2021 ICCFAU College Programs

College of 21st Century Services  

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 23 

2:00–5:30 pmRegistration & Check-in 

4:305:00 pm  • Orientation 

5:00–6:00 pmUniversity Reception 

6:00 pmUniversity Dinner 

Saturday, July 24 

8:00–8:45 amBreakfast 

8:45–9:00 amIntroductions 

Glenda Stansbury 

9:00–10:30 amCelebrant Training 

Glenda Stansbury and Kathy Burns 

Celebrants offer an alternative to services provided by clergy for those families who are not affiliated with a church or who do not wish to have a traditional religious funeral service. They design services that are completely personal by incorporating those unique stories, songs, and experiences that defined the deceased. Celebrants schedule a special ‘family time meeting where the family can share memories, anecdotes and defining moments in the loved one’s life. They then base the essence of the service on the remembrances of the family and encourage family and friends to participate. Celebrants develop a library of resources available for readings, music, ceremonies, and personal touches. They consult with the family to help them choose elements of the service that reflect their loved one. They are bound by a Code of Ethics for complete confidentiality in all dealings with the family.  

Becoming a Certified Celebrant  

After completing this college, students will be certified as celebrants. The training for celebrants as established by the InSight Institute seeks to provide the most comprehensive and sensitive training available for people who wish to develop this as a profession or to add to their current job description. It is important that a family knows they are being served by someone who understands the process and is prepared to offer the very best funeral possible. 

What Does This Service Cost Families? 

The celebrant fee is usually higher than the fees charged by clergy. They can range widely across the country from $200 to more than $800, depending on type of service, location, travel and other expenses. A celebrant spends approximately 10 hours preparing for each service, as well as the expenses of training and maintaining a resource library. 

What is The InSight Institute? 

The InSight Institute has one mission: helping people help people. This has evolved over the years, expanding from grief care books and seminars to include celebrant training and certification. Founder Doug Manning is a best-selling author, sought after speaker and a grief expert relied on by the media. His first book, A Minister Speaks About Funerals, was self-published in 1978, and in 1979, he wrote his best-selling book, Don’t Take My Grief Away From Me. In 1983, Manning wrote When Love Gets Tough: The Nursing Home Decision. With the success of that book, he made the commitment to change careers and founded InSight Books as his publishing and seminar company. InSight Books now publishes more than 40 products by Manning and select authors. The InSight Institute is the training arm of the company. 

10:30–11:00 amBreak 

11:00 am–12:30 pmCelebrant Training (continued) 

12:30–1:30 pmLunch 

1:30–3:00 pmCelebrant Training (continued) 

3:00-3:30 pmBreak 

3:30–5:00 pmCelebrant Training (continued) 

6:00 pmDinner 

7:00–9:00 pmSports Night 

Join your ICCFAU colleagues for a friendly game. 

Sunday, July 25 

8:00–9:00 amBreakfast 

9:00–10:30 amCelebrant Training (continued) 

10:30–11:00 amBreak 

11:00 am–12:30 pmCelebrant Training (continued) 

12:30–1:30 pmLunch 

1:30–3:00 pmCelebrant Training (continued) 

3:00–3:30 pmBreak 

3:30–5:00 pmCelebrant Training (continued) 

6:00 pmDinner 

Monday, July 26 

8:00–9:00 amBreakfast 

9:00–10:30 amCelebrant Training (continued) 

10:30–11:00 amBreak 

11:00 am–12:30 pmCelebrant Training (continued) 

12:30–1:30 pmLunch 

1:30–3:00 pm Celebrant Training (continued) 

3:00–3:30 pmBreak 

3:30–5:00 pmCelebrant Training (continued) 

6:00 pmDinner 

7:00 pmStudent Night 

Tuesday, July 27 

8:00–9:00 amBreakfast 

9:00–10:30 amEssentials of Public Speaking Basics  

Carol Little 

» What is a presentation 

» Principles of liking 

10:30–11:00 amBreak 

11:00 am–12:30 pmEssentials of Public Speaking Basics (continued)  

Carol Little 

» Principles of authenticity  

» Body talk 

12:30–1:30 pmLunch 

1:30–3:00 pmEssentials of Public Speaking Basics (continued) 

Carol Little 

» Vocal techniques 

» Group presentations and feedback 

3:00–3:30 pm  • Break 

3:30–4:30 pmEssentials of Public Speaking Basics (continued) 

Carol Little 

» Practice makes permanent 

4:30–5:30 pmUniversity Graduation 

5:30-6:15 pmGraduate Reception 

Wednesday, July 28 

8:00–9:00 amBreakfast 

9:00–10:00 amSummary Panel/ Q&A Best Practices with Firms Utilizing Celebrants 

Glenda Stansbury 

10:00 amPresentation of Certificate

College of Cremation Services 

Dean Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE 

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

Friday, July 23 

2:00–5:30 pm • Registration & Check-in 

4:30 pm • Orientation 

5:00–6:00 pm • University Welcome Reception 

6:00 pm • University Dinner 

Saturday, July 24 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

8:45 am • Introductions 

Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE 

9:00 am • Crematory Operator Curriculum 

Larry Stuart Jr.  

In this training session, you’ll learn how to operate a crematory retort properly and effectively and limit the liability for you and your company. This extensive training curriculum includes:  

    • Explanation of professional & incinerator terminology 
    • Discussion on the principles of combustion and incinerator criteria & design 
    • In-depth look at the basics of operating cremation equipment and their general maintenance and how to troubleshoot common problems 
    • Overview of cremation and its impact on the environment 
    • Examples of standard crematory forms and the importance of record keeping 
    • Proper steps for identification 
    • Exposure control, and liability concerns and risk management. 

10:30 am • Break  

11:00 am • Crematory Operator Curriculum (continued) 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Crematory Operator Curriculum (continued)  

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Crematory Operator Curriculum (continued)  

Poul Lemasters, Esq.  

6:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Sports Night 

Join your ICCFAU colleagues for a friendly game. 

Sunday, July 25 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Administrator Curriculum: This & That 

Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE 

This class will cover areas that have been requested from past years…. 

