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Cast Your Vote – NFDA Members’ Choice Award Will Be Presented at 2018 Convention

July 27, 2018

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Cast Your Vote – NFDA Members’ Choice Award Will Be Presented at 2018 Convention

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) invites association members to select the recipient of the 2018 NFDA Members’ Choice Award (formerly the Innovation Award). Established in 2009, this award recognizes and promotes creativity, innovation and excellence among funeral service suppliers and vendors. The winner will be announced on October 15 during the Monday General Session of the NFDA International Convention & Expo. The NFDA Convention will take place October 14-17 in Salt Lake City.

Earlier this year, funeral service vendors and suppliers had an opportunity to submit a product or service that became commercially available after January 1, 2017, for consideration in the 2018 NFDA Innovation Award competition. A distinguished panel of funeral directors evaluated the 24 entries on the criteria of originality and uniqueness; quality and design; practicality and sustainability; and benefit and value. The finalists for the 2018 NFDA Members’ Choice Award are:

  1. Spanish Translation Services by ASD – Answering Service for Directors. Today, 41 million people in the U.S. speak Spanish as their native language. Using a third-party translation service can cause a multitude of issues as these companies have little experience assisting the bereaved. ASD’s experienced bilingual team provides 24/7 translation services for funeral directors, eliminating communication barriers enabling funeral homes to better serve families.
  2. Web Form WatchdogTM by ASD – Answering Service for Directors. Most funeral home websites today have a Contact Us form. When a form is submitted, it often is sent to a generic email that is not monitored 24/7. As a result, messages sent after hours often aren’t seen until the next day. With ASD’s Web Form Watchdog these inquiries generate an alert within ASD’s notification system and are sent to the designated on-call funeral director.
  3. Director’s Buddy by Director’s Buddy. streamlines the procurement process by enabling funeral home owners and managers to order all of the products and supplies their firm may need – from a variety of vendors – in one place. has negotiated discounted pricing on many products, bringing previously unattainable pricing to many funeral homes around the United States.
  4. VersoTable by Final Embrace. The VersoTable provides a portable, lightweight table for graveside, church, and chapel services. The VersoTable is a beautiful and easily-deployed alternative to heavier wooden tables. The bag, which is often treated like an afterthought, is integrated into the cover of the VersoTable, meaning the bag is never lost, destroyed, or left behind in the cemetery.
  5. Halcyon Platinum by Halcyon Deathcare Management Solutions. Halcyon’s Platinum management system combines funeral home and crematory management into one simple, powerful package. The system enables death care business owners to handle all types of cases for one or multiple locations. The easy-to-use system engages exciting new technologies, such as QR code body tracking and voice data entry.

Funeral professionals can visit to read more about each of the finalists. NFDA members will be able to vote for the product or service they feel is most deserving of the Members’ Choice Award beginning August 1 when they cast their ballot in the NFDA Elections.

On August 1, all eligible NFDA members who have a valid, unique email address on file with NFDA will receive an email with their individual voting credentials and instructions on how to cast a ballot in the NFDA Election and for the Members’ Choice Award winner. Eligible voters who do not have an email address on file with NFDA will be receiving a postcard with their voting credentials and instructions on how to cast a ballot. Voting closes August 14 at 11:59 p.m. CT.

NFDA thanks the funeral directors who served on the panel of judges that selected the five Members’ Choice Award finalists: Ann Erdmann, Zaharia Family Funeral & Cremation, Truman, MN; Melanie Horton, Overland Park Chapel, Overland Park, Kan.; Samuel James, James Funeral Home, Huntersville, N.C.; Joseph Marsaglia, Ph.D., Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, Pittsburgh, Penn.; Jeff Musgrove, Musgrove Family Mortuary & Cemeteries, Eugene, Ore.; Joseph Pray, Pray Funeral Home, Charlotte, Mich.; Erlinda Valdez, Wallin’s Sanger Funeral Home, Sanger, Calif.; and Russell Weeks, Weeks’ Funeral Homes, Buckley, Wash.

The NFDA International Convention & Expo, taking place October 14-17 in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the world’s largest gathering of funeral directors. This must-attend event will enable attendees to take their business to new levels of success and will offer unparalleled opportunities for learning, networking and discovering new products and services. The latest information, including details on how to register for the Convention and reserve hotel rooms, can be found by visiting or calling 800-228-6332. Attendees can save up to $100 on the registration fee when they register on or before September 7.

NFDA thanks its 2018 International Convention & Expo sponsors for their continued support:

  • Platinum: Federated Insurance
  • Gold: Batesville, Homesteaders Life Company LendingUSA, Messenger, Security National Life Insurance Company
  • Silver: ASD – Answering Service for Directors, Bass-Mollet Publishers, FrontRrunner Professional, Global Atlantic Financial Group, Implant Recycling, Live Oak Bank, LoveUrns, Madelyn Company, NGL, Nomis Publications Inc., Physicians Mutual, Tukios Inc.
  • Bronze: Doric Products Inc., Inman Shipping, Kelco Supply Co, Sich Casket Company, Wilbert Funeral Services

NFDA is the world’s leading and largest funeral service association, serving more than 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 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