For Immediate Release: December 11, 2013
Brookfield, Wis. – In September, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) launched its Certified Crematory Operator (CCO) Program. Developed by funeral directors, for funeral directors, NFDA's CCO Program was created to protect funeral homes and the families they serve. In less than three months, the CCO designation has been conferred on 131 funeral professionals who attended one of the first four certification programs: John A. Gupton College in Nashville, Tenn.; Austin, Texas (a preconvention seminar at the 2013 NFDA International Convention & Expo); Albany, N.Y. (a special seminar for New York funeral professionals); and Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science in Pittsburgh, Penn.
As the trusted leader in funeral service, NFDA set the bar high with a program that not only emphasizes professional excellence, but reinforces the important role ethics plays in serving families that choose cremation.
"If your firm offers cremation to your families, you and your staff need to participate in this program," said Mike Nicodemus, CFSP, NFDA vice president of cremation services and CCO Program co-presenter. "Whether you currently own and operate a crematory or use a third-party crematory, this training is critical. When a family sees the CCO designation after your name, they will know that they are being served at the highest level of professional excellence and integrity."
"The NFDA CCO Program was the third [cremation certification program] I have attended. The information that I gained was the most comprehensive and focused on the role of the professional funeral director as a crematory operator and as the representative of the family at a third-party crematory," said program attendee Paula Staab Polk, CCO, of Staab Polk Memorial Home and Cremation Services of Central Illinois in Chatham, Ill. "This program is one of the most proactive and well-designed programs NFDA offers its members."
Developed specifically for funeral homes that offer cremation services, the NFDA CCO Program covers ethics, crematory operations, safety, liability issues, cremation arranging and much more. The program meets or exceeds the criteria in all states requiring certification and has been approved for CE by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice.
"We cover everything that a funeral director needs to know in order to safely and ethically provide cremation services to families," said Mike Watkins, CFSP, NFDA senior vice president of operations and CCO Program co-presenter. "We help attendees understand best practices for safe, proper, and ethical crematory operations. Our program covers every topic that is required by law in states that require certification for crematory operators."
Watkins continued, "Even if you don't own your own crematory, participants will walk away with a broad working knowledge of proper crematory operational procedures, as well as required and prudent administrative duties, so that they know what to look for when dealing with their third-party provider."
"Cremation litigation is on the rise. The CCO Program will help funeral professionals understand how to protect their firm by implementing cremation due diligence practices, such as authorization forms, chain-of-custody procedures and more," added Nicodemus.
NFDA already has several CCO seminars scheduled for 2014. A seminar taking place January 28, 2014, in Richmond, Va., is open for registration. This seminar will be hosted by the Virginia Funeral Directors Association.
Other scheduled seminars include:
- March 26, 2014, in Denver, Colo. (host: Colorado Funeral Directors Association)
- May 12, 2014, in Wilmington, N.C. (host: North Carolina Funeral Directors Association)
- July 2, 2014, in Virginia Beach, Va. (host: Virginia Funeral Directors Association)
Registration for these programs will open in the months to come. Additional programs will be scheduled throughout 2014.
Information about upcoming CCO Programs can be found on the NFDA website, www.nfda.org/cco. Any organization that wishes to host a CCO Program should contact NFDA at 800-228-6332 for more information.
NFDA congratulates the following funeral professionals who have earned the CCO designation from NFDA in 2013:
- Sean Ambrose, Ambrose Funeral Home Inc., Arbutus, Md.
- Jacqueline Amobi, Heavensgate, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
- Randall Anderson, Radney's Funeral Home Inc., Alexander City, Ala.
- Bob Arrington, Arrington Funeral Directors, Jackson, Tenn.
- Sam Bailey, Sanderson Funeral Home Carthage Chapel, Carthage, Tenn.
- Kurt Bass, Bass Funeral Chapel Inc., Gordonsville, Tenn.
- Robert Bates, Bates Family Funeral Home, De Kalb, Texas
- Larry Beck, Cassaday-Turkle-Christian & Cremation Service, Alliance, Ohio
- Michele Bennett, Busch Funeral & Crematory Services, Cleveland, Ohio
- Chuck Bowman, Horan & McConaty Funeral Service, Centennial, Colo.
- Harold Bowman, The Good Shepherd Funeral Home, Montevallo, Ala.
- Thomas Bucher, Woodfin Funeral Home, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
- Tom Bukszar, Busch Funeral & Crematory Services, Cleveland, Ohio
- Donnet Bullard, West Harpeth Funeral Home & Crematory, Hendersonville, Tenn.
- Kenneth Cahall, Cahall Funeral Home Inc., Georgetown, Ohio
- Chad Carpenter, White Haven Memorial Parks Inc., Pittsford, N.Y.
- Charles Cerro, St. Michael's Cemetery & Crematory, East Elmhurst, N.Y.
