2021-PIMS Best Practices 102

Friday, December 10

This program is intended for the funeral service professional.  The following topics will be covered:

– Hiring and Retention of Today’s Employee (2 hours)

– Bring Ritual to Cremation Arranging (1 hour)

– If it Isn’t in Writing, It Didn’t Happen. (1 hour)

 – PA Mandated Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect (2 hours)


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


  • $135 (received November 16-30)
  • $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 welcome to participate at no charge.  Other funeral service students and interns will be admitted at a nominal $35 charge.


A full refund will be issued if registration is cancelled by November 15, 2021.  No refund will apply after that date.



Leili McMurrough

Leili McMurrough is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and also a licensed attorney. Leili received her B.A. from Lehigh University, her J.D. from Syracuse University College of Law and her Associate degree from Simmons Institute of Funeral Service. Leili is the Program Director at Worsham College and works at McMurrough Funeral Chapel in Libertyville, Illinois. She is also a member of the American Board of Funeral Service Education Committee on Accreditation. 

Mike Nicodemus

Mr. Nicodemus currently serves as Vice President of Cremation Services for the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) and is the former Vice President of cremation operations at Hollomon-Brown Funeral Homes in the Tidewater, VA area with a 60% cremation rate consisting of nine funeral homes. Mike is President of Nicodemus & Associates LLC Consulting Services. He is a Past President of the Cremation Association of North America (CANA) and served as Chairman of their Crematory Operations Certificate Program (COCP) for eight years. He currently conducts the NFDA Certified Crematory Operators (CCO) program. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science where he is an alumnus. He is licensed to practice in three states which includes Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Mike is a highly sought-after speaker on the National and State levels and has been retained in numerous lawsuits as an expert witness in various cremation cases for funeral homes and crematories. He is the co-author of the NFDA Certified Crematory Operations Manual and the author of the Cremation Operations Manual published by Kates-Boylston and has been featured or quoted in numerous articles including, USA Today, Time, Newsweek, CNN, ABC News, BBC News, Boston Globe, and the New York Times.

Michael Burns

Michael Burns, CFSP, is the Dean of Faculty and Students at the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science. He has been licensed for over 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. In addition to his responsibilities as the Dean, he is the school’s Care Center supervisor, manages the team of instructors and facilitated the redesign of the new Restorative Art lab at the school.  Dean Burns is also the InSight Institute Certified Celebrant trainer at PIMS. He was recently certified to present on Child Abuse Recognition by the state of PA.

Nicholas Ricci

Nick has been an instructor at PIMS since February of 2016 and moved into the position as a full-time faculty member in July of 2019. He teaches teach several business courses at PIMS and specializes in the Arts portion of the curriculum. Nick is a 2010 graduate of Woodland Hills High School; January 2014 graduate of Duquesne University School of Business (Finance); January 2015 graduate (Class 150) of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science; and is currently enrolled in Concord Law School, an online law program through Purdue University Global. Nick is also an instructor in the clinical embalming and restorative art lab experiences at PIMS. 

The Program

SESSION I (2 hours) 

Hiring and Retention of Today’s Employee

Objective of Program and Outline: The workforce is changing fast. How can you attract and retain the best employees? The millennial employee is challenging how we have traditionally hired and managed funeral professionals. Let’s discuss how to effectively communicate and integrate the millennial funeral director into the workplace.

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the characteristics of the millennial generation
  • Discuss management methods that can be utilized to facilitate a successful work environment
  • Explore what this generation feels is important in a job and what they expect from their employers
  • Discuss hiring best practices for the millennial employee

SESSION II Part A (1 hour)

Bringing Ritual to Cremation Arranging

Long gone are the days of using the family funeral home because it’s the closest, most respected, or it’ s the name you knew growing up. Today’ s families are looking for the best value for the best price. If you want to take your funeral home to the top and provide client families with   exceptional service, then it’ s time to take a hard look at how you and staff approach cremation.

Families will pay a premium price to do business with those firms who have an outstanding reputation and provide excellent customer service. Learn how to raise the bar and differentiate your firm from the discount, direct disposal providers, and bring the value of ritual back into cremation. During this one-hour program, you will learn practical tips that bring a new, contemporary perspective on how to change the minds of the families you serve when it comes to cremation and the importance of a ritual for those they loved.

SESSION II Part B (1 hour)

If it Isn’t in Writing, It Didn’t Happen. The Importance of Having Proper Paperwork

Most Funeral Homes and Crematories try to make sure they dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s when it comes to running their business, but one thing several places DO NOT do, is keep an eye on paperwork being turned in by their employees. Sloppy, Improper, Inaccurate paperwork can end up costing you plenty, and the opposing Attorney will show how your company “just doesn’t care” whether it’ s filled in correctly or not. This 1hour program will focus on the importance of making sure all employees are onboard when it comes to filling in paperwork accurately, and what will happen if it isn’t and you wind up in a court of law. How Sloppy paperwork can diminish your great reputation, create a lasting impression of carelessness, and how it may have an enormous financial impact if you end up being litigated. Don’t let something as simple as filling in a few forms tarnish your good name.

SESSION III (2 hours)

PA Mandated Recognizing and Reporting

Child Abuse and Neglect

This is a 2-hour course (Students or Interns need a three-hour course for state licensure)

  • The Child Protective Services Law
  • The Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs, in conjunction with the Department of Human Services and Department of State are required to enforce the Child Protective Services Law as it pertains to Act 31 – Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.


FRIDAY, December 10, 2021

8:30 A.M. – 4:15 P.M.

 7:45  –  8:30 Sign-In  

 8:30  –  9:30 Session I

 9:30  –  9:45 Break

 9:45  –  10:45 Session I 

 11:00 –12:00 Session II 

 12:00 – 12:45 Lunch

 12:45 – 1:45 Session II 

 1:45  –  2:00 Break

 2:00  –  3:00 Session III

 3:00  –  3:15 Break

 3:15 —  4:15 Session III

 4:15  –  4:30 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
  • Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors

Note: In order to be awarded continuing education credit, participants must be present for the entire program.   No credit for partial attendance is available.  Sign-in/Sign-out rosters will be only available for participants before and after the program.

There is no provision for late arrivals/sign-in or early departures/sign-out from the program.

Continuing Education

  • Price: $135.00 Quantity:
    $135 if received November 16-30. $150 for onside registration (space permitting)
  • $0.00
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