Home Education Workshops - Sunday

Workshops - Sunday, October 12

SAVE TIME! Print your workshop handouts before you come to Nashville. Handouts will be available the week of September 29.

11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Alternatives to Traditional Embalming for Viewing

Robert G. Mayer Jr., FBIE Pittsburgh, PA

When a family wants the funeral for a loved one to include a viewing but does not wish the body to be embalmed, you may not realize there are several alternative means to present the deceased to the family and the public. Internationally renowned embalming expert Robert Mayer will illustrate a variety of techniques for stabilizing and presenting the body without standard embalming protocols. The discussion will include an examination of postmortem changes; the legal aspects of viewing without embalming; necessary legal forms; problem situations, such as trauma cases, autopsied cases, organ and tissue donors; and contagious and infectious disease issues. Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

Community Outreach on a Budget

Lynn E. Ochiltree, CFSP, Ochiltree Funeral Service and Aftercare, Winterset, IA; James Olson, CPC, Olson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Sheboygan, WI

For many years, the NFDA Pursuit of Excellence program has recognized member funeral homes throughout the country and around the world for outstanding service to families and innovative community outreach. What you may not realize is that developing an award-winning approach to customer service and community outreach doesn’t have to break the bank. Learn how to exceed families’ expectations and raise your profile in the community with proven, out-of-the-ordinary ideas. You’ll leave with budget-friendly tactics that will help your firm remain the funeral home of choice and make a powerful difference to the families you serve and to your community. Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

Transparency and Social Media: Creating an Ethical Edge for Your Firm

Caleb Wilde, Wilde Funeral Home, Parkesburg, PA

Learn how to engage your funeral home through social media in meaningful conversation with the public – which wants more than just the FTC price disclosure – while helping to create a new standard of ethical transparency within the funeral industry. The author of the popular blog Confessions of a Funeral Director and a sixth- generation professional featured by ABC’s 20/20, NBC News, TIME magazine, U.S. News & World Report and other national media, Wilde will explain how the transparency of social media enables the type of self- disclosure that honest, caring funeral homes can use to distinguish themselves from the competition. Social media can provide a distinct ethical edge for your firm! Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

What Big Operators Do Better and How You Can Level the Playing Field

Paul Seyler, Competitive Resources Inc., New Orleans, LA

It’s tempting to think of the largest funeral business operators as a breed apart, governed by different rules than the rest of us. But a closer look at the lumbering hulks that appear to succeed by sheer momentum reveals a much different dynamic: They can be formidable competitors because they consistently get some things right that smaller firms may be struggling to accomplish. The three things the big guys do better than anyone else will be dissected in detail to help your firm become a better, more successful competitor in any market, regardless of size. Learn small-firm competitive tactics to improve customer service, accountability and sales. Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

Focus on Preneed: Spend Downs, Contracts and Consumer Protection
T. Scott Gilligan, Gilligan Law Offices, Cincinnati, OH

The basic mechanics of the funeral exclusions impacting Medicaid eligibility must be absolutely clear to every preplanner at your firm. NFDA General Counsel Scott Gilligan will place special emphasis on funeral planning options for Medicaid applicants looking to spend down cash reserves and large insurance policies. By using preneed contracts and forms designed for Medicaid applicants, you can show families how funding can be set aside not only for the applicant’s and spouse’s funeral expenses but also burial space options for immediate family members. Includes a review of the information that every preneed contract must have to protect consumers and explain their rights and options in plain, easy-to-understand language. Sample contracts and provisions provided. Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

1:15 – 2:15 p.m.

The Removal: Professional Solutions for Challenging Circumstances
Bernard F. Delaney, Mortuary Services Inc., Des Plaines, IL

The professional act of removing a deceased human being from the place of death and the preparation for transport of the decedent to the next destination (usually your funeral home) is the one professional service that funeral homes perform on every call. But there are a multitude of different removal scenarios – hospitals, nursing homes, house calls and unusual situations – that call for different removal techniques. Learn how to see the solution to a removal instead of the problem as you increase your confidence levels through tested remedies guaranteed to make removals easier. No one will leave the session wondering how it’s done! Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

1:15 - 3:15 p.m.


The Dover Mission: Benefits & Entitlements for Families of the Fallen Includes Screening of the Movie Taking Chance
William Zwicharowski, Branch Chief for Port Military Operations, AFMAO, Dover Air Force Base, DE

Branch Chief of Port Military Operations, William Zwicharowski, shares the Dover Mission in this multimedia session about the funeral benefits and entitlements for active duty military and dependents – and the dignified transfer of fallen heroes. You will learn what to expect when your funeral home receives a fallen military member from the Dover Air Force Base and will experience a virtual tour of the new Dover Personal Effects Depot and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner’s Office. Includes screening of the true-story based movie, Taking Chance, for which Zwicharowski was technical adviser: a dramatic, visual introduction to military procedures and funeral tradition.

