Selected Independent Funeral Homes Celebrates 100 Years

Selected Independent Funeral Homes Celebrates 100 Years

and Hosts 99th Annual Meeting in Chicago


Contact: Patty Neuswanger

Phone: 224.619.3615 | Email


Deerfield, Ill. -August 9, 2017-Selected Independent Funeral Homes will host its 99th Annual Meeting at Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago, Sept. 10-13, 2017. This year also represents a significant milestone year as it marks the 100th anniversary of the association.

“We may be celebrating a century of excellence,” said Neil O’Connor, President of Selected Independent Funeral Homes. “But more importantly we also are laying the foundation for the future of funeral service and that is evident in the educational content and progressive topics covered at this year’s Annual Meeting.” 

In addition to the usual offering of inspirational speakers, impactful sessions, and fun activities, this year’s meeting also will feature numerous displays including a photo gallery and museum cases of memorabilia from members and friends, depicting the association’s history and highlights.

A special Centennial Website will be revealed to members, providing a historical timeline with photos and stories shared by members. A Share Your Story station will be in place during the meeting to provide members the opportunity to submit their stories to the website.

Members having achieved 100 years of continuous membership will receive unique historical plaques and be inducted into the newly created Selected Century Club.

Here are a few of the meeting highlights:


Sunday, September 10

  • The Selected 99th Annual Meeting Welcome Celebration starts with the Selected Welcome Celebration for participants and family members.


Monday, September 11

  • Keynote speaker, Phillip Van Hooser, will get the meeting started on the right foot with his presentation: Professionalism Is a Choice. Van Hooser helps organizations build performance and profitability by preparing their managers to lead. In his session he will challenge the “good enough” mentality that damages revenue and reputation.
  • Gerard Braud of Braud Communications will lead the session Social Media: When “It” Hits the Fan helping members understand and manage their firm’s social media presence.
  • Miriam De Dios, CEO of Coopera Consulting will cover the topic of Serving the Hispanic Market. She will share her approach to helping funeral professionals best meet the needs of this rapidly-growing market.
  • Tim Bridgers, General Manager of Live Oak Bank will lead Succession Planning: Take One, helping members look at the critical transitions for survival and changing ownership. Bridgers will highlight proper steps in making the succession smooth for all parties involved.
  • Back by popular demand is the Conversation Café. Six Selected Preferred Partners will offer unique educational insight and opportunities for in-depth conversations on the following topics: 4 Income Tax Tips to Uncover Your Cash Flow  (CSSI); What is Your Vision for Your Crematory? (Facultatieve Technologies); Management Solutions You Need (Johnson Consulting ); Discussions about Tribute Videos (Tukios); Collaborating with Families Online (Passare) and Sharing the “Why” of Preneed (Precoa).


Tuesday, September 12

  • What Consumers Want: A Look at Preneed Trends will be covered by Dean Lambert and Danielle Burmeister with Homesteaders Life Company. They will be sharing data gleaned from actual prearrangement consumers. A combination of statistics and analysis will offer insight and perspective to assist funeral professionals in planning for future trends.
  • James R. (Bud) Strong of Husch Blackwell LLP, will present Succession Planning: Take Two sharing insights he had gained from 37 years as an estate planning and business succession planning attorney. He will focus on real-life examples that illustrate the main things to avoid, not only from a legal and tax perspective, but also from the standpoint of avoiding internal business management conflicts and family conflicts.
  • Women’s Luncheon. During a special opportunity focused on women in the funeral professional, speaker Marilyn Jansen of Association Management Center will ask “Do You Have Grit?”
  • Improv: Discover a New Way of Thinking About Work will be led by Meagan O’Brien from Second City Works. She’ll focus on communication and collaboration through an others-focused improv mindset and help members build authentic and empathetic relationships with client families.
  • Funeral Home/Cemetery Management Tour of Graceland Cemetery. Members can take a private tour of Graceland Cemetery in uptown Chicago and participate in a Q & A session with cemetery directors.


Wednesday, September 13

  • Funeral Home/Cemetery Management Networking Breakfast. This provides members the chance to gather and discuss the unique challenges faced by these operations.
  • Back to the Future: Best Practices Now and Then. Selected members will share today’s perspective on topics discussed during the first Annual Convention in 1918.
  • Community Service Volunteer Project. Selected members will roll up their sleeves to pack 10,000 meals to be distributed by the Greater Chicago Food Depository to food insecure families in the Chicagoland area.


Funeral service professionals can participate in valuable educational sessions that have been approved for up to 10.0 hours by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Selected also has applied for credit to all states that require continuing education. All approved continuing education sessions are open to any funeral service professional.

In addition, the following Selected Preferred Partners are participating with display tables and/or sponsoring events at the 99th Annual Meeting. These include:  Answering Service for Directors (ASD), Bass-Mollett, C & J Financial, Cost Segregation Services Inc., (CSSI), Eagle’s Wings Air, Facultatieve Technologies, Federated Funeral Directors of America, Federated Insurance, Funeral Decisions, Funeral Zone, Homesteaders Life Company,  International Mortuary Shipping, Internet Ad Pros, Johnson Consulting, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Kelco Supply Company, Legacy Touch,  Live Oak Bank, Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions, Meadow Hill Corporation, Messenger, Passare, Precoa, Southland Medical LLC, SRS Computing and Tukios.

Selected appreciates the financial support of Federated Insurance and Funeral Zone as our 2017 Centennial Investors and offers special thanks to Precoa for their investment as our 2107 Centennial Ambassador. 


 For more information, visit our website or call 800-323-4219.


Editor’s Note: All Speaker’s photos are available upon request. To access speakers’ biographies and full meeting information please email us. Media are invited to attend.


About Selected Independent Funeral Homes: Selected Independent Funeral Homes delivers innovative and pertinent resources, solutions and ongoing support necessary for enduring excellence to its international network of independently owned death-care providers who aspire to be the very best in their profession.  Members of Selected operate according to specific standards and best practices in order to provide the public with reliable, high-quality funeral services and funeral-related information. 2017 marks the organization’s 100th anniversary and a legacy of dedication and support to the death-care profession.

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