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ICCFA 2010 Annual Convention & Exposition

      
AFTER MARCH 7, 2010, PLEASE GO TO THE ICCFA REGISTRATION DESK AT THE SAN ANTONIO CONVENTION CENTER TO REGISTER
 
 
Sessions

Jump to a specific educational track: Rising Stars (students)
General Session | Event Planning | Sales & Marketing | Cremation Arranging
Competing as an Independent | Managing For Success | Technology
Green Services | Serving the Latino Community | Embalming | Pet Loss Services
Addt'l. Sessions | Leadership Luncheon

.Latest.podcast
.interviews
.with Rob Heppell

 
GENERAL SESSION
Our keynote speakers were carefully chosen to bring the most relevant and extensive array of outside expertise on the topics which should guide your next step.

iThe Customer of Tomorrow
Keynote Speaker: Rhonda Harper

Thursday, March 11, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

Strategic marketing virtuoso Rhonda Harper will discuss the results of her original market research, commissioned by the ICCFA specifically for the cemetery, cremation and funeral service profession, revealing how to position yourself today to reach the customer of tomorrow.

Former vice president of marketing and strategy for Walmart Stores Inc./Sam's Club, Rhonda earned her stripes in brand management, marketing and promotion with Warner-Lambert and Nabisco. Today she is CEO of Real Truth Marketing & Joy, a strategic marketing and management consulting firm. www.rtmj.com

iSecrets of Marketing to Women
Keynote Speaker: Genevieve Bos

Thursday, March 11, 10 to 11 a.m.

Women control the vast majority of consumer purchasing power. Genevieve Bos, one of the foremost authorities on the preferences and behavior of female consumers, will show you how to increase your company's financial, emotional and intellectual share of this key demographic group.

Genevieve is co-founder and publisher of PINK, the nation's only magazine, Web site and events firm designed exclusively for professional women. As head of the company's national sales and marketing operations, she has a unique vision for developing business practices, marketing messages and outreach efforts that truly connect with women. www.pinkmagazine.com

Facebook May Not Be the Answer
Ze Frank

Friday, March 12, 11 a.m. to Noon

Finding the most productive and appropriate form of Web presence for a business can be a dizzying prospect. There are too many choices. We all know that something profound is occurring in the many-faceted world of technology, but how should your firm project itself online without wasting a lot of time and money?

A true renaissance man of the Web, Ze Frank is a writer, programmer, designer, strategist, comic, professor and performance artist. He perfected the concept of a video blog with his tour de force "the show"—a daily video program which appeared every weekday for exactly one year, from March 17, 2006, through March 17, 2007. He won a 2002 Webby award for Best Personal Web site, and in 2005 was featured in Time Magazine's "50 Coolest Web sites." Currently, among other projects, he performs a weekly video blog at www.time.com. www.zefrank.com

Authentic Communication: Finding Your Voice and
Getting the World to Pay Attention to It
Keynote Speaker: Nick Morgan

Thursday, March 11, 2 to 3:50 p.m.

Speaking effectively in public situations is a capability almost everyone can benefit from, especially in the business world. In this information-saturated, attention-starved era you often only get one chance at someone's time, so communicating effectively is a necessary skill. To that end, ICCFA has enlisted one of the most renowned public speaking coaches in the world to deliver a special two-hour keynote address.

Dr. Nick Morgan is one of America's top communication theorists and coaches. A passionate teacher, he is committed to helping people find clarity in their thinking and ideas—and then delivering them with panache. He has coached people to give Congressional testimony, to appear on "The Today Show," and to take on the investment community. He has worked widely with political and educational leaders. And he has himself spoken, led conferences, and moderated panels at venues around the world.

Nick's methods, which are well-known for challenging conventional thinking, have been published worldwide. His acclaimed book on public speaking, Working the Room: How to Move People to Action through Audience-Centered Speaking, was published by Harvard in 2003. His new book, Trust Me: Four Steps to Authenticity and Charisma, published in January 2009 by Jossey-Bass, reveals how recent neurological research points toward a new holistic way to communicate with authenticity and charisma. His honest and direct approach challenges even the most confident orators to rethink how they communicate. www.publicwords.com

How To Profit From The Demographic Storm
Ken Gronbach

Thursday, March 11, 4 to 5 p.m.

Why did motorcycle sales plummet in the 1990s, why was the iPod a home run and why will retirement communities as we know them fade away? Following decades of observation of the shifting fortunes of various industries, Ken Gronbach has discovered a measurable phenomenon that is barely understood yet integral to the changing business landscape—and which every manager or business owner ignores at their peril.

Generational marketing, based on the rise and fall of populations, is relevant to no industry more than ours. Applying his model to our products and services, Ken will analyze our present and future through the lens of shifting demographics. His findings will inform not only what you need to do next in your market, but how your business needs to evolve if it is going to survive. www.kgcdirect.com

Building Your Social Network with Social Capital
Tara Hunt

Friday, March 12, 10 to 11 a.m.

Community marketing guru Tara Hunt says she has "never believed in mass anything, because people are individuals and not 'targets.' People don't buy brands, they buy hope, stories, memories, necessities, etc."

This perspective is central to Tara's groundbreaking book, "The Whuffie Factor,"where she explains how the future of business success will depend on a power that most companies have barely begun to tap: social capital. One of the brightest young minds in the Web marketing arena, Tara will explain how to build your capital both online and off. www.horsepigcow.com

 
EVENT PLANNING
If you are not becoming educated in the many facets of event planning you may already be behind the curve. Members of our industry who have begun providing a wider range of services are discovering new opportunities for revenue and relationship building—and they are fending off potential future competition from those currently outside our industry whose event planning services could supplant traditional funeral service offerings. Join Event Planning Chair Paula Staab Polk and experts from within and outside our industry who will show you how to implement these new services.

iEvent Planning Best Practices
Paula Staab Polk

Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 3:35 p.m.

The chair of the Event Planning track, Paula Staab Polk is a pioneer in the funeral service/event planning arena. Her firm's facilities and services have evolved to the extent that she now serves not only her client families but many others in the community through a variety of events.

In this session, Paula will share best practices for staging events that will help you both strengthen the value of funeral service and generate additional revenues. You'll learn details such as:

  • Physical facilities
  • Facilitating participation of family members
  • Strategic lighting and seating
  • Working with catering and catering-supply companies
  • Innovations in areas such as menus for wine tasting, toasts and buffets

Paula Staab Polk is owner of Staab Polk Memorial Home and Crematory and Reception Center in Chatham, Illinois. She has more than 25 years of experience in funeral service.

iFabulous Food: How Catering Affects Your Bottom Line
Justin Zabor

Saturday, March 13, 10 to 11:50 a.m.

The sharing of a meal is a universal expression of caring and comfort. So why don't more funeral homes and cemeteries offer this valuable extension of our service?

In this two-hour presentation, Justin Zabor will explore in depth the benefits of providing food service as part of the funeral experience, including his recommendations for "dos and don'ts," the tools you need to ensure your catering efforts are a success and a profit vs. cost analysis. Come prepared to share your own experiences and ask questions.

Justin P. Zabor, CFSP, is a third-generation funeral director at Zabor Funeral Home in Parma, Ohio. He is a professional speaker and was recently elected president of the Ohio chapter of the National Speakers Association.

