NFDA to Host its First-ever Cremation Retreat in 2016

December 20, 2015

Brookfield, Wis. – Funeral professionals should make plans to attend a new, one-of-a-kind event that will enable them to escape the daily grind and gather ideas for making cremation a more profitable part of their businesses. Funeral professionals who attend the first-ever NFDA Cremation Retreat,  March 17-18, 2016, at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, will leave engaged and armed with proven strategies to increase the value – and profit – of the cremation side of their businesses.

“Many people are embracing the business retreat concept because it enables them to get away from the office and into a stress-free environment where they can immerse themselves in discussions on a critical business issue,” said NFDA President Bob Arrington, CCO. “That’s exactly the environment we will offer during the NFDA Cremation Retreat.”

Cremation Retreat attendees will collaborate with their peers from small- to mid-size funeral homes in an intimate setting to explore every aspect of cremation and learn how to transform this growing trend into opportunity for their firm.


NFDA has gathered an impressive line-up of cremation experts to lead the retreat:

  • Robert Biggins, owner of Magoun-Biggins Funeral Home in Rockland, Massachusetts
  • T. Scott Gilligan, legal counsel for NFDA
  • Marilyn Gould, M.A., C.S.P, president of MKJ Marketing in Largo, Florida
  • Mike Nicodemus, vice president of cremation services for NFDA
  • Lacy Robinson, CFSP, NFDA director of member development
  • Timothy Yoder, owner of Yoder-Culp Funeral Home in Goshen, Indiana

These experts will share insights on a variety of topics:

  • Cremation Today (and Tomorrow): Change as Opportunity
  • Becoming the Cremation Expert in Your Community: A Funeral Home Owner’s Success Story
  • Cremation Marketing: Getting It Just Right
  • Cremation Ethics and Liability Issues
  • Beyond Price: Your Guide to Mastering Cremation Phone Inquiries
  • Keys to Cremation Arranging
  • Back to the Funeral

The Cremation Retreat will also feature roundtable discussions and a panel discussion during which attendees can ask the knowledgeable presenters their most pressing questions. Attendees will be able to kick back and relax – and network with fellow funeral professionals – during a fun Bowling and Billiards event following dinner the evening of March 17.

If they wish, attendees can come a day early and kick off their Cremation Retreat experience by earning their cremation certification. NFDA will host its Certified Crematory Operators Program (CCO) at the Emory Conference Center on March 16. Created by funeral directors, for funeral directors, this is a must-have certification for anyone who offers cremation to the families they serve – even if they do not own a crematory.

“Cremation is a critical issue for funeral homes and there has never been a cremation education event quite like this,” said Arrington. “Those who attend the inaugural NFDA Cremation Retreat are in for something special. And, best of all, they will walk away with ideas they can implement right away to make their funeral home the cremation provider of choice in their communities. I look forward to learning alongside my fellow NFDA members at what I am sure will be the profession’s premier cremation-focused educational experience.”

NFDA Cremation Retreat Registration Fee

Includes expert presentations, handouts, meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), refreshments and a special Bowling & Billiards evening.

On or before

February 18, 2016


February 18, 2016

NFDA Member $545 $645
Nonmember $720 $820
NFDA Certified Crematory Operator Seminar (optional)
NFDA Member $495
Nonmember Funeral Director $655
Non-funeral Director $495
Student Member $160

NFDA members who register for both the Cremation Retreat and the CCO seminar can save $100 on the fee for the certification seminar.
There are few better places for a retreat than the serene setting of the Emory Conference Center Hotel. Nestled within 26 acres of forest preserve, this Frank Lloyd Wright-designed facility offers the tranquility of a secluded location with the convenience of close proximity to the city. NFDA has secured a limited number of rooms for the special rate of just $170 plus tax for Cremation Retreat attendees.

Complete details about the new NFDA Cremation Retreat, including the event schedule, speaker biographies, and information about how to register and make hotel reservations, is available on the NFDA website,

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 39 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

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