The Virginia Morticians’ Association (VMA), has elected Mike Hamlar of Roanoke as the new President of the organization. An experienced funeral director and business leader, Hamlar has succeeded Chavela D. Painter and assumed responsibilities on July 1, 2021.
“I am excited about this opportunity to lead the VMA and continue the magnificent legacy. Since, October 24, 1928, the VMA has established a strong, effective voice for African-American morticians, which has enabled us to sustain our industry and serve the general public with grace,” Hamlar stated.
“Our theme will be, ‘We are First Responders: United to Serve … United for Progress.’ Hamlar said. At the beginning of the pandemic, we couldn’t get PPE for the safety of our staff, colleagues, and community and that has the change,” Hamlar exclaimed.
Hamlar is the third-generational Owner and President of the 69-year-old Hamlar-Curtis Funeral Home & Crematory. For the last 17 years, Hamlar has continued to sustain his family and colleagues’ legacy of renowned morticians, entrepreneurs, and civic leaders. At Hamlar-Curtis he serves as an owner, a funeral director, embalmer, pre-need consultant, and board member.
Hamlar received his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and Communications from Wake Forest University and his Master’s of Business Administration from Liberty University. He currently serves on the Board of Visitors for Virginia Military Institute, where he is leading the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee.
Hamlar also serves on the Governor’s Secure Commonwealth Panel for Public Safety and Homeland Security, the Go Virginia Region 2 Council, and the Christiansburg Institute.
Hamlar also has served on the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra Board and organizations associated with his alma mater, Wake Forest University, as a member of the Wake Forest University Athletic Council and Deacon Club Board Member. He also partners with his wife to manage Hamlar Enterprises, which focuses on property management and real estate development. Hamlar has received several accolades for his business and community accomplishments, including being listed as the Top 40 Under 40.