The National Home Funeral Alliance is a 501(C)3 educational nonprofit that runs on volunteer fuel. Board work takes time and energy, inspiration and follow-through, but those who answer the call ensure that the organization doesn’t just continue to exist, but that it thrives. Can you see yourself stretching just a bit to join this part of the effort to spread the word about home funerals? Contact the President for information about throwing your hat into the ring when board seats are filled annually. Bring your mad skills!
DANI LAVOIRE | PRESIDENT
Prescott, Arizona (she/her) Dani comes to this work because of a deep need to live life in the liminal spaces and foster experiences for others seeking comfort in unfamiliar territory. While working as a home birth midwife for almost 2 decades, she realized that the same skills of the heart that have served birthing families could also help deepen the experiences of families facing death. Dani is a hospice volunteer, home funeral guide, passionate public speaker, writer, mother, wife and homesteader. Her deepest passion lies in creating strong communities through transforming experiences of trauma. Her work at the NHFA will be to creatively and energetically motivate the membership to make a strong difference in the places where they live. Dani@homefuneralalliance.org
ANGELA WOOSLEY | VICE PRESIDENT
St. Paul, Minnesotta (she/her they/them) Angela lives in St. Paul, MN, has been a MN-licensed mortician for over 15 years, and taught in the Program of Mortuary Science at UMN for 10 years. She is also a trained end-of-life doula, a certified celebrant, a hospice volunteer, and home funeral guide. Angela works to educate the public about end-of-life choices and is working to make land conservation natural burial a reality in MN. She is the founder of Inspired Journeys LLC, the Midwest’s first woman-owned and family-centered natural deathcare provider. She is excited to contribute her skills to the NHFA to further its mission to increase awareness and access to home funeral options. firstname.lastname@example.org
SARAH JANE LAMBRING | SECRETARY
Dallas, Texas (she/her) Sarah Jane is a Certified Lifecycle Celebrant and Funeral Consumers Alliance advocate/home funeral guide. Three in-hospice deaths in a year rocked her family and set her on the natural death care path. They taught her the importance of community surrounding after-death care, and highlighted the staggering lack of natural options. Sarah Jane is passionate about communication and education, and is working to connect our movement’s knowledge to the public consciousness. She will devote herself to developing resources communities can take into their spaces, normalizing the desire for a return to family-led service. email@example.com
ALICE TOOHEY | TREASURER
Glendale, California (she/her) Alice Toohey lives in Glendale, CA with her husband Sean and daughter Ayla. Alice has an MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College. Currently she works as center administrator/bookkeeper at the nonprofit Shambhala Meditation Center of Los Angeles. Originally from Maine, she became interested in home funerals after carrying out her father’s wishes to be buried on his own land in Jefferson, Maine in 2012. She is currently studying Death Midwifery with Olivia Bareham. Alice meditates regularly and enjoys giving introductory meditation instruction and facilitating contemplative groups. firstname.lastname@example.org
Milwaukee, Wisconsin (she/her) Anna Benton has more than 20 years of experience in public health and non-profit management, and a passion for equity, social justice, and promoting opportunities for marginalized and disadvantaged populations. She has lived and/or worked in Los Angeles and Washington DC, as well as in England and Lithuania. Anna is a volunteer at two non-profit hospices in Milwaukee. She is trained as an End of Life Doula, and her passion is offering end-of-life guidance and education to families and the community. The mission of her non-profit, End of Life Alternatives, is to ensure families in Southeast Wisconsin know and understand the full array of end-of-life options and are able to create rites of passage that are tailored and meaningful for themselves and their loved ones.
Bethany, Oklahoma (she/her) Rhythm Maat is a grief worker a doula and an alchemy life worker who does holistic based approaches to transitioning on multiple levels, including: end of life ceremonialist, mediation, education, womb restoration practices, rebirthing. She infuses laughter, sound healing, and conscious self-awareness.
Seattle, Washington (she/her) Lashanna is, at her core, a helper; a doula and massage therapist who merges formal education, ancestral knowledge, life experience, and all 6 senses to guide her care. She serves individuals, families, intentional communities, and small businesses with end of life education and planning, body care education, home wake facilitation and creating legacy pieces. She has a never diminishing desire to grow community care through education and collaboration; to fully support autonomy and choice through abortion, death and dying. "If energy is neither created or destroyed, I'm sure we've met sometime before."
