Annual Conference Education


alt    alt

Thank You Sponsors:

Post-Conference Webinar
Ensure you and your staff catch up on what was shared in Savannah! This year's opening session "Relationship Marketing" will be repeated in May via webinar at no additional cost to you. Sign up available soon at  *This webinar is a free member benefit. No CE credit will be given.


 altaltThe Solution Room: Finding Solutions to Your Professional Challenges (1.5 CE)
Wednesday, April 4 - 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.

What problem is keeping you up at night? Join other funeral service professionals for this year’s opening session “The Solution Room”, which will provide you with peer-supported advice on your most pressing problem and give you the opportunity to tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience that OGR members possess. Bring one professional challenge you'd like to discuss.


altRelationship Marketing – Cutting through the Clutter to Connect with Families – Ron Rosenberg, Quality Talks (1 CE)
Thursday, April 5 - 8:00 - 9:15 a.m.

The funeral profession is becoming more impersonal than ever. An increasing number of families are requesting direct cremation, ordering caskets at Costco, and even deciding not to have memorial services for their loved ones. That's why it’s crucial to continue building meaningful relationships with your client families so they turn to you to make informed decisions about their loved one’s funeral that they’ll feel good about in years to come.

In this highly interactive session, customer service expert Ron Rosenberg will share how to

  • Implement proven strategies to help you communicate with families in a way that resonates with them and provides them the helpful and accurate information they need to make a decision; and
  • Identify “personal touches” to help you create long-term relationships with families in your community and make you the trusted source they will turn to in times of need. 

altFrom Tragedy to Triumph: How to Address the Opioid Epidemic in Your Community  – Missy Owen, The Davis Direction Foundation (1 CE)
Thursday, April 5 - 9:45 - 10:45 a.m.

Get help for responding to drug overdose deaths in your community. Hear how one Georgia mother has used the loss of her teenage son to start a nonprofit that educates and equips citizens to respond proactively to the opioid epidemic. She’ll give you her perspective on losing a child to a drug overdose and share

  • Tips for working with families who are experiencing an opioid loss;
  • Suggestions for resources to provide these families; and
  • Ideas for how the funeral service profession can respond to the epidemic in their communities.

Breakouts -- choose between these two on Thursday, April 5 from 1:45 -2:45 p.m.

altBreakout: Web SOS: Simple Changes You Can Make to Your Website to Attract  More Families to Your Funeral Home
The funeral profession is experiencing radical change; your client families are expecting more than ever before, yet your website struggles to stay relevant to the people you serve in your community. A highly effective website takes a lot more than pretty graphics, content, and detailed descriptions of your services and related offerings. You need to expand your existing website to include a comprehensive web strategy that actually gets results. In this brand-new program, you’ll go way beyond the basics and discover

  • Four proven strategies to double the effectiveness of your website;
  • How to transform your website copy so families will stay engaged and take action;
  • Why it’s essential to have an automated follow-up strategy to build relationships with your families and prospects; and
  • The secret to using your website as the focal point of your marketing.

Learn how to use your website to attract new families, generate a sense of identity and community, and deliver a steady stream of revenue!


altBreakout: How Narcan™ Can Equip Your Funeral Home Staff to Fight the Opioid Epidemic: A Training
When you serve families who’ve lost a loved one to an overdose, friends of the victim may also be opioid users. You must be prepared to respond if someone at your firm overdoses while onsite at a funeral or memorial service. This session will equip you and your staff with the knowledge and resources you need to administer Narcan™ (naloxone).  In this session, you’ll 

  • Discuss the liability (if any) you and your staff will face when you administer Narcan™ based on state and provincial laws;
  • Understand the benefits of administering the drug; and
  • Learn how Narcan™ works, how it’s administered, and what staff can expect to happen when they use it on a person who has overdosed.

altGreat Ideas Exchange
Member-led (1.5 CE)
Thursday, April 5, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

What professional challenge are you facing right now that you could use help with? Have you tried a new idea and found success with it? Join us for this year’s roundtable discussion and learn how other funeral directors in North America and around the world are responding to families’ needs while increasing revenue.

altDo Funerals Matter? Sharing the Value of Funerals with Families - Charles Castiglia, Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home (1 CE)
Friday, April 6 - 7:30 - 9:00 a.m.

People in your community are questioning the value of funerals. Learn how OGR’s Do Funerals Matter? presentation can help you communicate why funerals are more important than ever. OGR President Charles Castiglia will give the presentation as a demonstration of how he’s effectively fighting SCI and communicating the value of funerals to families. In this session, you’ll learn to

  • Explain the importance to families of sharing one’s final wishes in advance;
  • Dispel common myths many people believe to be true about funeral service; and
  • Equip yourself with practical steps for giving this presentation in your community.

altaltSolution Talks – Fellow OGR members (1 CE when all four talks are attended)
Friday, April 6 - during Solution Center hours -  9:45 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., and 12:45 p.m.

Held in the Solution Center, these four 15-minute talks will give you solutions from fellow service professionals. Find solutions for challenges like finding and hiring exceptional funeral service professionals, strategies for coping with PTSD for funeral directors, SEO optimization, succession planning, and generating alternate revenue sources. 


altHow I’m Saving My Funeral Business from the Direct Cremation Industry – Joseph J. Earthman, Joseph J. Earthman Generations Funeral Home (1 CE)
Friday, April 6 - 2:15 - 3:15 p.m.

Learn how to effectively compete with discount cremation providers. Meet Joseph J. Earthman, the owner of an independently-owned and operated funeral home, who will share how he is successfully competing with discount providers in SCI territory. In this session, you’ll

  • Discover how the increase in cremation and decrease in religious affiliation has led to a devaluing of funeral service;
  • Explore the affordability problem where consumers can’t afford high priced funerals anymore;
  • Understand the importance of educating the public on the value of funerals;  and
  • Learn to implement Earthman’s strategy for serving more families and educating his community on the value of funerals.

Continuing Ed
The Annual Conference will offer up to 9 CEs in states where approved. Visit for a current list of approvals.