Educational Seminars

Produced by MBUniversity

The Four Pillars of MBNA
Friday, February 8th

2:00 p.m. – 2:50 p.m.

Presented by Ryan Worthington, MBNA Vice President, Liaison to the Pillar of Advocacy; Jonathan Modlich, MBNA Vice President, Liaison to the Pillar of Membership; Josh Bell, MBNA Vice President, Liaison to the Pillar of Education; Matt Worthington, MBNA Vice President, Liaison to the Pillar of Marketing & Communication

The association has identified Four Pillars to guide us to continued success.  These Pillars consist of Membership Care & Engagement, Member Education, Marketing & Communications, and Advocacy Efforts.  A primary goal set for each pillar has been transparency, which has led to increased articles in MBNews, “Town Hall” webinars, and now a review of their efforts for all of you!

Join us to learn more about the work of your association and see how you can contribute in the future!

Ryan Worthington, MBNA Vice President, Liaison to the Pillar of Advocacy, Worthington Monuments, Inc.
Ryan Worthington graduated from Texas Christian University with a degree in Business Administration in 2003 and joined Worthington Monuments, Inc full-time in 2011.  She was installed as MBNA Vice President in 2018 and is the chair for the Pillar of Advocacy.

Jonathan Modlich, MBNA Vice President, Liaison to the Pillar of Membership, Modlich Monument Company
Jonathan Modlich is a fourth-generation memorialist, and Vice President of Modlich Monument Company.  He was installed as MBNA Vice President in 2018 and is the chair person for the Pillar of Membership Care & Engagement.

Josh Bell, MBNA Vice President, Liaison to the Pillar of Education, AICA, Bell Memorials

Josh Bell, AICA is a sixth-generation memorialist and a Past President of the Mid-America Monument Builders Association (MAMBA)  He was installed as MBNA Vice President in 2015 and is the chair for the Pillar of Membership Education.

Matt Worthington, MBNA Vice President, Liaison to the Pillar of Marketing & Communication, Worthington Monuments, Inc.

Matt Worthington is a second generation memorialist, owner of Worthington Monuments, Inc., and Texas Christian University graduate with a degree in Entrepreneurial Management in 2002.  He was installed as MBNA Vice President in 2017 and is the chair for the Pillar of Marketing.


OSHA’s New Silica Rule – What You Need to Know

Friday, February 8th

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Presented by Matt Pruitt, Executive Assistant Vice President, Elberton Granite Association, Dave Sharamitaro, Husqvarna Group

In this safety-focused presentation, you will learn ways to boost your company’s productivity while complying with the OSHA Silica Rule.

Matt Pruitt, Executive Assistant Vice President, Elberton Granite Association
Matt Pruitt is the Executive Vice President of the Elberton Granite Association in Elberton, GA.

Dave Sharamitaro, Husqvarna Group

Dave Sharamitaro has spent nearly four decades in the coatings and surface prep industry specializing in dust and slurry extraction for the last three years.  He has presented on the OSHA Silica Standard over 100 times!


“That Won’t Sell In My Area”

Saturday, February 9th

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Presented by Charlie Hunt, FAICA, President, Hunt Memorials, Inc.

The presentation’s title is a phrase heard all too often and confounds true designers everywhere. If you feel shackled by a lack of options, imagine you only had Six Basic Shapes to work with. That might feel to limiting as well, but if you learn how to look at them in the right ways, those six shapes could become 600 different designs! And there’s probably a few of those that will sell in your area!

Charlie Hunt, FAICA, President, Hunt Memorials, Inc.
Charlie Hunt began working in the family business in 1982 after graduating from the University of the South with a degree in History.  He later returned to school for art and drafting classes and trained with traditional stone craftsmen in Vermont to learn the stonecutter methodology that has been in practice for over two centuries.

Charlie Hunt is the first recipient of the Eugene H. Faehnle Award from The American Institute of Commemorative Arts (AICA), its highest award for design in the monument industry.  He has also received MBNA’s Biondan Bronze – Bert Gast Memorial Award, The Harold J. Schaller, AICA Conceptual Design and Rendering Award, MBNA’s Design Contest People’s Choice Award, and the MBNA’s Award for Outstanding Excellence in Monument Design.


A History of Cremation Memorialization: Hope, Not Despair

Saturday, February 9th

1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

Presented by Jason Engler, Cremation Historian, Cremation Association of North America

The basic human need to erect memorials to honor the dead has been evident in nearly every culture in recorded history. In fact, it is often in the ways cultures memorialize the dead that teach us the most about past civilizations. The need to honor a life that has lived is just as relevant now as it ever has been, especially with the rise of cremation from its humble beginnings in 1876 to its present preference among Americans.

But in what ways have the cremated dead been honored in the western world since cremation's revival in the 1870s?  And what can those methods teach us as guardians of the memories that are entrusted to our care? Designed to enlighten, inspire, and encourage the modern deathcare professional, you are invited to join the Cremation Historian on a journey through time to discover the ways cremation memorials have thrived through history and how they can drive our future.

