Colorado Funeral Directors Association

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Thursday, November 10, 2016


CFDA 2016 Annual Meeting

Denver Athletic Club, 1325 Glenarm Street, Denver, CO 80202

The CFDA Annual Meeting is a learning, networking and fellowship experience for Colorado funeral professionals. We pack a lot of content into this one-day program to make the most of your time away from the office.

Networking and relationship-building are essential to staying abreast of current issues and trends in your community. The value of one-on-one interaction with your fellow professionals cannot be matched through social media or electronic communication. 

The Annual Meeting will fulfill all of the necessary CE credits - 6.0 contact hours - to maintain Active status for CFSB certification. Already have enough credits for 2017?  CFDA Annual Meeting credits are eligible for 2017 or 2018 certification renewal.

CFDA has added a Discussion Forum about Colorado Preneed Laws at 11:30 AM. Facilitated discussions will focus on recommendations from the recently issued DORA Sunset Review and members will share comments to help CFDA determine its position and strategy for anticipated legislation.

The Annual Meeting also includes CFDA's annual business meeting, reports on association activities, and election of the 2017 Board of Directors. Delegates from CFDA Establishment Member firms will vote and help to determine the direction of the association. 

Will you sit on the sidelines or get in the game?

Please make plans to attend the CFDA Annual Meeting on Thursday, November 10 in downtown Denver.

Read below for more information about the agenda, education seminars, and registration options.

Online registration is open until November 8. Register online in advance, then bring payment when you arrive at the event. 

Don't wait...fees increase for drop-in registrations!

Click here to register online now!

Hotel Accommodations

Discounted hotel accommodations are available at the Crowne Plaza Denver, 1450 Glenarm Place. Call 303-573-1450 and mention "Colorado Funeral Directors Association" to get $159 group rates. The group rate is guaranteed until October 21; rates are subject to increase after this date based on hotel occupancy.

Preliminary Agenda   

Thursday, November 10, 2016

8:00 AM | Registration & Coffee
Continental breakfast sponsored by the 
National Funeral Directors Association and
Federated Insurance

8:30 AM | Welcome & Acknowledgements

9:00 to 10:00 AM | Seminar A (1.2 contact hours)
“Until They All Come Home: Returning the Fallen Heroes of Tarawa”

10:00 to 10:30 AM | Networking Break
Refreshments sponsored by Crime Scene Cleaners

10:30 to 11:30 AM  | Seminar B (1.2 contact hours)
“Forensic Anthropology and Cold Cases”

11:30 AM to 12:30 PM  | CFDA Discussion Forum Colorado Preneed Laws (1.0 contact hours)

12:30 to 1:00 PM  Networking Lunch with Vendors 
Buffet lunch sponsored by Wilbert

1:00 PM | Check in for Half-Day Registrants

1:30 to 2:30 PM | Seminar C (1.2 contact hours)
“The Tri-State Crematory Incident: Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned”

2:30 to 3:00 PM | Networking Break
Refreshments sponsored by The Davis-Whitehall Co. and 
Crime Scene Cleaners

3:00 to 4:00 PM  | Seminar D (1.2 contact hours)
“You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”

3:45 PM | Check-in begins for Reception & Game Night

4:00 to 5:30 PM | CFDA Business Meeting & Elections (0.2 contact hours)

  • Association Reports & Elections
  • NFDA Update 

5:30 to 6:00 PM | DMFDA Business Meeting & Elections

5:30 to 7:00 PM | Reception | In the DAC Billiards Parlor
Happy hour snacks and cash bar
Refreshments co-sponsored by Donor Alliance
and CVI Funeral Supply

6:00 to 7:30 PM | Game Night
Billiards, Darts, Shuffleboard
Sponsored by Batesville

Featured Speaker

Dr. Rick Snow is an expert in the field of forensic anthropology. In six years with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Dr. Snow worked more than forensic anthropology cases for more than 80 law enforcement agencies, coroners, and medical examiners in three states. He also conducted more than 60 recoveries of human remains including the excavation of eight wells.

Dr. Snow served as a forensic anthropologist for the National Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) for ten years and served as a forensic anthropologist in Biloxi, Mississippi following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. He also served as a DMORT forensic anthropologist excavating mass graves during the Tri-State Crematory incident in which a crematory operator disposed of 339 bodies by burying them in mass graves, placing them in vaults, or leaving them in the woods rather than cremating them.

CE Credit

The Colorado Funeral Service Board has approved the CFDA Annual Meeting for 6.0 contact hours of continuing education credit that may be applied toward 2017 or 2018 certification renewal.

2016 Annual Meeting Sponsors


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Until They All Come Home:
Returning the Fallen Heroes of Tarawa

This presentation describes the efforts made to recover the U.S. Marines killed in the Battle of Tarawa in 1943.  At the time of the battle, the South Pacific island of Tarawa was one of the most heavily fortified islands on earth.  Over 1100 Marines and 4700 Japanese defenders were killed in the 3-day battle of Tarawa. It is considered one of the most vicious battles ever fought by the Marines.

Tarawa was the first island to be taken in the overall strategy of island hopping in the South Pacific.  The island was critical in placing American bombers within range of Japan.

Following WWII an attempt was made to recover the Marines killed on Tarawa. Today at least 335 Marines are still buried on the island.