    • Want to know about pet cremation 
    • Case study of different low-end cremation providers 
    • Different forms of memorialization 
    • And more… 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Administrator Curriculum: The 4 Pillars for Success – What Every Leader Needs to Do to Maintain a Successful Cremation Business 

Lori Salberg, CSE, CXE 

When it comes to running any successful business, a leader should be focused on 4 key areas of performance: 

    • Customer: Do you and all of the people who work for you truly understand your customer needs? Do you provide exceptional services? Do your customers agree? 
    • Workplace: How engaged your staff will determine how well they perform. Do they go the extra mile to serve families, and do you see the results at the bottom line? 
    • Marketplace: Having a smart pricing strategy is essential to capturing market share. So is where and how you present your brand to the public. How do you position yourself and how well do you compete in your market? 
    • Financials: In today’s environment, when many cremation operators are racing to the bottom of the price war, it is imperative to control expenses and spend smart in areas that will help your business grow. Budgeting and understanding how your enterprise value impacts your ability to remain competitive are critical to your business success. Do you have a financial strategy? 

In this session, Lori will define the 4 pillars of a successful operation and share how to develop, deliver, and measure for performance and ensure growth in all 4 key areas. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Tour: Real World Look at All Aspects of Cremation Providers 

Cemetery-Crematory-Funeral Home 

The tour will be at Roswell Funeral Home & Greenlawn Cemetery and Arlington Memorial Park to view the impressive cremation memorialization they have installed in their cemetery.  

6:00 pm • Dinner 

Monday, July 26 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Administrator Curriculum: Cremation & Crematory Risk Management: Go Ahead. Don’t Bother. I Dare You! 

Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE 

Jim Starks is President of J. Starks Consulting, which does consulting in the death care profession in funeral home & cremation risk management. Jim will wow you with a riveting, real world presentation on operations and compliance.  Failure to properly manage the risk of providing cremation services and/or operating a crematory is an invitation for disaster.  

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Administrator Curriculum: Innovative Approaches to Cremation Consumers  

Gary Freytag, CCFE 

You’ve heard it a thousand times: cremation is the largest growth sector in the industry. So what are you doing to capture more of the cremation market?  

Find out from Gary Freytag, CCFE, president & CEO of Spring Grove, one of the largest, historic and prestigious combination properties in the United States, what his company is doing to serve cremation consumers in every aspect of the business, as well as some great ideas he’s discovered from colleagues across the country. 

Aspects to be discussed include cemetery development, funeral packaging and processes targeted at addressing creation customer needs, such as: 

Approaches for cemetery offerings 

  • cremation-only development 
  • memorialization policies 
  • products that match demographics of cremation consumer 
  • use of Nature (entryways, plantings, layouts) 

Approaches for funeral offerings 

  • packaging 
  • presentation  
  • ancillary items (jewelry) 
  • key metrics to measure 
  • after-funeral reception offerings  

 Integration of funeral/cemetery presentation in combination 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Arranger Curriculum: Reducing Your Liability to Add to Your Bottom Line 

Poul Lemasters, Esq.  

This seminar will focus on the Cremation Authorization Form and educate the arranger on why each section is critical.  Participants will not only learn the importance of each section, they will also learn how to explain the sections to the family.  There will also be examples of lawsuits that have cost providers millions. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Arranger Curriculum: Arranging More Than a Cremation 

Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE 

Too many times funeral homes and cemeteries don’t have a systematic process in which they help families consider the power and value of cremation memorialization. The beliefs and behaviors of how these options are approached, both pre-need and at-need, have a lasting impact on both the family and the firm. In this session you will be challenged and enlightened on how to make your cremation memorialization options more than a passive phrase.   

6:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Student Night 

Tuesday, July 27 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Arranger Curriculum: Are Cremation Consumers Adapting or Creating Change? 

Brent Thomas 

A complete look at cremation consumer’s trends:   

How to adapt your cremation arrangement process 

In many cases, a consumer’s perception of cremation varies from our own.  Is this because their motivators and preferences are changing?  Has the industry been adapting to meet their needs?  While we’ve been changing to adapt to both at-need and preneed cremation consumers, we might have missed the value of building a customer relationship.  In this session we will explore insights of consumer motivators and how to adapt our arrangement process to build a relationship that allows them to discuss their preferences and desired outcome – making it comfortable to educate them about their options and merchandise choices.   

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Arranger Curriculum: Know Your Cremation Consumer 

Doug Gober 

Doug Gober is one of our industry’s most motivational speakers. He will share ground-breaking research on what today’s cremation consumers are looking for and what you can do to meet and beat their expectations.  

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Arranger Curriculum: The Sky’s the Limit: Getting Creative with Cremation Families 

Mary Andres Russell 

Cremation continues to grow as the choice for many families.  As funeral professionals, we need to become experts in addressing this growing preference.  This seminar is designed to provide you with inspiration and best practices to understand today’s consumer and serve the needs of cremation families, from the initial phone inquiry to the details of a memorable life celebration.   

You will learn to:   

Adapt and even thrive in change 

Understand the values and consumer motivations of five generations of families 

Communicate the value of your services 

Engage callers through discovery questions  

Partner with the family to create unique ceremonies 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Arranger Curriculum: Exceeding Expectations: A Creative Approach for Serving Cremation Families (continued) 

4:30 pm • University Graduation 

5:45 pm • Graduate Reception 

Wednesday, July 28 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Bring it Together –Open Forum 

Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE 

This open forum will revisit areas of importance that were covered in the three certification designations this week allowing students to: 

  • Share their problems and solutions 
  • Clarify topics covered 
  • Ask questions on implementation 
  • Build future networking with fellow students and faculty 
  • Better understand what ICCFA has to offer for cremation 

10:00 am • Presentation of Certificate 

College of Funeral Home Management 

Dean Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

Too many managers consider “creativity” someone else’s department. In funeral service, creative management is the key to differentiation. You’ll learn Dr. W. Edwards Deming’s creative service management system and its specific applications to our profession. 

Friday, July 23 

2:00–5:30 pm • Registration & Check-in 

4:30 pm • Orientation 

5:00–6:00 pm • University Welcome Reception 

6:00 pm • University Dinner 

Saturday, July 24 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • The Legal Aspects of Funeral and Cemetery Service 

Poul Lemasters, Esq.  

