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News Release: Cast Your Vote Now! NFDA Innovation Award Will Be Presented at 2012 Convention

Innovation abounds in the Expo Hall at the 2012 NFDA International Convention & Expo
 
Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is looking to funeral service professionals to help select the recipient of the 2012 Innovation Award. Established in 2009, the NFDA Innovation Award recognizes and promotes creativity, innovation and excellence among funeral service suppliers and vendors. The winner will be announced on October 8 during the Opening General Session of the NFDA International Convention & Expo. The NFDA Convention will take place October 7-10 in Charlotte, N.C.
 
 
Earlier this year, funeral service vendors and suppliers had an opportunity to submit a product or service that became commercially available after January 1, 2011, for consideration in the 2012 NFDA Innovation Award competition. A distinguished panel of funeral directors evaluated the 31 entries and selected five finalists:
 
ASD – Answering Service for Directors: ASD Mobile
ASD Mobile is a powerful mobile phone app that functions as a two-way channel capable of transmitting and receiving information. Designed exclusively for funeral homes, ASD Mobile allows funeral professionals, no matter what their location, to receive first calls and new messages, and provides one-touch access to service and on-call information.
 
Digital Registry Inc.: Touch With Love
Touch With Love is an on-site, touch-screen computer system that enables guests to quickly and easily express their condolences. Unlike conventional registration books, this digital registry accurately records guest information without the issues of handwriting legibility. It also allows the family to simply and easily send acknowledgement notes to their guests.
 
Ferno-Washington: Side Extension Panel
The Side Extension Panels provide a new dimension to the operating table. Each sturdy extension panel may be attached to any existing Ferno operating table to expand the surface for embalmers who are working on large bodies. The panel can also be used as a splash guard for general washing. The panels can be used on one or both sides of the operating table, and are easy to install, remove, clean and store.
 
Remembrance Creations LLC: Urn Memorial Display
When displaying an urn at a memorial service, funeral directors often place it on a small end table surrounded by photos and other mementos. The urn can get lost in low lighting or among the family’s mementos. The Urn Memorial Display puts the focus on the urn. The urn is centered on a lighted glass surface; lower side tables allow the family to display pictures and other mementos without taking away from the urn itself.
 
Wilbert Funeral Services Inc.: Display Animation
The Wilbert Display Animation is an interactive, visual sales tool that educates families on burial vaults in the selection room. A monitor displays a continuous loop of images. Upon activation by the family or the funeral professional, short videos educate the family about the need for outer burial containers and provide an overview of burial vaults and differences in design and options.
 
Funeral professionals have until September 14 to visit www.nfdabizexchange.org/innovationaward and vote for the product or service they believe is the most innovative of the year. Votes will be combined with the judges’ scores to determine the winner of the 2012 NFDA Innovation Award.
 
Discover More Innovative Products and Services in the NFDA Expo Hall
The Expo Hall at the 2012 NFDA International Convention & Expo is the world’s largest annual funeral service trade show and features the newest and most exciting products, services and innovations from around the world. The Expo Hall will be open on October 8 and 9 from noon to 5 p.m.; and on October 10, from 9 a.m. to noon.
 
The International Pavilion is a one-stop international resource in the Expo Hall for finding answers to questions about funeral service around the world, including repatriation. More than a dozen countries and funeral service associations will be represented, making the International Pavilion a must-visit area for anyone who is doing business with funeral directors in other parts of the world or wants to learn more about global funeral customs.
 
NFDA will once again host an International Business Center, a place where funeral service suppliers can hold meetings with buyers and other vendors. Located across from NFDA Central, the Center offers free services to all suppliers registered with NFDA’s International Buyers Program and all international Convention attendees. Services include: networking opportunities; export counseling by U.S. Department of Commerce staff; conference rooms for private meetings and demonstrations; interpreters; an export directory; and more.
 
NFDA members attending the convention won’t want to miss the Business Solutions booth in the Expo Hall. Here, they can speak to NFDA-endorsed providers who can help them save time and money with tools to help them operate a successful business. Companies represented will include: Bank of America Merchant Services (credit card processing), Director’s Select Retirement Plan (401(k) retirement plans), Federated Insurance (business insurance), The HELPcard (at-need funeral financing), Hunter Warfield (debt collection), Messenger (personalized calendars), NFDA Discount Advantage Program (discounts on products and services), SESCO Management Consultants (NFDA Human Resource Hotline; human resources information and services), and Stericycle (NFDA OSHA Hotline).
 
NFDA will recognize the funeral service suppliers that have the best booths in the Expo Hall, as determined by attendees’ vote, in the Best of the Booths contest. Attendees will have an opportunity to vote for the booths they think are the most creative, use the best visuals, have the most enthusiastic staff and have the best giveaways. Attendees can pick up a ballot in the Expo Hall. The winners will be announced during the Closing General Session on Wednesday, October 10.
 
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, including details on how to register, can be found by visiting www.nfda.org/charlotte2012. Those who wish to attend convention 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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