- Gisette Cespedes, St. Michael's Cemetery & Crematory, East Elmhurst, N.Y.
- Cassandra Chouinard, Athens, Tenn.
- Tom Cicalese, Hoyt Funeral Homes, New Canaan, Conn.
- Joshua Cioci, Cassaday-Turkle-Christian & Cremation Service, Alliance, Ohio
- Stephen Cochran, Henry-Cochran Funeral Home, Blue Ridge, Ga.
- Kari Cole, Melton Mortuary Inc., Beckley, W.Va.
- Cindy Collins, Pets & Friends LLC, Tyler, Texas
- W. Ashley Cozine, Broadway Mortuary Inc., Wichita, Kan.
- William Cozine, Broadway Mortuary Inc., Wichita, Kan.
- Jeff Crockett, Sanderson Funeral Home Carthage Chapel, Carthage, Tenn.
- Brenda Cushey, Finleyville, Penn.
- Trevor Davies, McGuire & Davies Funeral Home and Crematory, Monmouth, Ill.
- Brian Davison, Marshall-Donnelly-Combs Funeral Home, Nashville, Tenn.
- Jacob De Leon, Memorial Funeral Home, San Juan, Texas
- Leon De Leon, Memorial Funeral Home, San Juan, Texas
- Velma Sue De Leon, Memorial Funeral Home, San Juan, Texas
- Robert Dean Jr., Brunner Saden Deitrick Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Mentor, Ohio
- Michael Delaney, Grace Funeral Home, Victoria, Texas
- Terry Depreta, Forest Lawn Group of Cemeteries, Buffalo, N.Y.
- Tanner Derryberry, Bond Memorial Chapel Inc., Mount Juliet, Tenn.
- Daniel Desnoyers, Troy Cemetery Association, Troy, N.Y.
- Jeff DiDonato, Euclid, Ohio
- Tyrone Dingle, St. Michael's Cemetery & Crematory, East Elmhurst, N.Y.
- Joseph Dispenza, Forest Lawn Group of Cemeteries, Buffalo, N.Y.
- Rick Dopplick, Dusckas-Martin Funeral Home, Erie, Penn.
- Joshua Dudek, Forest Lawn Group of Cemeteries, Buffalo, N.Y.
- Randall Earl, Brintlinger & Earl Funeral Homes, Decatur, Ill.
- Rodney Ellis, Grimes Funeral Chapels, Kerrville, Texas
- Brian Foos, Foos & Foos Funeral Service, Bellevue, Ohio
- Michael Fox Jr., The Leatherstocking Crematory Inc., Cherry Valley, N.Y.
- Michael Fox, The Leatherstocking Crematory Inc., Cherry Valley, N.Y.
- Dennis Gendreau, Fulkerson Funeral Home, Williston, N.D.
- Lori Gilbert-McGill, Frederick Bros Funeral Home Inc., Theresa, N.Y.
- Connie Goedert, Pine View Cemetery, Queensbury, N.Y.
- Carol Green Esq., Law Offices of Carol Green, Bethesda, Md.
- Delbrita Greene, Nashville, Tenn.
- Robert Guevara, Hughes, Crown Hill Funeral Home, Dallas, Texas
- Stephan Guevara, Hughes Crown Hill Funeral Home, Dallas, Texas
- John Harper, Williamson Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Franklin, Tenn.
- Veronica Haug-Korth, Hillington Crematory Inc., Morris, N.Y.
- Michael Hite, Maxwell P. Dunne Funeral Service Inc., Corpus Christi, Texas
- Justin Hoffman, Park View Cemetery Association, Schenectady, N.Y.
- Robert Hoffman, Park View Cemetery Association, Schenectady, N.Y.
- Sarah Holman, Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Nashville, Tenn.
- Jason Horner, Horner Funeral Home, Monterey, Tenn.
- Andrew Howard, Forest Lawn Group of Cemeteries, Buffalo, N.Y.
- Ralph Howard, Grace Funeral Home, Victoria, Texas
- Todd Jackson, Troy Cemetery Association, Troy, N.Y.
- Lavana Jenkins, Johnson & Jenkins Funeral Home, Mitchellville, Md.
- Bradley Jones, Providence-Jones Family Funeral Home, Elgin, Texas
- Clay Jorgensen, Memorial Mortuary, Salt Lake City, Utah
- William Kindred, Kindred Funeral Home, Englewood, Ohio
- Scott Klose, Leete-Stevens Inc., Enfield, Conn.
- Brad Kuchnicki, Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, Maryville, Tenn.
- Kippy Lang IV, Bradford-O'Keefe Funeral Home, Gulfport, Miss.
- Patrick Lanigan, Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, Pittsburgh, Penn.
- Bernie Leatheman, Jardine Funeral Home Inc., Strongsville, Ohio
- William Lovelace, Vale Cemetery Association & Crematorium, Schenectady, N.Y.
