NFDA Introduces the 2022-23 Class of the National Emerging Leaders Program



Brookfield, WI — The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is proud to announce the funeral service professionals who have been selected to participate in the 2022-23 National Emerging Leaders Program. Through this program, they will develop leadership skills that will serve them well in any setting they may find themselves – their funeral home, their state or national association, their community, and beyond.

“Congratulations to the impressive funeral service professionals who have been selected to be a part of our 2022-23 National Emerging Leaders Program class.” said NFDA President Randy Anderson, CFSP, CCO. “Helping funeral professionals build sustainable businesses and become pillars in their communities is an integral part of NFDA’s mission. As our 2022-23 class makes its way through the National Emerging Leaders Program, they will develop the essential skills they need to become strong leaders.”

The 2022-23 NFDA National Emerging Leaders Program Class

  • Kortez Boyd, Davenport & Harris Funeral Homes Inc., Birmingham, Alabama
  • David Bryant, Bryant Funeral Homes & Crematory, Berlin, New Hampshire
  • Bernard Buggs Jr., Cornerstone Funeral Services & Cremations, Birmingham, Alabama
  • Kelly Jo Burkett, Mauk & Yates Funeral Home Inc., Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Andrew Ferguson, The Ferguson-Rayam Funeral Home, Wallington, New Jersey
  • Zachery Ferrell, Peck Funeral Home, Hartselle, Alabama
  • David Frederick, Sproles Family Funeral Home, New Castle, Indiana
  • Abby Goodenow, Ewing Funeral Home – Britt, Britt, Iowa
  • Faith Haug, Arapahoe Community College, Littleton, Colorado
  • Alyssa Hixon, Bath-Naylor Funeral Home, Pittsburg, Kansas
  • Nikima Jolly, It is Well Funeral Concierge, Fairburn, Georgia
  • Hanah Kosaka, Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, Stamford, Connecticut
  • Jennifer Meehan, Cremation Society of Toledo, Holland, Ohio
  • Hannah Alyss Noe Gaillard, Posey Funeral Directors, North Augusta, South Carolina
  • Joseph Peck, Wyuka Funeral Home, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Emily Randolph, Carmon Funeral Home, Windsor, Connecticut
  • Patrick Saunders, Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, New Bedford, Massachusetts
  • Kasie Watkins, Johnson-Hagglund Funeral & Cremation Service, Litchfield, Minnesota
  • Noah Watry, Krause Funeral Home, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Allyse Worland, Flanner Buchanan – Washington Park East, Indianapolis, Indiana

“I look forward to meeting these men and women during our upcoming Leadership Conference and getting to know them during the next year as they make their way through the National Emerging Leaders Program,” Anderson said. 

About the National Emerging Leaders Program

All funeral service professionals from the United States and Canada, regardless of NFDA membership status, were invited to apply for one of up to 20 seats in the National Emerging Leadership Program. The only requirement was that applicants be in the process of building their careers in the profession (i.e., first-career funeral directors licensed 5-10 years or second-career funeral directors licensed 3-8 years).

This year-long program will start and end at the 2022 and 2023 NFDA Leadership Conferences (the 2022 NFDA Leadership Conference will take place July 10-13 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida). In addition to meeting during the Leadership Conference, participants will meet virtually approximately eight times throughout the year to learn from experts, both from within the profession and from outside authorities.

The program features a practical and theoretical approach to advanced leadership topics. The curriculum, which is being developed in partnership with expert consultants in leadership development, will cover topics such as mentorship, ethical leadership, employee relations, collaborative decision-making, strategic planning, servant leadership, communication skills, small business ownership, and more. 

Participants will also have access to mentors, engage in high-level networking, and work with fellow program participants on a group project that will teach them to apply the skills they are learning in real-world scenarios. More information about the National Emerging Leaders Program is available at Information about the application process for the 2023-24 program will be available in the spring of 2023. 

NFDA thanks the Funeral Service Foundation and Homesteaders for their generous support of the National Emerging Leaders Program. 

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. 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

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