After a three-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, funeral service professionals from throughout the country will unite for the 2023 National Funeral Directors Association’s Advocacy Summit, April 19-21 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. D.C.
This year saw the beginning to the 118th Congress; with that comes a plethora of opportunities to advance the issues that matter to funeral professionals. The Advocacy Summit gives attendees a chance to re-engage with national leaders who have served our country for years and build relationships with newly elected leaders who have yet to learn about how legislation affects the funeral service profession.
“The Advocacy Summit is what democracy is all about,” said NFDA President Jack Mitchell. “When you join us, you will literally have a seat at the table, sitting across from your elected representatives and engaging them in a discussion about how their decisions have a direct impact on your ability to serve families and be successful.”
“With the start of a new session of Congress in January, the legislative slate was wiped clean,” said NFDA Senior Vice President of Advocacy Lesley Witter. “We are monitoring the legislation as it is introduced and urging members of Congress to consider bills that will benefit the profession, grieving families and small business. In the weeks to come, as more legislation is introduced in Congress, we will share information about the specific issues on which members will advocate during the Summit.”
The Advocacy Summit begins Wednesday, April 19 with an Welcome Session during which attendees will receive an orientation and issues briefing, as well as hear from the individuals who will be running for seats on the NFDA Board of Directors in the upcoming association election.
On Wednesday evening, before heading out for dinner on their own, attendees can relax and reconnect with colleagues during a Welcome Reception, which is funded through a grant from the Funeral Service Foundation.
On Thursday, April 20, following a complimentary continental breakfast, attendees will gather on the steps of the U.S. Capitol for a group photo. Then the real work of the Advocacy Summit begins. Delegations from states in attendance will meet with their senators and representatives. During these critical meetings, NFDA members can take a proactive approach to advancing legislation that affects funeral service, small business and the bereaved.
“There is tremendous power when funeral directors speak with one voice,” Mitchell said. “The stories you shared the last time we gathered in D.C. for the Advocacy Summit prompted a number of representatives on both sides of the aisle to support the BRAVE Act, which would improve death benefits for veterans. This led to the bill eventually being passed by Congress and signed into law by the president. Never underestimate the role that we can play when we speak out on behalf of the profession of which we are so proud.”
In between meetings with members of Congress, Summit attendees can visit the special NFDA Welcome Room in the Capitol Hill Club. There, attendees can relax and enjoy light refreshments and lunch. Members of the Advocacy Committee and NFDA staff will be on hand to answer questions; attendees can share information about what has transpired during their meetings with their Congressional representatives.
During the evening of April 19, attendees have the option of participating in the Moonlight Monument bus tour. Experience the nation’s historic treasures – like the National Mall, Smithsonian museums, the Washington and Lincoln Memorials, and more – under the enchanting light of the moon. An experienced tour guide will discuss the history and significance of each site and there will be several opportunities to disembark the bus for photo opportunities (separate registration required).
The morning of Friday, April 21, attendees have the option of visiting Arlington National Cemetery. There, attendees can explore the hallowed ground that is the final resting place of many of our nation’s heroes. As part of the visit to Arlington, attendees can join NFDA President Mitchell for a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At the conclusion of the visit to Arlington, attendees will be transported back to their choice of the Mayflower Hotel or Regan National Airport (separate registration required).
Attendees can kick-off their Advocacy Summit experience by attending NFDA’s highly rated Arranger Training seminar on April 19. According to the 2022 NFDA Funeral Directors’ Expectations Study, 72% of employers feel it would be either valuable or very valuable for new hires to have specialized training in conducting arrangements. Through a combination of small- and large-group discussions, problem-solving and creative collaboration, funeral service professionals will leave this high-energy, interactive program with fresh approaches to transform how they care for grieving families. Separate registration is required; NFDA members attending Advocacy Summit can save $100 on the program registration fee.
Advocacy Summit attendees can save up to $50 when they register on or before March 21:
· NFDA Member
o On or Before March 21: $145
o After March 21: $195
o On or Before March 21: $209
o After March 21: $259
· Non-licensed Guest
o On or Before March 21: $70
o After March 21: $120
· Moonlight Monument Tour
o On or Before March 21: $40
o After March 21: $50
· Arlington National Cemetery Outing and Wreath Laying
o On or Before March 21: $20
o After March 21: $30
· Arranger Training
o Member Price with Advocacy Summit Registration: $395
o Member Price without Advocacy Summit Registration: $495
o Nonmember: $625
o Non-funeral Director: $495
o Student Member: $160
The historic Mayflower Hotel, now part of The Autograph Collection, will again serve as the headquarters for the 2023 NFDA Advocacy Summit. Attendees who plan to stay at the Mayflower Hotel must make their reservations by March 22 to lock in the exclusive Advocacy Summit rate of $336 per night plus tax. The Advocacy Summit room block will fill up quickly – those who are planning to attend the Summit should book their room as soon as possible.
Funeral professionals should visit www.nfda.org/advocacysummit for the latest information about the Advocacy Summit, including details on how to register and make hotel reservations.