2012 Annual Convention & Exposition -- Program


  • Earn up to 17.5 continuing education credits

  • 550 exhibit booths with extended expo hours

  • 11 hours of exhibiting with free food & drinks throughout in the expo hall

  • 35+ breakout sessions on topics that most affect your business

  • Networking luncheons and receptions

  • KIP Awards presentation
  • ICCFA Annual Meeting of Members

  • ICCFA Annual Memorial Service

  • Educational Foundation Reception and Awards Presentation to Gary O'Sullivan and Todd Van Beck

  • Hall of Fame Induction of David Shipper

  • 5th Annual Pet Loss Professionals Alliance Conference

  • International Memorialization Supply Association Annual Meeting and Happy Hour

  • Jewish Funeral Directors of America Annual Meeting and breakout sessions

  • Green Burial Council Board Meeting and breakout sessions


AlanCreedy.org/Inevitable Exodus

American Funeral Financial

American Memorial Life Insurance Company

Answering Service for Directors (ASD)

Assurant Life of Canada

Astral Industries, Inc.

Aurora Casket Company

Batesville Casket Company, Inc. 

Clearpoint Federal Bank & Trust


Eckco Products 

Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries

Forethought Life Insurance Company

Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company 

Green Hills Memorial Park

Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuary

Hepburn Superior US Chemical

Inglewood Park Cemetery

Independence Trust Company

Johnson Consulting Group 

Live Oak Trust

Madelyn Company 

Matthews International Corporation

NGL Insurance Group

NOMIS Publications, Inc.

NorthStar Memorial Group 

Physicians Mutual Insurance


Regions Bank

Riviera Tailors, Ltd.

Security National Life Insurance Company 

Service Corporation International

Sinosource International, Inc. 

Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum

StoneMor Partners, LP

Supernova International, Inc.

The Signature Group

Texas Funeral Directors Association

Wuxi ANA Industries Co., Ltd.


Click here to learn more about becoming a sponsor.

Click here to download the registration brochure


Monday, March 19

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
PLPA Reception


5:30 to 6 p.m.
First Timer's Reception in the Expo Hall

Next Generation Reception in the Expo Hall


6 to 8 p.m.
Grand Opening Reception in the Expo Hall


Tuesday, March 20

8 to 8:45 a.m.
ICCFA Annual Meeting of Members


8:30 to 9:20 a.m.
PLPA Business Meeting

8:45 to 9:30 a.m.
ICCFA Memorial Service
Tribute and memorialization is at the heart of what we do. Join us as we honor ICCFA members and loved ones who have died in the past year.

9:30 to 11 a.m.
Influence: Breaking Down the Barriers to 'Yes'  KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Robert Cialdini
Bob Cialdini literally wrote the book on influence, and in this 90-minute keynote session he'll share the six universal principles of persuasion: reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, consensus and liking. Next, he'll dig deeply into three of those six principles with a focus on how to draw people who are straddling the fence on a decision over to your side of that fence.

You'll discover how to break through emotional barriers and reach both the minds and hearts of your customers, your prospects, your staff and your community. Executed properly, ethical influence not only brings people toward your way of thinking, it also engenders loyalty and increases the likelihood that they will refer others to you.

Bob Cialdini is author of "Influence: Science and Practice" and the New York Times best-seller "Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion." He is the president of Influence at Work, an international consulting, strategic planning and training organization whose clients include Google, Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Bayer, Coca Cola, Nationwide Insurance, Harvard University's Kennedy School and the U.S. Department of Justice.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lunch in the Expo

2 to 4 p.m.
Content Is King
Doug Gober
One of the biggest opportunities in our business is what happens between "Dearly beloved…" and "Please exit through the doors to your left." Historically, that has been something we've outsourced to people we don't choose, don't control and in many cases don't even know.

How can we take control of this crucial opportunity and make a real difference, both for families and for our businesses? In this all-new presentation based on six months of intensive research, Doug Gober will evaluate the three sources of ceremony content—the family, the funeral director and the clergy—and delve into how we can make substantive improvements to each to create more memorable events. From the memorial folder to the video tribute to the graveside service—how can we take each aspect of the funeral and burial service to the next level? 

Finally, how do we crack the "clergy code" to make what typically constitutes the bulk of the service more personal and meaningful? Doug will share nearly 20 minutes of video interviews with clergy from various denominations in which they discuss their role in providing service content, their candid opinions on cemetery and funeral service professionals (and you may be surprised at what they have to say!) and finally, their suggestions on how funeral service professionals can help clergy improve in this arena. 

Doug Gober is an industry liaison and senior loan officer for Live Oak Bank, based in Wilmington, North Carolina. He has worked in the profession for 33 years, including serving as director of development and marketing for Carriage Services Inc., executive director of Matthews International's casket division and executive vice president of The York Group. 

Restorative Art: Tricks of the Trade
Ken Whittaker
One of the jobs of the funeral director is to help create a final memory picture. Join Ken Whittaker as he examines some of the newest concepts, materials and techniques in restorative art, including: 

• the critical role of proper embalming in relation to successful restorative art work
• products that help with shaping in cases involving major distortion
• dealing with major head trauma 
• creating an acceptable underlying surface for wax application and better cosmetic results
• the pigment color wheel and its use in solving cosmetic problems

Attendees will receive a copy of the 80-page manual, "Alpha to Omega in the Preparation Room and Beyond.”

Ken Whittaker is a consultant and educational director for Pierce Companies, Dallas, Texas. He is a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science and holds a bachelor of science from East Texas State University.


2 to 2:50 p.m.

Handling 'Problem' Pet Cremations
Jon Remkus, CPLP
"All animals are created equal. But some animals are more equal than others."

George Orwell had it right, at least when it comes to cremation. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for pet cremation procedures. In this session, Jon Remkus will discuss some of the more unusual and difficult cases and how to best handle them. 

Jon Remkus, CPLP, is manager of Hinsdale Animal Cemetery & Crematory, Willowbrook, Illinois, and is a PLPA representative to the Pet Cremation Council. 


10 Ways to Make Your Cemetery Operations Successful
William Stovall III
Bill Stovall will draw from 30+ years of experience to show you how to better use staff, increase profitability and enhance your cemetery's reputation. Learn the dos and don'ts in 10 critical areas of operation: 

• manpower
• pricing
• ancillary sales (upselling and cross-selling)
• budgets and care funds
• equipment
• advertising and web presence
• events
• special services provisions
• community services
• cemetery sections

Bill Stovall is owner of Elmwood, Dogwood and Memorial Park Cemeteries in Blytheville, Arkansas, and is president of Stovall Insight + Solutions, a consulting practice specializing in cemetery management. He is a graduate of the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science and holds a degree in business management from the University of Arkansas.

