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The OGR Annual Conference, presented by Matthews-Aurora Funeral Solutions, offers funeral professionals the opportunity to connect, learn and grow. 
Attendees may receive up to 8 CE credits when including the OGR/CFSA Women's Forum. Please check the CE tracker (https://iogr.memberclicks.net/ces) to stay updated if your state has been approved. OGR cannot guarantee approval of a course before a formal approval from the state board or entity has been received. If you don't see approval listed for your state, contact OGR's Education Department at [email protected] to confirm your state's approval status. This schedule is subject to change.

Tuesday, May 2
8 a.m. 5 p.m.
Registration Open
11:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.
Become the Go-to Funeral Home for Veterans
Jim Rudolph, Veterans Funeral Care (Open to VFC member firms only)
This workshop will show you how to dramatically increase your veterans call volume with both pre-need and at-need. Learn the secret of how to ensure your funeral home staff can confidently state that, “No one in our area can be more VETERAN than WE are.” Content will cover how to better serve and engage veterans in your market area. Walk away with highly effective tools to honor and connect with veterans. 
1 p.m. 
3:30 p.m. 
Concurrent Sessions (select one of these optional activities)
OGR/CFSA Women’s Forum (additional fee required)
During this interactive session, you will become more familiar with what makes you uniquely you, your strengths. As funeral professionals who work with grieving families each day and navigate a demanding, often 24-7 field, knowing our unique makeup of strengths and weaknesses is paramount to delegating our emotional/mental energy effectively. This session is open to everyone; however, is geared towards women in funeral service who experience burnout, compassion fatigue, and struggles with finding their voice in a historically male-dominated profession. Participants will take an official CliftonStrengths Assessment prior to the session, which will assess their innate way of thinking, acting, and feeling. During the session, Casey Keller will walk attendees through the 34 CliftonStrengths and how they can use their results to maximize their effectiveness in their funeral homes.
Local Funeral Home Tour
Gain inspiration and ideas through this group tour of a local funeral home. Attendees will need to carpool to the funeral home. If you aren’t driving,
we will make sure you have a ride! 
4 p.m.
6 p.m.
Past Presidents Welcome Reception 
Join us as we kick off your conference experience while recognizing the contributions of OGR's past presidents. Catch up with professional colleagues, make new friends, and create connections. 
6:30 p.m.
8 p.m.
Dine Arounds
Join your peers for dinner at a local restaurant. Restaurant selections coming soon. Cost of meal is at attendee's expense. 
Wednesday, May 3
8 a.m.
5 p.m.
Registration Open
8 a.m.
8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
Continue your networking by joining your fellow attendees for food and conversation. 
8:30 a.m.
9 a.m.
Annual Business Meeting
9 a.m.
10 a.m.
OGR Game Show Hour
During this fast-paced session, learn more about OGR suppliers and the products and services they can provide to help you better serve
your families and make your business more successful. 
10:15 a.m.
11:15 a.m.
Case Count Doesn't Matter - Profitability Does
Facilitated by Joe E. Pray, Pray Funeral Home
Now more than ever funeral homes must build a strategic plan to address profitability challenges that lay ahead. Direct-to-cremation requests,
personalized funerals and increasing supply costs mean funeral homes are facing decreasing profit margins and increasing demands on staff time. 
During this session, participants will learn strategies that will help ensure that their funeral home can continue to drive the revenue needed to stay
profitable while meeting the ever-changing expectations and demands of families.
11:30 a.m.
12:30 p.m.
Body Preparation: Back to the Basics & Beyond
Wallace P. Hooker, CFSP, Family & Friends Funeral Home
sponsored by The Dodge Company
Complacency leads to mistakes. It may seem like common sense, but it is easy to overlook hygiene, dressing, cosmetics, positioning, lighting, options for off premise viewing/funerals, closing the casket, and other embalming basics. Learn how the smallest details can make the world of difference for your families. 
12:30 p.m.
1:30 p.m.
Networking Lunch
Enjoy lunch & networking with fellow attendees. And you won’t want to miss the opportunity to bid on items in our Silent Auction!
1:30 p.m.
4 p.m.
"Kiss the Bricks" Tour of Indianapolis Motor Speedway (additional fee required)
Get your engines revving at this optional networking event. Join OGR for a private, "Kiss the Bricks" bus tour on the world-famous IMS track for an up-close experience of Indy's Racing Capital of the World. Admission to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum after the tour is included. Transportation to and from the IMS is also included.
6 p.m.
8 p.m.
Golden Circle Celebration Awards Dinner
Experience the ambiance of the Conrad with dinner, drinks and a program that includes 2023 OGR Awards, a Service of Remembrance, Installation of OGR’s new President and Board of Directors, and more. Dress code is casual so come ready to enjoy fun, food and friends.
Thursday, May 4
8 a.m.
12 p.m.
Registration Open
8 a.m.
9 a.m.
Join conference attendees for breakfast and conversation as we close out the final day.
9:15 a.m.
10:15 a.m.
What Are You Doing to Recruit and Retain in 2023?
Lori Sheeler, CSFP, St. Pierre Family Funeral and Cremation Service

