Meet the Mentors Expands in 2017: Funeral Directors Under 40 and New Licensees Encouraged to Apply

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is expanding its popular Meet the Mentors program to give new licensees an opportunity to learn from the profession’s top funeral directors and network with like-minded peers. Entries for NFDA’s next Meet the Mentors event must be submitted by midnight CST January 6, 2017. Meet the Mentors will take place March 12-14, 2017, at the Emory Conference Center Hotel, which is located on the campus of Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia. Meet the Mentors has been wholly funded by the Funeral Service Foundation┬ásince the program’s 2011 inception.

During Meet the Mentors, 50 funeral professionals, who are either under the age of 40 or who have been licensed for less than five years (no age requirement for new licensees), will have an opportunity to meet, learn from and talk with innovative and successful funeral professionals.

Meet the Mentors kicks off on March 12 with a reception, dinner and bowling for the mentees and mentors. On March 13, mentees spend the day with some of the country’s most respected funeral professionals: James “Jimmy” E. Altmeyer Jr., president of Altmeyer Funeral Homes & Crematory in Virginia Beach, Va.; and James “Jimmy” M. Olson, owner of Olson Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Sheboygan, Wis. Altmeyer and Olson will be joined by a third mentor whose name will be announced in the weeks to come.

During the program, each mentor will give a presentation during which they will offer practical career advice and share lessons they have learned while building rewarding and fulfilling careers in funeral service. Following a panel discussion featuring the three mentors, participants have an opportunity to personally engage with each mentor in small group discussions. That evening, the attendees and mentors will relax and enjoy a delicious dinner.

On March 14, mentees will spend a half-day learning from Olson, a first-generation funeral director, who will discuss his path toward becoming a funeral director and funeral home owner.

There is no cost to participate in the Meet the Mentors program itself: The Funeral Service Foundation’s grant provides exclusive, career-transforming access to three mentors, and covers attendees’ registration fees, two night’s lodging and select meals (reception and dinner on March 12; breakfast, lunch and dinner on March 13; and breakfast and lunch on March 14). The 50 individuals selected to attend only pay for their transportation to the program.

More than 600 young professionals and emerging leaders have benefited from the Meet the Mentors program, which underscores the Foundation’s mission to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and communities it serves. The program is part of the Foundation ’45 Awards, which are designed to transform the careers of funeral service professionals through scholarships, awards, resources and mission-focused outreach.

The names of the 50 participants will be randomly drawn from among all who enter via the NFDA website, Entries will be accepted through midnight CST

January 6, 2017. Entrants must be NFDA members in good standing, licensed funeral directors and/or embalmers, and under 40 years of age or have been licensed less than five years.

The names of the 50 participants will be drawn the week of January 23, 2017, from among all entries received. The names of 10 attendees will be revealed every day, Monday through Friday, in videos that will be posted to NFDA’s website, social media sites and YouTube channel.

Complete details about the NFDA Meet the Mentors program, including all eligibility requirements, can be found on the NFDA website, Members can call NFDA at 800-228-6332 with questions.

About NFDA –

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 39 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

About the Funeral Service Foundation –

Since 1945, the Funeral Service Foundation has served as the profession’s philanthropic voice. As the charitable arm of the National Funeral Directors Association since 1997, the Foundation receives operational support from NFDA and donors across the profession to help advance its mission support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities it serves.

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