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Speakers at the Digital Legacy Conference 2018

The Digital Legacy Conference, chaired by Jennifer Muldowney aka The Glam Reaper. Jennifer gave an overview of the subject of Digital Legacy and a summation of each speakers anecdotes rounding the conference to a close.
Jennifer Muldowney, Tedx survivor, author of book ‘Say Farewell Your Way’, event planner and spokesperson worldwide on death, funerals and end of life planning. She has been called a ‘refreshingly honest voice of the funeral industry’ and become the go to ‘Irish celebrity’ of the funeral world. Her blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts help her to help others as she forms the bridge between the often scary idea of funerals and the misconceptions and questions of Joe Public. She is a presenter on the ‘Farewell’ vlog where she provides information about funerals, memorials (both pet and human), life/bucket-list planning and encourages pro-active and creative funeral planning. Her voice has been published worldwide, including a Tedx talk about grief and the critically acclaimed ‘Before I Die’ book by fellow Ted Speaker Candy Chang.


Key Note Speakers: Facebook's Shelby and Kim explored the policy and product design behind Facebook’s Memorialization and Legacy Contact capabilities.


Shelby Lindblad is a Product Designer at Facebook working on issues related to memorialization. Prior to joining Facebook, she worked at Method, a global design firm with clients such as Google, HP, and the San Francisco Ballet.


Kim Malfacini is Associate Manager of Product Policy at Facebook, the team responsible for developing Facebook’s Community Standards governing what is and is not allowed on the site. Kim focuses on stakeholder engagement, ensuring Facebook’s policies are informed by experts across the globe.


James Norris is the one who brought it all together. He is the founder of the Digital Legacy Association, The Digital Legacy Conference and DeadSocial. James’ goal is to help raise awareness and provide support around digital end of life planning. James explored how the Digital Legacy Association innovate with healthcare, social care, legal and funeral professionals to evoke behaviour change and develop best practice. He also relaunched DeadSocial, planning app for the Digi-conscious.


Dr. Carla Sofka is a Professor of Social Work here in Siena College, NY. A former medical and hospice social worker, she has been teaching death education courses since 1993. Carla coined the term “thanatechnology” in 1996 to describe the role that online resources were playing in death education and grief counseling and co-edited the book Dying, Death, and Grief in an Online Universe.

Carla used this experience to tell us how technology is changing grief and the ways in which we grieve.


Lee Poskanzer is the CEO of Directive Communication Systems. He has been successfully leading product innovation change at Fortune 500 companies including American Express, Safeway, PolyGram and Staples that have evolved to becoming industry standards and practices.

Did you know the average person has over 150 online accounts? And that number is expected to grow to over 200 in the next year. Lee presented on how financial and sentimental online property can easily be hidden, lost or forgotten about. He told us about new and existing privacy laws, along with Terms of Service Agreements (that we all agree to) that can prevent access to much needed information.


Antonio Estevan Huerta is a singer/songwriter and avid marathon runner from Texas who brought us a beautifully REAL penned letter to David Bowie from Palliative Care Doctor Mark Taubert. David Bowie died from Liver Cancer in January 2016. Antonio’s father, also named Antonio, died from the same tragic disease in the summer of 2018.


Stephen Hans is a licensed funeral director and owns and operates Hans Funeral Home in Albany, New York. He is a member of the New York State Funeral Directors Association. 

Stephen focussed on what he knows best - the funeral profession and research carried out in NY around death and digital legacy.


Jennifer Muldowney
Jennifer Muldowney

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