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November 2016




veterans: Dads
D-Day memories
focus daughters
attention on vets
Preneed sales:

OSullivan on the
#1 thing sales managers
must take care of
Filhaber on how
to generate preneed
and at-need sales
Creating the want
Rubin helps people
downsize, organize
& make final plans


How to handle
a transfer to benefit
families & your firm
Isard on turning a
need for a water source
into ways to generate
cemetery revenue
Todd Van Beck
on the importance of
the humble uh-huh
Handling the service
for international
celebrity Juan Gabriel


KIP Awards entry

deadline: November 28!
Wide World of Sales:
Register now and save
Apply for scholarships
to attend Sales, ICCFAU

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International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association
Promoting consumer choices, prearrangement and open competition
Providing exceptional education, networking and legislative guidance and support
to progressive cemetery, funeral and cremation professionals worldwide
12 sales management

Brenda Spicer, whose father landed

at Normandy on D-Day, at one of the
services honoring veterans at EvergreenWashelli Memorial Park. Story, page 34.

8 Presidents Letter

So you think youre in sales?

by Mike Uselton, CCFE
10 Washington Report
Coping with the new overtime regs
by Robert M. Fells, Esq.
39 Supply Line
40 IMSA updates charter, sets

new objectives
42 Update
48 New Members
53 Calendar
54 Classifieds
54 Ad Index

ICCFA Magazine online
ICCFA members in good
standing can read the magazine online
Web Expo directory of suppliers and
Association directory
Industry event calendar
Model guidelines
ICCFA Government and Legal Affairs
Committees model guidelines for state
laws and regulations
Links to news and feature stories from all
over the world
Cremation Coaching Center

ICCFA Magazine

If you dont have people to sell, then nothing else matters:

The sales managers dilemma Your job as sales manager doesnt
only involve training, oversight and encouragement. Before you can
do all that, you have to have people to train, oversee and manage.
Not just any people, but the right ones. And you need to be looking
for them all the time.
by Gary OSullivan, CCFE

18 Preneed sales success

Generating leads for preneed vs at-need sales Planning your sales

and marketing involves figuring out not only how to advertise and
market online but also the best ways to generate both preneed and
at-need sales.
by Dale Filhaber

22 Preneed sales success

Creating the want How do you get people to want to prearrange

funeral and cemetery plans? How can you sell the idea of doing so
without selling?
by Anne Marie St. George, CPC

24 funeral service

From perfunctory transfer to a transformative experience: One

directors view on how to make a graceful transfer with grieving
family members in the room A poorly done transfer of the deceased
in front of family members can effectively ruin the funeral experience
for them. Put more time and thought into how your firm handles these
first calls and turn these potentially awkward moments into positive
by Amy Cunningham, CC

28 Book review

Kicking the Bucket List: 100 Downsizing & Organizing

Things to Do Before you Die, by Gail Rubin, CT, CC
review by Susan Loving

30 professional development

The keys to service: Simple encouragement

Some people think saying uh-hum isnt saying anything at all. On
the contrary, it can say a lot and should be one of the verbal tools used
by every funeral director and cemeterian.
by Todd W. Van Beck, CFuE

32 Management/Sales

Cemetery Impossible: What do you do when the well runs dry?

The price for a water feature might seem high, but consider the ways
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49 Build on basics 2017 WWS in

Phoenix, Arizona January 11-14, 2017

2016 KIP Awards
Recognizing excellence in personalization
Entry deadline: November 28, 2016
Scholarships Applications available for
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Put the spotlight on your company
by sponsoring at the WWS Conference
or the Annual Convention
Thank you to our Fall Management
Conference corporate partners
Lung Force ICCFA staff members
raise funds to fight lung cancer




by Daniel M. Isard, MSFS


D-Day and counting ... a daughter remembers

The daughter of a man who was among those who landed on the
beaches of Normandy on D-Day has a special connection to observances in honor of veterans at Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park.
by Paul Elvig

42 uPdatE

Perches handles funeral for superstar Juan Gabriel

Tips for planning a celebrity funeral

44 uPdatE

Remembering one of the industrys great sales directors

by Rich Sells, CCE

Vanderkolk turned him from a pilot into a salesman

by Milt Songy

ICCFA calendar

go to www.iccfa.com
for program, registration & scholarship info

2017 wide
world of sales

January 11-14
Hyatt Regency,
Phoenix, Arizona, Conference Chairs:
Andy Lopez and Stan Engh
2017 annual
& Exposition

April 5-8
Renaissance Nashville
& the Omni Nashville, Tennessee
Conference Chairs: Mitch Rose, CCFE,
and Nectar L. Ramirez
2017 iccfa university