Hosting Receptions: A Caterer's "Insider" Advice
Troy Wood

Friday, March 12, 10 to 10:50 a.m.

F&B minimums … cost ++ … guarantees … overages. Catering contracts can be confusing and nerve-racking to the uninitiated.

 

Whether you hire a caterer to host events in your own facility or hold receptions at a local hotel, you won't want to miss this session. Troy Wood, director of catering for the Grand Hyatt San Antonio, will share an inside perspective on catering contracts, including the questions you need to ask, the expectations you should have and the negotiations you can make to ensure your events are a success for your families and your business.

Troy Wood, CMP, is director of catering and convention services at the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. He is a 17-year veteran of Hyatt Hotels and Resorts and has been assigned to two properties in Australia and one in Switzerland, as well as locations in Washington, D.C., New York City, New Mexico and now San Antonio. He has been awarded Director of Catering and Convention Services of the Year for Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.

Event Planning Best Practices Q&A
Saturday, March 13, 3:45 to 4:35 p.m.

Come prepared to ask questions and share your best practices on everything related to event planning.

 
SALES & MARKETING

i10 Things You Need to Tell Families but Are Afraid To
Linda Darby-Sempsrott

Friday, March 12, 4 to 4:50 p.m.

Do your families know that a grave liner has holes in the bottom to allow for drainage? Do they know that if you scatter cremated remains, a subdivision may someday be built on top of them? This presentation raises in-your-face facts that every funeral professional should discuss with the families they serve.

Are we telling people the whole story? If we do not inform people of the facts, they may make a decision they can never take back. Learn how to discuss these very important, yet sensitive topics.

Linda Darby Sempsrott is chief executive officer of Trigard, Danville, Illinois, and is co-owner of Sunset Funeral Homes, Memorial Park & Cremation Center, with seven locations in Illinois.

  •   i i
      Harper Bos Gronbach
     
      Morgan Frank Hunt

    In addition to this Sales & Marketing workshop, be sure to attend the General Session presentations by some of the most knowledgeable marketing experts in the nation (see above "General Session" section):

    • Rhonda Harper
    • Genevieve Bos
    • Ken Gronbach
    • Nick Morgan
    • Ze Frank
    • Tara Hunt
  • A key part of the Convention's Sales & Marketing educational program is the Cremation Arranger Track (below), a full-day program offering advanced instruction on how to serve the cremation customer.
 

CREMATION ARRANGING
Brought to you by ICCFA's
Cremation Coaching Center, the Cremation Arranger Certification Program has been redesigned by ICCFA Director of Cremation Services Julie A. Burn to include fresh, up-to-date information vital to your success. New this year: a hands-on, interactive session led by one of the industry's top cremation specialists will refine your communication skills and result in greater client satisfaction; also, a legal session headed up by ICCFA Cremation Coach Poul Lemasters will address the many cremation liability issues the industry faces when working with cremation families.

All Convention attendees are welcome to attend the sessions; however you must attend the entire day-long program to receive a certificate. Please be sure to indicate your interest in participating on the Registration Form as seating may be limited.

iKnow Your Cremation Consumer
Doug Gober

Saturday, March 13, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

What are today's cremation consumers looking for, and how can you meet and beat their expectations? Doug Gober will reveal the results of ground-breaking research on the cremation consumer, taking a look at the unique characteristics of these individuals and why funeral professionals often have difficulty relating to them.

Doug Gober is executive director of Matthews Casket Division in Kenner, Louisiana. He was previously executive vice president of The York Group, where he was a pioneer in developing the York Merchandising Systems.

iGRASP: A New Way to Approach the Cremation Arrangement Process
Néctar Ramírez

Saturday, March 13, 10 to 10:50 p.m.

GRASP is an alternative cremation arrangement model that uses a question-based approach to build the need to honor the life before asking the family to select a service. Having families select a service with cremation is the first step toward ensuring and preserving the value of the funeral. With GRASP you will:

  • Gain trust
  • Reflect on a life well lived
  • Assume a service
  • Select containers
  • Personalize

You'll find tremendous power in engaging cremation families emotionally prior to presenting your services and products.

Néctar Ramírez is general manager for Options, the cremation products section of Batesville Casket Company. Previously, she served as Batesville's director of market research and as a regional sales director. Prior to joining Batesville, Néctar worked for Corporate Executive Board as a sales, marketing and human resources consultant to Fortune 500 companies.

iTrust: The Cornerstone of the Arrangement Conference
Michael Kubasak

Saturday, March 13, 11 to 11:50 a.m.

Discover a five-step approach to establishing trust in the arrangement conference, including what it is, how it is defined and why it is such a critical component for the arranger.

Mike Kubasak is president of Kubasak Associates, Mesquite, Nevada. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and a certified crematory operator. He is author of "Cremation and the Funeral Director—Successfully Meeting the Challenge" and "Traversing the Minefield—Best Practice: Reducing Risk in Funeral-Cremation Service."

iYour Questions: Power-Full or Power-Less?
Michael Kubasak

Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 2:35 p.m.

The arrangement conference is not simply an order-taking transaction anymore. In fact, client families expect and welcome active participation by their funeral cremation arranger consultant. Through interaction and role play, you will learn how to develop and use questions that move the conference from a sales focus to a serving focus, engaging the client family on a higher, more professional level.

  i i
  Lancaster Montgomery

Promoting Permanent Cremation Memorialization
Tim Lancaster, CCFE, and Dave Montgomery

Saturday, March 13, 2:45 to 3:35 p.m.

In a market with a cremation rate of 55 to 68 percent, Tim Lancaster will explain how the team at Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens, Funeral Home and Crematory has developed an approach that consistently results in permanent memorialization. While Eternal Hills offers many options, including urn gardens, glass-front niches and scattering gardens, the real key and focus is not on product but rather on communication.

Next, what can your cemetery or funeral home do with a little piece of space? Dave Montgomery will share before-and-after pictures with real-world revenue statistics. If you're ready to go to the next level in exceeding customer expectations using meaningful cremation memorialization options, you won't want to miss this presentation.

Tim Lancaster is manager of Eternal Hills Memorial Gardens, Funeral Home and Crematory in Klamath Falls, Oregon. He is a member of the ICCFA Board of Directors and is co-chair of the ICCFA 2010 Wide World of Sales Conference.

Dave Montgomery is with Matthews International in Whittier, California.

iThe $10,000 Cremation: A Look at Your True Costs
Poul Lemasters, Esq.

Saturday, March 13, 3:45 to 4:35 p.m.

With more and more states enforcing new cremation-related legal requirements, the cost to perform this service continues to increase. Identification procedures, environmental regulations, FTC compliance... the measures cremation providers need to take to cover their potential liability (and the resulting costs of those measures) seem unlimited.

In this session, funeral director and attorney Poul Lemasters will share examples of cremation-related claims, including a look at solutions and the "cost" to prevent and reduce the risk of lawsuits.

Poul Lemasters is principal of Lemasters Consulting in Cincinnati, Ohio. He serves as the ICCFA special counsel on cremation concerns and on General Price List Compliance.

  i i
  Burn Starks

Wrap Up
Julie A. Burn, CCrE, CSE, and James Starks, CFuE, CCrE

Saturday, March 13, 4:35 to 5 p.m.

ICCFA's Director of Cremation Services Julie Burn and ICCFAU College of Cremation Services Dean Jim Starks will lead a summary discussion of the Cremation Arranger educational sessions and certification program.

