Annual Convention

May 20 - 23, 2024

IFDA Annual Convention & Trade Show

Embassy Suites by Hilton Conference Center Noblesville
13700 Conference Ctr Dr S, Noblesville, IN 46060317) 674-1900

Jerrit Clayton Classic Golf Outing

CLICK HERE for registration information and ways to donate/sponsor!

Benefiting the Indiana Funeral Education Foundation

What does the Education Foundation do you ask?

  • Support the funeral service practitioners of today - helping them to better serve their communities. 
  • Ensure and secure future of the profession by helping recruit and train those wanting a career in funeral service.

The Indiana Funeral Education Foundation is committed to excellence in funeral service education and is proud to offer five (5) $2,000 professional development scholarships. These scholarships are available to any member of IFDA - licensed and un-licensed firm staff, individual, senior, and associate members.

The Indiana Funeral Education Foundation also awards four student scholarships for a total amount of $12,500


Annual Jerrit Clayton Classic Golf Outing - Benefiting the Indiana Funeral Education Foundation
May 20, 2024

Plum Creek
12401 Lynnwood Blvd, Carmel, IN 46033

CLICK HERE for registration information and ways to donate/sponsor!

Title Sponsor

Bose

Beverage Cart Sponsor

Ron King

In Memory of Ron King

Indiana Funeral Supply Sales Club

Trophy Sponsor

 

Chandler Funeral Home Logo

 

 

 

Hole Sponsor

 

Funeral One Logo Blue

 

 

 

 

 

Golf Ball & Tees Sponsor

 

Funeral One Logo Blue

 

 

Isaac Ball Scholarship Sponsor

 

Chandler Funeral Home Logo

Hole Sponsor

 

Cincinnati

 

Hole Sponsor

 

Bozell Funeral Homes

Hole Sponsor

 

Assurance

 

 

Convention Agenda

Monday, May 20, 2024

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Convention Registration

*with proof of another state membership, you may register using the member rate

LICENSED MEMBER REGISTRATION

Full Registration BY 4/26/2024 $250
Full Registration AFTER 4/26/2024 $300
One Day Registraiton $250
   
NON-MEMBER REGISTRATION  
Full Registration $550
One Day Registration $450
   
INCIDENTALS  
Non-Licensed Registration (social events only) $150 (full/one day)
President’s Awards Dinner Only $100
Mortuary Students/Interns   FREE


CANCELLATION & REFUNDS

No refunds for cancellations after April 26, 2024


GOLF OUTING - Plum Creek Golf Club

Annual Jerrit Clayton Classic Golf Outing $175/person or $700/foursome*

*Includes entry into closest to pin, longest drive and 2 mulligans per player (please complete golf registration form)

CLICK HERE for registration form

Convention Speakers

Andy Clayton, CFSP

Andy Clayton, CFSP

Executive Director, Indiana Funeral Directors Association

Andy Clayton, CFSP, is a second-generation licensed Indiana funeral director and current Executive Director of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association. A graduate of Mid-America College of Funeral Service and Indiana University, he has been actively involved in funeral service since 1991.

Andy is a Past President of IFDA, 2013-14; a past member of the Indiana State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service; past Indiana Policy Board Representative to the National Funeral Directors Association; and a lifetime Certified Funeral Service Practitioner, CFSP, through the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice since 2002.

Vernie Fountain, CFSP

Vernie Fountain, CFSP

Owner, Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills

Internationally known speaker and instructor Vernie Fountain has been associated with funeral service since 1965. As a graduate of the Kentucky School of Mortuary Science, Fountain became licensed as a funeral director in 1972 and as an embalmer in 1977.  For eighteen years, until December 1995, he owned and operated Fountain Mortuary Service in Columbia, Missouri, which responded to over one-thousand deaths annually and had five divisions: Embalming and Transportation, Forensic and Clinical Autopsy/Investigation, Cemetery (Exhumations & Grave openings), Embalming Consulting and Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills.

He currently owns and operates Fountain Embalming Services, Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills and Forensic Investigative Resources of the Midwest (F.I.R.M.) a licensed and insured private detective agency that has a main focus of death investigations and exhumations.  All are headquartered in Springfield, Missouri.

