Jack E. Lechner, Jr., CFSP, M.S.
President & CEO
LFD/LE (Ohio, Virginia), Certified in Thanatology, Certified Funeral Celebrant, Certified Crematory Operator, Crematory Operator (Ohio permit)
Mr. Lechner was appointed as the President of the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science in January of 2016. Immediately prior to coming to CCMS he was the Integrated Logistics Systems Division Chief at Headquarters, Department of the Army, Pentagon where he was responsible for ensuring the integrated logistics support for the entire lifecycle of all the Army’s combat platform acquisitions of more than $480 million during a fiscal year or procurement of more than $2.79 billion for the life of the program.
One day after his retirement ceremony from the Army, Colonel Jack E. Lechner, Jr. was asked to revoke his retirement orders and accept an assignment from the Secretary of the Army to Arlington National Cemetery. He reported in June 2010 as part of a new leadership team empowered to restore honor to Arlington National Cemetery following a serious scandal in 2010. He served as the Executive Officer, Cemetery Administrator, Deputy Superintendent, and culminated his five-year tenure by serving as Superintendent of Arlington National Cemetery until 10 August 2015. Mr. Lechner has been a licensed death care provider since 1976.
Jerome Webster, Ph.D.
Certified Funeral Celebrant
Dr. Jerome Webster currently serves as the Dean of the College at Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science. He previously served as president of Terra State Community College where he oversaw a realignment of curricular programs, focused on determining the distinctiveness of each academic program so that they were signature in design, attractive to a broader community, and drew students to enroll. Under his leadership, course completion rates improved to an all-time high of 91% in 2016. During his tenure, the College established four fully on-line degree programs; established the Fremont Early College with Fremont City Schools, and other similar partnerships; opened a new conference center; established a Veteran’s Center; and created a new campus entrance off the main State Route. While president, the College hosted a United States Vice President, state and federal legislators, and national and international entertainers and performers, all to provide students a quality learning experience.
Dr. Webster served as Vice President for Student and Administrative Affairs at Terra State Community College prior to his presidency, and as an adjunct instructor/faculty affiliate in the Higher Education Administration program at The University of Toledo. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration with a concentration in human resources from Olivet College in Michigan where he also served as a Residence Hall Director and Housing Coordinator. He received his Master and Doctoral degrees from the University of Toledo while working in various positions in university housing. In 1999, Dr. Webster was awarded a fellowship with the Community College Presidential Fellowship Program, offered jointly by The University of Toledo and five area community colleges in northwest Ohio and southeastern Michigan. He served as Dean of Students at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan and as Dean of Student Affairs with Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland, Ohio before returning to Terra State. He has been active in various State and regional organizations in higher education and community organizations including serving as the president of the Ohio Association of Community College’s Chief Student Affairs Officers; Rotary Club International; as a Board Member of the Sandusky County American Red Cross; and on the development committee for the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center in Fremont, OH. Dr. Webster also served on the Board of Trustees of CCMS prior to his appointment as interim Dean. Dr. Webster is a certified funeral celebrant.
Todd Van Beck
Program Director and Professional Learning
Todd Van Beck is a person who has had a half-century love affair with both funeral and cemetery service. He willingly admits that he is no “expert!” but also quickly admits that there is nothing about this work and life that he does not enjoy, and have intense interest in. Todd says: “I have never done a day’s work in my life, it has all been fun and interesting.” Todd has been an active writer and speaker internationally for many decades covering most every topic that is relevant to our profession. Mr. Van Beck grew up in Southwestern Iowa, and declared at the young age of 5 years old that he would become a funeral director when he grew up. He is still growing up, still learning, still trying to make some kind or worthy contribution to his beloved profession. Todd has operated funeral homes, cemeteries and mortuary colleges. Todd has selflessly served the death care profession in many arena across the nation, which satisfied his desire to see the world. He is humbled to return to CCMS where he plans to continue his mission until retirement.
Director of Admissions
As Director of Admissions for CCMS, Ken Coggeshall is responsible for all the day-to-day enrollment operations of the College. Prior to accepting this position, he had been in non-profit fundraising for 19 years, becoming a Certified Fundraising Executive (CFRE) in 2014. Prior to coming to CCMS, Ken served in various capacities at The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, OneSight, The Dayton Art Institute in Dayton, Ohio and the National Democratic Institute in Washington, D.C. Ken was also a licensed social worker for nearly a decade, working with severely mentally ill adults. Ken holds a BS in Psychology from Wright State University and an Master of Public Administration in Non-Profit Management from the George Washington University.
Ken has served as Vice-President of Communications for the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals and as Board President for the Madisonville Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation. He is also a member of the Cincinnati Rotary Club. Music has been a central part of his life, having been a singer and guitarist for several critically unacclaimed bands over the years. In addition to music, Ken enjoys film, history, reading, golf, the Cincinnati Reds and, for some reason, the Minnesota Vikings. He has been a husband for 14 years and has won most of the awards and commendations available in that role. He and his wife Mary live in Madisonville with their dog Bertram.