 
COMPETING AS AN INDEPENDENT

iTearing Down the Sign
Michael Schoedinger, CFSP, CPC

Friday, March 12, 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Many in our industry have heard Dr. Alan Wolfelt talk about the sign in front of funeral homes: "Slowly but surely going out of business."

As one of the largest funeral firms in central Ohio, Schoedinger's always felt that applied to the other guy and not to us. But as we took a good, hard look at ourselves, we realized we were just better at not seeing the sign.

Come hear Michael Schoedinger as he describes his organization's journey of discovery and the steps they've taken to tear down the sign, including defining a new value paradigm, shifting a 150-year-old culture and an important discovery of the key issues that must be resolved before anything else truly matters.

Michael Schoedinger is president of Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service, with 11 chapels, one cemetery and four crematories in the Columbus, Ohio, area. The company has been awarded the Family Business of the Year Award for Central Ohio and was second runner-up for the National Family Business of the Year Award. It also has won the Business Integrity Award from the Better Business Bureau, and was named to CEO Magazine's Best Places to Work in Central Ohio.

iGood to Great Funeral Homes
Rod Attwell

Saturday, March 13, 3:45 to 4:35 p.m.

What separates a "great" funeral home from a "good" funeral home? Join Rod Attwell as he analyzes our profession using concepts from the best-selling business book "Good to Great" by Jim Collins. Among the principles he'll explore:

  • Good is not a friend of Great
  • Funeral home culture: What's yours?
  • Facing the facts about where you currently stand
  • Putting the "who" before the "what"
  • Simplicity is key
  • When you're small you must act big, and when you're big you must act small
  • Using technology to accelerate your effectiveness
  • Building your funeral home to last
  • Wow leadership

Rod Attwell is general manager of Connelly-McKinley in Edmonton, Alberta, which includes three chapel locations, three crematoriums and three banquet facilities. Rod oversees all aspects of the business, leading a staff of 45 employees. A licensed funeral director and embalmer, he is a graduate of the British Columbia School of Mortuary Studies.

iMarketing to Non-Profits and Seniors
Laura Markey

Saturday, March 13, 11 to 11:50 a.m.

In this highly interactive session, you will learn how to:

  • Attract not-for-profit groups and organizations to your business through a variety of mediums and marketing strategies
  • Develop your own volunteer resources in the areas of bereavement, special events and ambassadors
  • Brand a seniors lunch and maximize the resulting leads
  • Take advantage of the public relations opportunities generated through these programs

Among the handouts you'll receive are a volunteer recruitment manual that includes step-by-step applications, including job descriptions and details on how to start your own volunteer department in your funeral home; examples of successful advertising materials; and best practices research on marketing to seniors.

Laura Markey is president of Bay Gardens Funeral Homes and Bayview Cemetery, Crematory and Mausoleum in Hamilton, Ontario. Prior to being named president, she was the company's director of marketing. She is a graduate of McGill University, Montreal, Quebec.

iHigh Performance Cultures: How They Do It (And How You Can, Too)
Alan Creedy

Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 2:35 p.m.

We'll take a look at how leading firms such as Flanner & Buchanan in Indianapolis, Indiana; French Mortuary in Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Anderson-McQueen in St. Petersburg, Florida, have begun using "bleeding-edge" data-driven performance methodologies similar to world-class organizations such as Nordstrom's and the U.S. Olympic Swim Team. These high-impact, high-performance cultures engage staff and customers simultaneously to position themselves as the vendor of choice in their local markets.

Discover the four steps that distinguish companies such as these from the rest of us:

  • Benchmarking tools and strategies
  • Guided self discovery that engages staff
  • Increasing leadership effectiveness
  • Realigning systems and processes to optimize a growth culture

This is a hands-on workshop incorporating case studies, tools and instruments that will allow you to take the first step toward assessing, benchmarking and optimizing your own company's culture.

Alan Creedy is president and founder of Trust 100, operating in more than 20 states and Canada as a leading marketer of prepaid funerals. He was formerly president of Brown-Wynn Funeral Homes in Raleigh, North Carolina, and president of OGR Service Corporation.

 
MANAGING FOR SUCCESS

iIt's (Still) Hard to Find Good People
Mark Jorgensen

Saturday, March 13, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

Despite today's weak economy and double-digit unemployment statistics, hiring in our profession is still very difficult. It seems counterintuitive, but the funeral and cemetery professions appear to be a "seller's market" for those with the skills and experience this business needs. Of even greater concern, the number of people entering the profession will fall short of the available job opportunities.

In this session, Mark Jorgensen will review the underlying trends that account for these issues and provide real-world solutions for identifying, recruiting, attracting and retaining those "A" players who can help assure your company's continued success. In addition, he'll share some non-financial ways you can build employee loyalty and commitment.

Mark A. Jorgensen is president of Global Recruiters of Batesville in Batesville, Indiana. He has 30 years of management experience and previously worked for 13 years at Forethought Financial Services/Hillenbrand Industries in sales and marketing management positions.

iFire, Ready, Aim! (Is This How Your Sales Pay Plan is Designed?)
Nevin Mann, CCFE

Saturday, March 13, 10 to 10:50 a.m.

 

Effective sales pay plans are an integral part of a company's overall sales and marketing strategy. Many plans within our profession have not kept pace with changing success factors in today's selling environment. You'll see live case studies—the good, the bad and the ugly—and learn how to:

  • pay for both effort and results
  • strike a balance between salary and commission incentive pay
  • make performance visible
  • avoid pitfalls and include success factors in pay plan design
  • avoid unexpected surprises
  • monitor results and fine-tune the plan

Nevin Mann is founder and chairman of Johnson-Woodford Company, a consulting firm with expertise in funeral and cemetery management based in Glenside, Pennsylvania. He is a former president and chief executive officer of West Laurel Hill Cemetery Companies in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, where he managed a turnaround and developed extraordinary growth and expansion over an eight-year period by designing, developing, and implementing more than 30 programs to improve customer service and product quality, sales, marketing communications, Internet presence and community presence.

iiFinancial Statements: A Window to Your Future
Frank Rosenacker, Esq.

Saturday, March 13, 10 to 10:50 a.m.

In addition to being a service profession, the cemetery, cremation and funeral service business is just that—a business. And while most funeral directors and cemeterians love serving families, how many of them can actually read and understand a balance sheet and income statement? In this seminar, you will:

  • Review sample balance sheets and income statements
  • Learn how to read and understand the financial data
  • Learn how understanding specific percentages of net sales can be a viable working tool for any owner
  • Discuss ways to ease the burden of reviewing financial data

Frank Rosenacker is owner of Rosenacker and Associates, Cincinnati, Ohio, an international consulting firm offering cemeteries, crematories and funeral homes a wide range of services such as business appraisals and evaluations, succession and estate planning, management and employee issues and legal services. He is a fourth-generation funeral director and is secretary of his familiy's funeral home corporation, which owns four funeral homes. He is a practicing attorney specializing in estate planning, probate and corporate business.

Your Perpetual Care Fund: How Much Is Enough?
Hayden Burrus

Saturday, March 13, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

How can you ensure the solvency of your cemetery's perpetual care fund over the lifetime of the cemetery (and beyond)?

