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2019 NFDA Advocacy Summit: New Congress, New Opportunities

January 28, 2019

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2019 NFDA Advocacy Summit: New Congress, New Opportunities

Brookfield, Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) asks members to unite to be the profession’s voice on Capitol Hill during the 2019 NFDA Advocacy Summit, April 3-5 in Washington, D.C.

Federal priorities began to shift this month when the 116th Congress took office following the mid-term elections. NFDA needs members’ help to ensure funeral service issues stay top-of-mind with their elected senators and representatives.

“With a so many new members of Congress, this year’s Summit promises to be a time of fresh voices and 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 impacts you and your business.”

With the start of a new session of Congress earlier this month, the legislative slate was wiped clean. NFDA is monitoring the legislation that is being introduced and urging members of Congress to introduce bills that will benefit the profession, grieving families and small business. In the weeks to come, NFDA will share more information about the specific bills on which members will advocate.

The Advocacy Summit begins Wednesday, April 3 with a Welcome Reception at the Decatur House. Built in 1818 and named for its first owner and occupant, Decatur House now serves as the National Center for White House History and is managed by the White House Historical Association.

On Thursday, April 4, attendees will start the day with an informative issues briefing during which attendees will learn about the issues they will be discussing with their Congressional representatives. After the briefing, 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 that affects funeral service, small business and the bereaved.

“The role of NFDA members in discussing legislation with members of Congress cannot be underestimated,” said Witter. “The stories you shared during last year’s Summit prompted a number of representatives to support the BRAVE Act, which would improve death benefits for veterans. Before the House version of the bill expired at the end of the last session of Congress, a total of 75 representatives from both sides of the aisle cosponsored the bill. The BRAVE Act in the Senate also gained support after the hard work of our members during the Advocacy Summit, and shortly after the Senate Veterans Committee included the BRAVE Act in a legislative hearing.”

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 enjoy light refreshments. NFDA staff will be on hand to answer questions; attendees can share information with staff about what has transpired during their meetings with their Congressional representatives.

The evening of April 4, Summit attendees can opt to attend a special fundraising reception and dinner benefitting the NFDA Political Action Committee (PAC). Taking place at Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the event will feature special guest speaker Robert J. O’Neill, one of the most highly-decorated combat veterans of our time and the author New York Times best-selling books The Operator: Firing the Shots That Killed Osama bin Laden and My Years as a SEAL Team Warrior.

The NFDA PAC helps ensure that NFDA members are properly represented in Washington, D.C. Contributions strengthen the voice of funeral service in Washington by giving the NFDA Advocacy team the resources it needs to act. All contributions are pooled to make the most impact – 100 percent of PAC funds are used to support candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who support public policy initiatives that directly benefit funeral service and small business.

On Friday, April 5, the final day of the Summit, attendees have the option of participating in Honoring Our Nation: Guided Monument Tour. Thisunique guided tour will give attendees an up-close look at the Lincoln, Korean War, Vietnam War and WWII memorials. The tour culminates with a visit to the nation’s most sacred site, Arlington National Cemetery. At Arlington, attendees can choose to take a tram for a self-guided experience, explore with a private tour guide or join NFDA President Chuck Bowman for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Attendees can kick-off their Advocacy Summit experience by attending a Cremation Certification Program on April 3. The NFDA Cremation Certification Program is the recognized certification standard for all funeral service professionals who offer cremation. The program covers best practices for safe, proper, and ethical crematory operations, excellence in service to cremation families, and much more. NFDA members attending Advocacy Summit can save $100 on the program registration fee.

Advocacy Summit attendees can save up to $50 when they register on or before March 6.

On or before March 6, 2019 After March 6, 2019
NFDA member $145 $195
Nonmember $209 $259
Non-licensed guest $70 $120
Welcome Party – Decatur House Complimentary with badge
PAC Dinner
  • Individual Ticket:
  • Table of Eight:
  • Individual Ticket:
  • Table of Eight:
Our Nation: Guided Monument TourIncludes bus, licensed tour guide, box lunch and transportation to Regan International Airport at the conclusion of the tour. $49 $59
Cremation Certification Program
  • NFDA members registered for the Advocacy Summit:
    $395 (regular price: $495)
  • NFDA members not registered for the Advocacy Summit:
  • Nonmember funeral director:
  • Non-funeral director:
  • Student Member:

The historic Mayflower Hotel will again serve as the headquarters for the 2019 NFDA Advocacy Summit. Attendees who plan to stay at the Mayflower Hotel must make their reservations by March 6 to lock in the exclusive Advocacy Summit rate of $305 per night plus tax. The Advocacy Summit room block will fill up quickly – those who are planning to attend the Summit should book their room as soon as possible.

Funeral professionals should visit for the latest information about the Advocacy Summit, including details on how to register and make hotel reservations.

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