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National Funeral Directors Association Hosts Delegation of Brazilian Funeral Professionals for a Week of Education

For Immediate Release: January 17, 2011

Brookfield, Wis. – A delegation of 19 funeral professionals, the majority of whom are funeral home and cemetery owners, are visiting the headquarters of the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) in Brookfield, Wis., for a week of educational workshops led by top American funeral service experts. The delegation is comprised of members of Sindicato dos Cemitérios Particulares do Brasil (SINCEP), an association of private cemeteries in Brazil.


NFDA has been asked to host intimate educational conferences by leaders of various funeral service associations around the world whose members are eager to learn from their American counterparts. SINCEP is the first international delegation NFDA is welcoming to its headquarters. NFDA has designed an educational program based on the delegation's professional needs and interests. Topics include American funeral customs, cremation, green funerals, funeral service education in America, aftercare (grief services offered to a family after the funeral) and more.

Monday, January 17

  • Welcome/American Funeral Customs; presenters: Patrick Lynch, NFDA president, Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, Clawson, Mich., and Christine Pepper, CAE, NFDA Chief Executive Officer
  • Cremation in the U.S. – Past, Present and Future; presenter: Gerald Sullivan, Cremation Association of Illinois
  • Social Media for Your Funeral Home; presenter: Robin Heppell,, Victoria, B.C., Canada

Tuesday, January 18

  • Funeral Service Education in America; presenter: Jacquelyn Taylor, executive director, New England Institute at Mount Ida College, Newton, Mass.
  • Cremation in the U.S. – Past, Present and Future (continued from previous day); presenter: Gerald Sullivan, Cremation Association of Illinois
  • Aftercare; presenter: Lynn Ochiltree, Ochiltree Funeral Service & Aftercare, Winterset, Iowa

Wednesday, January 19

  • Green Funerals; presenter: James Olson, Lippert-Olson Funeral Home, Sheboygan, Wis.
  • Funeral Service Rules and Regulations in America; presenter: Scott Gilligan, NFDA General Counsel, Gilligan Law Offices, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Creative Funerals; presenter: Paula Staab Polk, Staab Polk Memorial Home, Chatham, Ill.
  • Funerals in Brazil; presentation and discussion led by SINCEP

The group will also tour several funeral homes while in southeastern Wisconsin.

Following their week in Wisconsin, the group will travel to Batesville, Ind., to tour the Batesville Casket Company. The delegation will also spend several days in California touring funeral homes and cemeteries before traveling back to Brazil.

NFDA is the world's leading funeral service association, serving 18,500 individual members who represent more than 9,900 funeral homes in the United States and internationally. From its headquarters in Brookfield, Wis., and its Advocacy Division office in Washington, D.C., NFDA is the worldwide source of expertise and professional resources for all facets of funeral service. Through education, information and advocacy, NFDA is dedicated to supporting members in their mission to provide families with meaningful end-of-life services at the highest levels of excellence and integrity. For more information, visit

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Media Contacts: Jessica Koth, 262-814-1536; Emilee High, 262-814-1547