April 24-26, 2012

OFDA 132nd Annual Convention

Hyatt Regency and the Columbus Convention Center

Mark MerzDear Members,

On behalf of the 2012 OFDA Convention Committee, the Board of Directors, Executive Committee and the amazing staff at OFDA, it is my honor to personally invite you to join us at the 132nd Annual Ohio Funeral Directors Association Convention and Exhibition to be held April 24-26, 2012 at the newly remodeled Hyatt Regency and Columbus Convention Center.

The theme for this year’s convention is “Harmony through Diversity…Growing Together”.  As families grow and communities continue to change, so too do their wants and needs.  Whether you work for a family owned business or part of a larger family of firms, we all work together to ensure an exceptional service experience for people of different faiths and varying cultures.  We are mothers, fathers, sons, and daughters committed to the communities to which we live and work.  Our diverse cultures call for us to work in harmony, so that we all thrive and continue to grow together.  2012 brings exciting and definite change that will expand and transform your business collectively through both new and kindred friendships.  We have planned for you a brand new and innovative convention format packed with creative concepts sure to provide a worthwhile and enjoyable experience for not just owners but employees alike.  From keynote speakers that bring helpful outside perspectives to funeral service professionals who will lead breakout sessions.  Over the next few days we will challenge you to think differently!  

            The 2012 Conventions core format has taken a new direction, we have diversified!  As always, we will offer our pre-convention Insurance Education, Master’s Training Certification and we will continue hosting our Annual Service of Remembrance.  In 2012, we will be offering a variety of educational breakouts that range from branding to social media to pet loss.  A luncheon will be served to recognize Past Presidents and our peers for their achievements this past year.  On Wednesday evening, a President’s Cocktail Reception will be held when the exhibit floor closes.  This will provide additional opportunities for fellowship with OFDA members and convention vendors alike. 

            On behalf of the convention committee and the entire staff at OFDA, I look forward to seeing you at the 132nd Annual Ohio Funeral Directors Association Convention and Exposition.  I can personally assure you that we are committed to continue bringing you, your family and your staff one of the finest state conventions in the country, especially with this novel new approach to Harmonizing through Diversification…Growing Together!

My Best,

Mark A. Merz, CFSP


Harmony Title Full Page

Harmony Through Diversity

"Growing Together"
132nd Annual Convention and Exhibition
 at the Hyatt Regency and the Columbus Convention Center in Downtown Columbus
April 24th - 26th, 2012


Online Registration is now available HERE
Download the full OFDA Convention Brochure.

Exhibitor Information
2012 Convention Exhibitor Brochure 
2012 Convention Exhibitor Contract

Please contact the Hyatt directly to make your reservations.

Helpful Links

 List of Exhibitors

(Floor space is now full)

Special Events at Convention

Continuing Education Available at Convention 



Convention 2012 Reception  

Convention at a Glance

Monday, April 23

7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Insurance Continuing Education Seminar
Instructor: Richard L. Goolsby, CIC

Ten Hours of Insurance Continuing Education Credits

Hyatt Regency, Taft Room A

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Master Training Seminar
Presented by OFDA Education Committee

Six Hours of CEU

Hyatt Regency, Taft Room B

6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Social Event
Glow Putt Mini Golf – Gahanna
Sponsored by:

american coach sales   Clark Grave Vault Logo

Tuesday, April 24

Noon - 12:45 p.m. 
Service of Remembrance
Convention Center
Video provided by:
Funeral1 Logo

12:45 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
Service of Remembrance Reception
Convention Center
Sponsored by:
Cincinnati Equitable Life Ins  Co  Logo

1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. 
General Session: Call to Order
Introduction of District Presidents
Introduction of Regional Directors
Nominating Committee Report
Hall C, Convention Center 

1:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Speaker: Jeff Taylor - “The Roar of Social – Is Your Funeral Home Listening?”
Hall C, Convention Center
Check out Jeff's video HERE.
Sponsored by:

One Hour of CEU

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Todd Crandell – Racing for Recovery "With Sobriety Anything is Possible"
Hall C, Convention Center
Check out Todd's video HERE.

