CANA Membership Elects New Directors, New President in Hybrid Annual Meeting
WHEELING, IL— The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) welcomed new board members and recognized the service of others at the first-ever hybrid Annual Meeting of the Membership in August 2023. Members attending the 105th Annual Cremation Convention in Washington, D.C. and remotely from their businesses across the continent re-elected one incumbent board member and three new directors, as well as passing the gavel to new CANA President Robert Hunsaker.
ROBERT HUNSAKER ELECTED PRESIDENT
Robert Hunsaker brings a diverse background in the funeral service industry to his role as CANA’s President. He began his journey in the funeral service field by working at a local cemetery and has enjoyed a long and varied career with roles at Batesville Casket Company, Great Western Insurance Company, Service Corporation International, SinoSource International, and Hunsaker Partners. He is honored to serve as CANA president during the 2023-2024 year.
ELECTED TO THE CANA BOARD
CANA’s membership elected three new members to the Board of Directors to lead the association in the coming years.
E. Gene Allen, President/General Manager of Kerrville Funeral Home in Lubbock, Texas, has worked in funeral service for over 20 years and is past president of the Texas Funeral Directors Association. “I am a visionary type person by nature. I always try to think outside of the box for ways to grow and have more participation and enhance what is already a good organization,” Allen remarked. “I hope to contribute in a positive way, from an owner’s perspective, that might help others with their endeavors in the cremation world.”
Jimmy Lucas, Owner of Lucas Funeral Homes in Hurst, Texas, has spent 30 years as a social worker and more than 20 years as a business owner in the funeral profession. Lucas is also past president of the Texas Funeral Directors Association and knows the value of giving back. “For almost a decade, CANA has provided me, my business and my coworkers with amazing educational content, professional resources and networking opportunities that are second to none. At this stage in my professional career, I want to invest my time and talents in giving back to organizations and associations that are purposeful and intentional in making our profession better,” Lucas explained. “Serving on the CANA board is a complete honor.”
C.R. Lyons, President of C.R. Lyons & Sons Funeral Directors in Danvers, Massachusetts, is a fourth-generation funeral director and owner, in addition to faculty member of North Shore Community College and past president of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association. In the next five years, Lyons envisions CANA’s “continued growth in the funeral industry with a focus on outstanding programing, both in-person and virtual, that helps any interested party to flourish.”
Bill Clark, Managing Director of Kootenay Enterprises, Inc. in Trail, British Columbia was re-elected to serve a second term on the board. Sandra Walker, Chief Operating Officer of Pacific Northwest Cremation in Spokane, Washington was nominated by the board of directors to serve on the Executive Committee as Third Vice President. The board also nominated Tim Borden, President of Borden Mortuary Group in Louisville, Kentucky, to serve as Treasurer.
CANA’s Board of Directors is complete with:
- Robert Hunsaker of Serenity Funeral Home in St. George, Utah, CANA President;
- Ryan Wiseman of Porter Funeral Homes in Kansas City, Kansas, President Elect;
- Lindsey Ballard of Ballard Sunder Funeral Home in Jordan, Minnesota, First Vice President;
- Denis Desrochers of Grégoire Desrochers in Victoriaville, Quebec, Second Vice President;
- Sandra Walker of Pacific Northwest Cremation, Third Vice President;
- Timothy “Tim” Borden of Borden Mortuary Group, CANA Treasurer;
- Caressa Hughes of Service Corporation International, Immediate Past President;
- Kim Price of National Guardian Life Insurance Company, CANA Supplier Liaison;
- E. Gene Allen of Kerrville Funeral Home;
- Stephen “Steve” Bassett of Legacy Funeral Group;
- Dirk Bearden of Service Corporation International;
- William “Bill” Clark of Kootenay Enterprises Inc.;
- John Goobeck of All Texas Cremation;
- Timothy “Tim” Koch of Metro First Call;
- Jimmy Lucas of Lucas Funeral Homes;
- C.R. Lyons of C.R. Lyons & Sons Funeral Directors;
- Jason Widing of Foundation Partners Group; and
- Lara M. Price of Sheehy, Ware, Pappas & Grubbs, P.C., CANA General Counsel.
The Membership recognized Past President Archer Harmon of Hemet Valley Mortuary for his commitment to CANA’s values of remaining progressive, inclusive, collaborative, and maintaining our integrity to the profession. Under his leadership, the association has prioritized mental wellness and educating providers on finding new ways to support our communities. The Membership also recognized Joseph “J.P.” Di Troia for the completion of his term of service to the board of directors. We are grateful for their service to our association and the profession.
CANA thanks its volunteer Board of Directors and all those who serve on its Advisory Groups for their dedication to CANA and funeral service. These leaders volunteer their time and talent to ensure CANA stays the trusted authority and educator on all aspects of cremation. Find more information and learn how to get involved on CANA’s website: goCANA.org/BoardofDirectors
Featured in above image:
Row 1: Tim Borden, Treasurer; Sandra Walker, Third Vice President; Caressa Hughes, Immediate Past President; Robert Hunsaker, President; Lindsey Ballard, First Vice President; Ryan Wiseman, President-Elect. Row 2: Jason Widing, Board Member; Lara Price, CANA General Counsel; Kim Price, Supplier Liaison; Dirk Bearden, Board Member; Tim Koch, Board Member; E. Gene Allen, Board Member. Row 3: Jimmy Lucas, Board Member; John Goobeck, Board Member; C.R. Lyons, Board Member. Not pictured: Stephen Bassett, Board Member; William Clark, Board Member; and Denis Desrochers, Second Vice President.
Founded in 1913, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is an international organization of over 3,500 members, composed of funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories, industry suppliers, and consultants. CANA members believe that cremation is preparation for memorialization.