Our Valued Staff
Matthew J. Fiorillo, the owner of Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services, is a licensed funeral director in New York State and Connecticut. He has earned the Certified Funeral Service Practitioner from the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, Inc. This is noted by the CFSP acronym. Matt has committed to a program of lifelong learning to serve you and families in your community with the level of excellence expected of a CFSP. He is a lifetime member of the White Plains Historical Society, a member of the Knollwood Country Club, and was formally a board member with Hospice and Palliative Care of Westchester. In his spare time, he participates with the Westchester Amateur Astronomers. He is a graduate of Lynn University in Boca Raton, FL, and is originally from West Nyack, NY. He is a long-time resident of Westchester County, where he currently resides.
Joseph Murray is a licensed funeral director and embalmer for Ballard-Durand Funeral and Cremation Services. He has worked in funeral homes for the past 10 years and is a 2nd generation funeral director. Joseph graduated as one of the top in his class from American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Service in New York, NY. After beginning his career and getting his license in Connecticut, he wanted to help people closer to his home in the Bronx, where he was born and raised. He always wanted to be in a profession where he was helping others, and what better way than to be there for people in one of the toughest days of their lives.
Mark Press is a New York licensed funeral director and embalmer for Ballard Durand Funeral & Cremation Services. Mark graduated from American Academy McAllister Institute of Funeral Services in New York, N.Y. and has been in the profession since 2014. Mark is originally from Orange County, N.Y. and after obtaining his license he moved to Florida to be closer to his family. After 2 years he decided to move back home and now resides in Rockland County. Mark has always enjoyed helping others and considers serving each and every family in their greatest time of need a tremendous honor and privilege.
Melissa Gudino is a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer at Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services. Melissa Graduated and received her degree in mortuary science at Cypress College in 2013. After graduating she took some time to travel and have new experiences and moved from Southern California, where she was born and raised, to New Orleans. She moved back to California and completed her apprenticeship for licensure in 2017 and currently holds an embalming license and Funeral Directors license in the state of California. She is currently a resident of the Bronx and beginning her residency here with us to fulfill her goal of acquiring a Funeral Director’s license in the state of New York.
Funeral Director and Embalmer
Joseph Schuka is a licensed funeral director and embalmer for Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services. He has worked in funeral service for the past 15 years, and has been a licensed funeral director for 12 years. Formerly a native of Peekskill, NY, where he was well-established in the community and his church. Joe currently manages our Dutchess County location at Libby Funeral & Cremation Services in Beacon, NY. He is an active communicant of St. Joachim-St. John Parish in Beacon, NY; where he thoroughly enjoys assisting when needed as an Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist, and whatever else is needed by the parish Priests and Deacons.
Joe is a Fourth Degree Member and Past-Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Msgr. Ansbro Council 462 of Peekskill and is also a Past-President and currently Vice-President of the Peekskill Lions Club. Joe is a member of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks, with membership in the Peekskill Lodge 744, and again sincerely appreciates the friendly welcome from the local Beacon Lodge 1493, to partake in their civic and fraternal affairs.
As you can notice Joe has a deep love for community and giving back of himself, recently Joe has become the newest member of the Exchange Club of Southern Dutchess. Also very dear to his heart are the Veterans, he has a great sense of Patriotism which was instilled in him at an early age by his paternal grandmother. He can be seen assisting the local VFW with veteran affairs.
Joe truly enjoys his life’s calling as funeral director; assisting families at that most difficult time in their lives, easing the moments, and providing a lasting tribute for generations to remember that loved one forever.
Family Care Coordinator
Jenna serves as Ballard-Durand’s family care coordinator, facilitating many different details of a funeral service. Her voice is often the first a family hears when they call the funeral home.
Jenna strives to ease the burden a family experiences after a loss and assist the funeral directors in providing comfort and unmatchable personal service.
Jenna graduated with an Associates of Applied Science from Eastwick College. She currently resides in Rockland County with her husband. She enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering at her local animal shelter.
Roy Watkins was born and raised in London, England, where he received a degree in Electronic Engineering. He has lived in the Westchester/Putnam area since moving to the United States in 1972. He started working on a part time basis with the funeral industry in 1977 leading to a full time position with Ballard-Durand in 2006. Families appreciate Roy’s courtesy and professionalism during calling hours and services.
Christian is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. Joined our team in November of 2016 and quickly became aware of how rewarding it is to help families in need. A married father of two, Christian resides with his wife Erika in the Village of Elmsford, NY. You might see him around spending his time with his family at our local parks and as our concierge at our funeral home locations. Christian will begin his studies towards becoming a licensed funeral director early next year.
Grief and Bereavement Counselor
Laura Hanlon is a New York State masters level licensed clinical social worker who specializes in grief and bereavement counseling. Laura has worked with Veterans and survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
For the past 12 years Laura has done end of life work with a local Westchester hospice. She is a graduate of Fordham University. Laura lives in Northern Westchester with her family. She likes going for long walks, reading, gardening and meditating. She finds meditation is greatly relaxing.
Always known for thinking “outside of the box,” Ballard-Durand Funeral & Cremation Services is the only firm in Westchester County to have a “Comfort Dog” on staff. Lulu found a special niche at the funeral home where she soothes grieving families with her calming presence. The funeral home does everything within its capabilities to make its facilities warm and comforting – we’re not your typical funeral home. Outside of her duties, Lulu is a cheerful family dog, and loves cuddling with her family at home, going for walks, and playing in the yard.