Meet the New State Board Executive Director
Posted on 07/26/12 1:02 PM
Peter M. Burke CFSP, Executive Director
NCFDA Executive Director Larry Stegall had an occasion to meet the new Executive Director of the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service. He agreed to answer some of Larry's questions and give some background to share with our members. Mr. Burke (let me call him Pete) was raised in New Jersey and lived for three years in Connecticut before moving to Cary in 1992. Schools attended include a degree in Business Administration from William Paterson College and a Master of Business Administration from Fairleigh Dickinson University, earning Financial Management Association National Honor Society.
Pete was awarded the New Jersey State Funeral Directors Association’s John D. McAllister Memorial Scholarship to attend the American Academy-McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York City; graduated cum laude and was awarded Mu Sigma Alpha National Honor Society. Later he earned the designations of Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP), and also Certified Public Manager from the North Carolina Office of State Personnel.
Pete has served ten years on the staff of Apex Funeral Home; prior with Mitchell and North Raleigh Funeral Homes. Most recently he has been employed as the Division Administrator for the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition at Duke University Medical Center. He serves as a Mortuary Officer for DMORT, Region IV and deployments include World Trade Center, American Airlines 587 in New York City, Hurricanes Charley and Katrina as well as Haiti Earthquake and Joplin Tornado.
Pete stated he was first inspired (at age 9) to enter funeral service following the death of his grandfather. The kindness shown to his family by the funeral staff as well as the beautiful ceremonies made a lasting impression. Just a few short years later, Pete was back at the funeral home following the death of an uncle; and this time he was full of questions…how do you?...why do you?...what’s behind that door? The owner patiently answered all his questions, explaining everything in detail that an early teen would understand. It was then he began the seriously consider funeral service in his future.
I asked Pete if he had any personal or professional thoughts about serving as Executive Director of the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service. This is his response: “I am proud to serve the people of North Carolina and the funeral service professionals of our state. I have encountered many sincere, dedicated men and women in our industry and I look forward to meeting and working with so many more statewide. It is indeed a privilege to be in a position to help funeral service continue to advance in North Carolina.” Pete acknowledges we face challenges today professionally, economically and socially. He noted the industry needs to continue to adapt, but while doing so must stay focused on the fundamental reason why we got into funeral service in the first place – to serve the grieving families of our community, towns and cities and to help them through the worst days of their lives…”It is about them...”
Pete and his wife Doreen make their home in Cary and have been married for 30 years. Doreen is the secretary and lead bookkeeper at an elementary school. They have two sons: Dan, who is recently married to Kristen, and Matt, a student at ECU who also serves in the NC National Guard. Pete and Doreen are members of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic Church in Apex and serve in several ministries.
In closing, this writer feels the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service is in capable hands and we wish Pete the best in the years to come.