Annual Convention

Industry professionals gathered in Saratoga Springs, NY for the NYSFDA Annual Convention August 20-23, 2023. The event brought more than 500 funeral directors, guests and exhibitors to the greater Capital District. 

“Each year members from across the state come together to earn necessary continuing education credits, share best practices, and celebrate professional accomplishments,” said Michael Lanotte, Executive Director of the New York State Funeral Directors Association. “Attendees gain additional skills to better serve families and their communities, develop a stronger understanding of funeral service laws, and cultivate relationships with the caregiver colleagues they work with every day.” 

During the Association’s Annual Meeting on Monday, August 21 John O. D'Arienzo, D'Arienzo Funeral Home, Inc., Brooklyn was installed NYSFDA President. A New York State licensed funeral director for 40+ years, D’Arienzo will serve for the 2023-24 term. 

“I am honored to be installed as the President of NYSFDA,” stated D’Arienzo. “I look forward to an exciting and productive year ahead and would like to thank my friend Robert Hogan for all he did for NYSFDA in the past year. His friendship and dedication helped show me how to be a leader of our great association. I can state emphatically, I have no better friend in funeral service.”

Other officers installed at NYSFDA's Annual Meeting: 

  • President-Elect: Scott C. Hendrix, Whiter-Hendrix Funeral Home, Ilion
  • Treasurer: Michael J. Gorton, Jr., CFSP, McManus-Lorey Funeral Home, Medford
  • Secretary: Mark J. Nolan, Nolan Funeral Home, Inc., Northport
  • Immediate Past President: Robert J. Hogan, Quinn-Fogarty Funeral Home, Flushing 

The convention offered a variety of educational programs for licensed funeral directors and mortuary science students, plus a trade show for attendees and their guests. Nearly 60 exhibiting companies secured booth space to showcase caskets and urns, hearses, and other funeral-related products and services.

Nationally recognized presenters in the funeral services industry included Aden Naka of the NYC Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME), Thomas Fuller of the NYS Bureau of Funeral Directing, modern embalmer Dominick Astorino, Marketing Guru Chuck Gallagher, Modern Memorial Planner Jennifer Muldowney, and others. Educational topics ranged from quality control, best practices for arrangement conferences, restorative arts, social media and marketing strategies, incorporating children in funerals, recruitment and retention techniques for employees of all ages, and more.

“It was a very successful event filled with inspiration and fellowship. Members from across the state joined us and took advantage of first-class education sessions and plenty of opportunities to network socially and professionally,” said Lanotte.

Thank You 2023 Sponsors!


Educational programming provided by the NYS Tribute Foundation, thanks in part to Franklin O.L. Steinberg’s generous donation. Free member registration made possible by PrePlan Funeral Trust. Plus, the Strolling Brunch on the Trade Show floor is a highlight each year.


  • Lions Eye Bank of the Northeast/Eye Bank for Sight Restoration/Lions Eye Bank for Long Island


  • ConnectLife/Center for Donation & Transplant/Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network
  • Directors Choice Credit Union
  • Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions
  • OneGroup


  • Abigal
  • American Funeral Consultants
    Event Sponsorship: Retaining Employees, A Peer-to-Peer Open Forum 
  • The Bonadio Group
  • Nassau-Suffolk Funeral Directors Association
  • National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA)


  • Precious Memories
  • Roark Associates


  • After Goodbye
  • Florence Casket Company
  • Messenger/Thumbies
  • New Comer Funeral Service
  • Post and Boost, LLC
  • Repose Aftercare Consulting/Margaret L. Palmer
  • Service Corporation International