When was the last time you reviewed your bylaws or articles of incorporation? Do they provide a foundation for consistent management? Do your rules and regulations support the management and appeal of your funeral home? Are you federally compliant and shielded against liability by quality management practices? Are you using sound human resource practices to protect both management and staff? Gain solid legal education to help prepare you in all facets of funeral home management so you can effectively communicate, manage, and interact with your staff and today’s consumers.

10:30 am  • Break  

11:00 am • Establishing Your Philosophy of Management  

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

Your management philosophy can help guide you through your day-to-day decisions and lead you through the tougher moments. However, very few people take the time to establish their own philosophy and instead manage reactively by responding to issues based on gut feelings, past experiences, and examples set by others. This session is based on the management theories of Dr. Russell Herman Conwell, author of Acres of Diamonds, and the management concept of “The Worthy Ideal.” You will also be introduced to the cyclical management process known as “Learning, Unlearning, and Relearning.” 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Identifying Your Dominant Strengths as a Manager: Part A 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

This session is designed to help you identify your strengths and weaknesses as a management leader through a study of The Little Book of Service Leadership, where topics such as integrity, respect, courage, resilience, belief, character, confidence, vision, and influence are addressed. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Identifying Your Dominant Weaknesses as a Manager: Part B 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

As managers, we all have weaknesses. This session will cover a host of management topics such as professional immortality, commitment, relationships, communication through training, inspiration, and finally, common sense. There will be 13 self-assessment exercises which attendees will participate in, and at the conclusion, you will come away with a private list of your management strengths and weaknesses. 

6:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Sports Night 

Join your ICCFAU colleagues for a friendly game. 

Sunday, July 25 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • There is More to Management Than Just Having the Title 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

How many times have you met individuals with the titles of manager, president, or CEO and they leave you feeling confident that you would NOT follow them into battle? Effective leadership relies on having a management system and anchoring that system on a “worthy ideal” is what this learning experience will be all about. Without a management system, managers can easily fall into the trap of making things up as they go. The system that we will examine is based on the teachings of business management expert Dr. W. Edwards Deming who is known for saying, “It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.” Todd Van Beck has attended 27 training seminars conducted by Dr. Deming throughout his career and his management approach fits funeral and cemetery service like a glove. If you want to tighten up your management and leadership skills, if you want to leave the ICCFAU with a navigation blueprint in your hands on how to make decisions, and if you want to raise your sights concerning just what you are doing in management, today’s sessions will be the ticket! 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • The Deming Management System: Part A 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • The Deming Management System: Part A (continued)  

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • The Deming Management System: Part B 

6:00 pm • Dinner 

Monday, July 26 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Group Exercises: Brain Benders 

Peggy George 

In this session, attendees will participate in the “Red Bead Experiment” game which will result in some startling insights and conclusions about the authentic world of management and will give credence to Dr. Deming’s long held philosophy that 85% of things that go wrong in any company are the fault of management. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • People: The Double-Edge Sword 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

The greatest resource, asset, and blessing that we have in our profession is people, and the greatest source of headaches, stress, and anxiety is, you guessed it, people. So, what is a manager to do? Todd Van Beck will share proven tools and processes that will expand your human resource management skills and improve the performance of your employees and thereby the success of your funeral home or cemetery. On the agenda for the day:  

    • The system of interviewing and recruiting 
    • Creating a meaningful and useful staff meeting 
    • Using job descriptions to make your management life much easier 
    • “The A – Z Staff Training Program” 

Just follow the instructions. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm  • Train the Trainer: A Program for Managers 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

One of Dr. Deming’s favorite sayings was, “Train, train, and train.” Having a dependable, consistent, and meaningful internal training program has proven to reduce the legal liabilities that funeral homes and cemeteries can face and is also an excellent way for managers to communicate their expectations, procedures, and policies with their staff. Surveys consistently show that managers who know how to train can keep staff longer, have less human resource headaches, and generally have a more productive and pleasant work environment. This session will explore the principles of adult learning, the fundamentals of communicating expectations, how to establish orientation programs for new hires, and the importance and benefits of a properly designed job training program. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • The Famous ICCFA University “How To” System 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

One consistent question at the end of most training programs, workshops, and seminars is, “This stuff is all great, but how do I get started?” In this session, you will be introduced to turn-key programs that are flexible enough for you to take home and make your own. From how to deal with upset clients to implementing a family satisfaction program and how to establish an economic aftercare program, you will come away with actionable programs that you can put into place immediately. 

6:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Student Night 

Tuesday, July 27 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Economic Visibility for Your Company: Getting More People Through Your Front Door 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE and Peggy George 

One important way that you can differentiate your funeral home or cemetery from others in your area is through your community outreach efforts. Becoming involved and visible in your community is easier than you may think, especially when you have Todd Van Beck’s master list of best practices and creative marketing ideas. These workable and attainable programs range from the little things of customer service to presenting major community outreach programs and wowing your local hospices. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • The Essential Navigation Plan 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

Now that you have learned about management systems and community programs, this session will bring everything together and show you how to implement these ideas in your funeral home or cemetery. You will leave with a four-year management system that will improve the visibility of your company, enhance the information you are putting out in the community, inspire everyone to be more attentive to the mission of your company, and do all of this in a planned and consistent manner. This session is the glue, the mortar, and the road map for everything you have learned! 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Community Outreach Programs: Part A 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

One sure way to create positive publicity for your business is to host creative community outreach programs. Learn innovative ideas complete with detailed instructions on introducing public gardening programs, charity car washes, photography contests, veteran recognition events, clergy appreciation days, and much more to your yearly calendar of events. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Community Outreach Programs: Part B 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

4:30 pm • University Graduation 

5:45 pm • Graduate Reception 

Wednesday, July 28 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Final Thoughts 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

10:00 am • Presentation of Certificate 

College of Hospitality & Customer Experience 

Dean John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE 

Going into its third 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 23 

2:00–5:30 pm • Registration & Check-in 

4:30 pm • Orientation 

5:00 pm • University Welcome Reception 

6:30 pm • University Dinner 

Saturday, July 24 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Intro to CX and Hospitality  

