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NFDA Convention Workshops Offer Practical Strategies to Help Funeral Professionals Achieve More

Brookfield, Wis. - The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) has invited leading experts to share strategies and ideas on a comprehensive array of topics during its 2012 International Convention & Expo, which will take place October 7-10 in Charlotte, N.C. The workshops were selected by NFDA-member funeral directors to help convention attendees grow their businesses and better serve families.

The interactive and informative workshops planned for the NFDA Convention will provide practical ideas to help funeral directors manage their everyday challenges. Workshops include:

  • Sunday, October 7
    • Size Matters; Why Growing Your Business is Key to Your Future, and How Small Firms Can Make It Happen, presented by Douglas Gober of Live Oak Bank in Kenner, La. Attendees will learn financial and operational strategies that will help them level the playing field with the big guys and seize opportunities for growth.
    • Making Cremation Profitable presented by William McQueen, Graystone Associates, in Marlboro, Mass. Attendees will learn time-tested strategies for working with different families that choose cremation. Attendees will find out why words really matter and ways to add value and profitability when a family says “no funeral please.”
  • Monday, October 8
    • The One Experience We Hardly Ever Manage, presented by Paul Seyler of Competitive Resources Inc. of New Orleans, La. If Disney World or Nordstom's designed the ultimate arrangement conference, how would it differ from what funeral professionals do today? Attendees will learn to transform the arrangement conference into a meaningful experience that generates powerful results.
    • Educating Funeral Professionals and Families about the Important Role of Meaningful Funerals, presented by Dr. Alan Wolfelt of the Center for Loss and Life Transition in Fort Collins, Colo., and Troy Blake of Batesville Interactive, Batesville Casket Co., Batesville, Ind. Wolfelt will explore the elements of a meaningful funeral and how they meet mourners' needs. Blake will share the latest research on consumers' use of the Internet and explain how funeral homes can ensure their firm meets their online informational needs.
  • Tuesday, October 9
    • Embalming Bariatric and Edema Cases, presented by Matt Smith of Frigid Fluid in Oxford, Mich. Learn best practices for two special types of embalming cases that require extra attention.
    • Dover Port Mortuary: The Back Story, presented by Dr. Jacquelyn Taylor of the New England Institute at Mt. Ida College in Newton Centre, Mass., and Vernie Fountain of the Fountain National Academy in Springfield, Mo. Two funeral directors appointed by the U.S. Department of Defense to review allegations of mishandled human remains at the Dover Port Mortuary will share their insider perspective on the investigation and explain actions taken to ensure members of the military killed in action are treated with honor and dignity.
    • Conversation Cafés. Attendees can join in a laid-back discussion where they and their professional peers set the agenda and provide the insights and advice. Discussion topics include: Financing a Funeral BusinessGadgets and Gizmos and Pet Services.
    • Wednesday, October 10
  • Redefining Service in a Technology-driven World, presented by Walker Posey of Posey Funeral Directors in North Augusta, S.C., and Mel Pennington IV of Brown-Pennington-Atkins Funeral Home in Hartsville, S.C. In this high-energy presentation, discover innovative and effective ways funeral directors can learn from other industries to improve upon the service they have been providing for decades.
  • Embalming Risk Management, presented by Jzyk Ennis of Carr Funeral Home in Guntersville, Ala., and Scott Gilligan of Gilligan Law Offices in Cincinnati, Ohio. Learn about the legal risks an embalmer faces, how a malpractice lawsuit is conducted, and the commonsense steps and legal forms that can reduce a funeral director's liability.
NFDA will offer four preconvention seminars on Saturday, October 6.
  • CANA Crematory Operator Certification Program, presented by Michael Nicodemus of Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home/Lynnhaven Crematory in Virginia Beach, Va. With increased cremation-related litigation, a simple mistake could cost a firm hundreds of thousands of dollars. Convention attendees who own, manage or operate a crematory should understand proper operating procedures to ensure service quality and protect their business.
  • NFDA Certified Preplanning Consultant Seminar, presented by Colleen Murphy Klein of NFDA in Brookfield, Wis. Promote exceptional standards in the field of advance planning by becoming a Certified Preplanning Consultant (CPC).
  • Celebrant Funerals: Becoming a Master of Ceremonies, presented by Glenda Stansbury of In-Sight Books in Oklahoma City, Okla. Learn what a celebrant is; how to discuss the concept with families; and how to personalize funeral services, memorial services, viewings and more.
  • Embalming, Reconstructive and Airbrush Techniques presented by Vernie Fountain of Fountain National Academy in Springfield, Mo. Learn about a wide variety of techniques that can be used to provide an open-casket viewing when severe trauma is present.
The complete workshop schedule and information about registering for preconvention seminars is on the NFDA Convention website, www.nfda.org/charlotte2012 (click on the "Education" tab).
The NFDA International Convention & Expo is the world's largest gathering of funeral directors and helps attendees achieve more in their businesses. Up-to-the-minute information about the NFDA Convention can be found by visiting www.nfda.org/charlotte2012. Convention attendees can save up to $100 on their registration fee when they register by September 4.
NFDA is generously supported by Federated Insurance, Frazer Consultants, Batesville Casket Company, Facultatieve Technologies, Madelyn Company, Nomis Publications Inc., The HELPcard, American Funeral Financial LLC, Bass-Mollett Publishers, Deaton-Kennedy Company, Director’s Select Retirement Plan (DSRP), Doric Products, Funeral Home Gifts, The Heritage Club, Homesteaders Life Company and Messenger.
NFDA is the world's leading and largest funeral service association, serving 18,500 individual members who represent nearly 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 43 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 www.nfda.org.


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