The Record Guide: Trash or Treasure?
W. Robert Meredith
Every day, in every city across the United States, someone receives a free record guide booklet to record their final wishes. It may be from a funeral home, a cemetery, a government agency, an insurance company or even the AARP. The only problem? No one fills them out. So despite our best intentions, when the family comes in to make their arrangements, they express the same wish we've heard so many times before: "If only I knew what John wanted.”

Prearrangement is a wonderful gift, and it is our job to demonstrate that to the families we serve. In this session, Rob Meredith will share his method for helping families complete their booklets, a method which will improve the effectiveness of your company's preneed presentation. He'll show how to inspire customers to want to complete the record guide booklet and will offer responses to common objections to filling it out. This session is not specific to any one type of booklet; its principles apply to any record guide.

Rob Meredith is vice president of Precoa (Preneed Company of America), formerly Lincoln Heritage Funeral Planning. He grew up helping his parents in the family firm, Meredith-Clark Funeral Home, in Morgantown, Indiana. He attended the Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science and earned a bachelor of science degree from Ball State University.


3 to 3:50 p.m.
Repositioning Your Pet Loss Business for Success
Bob Jenkins

The old adage says, "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten." If you are ready for your business to start achieving new results, join Bob Jenkins as he provides new perspectives on how to position your business to succeed.

You'll discover how to create an RTB (Reason to Believe) within your market and how to translate that RTB into increased awareness of your business and an expanded customer base. In addition, you'll learn new ways to identify key influencers and the impact they have on your service area. Finally, you'll take a look at the effect of your GAP on your bottom line.

Bob Jenkins is president of Verde Products Inc., which produces Let Your Love Grow living memorials and is based in Wildwood, Missouri. He has more than 30 years of sales and marketing experience, helping funeral service providers grow their market share and increase customer satisfaction. He has worked for funeral homes, cemeteries and crematories as well as nationally recognized companies and has led both successful sales and training teams for these companies as well as in-house training for customers.


3 Keys to a Successful Aftercare Program
Regina Nassif
Do you know the three most important components of an effective aftercare program? In this session, Regina Nassif will share how you can provide excellent service and capture solid sales opportunities by focusing on the three W's: 

• Who you hire
• What you present
• When you schedule the aftercare appointment

Your aftercare program is the final face and kind gesture from your cemetery or funeral home to the family you have served. Make it a good one.

Regina Nassif is a senior consultant for Cedar Memorial in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Previously, she served as executive director of Iowa Cremation and as director of sales and marketing for the Cedar Group, including three funeral homes, a cemetery, a flower shop, a mausoleum and Iowa Cremation. In 2007, she and Cedar Memorial were awarded the ICCFA KIP (Keeping It Personal) Awards grand prize and first place in the Best Practices Category for the company's aftercare program.



Options for Municipal Cemeteries: A Case Study
Rachel Fox and Doug Flin
Throughout North America, municipal cemeteries struggle to maintain viable operations while planning for the future. Many of them face dwindling inventories, insufficient perpetual care funds and deteriorating infrastructure. Meanwhile, cremation rates continue to rise and 84 million aging Baby Boomers are changing the remembrance experience.

Metro Regional Government serves 1.5 million people who live in the 25 cities and three counties of the Portland, Oregon, area. Within its purview is the Pioneer Cemeteries Program, made up of 14 individual historic cemeteries totaling 66 acres. Find out what this high-density urban planning agency is doing to ensure that its cemeteries remain sustainable and provide the options today's emerging customers want.

Rachel Fox and Doug Flin will share their firsthand experiences with:

• creative cremation options
• accelerating contributions to a newly established perpetual care fund
• preparing for the aging Baby Boomer population
• high-density urban planning for cemeteries
• managing the closure of two cemeteries that are at capacity

Rachel Fox, PMP, is cemetery program manager with Metro Regional Government, Portland, Oregon. In this position, she is responsible for the development and management of operations for the Pioneer Cemeteries Program. She has 20 years of experience in program management, organizational change, catalytic leadership, grant and contract management, public administration and community enhancement programs. She is a member of the Oregon Cemetery Association board of directors.

Doug Flin, RLA, ASLA, is principal/owner of Cemetery Planning Resource Alliance (CPRA), based in Denver, Colorado. He has 17+ years of experience in cemetery planning and design and assumes many responsibilities, from marketing to client relations to project management and project delivery.

4 to 5 p.m.
You (and Your Staff) Un-Stuck  KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Libby Gill
Sooner or later, every individual or organization gets stuck. Sometimes this "stuckness" manifests itself as a lack of agility or an unwillingness to innovate or take risks. Sometimes it's a general feeling of malaise or disengagement. If your company ignores this stuck state, you run the risk of mediocrity becoming your new normal.

Don't miss this high-energy, high-content session in which executive coach and brand strategist Libby Gill will help you clarify a bold vision for success, map out the most direct route to get there and execute your plan against measurable milestones. She'll offer insights, case studies and interactive exercises to show you how to: 

• challenge the INR, or Immediate Negative Response, the knee-jerk resistance to change that causes us to avoid risks even when we expect the results to be positive
• maximize your Leadership DNA by anticipating behavioral patterns to increase productivity, accountability and camaraderie
• reduce "riskophobia" and replace it with exploration and creativity using the three R's: Risk, Reinvent, Repeat
• Inspire depleted staff to bring pride and passion back to your organization

Libby Gill is author of "You Unstuck: The New Rules of Risk-Taking in Work & Life." She has held top positions in public relations and corporate communications at Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal and Turner Broadcasting and was the branding and public relations brain behind the launch of the Dr. Phil show.  She has shared her strategies on "The Today Show," CNN, NPR and the "CBS Early Show," and in Business Week, Time Magazine, The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and many more.

5 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, March 21

7:30 to 8:45 a.m.
ICCFA Prayer Breakfast: Are We Good for Goodness' Sake?



Join Paul Elvig and Alan Creedy for some good food and good fellowship as we discuss this year's subject: Are good deeds, generosity and other forms of human kindness motivated by fears of eternal punishment and therefore largely self-serving? Would individuals be as inclined to make contributions if their good work were strictly anonymous? If charitable deductions were abolished on tax returns, would donations suffer? Plan to attend this insightful discussion, and bring your own opinions as well.

