Executive Director

Meet your Executive Director

Melissa A. Cyfers

Dr. Melissa A. Cyfers joined the WVFDCOA as the Executive Director in January 2024. She has nearly 30 years of experience as a licensed funeral director and embalmer, and a diverse professional background in mortuary science, education, and leadership roles. She holds a Doctorate in Education from Marshall University, a Masters in Biological Sciences from Clemson University, a Masters in Teaching from Liberty University, and a Bachelors in Mortuary Science from the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.

Melissa has served in many professional roles having previously served as the Managing Partner of Carriage Services, where she oversaw the daily operations of two funeral establishments. While the majority of her licensed career was served with the corporate entity, Carriage Services, she also worked for a small family-owned funeral home. Melissa gained invaluable experience in budgeting, employee management, compliance, and community engagement. In the academic realm, she held roles such as Program Director and Chief Academic Officer at FINE Mortuary College. Additionally, Melissa contributed to education as an adjunct faculty member at several colleges and universities to include Marshall University, instructing courses in Biology, Anatomy, and Cell Biology.  In addition, she has been involved in consulting and contract work which includes initiatives such as conducting funeral home inspections, writing state board exams, and collaborating on educational resources. She also served in a part-time capacity with he West Virginia Board of Funeral Service Examiners as the Inspector for the Southern District. She has presented workshops and lectures on various topics, ranging from entrepreneurship in funeral homes to workplace safety. Committed to education, Melissa extends her influence to community engagement, serving as an Educational Consultant for the Appalachian Pulmonary Health Project, with a focus on youth tobacco prevention.

Melissa is a lifelong resident of West Virginia and currently resides in Huntington, WV with her husband, Terry and their two teenage daughters – Katelin and Zoe.  She is a member of Grace Gospel Church.  When she is not working, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends traveling and sight-seeing.

Melissa, with her husband, Terry and two daughters on top of Spruce Knob, WV.