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!
President | Prescott, Arizona 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
Vice President | Milwaukee, Wisconsin 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.
Secretary | Olympia, Washington Angie is just beginning to find her place in the world of home funerals. She's worked in Washington state government for the past 32 years serving in two Governors' administrations, and most recently as a federal grant and communications manager for the Washington Traffic Safety Commission. Angie is also a hospice volunteer and in 2016 was appointed as the public member of the Washington State Funeral and Cemetery Board. In her off time she's exploring ways to lovingly challenge how her family, friends, and community members experience and perceive their dying. As the NHFA board treasurer, Angie hopes to contribute to the cause while continuing her own learning about home funerals in the United States. Angie@homefuneralalliance.org
Treasurer | Glendale, California 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.
Veronica Banks Lee
Laurel, Maryland Veronica Banks Lee is an Information Technology, Project Management Professional (PMP), certified by Project Management Institute (PMI). A Change Agent who works to implement improvements in work processes, tools, and systems in both corporate and government business organizations. She has also performed in various volunteer capacities to improve and transform community and social systems. Veronica aims to bring awareness of End of Life options to individuals and their families, to be an Agent of Change, helping people explore, define, and execute their wishes.
Bethany, Oklahoma 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.
Rev. Dr. Shelby McBride
Flint, Michigan Ordained interfaith minister and Pastoral Thanatologist, Rev. Dr. Shelby McBride serves on the NHFA board of directors as the Advocacy Committee chair. She is a certified Death Midwife, Home Funeral Guide, celebrant, speaker, end of life educator, hospice volunteer and author of a Thanatology blog. After a near death experience in 2005, she became deeply immersed in exploring and honoring the cultural, spiritual and metaphysical aspects of death, dying and the afterlife. Shelby is passionate about death education and actively advocates to protect and expand the end of life rights for all Americans. When she is not writing, advocating or volunteering you can find her in the kitchen crafting delicious things to eat, or curled up next to the fireplace with a good book. She enjoys playing piano, traveling, collecting oddities and building pillow forts with her kids. Born and raised in Arizona, she now calls Southeast Michigan home and is working to create a local community based death care group in Genesee County. Available for consultations, speaking engagements, workshops, webinars and media requests. You are invited to contact her directly at: Shelby@HomeFuneralAlliance.org.
Seattle, Washington Lashanna (she/her) 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."
Sarah Jane Lambring
Dallas, Texas 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
2019 Board: (l-r) Shelby McBride, Rhythm Maat, Sarah Hines, Dani LaVoire, Anna Benton, Veronica Lee, Alice Toohey, Mary Barrowman, Angie Ward. Chaska, MN, 2019
2017 Board: (l-r) Lauren Carroll, Terry Skovronek, Greta Allendorf, Sarah Crews, Barbara Trites, Dani LaVoire, Angie Ward, Tim Howell Resitertown, MD, 2017
NHFA Presidents (l-r) Sarah Crews (#4), Lee Webster (#3), Elizabeth Knox (#2), Char Barrett (#1) Reistertown, MD, 2017
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.