ICCFA 2010 Annual Convention & Exposition



Rising Stars

Welcome, students! We have developed a special program to make attending a portion of the Convention especially affordable for you. Our Rising Stars program, Friday, March 12, is filled with educational and networking activities that will be of particular interest to you. The full schedule of events for March 12 is below; you are welcome to pick and choose the sessions you find most relevant to your educational development. Click here to register online now for just $25.

.Latest podcasts


Rising Stars Kickoff Program
Friday, March 12, 8:45 to 9 a.m.

Don't miss this capstone, introductory session with Todd Van Beck and ICCFA leaders.

Known Shipper: Onerous Regulation or Business Opportunity?
Friday, March 12, 9 to 9:50 a.m.

The ICCFA recently held a meeting between Transportation Security Administration officials and members of the association's leadership regarding the TSA's new "Known Shipper" requirements for transporting human remains. The group entered the meeting prepared to hear about the hoops they'd have to jump through to do their jobs. They left talking about new business opportunities.

Don't miss this important session on becoming a Certified Known Shipper. Many funeral homes have not yet even registered as known shippers. In August 2010, they will be required to become Certified Known Shippers if they wish to work with the airlines to ship human remains. By staying in front of this requirement, your company can position itself to become a contractor to assist those in your market who lag behind.

You'll hear from TSA representatives on the process required to become a Certified Known Shipper, including factors such as security measures and protocols, potential liabilities, expenses, staffing and more.

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.

  i 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.

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

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.

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 atwww.time.com. www.zefrank.com

Luncheon in the Expo
Friday, March 12, Noon to 3 p.m.

The ICCFA 2010 Expo will be our largest ever, with 364 booths. Nowhere else will you find the energy and excitement of the ICCFA Expo Hall and learn about the industry's greatest new products and services, with free food and beverage service during all Expo functions.

  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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

iBringing Web 2.0 and Death Care All Together, Part I
Robin Heppell, CFSP

Friday, March 12, 4 to 4:50 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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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