Maryland recently became the latest state to approve Funeral IQ for continuing education, paving the way for funeral professionals from throughout the country to get a bonus when they attend a learning and training event that movers and shakers from throughout the profession are talking about.

It approved the event for five hours of continuing education.

In addition to the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, which has approved the event for five hours of continuing education, the following states have also approved the event for CEUs:

  • Ohio.
  • Pennsylvania.
  • New Jersey.
  • Louisiana.
  • South Carolina.
  • Tennessee.
  • Idaho.
  • Indiana.

Additional states are also expected to approve the event for CEUs soon — and of course, numerous states automatically accept Academy approval. Those states include Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Maine, Nevada, Oklahoma and North Dakota.

Bonus: Sign up by June 15 to get a discount on your registration!

The event, which is being co-hosted by and Sympathy Brands, features some of the top thought leaders in funeral service — and a cocktail hour and meals are included in the price of registration. When you attend, you’ll learn from.

  • Dr. Amy Schiffman, a chief medical officer and the host of “Mastering Medicare,” will deliver a presentation titled, “Bridging Hospice and End of Life,” which will explore how funeral directors can better partner with hospice care agencies and caregivers.
  • Shane Pudenz, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Carriage Services, will focus on how to “Boost Your Preneed to At-need Ratio in 12 Months,” where he’ll share strategies to boost your preneed program and immediately add value to your business.
  • Welton Hong, the founder and CEO of Ring Ring Marketing, will deliver a session titled “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Digital Marketing Amid Low Death Rates,” where he’ll highlight how firms are boosting market share even amid the “pull-forward effect” of the pandemic, which has slashed the death rate.
  • Chris Cruger, CEO of The Foresight Companies will provide a “Consumer Snapshot: Attitudes and Behaviors that Define Your Future.” Relying on insights from a comprehensive study, he’ll showcase how firms can better serve the changing wants and needs of families.
  • Michael Schimmel, the founder and CEO of Sympathy Brands, will deliver a session titled “Meeting People Where They Are: Using the Right Resources at the Right Time,” which will provide actionable insights on how to recognize opportunities to serve families through technology and ways to evaluate technology for your use in serving families. 

Thomas Parmalee, the founder of and the architect of numerous events that have helped death-care professionals outsmart competitors, said he’s excited about the chance to serve the profession once again alongside the team at Sympathy Brands. “The Live! Casino & Hotel will be a great venue for funeral professionals who want to gather, roll up their sleeves and get to work,” he said. “Plus, we’ll also network and have fun when we’re not in the classroom.” He added, “We’ll have a cocktail hour built into the event and share lessons over lunch. We all need to focus on our Funeral IQ, and this event will propel attendees to do just that … but you need to be there.”

Registration for the event, which will offer continuing education units for many states, costs $249 if you register by June 15, 2024, and $349 afterward.

Sympathy Brands and thank the supporters of Funeral IQ, who share their joint mission to serve the profession, so that those who want to conduct business smarter have the tools to do so.

Platinum sponsors are Ring Ring Marketing and The Foresight Companies; Gold sponsors are Carriage Services,, Cremation Recycling and Nomis Publications; and Silver sponsors are, Big Sky Capital Partners, and Precoa.

Visit to learn more about the event.


Leave a Message

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
Comment *
Full Name *
Email Address *

Related Posts

Visit regularly to get the latest insights on the profession.

Learn from the past, look to the future and optimize business operations with the insights on