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ICCFA University


ICCFA University
July 18-23, 2014
Fogelman Executive Conference Center
University of Memphis
Memphis, Tennessee


Click here to register online for the 2014 session of ICCFA University. Click here to download a PDF of the registration form that you can fax or mail in.

Click here to download a PDF of the registration form for the optional one-day crematory operator training program (see the Cremation Services College for more information).

Seven Colleges to Choose From:

Click here to download the complete, print-friendly version of the 2014 ICCFA University program.

Two Graduate Programs:

*Please note that the Master's and CEO programs do NOT count towards graduation.


Fogelman Conference Center: 901.678.5410

Holiday Inn University of Memphis: 888.HOLIDAY or 901.678.8200

Please say that you are with the ICCFA University group!

NEW!: Next Generation Networking Event

The ICCFA Next Generation Committee invites you to join them for an outing to Beale Street to B.B. King's Restaurant & Blues Club. The inaugural "Schmooze & Blues" event will take place on Sunday, July 20. Cost: $20, includes entry fee, your first drink, hors d'oeuvres and a small donation to the Next Generation scholarship fund. Buy your tickets on-site at the University. Shuttle service provided from the Fogelman beginning at 7:30 p.m., and back from B.B. King's at 10 p.m. This is an opportunity to meet fellow industry professionals who may not be in your class in a fun and social setting. Come be a part of the Next Generation! It's not an age... it's a state of mind. Sponsored by Cypress Hills Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

The Cryptones: Back by Popular Demand

The hardest-rocking band in funeral service is back for one show only on Monday, July 21, at 7 p.m. in the Holiday Inn ballroom. Playing for the Cryptones are ICCFA members and friends Vicki Amato, Doug Gober, Rob Carranza, Dick Perl, CCFE, Justin Baxley, Mark Krause, CFuE, Mike Burke and Matt Rost. Come hear their "underworld rock."

Looking for Photos of Past Sessions?

Click here to view a Facebook photo album of the 2013 session of ICCFA University. Click here to view photos from the 2012 session.


Letter From the Chancellor

No More Excuses; 7 Proven Curricula

For the past two years, as chancellor I have tongue-in-cheek provided the courtesy of tortured excuses for the convenience of the pessimistically dower. My point was to point out how irrational excuses sound when conjured up in a self-approving effort to justify remaining in mushroom mode rather than seizing and investing in an opportunity for higher education that can ultimately benefit a firm, its associates and its customers. Well, NO MORE EXCUSES TO NOT INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE! Led by outstanding deans and professors, here is what not to miss at the 2014 ICCFA University.

7 Proven Curricula

  • 21st Century Services
  • Cremation Services
  • Embalming, Restorative Art & Other Care
  • Funeral Home Management
  • Land Management & Grounds Operations
  • Leadership, Management & Administration
  • J. Asher Neel College of Sales & Marketing

What are the demographics of who attends? The lack of a general demographic is striking! Attendees are of all ages and from all ages you will find people new to the profession, in second careers, seasoned managers and company owners, and people focused in particular operational areas be that cemetery, funeral home or crematory operations. From grounds maintenance to accounting to embalming to HR to preneed sales, there simply is no general demographic by job description or by age, and that is in part the no-place-else-like-it dynamic that makes the ICCFA University so special. One thing attendees do have in common is a sincere passion
about the value of their life’s work and the profession itself.

So which curriculum would you like to enroll in this year? Read all the curriculum detail at in the following pages or at

WARNING! Please don’t wait to register because there is NO sniveling or whining later if you don’t get the curriculum you want. Really, based on history, you will want to register sooner rather than later. Class sizes are limited and 2013 was again a record-breaker for attendance. So if you have a specific college you wish to take this year, don’t wait for a special engraved invitation to register. It’s not on the way. Be proactive, go to the ICCFA website and get registered for the curriculum you want and deserve at

Thanks to the seven dedicated deans and all the professors, 2013 was again a remarkably record-breaking year for ICCFA University. That is because throughout the year, the deans and professors continually fine tune their curricula. They truly are the best of the best and they are there for you!

Just how record breaking was 2013? Well, in addition to again being showered with a gratifying outpouring of written accolades from attendees and a record total attendance, the University also realized a record total freshman attendance. In fact, over 57% of students were freshmen, both a record total and a record percentage! This speaks volumes about the quality of education, with the credit going to the outstanding deans and professors.

