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Workshop recordings will be available for purchase in the NFDA store.

7:30 A.M. - 5:30 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.

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.

9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. | Workshops (1 CE hour)

Funeral Rule Compliance and Update on the FTC Funeral Rule

Compliance & Legal
Chris Farmer
General Counsel | NFDA
Melissa Dickey
FTC Funeral Rule Coordinator

Learn the top Funeral Rule compliance issues and the steps your funeral home can take to avoid FTC Funeral Rule violations. Hear the latest information on the FTC review of the Funeral Rule which kicked off at the beginning of 2020 as well as a discussion of how the review process will play out. (1 CE hour)

Standing for Something Larger Than Yourself

Grief & Bereavement
Annette March-Grier, RN, CFSP
Co-founder & President | Roberta’s House

Annette R. March-Grier, a pioneer in bereavement care, tells her intriguing life story of a young girl growing up in a three-story rowhouse funeral home in Baltimore City. She will share how she witnessed things that most children never experience and how her life evolved to bring change to her community and city.  Her divine calling as an adult, a mortician, and a registered nurse was no small feat. She boldly claims her childhood environment, with her compassionate parents as role models, shaped and molded her to discover her passion and find her purpose. She faced many challenges, fears, and the unknown to create a resource that did not exist in her city or state, a family grief support center that has served over 7000 children and adults.  Her journey is unending and continues to bring challenges but none that she can’t face as one more opportunity to make the world a better, kinder place.  (1 CE hour)

When Words Aren’t Enough

Grief & Bereavement
Michele Neff Hernandez
Founder & CEO | Soaring Spirits International

Some deaths leave even the most seasoned professional speechless. Walking with people through unbelievable tragedies, out of order deaths, and complicated family circumstances is emotionally, mentally and physically challenging. How can you offer comfort during the most difficult of times? How do you care for yourself while carrying this burden beside the bereaved? What do you do when words aren't enough? Gain practical suggestions for assisting grieving people (with a focus on those who are widowed) both in the moment, and in the future. (1 CE hour)

Closing the Deal: Growth by Acquisition

Business Operations
Jeff Smith
Owner | Smith North Little Rock Funeral Home

Today's funeral environment benefits larger operators who can consolidate resources and dominate a market.  We went from serving 450 families a year to over 3000, and we did it without investing our own money.  You can too! Learn step by step how to create a plan for growth by acquisition and execute that plan.  What is involved, who you need on your team along with how to determine a good target, determine a fair value, obtain financing, combining the companies after you close and more.  

Gain the confidence to grow without fear. (1 CE hour)

Caring for Donors

Technical Skills
Kelley Romanowski
Partner Support Liaison | LifeSource
Melinda Van Waus
Partner Support Liaison | LifeSource

Learn best practice restorative techniques post tissue recovery.  Discover practical and inventive ideas on the care of a tissue donor as well as essential supplies for the funeral home.  Explore the challenges and importance of reconstructing a donor for a public viewing or an ID viewing. We’ll discuss concerns of funeral service practitioners and ways to collaborate to improve relations through education, training, and support. (1 CE hour)

11 a.m. – 12 p.m. | Service of Remembrance

Service of Remembrance Military Heritage: Reflection of Service and Sacrifice

Every day, our service members selflessly put their lives on the line to keep us safe and protect our freedom. The primary mission of Air Force Mortuary Affairs Operations is to fulfill the nation’s sacred commitment of ensuring dignity, honor and respect to the fallen and care, service and support to their families. Join us in exploring the customs associated with honoring the lives of our fallen and honoring the memory of funeral service family members who died this year.

Sponsored by

12 p.m. - 5 p.m. | Expo Hall

Leading suppliers bring the latest products and services – along with exclusive offers – to the NFDA Expo Hall.

12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m. | Expo Hall Conversation Cafés | 1.5 CE hours

Recruitment & Retention Strategies for Funeral Homes

Business Operations
Matt Bailey
President | Bailey Family Funeral Homes
Jay Dietz
Vice President of Operations | Vertin Group
Todd Harra
Vice President | McCrery & Harra Funeral Homes
Jamie Hasty
Senior Vice President | SESCO Management Consultants

More and more employees are quitting their jobs in favor of jobs that come with better compensation and benefits, work/life balance and more meaningful work. It is obvious that the Pandemic brought many changes to the labor market, and many funeral homes are in the midst of a major labor crisis. What is driving the “Great Resignation” and how do we curtail it? The answers are complex and require a deep dive into the organization and commitment by leadership to address the challenges. We’ll explore ways that leadership can engage and retain their current workforce. Funeral home owners and operators will share strategies for employee recruitment and retention, and our human resources expert will offer practical recommendations to avoid screening and hiring snafus. (1.5 CE hours)

The Defense Never Rests

Compliance & Legal
Chris Farmer
General Counsel | NFDA
Mike Nicodemus
Vice President, Cremation Services | NFDA
Victor March Sr., CPA, CFSP, CPC
President & CEO | MARCORP, LTD & Subsidiaries

Are you keeping your funeral home, crematory, cemetery and individual funeral directors out of legal trouble? Join our expert legal panel to discuss how you can reduce the risk of lawsuits and claims against your business. (1 CE hours)

4:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. | Installation of 2022-23 NFDA President & Board of Directors

Installation of 2022-23 NFDA President & Board of Directors

Reception to follow 5 – 5:30 p.m.

5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | Funeral Directors Under 40 Party

The Raven’s Rave Axe-throwing Event: Funeral Directors Under 40 Party

We throw a party by throwing axes! After a day at the convention center, you’ll definitely want to join your under-40 colleagues to socialize and unwind. Enjoy a private arena and dedicated team of axe coaches to teach you and your colleagues the ropes safely! Ticket price includes two drink tickets, heavy hors d’oeuvres, and an axe-throwing lesson by Kraken Axes’ coaches. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, step into the arena and test your axethrowing skills. Who will end up as the AXE MASTER?

Location: Kraken Axes
Price: $60
Dress: Casual; Closed-toed shoes required.