NextGen Professional of the Year


NextGen Professional of the Year Award

The NextGen Professional of the Year Award is designed to recognize the career accomplishments and community/organization involvement of funeral professionals under the age of 50. For years, Selected's NextGen Group have proven that there are many talented and engaged funeral professionals in their 20s, 30s and 40s. The NextGen Professional of the Year Award is offered to appreciate and encourage their efforts.

Who will be the 2017 NextGen Award Recipient?

Nominations are now open for the 2017 Award. Download a nomination packet here. The winner receives complimentary registration to the 2017 NextGen Seminar and a stunning award. Watch for the winner to be announced at the NextGen Seminar in January 2017.

Congratulations to 2016 Award Winner David Speaks!

David Speaks David Speaks is the Vice President/Director of Community Relations at Speaks Family Legacy Chapels. Since earning his license in 2003, David has demonstrated tireless commitment to the profession.

Devoted to his community. David is responsible for executing a variety of events in the community and continually finds ways to put a personal touch on every program. Since 2007, David has organized 14 grief conferences for professional caregivers with speakers such as Dr. Alan Wolfelt and Dr. Bill Hoy. He also organizes an annual service of remembrance and has executed three successful blood drives. At his first NextGen Seminar in 2006, David was introduced to the film series “Lest They Be Forgotten.” Using the films as inspiration, David developed an annual event that included a documentary shown at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library. David expanded the reach of the messaging by bringing the film series to local nursing homes. In 2010, this event earned Speaks Family Legacy Chapels the ICCFA KIP “Keeping it Personal” Award for outstanding attention to veterans.

Career Excellence. Over the past decade, David’s client family satisfaction rates have consistently ranked among the highest at his firm. David leads a team of six funeral directors and a large support staff, constantly training and mentoring them to achieve their best. He leads by example and instills a sense of cohesive teamwork among his colleagues. In his continued efforts to offer a more personalized service to the families he serves, David completed Insight Celebrant Training to become a Certified Celebrant in 2015.

Active in Selected. David has attended seven NextGen Seminars and numerous other Selected meetings over the years. He served as a co-chair of the 2015 NextGen Seminar. David also was a member of the pilot class of the Selected Leadership Academy, a two-year program designed to strengthen and grow the leadership skills of funeral professionals. 

Outside of work, David is the former Vice-President of the Evening Optimist Club of Independence, a group committed to making a positive impact on local youth. For over ten years, David has volunteered with Meals on Wheels, delivering hot meals to elderly residents of Independence every week. David lives in Independence, MO with his wife Jenna and two sons.

Past Award Winners

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