Fountain National Academy of Professional Embalming Skills, which was founded in May 1990, is a full-time venture for Fountain as the Academy's founder and primary instructor.  As a well-known speaker he travels throughout the United States and abroad speaking at State and National Funeral Directors and Embalmers conventions teaching post-graduate education to embalmers.  His focus is on teaching highly specialized embalming and postmortem reconstructive surgery techniques that can be performed on the most massively traumatized case imaginable.  FNA is dedicated to providing quality post-graduate embalmer education and the research and development of new techniques to treat the highly traumatized case with the goal of an open-casket viewing.  Fountain National Academy offers several in-depth embalming and postmortem reconstructive surgery seminars at its training facility located in Springfield, Missouri.  Professional embalmers from across the United States, England, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Korea, Grenada, Seychelles, Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Switzerland, Australia, South America, India, Nigeria, French West Indies, Czech Republic, Denmark, Sweden, South Africa, Japan and the Philippines have attended these seminars.  The Academy has a European representative in Ireland and an Australian representative located in Australia.

John T. Hill

John T. Hill

Hill Mortuary Service & Seminars

John T. Hill is an Undertaker, licensed in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Washington D.C. and Virginia. He has earned many other titles in the Funeral profession:  Restorative Arts Specialist, Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP), Member of the British Institute of Embalming (MBIE), Funeral Service Education Instructor, Chaplain, Celebrant, and Certified Crematory Operator (CCO).

He works at James Funeral Home and Northlake Memorial Gardens in Huntersville, North Carolina. He owns Hill Mortuary Service & Seminars, an embalming, restorative arts, and continuing education service and trade embalms for Rouse Mortuary Service in Greenville, NC on his days off. He is also a Mortuary Science Instructor at Fayetteville Technical Community College in Fayetteville, NC and Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, GA.

He became a Restorative Arts Specialist by furthering his Mortuary Science education under Vernie R. Fountain. He has also received continued education in Anatomical Preservation and Dissection Theory.

His story is featured in the September 2022 issue of Southern Calls Magazine. He has a passion not only to serve families during their most difficult time, but to instruct and inspire current and future funeral professionals to better themselves and succeed.

Duane E. Hills

Duane E. Hills

President, Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC

Graduated from Simmons School of Mortuary Science in Syracuse, NY in 1978.

Served my apprenticeship at Seager Jones Funeral Home in Bath, NY from 1978-1979

I became licensed in New York in November 1979.

I served as the secretary, treasurer and sexton of the Rural Home Cemetery in Big Flats, NY for 23 years. While in Big Flats I was very active in the Rotary Club, where I was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship, the Fire Department, and the Historical Society as a board member and a member and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church.

I sold my funeral homes to the Loewen Group in February 1995 and was the GM of four funeral homes; Carpenter’s Funeral Home and Beilby Funeral Home in Corning, NY, Hills Funeral Home in Big Flats, NY and Ballard and Lindgren Funeral Home in Elmira Heights, NY.

I remained on as a GM with the Alderwoods group and then became an MGM of Western NY until the SCI acquisition and transferred to Lufkin, TX in February 2008 having the responsibility of Gipson Funeral Home, Oakley Metcalf Funeral Home, Cason-Monk Metcalf Funeral Directors and the Garden of Memories Memorial Park as the GM.

I transferred to Joseph Gawler’s Sons, LLC in August 2012 as an assistant manager of operations and was promoted to President in February 2013.

One of my key interests is American History and am a member of the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia. I enjoy studying the American Civil War time period in particular.

In August 2022, I along with my coauthor Alice Adams published a book on the history of Joseph Gawler’s Sons and funeral service. The book is titled, “One Block West of the White House”. Our second book, “Washington’s Sinners & Saints: Lost in History was released in December 2023.

Eric Layer

Eric Layer

Partner, McKee Wallwork

Eric Layer is the author of The Right Way of Death: Restoring the American Funeral Business to Its True Calling. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics, and a Master of Arts in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from the University of York. Eric has spent his entire life around funeral service. His parents were married in the chapel of the mortuary where they both worked, and his childhood was marked by firsthand experience with the funeral homes and cemetery where his family built their careers. Today, he heads up a variety of consulting efforts as partner at McKee Wallwork, an internationally recognized organizational identity firm that specializes in bespoke solutions to unify and inspire leading companies from the inside out. Eric has consulted for globally recognized funeral brands and has played an integral role in their campaigns, products, and research efforts. He has presented in front of thousands of leading funeral professionals, including Selected Independent Funeral Homes, CANA, and numerous state and provincial associations. 

Ryan Thogmartin

Ryan Thogmartin

CEO/Owner DISRUPT Media | More Fans. More Conversations. More Leads.

Ryan Thogmartin is a driven entrepreneur who is passionate about creating positive change and making a difference. He is a forward-thinking leader who is constantly exploring new ways to innovate and break the status quo.