Please note: The Prayer Breakfast is complimentary courtesy of several sponsors, including AlanCreedy.org and Inevitable Exodus. It is open to the first 70 individuals to request a ticket. You may request a ticket on your registration form.

9 to 9:50 a.m.
Bringing Your Business to Full Bloom  KEYNOTE SPEAKER
Jim McCann
1-800-FLOWERS.COM's Jim McCann has developed his local, family-run business into a national brand and a leading Internet retailer by embracing innovation and new technologies, often long before his competitors.

Like cemetery and funeral service, the floral industry is built on meeting customers' emotional needs. And like cemetery and funeral service, the key to success in the floral industry lies in building relationships and providing excellent customer service.

In this session, McCann will share experiences he and his leadership team have encountered as they have successfully propelled 1-800-FLOWERS.COM through four waves of change: 

• retail
• 800 number
• Internet
• social/local/mobile

Learn how to foster an environment that propagates new ideas, allowing them to sprout, take root and eventually bloom.

Jim McCann is chief executive officer and chairman of the board and founder of 1-800-FLOWERS.COM, based in Carle Place, New York. He is founder of celebrations.com and author of "Celebrating Life: Words of Comfort.”

Caring for the Remains of Organ and Tissue Donors
David Penepent, CFSP
Increasingly, people are choosing to donate organs and tissue prior to having traditional funeral services. As funeral directors, we should view this not as an obstacle but as a noble gesture that will benefit people in need.

David Penepent will share practical and technical procedures for caring for the remains following organ and tissue recovery, including topics such as:

• caring for eye enucleation
• caring for skin tissue recovery
• long bone
• open chest area
• fluids

David Penepent is manager of Herson Funeral Home and is president of Advanced Funeral Service Education Programs, Ithaca, New York. He holds a master's degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix and is a doctoral student in decision science and organizational change at Walden University in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Evaluating Resumes to Qualify Great Hires
Mark Jorgensen
In today's market, an employment ad is likely to generate a daunting pile of resumes.  How do you best evaluate applicants to screen out those who are unqualified and focus on the "A" players you want to hire?

Learn how to "peel back the onion," uncovering and interpreting information to determine whether the candidate is a legitimate contender or whether it's time to move on to the next resume. Mark Jorgensen will share "insider" recruiter techniques such as:

• Bridging the Gap: Is the candidate offering a realistic assessment of the facts when it comes to time sequences in education/employment history?
• Job du jour: What rules really apply when it comes to the number and frequency of job changes?  
• Relocation patterns: What do they reveal?
• "Degrees" of truth: Did the applicant just attend school or did he/she really earn the sheepskin?  

Mark Jorgensen is owner and president of Global Recruiters of Batesville, a management search and recruiting firm based in Batesville, Indiana, and specializing in the cemetery, cremation and funeral service profession. Previously, he worked for 13 years at Forethought Financial Services/Hillenbrand Industries, where he served in sales and marketing leadership roles including vice president and general manager. He teaches a course class in organizational studies at the University of Cincinnati. 



9 to 10 a.m.
Jewish Funeral Directors of America Annual Meeting of Members 


10 to 11 a.m.
Stephen Shapiro
Successful companies consistently generate and act on new ideas—that is, good ideas. Developing bad ideas, or ideas that are not as good as your competitor's, isn't worth much. So how do you make sure you and your staff come up with good ideas, and how do you recognize a good idea when you see one?

Innovation expert Steve Shapiro will lead you through this hands-on creativity session where you'll learn radical, yet pragmatic, ways to solve your most pressing business problems. He'll share techniques for problem statement development, generating breakthrough ideas and enhancing team creativity.

Steve Shapiro is author of "Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition," "24/7 Innovation" and "The Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas." He trained more than 20,000 consultants in innovation during a 15-year tenure with Accenture. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Investor's Business Day, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and Newsweek.

Note: Steve will also present "Personality Poker" as a breakout session at 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Lunch in the Expo 


2 to 2:50 p.m.
Sales: It's Not a Dirty Word
Coleen Ellis, CPLP
You say you're not a salesperson? You say you don't even like salespeople? Well, guess what? You're one of them!

No light bulb gets turned on in any business in the world without a sale being made. In this session, Coleen Ellis will share how looking at sales as "education" will allow you to view the process in an incredibly positive light. You'll learn techniques for selling to both sides of your business—veterinarians as well as families. You'll walk away from this session telling the world you love sales.

Coleen Ellis, CPLP, is founder and president of Two Hearts Pet Loss Center in Greenwood, Indiana, and is co-chair of the PLPA. She holds a Death & Grief Studies Certification with a specialty in Pet Loss Companioning. 


Personality Poker
Stephen Shapiro
Your organization's ability to innovate would be supercharged if every employee understood how they contribute to—and detract from—the innovation process. Get ready for a Vegas-style game of Personality Poker, which will reveal your own preferred innovation style. Discover how you can best contribute to the success of your organization and how you can use this information to build high-performing innovation teams within your organization. 

Steve Shapiro is author of "Best Practices Are Stupid: 40 Ways to Out-Innovate the Competition," "24/7 Innovation" and "The Little Book of BIG Innovation Ideas." He trained more than 20,000 consultants in innovation during a 15-year tenure with Accenture. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Investor's Business Day, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine and Newsweek.


Alkaline Hydrolysis: A Case Study
John T. McQueen, CFSP
In October 2011, Anderson McQueen Funeral & Cremation Centers became one of the first funeral firms in the United States to begin offering alkaline hydrolysis as a disposition option. In this session, John McQueen will share lessons learned during the first six months of operation, including:

• regulations and zoning issues
• training
• operational considerations
• marketing and public relations
• customer and community reactions
• costs vs. ROI

John McQueen is president and chief executive officer of Anderson-McQueen Funeral Homes, Cemetery and Crematory in St. Petersburg, Florida. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice; past president of the Florida Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association; and a past policy board member of National Funeral Directors Association.

Team Building: Tackling Conflict in the Prep Room
Shun Newbern, CFSP 
Funeral directors and embalmers can be challenging—perhaps even difficult—to work with.  What happens when their values, perspectives and opinions collide?

