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Professional Women's Conference Schedule

Friday, April 24


4:45 – 5:45 p.m.

Welcome Reception

6 – 9 p.m.

A Night of Theatre: “Laid Out: The Business of Funerals”

Funeral Service Foundation Fund Day Event

Optional event to benefit NFDA Professional Women’s Conference Scholarship Fund and The Foundation’s Women in Funeral Service Fund.

Support the Funeral Service Foundation and experience a first-rate production featuring five women with backgrounds in jazz, blues, spirituals – and funeral service – as they tell the engaging story of African American women pioneers in funeral service and embalming. This lively performance (be ready to laugh out loud) is about the history, challenges, and success of African American women in funeral service. It’s your chance to be entertained while learning about the significant contributions your African American colleagues have made to your profession. The great comments you’ve heard about this play, written by funeral director Dr. Churchman, are true.  

Saturday, April 25


8 – 9:30 a.m.

Opening Session – All Stressed Out and Ready to Blow

Nancy Weil, The Laughter Academy

Are you stretched too thin, maxed out or just plain sick and tired of being sick and tired? This presentation will offer ways to increase your energy, become better organized and lower your stress level. Come to this session if you want to redefine work/life balance in ways that are both realistic and super-productive.

9:45 – 11:15 a.m.

Workshop – The Business of Being a Woman

Erin Whitaker, Foresight Companies and Whitaker Funeral Home

Join Erin and examine the societal expectations of women in funeral service and their experiences in a “male dominated” profession. Look at leadership roles in a firm and professional organizations. Where is your career heading? What roads will you take to get there? Consider these and more during this unique presentation.

11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Recognition Lunch

12:45 – 1:45 p.m.

Fun Photo Opp!

1:45 – 3:30 p.m.

Roundtable Discussions

Here’s your chance to exchange great ideas with like-minded funeral professionals. A wide variety of topics will be explored. This is a must attend session!

Sunday, April 26


8 – 10 a.m.

Workshop – What Happens in Washington D.C.? Why You Should Care

Lesley Witter, MPA, CAE, NFDA Senior Vice President, Advocacy

If you’ve ever wondered what really goes on in Washington, D.C. this is your chance to hear it from someone who lives it.   Learn from a seasoned veteran who represents the best interests of funeral service on Capitol Hill every day. You’ll also find out how your voice matters and what you can do to help your profession.


Workshop – Restorative Art: From the Ordinary to the Extraordinary

Melissa Johnson Williams, CFSP, Executive Director, American Society of Embalmers


This presentation will cover a range of embalming problems, from the restorative art that is utilized for everyday problems through the more complex restorations that are seen less frequently. Restorative art is an important process that helps provide comfort to the family through excellent presentations of the deceased.

10:15 – 11:45 a.m.

Closing Session – He Said-She Said: The Differing Language of Men and Women

Georganne Bender and Rich Kizer, Kizer and Bender Speaking, St. Charles, IL

Men and women are different. That’s not to say that one sex is superior or inferior to the other, we are just different. We shop differently, conduct business differently, view the workplace differently, and we have very different communication styles. She builds relationships whenever she goes; he plays it closer to the vest, that’s why what works for a man can be kryptonite to a woman.

This conference provides licensed funeral directors/embalmers up to 8.5 CEU hours and is approved by APFSP and most state licensing boards. CE hours vary by state.
Schedule subject to change.

Thank you to our 2015 Sponsors!

Welcome Reception

The Foundation Fund Day Event



Registration Bags

Continental Breakfast



Sponsorship Opportunity Available!

Recognition Lunch Recognition Lunch



Program & Planner

Refreshment Break




Refreshment Break Refreshment Break



Audio Visual Equipment Two Airline Tickets