Vince Roberge, Senior Business Consultant, Johnson Consulting Group
The hiring landscape for the funeral profession in 2023 is a peculiar one at best – with a remarkably tight labor market, the rising tide of Generation Z in the workforce, and continual trends in funeral service. Keeping independently owned funeral homes sufficiently staffed with exceptional talent to continue serving families has become a recent pain point for funeral directors. Lori Sheeler, CFSP, brings nearly 20 years of funeral service experience, and over 6 years as a General Manager for St. Pierre Family Funeral homes, where she works every day with challenges relating to recruitment, retention, and employee experience. Funeral directors will have the opportunity to rethink age-old concepts surrounding where they are locating talent, what goes into their hiring decisions, and taking a proactive approach rather than reactive to retain such talent. At the end of the session, participants will have tangible ideas to recruit and retain talent to keep up with increasing demand and an ever-changing profession.

10:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m.
Being in Compliance: FTC Rule and Beyond
Christopher Farmer, National Funeral Directors Association
Today’s legal climate makes owning and operating a funeral home even more challenging. Keeping families satisfied is always top of mind. But staying current on laws and regulations affecting our businesses is equally as important. Attorney Chris Farmer will review essential areas of laws and regulations pertaining to the funeral profession to help ensure that you are doing your due diligence to be in compliance.
11:45 a.m.
12:45 p.m.
Focus on the Family
Zachary Lockett, Conrad Hotel; Gregory McClary, CFSP, Chapel of the Chimes Funeral Home
Listen to an outside hospitality perspective from a hotel professional to assess how best practices in the hospitality industry can translate into the family and service-oriented nature of the funeral profession. Customer service starts the minute your phone rings and doesn’t end when your families walk out your door. You will also gain insight into why family surveys are a critical tool for your funeral home. Learn when and how to best present the survey to your families, and how to best take advantage of the feedback you receive.  
12:45 p.m.
2 p.m.
Closing Session & Lunch
 with Care: Strategies for Empathetic Leadership at Work 
Liesel Mertes, Handle with Care Consulting
Empathy is an essential skill set that unleashes thriving and productivity at work, especially for funeral directors who serve as the “final responders” to deceased individuals and must exercise great amounts of empathy for both families and burnt-out funeral staff. How your organization supports people during hard times matters; it boosts mental wellness, drives retention, creates unforgettable customer service, and alters brain chemistry. What if you could feel empowered to practice empathetic leadership for your funeral home staff?  In this inspirational keynote, Liesel will equip you to be workplace first responders, cultivating organizational empathy and offering connection when it matters most.
2 p.m.
5 p.m. 
OGR Study Group Session
This optional session is open to all members, whether you're curious about OGR Study Groups or are currently attending them. During this compressed Study Group session, participants will exchange strategies and best practices for running an independently owned funeral home

Thank you to our Conference Sponsors