In addition to considering the basic cash flow items—revenue, maintenance expenses and investment income—we'll take a look at numerous other considerations such as:

  • periodic "one time" expenses, e.g., re-roofing, repaving, major landscaping, disaster or vandalism recovery
  • changing contribution rates
  • build-out issues
  • volatility of investment returns
  • potential inability to assess plot owners after their initial purchase.

Hayden Burrus, FCAS, MAAA, is principal actuary for HB Actuarial Services Inc. in Delray Beach, Florida. He is a fellow of the Casualty Actuarial Society and a member of the American Academy of Actuaries, and he served as president of Casualty Actuaries of the SouthEast in 2006-2007. He built his knowledge of cemetery perpetual care funds through 18 months of research that culminated in a three-part series published in the ICCFA Magazine in 2001.

Avoiding Prefunding Pitfalls
Mark Hornibrook

Friday, March 12, 4 to 4:50 p.m.

With the collapse of National Preneed Services, the Illinois trust debacle and the volatile reputation of some preneed insurance providers, navigating the barrage of options for prefunding your firm's funerals can be overwhelming. Aside from figuring out which offerings best meet your needs, there are issues of guarantees, shortfalls and overall financial security.

In this session, you'll learn how to identify the best providers for your firm, what hard questions to ask to avoid pitfalls and gain stability and where the current trends in the preneed industry are heading.

Mark Hornibrook is executive vice president of Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning in Portland, Oregon. He was a co-founder and former vice president of Forethought Financial Group.

 
TECHNOLOGY
Technology and Internet use have changed so much over the past 15 years that it's hard to know what we should be doing about it and how to get involved without wasting a lot of time and money. There are Twitter and Facebook and who knows what comes next, but in our industry even more established technologies such as online video, e-commerce, and bulletin board discussion forums have not been widely adopted.

 

Identifying your next step for implementing new technologies is one of the central issues of the 2010 ICCFA Convention. Thus, two of our keynote presentations—Tara Hunt and Ze Frank—are technology-focused. Whether you are a techie or not, new technology will impact your business in the coming years and this program has been designed by Technology Track Chair Robin Heppell and the ICCFA to help you ensure that your company is properly positioned.

  i i i
  Hunt Frank Heppell

Panel Discussion: Social Technology and the "Next Generation"
Tara Hunt and Ze Frank
Moderated by Robin Heppell, CFSP

Friday, March 12, 3 to 3:50 p.m.

All attendees (regardless of age) are invited to join a wide-ranging discussion on social technology issues with the morning's keynote speakers Tara Hunt and Ze Frank. This is a unique and rare opportunity to ask questions and gain insights from two prominent Web 2.0 experts, as well as from your industry colleagues. The panel discussion is being organized by ICCFA's Next Generation Committee of future leaders and will be moderated by Technology Track Chair Robin Heppell, CFSP.

 

iBringing Web 2.0 and Death Care All Together, Parts I & II
Robin Heppell, CFSP

Friday, March 12, 4 to 4:50 p.m.
Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 4:35 p.m.

This series of educational workshops spread over two days and conducted by "Funeral Futurist" Robin Heppell, CFSP, will walk you through the steps, from start to finish, for setting up free "Web 2.0"—social technology—services for your company.

Friday (Part I):

  • Intro to Web 2.0 issues
  • Using all of Google's Free Tools

Saturday (Part II):

  • How to set up and use Facebook
  • How to set up and use Twitter
  • How to create a blog
  • How to use YouTube
  • How to Bring Social Media (Web 2.0) Together for Greater Efficiency & Exposure

Bring your laptop and follow along as Rob sets up each one before your eyes—and plan to walk away with up to six new services up and running. Even if you have some of these working already, attending will give you the chance to learn best practices and also participate in discussions throughout.

Stay tuned to the ICCFA Web site in the coming months because Rob will provide preliminary resources to allow you to hit the ground running in San Antonio.

Robin Heppell, CFSP, is founder of FuneralFuturist.com, in Victoria, British Columbia. With a fourth generation family legacy in the funeral profession, he is a licensed funeral director and an independent funeral consultant specializing in technology issues. His Web sites are FuneralFuturist.com and FuneralGurus.com.

iInternet Security 101
Eric Robuck

Saturday, March 13, 10 to 10:50 a.m.

There is no question about it: the Web offers cemetery and funeral service businesses incredible opportunity. But what about the security risks? Our industry is moving toward the Web, and as your company makes the necessary adjustments, you need to be sure you protect your business and the families you serve from security breaches.

There are hackers, crackers and script kiddies who are ready to use phishing, social engineering and impersonation to access your confidential files. These threats should not keep you from reaching your market through the Internet.

In this session, Eric Robuck will help you understand the types of attackers, the attacks they use and the solutions you can employ to secure your business.

Eric Robuck is president of webCemeteries.com, a cemetery Internet program for online sales and marketing, public obituary and genealogy searches and cemetery records management. He is a retired information technology warrant officer from the U.S. Army. 

iABCs of Social Networking
Chuck Gallagher

Saturday, March 13, 11 to 11:50 a.m.

The cemetery, cremation and funeral profession tends to fall behind national trends when it comes to marketing our products and services. In today's environment, we have the opportunity to use electronic media to reach our demographic, and since our demographic is becoming baby boomers who are used to accessing information and making connections through the Web, now is the time to tap into this market opportunity.

Chuck Gallagher is vice president of sales and marketing for American Funeral Financial, Greenville, South Carolina. He previously was a senior vice president of sales and marketing with Stewart Enterprises. He is a member of the National Speakers Association.

  • In addition to these Technology workshops, be sure to attend the General Session presentations by some of the most experienced technology implementation experts in the nation: Ze Frank and Tara Hunt (see above).
 
GREEN SERVICES
One of the hottest topics in our industry and in the consumer marketplace at large, "green" covers a wide array of potential services and products. Cemeterians and funeral directors interested in learning about the entire "green" phenomenon have never had a better chance to become educated than at the 2010 ICCFA Convention. Join Green Services Track Chair Joe Sehee and a host of experts at the most extensive educational program on the issue ever held for our industry.

Providing In-Home Funeral Services
Char Barrett

Saturday, March 13, 10 to 11:50 a.m.

With an increase in the use of hospice and growing media attention regarding the concepts of home funerals and natural burial, more and more families are asking about a return to in-home end-of-life rituals from the beginning of the 20th century. So how does a modern-day funeral home facilitate a home funeral?

Char Barrett is a funeral director who specializes in home funerals. She will take you through the practical considerations you need to address to serve these families, such as:

  • Special considerations in preparing the body
  • Managing family dynamics in the home
  • Logistical requirements of a home vigil
  • Pricing your services

You'll see firsthand examples of home funeral vigils and discover how to attract this market segment to your funeral home as a way to distinguish yourself within your market.

Char Barret is founder of A Sacred Moment—Home Funerals, Green Burials & Life Celebrations, based in Seattle, Washington. She is a licensed funeral director and a certified celebrant and has been trained as a home funeral guide. As a hospice volunteer in the early 1990s, she received hundreds of hours of grief and bereavement training. Prior to working in the funeral service profession, Char worked in the non-profit sector for the Make a Wish Foundation.

iEvaluating "Green" Products and Practices
Jim Bedino

Thursday, March 11, 2 to 3:50 p.m.

What is a green product? How does a cemeterian or funeral director know whether a product is actually green? And what do families expect when they hear the term "green?"

