization at Matthews Memorialization, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as secretary/treasurer. Bill Wappner, president, Wappner Funeral Directors and Crematory, Mansfield, Ohio will serve as immediate past chair.

Justin Baxley, board of directors, Foundation Partners Group, Orlando, Florida; James Busch, president and funeral director, Busch Funeral and Crematory Services, Cleveland, Ohio; Randy Schoedinger, CEO, Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Services, Columbus, Ohio; Gerard “Jerry” Schoen III, management/community outreach director, Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home, New Orleans, Louisiana; and Sheri Richardson Stahl, vice president and business manager, The Island Funeral Home and Crematory, Hilton Head, South Carolina transitioned off the board after dedicated service to the Foundation.

New Foundation trustees (l-r): Brad Speaks, Allan Cole, R. Bryant Hightower (NFDA Liaison), Eric Tanzberger. Not Pictured: J. Mark Busch. Cole is the first-ever trustee from outside the United States.

New Foundation trustees (l-r): Brad Speaks, Allan Cole, R. Bryant Hightower (NFDA Liaison), Eric Tanzberger. Not Pictured: J. Mark Busch. Cole is the first-ever trustee from outside the United States.