Our Celebrant Trainers

For years all our Celebrants were trained by the founders of the InSight Institute Certified Celebrant program, Doug Manning and Glenda Stansbury. However, demand for Certified Celebrant training has grown beyond the capacity that only two trainers can provide. So we are proud to introduce you to our cadre of Celebrant Trainers. Each training will be presented by two of our trainers.

Matthew R. Bailey

President of the Bailey Family Funeral Homes in Connecticut, is a sixth generation funeral director. Matt is actively involved in Rotary and has held numerous leadership positions. He has also served on the boards of The Connecticut Funeral Directors Association, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association, and many local organizations and non-profits. He is on the board and serves as the Treasurer of the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in NYC. He was also recognized as the 2021 Funeral Director of the Year by American Funeral Director magazine.

Kathy Burns

Vice President and Graphic Designer for InSight Books, Mortuary School Program Supervisor for InSight Institute, and Continuing Care Mailing Service Manager. Kathy was a special education teacher for a number of years before joining the staff at InSight. She is also an author and an artist. She has been a Celebrant since 2004 and became a trainer in 2017. Serving families and teaching others to be there for families at such a vitally important time in their lives is a true privilege. 

Cathy Nichols

With her degree in education, Cathy taught in New Hampshire, Puerto Rico & Pittsburgh, and as an ESL teacher to Japanese auto executives. She also served as the Director of Congregational Care at a large suburban church for 12 years before joining the staff at Busch Funeral Services in 2002. She and her husband live in Bay Village, OH and she considers it a privilege to create and conduct meaningful personalized tributes for bereaved families and thoroughly enjoys being part of the InSight Celebrant Training team.

Sara Hawkins

Sara Hawkins serves as the Staff Celebrant for Ward Funeral Homes in Toronto, Brampton and Woodbridge, planning and officiating personalized and meaningful funerals, memorials and Celebrations of Life events for families that are looking for something outside of the more traditional, "cookie-cutter" service. She is also an engaging Keynote Speaker and Workshop Leader, offering engaging and interactive presentations at industry events and conferences across Canada.

Glenda Stansbury MA, CFSP

Marketing & Development Director of InSight Books, Co-Founder and Dean of InSight Institute Certified Celebrant Program. Glenda has worked as an educator, teacher trainer, and seminar developer. She is also a professor at the University of Central Oklahoma Funeral Department and the Worsham College of Mortuary Science, and is a licensed funeral director/embalmer. She is also the recipient of the ICCFA Education Foundation's Lasting Impact Award, and the 2021 Death Care Rock Star of the Year Award from Parting Stone Cremation Rocks Awards.

 Doug Manning 

Since 1978, Doug Manning has dished out his gentle wisdom with compassion and conviction leading him to become a best-selling author, sought-after speaker and a grief expert relied on by the media. His calling as an author and lecturer began after serving as a pastor and counselor for 30 years in churches in Oklahoma and Texas. He had grown increasingly concerned at the lack of knowledge and comfort that he and his fellow ministers had to offer to families when a loved one died and began to study the concept of grieving and the role that the funeral played in assisting a healthy grief journey and recovery.

Individualized, Personalized Services

There are alternatives to the traditional religious funeral service. Our trainers are practicing Certifed Celebrants who are dedicated to teaching others how to write, prepare and present a totally individualized, personalized service that fits the deceased and their family.