HANDS-ON WORKSHOPS

Led by Industry Experts and Professionals

Businessman taking notes and planning in a meeting

A multitude of workshops to assist with your visions, goals and plans on end-of-life choices, options and decisions.

Workshops are hands-on and interactive, giving participants a chance to be creative; begin, analyse and finish their critical documents.

October 31st - November 1st 2020 in San Diego, California (location TBD)

Thank you to our 2019 Workshop Presenters

  • Living Reef Memorial
  • Pet Euthanasia
  • Near-Death Experiences
  • Advance Care & POLST
  • Good Grief Mandalas
  • Dignity Memorial Veterans
  • Crystal Sound Healing
  • End of Life Choices California
  • Beautiful Dying in Mexico
  • Finish Strong
  • Conscious Dying

Living Reef Memorial: Transforming cremains into living reefs that bloom with an abundance of life.

For those who choose cremation a reef memorial is a permenent and is the final disposition for cremated remains. A Memorial Reef is living memorial that honors the deceased by leaving something beneficial behind. Reef memorials are a wonderful sentiment of life that was lived and the loved that was shared and is a beautiful way to lay to honor those who have passed in the most natural and dignified way possible.

A Living Reef Memorial is scientifically engineered artificial marine habitat that mimics the habitat of hundreds of species of marine life. Ashes of the departed are lovingly preserved within the Living Reef Memorial, transported out to sea by sailboat, and installed to the sea floor by a team of reef specialists. After a short time, a beautiful and natural transformation occurs and the reef begins to bloom with a bounty of life. The life that is created from the ashes of the departed is in perfect harmony with the circle of life, and leaves a positive footprint that will forever life on. No other burial option can offer the benefits of a Living Reef Memorial.

If planning for your own final needs, or having to choose a burial option for someone else, a Living Reef Memorial provides benefits that no other traditional burial option can.

Presented by: David Stubbers & Rob Sarnie

David Stubbers helps bring Living Reef Memorial and Sea Turtle Rescue in front of new eyes and ears. He believes that everyone should be able to choose a beautiful, alternative burial method that helps the environment. David lives in San Diego, California, and enjoys the beach, fishing, and marine life. He loves sharing ideas with others on the memorial industry, and working together to create new ways of giving back.

Rob Sarnie is the CEO and Founder of Living Reef Memorial and Sea Turtle Rescue. Rob has been creating Living Reefs for over 20 years, and has had an affinity for the ocean his whole life. Through the creation of Living Reefs, Rob helps save sea turtles in Central America with his organization called Sea Turtle Rescue. He lives in Imperial Beach, California, and loves being on the boat in the water. 

Discover more at LivingReefMemorial.com

 

Is it Time? The question of pet euthanasia: Discovering the Answer from Within ~ Finding an Answer that Brings Peace and Serenity

So often when a beloved pet is near the end of life, people struggle with the decision as to when is the "right time". In this self reflective workshop the focus is on first acknowledging that each of us CAN answer this question. It is a question that will be asked and must be answered often, perhaps daily or more, until a loved one passes.

This special 90-minute workshop invites participants to explore their relationship with death and suffering, while offering tools to listen, trust and move from the deepest truth of their own being. Simple meditative techniques will be shared and practiced. A Jungian technique for uncovering our unconscious blocks around death and suffering will be presented in an experiential exercise.

Having a conscious awareness of our relationship with death and suffering opens us to more clearly approach the question of, if and when, it might be best to euthanize. 

Presented by: Liz Fernandez, DVM

Well respected within the Veterinary Community, Dr. Liz Fernandez has been practicing Small Animal and Emergency Veterinary Medicine since 1982. She is a graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.

In 2000, she experienced the power of Chinese Medicine first-hand. Emerging from a serious injury totally healed, she vowed to share this profound ancient wisdom with her clients and patients.
Dr. Liz has completed over 600 hours of instruction in Chinese Veterinary Medicine through the Chi Institute in Reddick, Florida. Currently, she is certified in Veterinary AcupunctureHerbology and Tui-Na ( the Chinese equivalent of physical therapy, chiropractic and massage). She has also studied Tai Qi, Qi Gong, and Chinese Food Therapy.