Conflict is not the issue; poor management of it is. In this session, Shun Newbern will share how you can approach conflict as an opportunity to coach and energize your staff to achieve a common understanding of their differences. Learn how to improve collaboration between your management team and your prep room staff to better achieve the goals and objectives of your funeral home. Additional issues he will address include:

• using tact and diplomacy for the good of the family served
• how teamwork improves the expected value and positive experience
• how to establish quality control
• the power of effectiveness through planning

Shun Newbern is a licensed funeral director and embalmer at Rose Hills Mortuary, Whittier, California, where he assists in supervising a staff of 35 at a high-volume location handling 5,200 calls each year. He has more than 20 years of funeral service experience.

Disinterment Best Practices
Mark Bates
Requests for disinterment are on the rise. In this session, Mark Bates will discuss why that is as well as best practices for conducting a safe and effective disinterment. You'll learn: 

• the equipment, tools and supplies you should have on hand
• how to work in varying ground conditions
• how the eventual destination of the remains may affect the procedures used
• how to protect your staff from unnecessary exposure
• how to protect your company from potential liability 

Mark Bates is the owner of Norwalk Vault Company/Kryprotek in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He is involved daily with the safe handling of human remains and managing the complications that may arise. 



2 to 4 p.m.

Autopsy, Bereavement and the Jewish Community  JFDA PROGRAM
Ben Margolis, M.D.
Respect for the body of the deceased, or keval he-met, is the guiding principle for Jewish funeral and burial customs. What are the implications of this when an autopsy is required or recommended? How can the funeral director best guide the family in autopsy cases?

In this session, presented in conjunction with the Jewish Funeral Directors of America, Dr. Ben Margolis will share his insights on:

• bereavement in the Jewish community
• respect for the deceased in the Jewish community
• basics regarding the autopsy
• the general role of autopsy in general bereavement: alleviating guilt, anger and confusion
• reconciling family bereavement needs and Jewish law: the role of the autopsy in "saving lives," or planning for the living
• practical issues for funeral directors and families: consents, timeliness for burial, family right to determine extent of autopsy, when the hospital asks for an autopsy

Ben Margolis, M.D., operates a private autopsy practice in Chicago, Illinois. The philosophy behind his practices is that families come first and that each family's place in the process of bereavement guides the manner of the interaction. He earned a bachelor's degree from Harvard University and his medical doctorate from the University of Chicago. He is an Illinois licensed physician and was board certified as a pathologist in 1999.



3 to 5 p.m.
Pet Owners Vs. Pet Parents: The Liability Implications
Poul Lemasters, Esq.
Society has accepted the fact that pets are people too. "Pet parents" has become the accepted term. And just as parents expect the best for theirchildren, so too do pet parents want the best for theirs. Today's pet parents demand better for their pets, from food to insurance and from health care to funerals. 

As a pet loss provider, you need to ask yourself: Who is my client? Am I serving the pet parent orthe pet owner? If you aren't serving both, it's time to wake up and step up. Pet parents demand certain things, while pet owners are entitled to others. This seminar will distinguish the legal expectations from thelegal rights and will offer you the information and tools you need to reduce liability. This presentation will:

• identify and update state laws regarding pets and pet loss providers
• analyze current pet cremation issues between providers and parents
• discuss and review current model forms and practices
• offer solutions to reduce the risk of lawsuits
• provide knowledge so professionals can help educate veterinarians

There will be plenty of time during this two-hour session for Q&A and discussion of the latest legislative, regulatory and legal developments affecting the pet loss profession.

Poul Lemasters is principal at Lemasters Consulting in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a coach with the ICCFA Cremation Coaching Center at www.cremationcoach.com. He is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and is admitted to practice law in both Ohio and Kentucky.


3 to 3:50 p.m.
Funeral Directing: Stepping Out of the Shadows
Matt Grieco
On Broadway, directors don't step out on stage. They do months of prep work, but when it comes time for opening night, they stay behind the scenes while the actors, set designers and lighting technicians bring the production to life.

Many see funeral directing in a similar vein, but Matt Grieco disagrees. He feels funeral service professionals can better serve families if they play a more visible role as master of ceremonies. Join him as he shares his training and experiences in: 

• public speaking skills that move and inspire
• making an authentic connection with your "audience”
• coming out of your shell (even if you are an introvert)
• overcoming the fear of failure
• putting yourself "out there” both inside the funeral home and out in the community
• determining who among your staff members might best be suited for these types of visible roles

Matt Grieco is chief operating officer of Grieco Family Funeral Homes in Southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware. A first-generation funeral director, he expanded his company within the past decade from a single funeral home doing about 50 events per year to nine locations handling 1,000 events. He holds a bachelor's degree in health policy and administration from Penn State University and a degree in mortuary science from the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.

L. Eagan

M. Eagan

How to Become the Funeral Home for Veterans
Lindsay Eagan and Meagan Eagan
There are more than 22 million military veterans living in the United States today, and 64 percent of them are over the age of 55. Join Lindsay and Meagan Eagan as they explore how to best reach and serve this population through:

• using market segmentation
• adopting strategies to ensure all veterans are made aware of and receive their entitled benefits
• recording memoirs and preserving the legacy of veterans in the community.

Most important, you will take away essential tactics for ensuring the veterans in your community are honored and remembered as the heroes they are.

Lindsay Eagan has worked in the marketing department at Preneed Funeral Program (PFP), Metairie, Louisiana, for two years. Previously, she worked at PFP part-time as a creative development marketing assistant. She studied at New York University and received a bachelor's degree in mass communication in 2009 from Louisiana State University, and she holds a Class C insurance license. Lindsay has published several articles on preneed topics in American Funeral Director.

Meagan Eagan joined PFP in 2010 and has been working in the marketing department as well as in customer relations. She holds a Class C insurance license and was trained in preneed sales in North Carolina, Virginia and Louisiana. She received a bachelor's degree in kinesiology in 2008 from Louisiana State University.

Reducing Formaldehyde Exposure
Aneliese Ramsay
In late 2009, the International Agency for Research on Cancer named formaldehyde a human carcinogen. In March 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concluded that formaldehyde was a significant driver of overall air toxics risks. And in 2011, the U.S. National Toxicology Program listed formaldehyde as a known human carcinogen.

Aneliese Ramsay will examine the risks associated with formaldehyde exposure; indoor air quality standards as they relate to the EPA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Centers for Disease Control; and the role of air filtration in removing toxins.

Aneliese Ramsay works in marketing and sales for Innovative Labs LLC, Petaluma, California. She holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Sonoma State University.