Two Hours of CEU

Sponsored by:
Northwest Ohio FD Logo

4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Exhibition Hours
Hall C, Convention Center

4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception
Hall C, Convention Center
Drink Ticket Sponsored by: 

Wednesday, April 25

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Poul Lemasters – “A Legal Forecast For the Pet Funeral Industry; Bright With A Chance of Lawsuits”
Convention Center

One Hour of CEU

Sponsored by OFDA District 1

 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
John Heald - “Leveraging the Online Obituary: Increase Customer Satisfaction, Revenue and Brand Awareness”
Convention Center
One Hour of CEU

Sponsored by:

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Coleen Ellis - “The Changing Pieces of Pet Death Care”
Convention Center

Check out Coleen's Video HERE

One Hour of CEU

Sponsored by:

8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
Kim Medici Shelquist – “Creating Effective Relationships with Hospice and End-of-Life Care Organizations”
Convention Center

One Hour of CEU

Sponsored by: 

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Monica Lilak – “The History and Relevance of Memorial Keepsake Jewelry”
Convention Center

One Hour of CEU

9:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Julie Burn, CCrE, CSE - “Cremation Phone Shoppers…How Do You Respond?”
Convention Center

One Hour of CEU 

10:45 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
General Session; Including the Election of Officers
Hall C, Convention Center 

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
NFDA Update, OFDA Update and OFDA Executive Director’s Message
Hall C, Convention Center

One Hour of CEU 

12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Awards Luncheon – Recognizing Committee Award; CFSP; 25 Year Service and 50 Year Service Award Recipients and OFDA Past Presidents.
Hall C, Convention Center
Sponsored by: 

1:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Installation of Officers
Hall C, Convention Center 

2:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.
Exhibition Hours
Hall C, Convention Center

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
President’s Reception
Hyatt Regency
Sponsored by:
Aurora Logo    DignityMem Logo 


Thursday, April 26

 7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Ryan Thogmartin – “Social Media For Funeral Homes - How to Make it Work”
Convention Center
Check out Ryan's video HERE.

One Hour of CEU 

Sponsored by:

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Charles Berner, DDS – “If A = B and B = C, then A = C - Mass Fatalities and Scientific Documentation of Opinion”
Convention Center

One Hour of CEU

Sponsored by:
Columbian Financial Group

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Hall C, Convention Center
Sponsored by Batesville Casket Company
Batesville Logo

9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Keynote Speaker – Lee Woodruff – “In An Instant”
Hall C, Convention Center 
Sponsored by: OFDA District #10 and OFDA District #11

10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Exhibition Hours
Hall C, Convention Center 



 Convention 2012 Sponsors

Sponsorships are still available.
Contact Diana O’Neal at the OFDA office at 614-486-5339.


2012 Convention Exhibitor List

5-Hour Sample, LLC
A Simple Thank You
ABM Funding, Inc.
Affordable Supply Company
Alternative Container
American Coach Sales
American Crematory Equipment Company
American Funeral Financial
American Livery Services, Inc.
ASD – Answering Service for Directors
Astral Industries, Inc.
Aunt Fannies Flower Shop
Aurora Casket Company
Batesville Casket Company
Behalt Casket, LLC
Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors of Ohio
Body Scoop by B-Mobile
Capstone PreNeed Funding Solutions, LLC
Care Caskets
Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science
Cincinnati Equitable Life Insurance Co.
Cincinnati Surgical Co.
C&J Financial, LLC
Clark Grave Vault
Classic Metal Vaults
Columbian Financial Group
Columbus Trade & Livery, Inc.
Commemorative Rosaries
Contemporary Concepts, Inc.
Crematory Manufacturing & Service
CT Communications Message Center
Custom Air Trays
Deaton-Kennedy Company
Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration
DNA Capsule
Donate Life Ohio
Doric Burial Vaults
Eagle’s Wings Air (EWA)
EckCo Products
Ethel Maid  - Burial Gowns
Facultatieve Technologies
Farnsworth Gowns
FD Suits
Federated Funeral Directors of America
Federated Insurance
Funeral Directors’ Answering Service
Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company
Funeral Home Gifts
Genesis Casket Company
Great Western Insurance Company
Hi-Tek Casket Distribution
Homesteaders Life Company
Inman Shipping Worldwide/Omega Assured Return Plan
International Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association
Investors Heritage Life Insurance Company
J + J Invision
Jefferson Financial
John P. Marchese
KJ Planning
Lamcraft, Inc.
LifeLong Memories
Matthews Casket Division
Meadow Hill – Thumbies
Memorial Boards
Mid-America College of Funeral Service
Midwest Specialty Vehicles, Inc.
Military Pride Group
Miller Architects & Builders
Muster Coaches
National Funeral Directors Association
National Mortuary Shipping
Newcomer Funeral Service Group
Oberer’s Flowers
Ohio Department of Health Office of Vital Statistics
Ohio Embalmers Association
Ohio Funeral Directors Association
Ohio Funeral Directors Mortuary Response Team
Passages International, Inc.
Paul Casket Co.
Pekin Life Insurance Company
Pierce Companies
Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science
pixYour Media
Precious Memories
Professional Funeral Alliance, Inc.
Professional Transport Service, LLC
Roberts & Downey Chapel Equipment
Sauder Funeral Products
Shiva Shade
SRS Computing
State Auto Insurance Companies
Stuart Burial Vaults
Tape Central Inc.
Terrapro (Terradise Computer Systems, Inc.)
The Champion Company
The Dodge Company
Thirst Relief International
Twin Tiers Technologies, Inc.
Unity Financial Life Insurance Company
U.S. Cremation Equipment
Walnut Creek Caskets
Wilbert Burial Vaults
Zane Casket Company

