Commit Recipients

Zach Carnley

Zach grew up in Lampasas, Texas, where he graduated high school. He attended college at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches where he received a B.A. in Criminal Justice. While attending SFA, he took a part-time job at a local funeral home. There, Zach discovered his passion for the funeral service and for helping others through one of the toughest times in their lives. Zach graduated from the Dallas Institute of Funeral Service where he was class valedictorian and earned a degree in Funeral Sciences. Zach also has earned his Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (a certification above and beyond initial licensure) by being very active in his community and completing more than the necessary continuing education requirements. Zach was awarded the 2014 North Texas Funeral Director Association’s Young Funeral Professional of the Year as well as the 2014 Texas Funeral Director Association’s Young Funeral Professional of the Year. He serves on the board of the North Texas Funeral Director Association, Texas Funeral Director Association Services Inc. and is on various other committees as well. He is a member of the Kennedale Rotary Club, Mansfield Kiwanis Club and is an ambassador with the Kennedale and Mansfield Chamber of Commerce and the UT Southwest Transplant Board. He and his wife, Courtney are the parents of two boys; Myles and Owen.

Zach plans to attend the CANA Annual Convention in Chicago, August 10-12, 2016.


Matthew R. Bailey

Matthew R. Bailey, president of Connecticut Life Tributes: Bailey Family Owned Funeral & Cremation Services, is the fourth generation of the Bailey family to serve the people of Connecticut. He attended Holy Trinity School in Wallingford and Xavier High School in Middletown prior to his studies at The Catholic University of America (CUA) in Washington, DC. From CUA, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree. While in Washington, Matthew received his Third Degree with the Knights of Columbus CUA Council # 9542 and was employed by CUA and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. While at CUA, he served on the Undergraduate Student Government's Executive Board in the position of Legislative Vice President. He was recognized by Who's Who in American College and University Students. Matthew was a student at the America Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service (AAMI) in New York City where he was elected by his peers to serve as class president. Following his graduation from AAMI and successful completion of the Funeral Service Conference Examining Board's National Examination, Matthew joined the B.C. Bailey Funeral Home full time. Matthew is a member and past president of the Wallingford Rotary Club and has served on the boards of the Rotary Club, the Wallingford Foundation (chairman), the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association, the Wallingford Family YMCA, and the Wallingford Public Library.

Matthew plans to attend the Crematory Operations Certification Conference May 13, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA.

Valerie Mayer

Valerie was born and raised in Syracuse, New York. She graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science (now known as Simmons Institute of Funeral Service) in 1984. She became a New York State licensed funeral director one year after graduation. She worked for funeral homes in southern New York State. 

Valerie and her family moved to Hilton Head Island, SC in 1997. In February of 2005, Valerie joined the staff of The Island Funeral Home and Crematory as a service coordinator. In February of 2007, she became a South Carolina licensed funeral director. Valerie is married and has 3 children and 2 step-children.

Valerie attended the CANA COCP on February 3, 2015 in Las Vegas, NV.

Tracy-Lynn Switzer

Tracy-Lynn is currently a Funeral Director Intern at MacKenzie Chapel and Crematorium in Prince Albert, SK. She completed her education through the distance program offered by Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta. Tracy-Lynn recently relocated from Moose Jaw, SK where she was also interning at Parkview Funeral Chapel. She will be returning to school to take the Embalming portion of her Funeral Service Program beginning in January of 2015. She has spent the last four years in the Funeral Service industry and enjoyed every minute of it! Tracy-Lynn looks forward to adding to her education by taking a Crematory Technician Training Course thanks to the Commit Scholarship offered by Crematory Manufacturing & Service, Inc.

Tracy-Lynn attended the Crematory Operator Training by CMS and the Crematoria Council of Saskatechewan in Regina, Saskatchewan on December 13, 2014.