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NFDA does not endorse and is not responsible for views expressed by the speakers.
Workshop recordings will be available for purchase in the NFDA store.

8 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Preconvention Seminar

Certified Celebrant Training (17 CE hours) Seminar Day 3 of 3

Business Operations Customer Service Professional Skills

Set your firm apart from the competition and offer more to the families you serve! As families’ wishes continue to evolve, it is more important than ever to offer a variety of services that meet their needs and exceed their expectations. Fewer families incorporate religious rites into memorial services now so how can you fill that gap? Many funeral homes look to celebrants and find it most economical to train their staff to accommodate this growing demand for customized services. A certified celebrant works with a funeral director to provide a funeral service, memorial service or tribute that is personalized to reflect the personality and  life of the deceased. (17 CE hours through InSight Institute)

$865 NFDA members or eligible non-funeral directors
$995 nonmember funeral directors

The rates above are for the 3-day seminar. Fee includes light meals and refreshments.

Separate registration required

$845 NFDA members or eligible non-funeral directors
$995 nonmember funeral directors

The rates above are for the 3-day seminar. Fee includes light meals and refreshments.

Registration for this event is closed.

8 A.M. - 5 P.M. | NFDA Central

NFDA Membership
If you’re not already, this is the perfect time to become a member of the world’s largest funeral service association. Discover how NFDA can provide you with the resources you need, when you need them, to help you and your firm adapt and grow in the future. And if you are an NFDA member, then stop by to renew your NFDA membership and/or music/webcasting licenses.

NFDA Store
Shop for the latest products, community-outreach materials, NFDA merchandise and Remembering A Life items.

Funeral Service Foundation
The Funeral Service Foundation awards a variety of academic and professional development scholarships, offers professional and community resources, and makes grants to organizations that advance its mission of investing in people and programs to strengthen funeral service and lift up grieving communities. Learn how the Foundation offers support for every stage of your career, and how you can make a gift that will impact the profession.

Join NFDA’s podcast host, Gabe Schauf, at the NFDA Live stage to hear 15-minute interviews with industry movers and shakers, as well as special guests. Be a part of our live Facebook stream and explore the hottest topics in funeral service! Watch last year's NFDA Live interviews. A daily schedule will be available closer to the event.

NFDA Advocacy
NFDA has your back in Washington, D.C. Whether it’s veterans’ funeral and burial issues, federal mass fatality planning and response, small business and tax issues, body broker legislation, or representing your views to the EPA, OSHA, DoL, DoD, FTC, Congress and the White House, never doubt that your national association works to advocate for legislation and regulation that positively impacts your profession and business.

8:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M. | Preconvention Seminar

Extreme Restoration Case Solutions: “What to Do and Use” (4 CE hours)

Technical Skills
Karl Wenzel, CFSP
Founder | Canadian School of Advanced PREP

Instructors will illustrate step-by-step techniques to make viewing possible when faced with the worst cases imaginable. Discover how to chemically treat and restore various levels of decomposed and traumatized individuals. Expand your knowledge and comfort level to tackle the most difficult cases. Chemical selection and techniques will be discussed. See and learn what new products and techniques are in the prep room. We’ll examine conditions such as edema, jaundice, cancer and severe emaciation and discuss how to solve these modern-day dilemmas in the preparation room. (4 CE hours)

Separate registration required

$180 NFDA members before September 20; $205 after September 20, 2022.
$255 nonmember funeral directors before September 20; $280 after September 20, 2022.
$90 for mortuary students

Online registration is now closed. Member Service Representatives are available to register you over the phone at 800-228-6332, Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. CT through Wednesday, October 5.

Onsite registration hours are below:

  • Saturday, October 8: 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, October 9: 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Registration for this event is closed.

9 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Annual Funeral Service Foundation Golf Classic*

22nd Annual Funeral Service Foundation Golf Classic SOLD OUT

Shotgun start (scramble format)
Motor coach departs from the Hilton Baltimore Inner Harbor at 6:15 a.m.

Now in it’s 22nd year, the Funeral Service Foundation’s Annual Golf Classic has raised more than $1.5 million in support of its mission to invest in people and programs that strengthen funeral service and lift up grieving communities.

Gather a foursome* of friends, colleagues and clients for the annual Funeral Service Foundation Golf Classic. This year’s event takes place at the world-class Whiskey Creek Golf Club, located 45 minutes from downtown Baltimore.

Both the bold and the cautious golfer will find a route on this honest – yet dramatic – course, designed by J. Michael Poellot and Ernie Els. Each hole challenges a player’s shot-making ability and offers risks and rewards.

Strategic and creative shots will fare best on this dynamic course, which features several elevated tees, a fairway forking around the stone ruins of an old farmhouse, and a free-flowing creek. Dramatic views of the Catoctin Mountains and an all-around spectacular setting make Whiskey Creek’s beauty and play unforgettable.

