July 19-24, 2024
Emory University | Atlanta, GA

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Join Us for ICCFA University 2024!

Being held in Atlanta, Georgia, July 19-24, ICCFA University brings together professionals from all over the world to learn from the top leaders in deathcare, to network with their peers, and to hone their skills that will shape their career for years to come.

ONLINE REGISTERATION IS CLOSED

If you missed the deadline to register online for ICCFA University, you’re in luck! You can still register to attend our most in-depth educational event onsite at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Registration Rates

Price
One-Day Cremation Operator Registration $600
All Colleges $2,150
School of Graduate Studies $3,000

Colleges

ICCFA University currently has nine colleges for attendees to enroll in. Each is overseen by their respective Dean, an expert in the area of deathcare that the college focuses on. In many of the colleges, our Deans are joined by outside professors who provide individual expertise in the college.

The current colleges are:

  • College of 21st Century Services | Dean Glenda Stansbury
  • College of Cremation Services | Dean Clift Dempsey, CCrE, CCFE.
  • College of Hospitality & Customer Experience | Dean John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE
  • College of Land Management & Grounds Operations | Dean Gino Merendino
  • College of Leadership, Management & Administration | Dean Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • College of Technology | Dean Nick Timpe, CSE
  • J. Asher Neel College of Sales and Marketing | Dean Daniel Thomas
  • Todd Van Beck College of Funeral Home Management | Dean Mathew Forastiere
  • School of Graduate Studies | Dean Robbie Pape, CCFE

ICCFA University 2024 Schedule of Events

Dean Glenda Stansbury

How do you respond to a family who says, “We don’t want a traditional funeral”? You’ll learn how to go beyond tradition with innovative offerings and become certified as a funeral celebrant trained to provide meaningful alternatives to clergy-led services.  

Friday, July 19 

  • 2:00 – 5:30 PM 
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30 – 5:00 PM 
    Orientation
  • 5:00 – 6:00 PM 
    Welcome Reception
  • 6:00 – 7:00 PM 
    Dinner

Saturday, July 20 

  • 8:00 – 8:45 AM 
    Breakfast
  • 8:45 – 9:00 AM 
    Introductions, Glenda Stansbury 
  • 9:00 – 10:30 AM 
    Celebrant Training
    Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns
  • 10:30 – 11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns
  • 12:30 – 1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30 – 3:00 PM
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns
  • 3:00 – 3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30 – 5:00 PM
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns
  • 5:30 – 6:30 PM
    Dinner
  • 7:00 – 10:00 PM
    Student Night – Trivia 

Sunday, July 21

  • 8:00 – 8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 10:30 AM
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns
  • 10:30 – 11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns
  • 12:30 – 1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30 – 3:00 PM
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns
  • 3:00 – 3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30 – 5:00 PM
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns
  • 5:30 – 6:30 PM
    Dinner

Monday, July 22 

  • 8:00 – 8:55 AM 
    Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 10:30 AM
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns 
  • 10:30 – 11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM 
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns 
  • 12:30 – 1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30 – 3:00 PM 
    Celebrant Training (continued), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns 
  • 3:00 – 3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30 – 5:00 PM
    Celebrant Training (conclusion), Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns 
  • 7:00 – 10:00 PM
    Sports Night

Tuesday, July 23 

  • 8:00 – 8:55 AM
    Breakfast 
  • 9:00 – 10:30 AM
    Essentials of Public Speaking Basics Pt I, Carol Little
  • 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
    Essentials of Public Speaking Basics Pt II, Carol Little
  • 12:30 – 1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30 – 3:00 PM
    Essentials of Public Speaking Basics Pt III, Carol Little
  • 3:00 – 3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30 – 4:30 PM
    Essentials of Public Speaking Basics Pt IV, Carol Little
  • 4:30 – 5:45 PM
    University Graduation
  • 5:45 – 7:15 PM
    Graduate Reception

Wednesday, July 24 

  • 8:00 – 8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00 – 10:00 AM
    Summary Panel/Q&A Best Practices with Firms Utilizing Celebrants, Glenda Stansbury
  • 10:00–10:30 AM
    Presentation of Certificate 

Dean Clift Dempsey, CCrE, CCFE

Cremation doesn’t have to mean “no service” or “no memorialization.” Attendees will discover how to better serve families, improve cremation operations, and increase their company’s cremation-related revenues. Attendees will also earn three types of certifications: operator, administrator, and arranger.

