ACM Officers and Board Members

The administration of the Association's affairs are governed by its Board of Directors:

  • Sherry L. Smith


    Sherry Smith was appointed President and CEO of Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum in March 2017.  Sherry has over 17 years’ experience as an advancement professional in higher education and pediatric healthcare in addition to community and volunteer leadership experience. She has managed 300 member volunteer programs and executed more than 500 events locally and nationally.  Her early experiences as a small business owner, substitute teacher, and career advisor helped form her business and management skills.

    “Becoming the President and CEO of a cemetery is not something that crosses one’s mind every day, but when I learned all the ways Bellefontaine serves our community, it truly spoke to my heart.  I love the rich history, the beautiful gardens, the commitment to native plantings and green practices, but above all its Bellefontaine’s profound care for our families, past, present and future, that I was most excited to be a part of.”

    Smith came to Bellefontaine from Ranken Jordan Pediatric Bridge hospital where she was the Chief Development since 2014. At Ranken Jordan she worked to secure the Hospital's Beyond Campaign for their building expansion. She also held fundraising positions at Washington University, The YMCA of Greater St. Louis and St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  While at Washington University, she co-developed, executed and completed the Campaign for the Danforth University Center. At St. Louis Children’s Hospital, she co-developed and coordinated the Care and Cures Campaign, Time to Play Campaign and worked with key leaders in St. Louis to carry out the Development Board Campaign.

    Sherry holds a bachelor of science degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in Workforce Education and Development.

  • Nancy Piper

    Immediate Past President

    Nancy has been a part of the death care profession, both human and pet, for over 45 years.  Nancy and her husband Gary have owned Rolling Acres Memorial Gardens for Pets, a pet cemetery, crematorium, and funeral home in Kansas City, MO, since 1978.  Their mission is to serve those whose pets are family by providing compassionate, dignified, and ethical afterlife care for their pets. 

    Nancy has a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology and sociology from Northwest Missouri State University. She attended at the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICFFA) University for two years. She is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist, a charter Certified Pet Loss Professional, a Certified Pet Loss and Grief Companion, a Certified Celebrant and an ordained minister. Nancy and her husband are blessed with many animals in their lives. For fun, she studies horsemanship, plays with her horses and mules, and tends her flower beds.

  • William Baumgartner

    Vice President and Treasurer

    Bill started at St. Peter's Cemetery March 5, 1979 and is a past president of the Association. St. Peter's United Church of Christ owns and operates St. Peter's Cemetery. It is a fully endowed, perpetual care cemetery, established in 1855 that has always been open to all members of the community, regardless of race or religious affiliation. St. Peter's offers traditional grave spaces, Mausoleum and Garden crypts and Columbarium niches for cremated remains.

  • Phil Zehms


    Phil has been in Funeral Service since 1998 and has had a variety of experiences in Pre-Arranged and Immediate Need Funeral and Cemetery Services including burial and cremation services as well as Pet Services. In all areas Phil focuses on tailoring the services to meet the families financial and service needs. His favorite part of funeral service is getting to meet so many interesting people and helping them create services that reflect a life well lived.

    Phil earned two bachelor degrees from the University of Missouri-Columbia (Go Tigers!!) and is a licensed Funeral Director in both Ohio and Missouri. Phil is a Certified Funeral Celebrant, a 2018 Graduate of the ICCFA University. He serves as Secretary of the Associated Cemeteries of Missouri.

    Phil is originally from the St. Louis, Missouri area. He moved to Kansas City in 2014; he is an avid volunteer spending a great deal of time with the Gladstone Rotary Club and the Northland Breakfast Club where he is the self-proclaimed “Joke Master General” He especially enjoys using his skills as an Emcee to enhance any event. When he is not working or volunteering, Phil enjoys reading, running and playing golf.

  • Richard Lay

    Board Member

    Rick has been the Vice-President of Bellefontaine Cemetery since February of 2008. Prior to that he was the General Manager of Alexander Funeral Home and Mount Lebanon Cemetery. He is a licensed funeral director and an ordained minister with a Master of Divinity Degree from Covenant Seminary.

    He is passionate about Bellefontaine Cemetery’s history dating from 1849 and the stories of its families. Bellefontaine’s 314 acres is rich with notable burials and historic monuments. It is also a world class level II accredited arboretum and an Audubon Society important bird area with over 7000 trees and shrubs.

    He is and active member and for many years has been an officer of the Cemetery Management Association (CMA) and the Associated Cemeteries of Missouri (ACM) where he is enjoying his second term as president 1999-2001 and 2017-2019. He had also served on the Central States Cemetery Association. He considers these associations a great resource for learning and support.

  • Mitchell Kester

    Board Member

    Coming Soon.

  • Stephen Zell

    Board Member

    Coming Soon.

  • Rick Christian

    Board Member

    Coming Soon.