Funeral Director of the Year

Deadline EXTENDED:
August 31, 2015

Enter Now

Download Entry Form

Call for Entries
Funeral professionals are unsung heroes, working tirelessly to provide excellent service to families who need them the most. There are funeral directors who deliver exceptional services, provide community support and are role models for funeral service.

Do you know one of these death-care professionals?

Are you a funeral director making a difference? Don't be afraid to toot your own horn. We are now accepting nominations for American Funeral Director's annual 'Funeral Director of the Year' Award.

Who Should Enter?   top

This award program is open to all funeral professionals who were employed as a licensed funeral director for AT LEAST one year. It is open to all funeral director job titles – from embalmer to funeral home manager. All entries will be treated with the strictest confidence. The winner should be prepared to be interviewed by AFD's editors for the magazine's December awards issue.

How to Enter   top

We want to hear why you or the person you're nominating should be our next Funeral Director of the Year. The following materials must accompany your entry:

  • A fully filled out and legible entry form.
  • A bio of yourself or the nominee.
  • A two to three page summary of why you/your nominee should be recognized as the Funeral Director of the Year. This may include: areas of responsibility, community involvement, specific successes, professional or personal challenges or hurdles that have been overcome, letters of recommendation, and/or a description of your best client relationships.
  • Any additional supporting materials, such as print marketing samples, newspaper/television coverage, photographs, supplemental material you share with your clients, evidence of a strong online/social media presence, etc.
Note: All additional entry information, besides the entry form, should be typed.

ALL ENTRIES become property of Kates-Boylston Publications and none will be returned or individually acknowledged. Only finalists and the winner will be contacted.

Mail Entries to:
FD Awards 2015
3349 Highway 138
Building D, Suite D
Wall, NJ 07719

Email Entries to: or Submit Entries Online.

Deadline   top

Deadline EXTENDED: August 31, 2015 (postmarked)

Recognition   top

AFD's Funeral Director of the Year will receive:

  • An award plaque
  • Recognition in a feature article in American Funeral Director's December issue
  • His or her picture on the cover of American Funeral Director's December issue
  • Promotion via press releases and other marketing initiatives
  • An announcement online
  • One-year subscription to American Funeral Director
  • One FREE registration to the 2015 Funeral Service Business Plan in Glendale, Ariz. The free registration can be transferred to a designated person of your staff.

Judging Criteria   top

  • Community involvement
  • Role model for funeral service
  • Innovative approach to funeral service
  • Displays outstanding business acumen in sales/marketing/customer service
  • Demonstrates a compassionate approach to working with customer families

Previous Winners   top

2014 American Funeral Director of the Year Winner

2014 Winner: Rodney L. Nay
This year, we celebrate Rodney L. Nay, president/owner of Morgan & Nay Funeral Centre in Madison, Indiana, as the recipient of our 2014 Funeral Director of the Year award, for his steadfast dedication to the profession and the families he serves.
Download a PDF of the article

2013 American Funeral Director of the Year Winner

2013 Winner: Salvador Perches
Juarez, Mexico, has been called "one of the most murderous cities in the world," but that hasn't stopped funeral director Salvador Perches from providing high-quality death-care services to its residents. It's just of of the reasons he was selected as 2013's Funeral Director of the Year.
Download a PDF of the article

December 2012 Cover

2012 Winner: Martha McKneely Thompson
In 2012, we celebrated Martha McKneely Thompson, owner of Brandon G. Thompson Funeral Homes in Louisiana, as the recipient of our Funeral Director of the Year award.
Download a PDF of the article

FAQs   top

What sorts of supporting materials are you looking for?
We would love to see anything that illustrates why you or the funeral director you are nominating should be recognized as the Funeral Director of the Year. This may include newspaper clippings, television segments, print marketing materials, supplemental materials you provide to your client families, photos, letters of recommendation, or evidence of community involvement or volunteer work.

Who will be judging my entries?
Members of American Funeral Director's editorial staff will be the judges. Your entries will be held in strict confidence.

Who can enter?
Anyone who has been a funeral director for at least one year may be nominated. You may nominate yourself, a family member, friend, employee, boss, co-worker, mentor, former student, or simply someone you've done business or volunteered with.

When and how will the winners be announced?
Finalists will be notified no later than Oct. 1. The runners-up will be featured in the November issue of American Funeral Director, and the winner will be featured in the December issue of American Funeral Director.

Can I submit my entry online?
Yes, you can submit the online entry form.

If your question was not answered here, please contact Patti Bartche at or 732-730-2583.

Want to be a sponsor of the American Funeral Direcor Award?   top

If you're interested in becoming a sponsor please contact:

Allison Sullivan
Brian Kunert