ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo

Save the date
march 30 – april 2, 2020

henry b. gonzalez convention center 
San Antonio, texas

The ICCFA Annual Convention & Exposition is your best opportunity of the year to connect with more than 1,000 cemetery, cremation and funeral service owners and managers from throughout North America and the world.

Call for presentations

Annual Convention co-chairs Robbie Pape and Gino Merendino have issued a call for presentations for the 2020 ICCFA Annual Convention in San Antonio, Texas on March 30 – April 2. If you have expertise in a particular area of cemetery, cremation and funeral service, we would like to hear from you! Proposals are due to the ICCFA by Monday, July 1, 2019. Guidelines for these proposals are as follows:

  • Include your name, title, company name, address, phone, fax and email address.
  • Include a title and description for your session (approximately 100 words). All sessions are 50-minutes and your description should name at least two or three specific skills, techniques or ideas the attendee will take away from the session. We are most interested in sessions that share concrete, proven techniques and programs, as opposed to theory or opinion.
  • Include a brief bio and high-resolution head shot. Please include your experience and qualifications within the industry as well as any speaking experience you may have.
  • Include which segment of the profession would benefit most from your presentation: cemetery operations, funeral home operations, sales, human resources, pet loss, etc.
  • Note that we ask that speakers refrain from speaking about prices or other issues subject to antitrust legislation. In addition, we ask that speakers refrain from any type of promotional marketing or selling of any product or service during their presentation.
  • Any requests for compensation must be included in your proposal to be considered.

Please send proposals to Kirsten Kase at kase@iccfa.com,fax 703.391.8416 or mail them to ICCFA, 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100, Sterling VA 20164. Questions, call Kirsten at 703.391.8402

Countdown to the 2020 ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo








Online registration coming soon

We are using a new registration system!
Here is a guide to help you through the new reg process.

Hotel Accommodations

Coming soon!

Beware of unauthorized housing providers!

Please be aware of that hotel scammers may try to contact you regarding hotel rooms for the Annual Convention. These companies are not approved by the ICCFA. We encourage all attendees to register via the links provided on this site. If you have any questions about housing, please contact the ICCFA meetings department at 703.391.8400. Thank you!

Before the 2019 ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo
Monday, April 1 to Wednesday, April 3
Hilton Charlotte Center City
222 East 3rd St, Charlotte, NC 
Rooms only $215 per night. The cut-off date for making reservations was March 11, 2019.
Reserve your hotel room at the Hilton by calling (704) 377-1500

Enter the 2019 KIP Award Contest

Submit entry for:

Best Event

Annual Convention 2020 Keynote Speakers

Alan Wolfelt, PhD

Alan Wolfelt, PhD

Celeste Headlee

Celeste Headlee

Bruce Tulgan

Bruce Tulgan

Join us as we honor those who have given back to our industry:

Ernie Heffner, CFuE

Ernie Heffner, CFuE

Lasting Impact Award

Award ceremony during the ICCFA Educational Foundation Reception on Thursday, April 4 starting at 6 pm

at the Closing Dinner, we remember colleagues and loved ones who have passed away this past year.

If you would like to remember a colleague, loved one or a family pet who passed away this past year, please fill out the appropriate digital submission form below to be included in the Celebration of Remembrance. Submissions are due on February 28, 2019.

are you eligible for an iccfa quarter or half century club membership?

If you have been employed by an ICCFA member organization(s) for at least 25 (Quarter Century) or 50 (Half Century) years (and the organization has maintained its membership status throughout the 25 or 50 years), you are eligible to apply for the award to receive a 25 or 50-year certificate during the Annual Meeting of Members at the 2019 Annual Convention and Exposition in Charlotte, NC. Submissions are due no later than February 28, 2019.


12:00–6:00 pm

Exhibitor move in/set up

2:00–3:45 pm

Finance Committee Meeting

4:00–6:oo pm

Executive Committee Meeting

6:30–9:30 pm

Welcome Reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame







7:00 – 8:30am

Educational Foundation Board Meeting

8:00 am– 7:00 pm

ICCFA Registration Desk Open

8:30 – 10:30 am

Board of Director Meeting

10:30 am–11:30 pm

JFDA Business Meeting

11:00 am–1:00 pm

Sales & Marketing Committee Meeting

11:00 am–2:00 pm

PLPA Committee Meeting

12:00–1:00 pm

Certification Subcommittee Meeting

12:00–2:00 pm

Government & Legal Committee Meeting

1:00–2:00 pm

Membership Committee Meeting

1:00–3:00 pm

IMSA Board Meeting

2:00 – 4:00 PM

Breakout Sessions

2:00 pm

  • DIY Facebook & Social Media Marketing
    Robin Heppell, CFSP, Funeral Gurus
  • Goal Setting for Success
    Jodie Dupree, SCI North Carolina