Friday, July 19

  • 2:00–5:30 PM
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30–5:00 PM
    Student Orientation
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    Welcome Reception
  • 6:00–7:00 PM
    Dinner

Saturday, July 20

  • 8:00–8:45 AM
    Breakfast
  • 8:45–9:00 AM
    Introductions – Clift Dempsey, CCrE, CCFE
  • 9:00 AM–10:30 AM
    Operator Certification – Poul Lemasters, Esq., Larry Stuart Jr.
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Operator Curriculum Continued – Poul Lemasters, Esq., Larry Stuart Jr.
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Operator Curriculum ContinuedPoul Lemasters, Esq., Larry Stuart Jr.
  • 3:00 – 3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Operator Curriculum ContinuedPoul Lemasters, Esq., Larry Stuart Jr.
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Student Night – Trivia

Sunday, July 21 

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Hospice Relationships – Pierce Dempsey 
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    What Will and Will Not Work in 2024 for Getting More Cases – Welton Hong 
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–5:00 PM
    Bus Tour: Real World Look at All Aspects of Cremation ProvidersClift Dempsey, CCFE; Chad Eubanks
  • 5:30–6:00 PM
    Dinner

Monday, July 22

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Cremation & Crematory Risk Management – Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    The Art and Science of Converting the Cremation Price Shopper Nicki Wiedeman, CSE
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Reducing Your Liability to Add to Your Bottom Line – Poul Lemasters, Esq.
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Pet Cremation – Lauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Sports Night  

Tuesday, July 23

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Cremation Myths DebunkedNéctar Ramírez
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Know Your Cremation ConsumerDoug Gober
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    The Sky’s the Limit: Getting Creative with Cremation Families – Angelique Simpson
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–4:30 PM
    The End of Direct Cremation… Why It Matters – Angelique Simpson
  • 4:30–5:45 PM
    University Graduation
  • 5:45–7:15 PM
    Graduate Reception

Wednesday, July 24 

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:00 AM
    Course Wrap-up – Clift Dempsey, CCrE, CCFE, Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE
  • 10:00–10:30 AM
    Presentation of Certificate

Dean John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE

Going into its fifth year, this college is designed to give students a foundation in funeral home/cemetery hospitality and catering management. Topics range from basic event planning to interpreting financial budgets, leadership, and catering team management.

Friday, July 19 

  • 2:00–5:30 PM
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30–5:00 PM
    Orientation
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    Welcome Reception
  • 6:00–7:00 PM
    Dinner

Saturday, July 20 

  • 8:00–8:45 AM
    Breakfast
  • 8:45–9:00 AM
    Introductions – John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    How CX Strategy Helps Scale Company Growth – John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    A Beginner’s Guide to Building World Class Hospitality –Darin Drabing
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Who Are You Serving: Building the Personas – John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE; Lori Bolton, CSE, CXE
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    CX Journey – Lori Bolton, CSE, CXE
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Student Night – Trivia

Sunday, July 21 

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    CX Journey Workshop – Lori Bolton, CSE, CXE
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Beyond the Service and Where to BeginLauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Creating a WOW for Your FamiliesJohn Gouch Jr.
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Hospitality WorkshopLauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP; John Gouch Jr.
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner

Monday, July 22

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
     Risk Management  – Poul Lemasters, Esq.
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Let’s Do CX!Clift Dempsey, CCFE
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Employee Engagement Lori Bolton, CSE, CXE
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Technology’s Role in CX – Nick Timpe, CSE
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Sports Night   

