Salvador Perches Wins the “Funeral Director of the Year” Award

American Funeral Director magazine recently announced that Salvador Perches, a funeral director with 18 locations throughout the American Southwest and Mexico, is the 2013 winner of its Funeral Director of the Year Award.

Perches, who was nominated by his sister, Laura Perches, was selected from among a number of worthy submissions for his community and charity involvement, as well as his dedication to providing the poor and victims of violence with dignified, affordable funerals. His continued work in Juarez, Mexico, where he owns 10 funeral homes, was especially of interest, as it is an area that has been wracked by violence in recent years.

The award recognizes the unsung heroes of the funeral profession who provide excellent service and serve as a role model for funeral service. The contest was open to all funeral professionals who have been employed as a licensed funeral director for at least one year, and encompasses all job titles from embalmer to funeral home manager.

“Sal Perches’ devotion to the communities he serves, his charitable work and his efforts day in and day out exemplifies what we see from many of the unsung heroes of funeral service,” said Thomas A. Parmalee, executive director of Kates-Boylston Publications, the parent company of American Funeral Director. “While it was tough to pick a winner, he stood out because of his clear commitment to service, excellence and quality.”

Perches was presented the award at the eighth annual Funeral Service Business Plan Conference in New Orleans, and he is featured in a December cover story of American Funeral Director. “It means so much to me,” he said of the award. “All of my life I have put my full effort to this industry and follow my dad’s advice and teachings. It humbles me to be awarded this very important award, and I will never forget this accomplishment. It’s going to help me in every way and make me a better funeral director and hopefully I can become a mentor to young funeral directors. I will embrace this award to its fullest and continue to grow in this wonderful profession.”

American Funeral Director also recognized two runners-up: Aubry Sartori, owner of Stepping Stone Funeral Home in La Porte, Texas, and Randy Schoedinger, CEO of Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Services in Columbus, Ohio, who were featured in the November issue of American Funeral Director.