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | Workshops (1 CE hour)

Boost Preneed Sales With a “Before I Die” Festival

Gail Rubin
The Doyenne of Death, A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die

How do you encourage people to come to your funeral home without attending a funeral? Invite these future customers to attend a Before I Die Festival. With a one- or two-day event at your facility, you can address the public’s curiosity, educate them about new trends in death care, build your preneed customer pipeline, generate great local media stories, and connect your funeral home to complementary end-of-life businesses. Utilize behind-the-scenes tours, panel discussions, and outside-the-box activities to engage your community. Learn how several funeral homes leveraged Before I Die Festivals to generate warm leads, create community connections, get great news coverage, and foster end-of-life planning conversations leading to preneed sales. (1 CE hour)

Online Deathcare: Evolving Consumer Expectations

Customer Service
Scott Ankerholz
Vice President of Marketing | Foundation Partners Group
Lee Senderov
Chief Marketing & Digital Officer | Foundations Partners Group
Luke Frieberg
President | eFuneral
Sally Camm
Director of Digital Engagement | Astound Commerce

The past two years have seen a quiet transformation in the way consumers talk about death and deathcare services, particularly online. This panel discussion featuring digital marketing experts will reveal new data to help you understand those changes and how digital habits and evolving consumer expectations about online deathcare services will impact the way we offer those services in the future. (1 CE hour)

Death in Color: Understanding Black American Funeral Culture

Professional Development
Vanessa Misoon

As the world becomes more aware, and more interested in understanding the cultural experiences and plights of Black Americans, glimpses into typically closed traditions and customs, are becoming integral to facilitating a comprehensive understanding of how to best service the community.  This session is intended to provide funeral service professionals of all backgrounds a historical overview of the Black funeral home, and Black funeral culture, in America. (1 CE hour)

New Sustainable Disposition Options

Business Operations
Ed Gazvoda
President | Fireless Cremation

Inconvenient truth: operators of crematories and cemeteries are facing increasing regulatory pressure. Denying trends does not stop them from happening, while clinging to the past is a recipe for failure. No business wants to become the next Polaroid Corporation. Understanding the outside forces shaping the funeral industry is vital to your business’s ability to thrive. Discover new options to offer the families you serve. (1 CE hour)

Understanding the Millennial Professional

Professional Development
Antonio Green
Funeral Director | James H. Cole Home for Funerals

The typical funeral home in the United States is owned and/or operated by an individual of the baby boomer or early generation X age range. Millennials, who will soon become the successors in these businesses, act and operate very differently. They are changing how businesses operate and carving new paths in almost every industry, including death care. Understand why millennials are so different than previous generations, and learn how to engage and motivate these employees as your best asset. (1 CE hour)

1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. | Workshops (1 CE hour)

Ethical Issues: Where Do I Draw the Line?

Professional Development
Jeff Zealley
Associate Professor | Salt Lake Community College

Certain situations require ethical decisions be made in funeral service. The laws, regulations, and policies governing our profession do not always dictate what is right or wrong with a particular ethical issue. You’ll examine the moral principles of ethics, learn how to make difficult ethical decisions, and identify guidelines to use when facing ethical issues at work. (1 CE hour)

Design Inspiration for Funerals

Business Operations
Karen Bussen

The way we host funerals is rapidly changing. Requests for “celebrations of life” are on the rise, and families want to personalize their tributes in unique ways that align with their values and their interests.

Discover 50 ideas to help you impress your families with enhanced design details, great interactive moments, and the latest reception concepts. Enhance your offerings by adding streamlined style to your tribute events and create opportunities for attractive upselling. (1 CE hour)

Grief, Humor and Healing

Grief & Bereavement
Joseph Thomas
CFSP, Funeral Director | Shackelford Funeral Directors

People often believe the funeral home is no place for fun or laughter, but as funeral professionals we know that families and friends laugh in our buildings all the time. The fact is those families who allow themselves to embrace humor during grief tend to grieve in a more healthy way than the ones who refuse. Understand why so many families are uncomfortable in the funeral home and learn how laughter can remedy this discomfort and set them on a path to healing. Humor can be just as powerful and an effective coping tool for funeral professionals too! (1 CE hour)

Creating Meaningful Cremation Rituals

Alexandra Jo
Content Manager | Parting Stone

It is no surprise ritual is an important part of the grieving process. Learn how to create meaningful rituals for families choosing cremation. Discover the six main types of rituals contemporary death planners are looking for, and many of the options available to cremation families today. Uncover how focusing on ritual and experience building will help funeral professionals re-frame rising cremation rates as an opportunity instead of a challenge. More options for ritual building bring more intrinsic value to cremation services in the eyes of consumers and helps families see cremation as an investment instead of a purchase. (1 CE hour)