Jim Bedino will raise some tough questions regarding today's offerings in eco-friendly death care, including:

  • How can you verify whether a product is truly non-toxic and/or biodegradable?
  • What are the dangers of "green washing" (advertising an option as green that in fact may not be entirely eco-friendly) and what is the potential backlash you will face if you pass along this type of misinformation to the families you serve?
  • Where can you turn for reliable information on green products?
  • What is the best way to inform families about eco-friendly options and the potential benefits vs. risks associated with them?

Jim Bedino is an embalmer/research chemist with The Champion Company, Springfield, Ohio, and is an inventor, developer and implementer of reduced and nontoxic alternative embalming products. He has conducted seminars throughout the United States and abroad and is the author of numerous articles that appear regularly in the funeral industry press.

  i i i
  Cassidy Flowers Hodes Olson

Developing Green Cemetery Sections
Deborah Cassidy, Brian Flowers, Jeffrey A. Hodes, CCE, and Stephen Olson

Friday, March 12, 9 to 10:50 a.m.

If you are considering opening a green section in your cemetery or memorial park, you cannot afford to miss this presentation by four panelists who will share specifics on what they did, how they did it and what they learned along the way.

Panelists will share their experiences with planning, market assessment, development, operations, cost, impact on third parties (such as funeral homes and monument companies), outcomes, "English" burial grounds and more.

Deborah Cassidy is director of sales and family services at West Laurel Hill Cemetery Company in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania.

Brian Flowers is green burial coordinator for Greenacres Memorial Park and Moles Family Funeral Homes & Crematory in Ferndale, Washington.

Jeff Hodes is president of Cemetery Management Solutions, Herndon, Virginia.

Steve Olson is executive director of Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria, British Columbia.

  i i
  Canaday Pridemore Sehee Wrench

Capturing the "Green" Market
Joseph Canaday, Donna Pridemore, Joseph Sehee and Paul Wrench

Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 3:35 p.m.

Too many cemeterians and funeral directors have fallen prey to the myth that "green" means "cheap," when in fact, consumers looking for ecologically friendly products and services are often willing to pay a premium for them.

That said, these families do want to be dealt with differently. Your ability to market to them will depend on the extent to which you can provide and communicate the intrinsic value of your green offerings (and this means getting educated so that you can truly believe in the value).

In this session, you'll hear from panelists on topics such as:

  • how to build your "green" business in a traditional market
  • the difference between a "green consumer" and a "green burial consumer"
  • how you can convert families who might otherwise choose direct cremation to instead consider green options
  • that include memorialization and more closely meet their needs
  • preneed sales and the green consumer
  • merchandising considerations
  • media and public relations

Joseph Canaday is business manager and Donna Pridemore is owner of Hippensteel Funeral Service & Crematory in Lafayette, Indiana.

Joe Sehee is executive director of the Green Burial Council, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Paul Wrench is owner of Wrench Funeral Home, Austin, Texas. He is chairman of the Texas Funeral Directors Association's Green Task Force.

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  Miller Rahill Sehee

Cremation: Where Does It Fit into the Green Picture?
Rick Miller, CCFE, Paul Rahill and Joseph Sehee

Thursday, March 11, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

How do consumers view cremation as it relates to the environment? Would your crematory be considered "green," and if not, what could you do to change that? In this session, Paul Rahill and Joe Sehee will lead a frank discussion regarding issues such as mercury, carbon emissions, alternatives such as alkaline hydrolysis and more.

In addition, Rick Miller will share how Olinger Mortuaries and Cemeteries in Denver, Colorado, has developed a new central service facility in which LEED certification was factored into the design and operation, including water use, energy efficiencies and the cremation process itself.

Come prepared to ask questions!

Rick Miller is market director for SCI Colorado Funeral Services Inc., Wheat Ridge, Colorado.

Paul Rahill is president of Matthews Cremation Division, Apopka, Florida.

Joe Sehee is executive director of the Green Burial Council, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Green Track Closing Discussion
Moderated by Joe Sehee
Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 3:35 p.m.

We will cover a multitude of subjects related to "green" products and services during this week of education and many different viewpoints will emerge. This is your opportunity to ask questions and share your thoughts on this still incipient issue within our industry. If you are planning to implement any of the ideas covered this week at your cemetery or funeral home, join the discussion!

 
SERVING THE LATINO COMMUNITY

Habla Hispanic Family Service?
Mark A. Russell

Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 2:35 p.m.

How has Resthaven Gardens of Memory & Funeral Home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, managed to increase the number of Hispanic families it has served by 75% in less than a year?

Understanding and creating a targeted family service program does not require a huge expenditure but rather entails some basic adjustments to your business plan. In this session, Resthaven's Mark Russell will share:

  • How to pinpoint the Hispanic population growth in your area using a quick and proven methodology
  • How to market successfully to the Hispanic population through both direct mail and through community relations
  • How to develop relationship marketing skills vital to working with the Hispanic community
  • How to add specific funeral and cemetery merchandise to your offerings that will attract the interest of the Hispanic market
  • How Resthaven has succeeded in capturing market share, from initial market research to the specific action steps taken

Mark Russell serves as the managing director of Funeral & Cemetery Sales & Operations at Resthaven Gardens of Memory & Funeral Home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Legacy Funeral Group). Mark is the former director of strategic marketing for Stewart Enterprises' Corporate Division and has held several regional sales and marketing management positions with SCI, The Alderwoods Group, and Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company. He is a licensed Crematory Retort Operator, and holds certifications from Tulane University in Strategic Marketing and Grief and Bereavement Facilitation and from LSU in Marketing Research and Statistics. He currently serves as the director of the Leadership Council for the American Marketing Association's Multicultural Marketing Initiative.

Customized Approaches to 'Latino' Marketing
Francisco E. Solis, J.D.

Friday, March 12, 3 to 3:50 p.m.

"Latino" and "Hispanic" are blanket terms that cover many separate groups (and not always accurately). A one-size-fits-all approach toward these communities at best may miss the mark and at worst might offend the very group you wish to serve.

To be successful in marketing and serving the Latino communities within your market area, you have to understand what makes them different and what they have in common. Dr. Frank Solis will provide an overview of the various Latino populations in the United States, including the crucial distinctions between immigrant vs. non-immigrant groups, statistics on where various populations came from and have settled and ways you can customize your approach toward them. In addition, you'll take home a valuable handout of Hispanic funeral and burial terms.

Dr. Frank Solis is an associate professor in the mortuary science department of San Antonio College in San Antonio, Texas. A licensed funeral director and embalmer, he is currently secretary/treasurer of the American Board of Funeral Service Education.

The Sociology of Latino Families
Yvonne Lozano

Friday, March 12, 4 to 4:50 p.m.

In a follow-on to Dr. Solis's session, Yvonne Lozano will dig down more deeply into Latino family and culture, with a specific focus on their attitudes toward death and dying.

She will share research on social hierarchies and family dynamics. Who makes the decisions in a typical Latino family? Who spends the money? Family members often hold very specific roles within the Latino culture, and it is vital that you understand those roles and relate to these families accordingly in your marketing and your services.

Finally, Yvonne will discuss the pivotal role of religion and religious holidays and feasts as they relate to cemetery, cremation and funeral services.

