BROOKFIELD, Wis. – The Funeral Service Foundation’s Board of Trustees welcomed three new trustees and elected its 2019-20 executive committee at its annual fall meeting held during the NFDA International Convention & Expo in Chicago in October.

Voted onto the board in July, Stephen Phelps, vice president and director of marketing, National Guardian Life Insurance Company, Madison, Wisconsin, and David Falconer, senior vice president and funeral and cemetery trust manager, Regions Bank, Houston, Texas, began three-year terms as Foundation Trustees at the October meeting. Christopher Robinson, vice president and general manager, Robinson Funeral Home, Easley, North Carolina, joined Foundation trustees as the NFDA liaison, an NFDA Board-appointed role.

Funeral directors and allied professionals alike serve on the 17-member volunteer board and offer their expertise and insight to advance to Foundation’s mission to support meaningful relationships with families and communities.

“David, Steve and Chris are solid and inspiring additions to the Board,” said Anthony Guerra, who was elected as the Foundation’s 2019-20 Chair. “They are respected leaders within the funeral service profession and have been longtime supporters of the Foundation’s mission.” 

In addition to electing Guerra, vice president of Guerra Gutierrez Mortuaries in Los Angeles, California, as 2019-20 Chair, the Board of Trustees elected Allan Cole, president and owner, MacKinnon and Bowes, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, as chair-elect. Cole is the first-ever international board member to serve on the Foundation’s executive committee. The Board also re-elected Eric Tanzberger, senior vice president and CFO, Service Corporation International, Houston, Texas, as treasurer. Bob Arrington, owner, Arrington Funeral Directors and Crematory, Jackson, Tennessee, serves as immediate past president.

“We are honored to have such a strong and dynamic executive committee, including our first international board member serving in a leadership role,” said Foundation Executive Director, Lee Wiensch, CFRE. “The Foundation has great projects on the horizon, and our executive committee and board will lead us to new heights.”

Jay Dodds, chief operating officer, Park Lawn Corporation, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and Dave McComb, chairman and owner of Inman Shipping Worldwide and Eagles Wings Air, Fort Wayne, Indiana, transitioned off the board after six years of dedicated service to the Foundation.

2019-20 Board of Trustees – Front row (l-r): NFDA Liaison Christopher Robinson, NFDA CEO Christine Pepper, 2019-20 Chair-elect Allan Cole, 2019-20 Chair Anthony Guerra, Immediate Past Chair Bob Arrington, Foundation Executive Director Lee Wiensch, 2019-20 NFDA President, R. Bryant Hightower. Back row (l-r): Steve Gackenbach, Dave McComb (emeritus), Kelly Milberger, Steve Phelps, Kim Medici Shelquist, Jay Dodds (emeritus), Joan Billman, David Falconer, Bill Wappner, Kurt Soffe, Chris Trainor, J. Mark Busch and Mark Krause. Not pictured: Treasurer Eric Tanzberger and Brad Speaks.



2019-20 Executive Committee (l-r): Immediate Past Chair Bob Arrington, 2019-20 Chair Anthony Guerra and 2019-20 Chair-elect Allan Cole. Missing: Treasurer Eric Tanzberger.


Steve Phelps (left) and David Falconer (right) are the Foundation’s newest trustees. Missing: NFDA Liaison Chris Robinson.



Jay Dodds (left) and Dave McComb (right) served as trustees from 2013-2019.


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 to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and the communities it serves.