Cemetery Events: Replacing 'Sales' with 'Value’
Stephen Olson
In today's market, with consumers facing so many distractions, connecting the cemetery and funeral experience to the larger community has becoming a major challenge. Traditional marketing achieves dwindling results as people are bombarded with "buy, buy, buy” messages 24/7.

Getting visitors to your property isn't easy, but Royal Oak Burial Park has discovered it can be done. For the past two years, Royal Oak has held a Summer So(u)lstice event designed to connect the community to the cemetery in a non-traditional way. Rather than a sales pitch, the message is: This cemetery is an integral part of your community and is far more than a repository for the dead.

In this session, you will learn how the Summer So(u)lstice was developed and executed, including a look at such factors as space usage, community partnerships, promotion, sales approach (or lack thereof) and more. You'll learn about the results of the program and the additional events it has spawned.

Stephen Olson is executive director of Royal Oak Burial Park & Crematorium, Victoria, British Columbia. The Summer So(u)lstice program received a 2010 ICCFA KIP Award in the events category.

4 to 5 p.m.




Cemetery Consultants: Getting What You Pay For
Tim Hansen, Nancy Hilliard and Joe Thompson
It is not always possible—and often inadvisable—to try to manage all of your cemetery development needs in-house. When should you hire an outside contractor? What should a professional plan provide? What's in a master plan? What about insurance and contracts?

Don't miss this presentation as two cemetery managers and a landscape architect share the dos and don'ts of working with consultants and contractors.

Tim Hansen is principal of Tim Hansen, Landscape Architect, a cemetery design practice. Previously he was assistant professor of landscape architecture at Texas Tech University.

Nancy Hilliard is general manager of Forest Lawn Cemetery in Houston, Texas, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Cemeteries Association. She formerly managed seven cemeteries in New Jersey and two historic cemeteries in New York. Nancy has served the cemetery industry for more than 38 years.

Joe Thompson is General Manager of Elmwood Memorial Park and Funeral Home in Abilene, Texas. Joe also oversees seven additional locations in his position as Regional Manager in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico as well as heading up cemetery development projects for The Legacy Funeral Group. 2012 marks Joe's 40th year in service to the death care industry.


Marketing to (the New) Boomer
Larry Merington
Boomers: You've heard it all, right? Wrong. Turns out, much of what we thought we knew about the Baby Boomer generation has shifted in the past few years. The recent economic downturn has had an effect on the psyche of this consumer segment, and the "rules” for marketing to them have changed.

Join Larry Merington as he shares extensive new research on why and how today's Baby Boomer makes purchasing decisions and what this means for your cemetery or funeral home's marketing efforts.

Larry Merington is vice president of strategic market development for Stewart Enterprises Inc. Before joining the company in 2007, he was chief operating officer at Ace Bayou Corporation. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and holds a master's in organizational theory from St. Edwards University, Austin, Texas. Merington is a retired colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserves, was a fighter pilot flying A-10 aircraft in Desert Storm and F-16 fighters in Bosnia and acted as a senior commander in Afghanistan following the events of 9/11.

Thursday, March 22

8:30 to 9:50 a.m.
7 Steps for Developing a Strategic Marketing Plan
John Callaghan
T. Boone Pickens once said, "A fool with a plan can beat a genius with no plan.”

Effective marketing starts with a solid marketing plan. In this session, John Callaghan will take you through the strategic planning process so you can begin to eliminate the guesswork from marketing and advertising efforts:

• studying your customer
• identifying target markets
• crafting and honing your messages
• selecting media (both online and offline)
• social media strategies

Discover how to leap ahead of your competitors and cultivate a loyal customer base.

John Callaghan is founder of FuneralSuccess.com and is president of Customer Driven Marketing Inc. He is author of "Strategic Marketing Plan for Funeral Service Professionals.”






Panel Discussion: Green Burial

Moderator: Brian Flowers
Join us for this 90-minute session on emerging trends related to cemeteries and how they are adapting to meet the needs of today's "green” customer.

Brian Flowers is green burial coordinator at Moles Family Funeral Homes & Crematory and Greenacres Memorial Park. He is president of the Green Burial Council.

Among the panelists will be: Esmerelda Kent, owner of Kinkaraco-Green Burial Products, who will discuss contemporary and historic uses of burial shrouds; Barb Milton, vice president of community relations for the Buchanan Group, who will explore the relationship of the funeral professional with the evolving public market base and the benefit of long term private-public partnerships for business and the environment; and Erik Lees, a landscape architect with Lees + Associates, who will discuss green burial cemetery design.

Additional panelists to be announced.


Government & Legal Panel:
What You Need to Know For This Election Year

Moderator: Irwin Shipper, CCE
The 2008 national elections had an historic impact on our lives, and the 2012 elections promise to be another game-changer. Taxation, business and environmental regulations, budget cuts, Social Security reform and a potentially huge turnover in the members of Congress will directly impact our businesses as a result of the November voting. Join ICCFA Government & Legal Affairs Committee Chairman Irwin Shipper and his panelists as they make sense out of these challenges and propose a way forward.


9 to 9:50 a.m.
The Secret to De-Stress (or, How to Help Yourself so You Can Continue to Help Others)

Corrie Sirota-Frankel, M.S.W., P.S.W
Day in and day out, you help others through a difficult and emotional time. This can take a toll on you, mentally, emotionally and even physically.

In this workshop-style session, you'll learn how to identify your biggest stressors, examine your reactions to stress and learn how to cope with stress in both your personal and professional lives. Presenter Corrie Sirota-Frankel will share her expertise on the stress cycle, the role of brain function as it relates to stress and the mind-body-spirit connection. 

Corrie Sirota-Frankel is a clinical social worker and is dean of student life at Hebrew Foundation School in Dollard Des Ormeaux, Quebec. She holds a graduate degree in social work from McGill University as well as a graduate certificate in Loss and Bereavement, and she recently published an article on "Helping Children Cope with Death” in Living Legacies: Inspirational Stories by Contemporary Jewish Women.


10 to 10:50 a.m.

Pet Cemeteries 101: Providing a Final Resting Place
Bill Remkus, CPLP

Pet loss services are becoming increasingly prevalent, but they certainly are not new. No one knows this better than third-generation pet cemeterian Bill Remkus. In this session, Remkus will take a look at the history of pet cemeteries and their significance in providing a permanent resting place for families' beloved pets. He'll share traditional and emerging options for memorialization.