Enhancing the Cremation Arrangement Conference to Celebrate a Life Well Lived
Paula J. Staab Polk, CPC, CCO, Staab Polk Memorial Home/ Cremation Services of Central Illinois, Chatham, IL

How well do you understand the motivation of cremation families? It’s time to refresh the arrangement conference to meet their needs! Are you asking the right questions to uncover client perceptions of your role and the value of ritual, as well as any fears they may have based on past unsatisfactory experiences? It’s time to recharge your listening skills to help cremation families tell their stories. Proven cremation arrangement techniques using creative guidance, visioning and active engagement will help families that choose cremation design services that reflect a life well lived. Funeral home and crematory owner Staab Polk shares ways for small to mid-sized firms to increase cremation revenue streams and satisfaction. Approved for up to 2 CE hours by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

Supporting Children Through Their Grief Journey
Pete Shrock, Comfort Zone Camp, Richmond, VA

The families you serve rely on your professionalism to provide support and guidance throughout the process of making funeral arrangements and memorializing their loved ones. When children are survivors, these preparations often don’t take into account what is in their best interests as family members are preoccupied with their own grief or simply don’t know how to include the children. Explore how children are impacted by the death of a loved one using a developmental perspective. Learn about utilizing community resources and developing programs to include and support children and help your staff feel more competent in meeting their needs. Approved for up to 2 CE hours by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

Online Engagement: Tech Terms and Tools Made Easy
Santiago Jaramillo, CEO, Bluebridge Digital, Fishers, IN

At last – tech made easy! Your options and the benefits to your business have never been so abundant. In this absolutely practical, meaningful, and understandable session, you’ll learn how interacting with effective technology can make your funeral home stronger and well connected! Learn how to implement straightforward, affordable tools to  help you connect with client families and prospects in more successful ways. Tech expert Jaramillo will familiarize you with important technology terms, show you  how to put tech tools to use, and help you begin thinking about a mobile strategy for your business. The highest rated speaker at NFDA’s 2014 Leadership Conference.

2:30 – 4:30 p.m.


Laid Out: The Business of Funerals
Dr. Edith C. Churchman, author; Andrew Ferguson, organist; and Shonda Brewer, vocalist, James E. Churchman Jr. Funeral Home, Newark, NJ. Plus: A. Simone Churchman, Atlanta, GA; Gloria Dillard-Davis, Somerset, NJ; and Joyce Lightfoot, Atlanta, GA

This Sunday afternoon matinee presents an engaging production written by Churchman that features five women with backgrounds in jazz, blues, spirituals – and funeral service – who tell the engaging story of African-American women pioneers in funeral service and embalming. The cast will explore diversity and shared awareness in the face of the universality of death. Part two presents modern-day funeral service with humor from the funeral director’s compassionate perspective on the 21st century funeral client. If you’ve missed this lively performance about the history, challenges and success of African-American women in funeral service, now in its third year, here is your opportunity to be both entertained and informed. Approved for up to 2 CE hours by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

3 – 5 p.m.

OSHA Update on the Formaldehyde and Haz Com Standards

Edward M. Ranier, Law Office of Edward M. Ranier, Timonium, MD

A session focused on how to comply with OSHA Formaldehyde and revised Hazard Communication standards. NFDA’s expert OSHA counsel will update you on agency enforcement of the newly revised Haz Com Standard that went into effect in December 2013. He will also concentrate on informing you about methods of compliance, the recognition of chemical hazards and their adverse health effects, and the avoidance of injuries and illness to embalmers. Learn how to ensure safe embalming practices and how to optimize ventilation in the prep room. Benefit from an understanding of recent federal and state OSHA funeral home inspections, citations and issued penalties resulting from alleged violations of these OSHA standards. Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

STAND OUT! Differentiate or Disappear
Larry Mersereau, PromoPower, Urbandale, IL

Why should a consumer choose you? There are a dozen funeral homes in town and hundreds online stating that they can do exactly the same things you do – and some for lower prices. Learn how to answer “What makes you so special?” with a clear message that positions your firm as the trusted funeral business that consumers will think of first (at-need and preneed). In this lively session, you’ll learn to articulate your differentiation points convincingly and succinctly to make them the cornerstone of all of your marketing messages and sales conversations. You’ll also learn how to move people in your market from “never heard of you” consumers to “we need to use you” client families. Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

Safeguarding Your Business From Cremation Liability
T. Scott Gilligan, Gilligan Law Offices, Cincinnati, OH; Michael Nicodemus, NFDA

The threat of cremation liability is constant for funeral homes and crematories. Failure to double- check paperwork or a simple miscommunication with a family member can mean you are on the wrong end of a $400,000 jury verdict. While NFDA cannot make your business invincible, it can offer best practices to mitigate your exposure. NFDA General Counsel Scott Gilligan and NFDA Vice President of Cremation Services Mike Nicodemus will discuss day-to-day cremation liabilities faced by funeral homes and crematories. An expert witness in numerous cremation litigation cases, Nicodemus will outline the practices you must employ to protect against liability. Gilligan will explain how cremation forms and documentation can be your best defense. Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.

Breathing Life Into Funeral Home Marketing With Facebook, TV… and a Sense of Humor

Brad Speaks, Speaks Family Legacy Chapels Inc., Independence, MO

It may be time to try some unconventional advertising approaches to reach potential client families in your market. If traditional marketing approaches just aren’t that productive anymore, this session is what you need. Develop more creative ways to harness nontraditional approaches that will reach those new families, build your market share and generate brand loyalty. Social media, television commercials and the use of humor can work together to convey messages that will educate people about funerals and your funeral home to benefit your firm in long-lasting ways. Learn how to connect with families through practical, hands-on advertising methods that are proven to reach modern consumers. Approved for 1 CE hour by APFSP and licensing boards in most states and provinces.