Virtual Seminar Series

Ceremony & Memorialization Series

Each session costs $50. The series includes:

  • “Humans and Communities Cannot Survive Without Rituals” • Todd Van Beck, CFuE
  • “How a Dynamic Duo Can Defeat COVID-19” • Philip Zehms
  • “You Lost Dad Once, Don’t Lose Him Again!” • Mike Watkins, CFSP, CCO
  • “Ceremony & Permanent Placement During COVID-19” • Stacie Schubert

*Registration for the Virtual Seminar Series is only available to current ICCFA members.


Ceremony & Memorialization: à La Carte Sessions

“Humans and Communities Cannot Survive Without Rituals” will take place on February 4 at 2:00 PM EST. This seminar will be presented by Todd Van Beck, CFuE. Todd currently serves as Dean of the College of Funeral Management at the University of Memphis. À La Carte Cost: $50

This program centers around the value, purpose, and benefit of rites, rituals, and ceremonies. Part of being human is the ability to develop ceremonies and rituals to mark rites of passage, but interestingly humans are not the only creatures on earth that do this also. For example, elephants have developed primitive death rituals, which have been studied and interpreted for years. The importance of rites, rituals, and ceremonies in the funeral and cemetery professions cannot hardly be overstated. The case could easily be made that if the ritual and ceremony of a death experience is removed, taken away, or abandoned, then funeral directors and cemeterians become mere dead body disposers, and this statement is no exaggeration because in some places, this is already happening. The purpose and goal of this seminar is to dissect the DNA of rituals, then analyze them, and then most importantly offer some thoughts and suggestions on programs that the funeral home and cemetery can implement to create ritualistic literacy in a culture that is quickly moving towards ritualistic illiteracy. Ritualistic illiteracy has already taken an incalculable toll on our professions, and this is particularly true with economic negative consequences.

“How a Dynamic Duo Can Defeat COVID-19”​ will take place on February 11 at 2:00 PM EST. This seminar will be presented by Philip Zehms. Philip is the Director of Operations for the Park Lawn Corporation overseeing the operations in the Kansas City market. À La Carte Cost: $50

The pandemic has created a new reality for all of us and a dynamic duo can create a new standard in funeral service. The phrase “dynamic duo” typically refers to a successful, powerful, or revered pair of people. In his presentation, Phil will show how the strong partnership between a funeral director and a celebrant can combat the negative effects that COVID-19 has had on families and funeral service.

“You Lost Dad Once, Don’t Lose Him Again!”​ will take place on February 18 at 2:00 PM EST. This seminar will be presented by Mike Watkins, CFSP, CCO. Mike currently serves as the Vice President of Operations at Park Lawn Corporation.​ À La Carte Cost: $50

Arranging for permanent disposition of cremated remains presents a unique challenge for funeral and cemetery professionals. While some families are ready to make arrangements for permanent placement, others are unclear as to their plans and simply take their loved one home, scatter or in some cases, never pick them up at all. Leading and advising your families to understand their options for permanent placement not only helps increase your sales, it is the right thing to do. Properly executing in this area begins with your belief in the importance of each and every family honoring their loved one’s life and having the courage to engage the family in conversation. Join Mike Watkins as he provides tools to help you ensure that you are maximizing every opportunity to serve your family’s needs and also protect your business with proper documentation.

“Ceremony & Permanent Placement During COVID-19”​ will take place on February 25 at 2:00 PM EST. This seminar will be presented by Stacie Schubert. Stacie currently serves as Director, Special Events, Receptions and Cremation Memorialization, with Service Corporation International. À La Carte Cost: $50

Stacie Schubert will cover how the pandemic has not only solidified the importance of ceremony in our lives, but also helped to build value in the eyes of our client families for permanent placement. Through the sharing of best practices and experiences from cemeteries across the country, Stacie will touch on presentation skills, logistics, and overcoming objections.