New York State Funeral Directors Association

ALBANY, NY (August 18, 2016) -- The New York State Funeral Directors Association, Inc. (NYSFDA) is pleased to announce the latest graduates of the NYSFDA Leadership Academy.

2016 NYSFDA Leadership Academy graduates are listed below in alphabetical order:

  • Kendra M. Harris Constant of Harris Funeral Home in Roscoe, NY
  • Martin J. "Marty" Hughes of Betz, Rossi, Bellinger & Stewart Family Funeral Homes in Amsterdam, NY
  • Tyler E. Kent of Walter J. Kent Funeral Home in Elmira, NY
  • Nicole M. LaRue of LaRue & Pritcher Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Ogdensburg, NY and Lundy Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Carthage
  • Julia Goodman O'Brien of Hammill Funeral Home in Winthrop, NY

NYSFDA 2016 Leadership Academy left to right: Kendra M. Harris Constant, Martin J. "Marty" Hughes, Nicole M. LaRue, Tyler E. Kent and Julia Goodman O'BrienFollowing a competitive application process, selected NYSFDA-member funeral directors attended a series of development workshops and participated in monthly, web-based training.

In teams, Leadership Academy members pursued research into issues facing the funeral profession and prepareed recommendation reports for presentations at the NYSFDA Annual Convention held in Rochester, August 14 - 17, 2016.

The Leadership Academy was designed to identify NYS licensed funeral directors of excellence who have the potential to become leaders in local, state, and national funeral director associations.

The Academy addresses pressing issues facing funeral directors and business professionals alike.

"These funeral directors are poised to make a positive impact in the profession, and this intensive training has served them well as they take the next steps in their careers," said Michael A. Lanotte, Executive Director of NYSFDA.

Founded in 1889, NYSFDA's mission is to promote the highest standards of funeral service to the public and to enhance the environment in which its members operate. More than 900 member firms and 3300 licensed funeral directors who operate across the state belong to the New York State Funeral Directors Association. In addition to maintaining a website at, NYSFDA also publishes brochures and information which educate and inform consumers about end-of-life issues.