Discover more at Acupuncture4Pets.net

Near-Death Experiences: Sacred Living, Sacred Dying

Meet Sharon Lund and listen as she shares from her heart her devastating life challenges that nearly shattered her. Instead of being destroyed by them, she allowed the encounters to empower her, and found blessings within them. Sharon is excited to reveal her two near-death experiences (NDE's), what led up to them, what she experienced, and the magical thing that happened to her before she came back into her body. 

You will learn how her two NDE's spiritually transformed her life, how she's Divinely guided, and how she received her life purpose that she now lives with passion and love. Sharon will point out the unique issues people face after having an NDE, and the different kind of NDEs there are. 

The end of the workshop will bring participants a better understanding of the sacredness of life and death. Sharon will take time to answer participants questions as well. 

Since the mid 1980's, Sharon Lund has been an advocate on end-of-life issues, dying and death, HIV/AIDS, and holistic therapies. She has been living positive with HIV/AIDS since 1983, and she had two near-death experiences.

Sharon has led workshops and speaking engagements throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Russia and Japan. She has been interviewed on such shows as Oprah, Eye on America, 48 Hours, and in "O" The Oprah Magazine. Sharon accepted an invitation from President Clinton to speak at the White House. She is the author of four books; Sacred Living, Sacred Dying: A Guide to Embracing Life and Death; The Integrated Being: Techniques to Heal Your Mind-Body-Spirit; There is More...18 Near-Death Experiences; and Our Sacred Loving Companions, and has produced the award winning documentary Dying to LIVE: Near-Death Experiences. 

Sharon is the founder of Sacred Life Publishers and the non-profit organization Sacred Living Sacred Dying Org. 

Advance Care Planning & POLST: A vital discussion

Discover the importance of discussing and documenting preferences for medical treatment and other vital decisions, and of choosing the best surrogates to make decisions in the event of incapacity. Advance health care directive and POLST paradigm forms will be compared, and voluntary stopping of eating and drinking (VSED) and medical aid-in-dying (MAID) will be reviewed. 

Presented by: Dr. Karl Steinberg & John Tastad 

Dr. Karl Steinberg is a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Physician and Long-term Care Geriatrician.  He has been a hospice and nursing home medical director in the San Diego area since 1995 and is currently Chief Medical Officer for Mariner Health Central and medical director at Life Care Center of Vista, Carlsbad by the Sea Care Center, and Hospice by the Sea. He received his bachelor’s in biochemistry from Harvard and studied medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Steinberg then did his family medicine residency at UCSD. Dr. Steinberg is editor-in-of AMDA's monthly periodical, Caring for the Ages. He is a past chair of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California and is active in advance care planning and palliative care initiatives, including education and public policy on a statewide and national level, also serving on the National POLST Paradigm and the National Quality Forum's standing committee on geriatric and palliative care. However, Dr. Steinberg is probably best known for taking his dogs on patient care rounds with him on most days.

John Tastad is the coordinator for Spiritual Support Services at Sharp HospiceCare, and the coordinator for the Advance Care Planning program at Sharp HealthCare. In his 19th year at Sharp, John's academic training includes undergraduate studies at Northwest Christian University and the University of Oregon, and graduate studies at Fuller Theological Seminary and the University of San Diego. John is the past-chair of the San Diego Coalition for Compassionate Care, is actively involved in Bioethics at Sharp and in the community, and he has spoken on topics related to Spiritual Care and Advance Care Planning at events sponsored by the National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, the Center to Advance Palliative Care, the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association and many additional organizations. John runs and read a lot, and his is the proud dad of 3 amazing men and a beautiful new grandson. 

Good Grief: Finding Joy Through Mandalas

Presenter: Dannie Engwert, Author and Artist

Dannie Engwert’s first mandala was an accident. After losing her mother, brother, and husband within four years, she’d become very familiar with grief. All alone, sitting at her kitchen table, she was playing with the silverware, moving around the forks, spoons, and knives. “The shine of the object caught my eye. What a surprise to see such a sparkle in everyday stuff.”

With a smile and a quick snapshot of that accidental mandala, Dannie felt a lift in her step. She kept going, day after day, making a new mandala out of everyday objects. Fruit, rubber bands, scissors, clothespins and so on until there were 75 unique mandalas. Dannie took a photo of each one and that collection of little installations became her book, Good Grief.

In her workshops, Dannie gathers small groups of people together to make their own mandalas out of everyday objects. Everyone takes a little bag of commonplace items and gets five minutes to create their own installation and have it photographed. Then it’s time to wipe away the mandala and try the next bag, and the next. At the end, participants put together a mini ‘zine of their photos. It’s a reminder of the creativity at play as well as the balance, beauty, and healing properties of mandalas. 