July 20-26 Fogelman

Conference Center, Memphis,
Tennessee Chancellor:
Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE

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November 2016

Michael Uselton, CCFE, president

Magazine staff



iccfa officers

Scott R. Sells, CCFE, president-elect

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Presidents Letter
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President Michael
uselton, ccfE

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ICCFA Magazine

So you think youre in sales?

his edition of ICCFA Magazine is

dedicated to sales and marketing. When
we use the term sales, most of us usually
think about a preplanning specialist along with
commission-based employees. While that is true
for the majority of us, it also carries throughout
your organization, whether you believe so or not.
If you have been a member of the ICCFA
for some time, you probably were attracted to
this association due to your desire to excel in
prearranged sales, among many other reasons.
Not only are we the only full-service association
for all aspects of the death-care profession, but
the ICCFA also has represented you legislatively
to protect this right to provide our customers with
peace of mind and financial planning for end-oflife desires.
The ICCFA has supplied members for decades
with sales tools. The J. Asher Neel College of
Sales & Marketing within the ICCFA University,
led by none other than Gary OSullivan, has
provided hundreds if not thousands of you with
tools to sharpen your sales skills, learn new
approaches and, better yet, make people better.
Attendance is an absolute must for your sales
team. As Gary says, merrcles happen every day.
Presentation materials, along other tools,
have long been available for members and have
progressed from Right Way, Wrong Way
presentation training to the full line of modern
sales training materials in THE SYSTEM.
Getting back to the theme of my headline
(So you think youre in sales?): Many of our
staff members believe they are not in sales.
Not to stereotype, but often funeral directors,
receptionists and administrative and grounds
maintenance employees are among those who
feel that way.
But being in sales does not require you to
ink the contracts and get paid a commission.
Everyone who works in our organizations is in
sales. The #1 generator of sales leads is customer
service. While people in the roles listed above
may not realize it, the first impression made
by how the phone is answered, how satisfied
the family feels by the care they received, how

efficiently work orders are handled and how the

appearance of your grounds is maintained all
affect future sales.
Often you hear, everything begins with a
sale, and that is true. However, you and I know
that if you expect to follow up and get the chance
to protect the clients family and friends with
plans of their own, your success is contingent on
how well the first one was handled.
It certainly does make that condolence call
easier when the family you just served became
a raving fan of your organization because of
how well they were served. So, whether you
or a member of your staff or your colleagues
believe they are in sales, the fact is, all of you are.
Everyone and every role matter when it comes to
making sales and ensuring the continued success
of your organization.
Dont miss out on an opportunity to sharpen
your and your teams sales skills and have a lot of
fun while doing so by attending the Wide World
of Sales Conference. Be sure to register soon
for this premier sales training, which will take
place January 11-14, 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona.
Committee Chair John Bolton, along with WWS
Co-Chairs Andy Lopez and Stan Engh, will
provide you an unforgettable, high-energy sales
learning experience you do not want to miss.

Help defeat the #1 killer of women

We are making great strides toward reaching our

goal of $100,000 in support of LUNG FORCE
through your contributions. Every contribution
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Washington Report
by ICCFA General Counsel
Robert M. Fells, Esq.
1.800.645.7700, ext. 1212
direct line: 703.391.8401
Fells is ICCFA executive director and general
counsel, responsible for
maintaining and improving
relationships with federal and state government
agencies, the news media,
consumer organizations and related trade

More from this author

Why we vote. A series of
articles on the importance of
engagement in the democratic
process in the United States.

Funeral Radio. ICCFA General Counsel

Robert Fells, Esq., talks about legal and
legislative issues affecting funeral, cemetery and cremation businesses at
More resources
Wireless. ICCFA members, send us
your email address and well send you
our bi-weekly electronic newsletter full of
breaking news.


