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A Look Back at the Unforgettable 2017 NFDA Convention

Nov 09, 2017

It’s hard to believe that only a week ago we were strolling through the aisles of the NFDA Convention Expo Hall. It’s amazing just how much is packed into the four days of the convention. So many valuable insights, memorable experiences and meaningful interactions are shared during the world’s largest gathering of funeral directors. You couldn’t turn your head without seeing old friends reuniting for hugs in the street, swapping stories in the hotel lobby or sharing giveaways while walking the expo floor. It was truly a special week for everyone in attendance. The ASD team feels truly privileged to be a part of such a significant event and we are grateful to each and every person who spent time with us at the convention.

In looking back at our time in Boston, we wanted to share a few of the moments that made this year truly unforgettable for us here at ASD.

ASD Wins the 2017 NFDA Innovation Award

During the Opening General Session, NFDA President Ashley Cozine announced that for the third time, ASD was the recipient of the NFDA Innovation Award. This prestigious award is given annually to a funeral service vendor whose product or service was introduced during the previous year and represents creativity, innovation and excellence. To receive this year’s award is especially meaningful for us here at ASD because we were recognized for our Suicide Telephone Operator Patch (S.T.O.P) System, a communication tool created by ASD solely to help those who are suffering to get the support they need. Click here to learn more about how this system works and what lead us to create it.

Many funeral directors approached us after the announcement to express their appreciation for ASD’s S.T.O.P System. Some directors shared stories with us of cases they have handled that have involved suicide. This is clearly an issue that has touched many funeral directors on a personal level. Many funeral directors stated that they felt greater peace of mind knowing ASD could help connect these callers to qualified suicide prevention operators, and one director even shared a story about a caller whose life was saved because of ASD’s S.T.O.P System. Hearing this story made us grateful to be in a position where we can help others and make a real difference with our technology. Our Tech Team is already brainstorming ways we can expand our efforts in this area.

ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor, accepting the 2017 NFDA Innovation from NFDA Past President, Ashley Cozine

The kind words and feedback we received after receiving the NFDA Innovation Award truly made the convention incredibly special for us this year. We are proud to be the only funeral service vendor to receive this award three times. In 2012, ASD received the Innovation Award for their game-changing smartphone app, ASD Mobile and in 2015 ASD was recognized again for their patented MobileFH® feature. By encouraging innovation within our industry, this award inspires companies within the funeral profession to seek out new ideas, technologies, and processes to make a positive impact on funeral directors and the families they serve. We are grateful to the NFDA for giving us the opportunity to rise to this challenge and will continue to seek out ways we can contribute to progress within the funeral profession.

Funeral Directors Get a Crash Course in Mobile Technology from ASD’s VP, Kevin Czachor

Funeral directors lined the room from wall to wall to hear ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Kevin Czachor, deliver an interactive session on mobile technology. Kevin’s class, Apple 101: How to Make your iPhone Work For You, took attendees through a range of different mobile apps and built-in phone settings. From setting up location-based reminders, to demonstrating how to use mobile technology to monitor home security, Kevin gave attendees a full tour of his own iPhone to showcase everything that can be achieved with mobile technology.

The Moves app, The Nest thermostat, Siri dictation reminders and the Ring video doorbell were among the mobile solutions covered during Kevin’s class.

After the session and throughout the rest of the convention, many attendees approached Kevin with questions they had about an app or feature on their phone. This was a wonderful opportunity for ASD to help funeral directors unlock the full potential of their smartphone.

The ASD Team stayed busy during Kevin’s classes by sharing insights as live tweets on our Twitter. Keep an eye out for our complete blog recap of Kevin’s seminar and all the NFDA Convention sessions we attended this year.

Scenes from Our Booth:

A few photos of TEAM ASD at our booth. A big thank you to everyone who stopped by to visit us.

We were lucky enough to have a third-generation member of the Czachor family joining us this year. ASD Vice President and Family-Member Owner, Martin Czachor Jr‘s daughter, Jessica Czachor (bottom row on the left), is attending college in Boston and spent a day meeting ASD clients at our booth. Throughout the convention, funeral directors shared with Jessica how the technology created by her father has improved their lives. It was wonderful to have her join TEAM ASD at the convention this year.

