Industry News

NFDA Convention Workshops and Seminars Focus on Key Business Issues

BROOKFIELD, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association has invited leading experts to share strategies and ideas on a comprehensive array of funeral service topics during its 2013 International Convention & Expo, which will take place October 20-23 in Austin, Texas. The workshops were selected by NFDA-member funeral directors to help convention attendees grow their businesses and better serve families.

The interactive and informative workshops planned for the NFDA Convention will provide practical ideas to help funeral directors manage their everyday challenges. Workshops include:

Sunday, Oct. 20:

  • Family Business Disputes: Court Is in Session presented by Linda Darby and Richard Darby of Trigard Inc. and Sunset Funeral Home in Danville. Ill., and Alan Creedy of Creedy & Co. Business Advisors in Raleigh, N.C. Gain insights into the challenges of working in a family business setting and discover solutions that will enable family members to focus on serving the bereaved.
  • How to Profit and Grow in a High-Cremation Market presented by Kent Roduck of Profitable Cremation Solutions Ltd. and Island Funeral Services in Comox Valley, British Columbia. Learn proven, ready-to-implement ideas that will enable funeral homes to grow in markets where cremation is on the rise and families are requesting cremation with minimal services.

Monday, Oct. 21:

  • Mandate for the Future of Funeral Service: A Model for Integrating the Why of Funerals into Arrangement presented by Dr. Alan Wolfelt of the Center for Life and Loss Transition in Fort Collins, Colo. Discover a new interactive model that helps families understand the value of a meaningful funeral.
  • Winning More Calls – With Google! presented by Robin Heppell, CFSP, of in Victoria, British Columbia. Learn how a funeral home can strengthen its web presence, optimize Google to focus on first call searches, and achieve maximum exposure through messaging and memorial tribute videos.

Tuesday, Oct. 22:

  • How Members of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association Faced the Challenges of Newtown presented by John F. Cascio, CFSP, CFDA executive director; Pasquale S. Folino, CFSP, 2012-13 CFDA president; and Laura R. Soll, CFDA media and public relations. Learn how the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association coordinated a rapid response to the tragedy in Newtown during which more than 160 funeral directors supported each other and the community.
  • Inspiring Consumers to “Have the Talk of a Lifetime”: A New Grassroots Public Education Campaign presented by Rob Rosenberg of Springboard Brand & Creative Strategy in Arlington Heights, Ill., and James Forr of Olson Zaltman Associates in Columbia, Mo. Learn about a new groundbreaking public education campaign, “Have the Talk of a Lifetime,” that will educate consumers about the importance of talking with loved ones about meaningful memorialization and the things that matter most.

Wednesday, Oct. 23:

  • Cremation Basics: Staff Attitudes Drive Success presented by Mike Nicodemus, CFSP, NFDA vice president of cremation services. Discover how changing your staff’s attitudes toward cremation will lead to better service to families and increased customer satisfaction.
  • Battling Burnout: Management Techniques for Caregivers presented by John D. Canine, Ph.D., of Maximum Living Consultants Inc. in Clarkston, Mich. Gain a better understanding of burnout, learn how to manage it and how to overcome its potentially debilitating effects.

Before the convention officially begins, NFDA will offer three preconvention seminars on October 19:

  • NFDA Certified Crematory Operator Program, presented by Mike Nicodemus, NFDA vice president of cremation services, and Mike Watkins, NFDA senior vice president of operations. During this new certification program developed specifically for funeral homes that offer cremation services, attendees will learn about ethics, crematory operations, safety, liability issues, cremation arranging and more. The program meets or exceeds the criteria in all states requiring certification.
  • A Collage of Embalming and Reconstructive Techniques presented by Vernie Fountain, CFSP. Learn embalming and reconstructive techniques for challenging cases, airbrush techniques and more. Immediately following the seminar, attendees have the option of participating in an exclusive “Extracurricular Hour with Vernie,” a no-holds-barred question-and-answer session about embalming and reconstruction.
  • NFDA Certified Preplanning Consultant Seminar, presented by Colleen Murphy Klein, NFDA vice president of professional development. Demonstrate a commitment to customer service and high professional and ethical standards by earning the only national designation for preneed professionals, NFDA's Certified Preplanning Consultant designation.

The complete workshop and preconvention seminar schedule is on the NFDA Convention website, (click on the “Education” tab). Attendees should note that they must register in advance for preconvention seminars; workshops do not require advance registration.

The NFDA International Convention & Expo is the world’s largest gathering of funeral directors and helps attendees achieve more in their businesses. The latest information, including details on how to register for the Convention and reserve hotel rooms, can be found by visiting Those who wish to attend convention can save up to $120 on the registration fee when they register on or before Sept. 16.

Posted June 26


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