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ifda 2017-2018 board of directors


Karl Kann
Worsham College of Mortuary Science
495 Northgate Parkway
Wheeling, IL 60090

Karl Kann brings much professional experience and knowledge to the IFDA Board of Directors, as he is an experienced funeral director, and possesses a BA from DePaul University and a MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management. Having grown up in a funeral service family, whose funeral home proudly served the Sparta, Wisconsin community for over 25 years, Karl experienced firsthand the importance of compassionate care for the living and the respectful treatment of the deceased. Upon graduation from Worsham College in 1990, Karl served his apprenticeship at Piser Chapels in Skokie, Illinois, a private firm that was later acquired by Service Corporation International in the 1990s. As a fully licensed funeral director and embalmer, Karl continued to serve the Chicagoland community at Piser Chapels for 15 years, before becoming President of Worsham College of Mortuary Science in Wheeling, Illinois. Karl is committed to working diligently on behalf of funeral directors, embalmers, and funeral home owners in the state of Illinois.

President Elect

Mark D. Sherfy
Kassly Mortuary, Ltd.
9900 St. Clair Avenue
Fairview Heights, IL 62208

Mark has been interested in the funeral profession since high school when he began working at the the local funeral home washing cars and doing yard work. Like several other members of this Board, he was not raised in a "funeral family." He graduated from St. Louis Community College at Forest Park in 1982. He has been on the staff of Kassly Mortuary in Fairview Heights since 1987. He has served as President, Vice-President and Secretary/Treasurer of the St. Clair County Funeral Directors Association. He is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Fairview Heights Chamber of Commerce. He is interested in helping to rebuild confidence in IFDA and regain membership based on the programs and products that are available to the membership.

Vice President

Gregory L. Henderson, CFSP
Henderson Funeral Home & Crematory
2131 Velde Drive
Pekin, IL 61554

Greg graduated from Worsham College of Mortuary Science in 1980 and received his Funeral Director's license in 1981. He began working in the family business and hasn’t looked back since. Greg takes pride in being a second generation funeral director carrying on the family tradition that has made Henderson Funeral Home what it is today. While preserving the many traditional aspects that keep families returning time and time again, Greg believes in implementing new ideas. He also believes in taking those ideas and using them to help the community. An example of this is a series of grief seminars he initiated for the community hosted by nationally renowned grief specialist Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D. Greg has also attended seminars at the Center for Loss in Fort Collins, CO in an effort to obtain his certificate in Death and Grief Studies from Colorado State University. Greg has earned the Certified Funeral Service Provider designation. Greg is currently serving as Treasurer of IFDA and is Past President of IFDA District #8. Greg is a member, past president and treasurer of St. Paul United Church of Christ in Pekin. He also was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Pekin Rotary Club in 1996 and is a past president of that organization. Additionally, he is a member the Pekin Area Chamber Commerce and served as director on its board, past chairman of the Pekin Marigold Festival Committee, Past Chairman of the Salvation Army Advisory Board as well as a member of Pekin Elks Lodge #1271. Greg is also involved with St. Jude, has been a VIP for the Central Illinois telethon, 8 year veteran of the Memphis to Peoria run for St. Jude.


Robert J. Smith, Jr.
Smith-Corcoran Funeral Home
6150 N. Cicero Avenue
Chicago, IL 60646

Bob Smith Jr., a third generation funeral director, joined the family business in 1980. Bob earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and history from the University of Kansas, a MBA in international business and finance from DePaul University and spent several years in the U.S. Army. Prior to entering funeral service, Bob worked in the banking and insurance industries for several years. Bob has been very active in both funeral service and community organizations having served on numerous IFDA and NFDA Committees over the past 20 years, as president of the Northeastern Illinois Funeral Directors Association and as a board member for the Selected Independent Funeral Homes organization. Local activities include serving on his parish school board and parish finance committee including helping orchestrate a five million dollar church expansion project, serving as Past Grand Knight of his Knights of Columbus council and serving on the board of the Palatine and Sauganash local Chamber of Commerce.

Immediate Past President

Drew Edwards

Sunset Funeral Homes
3940 N. Vermilion Street
Danville, IL 61834

Drew did not attend his first funeral until he had already received his degree in mortuary science and was working in the field. He received his education from Southern Illinois University and went on to work where he currently does today, at Sunset Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Danville, IL. Drew has been attending IFDA conventions for over 20 years now and is pleased to serve the association as the President. He is constantly learning in his position and looks forward to serving the association in the years to come.

