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NFDA Professional Women's Conference: Learn, Network, Be Inspired

For Immediate Release: February 27, 2012

Brookfield, Wis. – The 2012 National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Professional Women's Conference will bring together funeral directors, educators, expert presenters and suppliers in a unique, intimate gathering to generate new ideas, foster professional growth and create lasting friendships. This conference, which is the leading gathering for women in funeral service, will take place April 27-29 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Bell Tower Shops in Ft. Myers, Fla.

In addition to the popular roundtable discussion session, attendees can look forward to these additional conference sessions covering a wide range of topics.

  • Keynote speakers Mel Pennington of Brown-Pennington-Atkins Funeral Home in Hartsville, S.C., and Walker Posey of Posey Funeral Directors in North Augusta, S.C., will present "Real Directors, Real Technology, Real Results." During this session, they will share the ways in which technology has boosted their businesses – both of which have been in existence for more than 100 years – and helped their firms better connect with today's families.
  • uring "Myth, Mania & Misconception: Unearthing the Secrets of Cremation," presented by Larry Stuart Jr. of Crematory Manufacturing & Service, attendees will learn about the ways in which the design of crematory equipment effects efficiency, operational costs and its impact on the environment.
  • Renee Sheth of The Dodge Company will present "Embalming Accessory Chemicals: Their Uncommon Usage." During this session, she will review the dangers of viral and bacterial infections in the workplace, such as MRSA; alternate uses for embalming chemicals; and best practices for preparing donor cases.
  • During the keynote address "Success Tips for Women in Business," Debra Schmidt of Loyalty Leader will show how strong negotiation skills can enhance one's ability to deliver service, resolve customer complaints and build cooperation with employees or vendors. She will also discuss the ways one's leadership style impacts others in the workplace.

To benefit women in funeral service and kick off the conference, the annual Funeral Service Foundation Fund Day event will take place April 27. Following a welcome reception, attendees can enjoy a relaxing sunset cruise through the Matazanas Pass in the heart of Ft. Myers Beach. Guests will enjoy tempting desserts, champagne and a beautiful sunset. Registration for this optional event is $65 and the proceeds will support the Funeral Service Foundation fund of attendees' choice: the Professional Women's Conference Scholarship Fund (supports scholarships to the conference) or the Women in Funeral Service Fund (benefits programs that support women in funeral service).

The registration fees for the conference are:


After April 2

NFDA member licensed funeral directors



Non-member licensed funeral directors



Non-funeral director



Second registrant from the same organization



Mortuary science student



For more information about the NFDA Professional Women's Conference or to register, visit

NFDA has arranged for a special room rate of $139 plus tax per night at the Crowne Plaza Hotel at Bell Tower Shops. Attendees must secure their rooms by March 19 in order to receive the special NFDA rate. For more information about the hotel or to make reservations online, attendees should visit and click on the "Hotel/Travel" link. Attendees can also make reservations by calling the hotel at 888-233-9527 and mentioning that they are with the NFDA Professional Women's Conference.

The 2012 NFDA Professional Women's Conference is generously supported by Nomis Publications Inc., Foundation Partners Group, Messenger, Funeral Home Gifts, Homesteaders Life Company, Deaton-Kennedy Company, The Dodge Company, Crematory Manufacturing & Service Inc.,, Worsham College and Kelco Supply Company.

The Funeral Service Foundation Professional Women's Conference scholarships are generously supported by: Deaton-Kennedy Company, Messenger, Nomis Publications Inc., Trigard and Wilbert Funeral Services.

NFDA is the world's leading and largest funeral service association, serving 18,500 individual members who represent nearly 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 43 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit

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Contact: Jessica Koth, 262-814-1536,