About CCMS

Board of Trustees

The Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and the Foundation for Mortuary Education Board of Trustees is comprised of no more than fifteen members, as well as (non-voting) affiliate representatives to oversee financial, legal, and administrative requirements. The Board of Trustees holds scheduled meetings every May and  November, and intermittently as the need arises. Members of the foundation are invited and encouraged to participate during the May Annual Members Meeting. Please contact CCMS at (513) 761-2020 or bot@bodybeach.net for meeting information and  agenda requests.


Michael Ryan, Board Chair

Michael Ryan, Board Chair

“My professional career began with a CCMS education. It is a privilege to give back ten times over to the continued success of this school and all those who seek to become tomorrow’s professionals.”

Shorten & Ryan Funeral Home, Vorhis & Ryan Funeral Home
Certified Funeral Celebrant, Licensed Professional – OH
Alumnus 1978

Kathleen Shaffer

Kathleen Shaffer, Vice Chair/Fiduciary TTE

“I am driven to contribute to maintaining the standard of excellence for which CCMS is known.”

Ducro Funeral Services
Certified Funeral Service Practitioner  (CFSP), Certified Funeral Celebrant, Certified Pre-planning Consultant, Licensed Professional – Ohio
Alumna 2008

Kenn Peterson

Kenn Peterson, Treasurer

“After many years of serving funeral professionals who help make the worst day of a family’s life a little easier, it is an honor and privilege to be able to influence the learning process where it all starts.”

National Guardian Life Insurance Company, Vice President, Business and Lending Development

MBA, University of Toledo, MS, Miami University, MEd (TBC), Miami University


Laura Nobbe

Laura Nobbe, Secretary

“My commitment continues to be the success of students and business owners as a trusted pre-need advisor with Homesteaders Life Company, serving the unique and individual needs of clients across five states since 2007. I have had the privilege to serve the death care profession since 1990, having formerly owned a funeral home as well as serving in casket manufacturing, sales, and preneed marketing.”

Heartland PreNeed Systems, President



Steve Bittner

Steve Bittner

"I feel so privileged to serve on the CCMS Board of Trustees. As a cemeterian of 50 plus years, I am excited to be part of the proactive approach of taken by the college to engage all the various service providers of our End of Life ministry. Together, we can truly keep our ministry moving forward!"

Certified Catholic Cemetery Executive (CCCE); Certified Cemetery Executive (CCE); Cincinnati Catholic Cemetery Society, President; Catholic Family Security Association, Vice President; Catholic Cemetery Conference (CCC), Past-President


Coleen Ellis

Coleen Ellis

“I am excited to partner with CCMS, a forward thinking educator that understands and embraces the value that pets have on the family system and the role of a funeral director in providing that service. As founder of Two Hearts Pet Loss Center (2009) and Pet Angel Memorial Center (2004) I was able to address and meet the needs pet parents had to mourn, memorialize, and celebrate the life that they shared with their beloved pets.”

Founder, Two Hearts Pet Loss Center, Consultant Specializing in Pet Death Care, International Speaker on Pet Loss & Grief, BBA Marketing, Fort Hays State University, Pet Loss & Grief Companioning Certified, Center for Loss, Certified in Thanatology, Association of Death Education & Counsel


Jim Flynn

Jim Flynn

“As a descendant of Funeral Directors, I look forward to providing governance to the nation’s leading death care educator.”

Federal Retirement Advisors, RICP, Retirement Income Certified Professional, B.A. Economics, University of Cincinnati.


Duane Hedrick

Duane Hedrick

“Having the privilege to expand beyond practitioner to service supplier has afforded the opportunity to meet countless CCMS graduates, which has inspired my mission to contribute to the future of the foundation and college.”

Dodge Company
Licensed Professional – Ohio
Alumnus 1993

Tim King

Tim King

“As a funeral professional, it is of great importance that I invest in the future of my Alma mater.”

Tufts Schildmeyer Funeral Home
Licensed Professional – Ohio
Alumnus 1997

Poul Lemasters

Poul Lemasters

“Having a career in deathcare as a funeral director and embalmer than spans over 20 years, I quickly recognized the growing risk and liability for funeral homes and cemeteries, along with the lack of support and resources available to those in this profession, as a deadly combination. So, I went to law school and now provide legal and professional resources to the vast deathcare profession.”

Founder Lemasters Consulting founder, ICCFA Legal Counsel, Licensed Professional – Ohio, National Speaker in Deathcare and Legal Topics, Alumnus 1996


jerome weaver

Jerome G. Weaver, M.Div, D. Min

Rev. Dr. Weaver is a Bereavement Services Manager with Vitas Healthcare. He's worked in hospice for the past 20 years as a Chaplain, Community Educator, and Clinical Manager. Jerome also has 25 year career in pastoral ministry serving churches in Massachusetts, Ohio and Indiana. He holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Cincinnati, a M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a D. Min. from United Theological Seminary. His ordination is through the American Baptist Churches, USA. Jerome's ministerial praxis rests on the belief and hope of healing through faith, compassionate presence, education, clinical guidance, and healthy support systems. 



Jack Lechner, Ex-Officio
Brian Dershaw, Legal Advisor
Teresa Hoskins, Liaison