Ryan Helfenbein Owner/Certified Pre-Planning Counselor
Ryan Helfenbein is a licensed funeral director, certified pre-planning counselor and partner in his family’s businesses Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Funeral Home, P.A., FHN Insurance Co., Inc. and Lasting Tributes by Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Cremation and Funeral Care, P.A. As supervising mortician of Lasting Tributes, Ryan is dedicated to simplifying the funeral buying process while offering top quality service with affordable pricing for the Anne Arundel county residents. He believes that consumers should not have to pay high costs in order to receive the very best in funeral service today.
Ryan is a familiar speaker, presenting to numerous local organizations, senior communities and state associations on a variety of topics within the death care industry. In 2008 he began writing for Outlook By the Bay Magazine, which developed into a bimonthly column called “Ask the Undertaker”, touching on common questions of the death care industry.
Ryan graduated from Towson University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. From there he completed his Mortuary Science degree from Catonsville Community College and later became certified as a Preplanning Counselor.
Ryan has been married since 2002 to his wife Sarah, a long time resident of Grasonville, MD. They have three children, Luke Thomas, Chase Ryan and Emma Lynn; and a black lab named Mollie.
Emily Murphy Managing Director
Emily Murphy is a licensed funeral director and cemeterian in Maryland. Over the course of her career, she has made it her personal mission to simplify the complex, and sometimes exhausting task of funeral planning for the families Lasting Tributes’ serves. While Emily recognizes the need and desire for traditional funeral service, she also openly embraces the ever-evolving need for personal expression in planning unique celebrations.
Emily attended Northern Michigan University, graduating with a degree in Sociology and Gerontology. While there, Emily played ice hockey for the Wildcats. After completing her undergraduate coursework, she continued her education at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science.
Emily lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband, Jeffrey. When away from the office, Emily enjoys running, traveling, and experiencing all Washington, D.C. has to offer.
Vince Roussey Assistant Managing Director & CANA Certified Crematory Operator
With several years' experience in funeral service, Vince joined the team at Lasting Tributes in August 2013. He is a Certified Crematory Operator by the Cremation Association of North America, Licensed funeral director and is a licensed Cemeterian by the state of Maryland. Vince attended Towson University and studied Mortuary Science at the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service. Vince enjoys kickboxing, Mixed Martial Arts, traveling, and Orioles baseball.
Allie Sansing Office Manager
Allie has spent much of her professional career in an administrative role before joining the Lasting Tributes team in January 2017. A natural passion of hers has always been helping others, it was her hope that someday she'd have a career in an industry where she could make a difference in others' lives. Shortly after accepting her position at Lasting Tributes, Allie lost her father very unexpectedly. It was during the planning of her father's service that she realized just how much she could help others during their time of grief, and how important our industry is grieving people.
Allie resides on the Eastern Shore with her 2 young sons, Braeden and Sawyer. When she's not working, Allie enjoys spending quality time with family and friends, hiking, and adventuring.
Connie R. Connolly Certified Celebrant & Tribute Specialist
Certified Celebrant Connie Roland Connolly has a 40-year career as a former pastor, educator and award-winning journalist. She lives on her native Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband Gary. Between them, they enjoy spending time with family, especially their blended crew of five children and seven grandchildren.
“Like you, I have attended my share of services, heard too many mispronounced names, and endured too many awkward and unfamiliar religious customs,” she says. “I believe that all families need to experience a tribute to a life lived through a sensitive, healing service that includes a fitting tribute. Families should be free to exclude elements that are not healing or helpful for them, and include those that are.”
“Many families have shared with me that the family meeting to share memories and plan their loved one’s tribute becomes therapeutic in its own right,” Connolly says. “Family and friends gather to share their memories as part of the grieving process. I gather up those memories and weave a narrative of a meaningful life – no matter how short or seemingly misspent, or long and accomplished – and design a service that truly pays tribute to their loved one. I’ve worked with families across the spectrum of loss: from the worst of tragic endings to a long life well-lived.”
“I believe that hurting families need healing, they need to feel safe, and they need to be heard. I have nearly 35 years of experience as a funeral celebrant, and I have been certified with Insight Institute for 13 years. My mission is to design an individualized and appropriate service of tribute that celebrates the life and personality of the deceased and helps his or her loved ones grieve in a healthy way.”