ASD Debuts New Photo Wall

Without a doubt, our favorite aspect of the NFDA Convention is the quality time we get to spend with our clients and friends. This year, ASD’s booth included a new Photo Wall so we could capture some high-quality photos with our clients. Below is a slideshow of some of the photos that were taken.

Be sure to visit our Facebook album to view all the photos of our time at the NFDA Convention.

Technology 101: Live Demos

ASD’s Technical Analysts, Kristine Soderland and William Chicola, spent most of the convention expo in front of our interactive projection screen. By connecting an iPhone to this display, Kristy and Will can demonstrate how to use all of the features and tools within the ASD Mobile app. Funeral directors watching the demo were invited to ask questions and discuss different on-call scenarios they often encountered. This gave Kristy and Will the opportunity to show just how many solutions to everyday problems ASD Mobile can solve for funeral directors. We know that many funeral directors are pressed for time, which is why we are always so grateful for this opportunity to show our clients how to utilize all of the tools and features available to them.

Congratulations to our Convention Lego Set Winners

There aren’t a lot of novelty gifts out there that are made for funeral directors, which is why we love raffling off our custom-designed funeral-themed Lego sets at conventions. Congratulations to all of our NFDA Convention Lego Set winners. In total, ASD raffled off six sets during the show from the hundreds of business cards that were entered into the raffle. Pictured above is Anthony Imperiale of West Chester Funeral Home in Eastchester, NY who took home our Lego Hearse set and Tim Wynkoop of Noto Wynkoop Funeral Home in Phillipsburg, NJ who won our Funeral Service Lego Set.

ASD’s Most POPular Convention Giveaway Yet

NFDA attendees loved our new convention giveaway: ASD PopSockets. These handy little tools stick to the back of your phone or tablet, allowing you to stand it up, grip your device more easily, and take better selfies of course. If you didn’t get one in Boston, stop by our booth at any convention next year to grab yours.

ASD Supports the Funeral Service Foundation

During the NFDA Convention Opening Session, ASD Family-Member Owner and Treasurer, Kathy Kelley, spoke about ASD’s commitment to supporting the next generation of funeral professionals through scholarship funding. ASD made a 5-year pledge to support the Funeral Service Foundation in it’s mission to help future funeral directors gain the tools, resources and education needed to make positive impacts in their communities.

Actor Daniel Roebeck Spends Time with the ASD Team

What a treat it was to get to spend some time with actor Daniel Roebuck who was attending NFDA to promote his new movie, Getting Grace. Daniel wrote, directed and stars in the film in which he plays a funeral director living in Bethlehem, PA (about an hour from ASD’s location). Daniel’s character undergoes a profound change in the movie after an eccentric teenage girl who is terminally ill shows up at the funeral home with questions about funerals and the afterlife.

Getting Grace was filmed at Sell-Herron Funeral Home, located in Bethlehem, PA. ASD had an opportunity to screen the first third of the film and hear from funeral directors Paula and Demetri Herron about how they worked with Daniel to ensure the film accurately portrayed the funeral profession. It was so fascinating to learn all the steps that were taken to ensure the movie was true to the work and lives of funeral professionals. We will be keeping a close eye on the release schedule for the movie as it looks to be both an excellent film and a very authentic representation of the funeral service profession.

A trailer for the film ‘Getting Grace’ which is expected to be released Spring 2018.

The NFDA app

We’re big fans of technology here at ASD, which is why we were so thrilled to see all of the new options available in this year’s convention app. Being connected to everyone at the convention made this year’s convention even more special. We loved all of the social media integrations and the ability to share photos. It was so neat to be able to see the convention from every perspective. Thank you NFDA for doing such a superb job building and designing the app interface.

See You In SLC!

Thank you again to everyone who visited with the ASD Team at the 2017 NFDA Convention. Now that the convention has come and gone, the ASD team is already looking forward to next year’s largest gathering of funeral directors in the world. We are thrilled that the 2018 convention will take place in Salt Lake City, a beautiful city with a lot of character! We can’t wait to see what the NFDA has in store for next year. Hope to see you there!

About The Author

Jess Farren (Fowler)

Jess Farren (Fowler) is a Public Relations Specialist and Staff Writer who has been a part of the ASD team since 2003. Jess manages ASD’s company blog and has been published in several funeral trade magazines. She has written articles on a variety of subjects including communication, business planning, technology, marketing and funeral trends. You can contact Jess directly at

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