FCA National Conference, June 5-7, 2014, Minneapolis
Events and accommodations at the Park Plaza Hotel, 4460 W 78th St Cir, Bloomington, MN 55435. (952) 831-3131.
Everyone is welcome. You do not have to be a member of Funeral Consumers Alliance to attend. If you do, we know you’ll want to join!
- Click here for hotel reservations at special prices for FCA Conference Guests. Book early to assure a room!
- Click here to register for the conference. Registration fee at $225 includes opening reception Thursday, breakfast and lunch Friday and Saturday, all programs, and a field trip to Minnesota’s newest natural burial ground, Prairie Oaks Memorial EcoGardens.
- One-day registration is available.
We’ve got a fantastic line-up of consumer advocates, legislators, and young, innovative people in the funeral and burial business focused on bringing consumers real choice while maintaining affordability.
Caitlin Doughty is easily the funniest funeral director in the country. If you haven’t seen her informative-while-totally-hysterical “Ask a Mortician” Youtube series, run, don’t walk. It’s the only video series to combine death, dying, and drag queens—what more could you ask for?
Caitlin has been featured on NPR, in the Huffington Post, and more. You’ll be seeing much more of her when her forthcoming book, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, is published by W.W. Norton and company later in 2014. Join her for an irreverent breath of fresh air about the foibles of the funeral industry!
Minnesota Representative Carolyn Laine, funeral directors Verlin and Lisa Stoll, and attorney Katelynn McBride of the Institute for Justice will join the FCA of Minnesota for a panel talk on how consumers, businesses, and lawmakers can work together to increase consumer choice and open opportunities for non-traditional funeral firms. Representative Laine worked with FCA to pass a bill that restored Minnesotans’ right to handle their own funerals without hiring a mortuary, and that got rid of the last law in the country requiring embalming for open-casket viewings. Verlin and Lisa Stoll run Crescent Tide Funerals, a “storefront” establishment with affordable prices. The Stolls, together with the FCA of Minnesota, succesfully sued the state in 2013 to overturn the requirement for every funeral home and branch facility to have an embalming room. IJ lawyer Katelynn McBride led the case, which dramatically lowered the overhead costs for funeral homes in the state, allowing firms like Crescent Tide to pass the savings along to families.
This ain’t your grandpa’s cremation. . . .
Jason Bradshaw’s funeral homes offer alkaline hydrolysis, the dissolution of the body in an alkaline liquid. Often called “water cremation,” the process is relatively new, but Bradshaw says the great majority of families looking for cremation choose alkaline hydrolyis over flame-based cremation. If the process isn’t in your area yet, it will be. Learn what it looks like, how it works, and what it costs.
Join volunteers from the National Home Funeral Alliance for a demonstration of simple, traditional care of the dead at home. They’ll demonstrate (on a living person, don’t worry) how to prepare and move the body safely and easily. Bring your questions about private, family-directed funeral care!
We’ll take a short bus ride Saturday afternoon to Prairie Oaks Memorial EcoGardens, a natural-burial “green” cemetery just outside Minneapolis. If you’ve ever wanted to see a natural cemetery in person now’s your chance. Owner Tony Weber will host a tour and will be on hand to answer all the questions you have about green burial and the practical side of starting and maintaining a natural burial ground.
The final schedule will be posted soon. You can choose from workshops on:
- Fundraising 101 for board members—who and when to ask
- Direct mail 1-2-3—your members will support your work with gifts so long as you ask right, and ask regularly
- Price surveys—the most important service FCA offers. Learn how to do them and how to get them online in a consumer-friendly format
- Funeral Fun on Youtube—Caitlin Doughty shows you how to make videos that get attention with humor and candor
. . .and more.
Schedule and travel
Registration and the welcome reception happen Thursday, June 5th. Programming takes place all day Friday the 6th and Saturday the 7th, culminating in the closing banquet Saturday evening. The Park Plaza hotel will extend special FCA pricing on rooms ($89 plus tax) for three days before and after the conference. Come early and explore the Twin Cities, home of the Mall of America. Friday night has no events scheduled, so take a night on the town!
The Park Plaza features:
- Free shuttle to and from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
- Free shuttle service to the nearby Mall of America. Once there, you can hop on the city’s light rail to downtown Minneapolis and beyond.
- Free wifi
We want you! FCA’s biennial conferences are a bucket load of fun and a great way to bring fresh new ideas to your work at your local affiliate group. If you’ve never been, or your affiliate has not sent a delegate recently, you really need to come! If you or your local FCA need some help on expenses, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for grant information. Preference will be given to affiliates with limited budgets and to groups who have not attended the last two conferences.