Yvonne Lozano is an associate professor at the School of Health Administration at Texas State University at San Marcos. She has more than 10 years of experience in the field of healthcare administration, with a focus on psychiatric services.

  i i
  Guerra Guttierrez

Marketing to the Mexican Community
Anthony Guerra and Richard Gutierrez

Saturday, March 13, 2:45 to 4:35 p.m.

Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuaries is the largest family owned mortuary in East Los Angeles, with three locations serving more than 1,000 families each year. Much of their success can be attributed to their firm's strong appeal to the area's large Mexican population. In this session, Anthony and Richard will share their insights into attracting and serving this community.

Anthony Guerra is manager and Richard Gutierrez is co-owner of Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuaries, which was founded in 1969 and today has three locations in Los Angeles and Whittier, California.

 
EMBALMING

The Psychology of Establishing the Reality of Death
Todd Van Beck, CFuE

Friday, March 12, 9 to 10:50 a.m.

There is ample evidence that establishing the reality of death in the minds of the bereaved is an important early step in the bereavement process. However, in today's contemporary culture, this practice is being fiddled with by people who have a notion that certain age-old practices are wrong, old-fashioned and out of step with the modern way of doing things. These self-appointed reformers target embalming as being gruesome, unnecessary, a sales technique, morbid, odd, strange.

This seminar is devoted to presenting a scholarly, balanced exploration of this critically important subject. Our ultimate goal will be to establish that viewing a dead human body is important, nay, critical in setting the foundations for a wise beginning of the grief journey.

Todd Van Beck is director of family funeral care at A.S. Turner & Sons in Decatur, Georgia. He is dean of the ICCFA University College of Funeral Home Management and contributes regularly to ICCFA Magazine and the ICCFA Café blog.

Embalming: Bacteria and Staph
Shun Newbern, CFSP

Saturday, March 13, 11 to 11:50 a.m.

The embalming room is one of the most dangerous and infectious work areas in the labor force. Many funeral home employees do not realize the tremendous risk they take when simply using the phone or working at their work station in an embalming prep room. This session will cover the types of bacteria, including staphylococcus, that enter and often stay in the prep room as well as the chemicals and procedures you can use to keep your work environment safe.

You'll receive handouts from the Centers for Disease Control and other health organizations that you can take back to share with your staff.

Shun Newbern is a licensed embalmer at Rose Hills Mortuary in Whittier, California, where he assists in supervising a staff of 30 at a high-volume location. He has more than 20 years of funeral service experience and is a graduate student at University of La Verne. He is often retained as an expert and consultant on various funeral service legal issues for plaintiffs and defendants nationwide.

Techniques for Handling Tissue Gas
Mark E. Fisher

Friday, March 12, 3 to 4:50 p.m.

Tissue gas presents unique challenges for embalmers. In this two-hour intensive session, you'll learn how to identify tissue gas and how to skillfully and confidently embalm the remains in preparation for an open-casket viewing. Among the concepts to be covered:

  • when to expect tissue gas
  • which chemicals to use to arrest the proliferation of the microbe
  • single-point injection vs. restricted cervical injection
  • techniques to restore distorted features

In addition, you'll examine a case study that demonstrates and reinforces the principles discussed.

Mark Fisher is owner and president of M.E. Fisher Funeral Home Inc. in Newport News, Virginia. He has more than 20 years of funeral service experience. Mark holds a mortuary science degree from John Tyler Community College, Chester, Virginia, and a bachelor's degree in instrumental music education from Virginia State University.

Difficult Cases Workshop
Matt Smith and Shun Newburn, CFSP

Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 4:35 p.m.

Part I: Embalming "Time-Consuming" Cases
Embalmer and trainer Matt Smith will help you change your mindset from viewing even the most challenging embalming procedures as "difficult cases" to seeing them as "time-consuming cases." With enough time and care, you can accomplish amazing things in the areas of embalming and restoration. And whereas "difficult-case" embalming starts you off with a negative approach, "time-consuming" embalming removes that negativity and prepares you to just get started.

In this session, you'll discover methods for improving body appearance and presentation that will leave you much more confident in the prep room.

Matt Smith is lead embalming consultant for Frigid Fluid, Northlake, Illinois. He has embalmed nearly 9,000 cases and has presented dozens of training seminars for mortuary schools and for state and national associations.

Part II: Secrets of the Embalming Masters
In this session, you'll discover practical and readily applicable embalming and cosmetic techniques for difficult cases such as edematous, jaundice and chemically/drug-compromised remains. Through real cases and photographs, you'll learn useful techniques you can apply in your own prep room to handle particularly challenging cases, such as internal and external procedures for reducing edematous conditions of the face and hands. 

Shun Newbern is a licensed embalmer at Rose Hills Mortuary in Whittier, California, where he assists in supervising a staff of 30 at a high-volume location. He has more than 20 years of funeral service experience and is a graduate student at University of La Verne. He is often retained as an expert and consultant on various funeral service legal issues for plaintiffs and defendants nationwide.

  i i
  Johnson Williams Gee

Protecting Your Prep Room from Lawsuits
Melissa Johnson Williams, CFSP, and Sharon Gee

Saturday, March 13, 9 to 10:50 a.m.

With the rise in lawsuits over embalming malpractice, it is important for all funeral home personnel to protect themselves and their companies through best practices.

In this two-hour session, embalmer and expert witness Melissa Johnson Williams will highlight specific problem areas and will share how the litigation process works when funeral homes are the target, including some of the most common techniques lawyers use to win their cases.
 
Next, Sharon Gee will cover best embalming procedures and practices to protect your firm from problems that could affect not only your bank book but your reputation.

Melissa Johnson Williams is an embalmer and funeral director with Johnson-Williams Funeral Service in Forest Park, Illinois. She is the executive director of the American Society of Embalmers.

Sharon Gee is an embalming instructor at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan, and is manager of Pixley Funeral Home's Godhardt-Tomlinson Chapel in Keego Harbor, Michigan.

 

FIRST ANNUAL CONFERENCE OF THE PET LOSS PROFESSIONALS ALLIANCE
Welcome to the first annual Pet Loss Professionals Alliance Conference, held in conjunction with the ICCFA 2010 Convention & Exposition. PLPA Chair Coleen Ellis and a group of founding members of PLPA have worked extremely hard designing this program to provide a broad spectrum of educational opportunities.

Registration for this event is part of your ICCFA Convention registration (see registration form). PLPA participants are welcome to attend all Convention functions, including our 350+ booth Expo, our General Session presentations and all of our educational programming.

Likewise, all ICCFA Convention participants are welcome to attend PLPA sessions... some will be of particular interest to traditional cemeteries and funeral homes, offering education on how to expand your reach within your community by offering products, programs and services related to pet death care.

  i i
  Remkus Ellis

Toward Standards in Pet Loss Care
Bill Remkus and Coleen Ellis

Thursday, March 11, 8 to 8:50 a.m.

Now is the time to lay the groundwork for a viable set of standards in pet loss care in North America. We'll examine an industry code of practice, to include discussion on:

  • Maintaining dignified cremation and burial facilities
  • Maintaining necessary permissions and licenses
  • Being open to inspections and queries from the public
  • Helping customers become fully informed and educated regarding services and terminology
  • Treating remains in a caring manner
  • Maintaining a clear chain of custody
  • Ensuring quality services when dealing with third parties

In addition, we'll look at ways to propagate standards both among our pet loss care colleagues and among the veterinary community.