As the founder of UnKommon Empire and CEO of DISRUPT Media, a two-time Inc. 5000 company, he’s developed expertise in relationship marketing and lead generation, as well as cultivating change in stagnant fields. This work has helped businesses scale and create millions of dollars in revenue.

In addition to his work with DISRUPT Media, Ryan is a highly sought-after speaker, consultant, and coach. He’s given keynote speeches nationwide and has consulted with publicly traded companies. Ryan is known for inspiring and motivating audiences to think differently and take action.

Most importantly, he is a worship-driven believer, and a devoted family man to his wife and two daughters. When he is not working, he enjoys playing golf, personal development, and indulging in his love of stylish footwear.

Damon Wenig, MBA, CFSP

Damon Wenig, MBA, CFSP

National FET and Preneed Director, The Krause Group

Damon Wenig, Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer and former funeral home operator is passionate about expanding the service people experience before, during, and after their funeral. Damon’s background in funeral service gives him a unique perspective on the remarkable work of the funeral director to make a meaningful difference in their community.

While still practicing as a funeral director, Damon also serves as the National Director of Preneed and FET at The Krause Group - a national leader in asset preservation solutions, resources, and education for long-term care, helping everyone to leave the legacy they deserve.

Damon holds a Master of Business Administration in Finance and Marketing from the University of Massachusetts, a Degree in Mortuary Science from Worsham College, and a bachelor’s degree in theology from Moody Bible Institute.

2024 Convention Exhibitors

Vendors: CLICK HERE for the 2024 Exhibitor Prospectus!

@needmarketing

1 More Ride Motorcycle Hearse

ASCO (Affordable Supply Company)

American Coach Sales

ASD

Assurance Funeral Funding

Atlantic Coast Life Insurance

Attend

Batesville

Butler Coach

C&J Financial LLC

Chicago Cremation Supplies

Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science

Cincinnati Equitable Life Insurance Company

Clark Grave Vault

Cremation Systems

Decain Group (The)

Dodge

Doric Vault Manufacturers of Indiana

Express Funeral Funding

Federated Fiducial

Federated Insurance

Fellowes

Frigid Fluid Company

Funeral Directors Life

Funeral Home Gifts

funeralOne

FuneralVue

Grief Cards

Grief.news (NICHE Custom Publishing LLC)

GRT Hot Glass Studios

Heartland

Hilton Funeral Supply

Homesteaders Life Company

Inman Shipping

Johnson Consulting Group

Kachina Supply

Keller Mortuary Services, LLC

LQR Distrbutors

Marble Products International/R&S Design Gallery

MasterChoice

Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions

Messenger

Mid-America College of Funeral Service

Midwest Mortuary Service

Military Funeral Honors NCOIC

Muster Coaches

NGL

OneRoom

Overdose Fatality Review

Patten Monument

Pekin Life Insurancee Company

PFA Tax and Accounting Professionals

Pinna Monument

Precious Memories

Precoa

Premier Preneed Marketing

Saguaro Forensic Consulting, LLC

SCU Services LLC

Shiva Shade

Standard Funeral Service Mergers & Acquisitions

Starmark Local LLC

Tukios

United Heritage Life Insurance Company

Unity Financial

USA Today Network Obituaries/Gannett

Wellabe/Great Western Insurance Company

The Wilbert Group

Wilbert Manufacturers Association

Worsham College

Convention Sponsors

MasterChoice

Title Sponsor

MasterChoice
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Atlantic Coast Life Insurance

President's Dinner, Wednesday

Atlantic Coast Life Insurance
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Cincinnati Equitable Life Insurance Co

Wednesday Trade Show Lunch

Cincinnati Equitable Life Insurance Co
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The Decain Group

Tuesday Trade Show Lunch

The Decain Group
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Funeral Home Gifts

Memorial Blankets

Funeral Home Gifts
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funeralOne

Coffee Cup Sleeves

funeralOne
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Hilton Funeral Supply

Convention Bags

Hilton Funeral Supply
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Homesteaders Life Company

Opening Party, Tuesday

Homesteaders Life Company
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Johnson Consulting Group

Convention Pens

Johnson Consulting Group
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Messenger

Memorial Service Tribute Video & Ornaments

Messenger
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Midwest Mortuary Service

Speaker Vernie Fountain, Tuesday

Midwest Mortuary Service
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Premier Preneed Marketing

Speaker Eric Layer, Thursday

Premier Preneed Marketing
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Saguaro Forensic Consulting Firm, LLC

Thursday Trade Show Lunch

Saguaro Forensic Consulting Firm, LLC
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Visit Hamilton County Indiana

Ice Cream Bar Thursday on the Trade Show Floor

Visit Hamilton County Indiana
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