Funeral Industry News

NFDA International Convention & Expo Offers Real Solutions for Your Business

August 31, 2009

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NFDA International Convention & Expo Offers Real Solutions for Your Business

image Whatever their role, whatever their challenges, the 2009 National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) International Convention & Expo will help funeral professionals discover real solutions they can immediately implement in their businesses to help them make more money, save more money and better serve families. This year?s convention, the world?s largest annual gathering of funeral service professionals, will take place October 25-28 in Boston, Mass.

Dozens of CE Offerings Under One Roof

Convention attendees will benefit from nearly 40 engaging and interactive educational sessions led by the most knowledgeable, innovative, creative and resourceful minds in funeral service. The NFDA convention features the widest variety of workshops anywhere, covering the issues that matter most: cremation, green funerals, preneed, profitability, pet services, cemetery management and more. Funeral directors can also hone their technical skills courtesy of a variety of workshops exploring everything from formaldehyde alternatives and cosmetology to facial trauma reconstruction.

Among this year?s convention workshops, don?t miss: Advance Cremation Arranging, presented by William McQueen; Strategies for Raising Revenues and Decreasing Expenses, a panel discussion with Alan Creedy, Bill Booker, Keith Walker and Mark Jahn; Pet Deathcare: Replace the Earnings Lost to Cremation, presented by Coleen Ellis, Tom Flynn, John Flynn and Roberta Knauf; Recession-friendly Ideas to Accelerate Innovation in Your Firm, presented by Lynn Ochiltree; Are You an AARDBalm User?, presented by John Hermann; Marketing Your Cemetery to Today?s Customer, presented by Michael Eddy; Contemporary Mortuary Cosmetology, presented by Darla Tripoli; Does Formaldehyde Cause Cancer? How NFDA?s Formaldehyde BMPs Can Protect You, presented by Carol Green and Edward Ranier; A Green Funeral Home Isn?t Just About Burial, presented by Robert Prout; and Welcome to Wikiville: The New Internet for Your Funeral Home, presented by James Spellos.

For more information about these and the rest of the convention workshops, visit and click on ?Education.?

Hundreds of Exhibitors Showcasing the Latest and Greatest

With more than 80% of booth space already filled, the Expo Hall at the NFDA convention will again provide the best place for funeral professionals to discover new products, services and vendors. Within nearly 100,000 square feet, funeral professionals can compare thousands of products and services side-by-side to find those that best solve their business challenges and meet the needs of the families they serve.

In addition, many exhibitors use NFDA?s Expo as an opportunity to debut their latest products and services, giving attendees the opportunity to be the first in their community to offer these options.

Exhibitors have also informed NFDA officials that they plan to offer ?convention only? discounts, which have the potential to save funeral professionals hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.

For more information about the NFDA Expo, visit and click on ?Expo.?

Keynote Speakers will Engage, Enlighten and Entertain

The man behind the real-life story that inspired the Emmy-nominated HBO movie Taking Chance will provide the keynote presentation during the Closing General Session on October 28. In April 2004, Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, USMC (retired), came across the name of 19-year-old Lance Cpl. Chance Phelps, a Marine killed by hostile fire in Iraq. Strobl requested assignment to the military escort accompanying Phelps? remains back to his family in Dubois, Wyo.

During the journey, Strobl witnessed spontaneous outpourings of support and respect for the fallen Marine ? from the cargo handlers at the airport to the groundskeepers he passed along the road. Strobl?s account of his journey with Phelps, which began as an official trip report, became an Internet phenomenon and was developed into the HBO movie Taking Chance, which premiered in February 2009 and starred Kevin Bacon. Strobl?s moving, firsthand account of this journey will provide insight into why the military provides a uniformed escort for all of the men and women willing to sacrifice their lives in defense of our freedom.

In addition, Jack Lengyel, the inspiration for the movie We Are Marshall, will share his powerful story at the All-star Recognition Ceremony & Reception on October 26. During ?Strategic Planning for Personal and Professional Success,? Lengyel will share how attendees can develop a strategic plan and core values to help them overcome challenging times.

During this reception, attendees will also celebrate and recognize funeral service all-stars: the firms that have earned a Pursuit of Excellence Award for their outstanding commitment to and demonstration of service excellence; those who have earned NFDA?s Certified Preplanning Consultant designation; and the 2009 NFDA Initiative Award winner, Marilyn Jones Gould.

The Opening General Session on October 26 will feature author, executive coach and professor Kevin Freiberg, Ph.D. During his keynote address, ?BOOM! Be a Player. Think Big. Act Bold. Own Your Success at Work!?, Freiberg will help funeral professionals understand how to create a culture of commitment and accountability, one choice at a time, to help empower everyone within their firm and get them focused on business success regardless of market conditions.

For more information about this year?s keynote speakers, visit and click on ?Education.?

Let the Good Times Roll!

There are no shortage of fun and games at NFDA?s convention, including:

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Boston, Saturday, October 24 ? FREE: Building on the success of last year?s Habitat for Humanity build in Orlando, Fla., convention attendees will again give back to this year?s host city by helping to provide a small piece of the American dream to a family in need.

Funeral Service Foundation 9th Annual Golf Classic, Sunday, October 25: Join friends, your professional peers and supplier partners at one of the top 50 public golf courses in the country while supporting the work of the Funeral Service Foundation, the charitable voice of funeral service.

Caddyshack Revisited: President-elect Party, Sunday, October 25 ? FREE: Come dressed as your favorite character from the 1980 comedy-hit Caddyshack, demonstrate your skill at Wii Golf, dance like Al Czervik to live music, and take in some great eats during the NFDA President-elect Party honoring incoming president William Wappner, CFSP.

Bowling & Billiards at Kings Back Bay Lanes: Funeral Directors Under 40 Party, Monday, October 26: Whether you?re looking to throw strikes on lanes with state-of-the-art graphics, play pool on reconditioned vintage Brunswick Gold Crown tables or enjoy cocktails and conversation with your colleagues, Kings Back Bay Lanes will provide the perfect place for under-40 funeral directors to enjoy a night out in Boston.

President?s Mardi Gras Ball, Wednesday, October 28: A royal evening of Mardi Gras revelry awaits! Join NFDA President John Reed, his wife, Alice, and the NFDA ?krewe? in the Grand Ballroom to welcome the 2010 NFDA Executive Board and celebrate next year?s convention host city of New Orleans. Laissez les bons temps rouler! (Let the good times roll!)

For more information about this year?s social events at the NFDA convention, visit and click on ?Events.?

For complete information about the 2009 NFDA International Convention & Expo or to register, please visit or call an NFDA member services representative at 800-228-6332.