NextGen Professional of the Year

NextGen Professional of the Year Award

The NextGen Professional of the Year Award is designed to spotlight career achievements, community/organization involvement and awards/achievements of funeral professionals under the age of 50.

The 2015 Award

The deadline to nominate an individual for the 2015 NextGen Professional of the Year Award has passed, and the winner will be announced at the upcoming NextGen Seminar. You will have another opportunity to nominate an individual for the award in February 2015.

Congratulations to 2014 Award Winner AnnYager McCrosky!

AnnYager McCrosky

AnnYager McCrosky is the fourth generation of funeral directors at Stith Funeral Home in Danville, Kentucky. After graduating from the John A. Gupton College of Mortuary Arts in 2001, she immediately took on a series of projects designed to enhance offerings and to better provide for client families.

AnnYager took the initiative to educate herself on green burials and is now considered a local expert, having exhibited at the Green Expo and given several presentations on the subject. At her insistence, Stith Funeral Home became the first Kentucky member of the Green Burial Council in 2008; the firm now offers one of the largest selections of eco-friendly urns, caskets and register books in the state.

AnnYager's dedication to her community is immediately apparent in her involvement with a variety of local causes. She is a member of the Danville Rotary Club, having served as the chair of a program that distributes dictionaries to fourth grade students in the county. In addition, she is a co-founder of the Young Professionals group of the Danville Boyle County Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors Club, which bestows the "Rising Star" award, an award that she designed. As a member of Big Brothers Big Sisters for ten years, her passion for working with children is also evident in her efforts to improve and broaden a program the firm offers to families with children. She goes above and beyond to talk children through the process when a loved one dies, making herself available whenever she is needed.

AnnYager's community focus extends far beyond the reaches of her own community. In the summer of 2002, she served as a liaison between the New York City Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and the families of the victims of 9/11. She met with families on behalf of the medical examiner, answering their questions and escorting them to Memorial Park where they could leave flowers and mementos. In the fall of 2005, AnnYager volunteered in Louisiana in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. She served in a Public Health Service captain's position as the D-Mort liaison for the U.S. Public Health Service in Baton Rouge.

AnnYager has been the recipient of numerous awards throughout the years. Notably, in 2004, she was the youngest recipient of the Joseph W. Kelly Award from the Kentucky Board of Education, an award given to businesspeople who demonstrate outstanding leadership in promoting school improvement and equitable educational opportunities for the children of Kentucky.

An active member of Selected, AnnYager served on the NextGen Advisory Group from 2008 to 2012, and was chair in 2009-2010. In addition, she is a member of the 2012 Selected Leadership Academy pilot class, bringing much of what she has learned into practice at the firm.

AnnYager was married to Alex McCrosky in 2011. The couple lives in Danville.

Past Award Winners

Click here for information on past winners of the NextGen Professional of the Year Award.