NFDA Policy Board Representative

Linda L. Allan
Allan & Ciuferi Funeral Home
314 West Main Street
Collinsville, IL 62234

Linda L. Allan of Collinsville, IL, graduated from St. Louis Community College in 1982. Directly after college, she joined her parents in the family business, Allan & Ciuferi Funeral Home. Growing up and living above the funeral home made for an interesting childhood. Going out on calls with her father during the summer months peaked her interest in the funeral profession. She became active with IFDA first on the Convention Committee and then was asked to join the Board of Directors as Regional Director; she then proceeded to become President-Elect, President and Past President. Linda now serves as the NFDA Policy Board Representative where she acts as the liaison between NFDA and IFDA. She is also a member of the IFDA Constitution & By-Laws Committee, Convention Committee, and the Marketing, Membership and Technology Task Force. Linda is very involved with her community as well. She is a part of the Planning Commission for the city of Collinsville, the Uptown Development Commission and the Collinsville Chamber of Commerce.

Region 1 Director

Joseph A. Russo
Russo's Hillside Chapel
4500 Roosevelt Road
Hillside, IL 60162



Region 1 Director

Cathlene Johnson
Smith & Thomas Funeral Homes, Inc.
5708 West Madison
Chicago, IL 60644


Region 2 Director

Matthew R. Kendall
Carl Sandburg College, Mortuary Science Department
2400 Tom L. Wilson Blvd.
Galesburg, IL 61401

Matthew R. Kendall grew up on a ranch outside of Winner, SD. Matt always had an interest in funeral service, stemming from having attended many family funerals as a child. He received a Bachelor’s of Arts and Science in Biology from South Dakota State University before moving to Portland, OR. Matt received his Associate’s of Applied Science in Funeral Service from Mt. Hood Community College, where he met his wife Kelly; who also practiced as a licensed funeral director and embalmer. Matt and Kelly then moved to Newport, OR, working together as licensed funeral directors and embalmers for Bateman Funeral Chapel, until Matt was offered an instructors position at Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg, IL in 2003. Matt, Kelly, son Robert (Bob) and daughter Abbey are members of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Monmouth, IL and Matt is a 3rd Degree Knight of Columbus. "If I can foster passion for funeral service in my students; what it means to be a funeral director, not just be able to pass a test, then I think that funeral service will have a bright future."


Region 2 Director

Gerald J. Hopgood
McClure Funeral Home, Ltd.
302 W. Poplar Street
Taylorville, IL 62568

Jerry began his funeral career after graduating from Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington, MO. He went to work for his stepfather who was building a cemetery. It was from that experience that Jerry learned what he wanted to do. He went to work for a construction company to earn enough money to be able to attend Worsham College of Mortuary Science. After graduation he headed to Herrington Calvert Funeral Home for his two year apprenticeship. From there he was well on his way. His first job was the Deputy Coroner and Sheriff of DeWitt County, which he held for nine years. Jerry believes in promoting the funeral care profession and has given countless presentations to high school students. He serves the community as an active member of the Springfield Elks Lodge #158, Knights of Columbus Council 40 in Riverton, IL and the American Cancer Society of DeWitt County. In the past he served as Vice President Kiwanis Club in Sherman, IL, Secretary, Vice President and President of the Jaycees in Clinton, IL and Chairman of the Lions Club in Petersburg, IL. He also served as Vice President and Treasurer of IFDA District 10 in 1967-68. Jerry is passionate about the funeral care profession and eager to talk with members to hear their concerns.


Region 3 Director

Ralph Gent Bowles
Gent Funeral Home, Inc.
2409 State Street
Alton, IL 62002

Ralph is a licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer and President of Gent Funeral Home in Alton, Illinois. He holds a Bachelor’s in Business and Personnel Administration. Ralph is married to Dawn and they have three children, Ben 24, Emma 20 and Josie 17.

Ralph is an IFDA member and has served on the Education Committee. He is also an NFDA Member and a member of the Selected Independent Funeral Homes Association. Ralph is involved in his community and is a past president of Godfrey Lions Club. He is a member of the Riverbend Growth Association, Calvary Baptist Church, the Godfrey Cemetery Board, the Alton Police Department K-9 unit and the Alton Animal Aid Association Bark in the Park.


Region 3 Director

Thomas Macz
Irvin Macz Funeral Homes
234 S. Elm
Centralia, IL 62801

Tom & Traci Macz graduated in 2004 from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale Mortuary School. After graduating, they served their apprenticeship at Hurley Funeral Home in Petersburg & Mason City, IL. In October of 2005, they moved to Tom’s hometown of Watseka, IL to work for Knapp Funeral Homes, Inc. In February of 2011, the couple moved to Traci’s hometown of Sandoval to begin working for Day Funeral Homes, owned by Dennis Day.

 Tom and Traci took over management of Day Funeral Homes in late 2012. In 2013, they purchased the business which included sites in Sandoval and Patoka, IL. and the name changed to Day Macz Funeral Homes. In the following year, Tom & Traci welcomed their first child, George Pulver Macz. 

 In 2015, the couple purchased Irvin Funeral Homes with locations in Centralia and Odin, IL from the family of the late Larry Irvin.

 On May 31st, 2018 Tom & Traci’s family was blessed with a new addition to their family; Charles Thomas Macz was born.

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