3:00 pm

  • Serving the Community Through the Doors of the Funeral Home
    Jill Lazar, Hoffman Funeral Home and Crematory
  • From Clicks to Cases
    Andy Lopez
4:00–7:00 pm

Expo Hall Grand Opening


7:00 am–7:00 pm


7:30–10:00 am

IMSA Business Meeting

8:00–9:30 am

ICCFA Annual Meeting of Members

9:30 am–12:00 pm

General Session

10:00 am

Keynote: Mindy Corporon

Former CEO and now activist, Mindy Corporon took action after her son and father were murdered in a religious hate crime. Mindy started the Faith Always Wins Foundation and a community-wide event, SevenDays® Make a Ripple, Change the World. She formed high school programming for productive interfaith dialogue and now helps companies create healthy workplace environments so healing can occur after life’s tragedies. In her talk, Managing Your Business Through a Tragedy, Mindy will tell her story and share how to manage through a tragedy, how you can address fear in a comfortable setting, who you can count on in the midst of chaos, and how to engage your team to promote healing and build resiliency.

11:00 am

Keynote: Drew Dudley

What if we believed that leadership wasn’t just for those in charge? What if we embraced our ability to lead, no matter our school grades or pay-grade? The most impactful leaders focus on “everyday leadership” and ensure that it’s fostered, acknowledged, and rewarded. Drew Dudley’s keynote, Creating Cultures of Leadership and the Power of Lollipop Moments, will make you laugh, think, and reconsider the ways you evaluate leadership in your life and workplace. 

12:00–2:00 pm

Expo Hall Open
Lunch with Exhibitors in Expo Hall

2:00–5:00 pm

Expo Hall Open
Happy Hour

5:00–6:00 pm

First Timers Reception

5:00–6:00 pm

PLPA Reception

6:00–7:00 pm

Educational Foundation Reception

7:00 am–2:30 pm


7:30–8:30 am

Prayer Breakfast

8:00–8:30 am

New Board Orientation

8:30–9:30 am

Coffee Break

8:30–9:00 am

Pet Memorial Service and Keeping It Personal (KIP) Awards Ceremony

9:00 am

Keynote: Jon Acuff

According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, 92% of resolutions fail. That’s a staggering number considering how important goals are to companies. At every element of your work, goals matter. What if we could do some simple things to improve how often we finished what we started? What if we could complete the incomplete projects and tasks? What if we could get more done in a world of bottomless opportunities and endless distractions?

10:00 am–1:00 pm

Expo Hall Open
Lunch with Exhibitors

11:30 AM–2:00 Pm

Past Presidents’ Luncheon

1:00 PM

Registration Moves to Hallway

Breakout Sessions

1:00 pm
  • Cremation Authorization Form Pitstop
    Poul Lemasters, Esq., Lemasters Consulting
  • Recruit, Train & Retain Veterans
    Panel Moderator: Gino Merendino, Merendino Cemetery Care
  • Employee Empowerment: Profitability, Culture and Satisfaction
    Tim Bridgers, Live Oak Bank
  • The Pains and Gains of Entering the Hispanic Market
    Salvador Perches, Grupo Perches
2:00 pm
  • Raising $3,000 Every Day: How Congressional Cemetery Brings In $1.1 Million a Year
    Paul Williams, Historic Congressional Cemetery
  • Follow the Money: How Deathcare Businesses are Investing in the New Future
    Doug Gober, The Foresight Companies
  • When Your Day Ends
    Jeffrey Chancellor, CFSP
2:30 pm
  • Youth and Funerals
    Moderator: Mathew Forastiere, Park Lawn Corporation
    Panel: Brad Speaks, Speaks Family Legacy Chapels; Vicki Jay, National
3:00 pm
  • Engaging Your People to Serve More Families
    Gino Merendino, Merendino Cemetery Care
  • Your Comprehensive Pre-need Program: Insurance, Trust or a Little of Both?
    Elizabeth Kmiec & Ashlee Theising, Clearpoint Federal Bank & Trust
  • Addressing Sexual & Other Harassment in Your Funeral Business
    Stephanie Ramsey, The Foresight Companies
4:00 pm
  • Women in Leadership: Defining Your Impact
    Moderator: Jennifer Olvera, CCE, Green Hills Memorial Park
    Panelists: Shawna de la Cruz, Forest Lawn Memorial-Park & Mortuary; Gwen Mooney, CCFE, Cave Hill Cemetery; Lori Salberg, Johnson Consulting Group, and
  • Management of Cemetery Trees
    Josh Behounek, Davey Resource Group, Inc.
  • Marketing Workshop 101: The Definitive Guide to Best Practices in the Modern World
    Neil Sherrin, PlotBox
  • A Place to Go: Why Ceremonies Matter
    Linda Stuart, Life-Cycle Celebrant
5:00 – 6:00 PM

