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11 Funeral Pro Chat Podcasts Worth Adding to Your Next Playlist

Jul 21, 2015

One year ago this week, a new podcast series was launched to inform and enlighten funeral professionals on a range of subjects that interest them. Funeral Pro Chat features directors and experts discussing the latest funeral trends, news and customs. ASD is honored to be the official sponsor of this insightful podcast series for directors.

In honor of the Funeral Pro Chat’s 1-year milestone this week, we have taken a look back at the many interesting and profound discussions that have been recorded. Below is a list of all the podcasts including an episode description and audio recording. All podcasts can be streamed on ASD’s website or on You can also download podcasts for free from iTunes or Take them with you anywhere on any device so that you can listen at home, in the prep room, while driving or any other time you want to hear about the latest issues and trends affecting our profession.

Funeral Pro Chat #1: Caleb Wilde on the Changing Face of Funeral Service

The first Funeral Pro Chat podcast featured sixth-generation Funeral Director and popular blogger, Caleb Wilde. Caleb sat down with Nancy Burban and ASD Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor, to share his thoughts and stories about the changing face of funeral service, common pressures directors face, the healing power of writing and the importance of trust when choosing funeral vendors.

Funeral Pro Chat Podcast #2: Elleanor Davis Starks on Minority Funerals

In this podcast, Steven C. Turner, a 30-year veteran of New York news media and Partner at Burban-Turner Media and Elleanor Davis Starks, Executive Director of the 100 Black Women of Funeral Service Association discuss the high cost of dying in minority communities.The interview offers insights on rising funeral costs, the importance of educating the public about preplanning and minority funerals and traditions. Elleanor also shares about her recent experience attending Maya Angelou’s funeral service.

Funeral Pro Chat #3: Debra Fry discusses Grief Dog Therapy in Funeral Homes

The third Funeral Pro Chat podcast featured Debra Fry of Fry Funeral Home in Tipton, IA and Compassionate Paws Grief Therapy. Debra works with Bermese mountain dogs to provide comfort and solace to the bereaved. During this engaging conversation between Debra, Nancy Burban and Kevin Czachor, Debra discusses the type of training her dogs receive and the benefit therapy dogs offer to grieving families. She also provides details on how funeral directors can get involved with this type of work.

Funeral Pro Chat #4: Isaiah Owens on African-American Death Rituals

This podcast episode features Isaiah Owens of Owens Funeral Home. Isaiah is the subject and star of “Homegoings,” a film that uses his 58-year-long career and life as a funeral director to examine African-American death rituals. He spoke with Steven C. Turner and Elleanor Davis Starks about his decades of experience working at the historic Owens Funeral Home in Harlem. The interview includes stories from Isaiah about memorable cases he was involved with and his experience during the filming of “Homegoings.”

Funeral Pro Chat Podcast #5: Kevin Moran on Hurricane Sandy and Philanthropy in the Funeral Home

The fifth Funeral Pro Chat podcast featured Kevin Moran of John Vincent Scalia Home for Funeral in Staten Island, NY. As a funeral director located in Staten Island, NY, Kevin Moran was on the front lines after Hurricane Sandy struck. His funeral home was instrumental in aiding those affected, providing burials at no cost for those killed by the tragedy and offering housing and food to victims and volunteers for months. Kevin spoke with Nancy Burban and ASD Public Relations Specialist, Jessica Fowler, about the role of philanthropy in the funeral home and how Hurricane Sandy brought funeral directors, vendors and other funeral professionals together in an effort to help those less fortunate.

Funeral Pro Chat Podcast #6: John Beckwith on Service – both Funeral Service and Police Work

This podcast interview featured John Beckwith, Owner of Golden Gate Funeral Homes in Dallas, TX, Fort Worth, TX and Tallulah, LA. In this podcast interview, John sat down with Steven C. Turner and Elleanor Davis Starks to discuss his careers in both funeral service and police work. The candid conversation touched on the importance of homegoings in African-American communities, the growth and expansion of Golden Gate Funeral Homes and the connection between John’s passion for funeral and police work.

Funeral Pro Chat Podcast #7: Gene Steele on Trade Embalming in New York City

The seventh podcast interview featured Gene Steele, a trade embalmer and licensed funeral director working in New York City. Gene is interviewed by Steven C. Turner about his career in funeral service and the art of embalming. In the podcast, Gene discusses his early experiences in funeral service, the day-to-day responsibilities of his job as well as the rewards and challenges of working in the city.

Funeral Pro Chat Podcast #8: Joe Sanchez on Changing Latino Funeral Traditions

In this podcast interview, Funeral Director, Joe Sanchez is profiled by Steven C. Turner. Joe has been working in the funeral profession for more than 12 years. He is a director at Legacy Chapels which is one of the largest funeral homes in Texas. During the discussion, Joe speaks about services he has handled in the past and Legacy’s distinctive approach to funeral service. The interview touches on Latino funeral traditions, personalizing funeral services, engaging with the public on social media and more.

Funeral Pro Chat Podcast #9: Jayme Jeter-Cameron on Supporting Anti-Bullying Initiatives

The ninth Funeral Pro Chat podcast features Jayme Jeter-Cameron, a licensed funeral director at Jeter Funeral Home in Detroit and President of the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association. In this podcast interview, Jayme sat down with Steven C. Turner to discuss anti-bullying and anti-violence initiatives and the importance of funeral directors supporting the youth in their communities.

Funeral Pro Chat Podcast #10: Richard Traunero on How Funeral Directors Can “Fly for a Cause”

This podcast interview features Funeral Director and Pilot, Richard Traunero, of Traunero Funeral Home located in Tiffin, OH. In this podcast interview, Richard speaks with Nancy Burban and ASD Public Relations Specialist, Jessica Fowler, about how funeral directors can “fly for a cause.” Both a humantarian and animal lover, Richard volunteers his time and private plane to help people and animals in need. He works with Angel Flight and Lifeline Pilots, human compassionate groups that help patients and families travel to treatment or diagnosis locations free of charge. Richard also volunteers for Pilots N Paws which helps animals in danger of euthanization by transporting them to foster or forever homes in other locations. The podcast offers insights into the important relationship between funeral service and volunteer work.

Funeral Pro Chat Podcast #11: Bill Williams discusses ‘Remembering Our Fallen’

The latest Funeral Pro Chat podcast features Bill Williams, Founder of Remembering Our Fallen, memorials designed to travel so that more people can have the opportunity to remember our fallen heroes. In this podcast interview, Bill speaks with Nancy Burban and ASD Public Relations Specialist, Jessica Fowler, about why this cause is so important and how funeral professionals can help.

About Funeral Pro Chat

ASD teamed up with Funeral writer and media consultant, Nancy Burban, to launch Funeral Pro Chat, an exciting and informative Podcast series for funeral directors. Funeral Pro Chat was created to inform and enlighten funeral professionals on a range of subjects that interest them. Each podcast consists of an interview with a specially selected guest who will offer insight on a particular topic. The podcast format allows directors to learn topical and fascinating information about the trade while driving or completing other tasks.

To learn more about FuneralProChat, visit

Thanks for listening. Please leave us a comment and share your thoughts on these podcasts with us.

About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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