John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE 

While this is a newer college at ICCFAU, the concept of being hospitable has a long and rich tradition in and out of funeral service. Historic names like Marriott, Hilton, and Ritz have made hospitality and customer service the foundation of their empires. In this kick-off class, John Bolton will walk students through the foundations of hospitality in the funeral industry and define the importance of creating an experience for the families you serve. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • A Beginner’s Guide to Building World Class Hospitality 

Darin Drabing 

So, you want to entertain? Seems like everyone’s doing it! You’ve read the articles about post service receptions, buffet lines, hors d’oeuvres during visitations, and guests drinking beer, wine, and cocktails in the lobby? You’re concerned your business is falling behind. You don’t have any extra space and you can’t afford to build a new building, but how do you catch up, where do you start, and is it even something you should do? Relax. You can do this and we can help. Join us for a look at the basics required to join the ‘party’. In this interactive session, we will probe the important issues, challenge long held beliefs, and find creative answers to the questions that are required to move your business to the next level. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Customer Experience: Strategies for Success 

John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE and Lori Salberg, CSE, CXE 

Customers are now driving the business bus and we as an industry are lagging behind. Everything about the traditional business model is changing due to the demand of customers. Customers have more information at their fingertips and have a true sense of how they want to celebrate a life. In this session, John Bolton and Lori Salberg will outline the key strategies for developing a successful customer experience model and how these strategies should drive your hospitality model moving forward. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Beyond the Service and Where to Begin 

Lauren Blevins, CCFE 

As we progress inside our shifting industry that’s moving toward a hospitality mindset, how do we begin? Implementing a new way of doing business can be the most challenging part of the process from catering to specialized services. Lauren Blevins will provide clear how-to steps and share how she started as well as what she learned from some of her winning solutions and ideas that flopped. Embracing change will not only affect our personal lives but can have a profound impact on our businesses if our teams believe in it. 

6:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Sports Night 

Join your ICCFAU colleagues for a friendly game. 

Sunday, July 25 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Who Are We Serving? Your Customers, Their Journey 

Lori Salberg, CSE, CXE 

Through our rich history of service, we have developed a picture of who we serve in our minds but, more and more, our customers are not always who we think they are. Are we targeting the right people in our businesses? Who are the consumers that want a different kind of funeral service including hospitality? Lori Salberg will walk you through developing customer personas, creating customer journey maps and how you can relate those personas to growing your hospitality business. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • CX Vision, Mission and Goals 

John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE 

It’s no secret that great customer experiences only happen when everyone in your organization knows and fully understands your vision. It engages all employees, not just a few. Customer experience strategy starts with a bold, differentiating vision. Your vision indicates how your organization will lead and climb above others in our profession. In this workshop, John Bolton will walk you through how to establish a vision, a mission, and the goals needed to accomplish that mission for your workplace. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Building Blocks for World Class Hospitality 

Tim Porras 

With increasing consumer demands for in-house food and beverage options, the Death Care profession has become an ever more complicated industry. Funeral professionals already have enough to worry about, but with the addition of hospitality programs, we now worry about everything from what flowers to use in the centerpieces to egg salad vs. pimento cheese sandwiches on the menu. Faced with an avalanche of issues, it is all too easy to ignore some basic building blocks of hospitality. With years of restaurant and cemetery experience, Tim Porras will provide students with an arsenal of practical building blocks when building or improving existing hospitality programs. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Using Graveside Catering to Create a WOW for Your Families 

John Gouch Jr.  

No event center? No funeral home? No formal reception area? NO PROBLEM! In this informative and interactive class, learn how we take our graveside services to another level. We will discuss the idea behind graveside catering, equipment needed for a successful program, and how the concept helps generate leads for future business. 

6:00 pm • Dinner 

Monday, July 26 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Hospitality Isn’t Just About Being Nice! The Legal Liabilities and Risk Management in Hospitality Service 

Poul Lemasters, Esq.  

Consumers demand more and more from businesses and it is no different in deathcare. Providing a funeral is just the first step. As providers today we are offering more from catering and receptions, to travel, and even lodging. However, offering all these services comes with an entirely new set of risks. Do you need a license to serve food? If alcohol is available, then who is responsible? Does your insurance cover events outside of the funeral? Not knowing or understanding these as well as many more issues could cost you more than a bad review on Yelp! 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • “Everybody Eats!” 

Morgan Smith and Scott Young 

Did you know, on average, a family will gather to eat between seven and nine times from when a death occurs to when services conclude? In this session, we will discuss how to build value for catered events and receptions at the funeral home with both our internal (funeral directors and staff) and external customers (our client families). 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Recipe for Success 

Morgan Smith and Scott Young 

Having all the right ingredients is mission critical. In this session, we will provide helpful insight into finding the right partner, creating menus that work for your space and your community, determining pricing, and setting key performance indicators. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • What About the Church Ladies? 

Morgan Smith and Scott Young 

Whether it be the church luncheon, crockpots, or the popular restaurant down the street, you can always find a reason why catering events won’t work if you look hard enough. Identifying the most common objections and how to overcome them is all about the presentation. You will learn how to build value, which words to use and which to avoid in the arrangement room, plus other best practices. 

6:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Student Night 

Tuesday, July 27 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Let’s Get Cooking! 10 Key Ingredients You Need to Know About Your Hospitality Facility 

David Krall 

Is your funeral or cemetery business looking to remain relevant with today’s consumer by adding a hospitality facility? Are you looking to build a hospitality center to welcome guests for food and drink before, during, and after a funeral? Do you want to spice up your facility? Come learn about the 10 key ingredients that will help you create positive experiences for the families you serve from David Krall who built a hospitality facility in his cemetery. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Six Pillars of CX and Hospitality 

John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE 

Every great customer experience is rooted on the Six Pillars of Experience Excellence. These pillars are based on nearly a decade of research and over 2 million evaluations across multiple markets. John Bolton will walk you through how each of the Pillars are rooted in human psychology and motivation and break down how each of the pillars can positively affect your CX program, your Hospitality program and the day-to-day operations at your location. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Is It Worth It? 