Dignity Memorial Veteran Benefits Program 

Learn about your VA Burial Benefits and the Dignity Memorial Veterans Benefits Program. This informational seminar can bring real peace of mind to you and your family as you learn what the government does and does not provide.

As Dignity Memorial® providers, we believe there is no greater responsibility than honoring and preserving the story of one’s life. Whether you’re planning a funeral for a loved one, or making your own arrangements in advance, the celebration of a lifetime begins with Dignity Memorial’s compassionate funeral planners. As North America’s largest provider of funeral, cremation, and cemetery services, the Dignity Memorial network cares for thousands of families each year.

What does that mean to you? Our associates feel that funerals and memorial services should be as unique as the individual they honor. We help families create meaningful memorials to truly celebrate the life of their loved one.

Presented by: Glenda Villegas

Crystals and Crystal Sound for Stress Relief,  Pain Management and Inner Peace

Crystals and Sound have been utilized by all cultures globally to support in Healing, Pain Relief and Inner Peace since the beginning of time. In this workshop you'll discover which sounds and crystals can be most effective for your particular needs.

You'll also learn how to use your body's own energy field to fine tune which particular octaves, notes, rhythms as well as gemstones work most effectively for you or your loved ones. 

Presented by: Elivia Melodey, Sound Healer, Professional Medium and Inspirational Speaker

As a leader in the field of Sound Healing, Elivia Melodey is also the founder of the Crystal Vibrations Music Label, which has produced four critically acclaimed albums.  She is an established recording artist whose deeply soothing and meditative crystal bowl music is used in spas, healing and spiritual centers worldwide. Her collection of instruments contains over forty-five singing crystal bowls and other unique musical instruments from around the world. As a Master of Crystal Sound, she has been credited with creating an entirely new genre of healing music

End of Life Choices California —Talking about The Elephant in the Room

The greatest Gift you can give your family and friends is to let them know how you would want to be cared for if you were unconscious and couldn’t speak for yourself.

This is called Advance Care Planning. It is a valuable road map for your loved ones that decreases the burden on them.

The Elephant in the Room and experts from End of Life Choices California will be on hand to help you begin the Conversation and complete an Advance Directive. 

We will tell you about all legal choices for end of life and update you on California’s End of Life Option Act-- in effect for the past 3 years.
You will be given concrete ideas for how to talk to your doctor and loved ones.
When you leave this workshop you will feel lighter, better prepared, and much more confident about death, dying and living.

In addition, in the closing 20 minutes of the workshop, participants will be given an opportunity to ask questions about and draft or complete an Advance Directive. They may bring their blank or partially completed forms; CA forms will be available. EOLCCA volunteers will be available to witness the document upon request. Participants MUST bring DPoA (agent, proxy) contact info (address, phone, email) in order to complete that required section of the form. This free service will save you from having to go to a notary or an attorney, so make sure to have your completed form or the relevant information needed to complete it in the workshop! 

Presented by: Lynne Calkins and Claudia Comins, Founding Directors of End of Life Choices California, a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization

Lynne H. Calkins, BA, CRNP

Lynne is an Ob-Gyn Nurse Practitioner, retired. She was a client services volunteer with Compassion and Choices from 2011 to 2018, acting as an advocate and personal support for individuals at end-of-life. Lynne campaigned vigorously for the passage of California's End of Life Option Act in 2015 and is eternally grateful for the legacy of Brittany Maynard that helped make this law a reality for all Californians.

Claudia Comins

Claudia retired after a career in politics and non-profit fundraising, branding and strategic planning. Her professional work tracked her passions for environmental protection, access to educational opportunities for disadvantaged youth, and the advancement of women's reproductive rights.

Discover more at EndofLifeChoicesCA.org

Beautiful Dying in Mexico

In honor of Mexico's Day of the Dead, Dia de los Muertos, an overview of dying in Mexico - family and religious traditions, rituals, their origins and meaning, and why many Mexicans seem so comfortable with death. 

Told through stories Wendy Jane Carrel has been witness to volunteering at a palliative care hospital/hospice and/or as a friend on a village street in Ajijic, Mexico.

Presented by: Wellness Shepherd Wendy Jane Carrel, MA Senior Care Specialist, Palliative Care Advocate and Coordinator, End-of-Life Planning and Support; Mexico & Ecuador

Optimum health and comfort for all have been my passions since childhood.

