Committed to promoting the Order of Christian Funerals and the tradition of Catholic Burial in Catholic Cemeteries.

2022 CCFW Annual Conference
Westin Verasa Napa
January 24 - 27, 2022

2022/01/24 08:00:00

The Catholic Cemetery and Funeral Services of the West’s Annual Conference and Vendor Expo offers a high-quality environment in which those who serve families at Catholic cemeteries, can grow, network and learn. The industry in which we serve is in constant motion and evolving; our cemetery ministry must change to meet these needs. Together let’s meet to explore new ideas, innovative cemetery practices and grow leadership skills. Please check back frequently as this page is updated for the upcoming conference.

Attendee Registration

(Arch)diocese, Cemetery or Funeral Home Members
$550 For Member* Primary Attendee | Additional Attendees Extra
  • Monday Welcome Reception
  • Breakfast | Lunch on Tuesday & Wednesday
  • Wednesday Closing Reception
  • Supplier swag bag
  • A copy of “The Right Way of Death”by Eric Layer
  • Two days of high quality speakers and networking!

*Non-member rates are an additional $100 per attendee

Download and Print Registration Packet

Supplier Registration

Cemetery or Funeral Home Providers
$550 For Primary Supplier Member* | Additional Attendees Extra
  • Monday Welcome Reception
  • Breakfast | Lunch on Tuesday & Wednesday
  • Wednesday Closing Reception
  • Opportunity for a 3-5 minute presentation during a designated Supplier time-slot. 
  • Option to provide swag, brochures or flyers in the attendee swag bags.
  • A copy of “The Right Way of Death”by Eric Layer

*Non-member rates are an additional $100 per attendee

Download and Print Registration Packet

CCFW Annual Conference Schedule

Monday, January 24
Travel Day

4:30 PM – 6:30 PM | Welcome Reception

Dinner on your own

Tuesday, January 25
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM  Opening Prayer | Breakfast

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM | Keynote Speaker, Eric Layer

The Right Way of Death

What if everything you think (but can’t say) about funeral service is true?

Death care isn’t what it used to be. Cremation rates are sky-high, customers have changing expectations, and new competitors materialize every day. It’s no surprise that an entire generation of family funeral homeowners are wondering if this is the time to get out.

The current uncertainty around death care is not morticians’ fault, but it is their problem. The calling is hamstrung by mixed messages. It’s tough for a modern funeral director to decide whether to be leader or follower, salesperson or confidant. But there is a right way to do death, and funeral professionals are experts. The future of the business will require a recognition of that truth so that those who work in death care can reclaim the soul of the calling and guide families with care and confidence.

In this keynote presentation based on the book, The Right Way of Death – Restoring the American Funeral Business to its True Calling, Eric Layer will outline the challenges and opportunities facing funeral professionals today including why your funeral home is stuck, and what to do about it.

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM | Break

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Workshop with Eric Layer

12:00 PM – 12:15 PM | Book Signing with Eric Layer

12:15 PM – 1:15 PM | Lunch

Roundtable Discussion from 12:30-1:15p
Topic: “How are we operating in a Post-Pandemic World, or are we?”

1:30 PM – 2:30PM | Supplier Presentations

2:30 PM – 2:45 PM | Break

2:45 PM – 4:15 PM | Angelique Simpson, Matthews International

“Engaging and Motivating Employees”
According to a Gallup poll, only about 30% of people feel fully engaged in their work. Just think what can be accomplished if we are able to engage the other 70%! This enlightening session provides techniques for making your employees feel valued and a part of the team so that they will sing your praises in the community.

You Will Learn:

  • Insight into the experience and desires of each generation in the workplace
  • Four steps on the ladder of employee engagement
  • Communicating vision and expectations
  • Taking the time to listen to employee preferences
  • How and when to provide

4:15 PM – 4:45 PM | CFW Members & Supplier’s Meeting

Dinner on your own

Wednesday, January 26
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM  Opening Prayer | Breakfast

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM | Ms. Anna Schiele – Director of HR, Diocese of Sacramento

“Conflict Resolution”

Conflict in the workplace is an extremely common occurrence. Healthy resolution of conflict in the workplace is a less common occurrence. Employers have a wide selection of tools and methods to use when addressing conflict. In this module we will review the various causes of conflict, facts regarding conflict, and a 5-Step Conflict Resolution Process. The 5-Step Conflict Resolution Process provides the tools for you to be a successful moderator in resolving conflict in the workplace.

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM | Break

10:45 AM – 12:00 PM | Supplier Presentations

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM | Lunch

Roundtable Discussion from 12:15 – 1:00

Topic: “Hiring in Today’s Work Place”

1:15 PM – 3:15 PM | Angelique Simpson, Matthews International

“Building Teamwork:Creating Collaboration and Unity”

Creating a well-orchestrated, seamless memorial event involves many moving parts. Does your staff work together like a well-oiled machine? This comprehensive and energizing training teaches strategies for building and maintaining strong and successful teams throughout your organization.

