The Conference Hosts 120th Annual Meeting

MYRTLE BEACH, SC – Members of the regulatory community from throughout the United States and Canada came together for the 120th Annual Meeting of The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards, Inc., on February 28-29, 2024 to discuss regulation in the death care profession. The Meeting was held at The Marina Inn at Grande Dunes in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The event began with a pair of welcome breakfasts – one for first-timers and another for veteran attendees. President Jon Rettig Sr. called the event into session during the Annual Business Meeting, which included a delegate roll call, committee reports, and board nominations. Guillermo Ortiz de Zárate (Innovations in Licensing) kicked off the meeting with an initial presentation on the future of technology.

He was followed up by Rebecca Plett (Federal Trade Commission Update) and Conference Legal Counsel Dale Atkinson (Universal Licensing, Portability, & Other Unicorns), who each gave their own presentations on Day 1. In addition to the aforementioned presentations, groups separated around midday for district meetings.

The district meeting agenda included discussions around methods of disposition, single/dual licensure programs, implications of AI, and current de-regulation efforts. The second day of the meeting included multiple informative presentations on exam security by Matt Mudd, top regulatory cases by Dale Atkinson, and professional standards within the profession by Mark Ransford.

There were a pair of panel presentations on Day 2. Jolena Grande and Rick Little (The Consensual Donation & Research Integrity Act & Other Legislation) teamed up to discuss multiple pressing topics and The Conference Staff gave an update on its candidate portal implementation, NBE exam statistics, and much more.

The final day included an awards luncheon where several staff and board members were honored for their excellent service. Exam Program Director Dustin Wardlow was recognized for his 15 years with The Conference and Bob Barnes received the President’s Distinguished Service Award.

The 2024-25 Board of Directors were elected as well. District 6 Director Martin Rieken was elected to serve as President and District 8 Director Karen Carruthers was chosen as Vice President. Gina Chiaverini Sanchez was elected to fill a one-year term as District 9 Director, taking over for past president Jennifer Kandt.

The Conference’s Annual Meeting provides a valuable opportunity for those interested in furthering funeral service regulation to exchange information, problem-solving strategies, and goals for the future of the profession. The 121st Annual Meeting will be held on February 25-27, 2025 in Palm Springs, California, at the Margaritaville Resort.

The International Conference of Funeral Service Examining Boards is headquartered in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Founded in 1904, the membership of The Conference is composed of funeral service licensing and regulatory agencies throughout the United States and Canada. For more information on The Conference, visit



Andrew Joseph |

Communications Coordinator

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