STERLING, VA (March 16, 2023) – The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) will be holding the 2023 ICCFA University on July 21 – 26 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Students at the ICCFAU will receive the world-class education and networking that they have come to expect from the event, with two major changes coming for 2023.

Todd Van Beck, longstanding Dean of the College of Funeral Home Management, announced that he would be ending his tenure following the completion of the 2022 ICCFA University. “Todd Van Beck has made a profound impact on the students of ICCFA University,” said Jeff Kidwiler, ICCFA University Chancellor. “He touched the lives and careers of hundreds of deathcare professionals in an incredibly meaningful way. As a colleague and a friend, I would like to thank him for his immense, decades-spanning contribution to ICCFA University.”

Mathew (Mat) Forastiere, Senior Vice President of Operations for Park Lawn Corporation, has been selected to succeed Todd Van Beck as Dean of the College of Funeral Home Management starting this summer. When asked about Mat’s selection as Dean, Jeff Kidwiler had this to say, “I’m confident that Mat will be able to continue the incredible legacy that Todd has left for the College of Funeral Home Management. His dedication to the curriculum and his students will be evident from the very first minute that his college kicks off and I’m very excited to have Mat join our faculty.”

The ICCFA University will also see the addition of a new course of study starting this summer, the ICCFA University Graduate Program. This new program is designed for C-Suite leaders and senior executives who are ready to drive collaboration, innovation, and growth while reaching the highest levels of leadership. The Graduate Program is limited to 12 students and will be instructed by deathcare leaders such as Jay Dodds, CFSP, President & Chief Operations Officer of Park Lawn Corporation, Darin Drabing, President & Chief Executive Officer of Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries, Gary Freytag, CCFE, President of the ICCFA and President & Chief Executive Officer of Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, Bob Gordon Jr., CCE, President & Chief Executive Officer of Cypress Lawn Cemetery Association, and Robbie Pape, Presidentelect of the ICCFA and Senior Vice President of Operations & Regional Partner of Carriage Services.

“The Graduate Program will be an intimate and interactive program, instructed by deathcare leaders at the highest level,” said Kidwiler. “It will only be available to ICCFAU graduates or those with a special recommendation from our Deans. The instructors are preparing an unrivaled educational experience for students, creating a curriculum where they’ll share their invaluable experience and knowledge.”

Scholarship applications and registration for the 2023 ICCFA University are now available. For more information on the colleges, Graduate Program, scholarships, and lodging, please visit


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.