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Convention Keynote Speakers
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Keynote Speakers


Serving Donor Families: Meeting Their Expectations and Supporting Your Challenges

Presenters: Matt Black, Dodge

Kelley Romanowski, LifeSource

Melinda DeVries, LifeSource


Monday, May 20 – 9:00am-12:00pm – Part A, Registration open 8:00am-9:00am

Monday, May 20 – 1:30pm-4:30pm – Part B, Registration open 12:00pm-1:30pm

Mayo Clinic Anatomy Lab



Sponsored by Dodge and LifeSource



Part A - 3 Body Prep, Care, and Handling CEUs

MFDA Members/Students $60 early-bird/$75 after May 11

Non-Members $120 early-bird/$135 after May 11

Part B - 3 Body Prep, Care, and Handling CEUs

MFDA Members/Students $60 early-bird/$75 after May 11

Non-Members $120 early-bird/$135 after May 11


Dodge, in conjunction with LifeSource, will be hosting two half-day lab education sessions on Monday of Convention, focusing on embalming and restoration techniques post donation.


This will be an amazing opportunity to receive CEU credits as you learn some of the latest techniques to aide in embalming a donor.  A special guest speaker and embalmer, Matt Black will be joining us.  


Part A morning session:  How does someone become a donor? Find out how LifeSource collaborates with the funeral home, what gifts were they able to recover and initial overview for embalming.


Part B afternoon session: Building on the initial embalming, what are the options and next steps? Final reconstruction of the donor and how LifeSource continues to service the family along with your firm.


Each half-day session will have a maximum 60 attendees. Early-bird tickets for MFDA Members/Mort Sci Students are $60 ($75 after May 11), Non-Members $120 ($135 after May 11).  Guest attendees are not allowed in this session. This lab education session is a separate ticket from MFDA Convention registration.




Wildly Present: The How To’s of Self-Care and Teamwork in a Wholehearted Industry

Presenter: Chris Heeter of The Wild Institute


Tuesday, May 21


Mayo Civic Center


Sponsored by Brown Wilbert


1 General CEU


With hilarious and poignant stories from her sled dog team, and a few recollections from her relationship with a funeral director, Chris Heeter offers insights on the finer points of leadership, teamwork, and caring for everyone on the team...including the musher!


Chris Heeter is an award-winning speaker and a recipient of Meetingsnet's “Editor's Pick” Top Ten Speakers of 2014 as well as being a finalist for 2 years in a row for Minnesota Meetings and Event's “Best Teambuilding Facilitator.”

These awards fuel Chris's fire to create a wild revolution in the work- place. As a wilderness guide for 33 years, Chris has led countless teams...both canine and human.    Hmm, I wonder which is easier?


Featured on The Discovery Channel’s “National Geographic Today,” Chris brings decades of wilderness leadership experience indoors, to offices and off-sites, helping us recognize that there is a path of self-care and great teamwork, even in a field that demands so much heart.


Her stories come from her own “wild” life, from helping breed, raise, and train a team of 16 sled dogs, and from the rivers that serve as the backdrop for the many whitewater trips that she has guided. Living Wild, for Chris, includes heating her home with wood, sustaining a large organic garden, and guiding trips from dogsledding in northern Minnesota to kayaking in Baha.



Working with the Media for Funeral Professionals

Presenter: Dave Heinsch of Padilla


Wednesday, May 22


Mayo Civic Center


Sponsored by Metro First Call


In this session Dave Heinsch will discuss how funeral professionals can work with their local media to generate positive news stories within their community, as well as what to do when the media calls your funeral home with a negative story.


Dave brings a passion for simplifying complexity and propelling brands with big ideas, a skill he developed from more than 20 years of experience in investor relations, corporate communications, issues management, trade and business media, analyst relations, integrated marketing and broadcast journalism. His clients have included Patterson Companies, The Mosaic Company, SUPERVALU, AEGON/Transamerica, 3M and Cargill.


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