STERLING, VA (August 7, 2023) – Kansas City, Missouri set the stage for more than 936 attendees, including over 200 first-time guests, and 1,012 exhibitors to connect during the 2023 International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) Annual Convention & Exposition which took place on May 16-19 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

The convention featured four well-received keynote presentations from Mark Panciera, CEO of the Pacific Institute; Andre Dawson, MLB Hall-of-Famer and funeral home owner; Carmen Best, the first African American Chief of Police at the Seattle Police Department, and Maddy Dychtwald, co-founder of Age Wave. Attendees also had the opportunity to learn from global deathcare leaders at 39 breakout sessions which featured topics such as cremation marketing, implementation of pet services, embalming, leadership, strategic planning, natural organic reduction, and more.

Throughout the week, the ICCFA had the honor of recognizing many members of the deathcare profession for their achievements and contributions. Quarter & Half Century Club inductees had their dedication to the association celebrated during the Annual Meeting of Members on Wednesday, and later that evening Doug Gober was awarded the ICCFA Educational Foundation’s prestigious Lasting Impact Award for his commitment and contributions to the deathcare profession over his 44-year career. Keeping It Personal (KIP) winners were recognized on the mainstage on Thursday morning for their extraordinary dedication to the personalization of services and products to better serve families.

More highlights from the week include a rousing opening concert from 7 Bridges: The Ultimate Eagles Experience band on Tuesday following the Grand Opening of the exposition hall. First-time attendees were welcomed by ICCFA’s Board of Directors and Committee Chairs during a reception and the Green Burial Council hosted a meet and greet to teach attendees about their mission to advocate for environmentally sustainable death practices. The Convention came to a close at Friday’s banquet which began with a moving performance of, “A Day in the Life of a Funeral Director,” followed by the annual Celebration of Remembrance, all made possible by the team at SCI Funeral Services of Florida.

Outgoing ICCFA President Gary Freytag said the following regarding the event, “This year’s Annual Convention & Exposition was a great success and one that highlighted the ICCFA’s efforts to provide education and networking opportunities to deathcare professionals of all kinds. I want to thank our convention co-chairs, Don Winsett and Phil Zehms, for their hard work and excitement around this amazing event. I look forward to another successful event next year in Tampa.”

The 2024 ICCFA Annual Convention & Exposition will be held at the JW Marriott Tampa Water Street and Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida, on April 10-13, 2024. More information on next year’s event will be available soon at

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Founded in 1887, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral, and memorialization profession. The association is comprised of more than 10,000 members in the cemetery, funeral home, and crematory industries, as well as supplier and related businesses worldwide.