Our staff is comprised of dedicated and licensed professionals with the experience to answer all your questions regarding our services. Please feel free to contact any of our staff members at any time.
Matthew J. Fiorillo, CFSP
Matthew Fiorillo, the owner of the Ballard-Durand Funeral Group, 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 Tamarack Country Club, and is honored to currently be a Board Member for Hospice of Westchester, Selected Independent Funeral Homes, White Plains Rural Cemetery and is the current President for Preferred Funeral Directors International. Matt 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.
Managing Funeral Director
Melissa Gudiño is the Managing Funeral Director and Embalmer for the Ballard-Durand Funeral Group. 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 resides in Manhattan and is licensed in New York State as a Funeral Director & Embalmer. Melissa brings her expertise and knowledge of cremation to our company. She is a Licensed and Certified Crematory Operator and has years of experience performing cremations.
Advanced Planning Director/Funeral Director
Mark Press is a New York licensed funeral director and embalmer for the Ballard Durand Funeral Group. 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 Westchester 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.
Joseph Schuka is a licensed funeral director 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, 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 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.
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.
Rev. Elizabeth Friend-Ennis was ordained through One Spirit Interfaith Seminary in 2016. She has several years of experience in hospice and chaplaincy, and serves as a Dean for 1st year students at One Spirit.
Grief and Bereavement Counselor
Ms. Assumma is a highly skilled clinical social worker. Her experience in bereavement and grief counseling started in 1980’s as a coordinator facilitating groups and providing individual and family therapy to address transition and loss. She has over 20 years’ experience in Hospice and Palliative care and holds certificates in Grief; Trauma, Children & Loss, Affirmative Psychology, and Mindfulness, and is a certified Anxiety Treatment Professional and Oncology Social Worker. Her private practice focuses on Life Transitions and Challenges. She promotes understanding, acceptance, and healing in the midst of pain and loss and believes in the strength, and resilience of the individual to cope and honor loved ones.
In 2015, Lulu the golden doodle became Westchester's first therapy dog to serve families in a funeral home. Like those used in hospitals and nursing homes, Lulu acted as a source of comfort and love in times of emotional distress. Families who requested her presence could soothe their grief by stroking her soft fur or merely enjoying her supportive companionship. A fixture at the funeral home, Lulu was well-known and well-loved by everyone in the Westchester community. Her sweet, outgoing nature touched the lives of all she came into contact with and contributed a calming presence to the atmosphere of the funeral home. Though her passing in March of 2021 was unexpected, Lulu leaves behind a lasting legacy of caring for and supporting others during their time of grief. Her memory has set the standard for all future therapy dogs at Ballard-Durand. Lulu's presence will be greatly missed by both Ballard-Durand staff and the Westchester community, but the memory of her dedicated life of service will continue to live on.