Jason Engler, Cremation Historian, Cremation Association of North America
Jason Ryan Engler is a licensed funeral director and is known as the Cremation Historian.  His interest in the funeral profession came at an early age in his life and his intrigue with the practice of cremation memorialization has put him on a journey of appreciating the beauty of the torch over the spade.  Not only is Jason a practicing funeral director, he is also a speaker for local, state, and national associations.  He also serves as the Cremation Historian for both the National Museum of Funeral History and the Cremation Association of North America.  Mr. Engler’s articles have appeared in regional and national funeral and cremation trade journals including “The Dead Beat,” “The Cremationist of North America,” and “Funeral Business Advisor.”  Additionally, he is author of the book "Body to the Purifying Flame: A History of the Missouri Crematory, St. Louis, Missouri."


Lettering: Spacing and Kerning

Sunday, February 10th

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Presented by Jed Hendrickson, CM, AICA, President, Santa Barbara Monumental Company, Inc.

Jed A. Hendrickson, CM, AICA, is the owner of Santa Barbara Monumental Co., Inc. Born in Santa Barbara, Jed attended Santa Barbara City College and Brigham Young University before joining the family business in 1982.

A member, by invitation, of the American Institute of Commemorative Art, a group committed to promoting good design and art in cemetery memorials. Jed Hendrickson, CM, AICA became the Executive Director of AICA in 2012.  Jed maintains memberships with Monument Builders of North America, where he served as president in 2001; and the California Monument Association, where he served as president for 5 years.  He has been a Certified Memorialist since 1995.  Jed is also a past director for Make-A-Wish Foundation.



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About MBUniversity: Established in 2006, MBUniversity is the educational arm of MBNA. The University was established to develop and administer educational courses for MBNA members and future members. Schools within the university are being created to address specific needs of independent monument builders.


Commitment To Excellence

Hosted by the American Institute of Commemorative Art and MBNA

The following sessions are open to those registering for the optional Commitment to Excellence courses (additional fees apply).

Lettering: Its Relationship to Design

Sunday, February 10th

1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Presented by Jed Hendrickson, CM, AICA, President, Santa Barbara Monumental Company, Inc.

Text and design must work harmoniously together; if one or the other is out of balance, the overall flow of the memorial will be ruined. This workshop will review the concepts of positive and negative space; sizing and placement of text and design; and, how the choice of font influences the overall look of a memorial. This is part of what is known as “The Three C’s of Design: Composition, Components and Concept.”

Jed Hendrickson, CM, AICA, President, Santa Barbara Monumental Company, Inc.
A member, by invitation, of the American Institute of Commemorative Art, a group committed to promoting good design and art in cemetery memorials. Jed Hendrickson, CM, AICA became the Executive Director of AICA in 2012.  Jed maintains memberships with Monument Builders of North America, where he served as president in 2001; and the California Monument Association, where he served as president for 5 years.  He has been a Certified Memorialist since 1995.  Jed is also a past director for Make-A-Wish Foundation.


Six Basic Shapes: Design Possibilities from Ordinary Shape

Sunday, February 10th

2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Presented by Charlie Hunt, FAICA, President, Hunt Memorials, Inc.

How a few basic shapes can be used to create outstanding memorials. This session will use hands-on drawing time to help us move to more interesting shapes that can be produced by manufacturers at reasonable costs.

Charlie Hunt, FAICA, President, Hunt Memorials, Inc.
Charlie Hunt is the first recipient of the Eugene H. Faehnle Award from The American Institute of Commemorative Arts (AICA), its highest award for design in the monument industry.  He has also received MBNA’s Biondan Bronze – Bert Gast Memorial Award, The Harold J. Schaller, AICA Conceptual Design and Rendering Award, MBNA’s Design Contest People’s Choice Award, and the MBNA Award for Outstanding Excellence in Monument Design.


Trump That Monument! (Dinner & Workshop)

Sunday, February 10th

5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.


Keep those pencils sharp!  All instructors will be on hand as you discuss big designs for big monuments.


Making This of That: Trading European and American Design

Monday, February 11th

8:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Presented by Tony Watson, AICA, President, Watson Signs & Monuments

German stone cutters have long had an influence on memorialization. In this discussion, we will look at how to use elements found in German cemeteries in our “American style” monuments; how to use simple modifications to raise the design quality and salability of your work; and how changing your style will help you create memorials that will set you apart from everyone else.

Tony Watson, AICA, President, Watson Signs & Monuments
Tony Watson, AICA is the owner of Watson Signs & Monuments based in College Station, TX. His company proudly produces many custom memorials in an area previously filled with standard brochure designs for many years. Tony has received awards for his designs from the Southern Monument Builders Association, Monument Builders of North America, and the American Institute of Commemorative Art.



Show Dates

Friday, February 8, 2019
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Sunday, February 10, 2019

Monument Builders of North America

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