The 2018 Before I Die New Mexico Festival is being recognized with the KIP Award, a prestigious national funeral industry award. A Good Goodbye from Albuquerque, New Mexico, won First Place in the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s 2018 Keeping It Personal (KIP) Awards. The KIP Award recognizes the best in personalization in the cemetery, funeral service and cremation profession.

Created by the ICCFA Personalization Committee, the KIP Awards program honors recipients in four categories. A Good Goodbye received First Place in the Event category. Gail Rubin, The Doyenne of Death®, owns the company and served as festival event coordinator.

The ICCFA’s 2018 KIP Awards contest attracted 40 entries from El Salvador, Canada and the United States. Communications and marketing professionals from outside the cemetery and funeral service profession performed the judging.

KIP Award Logo

The Before I Die New Mexico Festival

The Before I Die New Mexico Festival offered the opportunity to foster reflection about how we as individuals and society address death and dying. The Festival’s objective is to get people to think about, talk about, and hopefully, do something about our 100% mortality rate by participating in outside-of-the-box activities.

These activities included Death Café conversations; field trips to funeral homes, cemeteries, casket manufacturers, and the Office of the Medical Investigator; movies; panel discussions, and more.  In its’ second year, this event was held from October 30 to November 4, 2018.

The six-day festival included a celebration of the rituals and meaning of Día de Los Muertos/Day of the Dead. The schedule included 32 events, most free or low cost, at multiple locations in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Belen, New Mexico. Up to 685 participants attended.

Gail Rubin worked with a team of students in a program at the University of New Mexico Anderson School of Management to research and create a marketing strategy that focused on Millennials.

All KIP Awards recipients will be recognized at the ICCFA 2019 Annual Convention & Exposition, April 2-6 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, and featured in ICCFA Magazine.

Festival Sponsors and Partners

The Before I Die NM Festival was made possible by these sponsors:

  • A Good Goodbye – Death educator Gail Rubin puts the “fun” in funeral planning.
  • – Giving families looking for a final resting place for cremated remains guidance on the range of options available for people and pets.
  • National Guardian Life Insurance Company – For more than 100 years, one of America’s most successful and highly rated independent mutual life insurance companies.
  • FRENCH Funerals and Cremations – Albuquerque’s largest and oldest family-owned funeral service company, they won first place in the Event category of the KIP Awards in 2017 and 2016.
  • Morris Hall – New Mexico’s premiere estate planning attorneys.
  • EstatePros – Your expert resource for property organization, distribution and administration.
  • Legacy Concierge – Helping prevent identity theft, secure digital access to online accounts, and provide a host of other important services to the families of the deceased.
  • Passages International – A leading provider of environmentally friendly funeral options for burial and cremated remains.
  • Zia Trust – The Advisors’ Trust Company®.

FBF LogoFestival Partners were La Puerta Natural Burial Ground, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of New Mexico, Guild Cinema, Berardinelli Family Funeral Service, Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico, Compassion & Choices NM Action Team, Daniels Family Funeral Services, and

Founded in 1887, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral and memorialization industry. Its membership is composed of more than 9,100 rooftop locations and 18,000 professionals in the cemetery, funeral home and crematory industries, as well as memorial designers and related businesses worldwide. To learn more, please visit

Learn more about the Before I Die New Mexico Festival by calling event coordinator Gail Rubin at 505-265-7215 or visiting the website,