Tuesday, July 23

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Successful Cemetery Events 101Phil Zehms
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Cemetery Event WorkshopPhil Zehms
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Elevate CX: Developing Exceptional Customer Experiences – Lawrence W. Michael
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–4:30 PM
    Putting It All Together: Your Recipe for Success – John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE; Lori Bolton, CSE, CXE
  • 4:30–5:45 PM
    University Graduation
  • 5:45–7:15 PM
    Graduate Reception

Wednesday, July 24

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:00 AM
    From Scratch: Building a Successful Funeral Business from the Ground Up – Doug Gober
  • 10:00–10:30 AM
    Presentation of Certificate

Dean Gino Merendino

Exceptional cemetery service starts with grounds and operations department. Without effective land management and a commitment to an attractive, well-maintained property, there will be no sales or service. Attendees will learn how their grounds management team can succeed and continuously improve interments, landscaping, buildings, grounds maintenance, and exceptional client experience and satisfaction.

Friday, July 19

  • 2:00–5:30 PM
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30–5:00 PM
    Orientation
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    Welcome Reception
  • 6:00–7:00 PM
    Dinner

Saturday, July 20

  • 8:00–8:45 AM
    Breakfast
  • 8:45–9:00 AM
    Introductions – Gino Merendino
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Exceptional Cemetery Maintenance – Experience the Difference!   – Gino Merendino
  • 10:30–11:oo AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM –12:30 PM
    Creating a Committal Service that Everybody Talks About  – John Gouch, Jr.
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    OSHA Panel DiscussionPoul Lemasters, Esq.;  Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE; Gino Merendino
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Applying Technology to Cemetery Operations  – Nick Timpe, CSE
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Student Night – Trivia

Sunday, July 21

  • 6:30–7:15 AM
    Breakfast
  • 7:15–11:15 AM
    Train the Trainer – Gino Merendino
  • 11:15 AM–12:00 PM
    Cemetery Tour: Arlington Memorial Park Cemetery – Gino Merendino; Chad Eubanks
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Cemetery Sustainable Practices – Dave Barnett
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 3:00-3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Creative Cemetery Development – Dave Barnett
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner

Monday, July 22

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Healing Grief  – Phil Zehms
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Sustainable Tree Care Practices for Cemetery Landscapes  – Doak Morasco
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Caring for Heritage: Lessons from Managing Veteran Trees at a Historical Memorial Park – Josh Gevertz
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Modern Cemetery Development  – Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Sports Night  

Tuesday, July 23

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Cremation: Changing the Face of Traditional Memorialization  – Erin Schwanitz-Vogt
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Graveside Safety  – Gino Merendino
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Cemetery Liability Issues  – Poul Lemasters, Esq.
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–4:30 PM
    Internal Relationships – Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE
  • 4:30–5:45 PM
    University Graduation
  • 5:45–7:15 PM
    Graduate Reception

Wednesday, July 24

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:00 AM
    Wrap-Up  – Gino Merendino & Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE
  • 10:00–10:30 AM
    Presentation of Certificate

Dean Gary Freytag, CCFE

The cemetery, cremation and funeral service profession is changing, and so are the skills needed to manage and lead effectively. Attendees will receive solid, relevant, results-focused training targeted at today’s required core competencies.

Friday, July 19

  • 2:00–5:30 PM
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30–5:00 PM
    Orientation
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    Welcome Reception
  • 6:00–7:00 PM
    Dinner

Saturday, July 20

  • 8:00–8:45 AM
    Breakfast
  • 8:45–9:00 AM
    Introductions– Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Become a Leader Worth Following! – Darin Drabing
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Community Outreach: Setting Your Company Apart – Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    A Case Study in Leadership – Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Beyond the Numbers – Bob Gordon, Jr., CCE
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Student Night – Trivia

Sunday, July 21

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Communication and the Art of Effective Feedback – Carol Little
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    First Let’s Kill All the Lawyers! – Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Trust as a Manager – Ashley Freeman, MBA
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Navigating Difficult Conversations  – Ashley Freeman, MBA
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner

Monday, July 22

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Leadership & Communications – Own It!  – Robbie Pape, CCFE
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Our Greatest Assets – Mark Brown & Shawn Nicholson
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Using Your Strengths to Prevent Burnout  – Ashley Freeman, MBA
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Crafting Your Career Purpose Statement  – Ashley Freeman, MBA
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Sports Night

Tuesday, July 23

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Funeral Home and Cemetery Accounting: Keys to Affecting Your Bottom Line – Bill Williams Jr.
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Business Law: A Funeral Home and Cemetery Legal Outlook – Poul Lemasters, Esq.
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Your Marketing & Branding Mantra: Building Customer Loyalty – Doug Gober
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30-4:30 PM
    Corporate Culture: How Strong Is Your Foundation – Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 4:30–5:45 PM
    University Graduation
  • 5:45-7:15 PM
    Graduate Reception

Wednesday, July 24

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:00 AM
    Corporate Culture (Cont.), Best Practices, Q&A – Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 10:00–10:30 AM
    Presentation of Certificate

Dean Nick Timpe, CSE

The College of Technology will provide practical strategies for attendees to apply technology at their firms for improving operations and better serving their families. 

Friday, July 19

  • 2:00–5:30 PM
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30–5:00 PM
    Orientation
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    Welcome Reception
  • 6:00–7:00 PM
    Dinner

Saturday, July 20

  • 8:00–8:45 AM
    Breakfast
  • 8:45–9:00 AM
    Introductions Nick Timpe, CSE
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    New Technology in an Old ProfessionNick Timpe, CSE
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM 
    People, Process, Technology: Solving the Right Problem  – Jason Cavett
  • 12:30–1:30 PM 
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Embracing Change: Strategies for Helping Staff Continually Improve and Adapt to New TechnologyOlga Piehler
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Strategic Planning for IT Resources  – Christina DiBari
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    Dinner
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Student Night- Trivia

Sunday, July 21

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM 
    21st Century RecordkeepingTim Kolasa and Nick Timpe, CSE
  • 10:30– 11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Customer Experience and Client Follow-up: Surveying for ResultsLori Bolton, CSE, CXE
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM 
    Virtual Tours, Customer Surveys, and Reports LabLori Bolton, CSE, CXE; Tim Kolasa
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Implementing and Managing Technological Innovation – Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner

Monday, July 22

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    What Will and Will Not Work in 2024 For Getting More Business – Welton Hong, Richard Martin
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Digital Workshop: Mastering Your Online Presence – Welton Hong, Richard Martin
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Why Digital First Impressions Matter: Also Known as, “You Spent $1M on Your Cemetery Entrance but Your Neighbor’s Kid Built Your Website” Jason Cavett
  • 3:00-3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Lab: Live Website Evaluations Jason Cavett 
  • 7:00–10:00 PM 
    Sports Night  

Tuesday, July 23

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    “Technology Makes it All Easier – Including the Risks of Liability” A Legal Look at Deathcare Technology – Poul Lemasters, Esq.
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Implementing and Automating Your CRM to Maximize Sales Efficiency – Tim Kolasa
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM 
    AI is Only Human, Its Brief History and How it Can Benefit You!   Micah Spicer
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–4:30 PM
    Builders of the Matrix: AI Lab Micah Spicer
  • 4:30–5:45 PM
    University Graduation
  • 5:45–7:15 PM
    Graduate Reception

Wednesday, July 24

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:00 AM
    Where to Go from Here? Transforming Your Organization – Nick Timpe, CSE
  • 10:00–10:30 AM
    Presentation of Certificate

Dean Daniel Thomas

The principles of sales and marketing don’t change; only technique and application do. Learn how to take the tried-and-true principles of cemetery and funeral sales and apply them within today’s highly mobile, multi-cultural, high-tech, information-driven marketplace. 