You Will Learn To:

  • Identify obstacles to successful teamwork
  • Foster trust and cooperation among co-workers
  • Fulfill commitments in the face of difficulty
  • Adjust to change
  • Evaluate the level of teamwork in your organization
  • Reinforce positive values that promote unity and cooperation
  • Develop a strong team with clear goals, guidelines, expectations, and encouragement

3:15 PM – 3:30 PM | Break

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM | Roundtable Discussion: Open Forum

5:00 PM – 5:30 PM | Mass offered by Father Moses Brown and Deacon Joseph Oberting • Catholic Diocese of Santa Rosa

5:30 PM | Closing Reception

Thursday, January 27
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM | Carmelite House of Prayer Tour followed tour of Silver Oak Napa Winery with lunch and wine pairings.

Travel Day

Schedule will be updated frequently. Check back for most current version.

Meet our Speakers


Eric Layer

Author, ``The Right Way of Death``

Eric Layer is the author of The Right Way of Death: Restoring the American Funeral Business to Its True Calling. Eric has spent his entire life around funeral service. His parents were married in the chapel of the mortuary where they both worked, and his childhood was marked by firsthand experience with the funeral homes and cemetery where his family built their careers. Today, he leads the death care division as partner at McKee Wallwork + Co., an internationally recognized marketing advisory firm that specializes in generating momentum for stalled, stuck, and stale industries and brands. There, he has consulted for a number of globally recognized funeral brands and has played an integral role in their campaigns, products, and research efforts


Angelique Simpson

Director of Professional Development | Matthews Aurora™

Angelique has been a much sought after speaker, trainer and personal development coach for individuals, teams and corporations for the past 27+ years. Angelique is well known for her high energy and dynamic training programs that express learning in an exciting way. Angelique’s journey as a trainer started in the healthcare industry, but through the years she has supported training for the real estate industry, medical field, funeral service and legal firms to name a few. Angelique happily joined the Matthews Aurora™ team in 2016 where she gets to share her positive energy and true passion for professional development. Angelique is a UCLA graduate and she lives in Seal Beach, California with her husband Michael and her daughter Bethany.


Ms. Anna Schiele

Director of Lay Personnel, Diocese of Sacramento

Anna Schiele has been the Director of Lay Personnel with the Sacramento Diocese since 2015. She has her worked in the field of Human Resources for over 15 years and holds a BS in Psychology. Prior to working with the Sacramento Diocese, she worked with large corporations such as Target and Rite Aid. Anna is involved in a wide range of employment matters but is heavily relied on to work through difficult and sensitive situations.

Thank You Event Sponsors:

Westin Verasa Napa

Hotel Information

A revitalizing respite amid the breathtaking California wine country, The Westin Verasa Napa blends downtown convenience with upscale comfort. Unwind in rejuvenating hotel accommodations with plush furnishings, 24-hour room service, coffee makers and cable channels. Stay just down the road from Oxbow Public Market and right across the street from the famous Napa Wine Train. Immerse yourself in Napa Valley’s world-class wineries and spend some time exploring the vibrant downtown retail and dining district.

$219 plus tax • Resort Fee is Waived

Room rate is valid January 24 – January 28, 2022. Upgrades at a discounted rate also available. Last Day to Book: Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Wine Tour and Lunch

Thursday, January 27 • 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM

CCFW has put together an optional tour of the Carmelite House of Prayer, followed by lunch paired with wine tastings at Silver Oak Winery in Napa.

Transportation will pick attendees up from the Westin at 9:00 AM and return us no later than 3:00 PM. Please be sure to plan your return home accordingly.

$150 per person, includes transportation, tour, lunch, and wine parirings.

Add on this fun activity to your registration!

Attending (Arch)Dioceses/Cemeteries/Funeral Homes

  • Catholic Cemetery Mortuaries

    Archdiocese of Los Angeles

  • Holy Cross Cemeteries

    Archdiocese of San Francisco

  • Associated Catholic Cemeteries

    Archdiocese of Seattle

  • Catholic Cemeteries of Orange

    Archdiocese of Orange

  • Catholic Cemeteries & Funeral Homes

    Diocese of Phoenix

  • CFCS of the Diocese of Sacramento

    Diocese of Sacramento

  • Our Mother of Sorrows

    Diocese of Reno

  • Catholic Cemeteries of Santa Rosa

    Diocese of Santa Rosa

  • Our Lady Queen of Peace

    Diocese of San Bernardino

Thank you participating vendors - we appreciate your support!