National Funeral Arranger Training at Callaway-Jones Shines Spotlight on Bryan, Texas

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NFDA Arranger Training

NFDA Arranger Training

When I first met Lacy Robinson, director of Member Development for the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), I’d signed up for her Arranger Training conference as a participant. I really looked forward to it, because we were then building our new funeral and cremation center, and I wanted to learn about the latest industry developments I could bring home to share.

Continuing education is very important to all of us at Callaway-Jones. Lacy was so inspiring and the course content so helpful that I came back to Bryan and shared everything I’d heard and learned in the class. Since the day we’ve opened this new center, if you feel like we’re “brand new,” yet established and traditional, that’s partly the result of our arranger conference training. Our focus has been and always will be on you, the families and people we serve.

Many people might think that all funeral directors are alike. We sometimes get stereotyped, at least until you meet us. Then you learn we’re individuals first, family second, and then your friends and neighbors third. It was a great honor when the NFDA chose Callaway-Jones as the only Texas site in 2017 for arranger conference training.

Last Wednesday we welcomed guests from Boyce, Louisiana, and from Dallas, Waco, Kennedale, and Cleveland, Texas. We also welcomed participants from Broussard’s Mortuary in Beaumont; our families have been friends for a very long time. Of course, I was proud to feed everyone meals from three of my favorite BCS restaurants!

All participants received a New York Times bestseller that many would enjoy: “Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges,” by Amy Cuddy.  In death, as in life, we can always be bold and still remain dignified, except at Aggie football games…which is an entirely different topic.  Lacy Robinson was a fantastic trainer; I’ll tell you more about her and some of what we learned on my blog.

We were so fortunate to have Lacy Robinson bring this national training day here to our funeral center in Bryan. The Arranger Training program is really helpful as experience funeral professionals determine how best to serve our families. Your needs change in paying tribute to the lives your loved ones lived and we are constantly staying current with the latest ways to help you through national training programs such as this one.

One of the things that I have not had a chance to consider until our visitors arrived this week is how our building looks to a group of people who work in our same professions but in their own home bases. It was a real source of pride to be able to show them our new funeral center. I’m very proud of our team, and it was great to have several of our team members meeting and interacting with their fellow professionals in so many other cities.

I have to say that our meals were a big hit with our guests. We began our day with breakfast tacos from Fuego’s, then lunch boxes from Blue Baker, and afternoon dessert from Nothing Bundt Cakes. To say there were no leftovers is an understatement! We’re really fortunate in Bryan-College Station to have so many great places to eat. Which is also why we can offer so many options to families who want their family and friends to enjoy food and fellowship in our Bluebonnet Room, too.

Our guests remarked that they loved our new building, particularly our special video wall. They came here from all over Texas and Louisiana. It’s true ours is the newest funeral center in the Brazos Valley, and we are rightfully proud of that. But it’s our people, our team, of whom we are most proud. At the beginning of each day as well as at the end of the day, we’re family here and we welcomed all our guests to “our house.”

The next Arranger Training program will be held outside of Nashville, Tennessee and if you’re in the funeral industry, you’ll want to attend Lacy Robinson’s program. Actions into practice, that’s what the NFDA training is all about.

Cody D. Jones ‘02

Owner & Community Member

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