Ken Laing Facilities Supervisor
Ken joined Lasting Tributes in November of 2015 with a background in youth and camping ministries. It was in these fields that brought Ken in to assist our families. As Facilities Supervisor, Ken maintains and oversees our building, vehicles, and Bestgate Memorial Park. Ken also is a Funeral Assistant for Lasting Tributes helping to assure the best care is given.
Ken lives on the Eastern Shore with his wife and twin sons.
Kerry Legg Funeral Concierge
Kerry Legg was raised in Queenstown, MD by her parents Tom and Penny Quimby. She is a 1999 graduate of Queen Anne’s County High School where she played soccer, ran track and wrote for the high school newspaper. After High School she attended Towson University where she received her Bachelors Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management. In 2005 she married Josh Legg of Chester, MD and in 2007 the welcomed their daughter Hayden into the world.
Kerry joined the Fellows, Helfenbein and Newnam team in November of 2007. She was looking for an opportunity to be in Centreville, MD and be able to help people on a daily basis. In her position as Funeral Concierge she is a constant resource for our families assisting them with questions about their estate, grief support, banking, insurance and social security.
When she’s not assisting FHN families Kerry enjoys spending time Josh, Hayden and their miniature dachshund Rebel at their home in Henderson, MD. She also takes pleasure in assisting our local Hospice and Queen Anne’s County High Athletic Boosters with their fundraising events.
If you have any questions for Kerry please call her at 410-758-3987 or send her an email, [email protected] and she will be able to assist you.
Mary Cahill-Kindrat Hostess & Bereavement Coordinator
Mary was born and raised in Washington, D.C. She moved to Maryland where she met and married her husband Peter in l979. They have 3 children and two beautiful grandsons - Vincent and Jackson. Mary completed her Associates Degree in General Studies with area of concentration in Psychology and Gerontology. She then continued her studies at the University of Maryland University College where she obtained her Bachelors of Sciences Degree. She continues to study in the areas of Behavioral Science, Psychology, and Mental Health. Mary has been contributing in various roles since joining Lasting Tributes.
Leon Burton Sr. Funeral Assistant
Leon R. Burton Sr. joined the Lasting Tributes team in March of 2015. Leon is currently enrolled at the American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service to fulfill his longtime desire of becoming a licensed funeral director. He also attended the University of Phoenix where he completed his Associates of Business degree. Leon takes prides in providing quality service to all families and ensuring that your loved one is taken care of. Leon enjoys spending time with his lovely wife Wanda and son Leon Jr. and in his spare time, Leon enjoys exercising, and playing sports; especially basketball and football.
Ryan C. Smith Asset Protection & Medicaid Planning Specialist
Ryan Smith was born and raised in the Annapolis area. Attended college, studying criminal law. He began a career with local car dealerships assisting individuals in finding a vehicle that best fits their needs. While meeting with countless individuals, it was one that brought him to realize the need of someone to assist with Medicaid and asset protection in our communities. Ryan then attended insurance education, receiving his license. In 2016 he began training in the area of Medicaid and asset protection in Philadelphia, PA. After months of learning under regional representatives and assisting individuals in the Philadelphia market, he partnered with FHN Insurance and Lasting Tributes to provide this service to the Maryland residents.
Ryan is an avid sports fan and enjoys volunteering with the National Cheer and Dance Extreme Organization.
Dr. Craig N. Coates Senior Pastor, Fresh Start Church
Dr. Craig N. Coates is a native Annapolitan with over 20 years of pastoring experience. He serves as the Senior Pastor at Fresh Start Church, a non-denominational fellowship in Anne Arundel County. In addition, he serves on numerous boards to include the Anne Arundel County HIV Commission and the Healthy Anne Arundel Coalition. Bishop Coates holds a doctorate from the University of North Carolina College of Theology. In addition, he is a licensed pastoral counselor and specializes in emotional health, managing anxiety, and grief coaching. His compassion for grieving families is evident in his unique and often humorous messages regarding life, death, and eternity.
Greg DeHaven Traditional Highland Funeral Piper
To mourn the passing of a loved one a traditional piper can play at a tribute of ones choosing as a means of respect. For centuries, it has always added a special touch to any ceremony with their unique and individual sound. Greg, who is exclusive with Lasting Tributes, brings honor and dignity to ones passing as well as support to the family, friends and acquaintances of the deceased.