Learn to cultivate an environment that grows and nurtures your employees! Glenda Stansbury and Brent Patterson will provide the insight you need to succeed at CANA’s 105th Cremation Innovation Convention in Washington, D.C., Aug. 9-11, 2023.

One of the most pressing issues in funeral service today is staffing. We’re facing a personnel shortage made worse by the high rate of turnover and 2,000 baby boomer funeral directors retiring in the next 10 years. Perhaps it is time to begin to think differently about work culture, support, and expectations.

More than just qualified licensees, we need creative and enthusiastic professionals. In their workshop, Stanbury, marketing and development director of InSight Books, and Patterson, a funeral director with Tribute Memorial Care Southwest in Tuttle, Oklahoma will provide fruitful ideas and food for thought as we look toward the future of our profession. They’ll share creative and innovative solutions from the hospitality industry, while also showing us how to build on resources we already have, including our mentorship and collaboration with employees or reliance on nontraditional licensees.

“I think we’re lonely, and I think that’s how we burn out a lot of times because we really don’t get the ‘Attaboys!’” Stansbury said. “Whatever your business is doing, whatever culture you are creating, we can learn how to prioritize and carve out time for conversation, for celebration, for commiseration—for all of those pieces together.” This session will emphasize how employers can build an inviting and healthy work environment for employees.

A healthy environment encompasses mental health, too. “We must take time for ourselves, because you can’t effectively care for someone else if you aren’t taking care of yourself first,” Patterson said. “How much stress can you handle? How much sleep do you need? We have to work towards a schedule that allows for these things, time for you and time with your children, spouse or significant other.” Together, Patterson and Stansbury will tackle each of these topics in the opening session of the CANA Convention: Blocked, Burned Out, Blasé: How to Engage Your Staff to Become Creative and Enthusiastic Professionals sponsored by Passages International.

They are followed by two days of sessions to help you empower employees to serve families better:

  • Eric Layer draws from national data collected over the last several years to respond to families’ preferences around disposition, memorialization, and more by Targeting with Data.
  • Regulate, Recruit, and React: A Quick Take on Current Issues brings together three presenters on three topics in bite-size format. Caressa Hughes presents a Regulatory Update; Jim Price discusses tools for Recruiting Veterans; and Scott Smith shares his tips on How Can I Pitch In? when disaster strikes your community.
  • Lisa Baue presents seven essential components of mentoring, discussing Why Mentoring Matters to both owners and team members.
  • In a special two-hour session, suicidologist Sara Murphy assists attendees in Responding to Suicide Death and Recognizing Suicide Risk—both for the families we serve and among members of the funeral profession.
  • Dan Cassin, Bryan Mueller and Cole Waybright help breathe new life into cemeteries to make sure they are Built to Last.

There Is More

Everyone is also invited to earn their certification by registering for an in-person, pre-convention CANA Crematory Operations Certification Program taught by Tom Krowl of Cremation Systems and Wendy Russell Wiener of WRW Legal. CANA has planned an afterparty to celebrate being together in D.C.! The Annual Membership Meeting and In Memoriam will give time to reflect on another year in funeral service. Plus, tickets are available to attend a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and tour Arlington National Cemetery on Friday afternoon and enjoy America’s pastime in America’s capital when the Oakland A’s meet the Washington Nationals on Friday night.

Get ready to think differently about engaging your staff to become creative and enthusiastic professionals with Glenda Stansbury and Brent Patterson. Join your colleagues in the room where it happens! Get ready for a capital event and book yourself for August 9-11, 2023, at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill: goCANA.org/CANA23

About CANA

Founded in 1913, the Cremation Association of North America is an international organization of over 3,500 members, composed of funeral homes, cemeteries, crematories, industry suppliers, and consultants. CANA members believe that cremation is preparation for memorialization.

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