General Sessions

All general sessions are offered both in person and via the virtual livestream.

Jump to a Specific Session:

Opening Session

This traditional kick-off to the Annual Meeting includes the following:

Remembering Our Colleagues

Each year, Selected reflects and pays tribute to the members and others we’ve lost since the previous Annual Meeting.

Outgoing Officers’ Addresses

Outgoing Board Chair John D. Kepner and President Eric R. Trimble will offer a review of the year as officers of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, recapping highlights and sharing insights on the important issues facing funeral service.

Keynote Address

Maximize Your Leadership: Navigating the Five Types of People

Does the passivity or vindictiveness of some of the people you lead ever confuse you? Have you ever wanted to scream, “Why don’t people just do their job?” Are you ready to boost engagement and lessen frustrations, stress and burnout? You’re not alone.

The Gallup Poll indicates only 32% of employees are actively engaged and committed to their work and workplace, 51% are passively disengaged and 17% are actively disengaged and trying to cause problems. If you want to be highly effective and profitable, you must understand the five types of people you lead and adjust your leadership strategies accordingly.

With a PhD in Counselor Education and decades of firsthand experience and research, Sherene shares her insights into increasing engagement, creating psychologically safe workplaces and ensuring that high performers aren’t burned out.

Meet Dr. Sherene McHenry
The People IQ Expert, Dr. Sherene McHenry, is a former graduate professor turned full time speaker and author. Empowering and equipping audiences to increase leadership effectiveness, engagement, and well-being, Sherene has spoken on three continents, authored multiple books and written a syndicated magazine column on leadership and interpersonal issues in the workplace. She has a PhD in Counselor Education, is a Certified Speaking Professional, and past president of the Michigan National Speakers Association. A few of the clients she’s proudly served include Google, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and Accenture.

General Session

The Trust Imperative: Bridging Divides for a Culture of Belonging and Organizational Effectiveness

The current climate creates an opportunity for disconnection and threatens not just the efficacy but the very ethos of our organization—trust.

This will not be a call for another initiative that ticks boxes for compliance; it is one for a profound engagement in creating a culture where every member, regardless of position or status, is valued, understood, and engaged.

Join us to explore actionable insights and real-world applications of:

  • What’s working to build trust and belonging within your organization
  • What isn’t working and how do we bridge the gaps with innovative, sincere solutions designed for impact.

Special thanks to Tribute Technology for sponsoring this session.

Meet Desmond Lomax
Desmond Lomax is a clinical mental health therapist who worked in the field of law enforcement and corrections for over 20 years. He retired from the Utah Department of Corrections, where he worked as the community programming director, and joined Arbinger as a senior consultant in early 2020.

At the Utah Department of Corrections, Desmond worked to expand treatment resources for those on probation and parole throughout the State of Utah. He has a passion for helping others and was led by this passion to the field of therapy and corrections. He facilitated outward mindset workshops extensively within the Utah Department of Corrections and saw the benefits that outward mindset brought to the department and the community it serves.

Desmond also has deep experience in the area of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), and he was instrumental in the development of Outward Inclusion, Arbinger’s EDI program. Desmond is an adjunct professor for the University of Utah in the field of forensic social work. He is a past president of the Utah Mental Health Counseling Association.

Futures Session

Funeral service continues to experience exponential change. From utilizing artificial intelligence and creating top-class virtual experiences to using behavioral marketing or rethinking the arrangement and selection room, this enlightening session is certain to get you thinking. Four experts, including Josh Blake from Wilkirson-Hatch-Bailey Funeral Home, David Lutterman from OneRoom, Welton Hong from Ring Ring Marketing, and Charlie Cole from Tribute Technology, will offer their perspectives and predictions on what the future may hold for funeral service.

Membership Business Session

This session features updates about the Selected Educational Trust and other timely information. It also highlights the service of the Selected Board of Directors, including the following:

  • Outgoing Officers’ Recognition
  • Installation of Incoming Board Members and Officers
  • Incoming Officers' Addresses:
    2024-2025 Board Chair John E. Keohane and President Tom E. Antram will provide their views of funeral service and outlook for the Association for the coming year.