Organizational Board of Directors Meeting

7:00 am–1:00 pm


Breakout Sessions

9:00 am
  • It’s More Than Money: Non-Financial Incentives to Attract & Retain the Best Talent
    Mark Jorgensen, Global Recruiters of Cincinnati 
  • ”Should I Bring the Ashes With Me?”: Better Support for Those Who Have Lost Pets
    Jehanne Gheith, MSW, LCSW, PhD
  • Purpose-Filled Selling: Winning in Sales by Celebrating Life
    Justin Baxley, Foundation Partners Group, LLC
  • The Digital World: Using Mobile Technologies to Create Better Family Experiences
    Rob Shane, Batesville Casket Company, Inc.
10:00 am
  • Fighting for Relevance: A Healing Path Approach for Cemeteries
    Jason Troyer PhD & C. Lynn Gibson, PhD
  • Riding the Millennial Cycle: Better Strap In
    Chris Burke, FLMI, AGIA Affinity
  • Embracing the Customer Experience Revolution
    Jake Johnson & Lori Salberg, Johnson Consulting Group
  • Be the Extra Support Your Families Need & Get More Media Attention, Too!
    Allison Gilbert, author
11:00 am
  • How to Build a 21st Century Workplace
    Tyler Anderson, Precoa
  • Communication is a Two-Way Street
    Carolyn C. Shadle, PhD & John L. Meyer, PhD, Interpersonal Communication Services, Inc.
  • Art of Selling the “Big Deal” – How to Maximize Family Mausoleum Sales Opportunities
    Michael Harens, Coldspring
  • People with Disabilities: Involvement, Inclusion, and Healing
    Marc Markell, PhD, St. Cloud State University & University of Minnesota
12:00 pm
  • Donor Family Celebration of Life
    Dorman H. Caudle, Carolina Donor Services
  • Pet Disaster Recovery
    Jodi Clock, CPLP, Clock Funeral Home
  • Repeat Families: You Can’t Stay in Business Without Them
    Ellery Bowker, Aftercare.com
  • The Three Online Marketing Fundamentals You Must Master
    Welton Hong, Ring Ring Marketing
1:00–3:00 pm

Legal & Legislative Luncheon: A Regulatory Update Everyone Needs to Hear
Poul Lemasters, Esq., moderator

1:30–4:00 pm

Voices from the Past Historical Cemetery Walking Tour
A walking tour of Charlotte’s oldest historic cemeteries in this free event while learning about the 50 “residents” who have come back to life to share their stories at the site of their graves. 

6:00–6:30 pm

Closing Dinner Reception

6:30–7:00 pm

Celebrance of Remembrance

7:00–10:00 pm

Closing Banquet


Exhibiting FaQs


Do I have to be a member of ICCFA in order to exhibit?

No! Anyone can exhibit (ICCFA members or non-members). However, booth rates are lower for ICCFA members. If your company has never been a member of the ICCFA, an introductory supplier membership is available for just $245. Become a member and enjoy both the lower booth prices along with other great membership benefits.

What can I do to draw attention to my booth?

Advertising your booth number in the January, February, and the March/April issues of ICCFA Magazine is a great way to tell people your booth number and inform attendees of any give-aways you have for the convention (reduced rate for convention attendees, etc.).

Do I pay for my booth now?

Upfront payment is welcomed, but not necessary. A minimum $500 deposit is required for each 10′ x 10′ booth requested. The remaining balance is due by 02/01/2019, and will be processed on the same card used to place your deposit.

Where will the 2021 ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo be held?

The 2021 ICCFA Annual Convention will be held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors

2020 Sponsorship Opportunities

We have a variety of ways that you can support the convention and promote your company’s name, branding, booth number at the same time.

Please contact Kelly Spann to hear about sponsorship opportunities that await you at this year’s convention.