Featured Members 
Fred Nalder

This month we are highlighting Fred Nalder. Anyone that has attended an OCFDA event knows Fred and his big kind smile.

Fred made his first steps like many of you as a Cypress College Mortuary student. This Idaho native began his embalmer apprenticeship at his cousin's mortuary in a small mountain town in Idaho, following the tradition of his uncles and cousins. Fred moved to Orange County and began working with McAulay and Wallace Mortuary in Fullerton. Several years later, he joined Rose Hills Memorial Park Mortuary where arguably his career truly began. He has been with Rose Hills now for 27 years. He currently holds the position of Director, Mortuary Operations for Rose Hills.

Fred has been involved in our association in some capacity for ten years, including past President. He is the current Treasurer for CFDA and board member/past President for LACFDA.

In light of the recent OCFDA scholarship awards, can you offer a piece of advice for mortuary science students entering the field?

This is an exciting time to enter this Profession, this is a time of change, and a time to create new and meaningful services to honor a life lived. I would encourage the new funeral directors to treat their Profession with respect, be honest in your business dealings and be worthy of a family's trust. Treat the loved one under care with respect and escort them to the other side with their dignity.

Aside from all the many funeral events and board meetings, what is your favorite pastime?

When I am not working, you will usually find me walking the beaches or mountain trails with my camera and photographing nature

APRIS "A Company with Heart"

Don Gilmartin and Kurt Szalonek of APRIS
photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

We are very excited to share this vendor member spotlight with you. APRIS based in Corona, offers restoration services to repair damage from fire, water, crime and trauma all over southern California. Spend just a few minutes with Don Gilmartin or Kurt Szalonek and you will see for yourself how passionate they are about helping families through an incredibly stressful event that has left its mark within their home.

APRIS approach with new client families' echoes funeral service practices and that is exactly what they are aiming for. Don says that just like being a funeral director it is all about "talking less and listening more". They listen to the needs and wants of their families' and they do everything in their capacity to see those needs are met.

Kurt recounts helping a father who just lost his child and they needed to repair the bedroom. The father wanted everything exactly as it had been. Kurt spent days, countless phone calls and miles driving around searching for a distributor who still sold the 20-year old carpet. This is the level of commitment APRIS has to their clients.

Their experiences with helping families restore their home after a traumatic loss of life event has struck a chord in such a way that it is taking precedence over other restoration projects.

APRIS wants us to know they are here to set a higher standard within their industry. A part of this high standard is employing knowledgeable, empathetic and professional employees that are trained in trauma intervention. They understand that the first interaction with a family in grief is crucial in establishing a trusting relationship with them.

Kurt Szalonek pictured with support items they keep in their truck, including
blankets, socks, shoes, stuffed animals for children, water, and snacks.
photo by Steven Georges/Behind the Badge OC

Currently most of APRIS referrals come directly from law enforcement (Peralta, Behind the Badge). Their goal is to expand their network and establish relationships with funeral homes all over Southern California so funeral directors have a trauma cleanup company they can trust.

Keep an eye on APRIS in the next months as they unveil a whole new "look"!

From all of us at OCFDA thank you APRIS thank you for your service and thank you for your support. We are looking forward to what is in store! Make sure to say hello to an APRIS representative at our next event.

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