Bill Remkus is the third-generation owner of Hillsdale Animal Cemetery & Crematory in Willowbrook, Illinois.

Coleen Ellis is president of Two Hearts Pet Loss Center in Greenwood, Indiana, and is chair of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance.

Pet Loss Center Best Practices, Part I
Jocelyne Monette

Thursday, March 11, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

Eternal Companions Pet Memorial Centre is a truly leading-edge firm among pet loss service providers, offering "a sanctuary for rest, reflection and healing"—a mission reflected throughout the company, from the staff, environment and memorial offerings to the delivery of the cremains back to the family.

Owner Jocelyne Monette will walk you through a variety of best practices she has implemented and which can be adapted for your company. These include video certification of a pet cremation, either through a DVD or real-time access via Web cams, web-based software created just for the pet industry, and trust accounts set up for pre-planning needs.

Jocelyne Monette is founder and chief executive officer of Eternal Companions Pet Memorial Centre in Rigaud, Quebec.

iPet Loss Center Best Practices, Part II
Nancy R. Lohman, CCFE

Saturday, March 13, 10 to 10:50 a.m.

Lohman Pet Cemetery and Cremation was founded on the concept of providing special, exclusive places for pets and people to be together, with offerings that include benches, honor rocks, columbariums and K-9 memorials. One of the ways in which the business has been most successful is through its many forms of community outreach.

Nancy Lohman will show you some of the projects such as "shampouching in park" which you can use to draw community participation to your pet loss firm. She will also show how her company has used expos, parades, and community seminars and presentations to brand their product and make it recognizable in the community.

Along with her family, Nancy Lohman is owner of Lohman Pet Cemetery and Cremation, and also Lohman Funeral Homes and Cemeteries, based in Daytona Beach, Florida.

iPet Cremations: Legal and Liability Issues
Poul Lemasters, Esq.

Friday, March 12, 3 to 3:50 p.m.

Traditional cemeteries, crematories and funeral homes in recent years have needed to step up their awareness with regard to potential liabilities related to cremation. Now, pet loss operators are facing many of the same issues.

ICCFA Cremation Coach Poul Lemasters will walk you through a must-do list to protect yourself and your firm, including cremation authorization policies and forms, employee safety measures, recordkeeping protocols and more.

Poul also will provide an overview of current cremation legislation and will supply sample forms so that you can immediately implement his recommendations.

Attorney Poul Lemasters is principal of Lemasters Consulting in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is special cremation counsel for the ICCFA. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer.

Developing a Pet Loss Support Group and Defining Relationship-Based Selling In The Pet Loss Provider World
Mark A. Russell

Friday, March 12, 4 to 4:50 p.m.

Whether you are a pet loss provider or a traditional cemetery or funeral home, this session will provide valuable tools for increasing your service to families as well as improving your sales efforts.

In the first half of the session, Mark Russell will share how to start a support group for those grieving the loss of a pet. He'll share the exact steps you can take to get the program off the ground, including information on planning, logistics, marketing and more.

Next, Mark will switch gears to talk about relationship-based selling. Often "selling" does not come easily to people in a service business. But good sales are in fact an important part of providing good service. You must be able to present your products and services in a way that leads your clients to say "yes" before you can serve them. Whether in a business-to-business setting or a business-to-consumer setting, Mark will show you how to gain the buy in needed to earn the "yes" from the families and the businesses most often served in the pet loss provider segment.

Mark Russell serves as the managing director of Funeral & Cemetery Sales & Operations at Resthaven Gardens of Memory & Funeral Home in Baton Rouge, Louisiana (Legacy Funeral Group). Mark is the former director of strategic marketing for Stewart Enterprises' Corporate Division and has held several regional sales and marketing management positions with SCI, The Alderwoods Group, and Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company. He is a licensed Crematory Retort Operator, and holds certifications from Tulane University in Strategic Marketing and Grief and Bereavement Facilitation and from LSU in Marketing Research and Statistics. He is credited with starting the pet loss bereavement programs at various Alderwoods funeral and cemetery locations in and around the New Orleans region both before and after Hurricane Katrina.

iExpanding Your Traditional Business to Include Pet Services
Tom Flynn, John Flynn, Roberta Knauf

Thursday, March 11, 2 to 3:50 p.m.

As pets become increasingly important members of today's family unit, many cemeteries and funeral homes are looking for ways to reach this market and to provide increased value and service to their existing customers by extending services to their beloved pets. Particularly for companies whose traditional funeral and burial business is on the decline, pet products and services can represent a natural course for growth.

If you are thinking about adding a pet loss business at your location (or if you are simply interested in learning how to reach this large potential market), you'll want to join Tom and John Flynn and Roberta Knauf for this two-hour session as they share:

  • The opportunities for new, loyal patronage that pet lovers represent
  • Specific steps for making your cemetery or funeral home more pet-friendly
  • How to stage "pet centric" events
  • Logistical issues such as zoning and design
  • How to generate positive public and community relations through pet programs
  • Use of strategic partners: for preneed insurance marketing; a software company for data management; and an advertising firm to promote your new image

Tom Flynn, CPA, is president of Hillcrest Memorial Park and its People and Pet Gardens in Hermitage, Pennsylvania, and is president of Pet Service Advisors.

John Flynn is a funeral director who oversees the Hillcrest-Flynn Pet Funeral Home and Crematory and is owner and supervisor of the adjacent John Flynn Funeral Home and Crematory.

Roberta Knauf is the firm's pet funeral director and has over 25 years experience in the pet industry. She is responsible for daily operations of the pet funeral home and crematory and coordinates all people and pet related events.

iGrief: What Your Team and Pet Parents Will Want to Know
Coleen Ellis

Saturday, March 13, 11 to 11:50 a.m.

For pet loss professionals, having the skills and knowledge to be able to companion a bereaved heart is of the utmost importance. Pet parents often are lost in the darkness of their grief, with a very special set of needs. How do you maneuver these complex waters?

Learn what a family's needs are at the time of loss and how you can help your team and your process partners work with them in their time of grief. This will be a truly powerful hour of learning, with techniques that you can immediately take back and use at your pet death care operation.

Coleen Ellis is president of Two Hearts Pet Loss Center in Greenwood, Indiana, and is chair of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance.

iMeeting the Needs of Today's Pet Caregivers
Jane R. Shaw, DVM, Ph.D.

Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 3:35 p.m.

Veterinarian and professor Jane R. Shaw directs an educational program focused on strengthening veterinarian-client-patient communication and supporting relationships between people and their companion animals. In this interactive workshop, Dr. Shaw will present communication and grief therapy techniques to support pet caregivers during difficult times. The underlying goal is building collaborative partnerships; the same skills are relevant to pet providers in caring for clients and in engaging with veterinarians. She will highlight key skills and conduct exercises to put them into practice.

Dr. Jane Shaw is an assistant professor of Veterinary Communication and the director of the Argus Institute at Colorado State University. Dr. Shaw is a recognized expert in veterinarian-client-patient interactions, and was recipient of the 2008 Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award, recognizing her contributions to enhancing the relationship between people and their pets.

i"Ask The Veterinarian" Roundtable Discussion and Conference Wrap-Up
Moderated by Coleen Ellis

Saturday, March 13, 3:45 to 4:35 p.m.