Lori Salberg, CSE, CXE 

So, you’ve taken the plunge and added a comprehensive hospitality program and maybe even built a world-class facility…now what? In this highly informative session, we will take a look at how to determine true value in your business and fully understand how the contribution of hospitality can impact that value. What is the right amount of money to spend? What would financing look like? What is the impact of increased sales average? Lori Salberg will lead you to answers to these questions and much more! 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • CX Certification Workshop 

John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE and Lori Salberg, CSE, CXE 

As a final measurement towards becoming a certified ICCFA CX-pert, each member of the class will complete a capstone project. The purpose of the capstone is to outline a strategic CX plan and the resulting programs needed to successfully implement a top-notch hospitality program. John Bolton and Lori Salberg will walk through the capstone step-by-step and help students create a document for them to follow during implementation of their hospitality and CX programs. This will result in increased engagement, adoption, retention, loyalty, advocacy, and revenue as well as move each organization to a more customer-focused team. 

4:30 pm • University Graduation 

5:45 pm • Graduate Reception 

Wednesday, July 28 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • From Scratch – Building a Successful Funeral Business from the Ground Up 

Doug Gober 

If you were starting over beginning with a blank sheet of paper, a big pile of money, and no preconceptions, what kind of business would you design to serve 21st century funeral customers? How would it compare to the funeral home/cemetery of today? Doug Gober will look at all the elements that would make up the new funeral and cemetery business, including facilities, staffing, products, and services plus the capital required to put it all in place. He will look at what we can learn from the funeral home or cemetery of tomorrow and how we can put it to work in our businesses today. 

10:00 am • Presentation of Certificate 

College of Land Management & Grounds Operations 

Dean Gino Merendino 

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

Friday, July 23 

2:00–5:30 pm • Registration & Check-in 

4:30 pm • Orientation 

5:00 pm • University Welcome Reception 

6:00 pm • University Dinner 

Saturday, July 24 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Exceptional Cemetery Maintenance – Experience the Difference!  

Gino Merendino 

A cemetery’s maintenance operations, procedures, and resulting outcomes are the defining experiences for families that enter our gates. What is exceptional cemetery maintenance and why does it matter? We’ll kick off our week together with high energy and a dynamic look at what we are doing to enable meaningful experiences at our cemeteries and share collective ideas on how to improve our efforts. 

10:30 am • Break  

11:00 am • Creating a Committal Service that Everybody Talks About 

John Gouch Jr. 

Successful cemeteries create great community events that bring visitors into the cemetery and have them leaving in awe. John Gouch’s cemetery has that experience designed into every committal service performed. He will share his step-by-step process so you can exceed customer expectations and create a buzz in your community for every funeral you service. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Using Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) for OSHA Compliance 

Poul Lemasters, Esq., Jeff Kidwiler, Gino Merendino 

OSHA compliance requires managers to implement an OSHA program for their cemetery workers. Compliance means documentation and training which will help with daily operations and preparation for the next pandemic.  Participants will learn how to perform a detailed Job Hazard Analysis for entombments, mowing, trimming, driving and burials.  

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Applying Technology to Cemetery Operations 

Nick Timpe 

Smooth cemetery grounds operations is critical to providing a high level of service and care to families. In this session we will explore the intersection of operations and technology. Equipping and empowering team members with the right technology can streamline work orders, automate communication across teams, make records and maps accessible from the field, enable staff to serve families on the fly, provide accountability for work quality, ensure follow-up to the families in our care and more. We will review practical steps that you can take to leverage technology for your firm. 

5:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Sports Night 

Join your ICCFAU colleagues for a friendly game. 

Sunday, July 25 

6:30 am • Breakfast 

8:00 am • Cemetery Tour 

Tour of beautiful Arlington Memorial Park Cemetery which has evolved to meet the changing needs of the community, while maintaining its small-town charm.  The picturesque grounds cover 122 acres of rolling hills, mature trees and two sparkling lakes. It is truly breathtaking.   

8:30 am • Train the Trainer 

Gino Merendino 

Learn how to share your knowledge and experience so your staff can be as proficient as you are in operating equipment. Utilizing a backhoe, this class will use the same master of motion principle used by Michelangelo and Leonard da Vinci to minimize training time for your employees. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Train the Trainer (continued) 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Cemetery Sustainable Practices 

Dave Barnett 

For over two decades, Dave Barnett has overseen a shift toward ecologically friendly practices in landscape maintenance – from lawns to gardens to trees to greenhouse production and beyond, including an almost zero-waste landscape materials recycling program. This has attracted many new purchasers of interment space – including those interested in green burials – as well as many philanthropic gifts to Mount Auburn. Barnett will share how the Cemetery has transformed turf maintenance and many other practices to reduce both costs and carbon footprint – to the benefit of both Mount Auburn and the globe.  

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Creative Cemetery Use 

Dave Barnett 

In 1990, Mount Auburn Cemetery management thought they would be out of burial space in 10 years, but a comprehensive master planning process resulted in a number of non-traditional concepts for future development of new interment and memorialization space for both casket and cremation. Now almost 30 years later, Mount Auburn continues to create new interment space to meet ambitious annual revenue goals by sustaining the innovative development of a diverse mix of new inventory that responds to evolving client interest and trends while at the same time ensures that preservation and enhancement of the landscape takes precedence. Dave Barnett will share examples of both large-scale and small-scale projects, many with very little development cost, that can be adapted to cemeteries of all sizes and budgets.  

5:00 pm • Dinner 

Monday, July 26 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Healing Grief 

Todd Van Beck, CFuE 

Lack of compassion is usually caused by a lack of understanding. Learning more about grief and bereavement allows us to be more empathetic. In this session, we will explore the journey of grief. Discover the ways in which our mourning traditions emerged, how our profession has evolved, and the ways in which we can assist our families in moving toward healing. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Arlington National Cemetery: Restoring Honor 

Jack Lechner, CFSP 

Arlington National Cemetery is the most visited cemetery in the United States. It is the first destination for dignitaries and heads of state. The problem with operating such a prominent cemetery is the increased pressure to get things right every time. This course will discuss the modernization of technology, processes and procedures learned from the Pentagon and forty years of experience in the deathcare profession. The goal is to perform flawless funerals in order to avoid disappointed families and public relations nightmares.  

