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, Ethics | Salina, Kansas | [Joined 10-13, expires 10-19] Sarah Crews holds a Bachelor’s degree in Aging and End of Life and a Master’s degree in Spiritual Care at End of Life. She is the founder and director of Heart Land Prairie Cemetery, the first all-natural burial ground in Kansas. The cemetery is also a prairie restoration project. Sarah has been a member of the NHFA since 2010 and has served on the board since 2013. A singer/songwriter, she has worked as a music caregiver in skilled-nursing facilities and for hospice, as well as recording and performing. Sarah has also been a hospice volunteer, volunteer coordinator, bereavement counselor, and arts instructor for people living with dementia and other conditions that limit expressive capacity. She believes deeply that tending to the sacred task of after-death care is transformative and healing for families and society as a whole. Sarah can think of no better way to be part of that transformation than serving the mission of the NHFA, educating, providing guidance to and advocating for those who choose to care for their own loved ones at death. Sarah@homefuneralalliance.org
Vice President, Advocacy | Prescott, Arizona | [Joined 10-17, expires 10-18] 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
Secretary, Events | Baltimore, Maryland | [Joined 10-17, expires 10-20] Kim comes to the Board with many years of experience in the death/dying field having begun in the early 1990's as a case manager, and housing and legislative advocate for people with HIV/AIDS. She is a certified, professional end-of-life coach, home funeral guide, hospice volunteer, Reiki practitioner, and an advisory board member of Threshold Support Circle in Baltimore, Maryland. Kim started her business Powerful U: End of Life and Advance Care Planning/Coaching to educate and empower people to ‘create the roadmap NOW’ for the final chapter of their life, including after-death care options. Kim brings exceptional organizational skills and event planning experience including having organized an AIDSWalk that attracted 2000 people in Albany, NY! As the board’s event coordinator, Kim is very excited to assist in planning the NHFA's bi-annual conference. Kim@homefuneralalliance.org
Treasurer, Finance | Olympia, Washington | [Joined 10-17, expires 10-20] 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
Communications | Astoria, New York | [Joined 10-17, expires 10-19] A long-time social advocate and writer, Tim has worked with the NHFA’s communications team since 2016. He brings a decade of marketing and public relations experience to the organization. Previously, Tim served as a volunteer and chair for the LGBT advocacy group, VISION, at Bowling Green State University. He researches and writes about the way American cultures and media discuss death, dying, and funerals. At the NHFA, he works to identify innovative ways to present death education and the realities of the end of life through multi-media, and to correct misinformation and inaccuracies in pop culture. Tim@homefuneralalliance.org
Membership| Salt Lake City, Utah | [Joined 10-17, expires 10-19] Barbara's volunteer work includes many non-profit experiences while professionally working as a commercial real estate broker, events planner, economic and community development and small business owner. For more than 25 years, she has been blessed with beautiful teachers from the Christian, Jewish, Sufi, Buddhist, Hindu and Inca shamanism. Twenty years of serving as a hospice volunteer and lay chaplain led Barbara to supporting friends with home funerals and green burial. She also works to create more opportunities for grassroots discussions about death, as well as home funeral education where she lives in Salt Lake City. Barbara@homefuneralalliance.org
Membership, Communications | Milwaukee, Wisconsin | Joined 9-18 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.
Communications, Fundraising | New York, New York | Joined 9-18 Jannika is a licensed funeral director living and working in New York City. A lifelong social advocate and former political animal, Jannika brings a strong background in all things digital to the NHFA, having, in a previous life, produced award-winning digital strategy and design for a diverse collection of high-profile elected officials, corporate entities, private and non-profit organizations such as The Luca John Foundation and The Urban Zen Foundation, helmed by fashion icon Donna Karran. In her work with the NHFA, Jannika aims to empower her fellow New Yorkers in their end-of-life decisions by eliminating the dissonance between home funerals and an urban environment.
Fundraising, Finance | Colorado Springs, Colorado | Joined 9-18 Susan is a proud native to the Rocky Mountain State, born and raised in Denver. Her first career as an EMT, Emergency Dispatcher and reserve Fire fighter put frequently put her in touch with the dying and death. She will tell anyone willing to listen about their right to a home funeral, how to care for their dead and the healing power of ceremony (funerals or memorial services). In 2016 Susan became a death midwife studying with Angie Buchannan, a protege of Nora Cedarwood Young. Susan facilitates a monthly Death Cafe providing a safe and non-judgmental space where folks can discuss everything related to death. Service and giving back to her community is a central life philosophy for Susan. She donates time to a local hospice and cemetery preservation group. Frequently she can be found cleaning and repairing headstones and sharing the stories of the residents. In her spare time Susan enjoys camping, hiking, reading and watching movies.
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.