ICCFA University Attracts Record Attendance

August 14, 2013
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STERLING, VA (August 14, 2013)–The 2013 session of ICCFA University drew a record attendance of 195 students to the Fogelman Executive Center at the University of Memphis July 19-24 in Memphis, Tenn.

ICCFA University is a five-day, intensive educational program of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. For five days, attendees are immersed in a specialty area of their choosing and are taught by subject matter experts in our profession. Students may enroll in one of seven “colleges:”

  • 21st Century Services
  • Advertisement
  • Cremation Services
  • Embalming, Restorative Art & Other Care
  • Funeral Home Management
  • Land Management & Grounds Operations
  • Leadership, Administration & Management
  • J. Asher Neel College of Sales & Marketing

This year was the first time the College of Embalming, Restorative Art & Other Care was offered.

Students who attend four years become graduates. This year’s graduates include:

  • Rene Acebal, Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary, Whittier, Calif.
  • Charles F. Bowman, CFSP, Bowman Funeral Business Consultants, LLC, Washington, DC
  • Christopher D. Cooke, City of Evansville, Evansville, Ind.
  • Cody Crosby, Cypress Lawn/Crosby-North Gray Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Burlingame, Calif.
  • Francis J. Groh, St. Joseph Cemetery, Appleton, Wis.
  • Caren L. Harville, CCE, CFuE, Glen Haven & Sholom Memorial Park & Mortuaries, Sylmar, Calif.
  • Vaughn Hendren, French Funerals-Cremations, Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Manuel R. Lopez, Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, Calif.
  • Thomas Medici, Cypress Hills Cemetery, Brooklyn, N.Y.
  • Thomas A. Roustong, CFSP, Routsong Funeral Home, Kettering, Ohio
  • Leslie Sides, Sunset Funeral Home, Evansville, Ind.
  • Janice Stetz, Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston, Mass.
  • Duane Wagenbaugh, Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Albany, Menands, N.Y.

Fellow graduates elect a valedictorian each year. This year, Christopher Cooke was selected by his graduating classmates.

Graduates may also attend in subsequent years in the Master’s Program, as class content and instructors are updated regularly. Upper-level managers and owners may pick and choose classes to attend from among all seven colleges.

ICCFA University chancellor Ernie Heffner, CFuE, Heffner Funeral Chapel & Crematory, York, Penn., credits the educational programming as the key factor in the increase in popularity of the conference.

“Not only did the University enjoy a record total attendance, it also realized a record total freshman attendance,” Heffner said. More than 57 percent of students were freshmen, which speaks volumes for quality of past educational content and the viability of the ICCFA University going forward. These outstanding results are thanks to the seven dedicated deans and the professors who are continually fine-tuning their curricula.

Next year’s ICCFA University is scheduled to take place July 18-23, 2014, back at the University of Memphis.


Founded in 1887, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral and memorialization industry. Its membership is composed of more than 7,500 property locations of cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories, memorial designers and related businesses worldwide.

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