M. DRAEGON PROKOP
Fort Collins, Colorado (she/her) Draegon is a practicing Death and Dying Guide who works primarily through Pathways Hospice in Fort Collins, Colorado. She is a retired nurse with a richly rewarding career in a myriad of healthcare settings, most recently supervising the clinical staff for Family Service of the Piedmont in North Carolina. Prior to that she served as a Disease Management nurse and Health Coach for Aetna, was a Clinical Outcomes Data Analyst for the American College of Cardiology at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia, and Director of Nursing at Pinewood Assistant Living in Virginia. At present she is a Certified Conscious Dying Coach and offers online Death and Dying Guide training. A keen interest in the history of post mortem photography has led her to reintroduce this remembrance art form to others upon request. Above all, Draegon is passionate about working with the dying; striving to create a consciously sacred and peaceful experience for them, their loved ones and perhaps even more, with the clinical and/or lay staff at facilities such as nursing homes, long term care and rehab centers who very often are the ones closest to the dying.
Commerce City, Colorado (she/her) Tawnya, a fifth generation Coloradoan, values community, advocacy, and education. With a professional background rooted in human services, she’s worked with at-risk youth, adults with developmental delays, as a family advocate, and as a tobacco cessation counselor specializing in pregnancy and post-partum cessation. She entered the death sphere in 2017 after realizing how truly at home she was with death and dying, as well as having been wholly disappointed in the ways in which personal deaths in her life had been handled by industrialized, commercialized entities. She sought training as an End-of-Life Doula, Life-Cycle Celebrant specializing in funerals, and most near and dear to her heart, in the realm of home funerals. She strives to bolster the grass roots movement around home funeral awareness and informed decision making, as she hears, “we wish we would have known” all too often from families. She hopes to hear, more and more going forward, “we’re so glad we knew.” email@example.com
MICHELLE ACCIAVATTI, MS
Montpelier, Vermont (she/her) Michelle is passionate about building community resources for people facing the end of life, caring for their own dead, and exploring ecologically sensible disposition options. In her daily work, Michelle seeks ways to positively integrate community death care and conventional funeral home offerings for families who want to stay hands-on, while actively confronting bias and privilege in both settings in order to promote decolonized and human-centered death awareness education and support to individuals, communities, organizations, and institutions. Michelle has trained as a funeral director, advance care planner, end of life doula, home funeral guide, green burial advocate, neuroscientist, and ethicist. She has practiced death work with people of all ages, including those dealing with death during pregnancy. Her work has found her in setting as varied as Boston Children’s Hospital, community spaces, people’s own homes, and the funeral home.
Honolulu, Hawaiʻi (she/her) Leilani is a death educator and home funeral advocate who lives in Honolulu, Hawaiʻi. She is the founder and facilitator of Death Café Honolulu and volunteers educating people about advanced health care directives, hospice, and palliative care with Kōkua Mau. She also does individual counseling for people who need guidance about advance care planning and how to talk about their wishes for care with their loved ones. In her work life she serves as the Outreach & Overdose Prevention Manager for Hawaiʻi Health & Harm Reduction Center, where she manages its statewide syringe exchange, outreach, and overdose prevention programs. Leilani also conducts training and education with other social service organizations to teach about overdose response and to reduce stigma around drug use. Leilani has a Master of Public Health degree with an emphasis in Aging from the University of California – Berkeley and a Master of Social Work degree from Hawaiʻi Pacific University, where she wrote her thesis on home funerals and their effects on grief.
Mills River, North Carolina (she/her) Liz is a funeral director with a strong interest in green practices and a return to family-oriented death care. She entered the death care industry after participating in the home funeral of a family friend. While learning to face her own mortality, she helps others overcome the fear of their own death by caring for their dead loved ones. Liz is actively working to bring equality to the North Carolina funeral board in an attempt to unify the funeral industry, a field historically controlled by white males. Living in the Asheville, NC area with her husband, three dogs and one cat, Liz is also interested in dancing and beekeeping. She is currently saying yes to new adventures.
2015 Board (l-r) Seated Lee Webster, Sarah Crews, Peg Lorenz, Sara Williams, Kateyanne Unullisi Standing Donna Belk, Lynn Barnett, Kristine Bentz, Zalene Corey, Anne Murphy Board Retreat, Peru, VT, 2014
2013 Board (l-r) Peg Lorenz, Kristine Bentz, Susan Oppie, Sarah Crews, Elizabeth Knox, Lynn Barnett, Lee Webster, Zalene Corey, Raleigh, NC
2012 Board (l-r) Pat Hogan, Peg Lorenz, Merilynne Rush, Anne O'Connor, Char Barrett, Jerrigrace Lyons, Donna Belk, Heather Massey, Olivia Bareham, Cassandra Yonder, Elizabeth Knox, Lee Webster, Chicago, IL
The NHFA is a nonprofit 501c3 organization committed to supporting home funeral education. The NHFA does not offer certification opportunities. Membership in the NHFA and participation in its activities does not constitute endorsement of any kind.