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Transforming Deathcare Education 

Jack Lechner, CFSP 

The deathcare profession is dynamic and funeral professionals must be willing to assimilate to the changing needs of their consumers. They cannot rely on old religious traditions to achieve success. Many people are no longer choosing services and are open to other options to honor their loved ones. Updating deathcare curriculums is paramount to providing the best services to the families we serve. Mortuary colleges are prepared to meet that task with new cremation education classes and adopting hospitality and celebrant methods to meet the needs of the consumer as well as funeral professionals.

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Modern Cemetery Development 

Gary Freytag, CCFE 

Customer needs continue to evolve and cemeteries must adapt their product offerings to meet these preferences. Cemeteries must also balance aesthetics with density and revenue generation. Gary Freytag has traveled extensively through North America to see the most effective design concepts in a variety of markets. He will share Spring Grove’s long-term approach to cemetery development and how its approach has evolved to embrace several common principles that appeal to the needs of the cremation customer. 

5:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Student Night 

Tuesday, July 27 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Cremation: Changing the Face of Traditional Memorialization  

John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE 

We now live in a world where deleting history is more important than celebrating it. Is this also true for memorializing our loved ones? Is a gray headstone or a brown flush memorial the best way to remember our loved one? What is the true meaning of memorialization and how does it fit in at your location? Are we truly offering meaningful memorialization that is relevant to today’s client family? Discussion topics will include looking at what we have done in the past, what we should do in the future, overcoming current obstacles like, “we can’t change our rules and regulations,” increasing memorialization sales, how maintenance can play a role in meaningful memorialization, how cremation has affected how we memorialize, and what is considered relevant in today’s society. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • OSHA and Graveside Safety 

Gino Merendino  

Students will review OSHA regulations for excavating graves, cemetery hazards, and accident prevention. Students will receive a DVD on gravesite safety, which you can take back to train your entire maintenance staff to help fulfill your OSHA training requirements. The DVD comes with a user guide, instructor notes, student handouts, and a quiz for completion certificates.  

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Cemetery Liability Issues 

Poul Lemasters, Esq. 

This session will address a broad range of potential liability issues related to cemeteries and land management. We’ll examine risk and liability in a number of different contexts and from the perspective of various parties. The session will stress disclosures and procedures designed to prevent or mitigate liability. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Internal Relationships 

Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE 

How valuable is it to your organization to have all departments working in harmony? Some experts suggest it is extremely valuable not only to customer satisfaction, internally and externally, but to your bottom-line profitability. In this session you’ll learn the keys to developing effective internal relationships to help you drive a positive, productive organization. 

4:30 pm • University Graduation 

5:45 pm • Graduate Reception 

Wednesday, July 28 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Wrap-Up 

Gino Merendino & Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE 

10:00 am • Presentation of Certificate 

College of Leadership, Management & Administration 

Dean Gary Freytag, CCFE 

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

Friday, July 23 

2:00–5:30 pm • Registration & Check-in 

4:30 pm • Orientation 

5:00 pm • University Welcome Reception 

6:00 pm • University Dinner 

Saturday, July 24 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Become a Leader Worth Following! 

Darin Drabing 

In this introductory session, we’ll explore the many facets of leadership including the journey of an individual contributor to supervision, the skills necessary for the effective practice of management, and the artistry displayed in becoming a leader worth following. We will discover the motivations that drive us toward success and those that may stand in our way. We will learn to embrace the responsibilities of followership and to harness our energies and emotions into productive behaviors that can transform your employees and your organization. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Strategic Planning for IT Resources 

Christina DiBari 

How does a business, regardless of size or available resources, decide how to allocate their technology dollars? Every business has different initiatives and goals. In this class, we will talk about how to prioritize those IT projects and discuss a framework for your IT investments. We will focus on three key challenges that most businesses face: collaboration and document management, disaster recovery, and mobile solutions. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Our Greatest Assets 

Mark Brown & David Kelley 

We have all heard and believe the statement that “employees are a company’s greatest asset”. As managers and employers, are we doing the things to retain and develop those assets? Are we embracing our competitive advantage and providing the encouragement, incentives, and opportunity for our employees to be an integral part of the company’s mission? This course will introduce you to the latest trends, best practices, and tools to assist with developing a work culture that is conducive to achievement and engagement. Topics will include performance management, hiring practices, retention, morale, and the importance of consistent policies and procedures.  

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • A Case Study in Leadership 

Gary Freytag, CCFE 

This course will challenge the class to take on a leadership crisis derived from real life events. Students will team up to recommend viable solutions to the CEO while dealing with human resource, legal, and operational repercussions. This course will help evaluate and benchmark your leadership effectiveness and help you develop your leadership ability.  

5:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Sports Night 

Join your ICCFAU colleagues for a friendly game. 

Sunday, July 25 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Communication and the Art of Effective Feedback 

Carol Little 

We all know that powerful communication is essential to strong leadership but what is powerful communication and how can you effectively deliver feedback so your team will actually receive and benefit from it? Carol Little brings 15+ years of experience as a Certified Master Trainer and Public Speaker to these questions to help you improve the way you communicate with your team. In this workshop, she will discuss: 

    • The essential elements of feedback 
    • How, when, and where to deliver feedback 
    • How to address problems and get your team to buy into the solutions 
    • The “Feedback Sandwich”—What it is and how to serve it up 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • The Facebook Formula: Secrets for Taking Your Business Viral on Facebook 

Zachary Garbow 

Facebook remains a mystery to most deathcare professionals, but understanding the secrets of how the world’s largest social network operates is the key to taking your message viral. This class will uncover the secrets behind how Facebook determines who sees your content and how you can use that insight to expose your business to even more people within your community. Further, you will learn actionable methods for using your Facebook page as an effective marketing channel and turn it into one that can ultimately result in customer growth, community outreach, and even pre-need leads. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • First, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers! 

Yvonne Slonaker, CCrE, CFuE 

As an employer/manager, are you at wits end with HR matters disrupting day-to-day operations? Do you have an employee handbook? Are its policies and procedures helping or hindering you from dealing appropriately with bad behavior?  Are you unknowingly undermining your company culture? It is important to have a basic understanding of how to react when you are confronted with different HR situations. This interactive session will present HR scenarios that will help you think on your feet and exercise prudent judgment while keeping you out of court.  

