STERLING, VA (January 17, 2023) – The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) Educational Foundation is proud to award 42
scholarships to the ICCFA’s annual sales conference, DEAD Talks. These scholarships are made possible thanks to generous donors, who support the principle that the
Educational Foundation was founded upon – that education is critical to the well-being and future of the deathcare profession. This year’s scholarship recipients represent
ICCFA members from 16 states and are involved in all aspects of the profession.

“I’m so proud that the ICCFA Educational Foundation was once again able to provide such a sizeable number of scholarships to DEAD Talks,” said Jim Price,
President of the ICCFA Educational Foundation. “This conference is so valuable for deathcare sales professionals. The education that they receive from the leaders and
innovators of this profession is an unparalleled opportunity with a lasting impact on their careers. As always, I would like to enthusiastically thank the Educational Foundation’s donors for their continued support and incredible generosity which allows us to offer these scholarships every year.”

DEAD Talks 2023 took place January 11-13 in Las Vegas, Nevada, at Horseshoe Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Scholarship recipients received a complimentary registration to
the event, which featured two and a half days of learning and networking. Sessions focused on enhancing and refining the skills of sales professionals and family counselors within deathcare.

Below are the 2023 DEAD Talks scholarship recipients:

  • Liza Altenburg, Oak View Cemetery, Royal Oak, Michigan
  • Joann Barton, Madison County Memorial Gardens, Richmond, Kentucky
  • Pamela Brown, Hillside Cemetery, Wilton, Connecticut
  • Kevin Butler, Sepio Guard, Laguna Niguel, California
  • Michael Casey, All Souls Cemetery & Mortuary, Long Beach, California
  • Lauren Christakos, The Arlington Memorial Gardens & Funeral Home, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Trisha Clark,, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
  • Michael Conti, Albany Diocesan Cemeteries, Menands, New York
  • Michelle Crandall, Life Expressions, Greenwood, California
  • Leah Crane, Acacia Memorial Park & Funeral Home, Seattle, Washington
  • Noel Cruz, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, Rosemead, California
  • Pierce Dempsey, Leaf Cremation, Acworth, Georgia
  • Misti Drew, Park Lawn Corporation, Paducah, Kentucky
  • Shasta Ellis, Discount STL Cremation, Saint Louis, Missouri
  • Scott Eriksen, Cairn Partners, Woodlawn, Washington
  • Julia Gillis, Lakewood Cemetery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Sharon Glass, Seyler & Associates, LLC, Steelton, Pennsylvania
  • Jackie Hartman, Smith Family Mortuaries, Derby, Kansas
  • Danielle Kreager, Arlington Memorial Gardens, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Jessica Lopez, 324 Creative Agency, Dallas, Texas
  • Kyle Mannix, Cooperative Funeral Fund, Inc., Madison, Connecticut
  • Tina Marzano, Albany Diocesan Cemeteries, Albany, New York
  • Lisa McClain, The Arlington Memorial Gardens, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Yolanda Mensik, Archdiocese of Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California
  • Jake Miller, Return Home, Auburn, Washington
  • Aubrey O’Byrne, Aubrey O’Byrne Co., Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
  • Nathan Pace, Cairn Partners, Woodlawn, Washington
  • Jarrod Patzer, Lindquist Mortuary, Ogden, Utah
  • Olga Piehler, OpusXenta, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Thomas Ripple,, Kutztown, Pennsylvania
  • Kasheba Rollins-Fiscus, Envision Strategic Partners, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Manny Santizo, Los Angeles Archdiocese Cemeteries and Mortuaries, Los Angeles, California
  • Robert Shalvey, Rest Haven Funeral Home and Memorial Park, Rockwall, Texas
  • Brett Simon, Swan Law Funeral Directors, Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Donna Tarutz, Sharon Memorial Park, Sharon, Massachusetts
  • Lisa Tedesco, Albany Diocesan Cemeteries, Albany, New York
  • Melissa Theisen, Envision Strategic Partners, Salt Lake City, Utah
  • Sammy Villanueva, Los Angeles Archdiocese Cemeteries and Mortuaries, Los Angeles, California
  • Tacye Vogel, Life Tribute Academy, Colfax, California
  • Andrea Williams, Elmlawn Memorial Park, Buffalo, New York
  • Sommer Williams, Woodmere Cemetery, Detroit, Michigan
  • Robert Woodward, Emerald Hills Funeral Home, Kennedale, Texas

Scholarship applications to attend the 2024 ICCFA DEAD Talks sales conference will be available in Fall 2023 at Additional information about the ICCFA
Educational Foundation can be found at

The ICCFA Educational Foundation, founded in 2005, seeks to make education accessible to the future leaders of the deathcare profession. It does this by awarding scholarships to the educational programs of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, as well as advancing initiatives designed to promote the profession and support the individuals who answer the call of service.

Founded in 1887, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral and memorialization profession. Its membership is composed of more than 9,100 rooftop locations and 18,000 professionals in the cemetery, funeral home and crematory industries, as well as supplier and related businesses worldwide.