Melissa A. Drake
COO and President
Melissa Drake began working at American Funeral Consultants as a funeral service financial analyst following her graduation from the State University of New York at New Paltz in 1991. Melissa is responsible for all data processing, analysis, and interpretation, as well as all computer program design, development, and implementation. She has assisted hundreds of funeral home owners, having conducted over 500 Business Appraisals during her tenure.
Among her areas of expertise are developing financial projections through tax return and financial statement reconciliation and audit work, data processing and analysis, the application of financial standards, and program design and implementation. Melissa is proficient at statistical and demographic analyses, trend studies, mapping and location setting, and census and population analysis.
In addition, she serves as a Buy/ Sell Intermediary and carries out all phases of sales transactions, including preparation of Offering Prospectuses, marketing, negotiations, liaison with lenders and attorneys, review of legal documents, and collection of information for and preparation of due diligence for sales transactions.
Melissa develops, collaborates on, and perfects all reports and products offered and prepared by AFC and works closely with prospective clients throughout our assignments. Finally, she serves as Director of Seminar Services for AFC, developing, planning, and overseeing seminar site management. She is the chief contact with the approval agencies for Continuing Education for all seminar activities.
Melissa became the COO, President, and Co-Owner of AFC in 2007. Her professional career has been devoted exclusively to providing professional and personalized service to our Clients.
Kathy D. Williams
CFO and Secretary/Treasurer
Kathy Williams is a graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz and began her career with Dr. Pine in 1969. She has been a funeral service researcher, accounting specialist, NFDA project manager, and primary editorial associate throughout her career. From 1970 to 1985, she was the Chief Research Project Coordinator for all of the NFDA Facts and Figures Studies. During those 15 years she was the Coordinator of Funeral Service Research and oversaw the following studies: NFDA’s Veterans Survey, the Chart of Accounts Study, the Employer/ Employee Study, and the FTC Baseline Study, as well as various other studies for state funeral directors associations.
Among her areas of expertise are research design, organizing operations, and report refinement. Since 1971, Kathy has worked with data from over 12,000 funeral homes throughout the United States. For a number of years, she was the principal accountant and bookkeeping supervisor for a group of independent funeral homes.
In addition, she serves as a Buy/Sell Intermediary and carries out all phases of sales transactions, including preparation of Offering Prospectuses marketing, negotiations, liaison with lenders and attorneys, review of legal documents, and collection of information for and preparation of due diligence for sales transactions.
Kathy edits, collaborates on, and assists with the preparation and is responsible for quality control of all documents and prepares Community Market Analyses and demographic information for reports. She works with prospective clients to help determine their needs, giving personalized attention to each of them.
Kathy became the CFO, Secretary/ Treasurer, and Co-Owner of AFC in 2007. She brings a full career and expertise in funeral service and a lifelong commitment to American Funeral Consultants and those we serve.
|Vanderlyn R. Pine, Ph.D., C.B.A. |
Founder and Consultant Emeritus
Dr. Vanderlyn Pine entered funeral service in 1957, graduated from the American Academy of Funeral Service in 1959, and assumed the management of his family’s funeral home. In the late 1960s he returned to school and completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees at Dartmouth College. While pursuing his Doctorate at New York University, he taught at the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service. He won a National Institute of Health Pre Doctoral Research Fellowship and completed his Doctorate of Philosophy Degree at NYU in 1971.
In 1970,Van was appointed as the Management Consultant for the National Funeral Directors Association, a position he held until 1985. Also in 1970, he became a college professor with special expertise in Sociological Research Methods, Statistical Analysis, and the Sociology of Death. Van began publishing articles on funeral home evaluation and financial management in the early 1970s in the American Funeral Director and NFDA’s The Director. Over the years, he has written, edited, and contributed to a number of books on funeral service, and given hundreds of featured speeches, lectures and seminars on funeral home evaluation, management, pricing, and mergers and consolidation, as well as other related subjects for numerous funeral director associations and groups throughout the United States and Canada.
Since 1970, Van has helped hundreds of funeral home owners and their management staff throughout the United States achieve their business goals. His clients include owners of small, medium,
and large funeral homes, former state association officers, and former
presidents of NFDA, NSM, and OGR.
In 1992, he founded American Funeral Consultants as an expansion of his company formerly known as Vanderlyn R. Pine Associates. In March, 2007, Van transferred ownership of AFC to his long-time employees, Kathy D. Williams and Melissa A. Drake, relieving him of the day-to-day responsibilities so that he can pursue other interests. However, he still serves as a Consultant and Advisor to the team.