Yesterday, myself, along with three colleagues from Columbia, made the drive to Charlotte, NC to attend the 2012 convention of the National Funeral Director’s Association.
While the convention is several days long, we took turns… going for one day, while other’s stayed back to take care of business, (remember, we can never close down…someone always has to be close by)
Allen went up on Monday while I stayed back and Tuesday was my turn.
Our primary purpose for attending was to see what was “new” from the several hundred vendors from around the world and get to meet and greet other colleagues. I also got to meet the new leader of my company, Mr, Brad Rex. Brad has a phenomenal background in hospitality and his leadership is going to continue to support our funeral homes in being the best caregivers and funeral hosts in our communities.
It had been close to twenty five years since I had attended a NFDA convention and I was surprised to see how little had changed….boxes, cars and stuff…aka caskets, urns, funeral cars and just a plethora of ancillary items.
Each vendor it seemed, held the key to our success and if we purchased their product, all our problems would be solved, everyone in our community would know we are very smart and we would put our competitors out of business…and there is a special discount if you place your order today.
I suppose that is not being fair, as there were some interesting ideas, but most of it was the same old, same old….just much more expensive than in the 1980′s.
The highlight for me, besides walking on a hard, concrete floor for four hours with my worn out, old ankles, was to re-connect with colleagues that I have not seen…or even never met before, but knew.
I was pleasantly surprised (I probably should not have been) that I got to get re-aquainted with folks, including a few bosses, from my past. It was fast, but it was fun to get caught up and share a few memories and smiles.
And then there were folks who I knew, but had never met.
One such person was Dale Clock, a funeral director from Muskegon, MI who is the publisher of the Dale Time blog. I also picked up a copy of his wife. Jodi’s book, Navigating the Eldercare Journey…without Going Broke, which I intend to read this weekend.
Dale and I became e-mail/telephone buddies a few years ago and although we spent what appeared to be only two minutes together yesterday, it was great to finally meet him and shake his hand.
I could go on for pages about the different people, but it will be boring and the idea of the blog is to entertain readers, which I probably stopped doing about twelve paragraphs ago, so I will cut it off here.