Faculty / Clinical Faculty
B.M.S., LFD/LE (Ohio, Kentucky), Certified Crematory Operator, Certified Funeral Celebrant, Alumna
Leigh Combs is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in both Kentucky and Ohio. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from CCMS in 2016 with her Bachelor’s Degree. She is also an active duty veteran of the United States Army having served and deployed as a medic with 3rd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division in Fort Bragg, NC.
Since graduating, Leigh has worked in various roles in death care, including recovery for the Lions Eye Bank of West Central Ohio, and she currently contracts for a NKY funeral home in Restorative Art. She returned to CCMS in October 2018 as an Adjunct Clinical Instructor and joined the faculty full time in May 2021.
Leigh is married to fellow CCMS alumnus, John Combs, and they reside in Burlington, Kentucky with their goofy goldendoodle, Zeus, and independent feline, Odin.
Director of Business Services
and Educational Cremation Center Lab
B.M.S, LFD/LE (Ohio, Indiana), Certified Crematory Operator (Ohio permit), Certified Funeral Celebrant, Alumnus
Born and raised in southeastern Indiana, Toby had not considered a career in death care until he found his way into funeral service as a second career following a twenty-two-year career in collision repair. Due to an unforeseen change in circumstances, he began working in a hometown area funeral home and immediately felt the call to service the needs of those experiencing loss.
After earning his Associate degree at CCMS, Toby served his apprenticeship in his home state of Indiana, where he earned his Funeral Director license. He found a rewarding balance serving his hometown community while also giving back to his alma mater through service as an adjunct instructor in the CCMS Clinical and Restorative Arts curriculum.
After five years of service in his community, he made the decision to leave full-time funeral service practice to pursue his newfound passion and calling to death care education, subsequently earning his Bachelor of Mortuary Science degree with CCMS. While pursuing a few of the prerequisite courses to qualify him for acceptance into the CCMS BMS program, he concurrently earned a structural welding certificate, along with three welding certifications. During that time, Toby also accepted the opportunity to teach community college students welding fabrication. He found the time spent teaching, and previous service as a peer tutor, very rewarding.
Toby resides in Southeast Indiana with his wife Loretta, they share a son together and have given a loving home to several rescue dogs. Toby enjoys several hobbies including, but not limited to, woodwork, leatherwork, and metal fabrication.
“My time as a CCMS student was amazing, thanks to the faculty, staff, and administration. It was, therefore, an easy decision when the offer to join the nation’s premier death care educator and team of distinguished educators was presented to me. The college’s commitment to excellent and transformation of death care for future service professionals is the perfect mix. It affords the opportunity to fulfill my calling to death care, along with my desire to contribute to the education of students with an undeniable desire to learn from the best.”
Teresa Dutko, M.A.
Academic Chair / Faculty
Fellow in Thanatology, Death and Grief Studies Certificate, Certified Funeral Celebrant/Trainer, Certified Crematory Operator
Teresa Dutko, M.A., FT, is Academic Chair and faculty member at CCMS. For over 35 years she has taught the College’s social science curriculum, including courses such as Social Aspects of Death and Dying, Professional Relationships in Funeral Service, Psychology of Grief and Counseling and Aftercare in Funeral Service. Teresa coordinates the College’s assessment program designed to ensure student learning and improve institutional effectiveness. She also serves as the College’s liaison to the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards (ICFSEB).
Teresa holds the Fellow in Thanatology (study of death, dying and bereavement) advance-practice credential through the Association for Death Education and Counseling and a Death and Grief Studies Certificate through the Center for Loss and Life Transition. A certified funeral celebrant for 17 years, Teresa is also one of the celebrant trainers for CCMS bachelor’s degree students.
In her leisure time, Teresa enjoys reading, cooking, and practicing yoga. She is married to writer and educator, Louis Martinelli. Together they enjoy hiking, canoeing, playing golf, and traveling.
Faculty / Clinical Faculty
B.M.S, LFD/LE (Ohio, Kentucky), Certified Crematory Operator (Ohio permit), Alumnus
Codi Kindoll is a lifelong resident of Northern Kentucky and is currently a licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer in both Kentucky and Ohio as well as a licensed Crematory Operator in Ohio. He has been working in funeral homes since he graduated from high school in 2012, where he discovered his passion for the funeral service profession.
Codi earned his Associates Degree from CCMS in 2014 and was awarded the Joel E. Crandall Award for excellence in the art of restoration. Later, he returned to CCMS to earn his BMS and his celebrant certification. Codi served his apprenticeship in 2017 at a local funeral home. He reciprocated his Kentucky licenses to Ohio in 2021 to open the door for more career opportunities.
Codi returned to CCMS in May of 2022 as a faculty and clinical faculty member. He is excited to be a part of a superlative team of death care educators and strives to provide an excellent education to future funeral service professionals.
In Codi’s spare time, he enjoys DIY home projects, fishing, caring for animals, art and anything in the great outdoors. Codi also takes great pride in his gardens that feature aquatic plants, fish and many combinations of flowers and other plants.
Wanda Mullins Lee, CFSP, M.S.
