March 2023

Page A28 march 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A NEWS Association CONTINUED NFDMA to hold House of Representatives Meeting UNION CITY,GA— The National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, Inc. will hold their 2023 Annual House of Representatives Meeting in April. This exciting, informational, and productive meeting will take place in Charlotte, NC, April 22-25, 2023. Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina and the 16th-most populous city in the US. Charlotte is the third-fastest-growing major city in the United States, and tops the US in millennial population growth. Located in the Piedmont region, the city is the cultural, economic, and transportation center of the area. Charlotte is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America, Truist Financial, and the east coast headquarters of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions has made it the second-largest banking center in the United States. Among Charlotte’s notable attractions are the Carolina Panthers (NFL), the Charlotte Hornets (NBA), Charlotte FC (MLS), the NASCAR Hall of Fame, the Charlotte Ballet, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Mint Museum, Harvey B. Gantt Center, Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, the Billy Graham Library, Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte Museum of History, Carowinds amusement park, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center. To register and for more information about the meeting, visit the national website at Selected Announces 2023 NextGen Professional of the Year Joshua Nathaniel Blake LINCOLNSHIRE,IL— Selected Independent Funeral Homes has named Joshua Nathaniel Blake of Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home in Waco, TX as the 2023 recipient of the NextGen Professional of the Year Award. Recipients are presented with a physical award and receive complimentary registration to participate in the NextGen Seminar. The award highlights career achievements and community involvement of funeral professionals under the age of 50. As Chief Operating Officer at his firm, Josh is constantly helping improve and enhance the business. During the pandemic, he pivoted regular operations to serve the community while retaining as many team members as possible. He coordinated staff vaccinations while refining virtual arrangements and live-streaming services. He also managed critical website, software and social media upgrades at the firm. Josh’s firm has thrived under his leadership, receiving the Small Business of the Year Award in 2021. It continues to receive the Best of Waco Award from the Wacoan Magazine and was voted the top funeral home in Waco by Locals Love Us. An active member of Selected, Josh has demonstrated leadership within the association through his involvement on Selected’s Board of Directors. He served as Board President from 2021 to 2022. He has also served on the NextGen Advisory Group and the Programming Work Group. He graduated from the Selected Leadership Academy in 2018 as a member of the SuperNova Class. The NextGen Professional of the Year Award has been meaningful to Josh. “I remember attending my first NextGen seminar and watching David Speaks receive the award,” he said. “You could feel the joy in the room for someone so deserving as David. “Fast forward to the present, and it feels surreal to be winning the award. I decided to dedicate the award to Hatch Bailey, the owner and President of our funeral home. I realized at that moment that receiving this award wouldn’t be possible without him. I’m thankful he took a chance on me when he hired me after making a career change, and now he has entrusted me with the management of his family business. Receiving this award from my peers feels like a fist pump with a ‘heck yea!’ from some of my biggest supporters.” One judging panelist for the award said of Josh, “Wherever he goes, he makes a difference.” With Josh’s servant leadership and dedication, we believe he will continue making a difference for years to come. Selected Independent Funeral Homes created the NextGen Community to develop young funeral professionals as well as assist those new to the profession. The NextGen Seminar, held annually, offers educational and networking sessions for participants. Selected Independent Funeral Homes delivers innovative and pertinent resources, solutions and ongoing support necessary for enduring excellence to its international network of independently owned death care providers who aspire to be the very best in their profession. Members of Selected operate according to specific standards and best practices to provide the public with reliable, high-quality funeral services and funeral-related information. Now is the PERFECT TIME to order the PERFECT GIFTS Customization Available! Call for Details “I Love My Cemeterian” “I Love My Funeral Director” Order Your Favorite Plush Animal with a Funeral Director or Cemeterian Shirt! Order Online at or call 1-800-321-7479 15 ANNUAL NATIONAL CONVENTION & EXPO Marriott Gateway Atlanta Airport Complex and The Georgia International Convention Center Saturday, July 29 to Wednesday, August 2, 2023 SAVE THE DATE District V of the NFDMA Educational Seminar March 18-20, 2023 Embassy Suites and Conference Center, Montgomery, Alabama District V of the National Funeral Directors & Morticians Association, Inc. is delighted to invite you to the historic city of Montgomery, Alabama, as we reunite for the Fifth District Educational Seminar. The seminar will be held March 18–20, 2023, at the Embassy Suites and Conference Center. This conference will serve to make attendees much more aware of the role of funeral service professionals. As we emerge from a period of stagnation due to the pandemic, attendees will be able to take advantage of the educational offerings, network, and fellowship as well as take time to rest and relax. We are pleased to announce the following educational presentations: “Embalming Traumatic Cases with Confidence,” presented by Ebone Dukes; “Building a Culture of Ethical Behavior,” presented by L. Nicole Slater; “Emotional Health is Business Wealth,” presented by Dr. Eliza Bell and “FTC Funeral Rule: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” presented by Charles Perine, Executive Secretary of the Alabama Board of Funeral Service.