Tribute to the Bushes 

Presented by the Maine Funeral Directors Association and Collette Monuments


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2019 Summer Convention

June 11 & 12, The Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport, Maine

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Registration Form for Funeral Directors & Guests

NOTE:  Lodging Reservations must be made by 4/27/19 to receive reduced rate (limited rooms available) 

We have a great agenda lined up for you with plenty of time to relax and enjoy the private beach, heated pool, sightseeing and more! 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

11:00 - 12:00
Tribute to the Bushes
Kennebunkport Historical Society - White Columns

2:00pm – 3:00pm:  
Navigating Through Conflict
Mary Russell (1 ceu)

3:15 - 4:15:
Communication Skills for Connecting with Cremation Families
Mike Nicodemus (1 ceu)

4:15 - 5:15:  
The 3 E's for Cremation Success
Mike Nicodemus (1 ceu)

5:30pm – 7:30pm: 
Colony Cocktail Reception on the Colony Hotel’s porch

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 

8:15am – 9:15am
Opioid Addiction
Mary Russell (1 ceu)

9:30am – 10:30am
Bringing Ritual to Cremation Arranging
Mike Nicodemus (1 ceu)

10:30am – 11:30am
If it Isn't in Writing, It Didn't Happen
Mike Nicodemus (1 ceu)

11:30am - 12:30pm:
Lunch at Colony Hotel

1:00pm – 5:30pm:  
Golf Tournament at Webhannet Golf Club

5:30pm – 6:30pm:  
Happy Hour at Webhannet Golf Club

6:30pm – 7:30pm
Lobster Bake at Webhannet Golf Club

The Tribute to the Bushes will be held at the Kennebunkport Historical Society 8 Maine Street, Kennebunkport

All Classes will be held at The Colony Hotel - 140 Ocean Ave., Kennebunkport

Golf Tournament to be held at Webhannet Golf Club, 26 Golf Club Drive, Kennebunkport

Please contact the MFDA office for more info of any of the agenda items
207-729-9100 -


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Mary Russell

Mary is a highly regarded professional with 30+ years of experience in training and marketing in funeral service and non-profit organizations. As Professional Development Manager for Matthews Aurora, she leads funeral directors through innovative seminars and creates learning through engaging discussion. Mary joined Matthews Aurora in 2016 after a decade-long dedication to character-building in the Cincinnati area. She also helped establish a charitable foundation to support hospice care for children. Her first exposure to funeral service began early in her career where she produced grief support resources, helped roll out cremation products and became a sought-after speaker, delivering hundreds of presentations in the U.S., Canada, and Australia. Mary is a graduate of the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. She resides in Cleves, Ohio with her husband Mike.


Course topics Mary will be presenting:


Navigating Through Conflict (1 ceu)

Due to the rise in divorce and single-parent families, the American family is more complex than ever before. Funeral directors report increasing conflict, tension, and disagreements during the arrangement conference. This insightful seminar provides strategies and skills for navigating through difficult conversations with courage and tact and helping families resolve conflict.


You will learn:

How to create a safe environment for open discussion

Skills for diffusing situations before they get out of hand

Techniques for remaining calm and restoring dialogue

Engaging the family in problem solving

The steps for discovering a path forward

Finally, participants will practice learned skills


Opioid Addiction (1 ceu):

In 2017, deaths from drug overdoses in the US exceeded 70,000 according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Potentsynthetic opioids such as fentanyl have accelerated the number of deaths. Complicated grief and the stigma surrounding overdoses make these deaths particularly difficult for surviving families. There are several issues that funeral directors need to be aware of in order to safely and effectively serve families in this situation. This presentation provides practical ways that funeral directors can be a part of the solution through their treatment and communication with families and through education and involvement in the community.


You will learn:

The scope of the problem

Understanding that opioid addiction is a disease

How the epidemic may impact your funeral home

Educating families on what to expect

Celebrating the life

How you can help create awareness and understanding in your community

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Mike Nicodemus

Mike Nicodemus is the Vice President of cremation services for the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), Nicodemus developed and is responsible for conducting cremation certification programs throughout the country. The program is geared toward funeral directors who offer cremation services, regardless of whether they have a crematory on the premises of their funeral home. The program is also appropriate for any funeral home employee, from support staff to licensed funeral professionals. Nicodemus’ other responsibilities with NFDA include developing cremation-related continuing education programs, staffing a free hotline to answer members’ questions about cremation and offering cremation consulting services through his consulting firm Nicodemus & Associates.


Course Topics Mike will be presenting:


Communication Skills for Connecting with Cremation Families         (1 ceu):

Being an excellent communicator is key when it comes to making successful cremation arrangements. This one hour program has been designed to change the current climate of how owners and managers of funeral homes can become more engaged in their employee's success and positive attitudes through proper mentoring and coaching. Good communication skills are a must during the arrangement conference, and this program will touch on a number of ideas to help make that communication easier. You can have the most wonderful marketing ideas, but if your employees don't know how to get the message across, it's not going to work. Having engaged vs. disengaged employees will make a difference when that employee is sitting in front of a family at the arrangement conference, and this program will show the importance of having engaged employees.

The 3 E's for Cremation Success (1 ceu):

Who do you think is more important, your customers, or your employees. Find out in this one-hour program why your employees can drive revenues or sink them. Why staff training is important to stay ahead of your completion and how to motivate your employees. This program will also show the difference between engaged, and disengaged employees and learn why 70% of your customers will not return to your place of business. What are the expectations of management and employees? Finding, and keeping, good employees who become ambassadors for your company is critical.


Bringing Ritual to Cremation Arranging (1 ceu):

Today's families are looking for the best value for the best price. Long gone are the days of using the family funeral home because it's the closest, most respected, or the name you knew growing up. If you want to bring your funeral home back to the top and provide client families with excellent service, then it's time to take a hard look at how you and your staff approach cremation arrangements. Families will pay a premium price to do business with those firms who have an outstanding reputation, and provide excellent customer service. Learn how to differentiate your quality firm from the discount direct disposal and cremation providers and bring the value and ritual back into cremation arrangements. During this 1 hour program, you will gain practical tips to increase your families' satisfaction and impact your arrangement attitude.


If it Isn't in Writing, It Didn't Happen (1 ceu):

Most funeral homes and crematories try to make sure they dot all the I's and cross all the T's when it comes to running their business, but one thing several places DO NOT do, is keep an eye on paperwork being turned in by their employees. Sloppy, Improper, Inaccurate paperwork can end up costing you plenty, and the opposing Attorney will show how your company "just doesn't care" whether it's filled in correctly or not. This program will focus on the importance of making sure all employees are on board when it comes to filling in paperwork accurately, and what will happen if it isn't and you wind up in a court of law. Mike describes how sloppy paperwork can diminish your great reputation, create a lasting impression of carelessness, and how it may have an enormous financial impact if you end up being litigated. Don't let something as simple as filling in a few forms tarnish your good name. 


Thank you to our Sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors:

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Gold Sponsors:

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Silver Sponsors:

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Bronze Sponsors:

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