2020-PIMS Best Practices 103

Friday, March 13

This program is intended for the funeral service professional.  The two 3-hour sessions address: understanding the influences that are changing the industry every day and how to communicate more effectively in tense situations


PIMS is pleased to offer this 6-hour seminar which includes all program materials and refreshments. 


  • $120 (received before February 28)          
  • $135 (received March 1-11)
  • $150 for onsite registration (space permitting)


Seating for this program is limited to funeral service students, funeral service interns, licensed embalmers and licensed funeral directors.  (PIMS students are welcomed to participate at no charge. Other funeral service students and interns will be admitted at a nominal $30 charge).  


A full refund will be issued if registration is cancelled by March 6, 2020.  No refund will apply after that date.



Dr. Berni Jordan is the President of the Spirit Group, a healthcare consulting company focusing on leadership and organizational development with special emphasis on communication skills. Dr. Jordan has over 35 years of leadership experience at the Corporate Director and Vice-President level within healthcare. She is a servant and transformational leader who believes that leadership is all about building and sustaining relationships with communication as the key to all success, both professional and personal.

In addition to her Assistant and Associate Professor academic appointments, Berni has presented on the local, state, national and international level, inclusive of Africa, China and Russia/Ukraine/Georgia. Most recently, she was responsible for leadership and organizational development at the former West Penn Allegheny Health System; she was also a Nurse Leader and responsible for organizational development at Allegheny Health Network.

Mr. David Nixon, has been advising independent funeral home owners for over 40 years; he founded Nixon Consulting, Inc. in 2003, and continues to advise funeral home owners on pricing, profit, and planning.

In 2013 David earned the Certified Management Consultant® designation by the Institute of Management Consultants, USA, an ISO/IEC 17024 Certifying Body, and the U.S. affiliate of the 48 nation International Council of Management Consulting Institutes. Fewer than 1% of all active consultants have earned this designation.

His entire career has focused on funeral service; from a field representative for a national funeral home accounting firm to one of its owners and leaders.

As a consultant and advisor to independent funeral homeowners, David helped more than 100 clients prepare for the FTC Funeral Rule implementation in 1984 and the Amended Funeral Rule in 1994. He is one of the most frequent inquirers to the FTC pertaining to compliance questions and clarifications.

David specializes in funeral home financial analysis, preparing working budgets, complete pricing itemization, and building profitable funeral packages, plus merchandise selection and mark-up guides.

PIMS welcomes David back to his native Pittsburgh to share his insights on funeral service going forward in the ‘20s.

Mr. Michael Burns, CFSP, is the Acting Dean of Faculty and Students at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science.  He has been licensed for 30 years and spent a large portion of his career in the field as a funeral home manager.  After earning his bachelors in funeral service management and his masters in adult education and training, he joined the PIMS staff in administration.   During the last few years he has taught numerous online and on campus courses at the school including Communication Skills. In addition to his responsibilities as the Acting Dean, he is the school’s preparation lab supervisor, manages the team of instructors and facilitated the redesign of the new Restorative Art lab at the school, and is the InSight Institute Certified Celebrant trainer at PIMS.

His passion is to share his 30-year knowledge of the funeral industry. He strives to communicate his real-life experiences with his students to bring to them more than the standard classroom can offer.  His affiliation with the new PIMS Student Services initiative is key to its continued success.

The Program

SESSION I (3 hours) 

“Funeral Service 2020: Fear and Opportunity”

  • Understand how external influences are disrupting the industry
  • Explain how economic considerations may be stagnating future growth and the subsequent value of your business
  • Summarize the impact of the aging Baby Boomers on the work force in funeral service
  • Discuss variables, including upgrading service, facilities, and even growth by acquisition, which can contribute to cremation success and building business equity and wealth
  • Describe strategies and considerations, including a new “front and center” business model, for a successful future going forward in funeral service
  • individual and organizational strategies to minimize job-related stress.

SESSION II (3 hour)

“Critical Conversations: Tools for Communicating More Effectively in Funeral Service”

  • Differentiate between and among various types of communication techniques/tools available to funeral service and other caregiving professionals.
  • Analyze personal responses in difficult communication situations (e.g. case studies) related to funeral service.
  • Identify which communication tools to use in specific situations.
  • Develop awareness of how your personal thoughts in/of such situations can influence effective communications.
  • Apply appropriate communication tools and techniques personally and professionally.


FRIDAY, March 13, 2020

8:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

7:15 –  8:00 Registration & Refreshments

8:00 – 11:30   Session I (Including two 15-minute breaks)

11:30 – 12:30 Luncheon (included)

12:30 –   4:00 Session II (Including two 15-minute breaks)

4:00 CE Sign-out

Program Approvals

Application has been made for approval of 6.0 CEUs to the following organizations:

  • Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP)
  • West Virginia Board of Funeral Service Examiners
  • Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors of Ohio
  • Maryland Board of Morticians
  • New York Bureau of Funeral Directing
  • Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors

Continuing Education

  • Price: $100.00 Quantity:
    $100 until March 6, $135 received March 7-11. $150 for onside registration (space permitting)
  • $0.00
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