What I do best is accompany, rescue, direct, and advocate for others, in English or in Spanish, especially during health care emergencies.

I also speak about and advise seniors and families with health, housing, and hospice options in Chile, Ecuador, and Mexico.  My American base is Los Angeles. My current Latin American base is in Mexico, both Guadalajara and Lake Chapala.

Discover more at WellnessShepherd.com

Finish Strong: Tools to Help You Plan for Life's End

Compassion & Choices is proud to offer a host of tools and resources to help you and your loved ones Finish Strong by planning for an end-of-life experience that matches the life we've enjoyed - defined by love, purpose and agency. "Tools to Finish Strong" specifically addressing planning your end-of-life care at every stage, even after a dementia diagnosis. In this workshop, you will learn about different end of life options, especially those that are often preferable for those who are suffering from dementia. You will learn about free tools to help you prepare for a possible dementia diagnosis, so that you can have the end of life experience you want. 

Presented by: Samantha Trad 

Samantha Trad is the California State director for Compassion and Choices. Samantha passionately works hard to expand patient-centered and patient-directed end of life care across the state. She is an expert on implementing medical aid in dying laws and leads education and outreach efforts in California to eliminate barriers for eligible patients who want the option of medical aid in dying under the California End of Life Option Act. 

Death - A Rite of Passage: Creating Care & Healing for the Best Three Months of Life

What if we had the support we need to create a beautiful ending to our earthly journey, a rite of passage worthy of thoughtful planning with friends, family and those we hold dear and love?

What if we began to understand that dying belongs withing the sacred circle of life. And like all rites of passage in our life cycle, dying deserves care, attention, support, love, and planning, and healing. 

In this 90 minute workshop you will discover and design a rich, life-vision and care map of what would matter most to you, if you had three months to live. The vision map encompasses the five domains of life: Spiritual, Emotional, Physical, Mental, Practical (After Death Care).

Presented by: Elizabeth Padilla 

Elizabeth Padilla is a faculty member at the Conscious Dying Institute, where end of life educators create standards of care, scope of practice, and a Best Three Months: End of Life Coaching and Care Planning Practicum for graduates of End of LIfe Doula Programs. She assists with onsite and online "Sacred Passage: End of Life Doula Certificates" with 66 CNES from ANCC in the U.S. and Canada at The Conscious Dying Institute where they have trained and certified over 800 End of Life Doulas since the onset of the institute in 2013. Graduates of the End of Life Doula Certificate may continue their journey by joining the Master's Path, becoming Conscious Dying Educators who "Restore Death to its Sacred Place in the Beauty, Myster, and Celebration of Life" in their local communities. 

Time Room 12 Room 14A Room 14B
10:00am - 11:30am
Is it Time? The Question of Pet Euthanasia
Morning Panel - Comfort Measures & Caring for the Dying
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Living Reef Memorial: Giving New Life to Our Oceans
End of Life Choices California: Talking About the Elephant in the Room
Near-Death Experiences: Sacred Living, Sacred Dying
1:15pm - 2:15pm
Good Grief Mandalas
Dignity Memorial – Veterans Benefits Program
Crystals and Crystal Sound for Stress Relief, Pain Management and Inner Peace
2:30pm - 3:30pm
Beautiful Dying and Death in Mexico
Advance Care Planning & POLST: A Vital Discussion
Finish Strong: Tools to Help You Plan for Life's End
3:45pm - 5:15pm
Conscious Dying: Creating Care and Healing for the Best 3-Months of Life
Afternoon Panel - End of Life Choices and Planning

PANEL DISCUSSIONS

End of Life leaders share their perspective

Panel Discussions at the Beautiful Dying Expo

Pioneers and thought leaders with expertise in the end of life movement will come together for lively and innovative panel discussions.   

These conversations are guaranteed to be intriguing and keep us all engaged as we learn from the best! 

THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 PANELISTS

Headshot of Dr.Karen Wyatt

Dr. Karen Wyatt
Panel Host

Dr. Karen Wyatt is the bestselling author of the books The Tao of Death and What Really Matters: 7 Lessons for Living from the Stories of the Dying, which contains stories of patients she cared for as a hospice doctor and the spiritual lessons she learned from them at the end of their lives. Dr. Wyatt also hosts End-of-Life University Podcast, which features conversations with experts who work in all aspects of end-of-life care. She is widely regarded as a thought-leader in the effort to transform the way we care for our dying in the U.S. In addition, she is valued for her application of spiritual principles to illness and healthcare and teaches that in order to live life fully we must each overcome our fear of death and embrace the difficulties that life brings us.

