2015 Conference Survey & List of Attendees

Thank you for attending the 2015 NHFA conference!

Here are some follow up items we promised you. Scroll down to find all these below:

  • Attendee and Vendors & Sponsors Lists
  • Audio recordings
  • Survey results
  • What our members asked us to work on next year

Attendee and Vendors & Sponsors Lists

As promised, we’re providing you with a list of (name, email, phone, city/state) in pdf format of attendees and vendors/sponsors.

Audio Recordings

Not all of the sessions were recorded. However, we are including the four sessions that were recorded below. These recordings will be up for one month (until 11-20-15) for your exclusive listening. Then we may make these available to the general public on our website.

Frank OstaseskiFrank Ostaseski | “Contemplative Practice and Rituals Near Death” (keynote)| NHFA Conference October 2, 2015 at the Presentation Center, Los Gatos, CA

Frank is a dynamic and visionary Buddhist teacher and international lecturer. In 1987 Frank co-founded the Zen Hospice Project, the first Buddhist hospice in America. In 2004, he created the Metta Institute to provide broad-based education on mindful and compassionate end of life care. His public programs, writings and recordings have introduced thousands to the practices of contemplative care.
Listen to Frank’s keynote (time length i.e. 1:14) 


Suzette ShermanSuzette Sherman and Peter Stathis | “Let’s talk about Death: How Boomers are Transforming the Last Taboo” | NHFA Conference October 3, 2015 at the Presentation Center, Los Gatos, CA

SevenPonds promotes a healthy attitude towards the process of death by encouraging a meaningful experience that is in harmony with the environment. We are a contemporary resource for those who wish to celebrate memory and personalize the end-of-life. At SevenPonds, we believe that cremation and natural burial are the new traditions.
Listen to Suzette and Peter (time length i.e. 1:14)


Nancy PoerNancy Jewel Poer | “Bringing Spiritual Consciousness to Threshold Work” | NHFA Conference October 3, 2015 at the Presentation Center, Los Gatos, CA

We take care of the body. What about the soul and spirit? Nancy brings years of experience in work centered in recognizing the gift of our higher striving as individual human beings, each with our own unique destinies. She will share perspectives in accessing and strengthening deeper awareness and connections with what happens spiritually around deaths, and how all involved can be affected. Follow Nancy on her website and her blog.
Listen to Nancy Jewel Poer (time length i.e. 1:14)


Kate MungerKate Munger | “Kindness Made Audible Around the Deathbed” | NHFA Conference October 3, 2015 at the Presentation Center, Los Gatos, CA

Founder of the Threshold Choir, Kate, longtime friend of the home funeral movement, offers a collection of sung prayers that will serve families of any spiritual tradition as they gather to celebrate and grieve a loved one’s death.

Kate’s gift to the Home Funeral Alliance of six songs from the Threshold Choir’s deep tradition of respect and honoring will be sent to you as to any member of the NHFA who requests it … kate@thresholdchoir.org.
Listen to Kate (time length i.e. 1:14)


Survey Results

Below is a general overview of the survey responses we have received thus far. Thanks to those who completed a survey as this helps us shape our next conference scheduled for 2017.

Highly ranked

Did you lose this notebook? If yes, email nhfaweb@gmail.com to have it returned.
Did you lose this notebook? If yes, email nhfaweb@gmail.com to have it returned.
  • Caitlin Doughty, Order of the Good Death
  • Conference Theme
  • Frank Ostaseski, keynote speaker
  • Member Meeting
  • Fieri Family Home Funeral Story
  • Oops and Aha Moments
  • Kate Munger, Threshold Choir

Lower ranked

  • Overlapping sessions
  • Lack of down time/real social time
  • Location
  • Meals – 45 min. not adequate; quality
  • Accommodations
  • Sharing our wisdom open sessions

Positive comments

  • Yes, I feel more courageous and connected with after death care in general – and really excited to reconnect with some awesome people I met.
  • Everything was perfect.
  • The 2015 NHFA conference pushed the DIY funeral movement a year ahead in three days.
  • The NHFA has not only grown in membership but also in quality of leadership, website, programming and capacity to serve our movement! Congrats and deep gratitude.


  • I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and would plan to come again. I had been expecting to leave the conference feeling more prepared to guide a family through a home funeral. A considerable amount of the conference felt like ‘preaching to the choir’ and while I thoroughly enjoyed and learned from the stories of home funerals I would have benefited greatly from more nitty-gritty after-death care.
  • I liked it when the (dining) tables were marked with themes, for people who wanted to explore more about whatever subject was represented. If there was time & space for some more of that, it would be helpful.
  • A little more downtime between events would allow time for information to sink in and be integrated.
  • Much of the conference felt rushed, making it difficult to go in depth. I would love to see less on the schedule with longer sessions. With that said, I am impressed with how well time was kept and the schedule followed.

What our members asked us to work on next year

You let us know and we are already hard at work organizing our committees to address your requests. Here are the top things you asked us to work on in the coming year.

The Top 8 Challenges for the NHFA in 2016

#1 Increase public awareness via national media (30 votes)

#2 Intensify efforts to overturn restrictive state laws and uphold families’ rights (22 votes)

#3 Focus on education in our communities (21 votes)

 #4 Advocate for families’ rights in hospices, hospitals, nursing homes, care facilities (18 votes)

 #5 Keep the focus on caring for the body and being present in the home (14 votes)

#6 Build regional networks (12 votes)

 #7 Educate & partner with home funeral-friendly (and otherwise) funeral directors (12 votes)

#7 Diversify the conversations and change makeup of board class/race/age/socio-economic status/gender language (11 votes)

 #8 Work with other funeral-based partners (5 votes)