Funeral Industry News Funeral Industry Press Releases

NFDA Advocacy Summit: New Congress, New President, New Opportunities

With a new administration in Washington and new members of Congress, this year’s Summit promises to be a time of new voices and new perspectives

March 7, 2017

Ryan Thogmartin is the CEO of DISRUPT Media | Follower of Christ | Husband | Father | Entrepreneur | Host of #DISRUPTu! and #FUNERALnationtv | Lover of Skittles DISRUPT Media is a social media content agency that focuses on storytelling for funeral companies. We use real stories to build creative strategies that achieve actual business goals.

NFDA Advocacy Summit: New Congress, New President, New Opportunities

Brookfield, Wis. – Members of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) will make their way to the nation’s capital for the association’s 2017 Advocacy Summit, which will take place April 26-28. As federal priorities shift following the 2016 presidential election, NFDA needs members’ help to ensure funeral service issues stay top-of-mind with members of Congress.

“With a new administration in Washington and new members of Congress, this year’s Summit promises to be a time of new voices and new perspectives,” said NFDA Senior Vice President of Advocacy Lesley Witter, MPA, CAE. “Meeting with your Congressional representatives and sharing your stories during the Advocacy Summit enables you to put a face critical legislation that will impact the profession, grieving families and small business.”

Among the issues that NFDA members will be advocating in favor of is the recently-introduced BRAVE Act of 2017 (H.R. 1212). Introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA), H.R. 1212 seeks to increase funeral and burial benefits for certain veterans. The bill is co-sponsored by Reps. Cheri Bustos (D-IL), Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Sam Graves (R-MO), James McGovern (D-MA) and Keith Rothfus (R-PA). NFDA will share information about its other legislative priorities for 2017 in the weeks to come.

The Advocacy Summit schedule differs from what attendees may be used to. The event begins on Wednesday, April 26 with a meet and greet, followed by a Welcome Party at the U.S. Botanic Garden, a beautiful a living plant museum rooted in history and rich with tradition. Guests will enjoy delectable hors d’oeuvres and beverages while mingling with other funeral professionals and members of Congress.

On Thursday, April 27, attendees will start the day with an informative keynote address by a D.C. insider; afterward, attendees will gather on the steps of the Capitol Building for a group photo. Then the real work of the Advocacy Summit begins.

Delegations from states in attendance will meet with their senators and representatives. During these critical meetings, NFDA members can take a proactive approach to advancing legislation, like H.R. 1212, that effects funeral service, small business and the bereaved.

While NFDA members are advocating on Capitol Hill, they can visit the special NFDA Welcome Room in the Capitol Hill Club. There, attendees can relax and meet with NFDA staff and other experienced Summit attendees and ask questions and share information about what has transpired during their meetings. Attendees can also share their experiences on the Hill in a brief video for social media and enjoy light refreshments.

The evening of April 27, Summit attendees can opt to attend a special fundraising event for the NFDA Political Action Committee (PAC). Details about this distinctive event will be unveiled in the weeks to come.

On Friday, April 28, the final day of the Summit, attendees will hear a fascinating keynote address by Dan Miller, a former Marine who works with the Wounded Warrior Project. Following Miller’s speech, attendees have the option of participating in a trip to Arlington National Cemetery where they can watch NFDA President Ashley Cozine and his wife Carolyn lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on behalf of all NFDA members. Following the ceremony, the group will be taken on a special tour of the Caisson Stables in Arlington National Cemetery.

Advocacy Summit attendees can save up to $50 when they register on or before March 29. The registration fees for the 2017 Advocacy Summit are:

  On or before

March 29, 2017


March 29, 2017

NFDA Member $135 $185
Nonmembers $199 $249
Non-licensed guests $65 $115
Welcome Party – U.S. Botanic Garden Complimentary
Arlington National Cemetery Wreath Laying and Stable Tour

Includes bus to Ronald Reagan National Airport after the ceremony and tour

$20 $30

The historic Mayflower Hotel will again serve as the headquarters for the 2017 NFDA Advocacy Summit. Attendees who plan to stay at the Mayflower Hotel must make their reservations by March 29 to lock in the exclusive Advocacy Summit rate of $289 per night, plus tax.

Funeral professionals should visit or call 800-228-6332 for the latest information about the Advocacy Summit, including details on how to register and make hotel reservations. The Advocacy Summit room block is already filling up – those who are planning to attend the Summit should book their room as soon as possible.

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 49 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