Embalming: Let’s Do Better

Technical Skills
Dana Goodell
Director of Sales | The Embalmers Supply Company

Embalming is not the same today as it was 5 years ago. With the introduction of new medications, COVID-19, longer life expectancy, delayed embalming, as well as many other changes, it is vitally important embalmers recognize these changes and adjust their approach in the preparation room. Understand the need to be flexible in your approach, sharpen specific embalming techniques and learn best practices for every embalming case analysis. (1 CE hour)

2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. (1 CE hour)

Navigating OSHA: Upside Potential and Downside Risk

Compliance & Legal
Mark Harrison
President | Certified Safety Training

Do you know what death care facilities are most at risk for OSHA violations? Or that the average OSHA fine is more than $13,000? NFDA Endorsed Provider Certified Safety Training (CST) outlines how to build and leverage a culture of safety to eliminate the largest OSHA fines before they exist. We look at the top OSHA fines, distill complex technical regulations into plain English, and show you how to award yourself for “proactive safety.” We offer the necessary training tools and resources to ensure you meet and exceed OSHA’s funeral home standards and never pay an OSHA fine. (1 CE hour)

Distracted Driving- What Is Important to You?

Business Operations
Stewart Van Duzer
First Vice President Director of Special Projects | Federated Insurance

Not only is distracted driving a serious problem, it’s an epidemic. With each new mobile device, the potential for behind-the-wheel distractions increases and so does your business’s exposure to risk. Learn how to implement a mobile device/driving policy at your company, educate your employees on this hazard, and discover technology solutions that can aid you in restricting mobile phone use in vehicles. It’s up to each of us to make ending distracted driving a priority. The lives of those who are important to us may depend on it. (1 CE hour)

Sponsored by

The Price is Right: How to Compete on Service

Business Operations
Danielle Burmeister
Director of Marketing and Communications | Homesteaders Life Company

Too often, funeral providers who pride themselves on offering exceptional service spend most of their time talking to families about out-of-pocket costs. Or they find themselves in a difficult (and unsustainable) position after lowering prices to compete with low-cost providers. What do you do when you discover that your profit margin is no longer enough to support your historic service levels? Discover actionable steps for how to compete as a service leader in your market, shifting conversations away from what consumers pay and toward the long-lasting value of your goods, services and expertise. (1 CE hour)

Live Streaming 2.0

Bruce Likly
President and Co-founder | TribuCast

As a result of the pandemic, funeral homes had to quickly pivot to live streaming services. This often meant that there were far more remote attendees than in-person attendees at funerals. Explore the ways in which funeral directors can build their virtual brand by adopting best practices to create an online environment that closely matches the in-person experience, enabling all loved ones to grieve effectively regardless of their location or circumstances. Understand why the remote attendee experience is important and how it impacts a funeral home's brand image. (1 CE hour)

From Legislative to Legal

Compliance & Legal
Lesley Witter
Senior Vice President, Advocacy | NFDA
Chris Farmer
General Counsel | NFDA

It is a challenge to keep up with the ever-changing state and federal public policy, especially when your priority as a funeral director is ensuring the families that you serve receive the care and attention they deserve. Join NFDA’s experts to discuss a comprehensive review of both legislative and legal issues facing funeral service today.

3:30 - 4:30 P.M. | Professional Women's Conference Reconnect

Women Making Waves in Baltimore

If you didn’t want the Professional Women’s Conference to end, you’re not alone!  Let’s reconnect in Baltimore with special guest Annette March-Grier.  It’s time to mingle, network and share some refreshments with other women in funeral service. This unique event is generously sponsored by NGL.


Sponsored by

5 - 5:30 P.M. | First Timers Reception

First Timers Reception

We want your first NFDA International Convention & Expo to be confusion-free, valuable, and enjoyable. Join us at the First Timers Reception to meet and mingle with NFDA staff and Board members who will provide guidance as you navigate your first show. This complimentary event will include beer, wine, and light appetizers. Head over to Power Plant Live main entrance and we'll guide you over to Leinie Lodge.

5:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. | Welcome Party

Welcome Party

Take a trip to the world of leg warmers, neon, and totally awesome music. Get ready to flashdance in Charm City with an evening of laughter, friendship and refreshments. Enjoy live music by 80’s cover band The Reagan Years, plus appetizers, a cash bar and mingling with friends, old and new.

Location: Power Plant Live
Dress: Casual
Admission: Convention Badge
Pick up your badge at the registration desks located on Level 2 on Saturday, October 8 from 7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. and on Sunday, October 9 from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Admission is free to all registered attendees.

Sponsored by