2023 AFCCA 13th Annual Conference Recap

Thank you to all who attended and made it the success that it was. This year’s theme was to “Agents of Transformation.” Being an agent of transformation in the deathcare profession is a profound and purposeful role. It is important to understand the significance of guiding and supporting individuals and families through the difficult and often overwhelming process of end-of-life arrangements. AFCCA and its members strive to challenge the traditional norms and create a more compassionate, inclusive, and personalized approach to deathcare. By actively listening to the needs and desires of those we serve, we aim to provide innovative solutions and meaningful experiences that honor the unique lives and legacies of the departed. Embracing empathy, sensitivity, and open-mindedness, we are committed to fostering a culture of acceptance and growth within the deathcare industry, allowing for transformative healing and empowering individuals to navigate this delicate journey with grace and authenticity. We hope all those who attended are ready to embrace their role as agents of transformation as we navigate the future of our profession.

During the opening ceremonies, we were honored to have live taps performed by Sandy Stevens with Bugles Across America. Bugles Across America has a mission to provide LIVE taps vs. a recording at every veteran’s funeral. You may request a bugler on their website at buglesacrossamerica.org.  We also honored those we lost this past year in the Annual Memorial Video.

Transformative Speakers:

  • “The Customer Journey” – George Owens, SoCal Approach
  • “Attract, Engage, Retain: The Winning Formula for Talent Management”Juan Taveras, MBA, SPHR, DEI ProFinders
  • “Organic Reduction Disposition Method”Regis Wiegand, Natural Organic Reduction of Arizona (NORAZ)
  • “Compassion Fatigue in the Funeral Profession”Caleb Klein, CFSP, Dignity Memorial
  • “Embalming is Science.” – Ben Schmidt, Frigid Fluid
  • “Instruments in Embalming” Ben Schmidt, Frigid Fluid
  • Donna Backhaus & Chris Hadder gave us updates at CGCC Mortuary Science Program
  • Jake Hinman with Arizona Capitol Consulting provided  us Legislative Updates
  • Jenny Hernandez provided Updates from AZDHS Bureau of Vital Records

We also elected and installed our 2023-2024 Board of Directors – welcome newest members Megan Millage and Sabrina Messinger, and are so happy to have Joseph Stone for a second term renewal.

We hope everyone that attended felt their passion for the profession reignited and left gaining something new to use in their day-to-day operations. We look forward to seeing everyone at our next event.

AFCCA Annual Conference Expo Hall Vendors

We had over 30 supplier partner and service providers exhibiting in our Expo Hall, thank you to each of you for teaching us about your innovative new products and services:

  1. The Messenger Co
  2. Express Funeral Funding
  3. Thumbies
  4. The Davis Whitehall Company
  5. Starkmark Local
  6. Homecoming, Inc
  7. Great Western Insurance Company
  8. Legacy Touch
  9. Coldspring
  10. Hepburn Superior Inc.
  11. Viewlogies
  12. American Crematory Equipment
  13. Precoa
  14. Batesville
  15. Precious Metal Recycling
  16. PBF Mfg.
  17. Eternity’s Touch
  18. Passages International
  19. Terrybear Urns
  20. Donor Network Arizona
  21. Mickelson & Ray, Inc
  22. Frigid Fluid
  23. Matthew’s International
  24. Handley Precast Systems
  25. Arizona Floral Exchange/Sympathy Flowers 
  26. United Tissue Network
  27. PlotBox
  28. Nunez & Associates
  29. Core Scientific
  30. Funeral Directors Life (FDL)
  31.  ASCO Pacific Supply
  32. Security National Life
  33. Dodge

AFCCA Annual Award Ceremony

Lifetime Achievement Honorees:

  • George Menke, Menke Funeral Homes
  • In Memory of Rev. James Preston, Preston Funeral Home

President’s Award

  • Jake Hinman and Courtney LeVinus, Arizona Capitol Consulting

Thank you 2023 Conference Sponsors!

Without the support of our amazing supplier and service partners, as well as AFCCA Members, we could not continue to offer the high quality conferences we host each year. Thank you to each and every one of you!

Sponsor Video – during breaks and during speaker transitions by Heather Pace

AFCCA Annual Conference Photo Albums

If you would like the original of any photos, please email director@azfcca.org. Thank you to our Photographer, Riley Long, for capturing so many fun moments and bright smiles!