(Floor space is full)


Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association will be held during the Convention at the Columbus Convention in Hall C on Tuesday, April 24, 2012.


Service of Remembrance

A traditional event of the convention is the Service of Remembrance.  OFDA pays tribute to all members and their immediate family members who have died during the year.  The Service of Remembrance will be held on Tuesday, April 24 beginning at 12:00 p.m. The service will be held at the Columbus Convention Center.  Immediately following the service, OFDA will host a reception for the families attending the Service.

Listed are the individuals who will be remembered during the service (this list is as of January 31).  If you know of someone we’ve missed, please call Diana O’Neal at the OFDA office at 614-486-5339 or 800-589-6332.  She can also be reached via e-mail at

James B. Bacher, Akron
Betty L. Baker, Washington Court House
Roger Stanton Berry, Westlake
Joseph E. Borkoski, Adena
Jack R. Carpenter, O.D, Columbiana
George Edward Chapman, Columbus
Betty Jane Cotner, Reynoldsburg
Kenneth W. Cox, Wadsworth
J. Peter Ducro, Ashtabula
Donald L. Ferfolia, Maple Heights
Samuel F. “Sam” Grafton, Mineral Ridge
Robin Anne Grierson, Westwood
Eric N. Grisier, Archbold
Marilyn A. Hill, Westerville
Alan B. Jones, Greenville
Richard W. Kirkpatrick, New Holland
Milton O. Law, Cambridge
Paul J. Lamiell, Canton
Kathleen M. Mills, Cleveland
Jo-Ann R. (Rex) Lebold, Bolivar
Jerry Page Myers, Circleville
Janice M. (Moran) Nero, Garfield Heights
William T. Prater, Hillsboro
M. Evelyn Pucak, Hubbard
Charles W. “Bill” Price, Venice, FL
Cleo J. Ralstin, Otway
William H. Roberts, Jr., New Lexington
Kenneth J. Saltzmann, Kinsman
Marjorie E. (Ennes) Saxton, Rocky River
Genevieve McClure Schafer, Marietta
Frederick W. Shank, Toledo
Anita L. (Stapf) Shaw, Worthington
Brooks E. “Gene” Sherwood, Mayfield Heights
Josephine M. “Jessie” Skerl, Broadview Heights
Shontell Snyder, Bellville
Elizabeth M. “Betty” Straker, Parma
William A. Swart, West Carrollton
Emmy Lou Sweeney, Amsterdam
Paul Roger Vernier, Sr., West Portsmouth
John D. Webster, Middletown
Geoffrey Alan Wells, Waterville
Thomas M. Winterich, North Ridgeville
Marian L. Zettler, Hamilton


 Convention 2012 Special Events 

Convention 2012 CEU Opportunities



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