Please note: General session and workshop access is included with all Full/One Day Convention and Exhibitor Badges. Simply show your badge to gain entry. Expo-only Badges are valid for the exhibit floor only. Visit registration to purchase general session/workshop badges. You must bring both your badge and event ticket for entry into ticketed events.
7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Founder and Executive Director, Alliance of Hope for Suicide Loss Survivors
As suicide rates continue to rise, more and more people are left behind to grieve. Many grapple with horrific, stigmatized loss, debilitating emotions and complex personal challenges. New research shows that suicide loss survivors are themselves at highter risk for suicide, yet society is largely unaware of the degree to which survivors are impacted. Funeral directors have a unique and extraordinary opportunity to impact the grief journey of new survivors by informing them of healing resources. You will hear the words of survivors as they discuss their experience as well as their gratitude for the compassion of funeral professionals. (1 CE hour)
Executive Director, International End of Life Doula Association
Doulas provide emotional, spiritual, and physical support at an intensely personal and crucial time. They assist people in finding meaning, creating a legacy project, and plan for how the last days will unfold. Doulas also guide and support loved ones through the last days of life and ease the suffering of grief in its early stages. Learn how to effectively work with doulas to continue the physical, emotional and spritual bond with the families you serve. (1 CE hour)
7:30 – 9 a.m.
Senior Vice President, SESCO Management Consultants
All employees have the right to work in an environment free of behaviors that are sexual in nature. Are you certain your firm and employees know the definition of sexual harassment? Understand the difference between behavior that is unprofessional and behavior that is considered harassment/discrimination. Learn how management can investigate and address allegations and workplace misconduct. Explore and learn best practices to prevent harassment from occurring in the workplace. (1.5 CE hour)
7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Chief Storyteller and Producer, CI Design
Each funeral tells a story. The better the story experience, the better the funeral. Storytelling is more than words; it’s the work of connecting dots and creating meaning. We’ll look at the how and why of storytelling. You’ll learn what it means to be a storyteller in the funeral profession, understand the practical value of storytelling and leverage these insights for your business. (2 CE hours)
Wallace P. Hooker, CFSP, MBIE
Owner, Family & Friends Funeral Home
Don’t forget the smallest details! It isn’t just embalming that makes a world of difference in creating a pleasing, memorable viewing experience. Discover how to overcome embalming shortcomings, donor/autopsied bodies, emaciated, edematous, jaundice and contagious cases. This session will offer tips and tricks for odor control, leakage, purge, proper dressing and cosmetics to present a peaceful, natural look. Hooker will highlight tissue building, positioning, casketing and chapel lighting techniques to ensure the best appearance of the deceased. (2 CE hours)
9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
Steven Bentsen, MD
Regional Chief Medical Officer, Beacon Health Options
The opioid epidemic continues to impact all facets of society. Learn how to be proactive in your funeral home to provide help and resources for your staff. Dr. Bentsen will provide an overview of the opioid crisis, risk factors, early intervention strategies and workplace concerns. Explore appropriate treatment resources, the role of EAP programs, and how the importance of continued preventative treatment enables long term recovery. Dr. Bentsen will also review workplace drug testing and issues regarding mortality. (1 CE hour)
Department Chair, Arapahoe Community College Mortuary Science Program
Since the Columbine Massacre in 1999, our country has witnessed many mass shooting incidents. Speaking from personal experience having served the family of both a victim and a perpetrator of the massacre, Thayer will highlight ways in which to serve the families of the people who carry out these horrific events. From receiving the initial call for help, to making arrangements and directing the funeral, you’ll learn how to help these families and be given practical takeaways for effective communication. (1 CE hour)
William C. Wappner
Co-Owner, Wappner Funeral Directors
Hear a case study in how to successfully open a lower cost cremation center while operating a full service signature funeral home. Wappner will discuss multiple business strategies to assist in creating profitability in performing cremations, including financial methods and processes. Discover how he renovated an existing building into a cremation center, and is marketing cremations along with full service funerals. (1 CE hour)
Owner/Funeral Director, Untertaking LA
Over the last five years there have been hundreds of articles about the rise in home funerals, featuring families that want more control over their death care. Not every family wants a wake in your chapel, and boomers especially are attracted to these new, self-reliant possibilities. Some funeral directors see this shift as negative, or even scary. Let’s reveal some myths about home funeral families. Learn how to welcome them, help them achieve their goals, and gain the respect of your community in the process. (1 CE hour)
NFDA Director, Member Development
Living funerals represent a complete shift in what society thinks about death and dying. Join Lacy Robinson as she shares real stories from families across the country who have found positive healing from hosting a living tribute with their loved one taking center stage. Learn how your funeral home can market living funerals through allied partnerships. Discover how you can help give families the creative control they desire in planning a living tribute. You’ll walk away with package recommendations, suggested language for the General Price List and innovative ideas establishing your funeral home as the exclusive provider of living funerals. (1 CE hour)
Benefits and Facility Advisor for Medova
Come learn about NFDA's new health insurance member benefit!