Morning Panel

 

The Comfort Measures and Caring for the Dying  panel features leading industry experts sharing information on how to relieve symptoms and optimize comfort as patients undergo the dying process. Care and comfort measures allows for a better quality of life at the end of life.   

If you are wondering what will happen, how to give comfort, what to say, or what to do for a loved one who is dying, we encourage you to attend.

Learn how to provide end-of-life comfort in four areas – physical comfort, mental and emotional needs, spiritual issues, and practical tasks.

 

Afternoon Panel

The End-of-Life Choices and Planning panel will include legal expertise to get your affairs in order as well as a lively discussion about the alternatives to traditional funerals and services that are available today.

Knowing what choices are available to you at end-of-life is incredibly important and empowering. By planning in advance, you are freed to live life to the fullest. 

Advance planning helps ensure you will get the care you want and avoid what you don’t want, even if you’re unable to speak for yourself. Let our experts guide you through your choices.

 

 

 

Dan is the husband of Brittany Maynard, the 29 year old woman who died in November 2014 from a brain tumor. The couple
moved from California to Oregon, one of ten states that has authorized medical aid-in-dying, in order for Brittany to have the option of a gentle dying process. As a result of Brittany’s story, legislators have introduced bills to authorize medical aid-
in-dying in over 25 states. Dan advocates for expanding the
availability of end of life options for terminally ill individuals.His efforts were instrumental in securing the passage of the legislation in California, Colorado, D.C., and New Jersey. His
efforts continue across the country; keeping the promise he made to Brittany.

Dr. Bob believes that effective care goes beyond simply keeping his patients comfortable; in fact, he believes it is vital for a team to work together to address ALL of a person’s needs—physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual, in order to ensure the best possible quality of life. He sees this as something the elderly, seriously ill and the dying are often deprived of, and it’s become his mission in life to change that.

Dr. Bob’s work involves fostering deep connections with patients and families going through major health and life challenges and struggles. He guides them in making decisions about their care so they can enjoy the greatest sense of peace and wellbeing while they go through the stages of aging and complex illness, up to and including the taking of their final breath.

Dr. Bob collaborates with other physicians on behalf of his patients and families, and often brings families together in their understanding of the situation and the best ways to support and honor their loved ones.

He and his team members take a “village” approach to providing healthcare, and focus on what matters most to their patients and families (rather than what’s the matter with them), so the journey becomes comfortable, safe, and as peaceful as possible. Their focus is on integrating all areas of a person’s care, including physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual, so life is as rich and fulfilling as possible. 

He can be reached at www.integratedmdcare.com or by calling 858-925-7554

Dr. Karl Steinberg is a Hospice and Palliative Medicine Physician and Long-term Care Geriatrician.  He has been a hospice and nursing home medical director in the San Diego area since 1995 and is currently Chief Medical Officer for Mariner Health Central and medical director at Life Care Center of Vista, Carlsbad by the Sea Care Center, and Hospice by the Sea. He received his bachelor’s in biochemistry from Harvard and studied medicine at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Dr. Steinberg then did his family medicine residency at UCSD. Dr. Steinberg is editor-in-of AMDA’s monthly periodical, Caring for the Ages. He is a past chair of the Coalition for Compassionate Care of California and is active in advance care planning and palliative care initiatives, including education and public policy on a statewide and national level, also serving on the National POLST Paradigm and the National Quality Forum’s standing committee on geriatric and palliative care. However, Dr. Steinberg is probably best known for taking his dogs on patient care rounds with him on most days.

Elizabeth Padilla is a faculty member at the Conscious Dying Institute, where end of life educators create standards of care, scope of practice, and a Best Three Months: End of Life Coaching and Care Planning Practicum for graduates of End of Life Doula Programs. She assists with onsite and online “Sacred Passage: End of Life Doula Certificates” with 66 CNES from ANCC in the U.S. and Canada at The Conscious Dying Institute where they have trained and certified over 800 End of Life Doulas since the onset of the institute in 2013. Graduates of the End of Life Doula Certificate may continue their journey by joining the Master’s Path, becoming Conscious Dying Educators who “Restore Death to its Sacred Place in the Beauty, Mystery, and Celebration of LIfe in their local communities. 

