CANA’s 104th Cremation Innovation Convention A Success!

CANA DISCOVER Funeral Industry News Funeral Industry Press Releases August 30, 2022
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CANA’s 104th Cremation Innovation Convention A Success!

WHEELING, IL— The Cremation Association of North America (CANA) brought more than 280 people to Atlanta, Georgia in August for the 104th Cremation Innovation Convention. The event reunited professionals from across the cremation profession and welcomed many new faces to enjoy southern hospitality, inspiring programs, innovative supplier solutions, and fun connections with colleagues.

“After two years of pivoting, it was wonderful to be surrounded again by the kind of energy you only get from a Convention,” remarked CANA Executive Director Barbara Kemmis. “CANA Conventions are where we celebrate new leaders, build connections with colleagues, and get inspired by experts on new ideas for our business—not to mention the Tradeshow!” More than 60 exhibitors offered solutions for businesses of all kinds to Atlanta’s attendees.

Forward-thinking speakers are a favorite part of every CANA Convention, and Atlanta’s program energized the room with ideas attendees could bring back to their business right away:

Brian Waters, host of Undertaking: The Podcast, opened the CANA Convention by encouraging his fellow funeral professionals to Question Everything. Afterwards, Brian Waters began recording Undertaking: The Podcast from the floor to capture stories from individuals across the profession – tune in to listen!

Jake Johnson, President & CEO at Johnson Consulting, helped attendees meet their challenges head-on with Interactive Strategic Planning.

Funeral Professionals Peer Support (FPPS) Founder Michael Dixon and Licensed Funeral Director and FPPS US Program Director Kim Zavrotny captured hearts by demonstrating how funeral professionals are Stronger Together: The Value of Peer Support.

Barbara Kemmis presented CANA’s always-popular dissection and analysis of cremation rates across the US and Canada. She was joined by the Executive Director Donna Shugart-Bethune of the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Crematories for Cremation Trends Part 1: Statistics and Business Diversification. Together, they discussed the profession’s response to cremation trends, excess deaths and how businesses are diversifying through the addition of pet cremation.

Cremation Trends Part 2: Cremation Memorialization debuted brand-new cremation memorialization research that sparked enthusiastic conversation about consumer behavior on memorial trends. Stephen Knight of Service Corporation International, Scott MacKenzie of MacKenzie Vault, and Nikki Nordeen of Terrybear Urns & Memorials provided insights on what this new research means for cremation memorialization today and in the future.

John Baker and Judy Olson of National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) closed the Convention by sharing their own data on deaths over the past two years, demonstrating how an active preneed program can increase at-need revenues in Cremation & Preneed.

This event would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of 25 companies. Their commitment to furthering professional cremation education and development in the industry benefits us all!

Next up, CANA eagerly anticipates future events with   The Green Funeral Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico this September 13-15, 2022. The event will feature participants from across the green spectrum sharing ideas. CANA’s 2023 Cremation Symposium returns to The LINQ Hotel + Experience on the Las Vegas Strip February 8-10, 2023, so be sure to save the date. Then, CANA celebrates the 105th Cremation Innovation Convention in Washington, DC in August 9-11, 2023. Mark your calendars and find more about these events at

About CANA

Founded in 1913, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is an international organization of over 3,500 members, composed of funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories, industry suppliers, and consultants. CANA members believe that cremation is preparation for memorialization.