Don’t take the chancellor’s word for it? Watch video testimonials from past attendees at or, better yet, talk with someone who has attended ICCFA University, Here are a few examples of written comments from attendees:

"I have attended countless state, regional, national and international conventions and meetings related to our profession over my 30+ year career. This is, hands down and without hesitation, the best professional development experience I have ever had! Thank you sincerely for making it available." —Joseph Walker, Blue Hill Cemetery, Braintree, Massachusetts

"The University should be mandatory for everyone in our profession. No other event facilitates the sharing of ideas and cross pollination of cremation, cemetery and funeral home knowledge. The learning experience is invaluable to young professionals and seasoned professionals alike." —Richard Winter, Letum, Inc., Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

"The best experience I have had in the industry in over 20 years of attending TFDA, NFDA and every other event. Awesome!" —Rich Gardner, Brenham Memorial Chapel, Brenham, Texas

Scholarships are available: To see if you might qualify, check out the ICCFA website at Please note that 2014 scholarships have already been awarded.

There you have it. NO MORE EXCUSES TO NOT INVEST IN YOUR FUTURE. The 2014 ICCFA University is this year’s ultimate educational opportunity in our profession. Everyone involved in the University is proud to continue this one-of-a-kind venue by which thousands have already enriched themselves, their firms and ultimately their customers through superior, relevant, contemporary service.

Don’t miss orientation at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, July 18, at the ICCFA University at the University of Memphis in Memphis, Tennessee.

Please email me if you would like curriculum referrals or wish to speak with any of the deans. We all look forward to seeing you and/or your associates in Memphis in July.

Ernie Heffner, CFuE
ICCFA University Chancellor
President, Heffner Funeral Chapel & Crematory
York, Pennsylvania


The ICCFA Educational Foundation, along with associations around the country, offer scholarships to those wishing to attend the ICCFA University. To find out more, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions & Orientation Info

What Past Attendees Have to Say

ICCFA University is by far the most transformational experience you can have within the death care profession. By attending, you will gain a network of friends and knowledge from the best of the best. You arrive in Memphis as an individual, but will leave it as a member of the ICCFA University family.

Chris D. Cooke, Superintendent of Cemeteries, City of Evansville, Evansville, Indiana
2013 ICCFA University Valedictorian

Being a part of the ICCFA University has been inspiring to a degree that no other program for our industry comes close to. It is that inspiration that drives me to send as many people from our organization each year as possible—so they can inherit the same inspiration that I have felt from year to year—and use it to make our organization better, as well as our industry as a whole.

Lauren Blevins, Chief Operating Officer, Williams Funeral Homes & Crematory, Columbia, Tennessee
2012 ICCFA University Graduate and CEO program attendee

A top notch program. The latest stats, trends and info in our industry. Education is always the best available. The people deliver sincere caring and sharing. I hope to keep coming back for many years to come.

Caren Harville, CCE, CFuE, Chief Executive Officer, Glen Haven & Sholom Memorial Parks & Mortuaries, Sylmar, California
2013 ICCFA University Graduate

The overall experience was enlightening and very informative. The networking is great. All classes are interactive and all questions are encouraged and answered. It really is a career builder with useful information you can bring back to your workplace and implement immediately. Very highly recommended.

Kevin Ronayne, Catholic Cemeteries, Diocese of Brooklyn/St. Charles Cemetery, Middle Village, New York


Every year that I attend I am amazed how much I learn, how much information and tools were shared openly, and how much I am inspired to reach beyond and improve my company. The networking and resources available are outstanding at ICCFA University. ICCFA University’s deans and speakers are the best. It would take me years to accumulate the collective knowledge I have gained here at the university. Thank you!

Alesia Skinner, Paxtang Cemetery Association, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania


The connections I have made and the insight I have gained at ICCFAU are extremely valuable and eye-opening. I was very fortunate in being able to attend and I absolutely plan on coming back next year. It’s worth it! Thank you for giving us this opportunity to see what’s out there, what mind-states our industry is in and all it can be in the future. I still maintain that every funeral home in America can be a contemporary funeral home, regardless of price. I learned more about the service part of the funeral service industry in one week than I have in two years interning.

Heather T. Mitchell, Cascade Memorial, Bellevue, Washington


I was very impressed with how welcoming everyone was. All the returning students really went out of their way to make a connection with me and help me become comfortable. I was also very impressed with how everyone worked together and shared ideas. Great program. Can’t wait for next year!

Melissa Resich
Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, California


I truly believe this university should be a requirement by any company in this industry. I have been in this business for over a decade, and this was my first year attending. Like others, I find we can become complacent and stagnant in our thinking. Not only did we learn new and exciting things from our industry leaders, but I found myself saying, “Oh yeah, we used to do that. That does work. Why did we stop?” I strongly recommend the university to both “old dogs” as well as new people in our business.

Jeff Sultemeier
Lakeland Hills Memorial Park, Burnet, Texas


As a supplier, I can’t begin to tell you what this meant to me. I’ve been in this business 35 years, and I have never experienced anything like this before. I was convinced I knew everything there was to know about this business. Time to step back and pay just a little more attention to what my customers really need and experience on a day-to-day basis. Simply priceless!

Brett Coates
Biondan North America, Toronto, Ontario