7:30 – 8:30 a.m.
Author and Owner, The Marks Group
Video, cloud accounting, mobile tech, office collaboration techs, customer relationship management, HR technologies. These are just a few of the major technology trends having a significant impact on how you do business, generate leads and keep employees happy. The next few years will bring big changes in the way funeral service professionals do business and how they will drive revenues using technology. What decisions should you be making now that will increase revenues and value in the future? (1 CE Hour)
T. Scott Gilligan
Counsel, Gilligan Law Offices
Funeral Rule Coordinator, Federal Trade Commission
What issues with your funeral home will an undercover FTC shopper notice that you may not? Join NFDA general counsel and the FTC Funeral Rule coordinator for an examination of the overall level of compliance with the Funeral Rule and discover what specific violations undercover shoppers are seeing. From the most common violations to the issues the FTC and NFDA will be looking at when the FTC reviews the Funeral Rule in 2017-18, they will discuss common-sense steps funeral homes can take to reduce the risk of violations. (1 CE Hour)
7:30 – 9 a.m.
NFDA Vice President of Cremation Services
Today’s families are looking for the best value for the best price. Long gone are the days of using the family funeral home because it’s closest, respected or the name you knew growing up. If you want to bring your funeral home back to the top and provide families with excellent service, it’s time to take a hard look at your approach to cremation arrangements. Are you offering cremation families all options every time? Learn how to differentiate your quality firm from the discount direct-disposal and cremation providers and bring the value and ritual back into cremation arrangements. You’ll gain practical tips to increase satisfaction for the families you serve and impact your arrangement attitude. (1.5 CE Hours)
Owner, The Gary O’Sullivan Company
Is there an invisible force at work in your firm? The answer is yes. Whether you’re aware of it or not, whether you are managing it or not, it’s affecting both your people and your profits. What is this invisible force? It’s your organization’s culture. Discover how this force can help your firm achieve higher levels of customer satisfaction, create a more positive working environment and have a positive impact on your financial performance. Your firm’s culture influences employees, their overall performance and, ultimately, your bottom line. (1.5 CE Hours)
7:30 – 9:30 a.m.
Wallace P. Hooker, CFSP, MBIE
Owner/Funeral Director/Embalmer, Family & Friends Funeral Home
Services without the body present continue to grow. Over the years, funeral service has become very complacent with body preparation, and we are now paying the price. This is not going to fix itself until we step up our game. Since embalming and body presentation are the most important things we do, pull out all the stops – learn a new mindset, new techniques and new product uses. We must ensure a peaceful, comfortable and natural appearance for decedents as we present them to their families and the public for their final goodbye. Hooker will cover pre-case analysis through to the casketed body ready for the family. (2 CE Hours)
9:45 – 10:45 a.m.
Speaker and Host, That Speaker Guy
One of the biggest challenges we face on a regular basis is striving to communicate effectively with each person we encounter. Whether it’s with customers, co-workers, managers, friends, family or suppliers, communicating effectively is an ever evolving challenge with significant consequences. Poor communication impedes sales, business productivity and growth, customer service and personal happiness. Poirier will explore the four different personality types and discuss how to effectively communicate with each type (identify your own personality type as well). By knowing how to adjust to each personality type, you can have a positive impact on your sales, relationships and the experiences of your customers. (1 CE Hour)
Vice President and Family Member Owner, ASD-Answering Service for Directors
Bring your iPhone and learn how to create a strategy to unlock your funeral home’s mobile potential. Whether you’re an Apple loyalist, a smartphone novice or someone ready to finally toss his flip phone into the trash, you will learn something valuable from this interactive, technology-focused workshop. Czachor will take you through the multitude of mobile features, settings and apps that can help you tackle business tasks remotely and operate more efficiently and with greater ease. From communicating more effectively to accessing important data from any location, Apple devices empower you to better serve families, gain freedom and positively transform your firm’s productivity. (1 CE Hour)
Coral A. Popowitz
Executive Director, Children's Grief Connection
Does your to-do list have more than 10 items on it, all of them a priority? Is the phone constantly ringing or barely ringing at all? Too many fighting families in arrangements? Or have you buried too many children recently? Do you find yourself snapping at your co-workers or your spouse? When you dread going to work and can't wait for the weekend, maybe you're just a little bit stressed out. Managing the stress of business is crucial to staying in business. Funeral service is stressful, necessary work, and Popowitz will give owners and their staff definitive, authentic and sustainable tools to manage the stresses of everyday life and the trauma of providing professional caregiving to grieving people. (1 CE Hour)
Edward M. Ranier
President and CEO, Law Offices of Edward M. Ranier
Avoid OSHA citations and catastrophic penalties! Last year, federal and state OSHA plans increased the maximum amount of civil penalties that may be assessed by 78% to catch up with inflation. Previously, the maximum penalty for a serious violation was $7,000 per violation; it’s now $12,471 per violation. Small businesses such as funeral homes and crematories will be subject to much higher penalties than in the past. Join Ranier as he focuses on funeral home and crematory owners’ rights and duties during an OSHA inspection and examines your risks under OSHA Standards and Regulations. (1 CE Hour)
William W. McReavy Jr.
President, Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel
When you first meet with a family and they have their guard up, how do you best address their hesitations without putting your foot in your mouth and building the wall higher? McReavy will provide practical advice on how you can develop the skills necessary to overcome those roadblocks by building bridges in your relationships with families. Learn how to build trust through honest and open conversation, consistency, reliability and key listening skills. Employ practical methods to build integrity to work through a variety of common difficult situations in a funeral arrangement setting. This is a vital communication refresher for both seasoned professionals and new directors dealing with resistance during the arrangement process. (1 CE Hour)
Associate Executive Director, Good Grief
Elizabeth Kübler-Ross’s antiquated stages are long gone. There is no prescribed path to doing grief “right,” and yet there are key components that every child needs in order to adapt to a new normalcy and form a healthy identity as someone who has lost someone they love. Dialogue, preparedness, inclusion, and community are staples to effectively supporting kids. But before we can be helpful, we have to move past the idea that grief is just an emotion. Grief is a physical, intellectual, and spiritual response and if we only focus on the emotional, then we’ll only be 25% helpful. We will explore what kids need, find helpful, and unhelpful. (1 CE Hour)
11 a.m. – 12 p.m. Service of Remembrance
In 2013, people of all faiths came together to help their city heal following the Boston Marathon bombing. In this same spirit of unity, this year’s NFDA Service of Remembrance will highlight our country’s rich Judeo-Christian heritage. The service will both explain and demonstrate the meaning behind various religious rituals and traditions through which generations have found comfort and strength to cope in times of loss. Through this educational and meaningful Service of Remembrance, attendees will come to better understand the role faith and religion play in funeral service and be better prepared to help those they serve in their own communities.
12:30 – 2 p.m. Conversation Cafes
Actor, Director and Filmmaker, The Roebuck Group
Paula C. Herron
Funeral Director and Supervisor, John F. Herron Funeral Home
Demetri J. Herron
Funeral Director and Owner, Sell-Herron Funeral Home
Join us for an inside look at the film Getting Grace. Director, writer and star Daniel Roebuck (The Man in the High Castle, The Fugitive), who plays a Pennsylvania funeral director, takes us on the set, and Paula Herron and Demetri Herron discuss the logistics of running an active funeral home while filming takes place. Moderated by Ed Defort, editor of NFDA Publications. Behind-the-scenes footage will be shared during this informal panel, along with clips from the movie. (1.5 CE Hours)
Getting Grace - Movie Trailer from Daniel Roebuck on Vimeo.
Steven Bentsen, M.D.
Regional Chief Medical Officer for Beacon Health Options
Charles A. Castiglia
President, Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home, Hamburg, New York
Walker Funeral Home, Toledo, Ohio
Leadership Team, Wisconsin Heroin Task Force
During this panel discussion, Bentsen will give attendees a detailed overview of the opioid epidemic facing the United States and Pares will share his experiences and insights as a grieving parent who lost both his son and daughter to opioid addiction. Funeral directors Walker and Castiglia will explain their involvement in efforts to educate their communities on the heroin crisis and also talk about their experiences serving families that have been affected by this epidemic. (1.5 CE Hours)
8 – 11 p.m. Funeral Directors Under 40 Party
Enjoy a howling good time on Halloween night with fellow “Under 40s” at Laugh Boston, the city’s premier comedy club! Enjoy a hilarious stand-up comedy show by a local legend that will have you ROFL! Enjoy light menu fare, cold drinks and great laughs with great friends. You’ll be cracking up about this night long after the curtain falls.
Don your favorite Halloween costume to add to the fun!
Get tickets for this event with your Convention registration or call 800.228.6332.
Price per person: $55 by September 22; $65 after
September 22. Includes exclusive comedy show, hors d’oeuvres and two drinks per person. Attire: casual or Halloween costumes.
Simultaneous interpretation in Spanish available.
Continuing Education: Sessions and workshops at the 2017 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.