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Convention Breakouts - Tuesday
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Breakout Sessions - Tuesday, May 21




OSHA Training
(1 OSHA CEU/1 Regulations & Ethics CEU)
Mark Arnold, Funeral Director




The Hard Stuff: Talking to families about Suicide, Cremation, and Overdose
(1 Professional Practices CEU)
Coral Popowitz, LICSW and Jessica Moujouros, Children’s Grief Connection

Ever find yourself tongue tied or grasping for the "right" thing to say to a family when they ask you for advice? Based on the three topics that are most commonly asked about during programming at our Hearts of Hope Family Grief Camp, presenters will offer recommendations for discussing often stigmatized topics. We will give you ideas for what to say to kids, how to help adult family members talk to their children, and what not to say...


Obituaries: The Stories of Our Lives
(1 Professional Practices CEU)
Angela Woosely and Marc A. Markell, University of Minnesota Mortuary Science Program

The arrangement conference gives the funeral director the opportunity to distill a person’s life story by writing obituary notices. Obituaries serve a fundamental role in our society, alerting and connecting communities, and reaffirming that our lives have meaning. Obituaries are a frequent writing activity for funeral directors, and you will have the opportunity to write many throughout your career. Learning about obituaries in this way will help you meet the needs of client families.

The experience of writing obituaries is designed to help you learn by:

1. Developing your unique voice and style that is adaptable to suit family and community needs.

2. Helping you distill information in a way that is compact, powerful, and true to the decedent’s legacy and family’s wishes.




Decreasing Customer Loyalty: The Problem Isn’t What You Think
(1 Professional Practices CEU)
Todd Carlson, Funeral Directors Life

In today’s market, funeral professionals can no longer take customer loyalty for granted, and many funeral directors feel like they are losing ground to cremation and other non-traditional sources of competition. Most funeral professionals are blaming the changing funeral consumer for declining loyalty, but the REAL problem is much closer to home. During this eye-opening presentation, participants will learn the true reason for declining customer loyalty and take away actionable steps to rebuild customer loyalty and grow their businesses.



Preventing Funeral Director’s Burnout Through Self Care

(1 General CEU)
Angela Woosely and Marc A. Markell, University of Minnesota Mortuary Science Program

In this breakout our presenters will cover:

  • Stress defined: stress v. burnout
  • How stress hurts us
  • How self-care can help
  • What self-care is and isn't
  • Self-care activities
  • Finding time for self-care




The Law of the Funeral: Perspectives and Observations from a Mortuary Law Practitioner
(1 Regulations & Ethics CEU)
Michael D. Sharkey, Cousineau, Van Bergen, McNee & Malone, P.A.

Attorney Sharkey will bring his experiences as a mortuary law practitioner in order to present a dynamic and engaging presentation concerning the legal issues that confront funeral service and cemeteries. Sharkey will discuss best practices that funeral directors can implement at their businesses in order to minimize or prevent litigation. He will discuss tools and strategies for the GPL, interactions with and the managing of difficult families, the nuances of Minn. Stat. 149A, and how to handle an investigation by the Minnesota Department of Health. He will also discuss the emerging issue of formaldehyde and pregnancy, along with anecdotes from his mortuary law and expert witness work regarding the most recent legal developments concerning funeral service.


History of Military Funeral Honors
(1 General)
Chris Van Hofwegen, Minnesota Army National Guard

Brief history on the Military Funeral Honors and the Symbolism behind military funerals.


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