Mike Kubasak is the author of Cremation and the Funeral Director, the 1990 best-seller that sparked a revolution in understanding cremation consumers — and in how American funeral homes handle cremation. Mike grew up in funeral service; attended Arizona State University and the California College of Mortuary Science; and from 1972 to 1997 owned & operated Valley Funeral Home in Burbank, CA, which earned NFDA’s Pursuit of Excellence “Eagle” Award. Mike is President of Kubasak Associates, Inc., a Mesquite, Nevada, firm that consults with funeral homes throughout the U.S. and Canada. Mike is widely known as the “funeral director’s coach” and is one of the most in-demand speakers in the profession, having delivered dozens of standing-room only presentations. He is also frequently called upon as an expert witness in funeral-home litigation.
Dr. Bill Lamers, a psychiatrist based in Malibu, California, is one of the nation’s most renowned experts on funeral customs, bereavement and end-of-life care. He is a long-time member and former president of the International Work Group on Death, Dying and Bereavement; a veteran of the U.S. Navy Medical Corps; and a graduate of the Marquette University School of Medicine. Dr. Lamers founded one of the nation’s first hospice programs in the early 1970s — Hospice of Marin in Northern California — and serves as medical consultant to the Hospice Foundation of America. Dr. Lamers has served on the faculties of the University of Southern California in San Francisco, the Tom Baker Cancer Center in Calgary, Alberta, and the University of Calgary Medical School. He has written extensively on the value of funerals and frequently serves as an expert witness in cases involving death and emotional distress.