Working with veterinarians is a key component of most of our businesses, but our respective business models are different in so many ways. Finding the best ways to bridge those gaps and develop relationships and marketing approaches that reflect a common mission vis a vis our pet parents is one of the key goals of the PLPA.

Toward that end, we will close our Inaugural PLPA Conference with an extended roundtable discussion with representatives from the veterinary community. This is your opportunity to bring your questions and ideas, to discuss challenges and shared goals, and get an insider perspective on how to best work with the vets in your community.

This will also be an opportunity to discuss all of the issues that have been raised during the week and share suggestions for the next PLPA Conference and our next steps going forward.

 

ADDITIONAL SESSIONS

You're From the Government and You're Here to Help Me?
ICCFA Government & Legal Affairs Committee

Saturday, March 13, 1:45 to 2:35 p.m.

The federal government has enormously expanded its regulation of businesses in just the last 12 months. Join moderator Irwin Shipper, CCE, and members of the ICCFA Government & Legal Affairs Committee to learn how your operations are affected and, more importantly, how to make new regulations work for you. You'll hear reports from meetings with Congressional members, FTC staff and more. E-mail your questions in advance to rfells@iccfa.com and the panel will answer them. This session is not to be missed!

Ship Outs: New TSA Screening Requirements (Burden or Opportunity?)
Friday, March 12, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

Effective August 1, all human remains shipped on passenger aircraft must be screened. The new Transportation Security Administration requirements have raised many questions involving physical inspection, chain of custody and procedures for funeral homes to qualify as certified cargo screeners. Join Doug Brittin for a review and the latest updates of this important new requirement, which will affect everyone who ships remains by air. Many companies are already lagging behind the TSA requirements; discover how staying out in front of these regulations can represent an opportunity for growth for your business.

Gary E. Lupinacci is Assistant Branch Chief of the TSA's Certified Cargo Screening Program.

iAmerican Legacy Initiative: Let's Preserve Our History
Nick Timpe

Thursday, March 11, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

Fires, floods, natural disasters, the sputtering economy and even time itself are all enemies threatening to destroy our nation's heritage, as thousands of small community, historic and family cemeteries across the nation find themselves unable to preserve their burial records. It is only a matter of years before the legacies of millions of Americans are lost to history.

The American Legacy Initiative, a non-profit organization providing a free service for preserving the burial records of small cemeteries, will make its debut at the 2010 ICCFA Convention. The ALI digitizes records, integrates them into a management program and publishes the legacies of past generations on the cemeteries' new Web sites. In this session, Nick Timpe will introduce ALI, outline the vision for the organization and provide simple action steps for your involvement.

Nick Timpe is founder of the American Legacy Initiative, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and publishing the legacies of individuals interred at small cemeteries across America.

iStory of the Steel: Veterans and War Memorials
Jack Sommer

Saturday, March 13, 2:45 to 3:25 p.m.

You'll hear how an historic cemetery grew a public service project over several years that culminated in its acquisition of the first World Trade Ceneter artifact to be granted to a private cemetery.

The Iran/Afghanistan flag memorials and the Court of Valor veterans memorial offer examples of ways we can increase public awareness, build heritage, enhance staff pride and prosper in these challenging times.

Jack Sommer is owner of Prospect Hill Cemetery & Cremation Gardens and Greenmount Cemeteries in York, Pennsylvania. He is a past president of the Pennsylvania Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association and is an appointee to Pennsylvania's State Real Estate Commission, the licensing body for the state's cemeteries.

iEthical Thinking in Today's World
Christopher Kuhnen

Saturday, March 13, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

If the ethics of you, your company or your employees are compromised or questioned in any way, your entire business is doomed to failure.

In this session, you'll gain the understanding, skills, insights and confidence you need to make ethical decisions in any situation and to experience unblemished career success and personal achievement. You'll learn:

  • The link between ethics and trust
  • The role of ethical behavior and leadership
  • How to set ethical boundaries
  • How to make a more credible professional impression
  • The differences between personal and organizational ethics
  • How to build a solid sense of self confidence and responsibility
  • How to identify and avoid ethical conflict

Chris Kuhnen is vice president of corporate communications and promotion for The Outlook Group Inc., Franklin, Ohio. He is a licensed funeral director and life insurance agent, a Certified Preplanning Consultant, a Certified Funeral Celebrant and a Certified Marketing Specialist.

ICCFA "Next Generation" Happy Hour
Friday, March 12, 5 p.m.

The ICCFA's recently formed Next Generation Steering Committee, composed of up-and-coming industry and association leaders, will hold a Happy Hour gathering at Bar Rojo in the Grand Hyatt San Antonio. All members and Convention attendees are welcome to attend.

ICCFA Business Meeting
Thursday, March 11, 7:15 to 9 a.m.

Don't miss this opportunity to participate in the life of the association.

  • Cast your vote for the nominees to the Board of Directors
  • Hear reports on ICCFA's current programs and future initiatives
  • Participate in our annual Memorial Service
  • Honor 25- and 50-year members
ICCFA Prayer Breakfast:
"What Is Truth? (As Pointus Pilate Might Say)"
Paul Elvig

Friday, March 12, 7:30 to 8:45 a.m.

Join Paul Elvig for good fellowship and good food as we explore the tricky terrain of Truth and its many imitations. Comments are encouraged. Ticket required.

Closing Reception & Dinner
Saturday, March 13, 7 to 10:30 p.m.

Join us for a festive dinner and performance by one of San Antonio's top flamenco troupes. Dress: Cocktail dresses and jackets. Ticket required (included with all full registrations).

 
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  Richardson Stewart Waltrip

"Leadership Worth Following"
Luncheon and Awards Ceremony

Saturday, March 13, 12:15 to 1:30 p.m.

An orthopedic surgeon and two-time Olympic gold medalist, Dr. Dot Richardson has achieved the pinnacle of leadership in two very different worlds. Her amazing story of achievement is instructive for anyone aspiring to a leadership role. In this riveting luncheon address, Dot will share her experiences on goal setting, motivating others and making the most of your talents.

As captain, Dot led the 1996 and 2000 U.S. Olympic softball team to victory while simultaneously working her way through medical school. She is currently executive director and medical director of the USAT National Training Center, commissioner of the ProFastpitch X-Treme Tour, and vice-chair of the President's Council on Fitness.

Next, we'll honor two of our profession's pioneering leaders with special ICCFA Lifetime Achievement Awards:

  • Frank B. Stewart Jr., chairman of the board of Stewart Enterprises Inc., is the company's former president and chief executive officer. He served as the board's chairman emeritus from 2004-2007 and was chairman from 1984-2003. He joined the company, which today operates 226 funeral homes and 140 cemeteries, in 1959. He is a past president of the Southern Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association and the Louisiana Cemeteries Association.
  • Robert L. Waltrip, founder and chairman of the board of Service Corporation International, grew up in his family's funeral business, which he began to manage in the 1950s. He began buying additional funeral homes in the 1960s and grew the business into a company that now encompasses more than 1,200 funeral homes and 400 cemeteries in the United States and Canada. He is a past president of the Texas Funeral Directors Association.
 

For more information, please contact the ICCFA Meetings Department:
ICCFA
107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100 | Sterling, Virginia 20164
Telephone: 703.391.8400 | Toll Free: 800.645.7700 | Fax: 703.391.8416

 

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