Meet our Convention Speakers for Thursday, June 6th

duceyJoe Ducey – Investigative Reporter for ABC 15

ABC15 Investigator Joe Ducey is an award-winning reporter and consumer advocate. He has been an ABC15 reporter since 2006. Joe concentrates on consumer investigative stories by exposing scams, rip-offs and deals just too good to be true. His journalist skills have earned Joe numerous awards including Emmys for Best Investigative Reporter, Investigative Report and Specialty (Consumer) Reporting.

He’s also interested in big investigations that demand digging to find the answers and bring change. His story about a valley Crematory that went under investigation for the handling of the deceased is what brings him to speak at our AFCCA Convention. He will give us a raw, unedited view of how he performs his investigations.


thogmartin - webRyan Thogmartin – Owner DISRUPT Media and Connecting Directors

Ryan Thogmartin is founder and CEO of two innovative companies. Disrupt Media Group LLC and Connecting Directors LLC. Disrupt Media Group is a global Social Media Marketing company which helps people grow their business and take it to the next level, by creating massive viral visibility with social media. With Connecting Directors LLC Ryan has created a global community through an online platform where funeral service professionals can network, and get the cutting-edge information they need to stay ‘on top of their game.

Ryan’s topic for Emerge 2013: The Future of our Industry will be based on social media and the impact it has on our industry on today’s world. In order to create new relationships and maintain past relationships, funeral providers may consider utilizing social media in their marketing strategies.


130315-093831Jason Hendricks – Director of Web Services, Crexendo

Jason Hendricks started his internet marketing career in 2000 as an in-house SEO specialist for a digital media company. Since then he has worked as an agency SEO and consultant for businesses of all sizes, including Go Daddy Software, Discount Tire Company, Choice Hotels,, Midas, Meineke and most recently as the SEO Director for He has started and sold several dot coms over the years including a media company that generated over $6 million in revenue for 2006. His experience as an entrepreneur enables him to understand a business owner’s needs and provide maximum return on investment for his clients.

His topic is “Target the 70%: Winning Traffic on Long Tail Search Phrases”. This presentation will teach you how to target and rank for long-tail search phrases. You will learn powerful strategies to improve your search engine rankings on hundreds or thousands of long-tailed terms.


ppattonPatrick C. Patton, CFSP – At-large Representative, National Funeral Directors Association

Patrick C. Patton, CFSP, of Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services in Sauk Center, MN, is a 2011-13 at-large representative to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) Executive Board.

Patton has served the funeral profession at both the state and national level. He served on the Minnesota Funeral Directors Association Board of directors in the roles of president (2006-2007), immediate past president (2007-2008), treasurer (2004-2006) and secretary (2003-2004). He is also a proud member and leader of MFDA District 8. He served as the district president from 1998-2000.

Patton served NFDA as Minnesota’s representative to the Policy Board. He has served on the NFDA Audit, Organ and Tissue, Budget, and Spokesperson Committees. Patton is a PAC fundraiser and contributor, an NFDA Convention & Expo volunteer and regular participant in the NFDA Leadership Conference.


nancyNancy R. Lohman – ICCFA President

Nancy Lohman is a licensed funeral director and serves as a president of the ICCFA. She is also past president of the Southern Cemetery, Cremation, & Funeral Assn. Nancy served two years as President of the Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce and two years as President of the Ormond Beach Historical Society. She served on a variety of other charitable boards and currently serves as a member of the FL Hospital Advisory Board and the Council on Aging Living Gifts Advisory Board. In addition to other community awards, Nancy was selected as one of the most influential women in Volusia County, Florida. Nancy graduated from The Ohio State University in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science Degree. She and her husband Lowell enjoy traveling and have traveled extensively across all five continents, which is often documented in photo books she enjoys creating digitally. Nancy enjoys entertaining, particularly during the holidays and lives on the coastal waters of Florida with her husband Lowell and their two cats, SugarBear (aka Doublewide) and Miss Peanut.


Inter-Religious Dialogue Task ForceDr. Ahmad Shqeirat – Imam of the Tempe Islamic Community Center

Dr. Shqeirat has a PhD in Islamic theology, is a Member of Tempe Interfaith Ministry and the author of several books in religious studies.

His topic will discuss the end of life and death practices in Islam, deceased body handling, funeral preparation & prayer, proper grave and cemetery set up and the actual burial ceremony for the islamic community.