LFD/LE (Ohio), Certified Funeral Celebrant/Trainer, Certified Crematory Operator, Medicolegal Death Investigator
Wanda (Mullins) Lee is an Ohio licensed funeral director and embalmer, a Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP), a Certified Funeral Celebrant, a Certified Funeral Celebrant Trainer, and a Certified Indiana Medicolegal Death Investigator (MDI). She is a member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, the Greater Cincinnati Funeral Service Association, the Ohio Embalmers Association, the Indiana State Coroner’s Association, and the Funeral Ethics Association. Wanda is authorized to practice in the Commonwealth of Kentucky under the guidelines of the courtesy card Act (KRS 316.14).
Wanda is a 1996 graduate of CCMS where she earned her Bachelor of Mortuary Science Degree. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from Indiana University, and a Master of Science in Psychology from Walden University. Wanda has taught a variety of courses at CCMS, including Embalming Theory II & Clinical Embalming Lab, Restorative Art & Restorative Art Lab, Funeral Service Seminar: Ethics, Funeral Service Co-op, Capstone, Funeral Merchandising and Finance & Pricing. She also served as our Clinical Lab Director for 9 years, prior to her promotion to Registrar in 2022. Wanda has served the Franklin County, Indiana Coroner’s office in a variety of capacities since 1995. She served as Deputy Coroner, Chief Deputy Coroner, and 2010-2018 was the elected Coroner until term limitations permitted her from running for that office again. She still remains with the office as a Deputy Coroner. Wanda served on the Board for Franklin County Emergency Management Services (EMS) for 10 years, and was a member of the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency’s (EMA) Chief’s Association for 8 years. She also formerly served on Indiana’s Region 12 Child Fatality Review Team, aimed at identifying areas of risk and reducing child deaths.
Wanda lives in Franklin County, Indiana with her husband, Rob, and their two sons, Isaiah and Adam. In her spare-time she enjoys traveling, spending time with friends and family, reading and going to the occasional Cincinnati Reds game. Her all-time favorite activity, however, is attending her boy’s sporting events.
Brittany Pugh is the first face you see as the Front Desk Administrator. Along with her bubbly, inviting personality and love of meeting new people, Ms. Pugh supports the administrative needs of faculty, staff, and executives and event planning and coordinating.
She joined CCMS after serving in pre-K education as a preschool teacher with Child Focus. She and her husband along with their four amazing children reside on the east side of Cincinnati. In her free time she loves to travel, hike, and explore the world with her family.
In her spare time, she also serves as a front desk administrator with US Martial Arts Academy several evenings during the week. She is an avid animal lover and shares her home with four dogs and a cat.
Director of Learning Resources and Student Services
Tausha Ross is an alumna of Wilmington College (1998), Union Institute & University (2018) and Kent State University (2021). She has been in Higher Education for over ten years, which included previously working in an Academic library. She enjoys supporting the academic needs of students and faculty on a college campus and previously served as a Site Director and Associate Dean at Chatfield College assisting students in their post-secondary educational journey.
After earning her Master of Library and Information Science degree from Kent State University, Tausha decided to return back to what she loves best, which is working in a library. She loves books and considers it to be her happy space.
Tausha was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and has a large family. She enjoys spending time with her family and spoiling the many nieces and nephews that she has. In her leisure time, she enjoys cooking, reading, decorating, shopping at HomeGoods and traveling.
Tausha is excited to be apart of the CCMS family and looks forward to assisting students, faculty and staff in the Learning Resource and Student Services Center.
As bookkeeper, Kym is responsible for all day to day financial processes that take place at CCMS.
Kym graduated from The University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor's in Accounting. She has over 20 years of experience in this field, and is excited to bring her expertise to CCMS to forward their vision.
Kym and her family live on the east side of Cincinnati. She spends her time outside of work volunteering at her daughter's school, being a karate Instructor at the U.S Martial Arts Academy, or playing with her two loving cane corso dogs: Zeke and Onyx.
Clinical Director/ Faculty
M.Ed., LFD/LE (Ohio), Certified Crematory Operator, Alumnus
John Vinnedge is a licensed funeral director and embalmer in the State of Ohio having served in funeral service since 1998. He is also a veteran of the United States Army having served with the XVIII Airborne Corp in Fort Bragg, NC from 1995 to 2003 in both active and reserve duty status.
After graduating Summa Cum Laude from CCMS in 2012 and earning his professional licenses in 2013, John has returned to join the Faculty as Clinical Lab instructor, as well as teaching Embalming Theories I & III, Microbiology & Pathology, and Cemetery & Cremation Fundamentals. John is a CANA certified crematory operator and authorized to practice in the Commonwealth of Kentucky under the guidelines of the courtesy card Act (KRS 316.14). John earned his Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Cincinnati.
John is a proud dad of two children and cherishes his time as a husband and father. In his spare time he enjoys film, literature, and spending time in the great outdoors for both sport and leisure.
“Confidence tempered with humility. Graceful competence and bountiful empathy. Love for humanity and appreciation for the value of life. A funeral director requires all of these. Since 1882, the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science has assembled quality individuals with these traits and set them on the most worthy of paths; service to those in need.”