Funeral Industry News Funeral Industry Press Releases Kates-Boylston Publications

Managers and Producers Gear Up for Preneed Summit

Kates-Boylston and Homesteaders Life Company Team Up on Groundbreaking Event

April 4, 2018

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.

Managers and Producers Gear Up for Preneed Summit

Whether you’re a funeral home owner, manager or producer, you’ll want to be at the Preneed Summit in Atlanta.

Kates-Boylston Publications, the publishers of American Funeral Director and American Cemetery & Cremation magazines and Funeral Service Insider, is teaming up with Homesteaders Life Company – a national leader in preneed funeral funding – on the first-of-its-kind event, which will be held Nov. 2 at the Renaissance Concourse Atlanta Airport Hotel in Atlanta.

At the Preneed Summit, experts from within and outside the profession will help you:

  • Implement simple, step-by-step strategies to begin getting referrals immediately.
  • Develop a consistent, quality method to get feedback from clients.
  • Leverage reviews and ratings to build brand loyalty.

“What makes our Preneed Summit so great is that it will include separate roundtable tracks for managers and producers,” said Dean Lambert, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Homesteaders. “Managers will work together to face challenges in recruiting, hiring, managing, motivating, and, yes, even terminating members of a sales team. Producers will work together to overcome obstacles related to lead generation, appointment-setting, and the sales process – including the all-important close.”

Thomas Parmalee, executive director of Kates-Boylston Publications, said anyone who wants to start or advance a preneed program needs to attend. “This will be an intensive program,” he said. “Attendees must come prepared to solve some of the profession’s greatest challenges in earning referrals, developing staff and growing market share – but the payoff will be huge.

Allison Sullivan, publisher of Kates-Boylston Publications, added, “We could not pass up the opportunity to team up with Homesteaders on such a quality event – one that is sure to pay great dividends to everyone who comes.”

Speakers include:

Dan Allison sold his first company for millions while still in his twenties and has since dedicated his career to showing professionals how gaining a better understanding of their clients will lead to an incredible referral relationship. He is president of Brokers Clearing House, which is an essential resource for creating solutions. He is also president and founder of Feedback Marketing Group, which focuses on helping businesses earn referrals.

Benji Cumbie is a fifth-generation funeral director born and raised in the funeral profession. Growing up around the funeral home, he witnessed the difficulties families face when an advance funeral plan is not in place; this created a strong belief in preneed. He owns Foothills Planning Services, which in 2017 generated nearly $8 million in preneed sales.

West Foulger is the chief operating officer and president of business development for Envision Strategic Partners, which has been helping funeral homes and cemeteries take their preneed sales programs to the next level since its founding in 2015. He also oversees preneed sales at Larkin Mortuary and Cemetery, which has three locations throughout the Salt Lake valley.

Jeff Harbeson, also known as “The Funeral Commander,” brings experienced strategic leadership on the battlefield of funeral industry innovation and change. As a funeral home owner/developer/partner combined with his 20 years of military service, including Operation Desert Storm, his experience and his strategic expertise exemplifies “a vision is only a dream without execution.” He is the director of marketing of The Foresight Companies.

Dan Isard is founder and president of the Foresight Companies in Phoenix and one of the most esteemed consultants in all of death care. He is also one of the profession’s most prolific writers, having written four books: “The Dealmaker’s Guide to Buying and Selling Funeral Homes and Cemeteries,” “How to Stay Independent and Profitable,” “What Every Funeral Director and Cemeterian Should Know about Cremation” and “The Complete Preneed Perspective.”

The Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice has approved the Preneed Summit for 5.5 contact hours of continuing education, and approvals will be sought in various states that do not automatically accept Academy approval.

The event costs $495 per person to attend – but registrants who sign up by Aug. 31 will pay just $395 per person.

Attendees will pay just $149 per night to stay at the hotel when signing up at the group’s special rate – and the hotel provides a free shuttle to and from the airport.

Visit to learn more – or call Thomas Parmalee at

732-746-0201 or email [email protected]