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Service of Remembrance
Salt Palace Convention Center Grand Ballroom
The power of music is undeniable. It can invoke the deepest feelings or instantly whisk you away to the fondest moments of the past preserved in sweet memories of the people and places that mean the most. Join us as we explore the importance of music at funerals and honor the memory of funeral service family members we have lost this year.
12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Campfire Exchange
Best Practices on marketing your firm.
Have you fully considered the advantages and disadvantages to various ways of transitioning your business? Join Roosevelt Investments around the campfire for a discussion on the key elements of effective exit planning and common mistakes to avoid.
Meet our therapy dogs see how these canines can help you provide comfort and support to your families and community.
Eileen Baldeshwiler, Erika Collaros, Robert Justen & LaTorria Williams
Learn how to incorporate children into the funeral ceremony. Join us as the winning group of mentees from the 2018 Meet the Mentors program present their solutions on how to serve families with young children.
1:30 – 5 p.m. Live Telephone Mystery Shop – Campfire Exchange
If someone was to call your funeral home right now and ask the question, "How much is cremation?" how confident are you that your employees could effectively answer their questions and convey the value of honoring a loved one's life? Listen for yourself! Lacy Robinson, NFDA's Director of Member Development, will call your funeral home and ask the question of your choice. The best part is you get to listen live! Don't miss this opportunity to measure the skill set of your employees and discuss telephone phone etiquette training with our customer service wizard Lacy Robinson. Drop in or sign up for a time in the Campfire Exchange!
12:30 – 2 p.m. Conversation Cafes
Willi Heuse, Germany
Teresa Saavedra, Bolivia
Wang Ji Sheng, China
Death is one of life's inevitabilities, but the traditions around it are not, thanks to the influence of culture and religion on the rituals. Join our international panelists as they describe how culture, religion and tradition have shaped their country's cemetery customs.
We are prescribers, pharmacists, public health workers, recovery advocates, and people who have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has called our current crisis with opioid overdoses and deaths an epidemic, and we completely agree. Today in Utah, overdose is the leading cause of injury death. The rate of overdose death exceeds that of motor vehicle collisions and firearms. More than 10 Utahans die every week from an overdose. Utah had the 4th highest rate of drug overdose death in the U.S. in 2012-2014, the 7th highest rate in 2013-2015. Utah has the 1st highest rate of drug overdose death for veterans (2014). These rates increased nearly 400% between 2000-2010, and are continuing to rise. Children and adolescents are impacted both directly and indirectly by opioid overdose. (1.5 CE)
4:30 – 5:30 p.m.
8 – 11 p.m. Funeral Directors Under 40 Party
Whether you're into pop, rock, hip hop, country or none of the above, you'll have a blast at this private, all-request dueling pianos show. That's right – you run the show with your requests! If it played on the radio within the last 65 years, a pair of talented musicians are ready to play it! So, if you're ready to jam to some AC/DC, Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Johnny Cash or even a little Snoop Dogg, meet us at Keys on Main!
Get tickets for this event with your Convention registration.
Price per person: $55 early bird by September 7; $65 after
September 7. Includes private dueling pianos show, hors d’oeuvres and two drinks per person. Casual attire.
Continuing Education: Sessions and workshops at the 2018 NFDA International Convention & Expo are approved for continuing education by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP), most state boards, and by many Canadian provinces. State and province CE approval varies, and it is the individual participant's responsibility to verify approval for CE in the state(s) in which the individual is licensed. Schedule subject to change.