Gabrielle Elise Jimenez, “Gabby” is a hospice nurse, a published author, a blogger and an acrylic artist. She went back to school in her 40’s to become a nurse, after spending time with a dear friend who passed away from Prostate Cancer. Although not her first experience with death, as she lost both her parents in her 20’s, her sister just a few short years ago and multiple friends, it was this death that opened her eyes and her heart to bedside care and the art of dying with kindness and compassion.
 
Gabby published her first book Soft Landing, which takes you on a journey through the difficult time she had going back to school and becoming a nurse and then finding true passion in working in Hospice. She shares stories about patients she has cared for and the lessons she has learned about life through death. She also has a blog, where she posts about whatever she might be feeling relative to her work for those at the end of their life. Her goal is to educate, support, and encourage those who want to work in hospice, or might find themselves at the bedside caring for a loved one. And at the end of the day, she hopes to motivate people to feel less afraid to talk about death. “Goodness is about character – integrity, honesty, kindness, generosity, moral courage and the like. More than anything else, it is about how we treat other people.”

Roger Moore has been in the profession of counseling and human services since 1973. He holds a Master’s Degree in Applied Counseling Psychology and has more than 9 years of graduate studies in Behavior Science. Roger has been in private practice specializing as a Medical Counselor and Hypnotherapist since 1997. He is the author of Becoming Slender For Life.

There is a long, established history of the efficacy of hypnosis in the field of medicine. Palm Desert Hypnosis offers medical hypnosis that can help people at the end-of-life.

As an integrated part of your medical care, clinical hypnosis is a safe and drug-free approach for anxiety, depression, pain, tremors, stiffness, and other end-of-life matters. 

Roger Moore has been working with people in a variety of counseling settings for more than 40 years. Roger is a hypnosis practitioner dedicated to helping people to be able to use the power of your own mind to improve quality of life. He belongs to two of the most highly recognized organizations for Certified Hypnotherapists in the world: The International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association, the International Certification Board of Clinical Hypnotherapists and is a member of the Parkinson’s Resource Organization’s Wellness Village.

You can reach Roger at Palm Desert Hypnosis and online world wide at www.PalmDesertHypnosis.com.

Since the mid 1980’s, Sharon Lund has been an advocate on end-of-life issues, dying and death, HIV/AIDS, and holistic therapies. She has been living positive with HIV/AIDS since 1983, and she had two near-death experiences.

Sharon has led workshops and speaking engagements throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Russia and Japan. She has been interviewed on such shows as Oprah, Eye on America, 48 Hours, and in “O” The Oprah Magazine. Sharon accepted an invitation from President Clinton to speak at the White House. She is the author of four books; Sacred Living, Sacred Dying: A Guide to Embracing Life and Death; The Integrated Being: Techniques to Heal Your Mind-Body-Spirit; There is More…18 Near-Death Experiences; and Our Sacred Loving Companions, and has produced the award winning documentary Dying to LIVE: Near-Death Experiences. 

Sharon is the founder of Sacred Life Publishers and the non-profit organization Sacred Living Sacred Dying Org. 

Adam Englund, Esquire, has been in solo practice for over 30 years.  He handles transactions in the areas of business entity formation and operation, contracts, intellectual property, including trademarks, trade secrets and copyrights; many aspects of entertainment law and trust and estate planning.  In the estate planning arena, in addition to advanced health care directives, power of attorney, real estate transfers and wills, Adam helps individuals and families avoid probate all together by preparing a revocable living trust.
Adam says, “The best bequest is to have your affairs in order”.

Ben Janzen grew up in Germany. Upon finishing high school, he joined the Franciscan Capuchin Order of the Catholic Church where he enjoyed his education as a Catholic Theologian within the Franciscan tradition. When he received his doctorate in Theology, he became a lecturer at the Franciscan College for Philosophy and Theology in Muenster, Germany. His love for Star Trek and anything SciFi brought him to the USA. He studied comparative literature at UC Riverside working on the role of Spirituality and Religion in Star Trek and graduated with a Ph.D. in 2006. Ayear earlier, he had met his now husband Sal and consequently left the Order.