Bill Remkus is owner of Hinsdale Animal Cemetery & Crematory in Willowbrook, Illinois, and is co-chair of the PLPA. He was instrumental in the creation of Illinois' Companion Animal Cremation Act.


Marketing Your Cemetery Online (and on Smartphones)
Nick Timpe
Baby Boomers are shifting to the digital world as their primary source of information. Companies who meet them there will find great opportunities.

What's different about marketing to Boomers online? Nick Timpe will dissect the distinctive qualities that define Boomer Internet use and show how you can best meet their needs and promote your cemetery online. In addition, he'll explore the unique advantages you have as a cemetery for marketing to Boomers through their smartphones.

Nick Timpe is director of sales and marketing for webCemeteries.com in Virginville, Pennsylvania. He 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.

It's Time to Redefine Our 'Basic Services’
Karl E. Jennings
In working with approximately 50 funeral homes across the United States, Karl Jennings has found that the number one frustration among everyone from the receptionist to the arranger to the funeral director is the lack of a coherent narrative that explains the value proposition of the funeral. What exactly is the service we provide, and how do we communicate the value of that service to families?

According to Jennings, funeral service has come to be treated as a retail transaction, which has not served the profession well. It is time, he says, to place the focus back on helping families deal with their grief. 

In this session, Jennings will examine the acute loss period—the three to 10 days following the death—and the seven phases families must complete during that crucial time to be able to begin the necessary trajectory toward healing. Next, he'll discuss the role of the funeral and the funeral director in making that happen.

Karl Jennings is owner and chief executive officer of Borek Jennings Funeral Homes, with four locations in Hamburg, Howell, Manchester and Brooklyn, Michigan. He is CEO of the Healing Farewell Center of America and is author of "When We Must Say Farewell,” helping families prepare for and deal with the death of a loved one.

10 a.m. to Noon



Toson Hentges







The Case of the Botched Cremation
Moderated by Poul Lemasters, Esq.

The wrong body has been cremated and everyone is a suspect: the cemetery, the funeral home and of course, the crematory.

Join us for a mock trial in which people from outside the profession will sit as jurors to hear the case. Did the defendants have the proper procedures in place? If so, did they follow those procedures? What went wrong, and how could this have been avoided?

You'll hear the evidence on both sides, and then you'll find out what our panelists think – including the trial participants and the jurors. Will the jury convict one or more of the companies involved? How much will they award the family for damages?

Poul Lemasters (plaintiffs' attorney) is principal at Lemasters Consulting in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a coach with the ICCFA Cremation Coaching Center at www.cremationcoach.com.

Don Ferfolia (defense attorney) is principal at Donald B. Ferfolia Jr. Ltd., Northfield, Ohio. 

Christine Toson Hentges (plaintiff) is vice president of cemeteries for The Tribute Companies, Hartland, Wisconsin.

Gary Freytag (funeral home owner) is president and chief executive officer of the Spring Grove family of companies.

April Remedies (cemetery owner) is general manager at Forest Park Cemetery-East in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Corey Gaffney (crematory owner) is general manager of Gaffney Funeral Home in Tacoma, Washington.

Paul Elvig (expert for the plaintiffs) is a consultant with Evergreen-Washelli Cemetery and Funeral Home, Seattle, Washington.

James R. Starks, CFuE, CCrE (expert for the defense) is owner of J. Starks Consulting, Lutz, Florida.

Julie A. Burn, CCrE, CSE, (judge) is director of cremation services for the ICCFA.


11 a.m. to Noon
Achieving Common Ground: Roundtable Discussion with Veterinarians
When a pet dies, veterinarians and pet loss professionals share a common goal: to help the family navigate their loss. So why is our relationship sometimes contentious? What steps can we take to break down the barriers to communication and cooperation? How can we work together to best enable families to grieve, memorialize and heal? A panel of veterinarians will share their thoughts and answer your questions.

Brian Melius, DVM, is president of Metairie Small Animal Hospital, Metairie, Louisiana. He is a past president of the Southeast Louisiana Veterinary Association and holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from Louisiana State University.

Sarit Dhupa, BVSc, is director of surgery at California Veterinary Services. He earned his bachelor of veterinary science and completed a residency in anesthesiology at the University of Liverpool, and he completed a second residency in surgery at Purdue University.



Connecting with Customers Through the Web
Lajos Szabo

Is your web presence just that: a "presence”? Or is it an integral part of your business? Does it fit into your overall vision for your company? Does it facilitate lasting connections

with potential customers? Does it contribute to your bottom line?

Bring your smartphone to this highly interactive session as Lajos Szabo demonstrates how you can use technology to connect with your community in ways never before possible. He'll share his experiences at Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service, including successes, mistakes made, good and bad investments, and lessons learned. Find out how to leverage your website, capture funeral shoppers, make sense of social media and more.

Lajos Szabo is chief strategy officer at Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service, which operates 14 funeral homes in central Ohio. A licensed funeral director and an architect, his portfolio of work includes PMP Rooms, Cut Caskets, Meaningful Memories, Funeral of the Future research and several U.S. patents specific to the funeral service profession. Recently, Lajos and the Schoedinger organization created a virtual funeral home business model named Funeral Choices. 

Using Active Listening to Better Serve Families
Corrie Sirota-Frankel, MSW, PSW
Families come to us at an emotional time. The first step in truly serving them is listening to their needs and figuring out how to respond accordingly.

This workshop will help you become an active listener. You'll examine the barriers to listening, identify your own listening style and reflect on how you can improve the quality of your listening skills. In addition, you'll learn concrete techniques—direct blocking, validation, reframing, probing and re-focusing—that can help you break through with a defensive client.

Corrie Sirota-Frankel is a clinical social worker and is dean of student life at Hebrew Foundation School in Dollard Des Ormeaux, Quebec. She holds a graduate degree in social work from McGill University as well as a graduate certificate in Loss and Bereavement, and she recently published an article on "Helping Children Cope with Death” in Living Legacies: Inspirational Stories by Contemporary Jewish Women.

Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Lunch on your own

State Association Leadership Luncheon
Elected leaders, staff and "rising stars” from state and regional associations are invited to gather at this roundtable luncheon to network and share the issues affecting their members. A ticket is required and can be purchased on your registration form ($55).



1:30 to 2:20 p.m.
Are You an Undertaker or an Order Taker?

