FCA Conference a Hit in Seattle

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FCA Conference a Hit in Seattle
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We're back from our biggest national conference yet, and the attendees are calling the event "inspiring," "packed full of information," and "hosted by the nicest, most helpful volunteers" (hats off and thanks to Peoples Memorial Association!).

Here are some highlights of the three-day event:

  • FCA presented Elvira Hoffman of the FCA of Long Island and New York City with the Award for Oustanding Consumer Advocacy for her tireless work lobbying for funeral consumer rights.
  • FCA gave Valerie Bayham (at left, addressing the membership at the Saturday banquet) of the Institute for Justice our first award to an outside organization for funeral consumer advocacy. IJ's work protecting funeral consumers and small business owners - like casket retailers - from anticompetitive regulations is unparalled.

Couldn't Make It? Then Download the Speaker Presentations Below:

(right-click any of these to download the files. They're in Adobe PDF format)

  • Outgoing President Joyce Homan's welcome address, The Chivas Regal Effect.
  • Executive Director Josh Slocum's opening remarks, The Future of Funeral Consumer Advocacy.
  • Mark Harris, author of Grave Matters: A Journey Through the Modern Funeral Industry to a Natural Way of Burial, prepared this slideshow for use after his well-received talk. Check it out for myths and facts about natural burial, and how you can accomplish it.
  • Kathryn Tucker, Legal Director for Compassion and Choices, presented this slideshow on the legal and societal barriers to patient choice in pain management and choosing one's own time of death. Don't miss this eye-opening presentation.
  • Julie Lomoe, Administrator of the Memorial Society of the Hudson-Mohawk Region, offers Effective Networking, full of tips on to make friends with organizations in your community to boost membership and spread funeral consumer education.
  • Donna Belk of the home funeral advocacy group Crossings Care Circle used this moving slide show in her workshop demonstrating the hands-on practicalities of caring for a deceased family member at home (note - the slide show has images of deceased people being waked at home; we think you'll be surprised at how touching and not "scary" home funerals really are).
  • John Eric Rolfstand and Ruth Bennett of Peoples Memorial Association know their stuff. Marketing Your Mission rounds up great advice from our oldest and most successful affiliated consumer group.
  • FCA Executive Director Joshua Slocum walks you through the basics of funeral consumer advocacy - how to monitor your state funeral board, stay on top of legislation affecting consumer rights, and testifying on behalf of consumers in your state's legislature. Advocacy 101 is a simple slide show with the basics; The Advocacy Action Plan gives step by step instructions and real-life examples.
  • Valerie Bayham of the Institute for Justice gave an inspiring call to action against allowing government regulators to give in to industry demands at the expense of consumer choice and reasonable prices.

Last Updated ( Sunday, 12 October 2008 09:40 )  
Comments (10)
1 Sunday, 13 April 2008 18:18
Can our members get picked up at the airport, and returned to airport?

please email to
2 Sunday, 04 May 2008 16:15
There is info about a shuttle on the registration form and the more people who share with the less it costs. Check the forum; there's a topic about ride sharing.
3 Tuesday, 13 May 2008 13:53
I need a ride from the airport to the site. My plane arrives on June 26 at 2:59 pm. Any suggestions?

Dave Hedden
4 Tuesday, 13 May 2008 13:57
Josh Slocum
Hi Dave,

Please read above. You'll see the registration form includes information about the shuttle service. Attendees are responsible for arranging their own shuttle rides, but the more who ride together, the cheaper it is. Please visit our forum on this site (you'll see a link to it on the left-hand menu). There's a page there for folks to team up and share shuttle costs.

The shuttle service you want is www.shuttlexpress.com
5 Thursday, 05 June 2008 17:50
Hi Joshua,

The date above is incorrect - it should read Saturday, June 28, not January 28.

6 Thursday, 05 June 2008 23:11
Dear Ms. Sasparilla,

Thank you very much for pointing out that error so we could fix it.

Josh S.
7 Monday, 14 July 2008 20:46
I lost my mother a short time ago. I used a funeral home that was not locally owned. The ownership was in Texas. I was told that in the arrangement meeting. The management and employees are very involved in our community and are well known to this community. I can truly say my family and I were treated with the utmost respect and we had many options to select from and I felt we received a fair price after shopping two other locally owned funeral homes. The two locally owned firms just did not add up to what was offered with the corporate firm, not only in price but the service itself. We had a traditional service and were so pleased with all aspects of her funeral. They were professional in every way. Sure many things are expensive, weddings, cars, homes and the like. You seem to imply all funeral homes should do this service at no charge. I do not want to bury my own dead. I look to the professionals to help me plan a wonderful tribute for my loved ones, placing them in a homemade box and in the back of a truck as shown in the slide show is just something I could never do for my loved one. Death is a sure thing and should be planed for just as anything that’s important to us. It is about dignity and using a crate and a pickup makes me think we are in some third country…. sorry not much dignity in that.
8 Tuesday, 15 July 2008 10:17
Josh Slocum
Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your comment. We're glad the funeral home you used was professional and courteous, whether it was corporate or locally owned.

No, we've never said funeral home shouldn't charge for what they do. And we've never said every family *should* bury its own dead. We only want to make sure every family has that choice.

You're clear that you find home burial undignified. That's perfectly fine. Just remember there are some who find it very dignified. It's an individual choice.

Josh Slocum
9 Tuesday, 27 April 2010 02:52
Paul M. King
I'm a new member of the board of the FCA-Oregon. I would like to read the proceedings of the 2008 FCA Conference in Seattle, but find them garbled. I do not know what program created the text, but the PDF document on your web lists Word Pad as the text editor.

Can you advise me how to make the document readable? I run Windows 7 on a brand new HP desk PC and use WordPerfect 11 as a word processor. I also have Word Pad and a couple of other text editors installed on my system.

10 Tuesday, 27 April 2010 11:09
Josh Slocum, FCA Exec. Director
Hi Paul,

Welcome aboard FCA. Remember, you're leaving a public comment on an article - you haven't sent an email directly to me or someone on the FCA staff. There's no guarantee that we'll see your comments - I just stumbled across them. When you need specific help like this, please get in touch with us directly. You'll see a "contact us" button above.

For .pdf documents, you need a program called Adobe Reader. It's free for download. Give that a shot, and if you have more trouble, email or call me.


Josh S.

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