Ben has been working with VITAS Healthcare, San Diego, as a Chaplain since 2010. He was trained at VITAS and worked as a resident and a team chaplain for five years. In 2015, he took the position of Bereavement Services Manager. In 2018 Ben was certified as a Grief Recovery Method Specialist. Ben and Sal have a dog, Sammy, and they enjoy traveling, cooking, baking and anything having to do with food. 

Eric W. Putt, M.B.A, FDR 2173

Thresholds Home and Family-Directed Funerals, FD 1788, Co-Founder

Eric Putt, a licensed Funeral Director and Mortuary Manager with Thresholds Home and Family Directed Funerals, is helping Thresholds implement traditions and rituals used by our forefathers. A concept new to those of us keeping death at a “distance”, Eric is intent on returning legitimate funeral arrangement authority to family, friends, and community. 

Growing up throughout North America, Eric, a “preachers kid”, settled in the San Diego area while an Engineer in the nuclear and aerospace industries. While working full time and completing a Master of Business Administration degree, he developed a business plan for a manufacturing business that was implemented within days of receiving his degree. The manufacturing business, supporting the funeral industry, turned into more businesses and Eric was discovering the need for greater impact and opportunities. Eric established California State licensure as a Funeral Director that very vehicle.

Eric currently volunteers with Thresholds and lectures at various institutions and universities on ethics, anthropology, and end-of-life issues

Samantha Trad is the California State director for Compassion and Choices. Samantha passionately works hard to expand patient-centered and patient-directed end of life care across the state. She is an expert on implementing medical aid in dying laws and leads education and outreach efforts in California to eliminate barriers for eligible patients who want the option of medical aid in dying under the California End of Life Option Act. 

Previously, Samantha taught American Politics at the University of Redlands and was the Executive Director of the Arizona Advocacy Network. Samantha has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Redlands and a M.A. in International Economic and Political Studies from Charles University in Prague, CZ.

During her free time, Samantha loves spending time with her family, running, kiking, and is an all-around outdoorsy-lover. She is based in Redlands, CA. 

You can reach Samanta at strad@compassionandchoices.org

Scott T. Barton, PhD, is the Director of Anatomical Services at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine, which has 2800 students, 1500 faculty, 18 departments and 78 residency and fellowship programs. Dr. Barton’s work supports and facilitates the education and research activities at UCSD and beyond through the management of a whole-body donation program of more than 450 annual donations. He is a well-respected member of the University of California Anatomical Donation Program team who is active on his home campus and throughout the UC system. This includes being a member of the Anatomical Materials Review Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, the Human Anatomical Specimen and Tissue Oversight Committee, and the System-wide Anatomical Materials Review Committee.

Dr. Barton is also a faculty member at Mid-America College of Funeral Service and Dallas Institute of Funeral Service. He is a member of the Anatomical Services Committee in the American Association of Clinical Anatomy. He is also a member of the American Association of Anatomy, the Human Anatomy and Physiology Society, the Cremation Association of North America, and the National Funeral Directors Association.

Shawn began her journey in Death Care with career in the Funeral Industry that spans over a decade, serving the 5 county region, known as Southern California. She is native to Los Angeles, claiming home in Long Beach, Ca. After the loss of her brother in 2013, Shawn took intensive training in the Art of Death Midwifery through the Sacred Crossing Institute where she obtained Certifications as a Death Midwife and Funeral Celebrant. 
She has since dedicated her future to guiding families and the dying through creating meaningful ritual and an environment for the process of dying to be dignified, peaceful and in the comfort of your own home. Shawn brings an open heart and wealth of knowledge and experience as a Funeral Director to her work through DIY DYING, a before & after death care service.  
 
As an advocate for Home Funeral and Green Burials practices, Shawn guides families through the processes of preparing for ones death, caring for the dying at home, and conducting a living wake or home funeral. She continues  assisting the family with comfort, peace, and kindness through arranging and facilitating final disposition arrangements as well. 

Shawn is committed to advocating for environmentally responsible burial practices and is a current Board Director for the Green Burial Council to further her commitment. Shawn’s  passionate about bringing those closer to having peace with death and making informed decisions when it comes to their end-of-life wishes. She has a unique history of experience with alternative memorial options, such as memorial spaceflight and full body burials at sea.

For more information on Shawn services, visit www.diydying.com or follow her on instagram.com/@diydying.   

Beautiful Dying Expo is a Project under IVAT Centers, a California, not-for-profit 501(c)3 Organization TIN #75-2401334

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