- Jeremy Madison, Mesquite, Texas
- Patrick Mahoney, All Ohio Cremation & Burial Society, Cleveland, Ohio
- Amanda Marlin, Williamson Memorial Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Franklin, Tenn.
- Justin Marshall, Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Nashville, Tenn.
- Rachel Marshall, Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Nashville, Tenn.
- Brent McNeeley, Walters Funeral Home, La Follette, Tenn.
- Calvin Meadows, The Good Shepherd Funeral Home, Montevallo, Ala.
- Adam Miller, Scarpelli Funeral Home, Cumberland, Md.
- Jim Miller, Munz-Pirnstill Funeral Home, Bucyrus, Ohio
- Josh Miller, Miller Funeral and Cremation Services Inc., Rochester, N.Y.
- Paul Miller, Scarpelli Funeral Home, Cumberland, Md.
- Gary Mills, Resthaven Funeral Home, Rockwall, Texas
- Matt Misselhorn, Providence-Jones Family Funeral Home, Elgin, Texas
- Martin Mitchell, Mitchell Family Funeral Home, Marshalltown, Iowa
- Robert Moore IV, Moore's Home for Funerals, Wayne, N.J.
- Trena Mueller, Nashville Cremation Service, Nashville, Tenn.
- Waring Murray, Norcross, Ga.
- Margaret Newcomer, Newcomer Group, Topeka, Kan.
- William Palma, Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, Youngstown, Ohio
- Patrick Patton, Patton-Schad Funeral & Cremation Services, Sauk Centre, Minn.
- John Perkes, Regency Mortuary, Sun City, Ariz.
- Farrah Pestian, Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery, Memphis, Tenn.
- Kenneth Pleasant, Brookside Cemetery Association, Watertown, N.Y.
- James Puszert, Forest Lawn Group of Cemeteries, Buffalo, N.Y.
- Emily Radkowski, Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, Pittsburgh, Penn.
- Tim Raley, Music City Mortuary, Nashville, Tenn.
- Charles Ramsay, Woodfin Funeral Home, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
- Terry Reardon, Higgins-Reardon Funeral Home, Youngstown, Ohio
- Benjamin Reiff, Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory, Independence, Iowa
- Socrates Rodriguez, St. Michael's Cemetery & Crematory, East Elmhurst, N.Y.
- Ashley Rogers, Fox Funeral Home Inc., Saxonburg, Penn.
- Robert Rosson Jr., Waller Funeral Home, Oxford, Miss.
- Matthew Scarpelli, Scarpelli Funeral Home, Cumberland, Md.
- Kimberly Seaman, Nashville Cremation Service, Nashville, Tenn.
- Bernard Sharum, Music City Mortuary, Nashville, Tenn.
- Joy Spencer Spoor, Spencer Family Funeral Home, Athens, Mich.
- Paula Staab Polk, Sab Polk Memorial Home Inc. and Cremation Services of Central Illinois, Chatham, Ill.
- Carl Steiger, Henry-Cochran Funeral Home, Blue Ridge, Ga.
- Sean Stevens, Leete-Stevens Inc., Enfield, Conn.
- Henry Szymula Jr., Forest Lawn Group of Cemeteries, Buffalo, N.Y.
- Joseph Tavormina, Heintzelman Funeral Home Inc., Hellertown, Penn.
- Michael Tedesco, Chenango Valley Crematorium Inc., New York, N.Y.
- Nicholas Tedesco, Chenango Valley Crematorium Inc., New York, N.Y.
- Jennnifer Tomon, Joseph A Tomon Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, Ellwood City, Penn.
- Lyle Tope, Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes, Dover, Ohio
- Thomas Torres, Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, N.Y.
- Albert Treen Jr., Waterville Cemetery, Waterville, N.Y.
- Shawn VanGorder, Tomon Funeral & Cremation Services, Sharon, Penn.
- Denise Verner, Newington Memorial Funeral Home, Newington, Conn.
- Artemio Vitangcol, St. Peter Memorial Chapels, Quezon City, Phillippines
- George Vitangcol, St. Peter Memorial Chapels, Quezon City, Phillippines
- Mildred Vitangcol, St. Peter Memorial Chapels, Quezon City, Phillippines
- Marian Wagner, Bolin-Dierkes Funeral Home Inc., Zanesville, Ohio
- Paul Warren, Lincoln College of New England Mortuary Science, Southington, Conn.
- Dillon Wines, Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens Funeral Home & Cremation Center, Nashville, Tenn.
- Harold Zimmerman Jr., Harry McKneely & Son, Ponchatoula, La.
NFDA is the world's leading and largest funeral service association, serving 19,700 individual members who represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 39 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader, beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is the association of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensive educational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance to become pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster future generations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield, Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.nfda.org.
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Contact: Jessica Koth, 262-814-1536, email@example.com