Friday, July 19

  • 2:00–5:30 PM
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30–5:00 PM
    Orientation
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    Welcome Reception
  • 6:00–7:00 PM
    Dinner  

Saturday, July 20

  • 8:00–8:45 AM
    Breakfast
  • 8:45–9:00 AM
    Introductions – Daniel Thomas
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Welcome and Class Outline – Daniel Thomas
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM 
    People Are There, Why Aren’t YouDaniel Thomas
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Raising the Bar: Applying Technology to Family Engagement – Nick Timpe, CSE
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Learn the Six Most Powerful Ways to Influence Your Prospects to BuyAndrés Aguilar
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Student Night – Trivia

Sunday, July 21

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Coaching and Communication Techniques to Keep Your Team Positive and Productive – Patrick Downey, CCE
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    You Have a Social Media Lead, Now What – Daniel Thomas
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30– 3:00 PM
    Sales Leadership Andrés Aguilar 
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    What a Lawyer Can Teach Me About Sales – Poul Lemasters, Esq.
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner

Monday, July 22

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    The Heart of the Sale: Objections and Closes WorkshopPatrick Downey, CCE
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Why Systematic and Compelling Pre-Need Presentation is Critical to Influence Today’s Consumer – Kyle Aler
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    The Nuts and Bolts of an Effective Lunch and Learn Program – Kyle Aler
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    The Process of Service and Opportunities Through an Effective Aftercare Program – Payton Thompson
  • 7:00 PM
    Sports Night  

Tuesday, July 23

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    The Follow-up Formula: Lead Nurturing from First Contact to Close – Erin Creger
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 AM
    Unlocking Success: Adopting The Entrepreneurial Mindset in Preneed Sales Rahsaan Brown
  • 12:30 – 1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Cremation Myths Debunked – Néctar Ramirez
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–4:30 PM
    What Will and Will Not Work in 2024 For Getting More Business Welton Hong
  • 4:30–5:45 PM
    University Graduation
  • 5:45–7:15 PM
    Graduate Reception

Wednesday, July 24

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:00 AM
    Closing Thoughts: Golden NuggetsDaniel Thomas
  • 10:00–10:30 AM
    Presentation of Certificate

Dean Mat Forastiere

Too many managers consider “creativity” someone else’s department. In funeral service, creative management is the key to differentiation.

Friday, July 19

  • 2:00–5:30 PM
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30–5:00 PM
    Orientation
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    University Welcome Reception
  • 6:00–7:00 PM
    Dinner  

Saturday, July 20

  • 8:00–8:45 AM
    Breakfast
  • 8:45–9:00 AM
    Introductions  – Mat Forastiere
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Course Introduction & The “WHY” of Funeral Service  – Mat Forastiere
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Workshop – Your “WHY” & Personal Value StatementMat Forastiere
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Value Communication: Arrangement & Presentation Skills Mike Watkins
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Your Team: Leading, Coaching, and Directing Mat Forastiere
  • 5:00–6:30 PM
    Dinner
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Student Night – Trivia

Sunday, July 21

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Thanatology: Theory & Application – Dr. Lynn Gibson
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM
    Thanatology: Theory & Application (Cont.)Dr. Lynn Gibson
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Cremation Risk Management Poul Lemasters, Esq.
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Forecasting & Key Performance Indicators – Mat Forastiere
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Remembrance of Todd Van Beck

Monday, July 22

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Crematory & Prep Room Management Lauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM 
    Crematory & Prep Room Management (Cont.) – Lauren Blevins, CCFE, CPLP
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM 
    Embracing People Seeking InformationMike Watkins
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Continuous Care: Customer Relationship Management – Mike Watkins
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Sports Night  

Tuesday, July 23

  • 8:00–8:55 AM 
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Engaging Hospice – Jennifer Flaum
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM 
    Continuous Care, Community Outreach and Support – Jennifer Flaum
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Grass Roots MarketingPhil Zehms
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–4:30 PM
    Creating a Grass Roots Marketing PlanPhil Zehms
  • 4:30–5:45 PM
    University Graduation
  • 5:45–7:15 PM
    Graduate Reception

Wednesday, July 24

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:00 AM 
    Conclusion & Wrap-up – Mat Forastiere
  • 10:00–10:30 AM
    Presentation of Certificate 

