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PLPA College

july 17-19, 2019

holiday inn
university of memphis

memphis, tennessee

2019 PLPA College Registration is Closed. Please register onsite at the registration desk

*To register by mail or by fax, click here to download the registration form.

Hotel Accommodations

All educational sessions held at the Holiday Inn at the University of Memphis. Room rates are $119 a night.

3700 Central Avenue
Memphis, Tennessee 38111

Reference the PLPA meeting over the phone or use the code PLP on the website.

Call for Presentations

The Pet Loss Professionals Alliance (PLPA) is seeking dynamic, engaging, and knowledgeable presenters for the 2019 PLPA College to be held at the Holiday Inn – University of Memphis on July 17-19. Proposals are solicited for 50-minute presentations that are hands-on, interactive, creative, dynamic, and feature best practices. Attendees should leave with specific knowledge and skills related to your session topic and how it relates to their future development as pet loss professionals. Presentations should provide attendees with educational value and refrain from promoting a specific business, product, or service.

This is your opportunity to give back to the pet loss profession by sharing your knowledge and expertise. Proposals are due to the ICCFA by Wednesday, February 20th, 2019. When submitting a session proposal please include:

  1. Your contact information, a brief bio regarding your background and qualifications, and a head & shoulders picture of yourself.
  2. A detailed description of your topic, including the specific tools, techniques and/or initiatives the attendee will be able to implement immediately.
  3. Any request for compensation must be included in your proposal or it will not be granted.

Send proposals to Shannon Green at by February 20th, 2019. Questions? Call Shannon at 571-323-2981.

2019 Schedule of Events

5:00–6:00 pm

Registration Desk Open

6:00–7:30 pm

Welcome Reception

7:00 – 9:00 am
Registration Desk Open

7:30 – 8:30 am
Early Bird Session: Risk Management in the Pet Loss Profession
Jim Starks, CFuE, CCRE
Find out some of the risks that can affect a pet loss business. We will start off with what  could happen in the work environment such as theft, accidents like trips and falls, and safeguards when dealing with money. The different OSHA standards covered will be pet loss business needs to be aware of and what measures a pet loss business need to address with each standard. Finishing up, also discussing crematory standard operating procedures that should be followed from making the removal, to returning the cremated pet remains to the pet owners. Failure to properly manage the risk of providing pet loss services and/or operating a pet crematory is an invitation for disaster.

8:30 – 9:00 am

9:00 – 9:15 am

9:15 – 11:15 am
Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace
Marguerite Ham
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the foundation for many critical skills. Research shows that EQ is more important than IQ in almost every role in the workplace and even more important in leadership roles. In fact, 90% of top performers score high on EQ tests. In this interactive, information packed session, participants will clearly understand what EQ is, the role it plays in the workplace and how to build and develop their EQ skills.

11:15 – 11:30 am
Break & Vendor Visits

11:30 am– 12:30 pm
Standard Operating Procedures
Kevin Woronchak & Mark Meinholz, CPLP
Do you want to be considered “THE” place to go in your area for pet deathcare needs? Is your business operating ethically, morally and within the PLPA Standard Operating Procedures? Learn about the new PLPA SOPs, how to implement them and who will be checking for compliance.

12:30 – 1:30 pm
Working Lunch: The Important of Pet Trusts
Peggy Hoyt, CPLP
For most of us, there isn’t a week that doesn’t go by when we are asked to help re-home a pet. Especially if a pet parent enters hospice or dies. During lunch, Peggy will discuss best practices that you can share with families, so they can be pro-active vs. reactive, ensuring their pet’s life does not have to end, because their owner has come to their end of life.

1:30 – 2:30 pm
What’s Your First Impression?
Nicole “Nicki” Wiedeman, CSE
A phone call is often the first impression that families and veterinarians have of your business. Is the impression you are giving one of professionalism and caring? In this session, Nicki Wiedeman will share what she has learned from data collected mystery telephone shopping within the pet loss profession. Learn how to assess your team’s telephone etiquette, and how you can be confident that they really “have the caller at hello.”

2:30 – 3:30 pm
Outside Looking In: Understanding A Vet Clinic’s Point of View
Christy Phillips
As a pet loss professional, we face many challenges, especially when partnering with numerous vet clinics. While they all are “vet clinics” each have their own nuances. This class will share ways to navigate through these encounter as we grow our business.

3:30 – 3:45 pm

3:45 – 4:45 pm
Can History Predict the Future?
Coleen Ellis, CPLP
If you’re a history buff, you can’t help but think when you read or hear the morning news, that you’ve “seen this movie before.” What if you have? What if the rhythms of how four different generational archetypes repeat and align over time actually helps forecast future behavior? Many of the most sophisticated marketers believe it and have been blending generational marketing theory with segmentation and cohort modeling for nearly 30 years to instruct their marketing and influence product design. You’ve likely never heard of this before, but this presentation will have you raising an eyebrow and murmuring “so that’s why they do what they do”! The marketing insights of this presentation are fascinating and might just help you develop the competitive advantage necessary to enjoy how this movie ends!

4:45 – 5:00 pm
Daily Debrief

7:00 – 9:00 am
Registration Desk Open

7:30 – 8:30 am
Early Bird Session: From Flood to Fires
Jodi Clock, CPLP, Roberta Knauf, CPLP and Kevin Woronchak
The unthinkable can happen anytime, anywhere. When disaster strikes are you ready to roll? Our presenters will share their first-hand knowledge and best practices from handling kennel fires, natural disasters and more.

8:30 – 9:00 am

9:00 – 10:00 am
Know Your Own Numbers
David Nixon
Let’s roll up our sleeves and do a deep dive into the true costs of running your pet loss business. Between our fixed costs, variable costs, not to mention being perceived as a commodity, it’s time to do some forensic work to see if our prices reflect what we should be charging. As a business, we must price properly and not be afraid to do so.

10:00 – 10:15 am
Break and Vendor Visits

10:15 – 11:15 am
Is Your Virtual Employee Performing at Their Best?
Holly Snyder

Your virtual employee is that extra person that is always there but we always forget about: Your website and social media presence. Is your website relevant for today’s pet parent? Is it attracting business, educating your customers and monetizing correctly? When was the last time you did a content evaluation? Are you using social media effectively? Learn how to make sure your virtual employee is performing at their best with this presentation.

11:15 am– 12:15 pm
Legal Issues Pet Death Care Providers are Facing
Poul Lemasters, Esq.
As the pet death care profession continues to grow, so does the opportunity for risk exposure. In a short period of time several topics will be discussed in a speed learning venue. This session will help you protect and while growing your business.

12:15 – 12:30 pm
Debrief & Closing


Move In Times:

Wednesday, July 17, 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Thursday, July 18, 7:00 am – 7:30 am

Move Out Times:

Friday, July 19, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm

Show Hours/General Session:

Thursday, July 18, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, July 19, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm

Optional early bird sessions begin at 7:30 am on both days.

Welcome Reception:

Wednesday, July 17, 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm

thank you to our 2019 sponsors