Members of the regulatory community from throughout the United States and Canada convened in person February 23-24 for the 118th Annual Meeting of the International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards to discuss deathcare regulation.
“Phase Next” was the theme of the event, which centered on moving forward after the COVID-19 pandemic, with public protection as the primary focus. ICFSEB welcomed a diverse group of attendees from state and provincial governing boards and funeral education programs, along with other industry professionals.
The meeting was officially called into session by ICFSEB President Blair Nelsen at the Annual Business Meeting. Formal business was conducted, including the delegate roll call, committee reports and board nominations.
ICFSEB staff participated in a panel discussion that provided an overview of the organization’s services. Highlighted topics included candidate services, member board services, examination processes and development, and technology infrastructure.
Jennifer Kandt, Nevada Funeral Board executive director and ICFSEB vice president, led a presentation on respect of human remains in regulation, emphasizing the subjectivity of dignity and respect as it pertains to the storage of remains, and discussed enacting regulations, public perception and expectations of loved ones.
In district meetings, smaller groups met and shared regulatory issues, including split vs. combined licenses, educational trends and legally defensible exams.
Board of Directors elections were also held for Districts 3, 5, 7 and 9. Charles Perine, executive secretary of the Alabama Funeral Board, was elected to his second term representing District 3. Robert Gribble, executive director of the Tennessee Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers, was also elected to a second term representing District 5. Rodney McFarland, board member with the Louisiana Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, was elected to represent District 7, and Jennifer Kandt was elected to represent District 9 for a second term.
Dale Atkinson, ICFSEB legal counsel, began the next day by providing attendees with an update on recent cases involving various regulatory professions nationwide and discussing key learning points from each case.
The Funeral Service Administrators Forum provided regulatory colleagues an opportunity to discuss common issues and share best practices. The Exam Roundup provided a forum to discuss common goals and obstacles pertaining to licensing exams, education and licensure. The roles and responsibilities of ICFSEB, the American Board of Funeral Service Education and professional associations were also discussed. The ICFSEB Fishbowl, an attendee favorite, returned this year with its interactive session during which attendees rotate in small groups to discuss current burning questions.
Exam Committee member John Rice received the President’s Distinguished Service Award for his continued service and dedication to the profession, including 11 years of volunteering on the committee.
Lastly, the 2022-23 Board of Directors and Executive Committee were installed. District 9 Director Jennifer Kandt will serve as president, District 4 Director Jon Rettig Sr. as vice president and District 6 Director Martin Rieken as secretary-treasurer. Blair Nelsen will serve as past president. theconferenceonline.org