Business Management & Operations
The Delicate Balance of Your Family, Your Life and Your Family Business
Mark Busch, Founder, AI Intuitive
Mark is the former fourth-generation co-owner of Busch Funeral and Crematory Services. After 40+ years in his family business, Mark has a wealth of knowledge and experience navigating the complexities of family dynamics and running a family business. He will share his business story, the 'do's and don'ts,' career life experiences, and the game-changers for his family and business. In addition, Mark will discuss the present and future of family businesses and provide a toolbox of techniques to help you balance your family life and family business.
Recomposition: The Earthly Disposition
Katrina Spade, Founder, Recompose
Natural organic reduction (NOR) is an emerging form of disposition that uses the science of composting to turn bodies into usable soil. Recompose is the first company in the world to offer NOR, which is legal in Washington State. Individuals may use composted soil in gardens and for conservation efforts. Recompose's first facility opened in the Seattle area in December 2020; the company is currently in the design stages for several more. Learn about the overall process, safety and efficacy, and consumer interest in this new form of disposition.
Finding a Middle Ground with Cremation Families
Eugene Wagner, Funeral Director, Wagner Family Funerals-Connelly Chapel
There is an opportunity in the funeral service to provide families a choice between direct cremation or a cremation preceded by a traditional funeral service. The middle ground enables us to provide nearly 100% viewings, even in light of the current health crisis and almost 100% embalmings. Most importantly, we received 100% thanks from the families. Today, visitations are shortened to "private family viewings" that are less structured and often occur over a day or two. Services are "unpublished" - meaning no viewing times are provided in the newspaper. Also, the invitation to participate in a memorial service is conducted by family members on social media. The middle ground acknowledges the death and allows for an "in-person" viewing while eliminating the all-or-nothing extremes.
Customer Service; Professional Skills
Practical Ideas to Reach Your Caregiver Community
Jeff Smith, Owner, Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home
The days of sitting and waiting for the phone to ring are long gone. In a climate of increasing numbers of low-cost competitors, funeral directors must learn how to tell their firm's story to caregivers. The same skills that help you with families will help you market to caregivers and grow your market share. You'll discover five highly effective and easy-to-implement caregiver marketing ideas and learn how to "show" the community what you're doing through social media. Smith will provide examples and photos demonstrating these skills in practice.