We’re back from our biggest national conference yet, and the attendees are calling the event “inspiring,” “packed full of information,” and “hosted by the nicest, most helpful volunteers” (hats off and thanks to Peoples Memorial Association!).
Here are some highlights of the three-day event:
- FCA presented Elvira Hoffman of the FCA of Long Island and New York City with the Award for Oustanding Consumer Advocacy for her tireless work lobbying for funeral consumer rights.
- FCA gave Valerie Bayham (at left, addressing the membership at the Saturday banquet) of the Institute for Justice our first award to an outside organization for funeral consumer advocacy. IJ’s work protecting funeral consumers and small business owners – like casket retailers – from anticompetitive regulations is unparalled.
(right-click any of these to download the files. They’re in Adobe PDF format)
- Outgoing President Joyce Homan’s welcome address, The Chivas Regal Effect.
- Executive Director Josh Slocum’s opening remarks, The Future of Funeral Consumer Advocacy.
- Mark Harris, author of Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial, prepared this slideshow for use after his well-received talk. Check it out for myths and facts about natural burial, and how you can accomplish it.
- Kathryn Tucker, Legal Director for Compassion and Choices, presented this slideshow on the legal and societal barriers to patient choice in pain management and choosing one’s own time of death. Don’t miss this eye-opening presentation.
- Julie Lomoe, Administrator of the Memorial Society of the Hudson-Mohawk Region, offers Effective Networking, full of tips on to make friends with organizations in your community to boost membership and spread funeral consumer education.
- Donna Belk of the home funeral advocacy group Crossings Care Circle used this moving slide show in her workshop demonstrating the hands-on practicalities of caring for a deceased family member at home (note – the slide show has images of deceased people being waked at home; we think you’ll be surprised at how touching and not “scary” home funerals really are).
- John Eric Rolfstand and Ruth Bennett of Peoples Memorial Association know their stuff. Marketing Your Mission rounds up great advice from our oldest and most successful affiliated consumer group.
- FCA Executive Director Joshua Slocum walks you through the basics of funeral consumer advocacy – how to monitor your state funeral board, stay on top of legislation affecting consumer rights, and testifying on behalf of consumers in your state’s legislature. Advocacy 101 is a simple slide show with the basics; The Advocacy Action Plan gives step by step instructions and real-life examples.
- Valerie Bayham of the Institute for Justice gave an inspiring call to action against allowing government regulators to give in to industry demands at the expense of consumer choice and reasonable prices.