Codi R. Shewan, CFSP, CPP
The typical arrangement conference can be very efficient for acquiring the information you need to perform a funeral, but too often it turns you from an undertaker into an order taker and leaves the family unaware of the value you and your firm can provide. 

In this session, Codi Shewan will share: 

• why the typical arrangement flow benefits neither you nor the families you serve
• how to change the conference to more readily and naturally communicate the emotional context of your services and products
• how to use specific "anchoring techniques” to show the basic value of ceremony and tradition
• how to take families from a guarded state to one in which they embrace your service offerings
• how to use the service matrix, the product matrix and the value matrix to make certain you present every option, to every family, every time

Codi Shewan is manager of training and development, funeral service, for Arbor Memorial Services Inc. He has worked in funeral service for more than 15 years and has managed funeral homes serving 500+ families annually. 


Turning Your Assassins into Advocates
Mark Groeneman
Customer complaints: Are they an annoyance or an opportunity?  With the rise of social media, assassins now have more opportunity than ever to target your reputation and take down your market share. Even worse, you may not even be aware of the carnage. 

In this session, you'll discover the unique opportunities your business encounters each and every day when dealing with customer complaints. What motivates complaints? Do your customers have reasonable or unreasonable demands? How can you reach win-win solutions? How do you prevent small problems from becoming bigger problems?

Positioned with some real-life experiences from funeral home and cemetery customer satisfaction surveys, this session will provide a simple yet effective approach for turning your "problem customers” into your cheerleaders, and it will show you how to position your best asset—your frontline employees—into a partnership with you to convert potential assassins into advocates. 

Mark Groeneman is a principal of Graystone Associates Inc. in Marlborough, Massachusetts, which provides consulting and training services to more than 80 market-leading family-owned funeral and cemetery businesses. Groeneman manages Graystone's field training and training development teams and advises clients regarding strategic planning, operations management, customer service enhancement, staff evaluation, staff development and motivation. He holds an MBA from the University of Dallas at Irving and a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma State University.




Toson Hentges

N. Lohman

T. Lohman



Managing Millennials to Matures (and Everyone in Between)
ICCFA Next Generation Committee
With four generations now in the work force, companies face an interesting management challenge. In the cemetery and funeral service profession, this dynamic can be magnified as family members often work alongside each other.

This panel discussion will explore the differences among the generations—what motivates them, their expectations, ambitions, work styles and communication styles—and offer solutions for best managing and engaging employees of all ages within the workplace.

Facilitator: Jennifer Frew, community events coordinator and public relations, Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, California, and co-chair, ICCFA Next Generation Committee.


  • Abigail Brammer Quiocho, human resources manager, Gibraltar Remembrance Services, Indianapolis, Indiana, and co-chair, ICCFA Next Generation Committee
  • Jay Brammer, president, Gibraltar Remembrance Services
  • Christine Toson Hentges, CCE, vice president of cemeteries for the Tribute Companies, Hartland, Wisconsin
  • Nancy Lohman, CCFE, and Ty Lohman, owners, Lohman Funeral Homes, Cemeteries and Cremation
  • Andres Aguilar, vice president of Los Parques, Mixco, Guatemala
  • Andrew Chunko, student at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science


When the Regulators Come Knocking
Christopher L. Farmer, Esq.
While most cemetery and funeral home operators understand the need for counsel and guidance when a lawsuit is threatened, few understand the importance of retaining counsel in the case of a regulatory investigation. Many believe the regulatory agencies exist to support the industry, when in fact such an investigation can become a very adversarial process resulting in serious fines and licensure issues. Perhaps even more damaging, an adverse finding can cripple the defense of a civil lawsuit, which could result in liability into the millions of dollars.

In this session, Christopher Farmer will share advice on how to respond to an investigation, including how to handle requests for inspection and documentation, when to "lawyer up” and when to "just say no.”

Christopher Farmer is an attorney with Sheehy, Ware & Pappas P.C. in Houston, Texas. He is general counsel for the Texas Funeral Directors Association and formerly served as in-house counsel for Service Corporation International. He received his bachelor's degree from Purdue University and his juris doctorate from the University of Houston Law Center. He has served as vice-chair of the Business Litigation General Committee for the American Bar Association.


1:30 to 3:20 p.m.




Bluse Ward


Best Practices Panel
Join us as six of the most successful pet loss providers and suppliers in the profession share best practices to help you better serve families and build your business:

• Claire Gillenson—Pet grievers generally fall into three different categories: the Life Partner, the Empty Nester and the Family Bunch. Your pet loss company can benefit from providing different services, and in particular different aftercare packages, for each of these groups. Gillenson is a grief recovery specialist with Luxepets LLC based in Santa Monica, California.

• Jodi Clock, CPLPWant to promote your business without spending a dime? A little public relations can go a long way. Jodi Clock will share how her firm's simple, targeted press release grew into a front page newspaper article and an online video, and how her call to action in each venue led directly to more business. Clock is owner of Clock Life Story Funeral Home and Clock Timeless Pets, Muskegon, Michigan.

• Roberta Knauf, CPLP—Hillcrest-Flynn's annual pet food drive benefits pet rescue shelters throughout Mercer County, Pennsylvania. In addition, this community project serves as an effective public relations and marketing tool for the company. Knauf is the pet funeral director for Hillcrest-Flynn Pet Funeral Home and Crematory, Hermitage, Pennsylvania.

• Tracie Bluse Ward—Using a guided interview process to help your clients share the memories and stories they enjoyed with their dear pets helps them cope with their loss and can help you enhance their memorial tributes. Learn how to become an effective pet story facilitator. Tracie Bluse Ward is president and founder of Celebrations of Life and MyBPFF (Best Pet Friend Forever), St. Paul, Minnesota.

• Kate Moore, CFSP, CPLP—Often, your first contact with a potential client is over the telephone. You either earn their trust or send them away shopping for another firm. Moore will share best practices for handling families calls in a way that inspires confidence and puts their mind at ease. Moore is founder of Beyond the Rainbow Pet Hospice & Memorial Center, Benbrook, Texas.


2:30 to 3:20 p.m.
Taking Your Presentation Digital
Brad Palmer
In 2010, Spring Grove in Cincinnati, Ohio, created a complete digital cemetery and funeral presentation showcasing all services, caskets, vaults, flowers, memorial products and other options in easy-to-understand packages. Since then, the company has seen a 20 percent increase in volume per contract.

