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2021 Convention Speakers

Conor Cunneen

Conor Cunneen is Irishman Speaks. Conor is exiled in Naperville where he says the Guinness is good, the natives are friendly, and he has been force fed more corned beef and green beer than he ever had in Ireland!

This man is an acclaimed speaker, educator, author and an award winning humorist who provides powerful and memorable business programs to Improve People, Performance and Productivity – with a Smile

Conor has been working on his Chicago accent for over 20 years (and failing miserably!) A multiple author and a Chicago Humorous Speaker of the year, Conor is a very proud recipient of the President's Gold Medal for Volunteer Service for the work he does with job seekers.

A Metallica fan, he has survived the slings and arrow of being a Packers fan in Chicago. 

Michael Sharkey

Michael is a veteran attorney with a passion and enthusiasm for litigation. He also possesses a unique knowledge of the funeral industry and mortuary law. He is currently General Counsel to the Wisconsin Funeral Directors Association. He represents and advises funeral homes, crematories and cemeteries on legal and business matters. He also represents licensed professionals in administrative disciplinary hearings before the Minnesota Department of Health and the Federal Trade Commission. Before he became an attorney, he was a Funeral Director with a large funeral chapel and cemetery operation in the metropolitan area.

Wally Hooker

Wally is the owner, funeral director and embalmer of Family & Friends Funeral Home of Wingate, Indiana. He attended Purdue University and is a proud graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science. He has been a licensed funeral director for 25 years. Most recently he has represented the Indiana Funeral Directors Association as its Immediate Past President, leaving office in June 2017. Wally does a significant amount of trade embalming in his facility along with his own growing funeral home business. He is routinely called on by other funeral directors for technical consultation, to assist with their problem cases, restorative work and for their family members. Additionally, Wally has served Fountain County, Indiana for the past 24 years, as a deputy coroner; the past 16 as chief deputy investigator. He also serves on the board of the Indiana State Coroners Association.


Samantha Sieber

Samantha Sieber has been working as a biologist in the biosafety field since 2008 to provide cleaner, greener technologies where they are most needed. As vice president of research at her family-owned business, she works to promote the advancement of alkaline hydrolysis, a chemical form of disposition.

As an executive at Bio-Response Solutions, Sieber has assisted numerous state and provincial agencies with drafting regulatory language for the approval of human disposition by alkaline hydrolysis. Her company also provides effluent decontamination systems for sterilizing waste streams from research laboratories, diagnostic labs, universities, and pharmaceutical companies. These systems are provided worldwide.

Sieber believes that an ethical business is a sustainable business, and she feels fortunate to have a team with the same values.




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