Those attending the 2021 Funeral Directors Convention and Expo in Atlantic City will have the opportunity to attend seminars from seven different presenters, each discussing a timely topic that is sure to be both enlightening and informative.
The Convention, held on September 22 and 23 at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City, will feature classes on restorative arts, ethics and the impact of COVID-19 on funeral directors, among others. Most of the seminars will be presented twice during the Convention so attendees will be able to choose the time that best fits their schedules.
Here is a list of the topics and speakers at this year’s Convention, presented chronologically:
Hiring and Retention of Today's Funeral Service Employee will be presented by Leili McMurrough. The seminar will feature a discussion on how to effectively communicate and integrate the millennial funeral director into the workplace. McMurrough is a licensed funeral director, embalmer and a licensed attorney. She is also a member of the American Board of Funeral Service Education Committee on Accreditation. This seminar will be presented from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on September 22 and from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. on September 23.
Embalming Organ and Tissue Donors, presented by TJ Roser, will provide an overview of the donation process as well as the policies and procedures that organ procurement organizations must follow. Attendees will learn best practices for embalming organ and tissue donors. Roser is a Pennsylvania licensed funeral director and has served as a supervisor/partner in a family-owned funeral home. He also is a deputy coroner for the Indiana County, PA, Coroner’s Office. This seminar will be presented from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on September 22.
Pandemic-Related Stress Among Funeral Workers will be presented by Kristy-Lee Jean-Pierre, Ph.D. This presentation aims to increase the understanding of the effect of work-related stress among funeral directors and deathcare workers. Jean-Pierre is the Clinical Director of Bellevue Hospital Center’s Child and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic. This seminar will only be presented once, from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on September 22.
The Essential Work of Funeral Directors During COVID-19, presented by George Scott, will offer an opportunity to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the funeral profession. Scott is a New Jersey Licensed Family Therapist practicing at the Center for Counseling Services in Mercer County, NJ, and specializing in helping individuals and families recover from the effects of life’s traumatic and toxic stress events. This seminar will be presented from 11:00 a.m. to noon and from 3:15 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on September 22.
What Deathcare Can Learn from the 1918 Flu Pandemic and Excess Death, presented by Alexandra Jo, will cover what the deathcare profession can expect from excess death and the COVID-19 pandemic by comparing death rates in 2020 to statistics from the 1918 flu pandemic. Jo is the Content Manager at Parting Stone and is a former adjunct professor at several universities. This seminar will be presented from 9:45 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. on September 22 and from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on September 23.
Good People, Unethical Choices, presented by Lance Ray, will feature a review of why ethics are important to the funeral profession, the three parts of bad choices and why we all must work to keep ethics high in our business. Ray is the Chief Operating Officer for Pierce Chemical and he holds a funeral director/embalmers license in Texas. This seminar, which is accredited as a mandatory Ethics course, will be presented from 11:00 a.m. to noon on September 22 and from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on September 23.
The Relevance of Restorative Art, presented by Dominick Astorino, will challenge the way funeral directors of all experience levels view the value of restorative art in the profession, our communities and society. Astorino is a faculty member at Wayne State University School of Mortuary Science in Detroit, MI, where he oversees the lecturing and laboratory work for all restorative art courses. He will present the seminar from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and again from 1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. on September 23.
Those wishing to attend the Convention but who have not yet registered will still be able to register onsite on both September 22 and 23. For a full listing of all Convention events, click here.