Since 2008, a non-profit organization, History Flight, Inc., has been attempting to locate and identify the Marines that were not recovered on Tarawa following the war.  Using archival records and first-hand accounts of survivors, History Flight, Inc. has located many of the cemeteries and recovered over 100 Marines.  Medal of Honor recipient 1st Lieutenant Alexander (Sandy) Bonnyman was recovered and identified in May 2015.

For more than 70 years family members and veterans of the battle have yearned for the return of the remains of these heroes.  This presentation details the process of locating, recovering, and repatriating these Marines long after the families had given up hope.

Forensic Anthropology and Cold Cases

There is no case colder than one in which the victim is unidentified.  Absent identification, victimology cannot be determined and thus relationships between the victim and possible offenders go unexplored.

This presentation uses crime scene photographs to illustrate cases in which the investigation was compromised by mistakes made during recovery as well as mistakes made in the lab. Unique recovery methods used by forensic anthropologists can make the difference between a successful recovery and one in which critical evidence was overlooked or otherwise not recovered.

Mistakes made during recovery by crime scene investigators or in assessment of the biological profile by pathologists can result in the case going cold almost immediately because the victim was not identified.

The Tri-State Crematory Incident:
Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned

On February 15, 2002, a woman walking her dog near the Tri-State Crematory near Noble, Georgia notified local law enforcement authorities that she found a human skull nearby. Upon arrival, the Walker County Sheriff’s Office found bodies piled inside a large metal building on the property, numerous bodies in caskets behind the crematory, others piled in commingled heaps. More bodies were found in eleven mass graves and in burial vaults in the large metal building. A total of 334 bodies were eventually recovered.

The presentation details how the recovery efforts were initiated and how the dead were identified.  Recovery efforts were slowed by vast amounts of junk and garbage, all of which had to be sorted by hand to remove human remains contained within them. 

Of 334 bodies recovered, 225 were ultimately identified.  The bizarre nature of the investigation and vast cost to the state are without parallel.

The presentation emphasizes the loopholes in the law and the mistakes made by funeral directors that allowed the situation to continue undetected for five years.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Crime scene investigators and those working in morgues routinely see things that are largely incomprehensible to the vast majority of the public.  In many cases the perpetrators of homicides make mistakes that are almost comical and lead to their subsequent arrest.  In the morgue, peri- or postmortem trauma is varied and occasionally even surprises medical examiners.

This presentation focuses on strange things the presenter has seen over the years, including a case in which a perpetrator drew a map showing the location of a body, a case in which a body was dismembered but left with multiple means of identification, and a case in which a suicide victim jumped off a bridge and was subsequently sucked up by a channel dredge, dismembered, and deposited on shore.

Registration Options

  1. Full Registration includes a whole day of programs including education seminars, roundtable discussions, materials, continental breakfast, buffet lunch, refreshments, Business Meetings, Reception & Game Night.
  2. Half-Day Registration includes afternoon education seminars, materials, refreshments, Business Meetings, Reception & Game Night. (This option is only available for Members Only.)
  3. Reception & Game Night ticket includes admission for afternoon Business Meetings, reception and Game Night. Individual ticket sales begin October 17.

Take Advantage of Early Bird Prices!

  • Early Bird prices are available through October 23. 
  • Advance prices valid until November 8. 
  • Online registration closes at 5:00 PM (Mountain) on November 8.
  • At the Door prices apply for drop-in registrations.
  • Credit card payment will be required to confirm registrations on/after November 1. 
  • There are no refunds for cancellations or no-shows after November 3.

Members Only

CFDA Establishment Member firms are entitled to exclusive Member offers

CFDA Member Employee
Full Registration, Individual 

  • $50 Scholarship Offer!
    $149 fee for the first 10 registrants
    (First come, first served. Limit 1 per establishment or corporation)
  • Early Bird price $199 
  • Advance price $229

  • At the Door $249

CFDA Member Employee
Half-Day Registration, Individual 
does not include lunch

  • Early Bird price $149
  • Advance price $169

  • At the Door $199

Exclusive for Members Only!

Company Registration 
Full Registration for 3 Individuals, PLUS 1 complimentary DAC parking pass (carpool)

  • Early Bird/Advance price $579
  • Not available after October 31

    Reception & Game Night

    • Advance price $39
    • At the Door $49


    Full Registration, Individual

    CFSB Certified Professional
    Employee of NFDA Member Firm
    CFDA Allied Member
    DMFDA Individual Member

    • Early Bird price $259 
    • Advance price $279

    • Late price $299

    Reception & Game Night

    CFSB Certified Professional
    Employee of NFDA Member Firm
    CFDA Allied Member
    DMFDA Individual Member

    • Advance price $39
    • At the Door $49

    Non Members

    Full Registration, Individual

    Non-Member Funeral Professional

    Non-Member Vendor

    • Early Bird price $299
    • Advance price $329
    • Late price $349

    Reception & Game Night

    Non-Member Funeral Professional
    Non-Member Vendor

    • Advance price $59
    • At the Door $69

      The CFDA Annual Meeting will be held at the Denver Athletic Club in downtown Denver.

      Parking is available in the DAC garage; parking rates vary daily. You can enter the garage on both 14th Street and Welton. To access The Club, walk to the stairs located on the East side of the garage. 

      Hotel Accommodations

      Discounted rooms will be available at the Crowne Plaza Denver, 1450 Glenarm Place, Denver. The room rate will be $159 per night. 

      Call 303-573-1450 and mention "Colorado Funeral Directors Association"

      Colorado Funeral Directors Association,  P O Box 631664, Highlands Ranch, CO 80163-1664 U.S.A. 

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