Among the advantages: The digital presentation provides a consistent brand to every family, and it forces the individual conducting the arrangement to follow a step-by-step slideshow, with no steps missed. In addition, as product and service offerings and prices change, the master presentation can easily be updated and synced to each adviser's laptop.

Isn't it time to get rid of your antiquated litho book presentation? Learn how to create a 21st century alternative that will improve your arrangement counselors' performance and your revenues. All who attend this session will receive a free sample presentation which they can take back to their locations and customize.

Brad Palmer is director of cemetery planning services for the Spring Grove Family of Companies, which includes Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, Oak Hill Cemetery and Gwen Mooney Funeral Home, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Hiring Veterans: A Great Fit for Our Profession
Marcea Weiss
Troops are being brought back from Iraq and the armed services are beginning to downsize, resulting in a significant increase in the number of military veterans searching for civilian work. In this session, author, cemetery consultant and Army veteran Marcea Weiss will share the strong business case for making hiring vets a priority. You'll learn:  

• why military veterans are a particularly good fit for the cemetery and funeral service profession
• typical challenges you may face as an employer and what to do about them
• typical challenges your veteran hire may face and what to do about them
• lessons learned from a company that has made hiring veterans a priority
• "Voices of Veterans”—what military vets have to say about their transition experiences

Marcea Weiss is branch manager for Merendino Cemetery Care and is author of "Leaving the Military: Your Deployment Guide to Corporate America.” She served in the U.S. Army as a Blackhawk Maintenance Pilot with the 25th and 1st Infantry Divisions in Hawaii and Germany, respectively. Marcea has consulted with Fortune 500 companies such as Cypress Semiconductor, GE, Apple and Microsoft and holds a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt Certification from GE. She earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Miami and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.



Maximizing Returns in a Volatile Market
Marcia Williams and Patrick Severo, CIMA
We are all familiar with the impact of inflation over the last several years on food, fuel and healthcare. The death care profession is not immune. Funeral service professionals are struggling as the rate of inflation on actual funeral costs is in some cases outpacing the original preneed revenue. In addition, with interest rates at their lowest in years, the perpetual care of cemetery properties can no longer be offset by exclusive allocations to government bonds or certificates of deposit. 

In this session, financial management experts Marcia Williams and Pat Severo will share: 

• inflation's impact on the death care industry and trusts
• investment structures within your trusts to maintain purchasing power
• where to go for yield in a low interest rate environment
• trusting additional amounts as part of your strategy
• how to mitigate risk in a volatile market

Marcia Williams is founder and president of Independence Trust Company, a federally chartered trust company based in Franklin, Tennessee, which works with cemetery and funeral trusts across the country as trustee and investment manager. Marcia serves on the ICCFA Government and Legal Affairs Committee and has served as supplier representative to the board of the Cemetery Association of Tennessee.

Pat Severo is senior vice president of RBC Wealth Management, Beverly Hills, California. He holds the designations of Certified Investment Management Analyst from the Investment Management Consultants Association, Accredited Investment Fiduciary from the University of Pittsburgh and Accredited Wealth Manager from Michigan State University.

2:30 to 4:30 p.m.





Cremation Best Practices
Moderator: Julie A. Burn, CCrE, CSE
The ICCFA in October 2011 published a "Cremation Best Practices” white paper, offering practices and procedures shared by some of the most successful cemeteries and funeral homes in the profession.

This special two-hour session moderated by ICCFA Director of Cremation Services Julie A. Burn, CCrE, CSE, will expand on some of those practices and introduce new ones from across North America. Among the participants:

Ernie Heffner, CFuE, president, Heffner Funeral Home & Crematory, York, Pennsylvania: Why should you have a positive identification viewing prior to cremation and what can make this a meaningful, appreciated experience for the family being served? Heffner will share a retro concept that has been embraced and used by consumers in more ways than anticipated.

Lajos Szabo, chief strategy officer, Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service, Columbus, Ohio: Every family deserves an opportunity to properly honor their loved one. Szabo will share the healing practices his firm provides for families who select even the most basic of cremation services.

Kent Roduck, owner/manager, Island Funeral Services Ltd., Campbell River, British Columbia: You want your arrangers to consistently present all of the options available to families selecting cremation, but how do you make sure they do? Roduck will share staff training approaches that work.

Ron Salvatore, trainer, Matthews Cremation, Apopka, Florida, and ICCFA Cremation Coaching Center coach: Salvatore will share best practices that need to be implemented for all crematory operations.

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.
5 Ways to Win Online Shoppers
Robin Heppell, CFSP
We've heard a lot about how to win phone shoppers who call to inquire about prices for funerals and cremation, but for many of these consumers, the telephone is no longer the first step in their research process. Today, the web is where education and relationships start.

In this session, Rob Heppell will reveal the five key elements to win price shoppers online: 

• the words people are using to shop for cemeteries and funeral homes
• how to properly display your prices on your website
• how online video gets your firm found faster and builds the relationship more quickly
• email: the most overlooked and powerful way to win price shoppers
• how to cherry-pick online shoppers with Google AdWords

Rob will share case studies and will provide all who attend this session with a 10-page booklet offering sample templates and worksheets.

Rob Heppell is founder of FuneralFuturist.com, Victoria, British Columbia. A fourth-generation funeral director, he is a consultant specializing in technology issues. His websites are www.funeralfuturist.com and www.funeralgurus.com.

Social Media, Employees and the Law
Harvey I. Lapin, Esq.
In August 2011, the National Labor Relations Board issued a report presenting recent case developments related to social media, including text, audio, videos and podcasts. In particular, the report examined whether certain online comments or discussions could be considered "concerted activity” and thus protected under the National Labor Relations Act.

Attorney Harvey will discuss this report and other legal and legislative developments related to employee use of social media, including the use of company computers by employees for personal matters and how to handle online criticisms of the company, management, other employees or even competitors. He'll review potential liabilities and provide guidelines for developing company social media policies.

Harvey Lapin is an attorney practicing law with his own firm in Northbrook, Illinois. He also is of counsel to the firm of Sachs Sax Caplan in Boca Raton, Florida, which acts as general counsel to the Florida Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. He is general counsel to the Illinois Cemetery and Funeral Home Association and has provided legal services to numerous other state, local and national associations within the profession.

7 to 10:30 p.m.
Closing Reception and Dinner
Join us for dinner and entertainment as we close the ICCFA's 125th Annual Convention. Evening cocktail dress is requested. Tickets are included with full attendee and spouse/guest registrations, or are available for purchase on your registration form.