WHEELING, IL — Take just one hour out of your workday to connect with colleagues on topics that matter to you. Join the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) for The Art and Science of Cremation: Crucial Conversations Virtual Series.

CANA hoped to bring people together again in Las Vegas for the Annual Symposium, but the resurgence in COVID-19 at the start of the year and the subsequent strain on the profession prevented that kind of gathering. Instead, CANA has prioritized the kinds of connections that people value in those in-person events by conceiving an entirely new kind of experience.

“Rather than putting a webinar on in the background while you whittle down your inbox, these virtual conversations are designed to bring you together with other practitioners to talk about a topic that matters to your business,” said Barbara Kemmis, CANA’s Executive Director. She worked with the association’s board to develop this engaging new concept. During the Crucial Conversations Series, subject experts will speak — but only to get the ball rolling before the professionals join in. “Like a roundtable discussion, this is the space to share challenges and solutions with colleagues for new ideas,” Kemmis said.

Over the course of four weeks, the Crucial Conversations Series will cover a range of topics:

  1. Beyond Direct Cremation: Memorialization kicks off the event on Wednesday, March 24, 1 pm CT. Funeral directors, arrangers, and counselors can move beyond direct cremation and honor the unique needs of every family. Facilitated by Justin Crowe (Parting Stone), Jason Engler (UPD Urns), and Terry School (The Davis Whitehall Co.).

  2. Planning, Training, and Efficiency in Crematory Operations on Wednesday, March 31, 1 pm CT. Crematory operators and managers can review best practices and maximize efficiencies in crematory operations. Facilitated by Larry Stuart, Jr. (Cremation Strategies & Consulting) and others to be announced.

  3. Tools to Generate New Business continues the series on Wednesday, April 7, 1 pm CT. Owners and managers of funeral homes, crematories, and combos can come together to investigate new trends in deathcare and the opportunities that can set your business apart. Marketing, technology, death doulas… oh my! Facilitated by Stephen Carter (OpusXenta), Nick Grant (eFuneral), Ashley Johnson (practitioner), and Lori Salberg (Johnson Consulting).

  4. Pandemic Lessons on Preneed and Aftercare concludes the series on Wednesday, April 14, 1 pm CT. Preneed sales agents, counselors, and funeral directors can examine the shifting landscape around funeral planning, aftercare, and preneed sales and find strategies to take advantage of current trends. Facilitated by Jon Lefrandt (The Domani Group), Alex McCracken (Funeral Innovations), Mitch Smith (eFuneral), and others to be announced.

“CANA events mean you can converse with people who are just as passionate about their work as you are about yours,” said Ryan Wiseman of Porter Funeral Home and Crematory, CANA Board Member and member of the Symposium Planning Advisory Group. If you’ve never been to a CANA event, this is a whole new way to meet. This space is designed to be progressive, practical, professional — and comfortable!

Thanks to the generosity of series sponsors Dignity Memorial and Implant Recycling, registration is free for CANA Members and just $15 for non-members. CANA is seeking CE approval from the Academy (APFSP). See details about the event and register:

About CANA
Founded in 1913, the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) is an international organization of over 3,300 members, composed of funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories, industry suppliers, and consultants. CANA members believe that cremation is preparation for memorialization.

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