Dean Robbie Pape, CCFE

Friday, July 19

  • 2:00–5:30 PM
    Registration & Check-in
  • 4:30–5:00 PM
    Orientation
  • 5:00–6:00 PM
    Welcome Reception
  • 6:00–7:00 PM
    Dinner

Saturday, July 20

  • 8:00–8:45 AM
    Breakfast
  • 8:45–9:00 AM
    Introductions – Robbie Pape, CCFE
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Servant Leadership – Dave Brown
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Navigate for Leaders – Dave Brown
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Cemetery Leadership Mastery: Navigating Sales, Administration and Grounds – Larry Michael
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Effective Board Management: Getting Things Done Through Good Governance – Darin Drabing
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Student Night- Trivia

Sunday, July 21

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Staying on the Right Side of the Grass – and Lawsuits – Poul Lemasters, Esq.
    10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Built To Last – Developing a Strategic Plan to Carry Your Organization Through the 2030s, Part I  – Bob Gordon, Jr., CCE
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Built To Last – Developing a Strategic Plan to Carry Your Organization Through the 2030s, Part II – Bob Gordon, Jr., CCE
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:00 PM
    Innovative Strategies for Funeral Homes and Cemeteries: Mastering Digital Marketing and Artificial Intelligence (AI) in 2024Welton Hong
  • 5:30–6:30 PM
    Dinner

Monday, July 22

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    The Invisible Force – How Organizational Impacts People and Profits – Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Effective Communication? – Robbie Pape, CCFE
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    The Answer is in the Numbers: A Survey of CANA Cremation and Consumer Research – Barbara Kemmis
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–5:-00 PM
    Designing a G.A.M.E. Plan for Employee Engagement  Lori Bolton, CSE, CXE
  • 7:00–10:00 PM
    Sports Night 

Tuesday, July 23

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:30 AM
    Applied Finance in Deathcare – Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 10:30–11:00 AM
    Break
  • 11:00 AM–12:30 PM
    Finance Workshop – Gary Freytag, CCFE
  • 12:30–1:30 PM
    Lunch
  • 1:30–3:00 PM
    Leadership and the Power of Strong Leaders Starts from Within Jay Dodds, CFSP
  • 3:00–3:30 PM
    Break
  • 3:30–4:30 PM
    Recap Conversation with Commitments – Robbie Pape, CCFE
  • 4:30–5:45 PM
    University Graduation
  • 5:30–7:15 PM
    Graduate Reception

Wednesday, July 24

  • 8:00–8:55 AM
    Breakfast
  • 9:00–10:00 AM
    College Program Wrap-Up & Evaluations – Robbie Pape, CCFE
  • 10:00–10:30 AM
    Presentation of Certificate 
Download the 2024 College Program here!

Please note: this schedule is subject to change.

HOTEL ACCOMODATIONS

Emory Conference Center Hotel at Emory University
1615 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta, GA 30329

Phone: 404.712.6000
Toll Free: 1.800.933.6679
Fax: 404.712.6025

Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, ample meeting space, conference dining facilities, and well-appointed guestrooms, the Emory Conference Center Hotel is an all-inclusive venue that will provide the perfect backdrop for learning from the best in the profession, connecting with colleagues from every area of the cemetery, cremation, and funeral service profession, and making the lifetime friendships that are the hallmark of the ICCFA University experience.

The ICCFA’s room block is now closed.

The University’s Impact

“What I’ve found here with my fellow students and especially the instructors, is that they’re a circle of peers that I’ve been able to train with. But more often than not, they’re a personal board of directors. I can leverage their experiences not only here at ICCFAU during our one week, but I can also reach out to them throughout the year. I cannot speak highly enough of the experience.”

David Brooks, eight-time ICCFA University attendee

ICCFA University Yearbook

Whether you’re looking of photos with friends and new connections, want to see photos of our graduation ceremony, or are looking for your class photo – click the button below and start reliving the incredible experience again.

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