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2011 NFDA International Convention & Expo Update

Posted: August 16, 2011

The 2011 NFDA International Convention & Expo, being held in conjunction with the Cremation Association of North America, will take place October 23-26 in Chicago.

Up-to-date information about the 2011 NFDA International Convention & Expo can be found by visiting

Hotel Update: ACT NOW to Reserve Your Room

Hotel rooms for the NFDA Convention are going quickly. NFDA's room blocks at the Fairmont Chicago and Hyatt Regency Chicago have sold out. NFDA's room block at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers could sell out before the September 16 hotel reservation deadline. If you are planning to attend the NFDA Convention, make your hotel reservations now to lock in exclusive room rates.

New Preconvention Seminar on Alkaline Hydrolysis

Find out what all the alkaline hydrolysis commotion is about on Saturday, October 22 during the new preconvention seminar, "Introduction to Alkaline Hydrolysis: Understanding the Process and Procedures." Dean Fisher, director of the UCLA Donated Body Program at the David Geffen School of Medicine, will share the history of alkaline hydrolysis, give an overview of the process and chemicals used, and discuss other topics, such as safety considerations and the processing of bone remains.

Fisher was part of a team that introduced alkaline hydrolysis equipment to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. He assisted in the development of the chemical and operational best practices for alkaline hydrolysis at both Mayo Clinic and UCLA.

The cost to attend is $195 for anyone who registers before September 1, and $220 after September 1.

"Get Your Motor Running, Head Out on the Highway"

The annual Motorcycle Ride, which is being co-hosted by Homesteaders Life Company and the Trocar Bikers, will take place Sunday, October 23, from 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

After picking up an iron horse at Chicago Harley, you'll head north to Milwaukee, Wis., the birthplace of Harley-Davidson. There, you will tour the Harley-Davidson Museum, which houses more than 450 Harley-Davidson motorcycles and hundreds of thousands of artifacts, including the very first Harley-Davidson to roll off the production line.

The cost to participate is $100 and includes transportation to and from Chicago Harley, museum tour, lunch, T-shirt and a donation to the Funeral Service Foundation.

For more information or to register for the motorcycle ride, contact Dean Lambert at 515-440-7703 or Mike Grabowski at 708-705-8855.

For information about renting a motorcycle from Chicago Harley, visit or call 847-418-2929 (ask to speak with Alex or Kat).

Vote Now: Help Choose the 2011 NFDA Innovation Award Winner

NFDA wants your help in selecting the recipient of the 2011 Innovation Award. Established in 2009, the NFDA Innovation Award promotes and recognizes creativity, innovation and excellence among funeral service suppliers and vendors.

Earlier this year, funeral service vendors and suppliers had an opportunity to submit a product or service that became commercially available after January 1, 2010, for consideration in the 2011 NFDA Innovation Award competition. A distinguished panel of funeral directors evaluated the entries and selected five finalists.

You have until September 16 to visit and vote for the product or service you believe is the most innovative of the year. Votes will be combined with the judges' scores to determine the winner of the 2011 NFDA Innovation Award. The winner will be announced on Monday, October 24, during the Opening General Session of the NFDA Convention.

Save Time, Save Money: Ride the Shuttle

If you are attending the NFDA Convention, you will have access to a complimentary shuttle to and from the convention center and official convention hotels. The shuttle service will help you save time and money. Taxi fare in Chicago is time-based, not mileage based; a taxi trip from the hotel to the convention center could cost $20 or more depending on traffic.

NFDA and CANA are generously supported by Federated Insurance Company, Batesville Casket Company, Facultatieve Technologies, Frazer Consultants, Madelyn Company, Matthews International, Memories by Design, Nomis Publications, American Crematory Equipment, American Funeral Financial, Deaton-Kennedy Company, Director's Select Retirement Plan (DSRP), Doric Products Inc., Funeral Call, Homesteaders Life Company and Messenger.