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Community Outreach: Setting Your Company Apart 

Debbie Budke  

Are you doing everything you can to build your company’s ties to the community? Is your organization the first one families think of in a time of need? Spring Grove Cemetery gets between 20,000 and 30,000 visitors per year for reasons other than funerals and burials. This course will explore the variety of ways Spring Grove builds its presence and positive awareness including everything from grief programs, events, and tours to car shows, Segways, and Facebook. 

5:00 pm • Dinner 

Monday, July 26 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Building Trust as a Manager 

Ashley S. Freeman, MBA 

New managers are typically promoted for their individual contributor skills, but six out of ten of them receive no formal training on how to manage people. In this session, we cover the most important and foundational interpersonal skill for a cohesive and productive team – building trust – with practical application tips you can apply to your team to enhance engagement and productivity. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Navigating Difficult Conversations 

Ashley S. Freeman, MBA 

We all have that one conversation we know we need to have but have been avoiding. This session is a call to action that provides practical tools for that conversation so that you can move forward successfully through it while diffusing defensiveness, resulting in enhanced relationships and improved communication in both your personal and professional life. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Using Your Strengths to Prevent Burnout 

Ashley S. Freeman, MBA 

When was the last time you felt truly alive after work? In this session, you will define what your strengths are, learn how to apply them in your life and work, and understand research-based methods for using them to feel fulfilled and fueled even after the busiest and most draining days. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Crafting Your Career Purpose Statement 

Ashley S. Freeman, MBA 

Most of us have a loose understanding of our ideal career path, but what if you could clarify your career purpose into a single statement? This interactive and reflective session walks you through the components that make up a career purpose statement, and leaves you with a draft statement to share and refine with colleagues and loved ones so that you can find more joy, fulfillment, and energy in your everyday career journey. 

5:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Student Night 

Tuesday, July 27 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Funeral Home and Cemetery Accounting: Keys to Affecting Your Bottom Line 

Bill Williams Jr. 

Profit is all about increasing revenue and decreasing expenses but what are the standards against which you can benchmark yourself? How often does your company truly analyze its expenses? Do you sometimes wonder whether there are line items you should be taking a keen look at but are missing? In this session, we will examine critical expense items, including how to manage them, ideal ways to reduce them, and industry norms to benchmark against them. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Business Law: A Funeral Home and Cemetery Legal Outlook 

Poul Lemasters, Esq. 

As a manager, you are called upon to make many decisions but do you know if your decisions are legally sound? Are you aware of common hiring and firing legal issues and how to avoid them? Do you know how to handle HR issues so that you are paving the way for a good legal foundation versus creating a lawsuit? When it comes to recordkeeping do you know what to document and what to avoid? Gain the knowledge, the legal knowledge, to understanding the legal risks, and, more importantly, the steps to avoid legal pitfalls that run with the day-to-day job of management. From customer complaints to demand letters, this will not only help cover the basics but it will also help CYA. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Your Marketing & Branding Mantra: Building Customer Loyalty 

Doug Gober 

When people hear your company’s name, what thoughts or emotions are evoked? In this class, we will learn about how our actions and interactions can positively impact the development process of lasting customer loyalty. Doug Gober will pull together a variety of key branding considerations and apply them directly to cemeteries, crematories, and funeral homes. We will examine each potential point of customer contact within your business and delve into how each of these impact our existing and potential customers. Discover how this integrated branding concept can help you differentiate yourself in your marketplace. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Corporate Culture: How Strong Is Your Foundation? 

Gary Freytag, CCFE 

Corporate culture is difficult to define but critical to an organization pursuing excellence. How do organizations define and build a positive culture? Are you a “Me” or a “We” company? How does culture help guide every employee in day-to-day decision making? This class will delve into the key elements of building a positive, self-sustaining culture that supports the business and improves employee engagement. We will examine how leaders, through their decisions and actions, can nurture or undermine culture.  

4:30 pm • University Graduation 

5:45 pm • Graduate Reception 

Wednesday, July 28 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Best Practices / Q&A 

Gary Freytag, CCFE 

10:00 am • Presentation of Certificate 

Asher Neel College of Sales and Marketing

Dean Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE 

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 23 

2:00–5:30 pm • Registration & Check-in 

4:30 pm • Orientation 

5:00 pm • University Welcome Reception 

6:00 pm • University Dinner 

Saturday, July 24 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

8:30 am • Introductions 

Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE 

Meet your classmates! Come early to learn where your classmates are from—not only from every corner of the United States, but also our international students as well. Students will share where they are from, what their role is in their company, and what they hope to learn.  

9:00 am • You Don’t Need to Be a Superstar to Achieve Success – You Simple Need an Effective Selling System 

Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE 

Good sales managers focus on volume, but great sales managers focus on the daily activities that create the volume. In this session, you will learn why selling is not voodoo but rather what a systematic selling process can do. You will learn the foundational principles of activity and outcomes needed to make your sales more controllable, predictable, and repeatable. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Discovering Your Secret Numbers and How to Use Them Daily 

Mitch Bennett 

Do you know exactly how many salespeople you should have? Are you sure? Of the people you have, what activities and outcomes should they be achieving every day? If your sales people ask “how can I earn more”, do you just say “make more sales” or do you have a method to show them exactly what they need to improve to make their sales and income more controllable? If not, this is the class you must attended. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • The Facebook Formula: Secrets for Taking Your Business Viral on Facebook 

Zachary Garbow 

Facebook remains a mystery to most deathcare professionals but understanding the secrets of how the world’s largest social network operates is the key to taking your message viral. This class will uncover the secrets behind how Facebook determines who sees your content and how you can use that insight to expose your business to even more people within your community. Further, you will learn actionable methods for using your Facebook page as an effective marketing channel and turn it into one that can ultimately result in customer growth, community outreach, and even pre-need leads. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • High Performance, What It Is, How Does It Look Like and How To Get It 

Carlos Quezada, CCFE 

Building a HighPerformance organization is not difficult and requires full awareness of the symptoms of low performance and the process to transform it into a sustainable and predictable top sales organization. In this class you will learn the definition of High Performance, most importantly, you will learn how to diagnose, cure and prevent low performance thought a step-by-step plan and strategy that will deliver success in your organization. 

6:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Sports Night 

Join your ICCFAU colleagues for a friendly game. 

Sunday, July 25 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Raising the Bar: Applying Technology to Family Engagement  

Nick Timpe 

We live in a new world, and we must reinvent how we engage families. More than ever before, families are engaging with us online and have an entirely different set of expectations. In this session, you will learn proven approaches to applying technology to meet the new consumer’s demands.  You will learn how to engage first-time visitors to your website better, streamline remote arrangement meetings, and improve your virtual aftercare follow-up. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Prospecting Made Easy and Effective: The Key to Your Sales Success 

Mitch Bennett 

It was once said, “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.” To sell something you must have people to sell to. The key to success in any sales organization is ensuring your people are in as many selling situations per day as possible. That is why the phrase is now, “Nothing has a chance to happen unless you are in a selling situation.” How does that happen? Prospecting. If your sales team detests prospecting, this session will teach you how to make prospecting fun and productive. Yes, FUN and PRODUCTIVE. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • 20/20 Perfect Vision—What Did You See, What Will You See 

Andres Aguilar 

From someone who not only has a pre-need sales team of nearly 1,000 people in two different countries to his travels around the world and his involvement in the U.S. , You will learn what he saw and what he sees in the not-so-distant future. This will be an interactive session where you will hear from others in your class what they say and what they see. At the end of this session, you will be able to craft the best plan possible for what everyone sees as coming next. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • What a Lawyer Can Teach You About Sales 

Poul Lemasters, Esq.  

Seriously? Everyone thinks that lawyers are there when things go wrong, and probably would never compare the world of a lawyer to the world of sales – but in fact, the 2 worlds have a lot in common.  In fact, there are probably a few things a lawyer can teach you about sales! There are the obvious items, such as HR and general employment issues.  But go a little further and consider the regulatory and licensing side of sales.  How about the general world of advertising – not only by mail, but by telephone and online?  Now let’s jump into all those contracts and forms that are used in every sale you make.  And – wait for it – how about ethics? I know you are curious what a lawyer can teach about ethics. You can quickly see that lawyers are more involved in sales than you may have thought. This seminar will cover the spectrum of law and sales – ranging from the day to day legal issues all the way to tips/tricks a lawyer can share to help with anyone’s sales.   

6:00 pm • Dinner 

Monday, July 26 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • You Have the Social Media Lead, Now What? 

Daniel Thomas 

Everyone is aware of how social media has become the new marketing frontier and lead generator. Facebook, Google ad words, and now Tik Tok? From inquires on your websites to the changing use of LinkedIn, we are being presented with a massive channel to obtain names, phone numbers, and email addresses. However, the fact we have people’s attention and give us their contact information, for many, converting that contact into an appointment and ultimately a sale can be challenging. In this session, you will gain insights on how to move these names to an appointment and a sale. 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • Sales Recruiting: How to Bring the Best New Sales Talent to Your Team and Bring Your Team to Their Best! 

Patrick Downey, CCE 

Learn the best practices for how to attract qualified candidates, conduct effective interviews that yield top talent and techniques to secure and retain great sales professionals for your team. 

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Why Making a Systematic and Compelling Pre-Need Presentation is Critical to Influencing Today’s Consumer 

Linda Jankowski, CCE 

Do you have an effective pre-need presentation, or do you just wing it? When dealing with today’s savvy consumer, winging it is no longer effective. Customers want you to explain your selling proposition in a methodical and logical way. If you don’t have a systematic process by which to accomplish this, you will after this session! You will learn the critical elements and the tools you need to make a compelling and convincing pre-need presentation that will help you make more sales. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Learn the Six Most Powerful Ways to Influence Your Prospects to Buy 

Andres Aguilar  

Selling is more psychological than it is logical. In this session, you will learn what these six powerful tools are. You will also learn the principles of why they work and how to use them in a positive way to influence people to buy from you. This is a session you don’t want to miss.  

6:00 pm • Dinner 

7:00 pm • Student Night 

Tuesday, July 27 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • Keeping It Personal When You’re Not In-Person 

Daniel Thomas 

The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything. At first, sales stopped, but then we adapted without compromising our commitment to customer service. Learn some of the ways the pandemic drove us to embrace technology and incorporate it into our daily sales process. 

    • Giving a virtual presentation 
    • Virtual cemetery park tours 
    • Presenting funeral packages in a meaningful manner 

10:30 am • Break 

11:00 am • The Process of Service and Opportunities Through an Effective Aftercare Program 

Linda Jankowski, CCE 

Perhaps one of the most under-utilized opportunities we have to build stronger relationships, provide more service, and drive more pre-need sales is effective aftercare. In the session, you will go through the process of helping a family who has had a loss using The System’s exclusive “Going Forward” methods and materials.  

12:30 pm • Lunch 

1:30 pm • Coming Face-to-Face with Cremation 

John Bolton, CCE, CCrE, CSE, CXE 

We are all aware of the impact cremation is having on our business. We all know that the market is changing. The question is, are we changing at the same pace as our consumers? This highly interactive session will focus on how to improve your face-to-face interaction with the cremation consumer and gain a better understanding of who they are and what drives their purchasing habits. As a result, you will have a better understanding of how to serve more and sell more. 

3:00 pm • Break 

3:30 pm • Coaching and Communication Techniques to Keep Your Team Positive and Productive 

Patrick Downey, CCE 

Learn how to implement a weekly meeting coaching and communication system to stay connected with every member of your sales team and build a “Top Gun” proactive team culture within your sales organization. 

4:30 pm • University Graduation 

5:45 pm • Graduate Reception 

Wednesday, July 28 

8:00 am • Breakfast 

9:00 am • The Making of a MERRCLE! 

Gary O’Sullivan, CCFE 

After four days and nearly 25 hours of instruction, ideas, concepts, and inspiration, now what? How do you determine what matters most to you, to your business, and to your future? In this session, you begin the creation of your own Merrcle. This is one of the ICCFA University’s most well-known sessions and you will have the experience that has the power to change everything! 

10:00 am • Presentation of Certificate