ICCFA Magazine

Coping with the new overtime regs

s of this writing, 21 state

governments and the U.S. Chamber
of Commerce have filed lawsuits
in federal court to stop the U.S. Department
of Labors new overtime regulations from
going into effect on December 1, 2017.
Assuming the new rules go into effect at that
date, American employers must pay overtime
wages to workers who earn less than $47,500
This increases the pool of employees
who must be paid overtime by anywhere
from two to four million workers. Until
now, any employee who made at least
$23,500 annually could be made exempt
from receiving overtime pay, assuming
other factors were also met. i.e., performing
managerial or administrative duties. The
new DOL regs double that threshold, and
also index future hikes to occur every three
years. See the Washington Report column
in the July 2016 issue of ICCFA Magazine,
available online to ICCFA members in good
standing, for details.
Strategies to cope with the new overtime
requirements range from splitting an affected
full-time position into two or more part-time
ones, switching workers from hourly to
salaried positions, cutting jobs or, of course,
paying overtime wages.
Regardless, it appears certain that
labor costs for many businesses will rise
substantially. Observers believe the litigation
may at most cause a temporary delay in
the new regulations going into effect but
are unlikely to result in their being ruled
The states are suing in their capacity as
government employers. For example, Iowa
estimates that the new OT regs will increase
its payroll expenses by $19.1 million for
government and public university workers
just in the first year after the regs become
effective. The COC and 50 other businesses
are suing in their capacity as private sector
employers, claiming that the DOL has
violated the Administrative Procedures Act
in issuing the regs by exceeding its authority
and acting in an arbitrary and capricious
Based on the pleadings, the plaintiffs argue
that DOL is essentially putting the duties
considerations on the back burner, in favor
of a bright line salary threshold. DOL
is shirking its responsibility to determine

Observers believe the litigation

may at most cause a temporary
delay in the new regulations
going into effect but are unlikely
to result in their being ruled

whether workers are actually performing

bona fide executive, administrative or
professional jobs. DOL relegates the type
of work actually performed to a secondary
consideration while dangerously using
the salary basis test unencumbered by
limiting principles, as the exclusive test for
determining overtime eligibility.
Some litigants are more focused on the
three-year indexing provision to increase
the salary threshold. The states claim that
DOL exceeded its authority to update the
exemption from time to time by providing
for automatic threshold increases every three
years. The Chamber of Commerce argues
that the escalator provision should be
subject to notice and comment rulemaking
requirements every time the threshold is
Of particular concern is the decision by
the DOL to adopt the 40th percentile of fulltime salaried workers in the southern U.S.
to determine the exemption threshold. This
yardstick has never been used in the past
when DOL adjusted the salary threshold and
critics say that its use distorts the numbers.
However, the DOL states that it is
confident in the legality of all aspects of
our final overtime rule. It is the result of
a comprehensive, inclusive rule-making
Plaintiffs evidently filed the litigation in
the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Texas because the Texas courts have been
sympathetic in striking down overreaching
federal regulations. That said, the cases
have been assigned to a judge appointed by
President Obama, making it likely that a
court-ordered change in the regulations, if
any, will happen only at the appellate court
Meanwhile, employers should assume
that the new OT regs will became effective
as scheduled on December 1. ICCFA
members will be alerted to any important
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November 2016


by Gary OSullivan, CCFE

ICCFA Magazine
author spotlight

OSullivan is president of
Gary OSullivan Co., Winter
Garden, Florida, a consulting firm specializing in the
cemetery and funeral profession. He works with clients in the areas
of leadership and management development, service and sales processes and
corporate culture.

His experience begin at 18 years of age

selling cemetery property door-to-door and
includes leading a national sales organization and then forming his own consulting
and speaking company in 2001.
He has been recognized by the ICCFA
as the top rated speaker for the past two
In 2014, OSullivan received the first
ever Lasting Impact Award from the ICCFA
Educational Foundation, in recognition of
the significant educational contribution he
has made to the profession.
In 2009, the ICCFA presented
OSullivan with an honorary doctorate for
his 20 years of consecutive participation in
ICCFA University. The session in 2017 will
be his 30th consecutive year.

More from this author

OSullivan will hold one of his
famous fireside chats at the
2017 ICCFA Wide World of Sales
Conference, January 11-14, at the Hyatt
Regency, Phoenix, Arizona. For program
details and registration information, go to
He is coauthor of THE SYSTEM, the
professions only complete preneed selling
online training program. His book, Sales
Never Get BetterSales People Do52
Principles for Sales Success. The ICCFA
called his audio series, A Basic Approach
to Preneed Selling, the best-selling audio
series in the history of preneed sales.
OSullivan is dean of ICCFA Universitys
J. Asher Neel College of Sales & Management. The next session will be July
20-26, 2017, at the Fogelman Conference
Center, Memphis, Tennessee. Look for information in the spring at www.iccfa.com


ICCFA Magazine


Your job as sales manager doesnt only involve training,

oversight and encouragement. Before you can do all that,
you have to have people to train, oversee and manage.
Not just any people, but the right ones.
And you need to be looking for them all the time.

If you dont have people to sell,

then nothing else matters
The sales managers dilemma

his isnt an article about preneed

sales, but it is an article about
preneed selling. Confused yet?
If so, allow me to try to clear up the
confusion. This article is not about making
preneed sales, its about getting preneed
sales made.
As a sales manager, you need people.
So, to be clear, what Im going to talk
about is the fact that sales managers need
people who sell. Because if you dont have
people to do the selling, then nothing else
really matters.
Ive taught preneed sales counselors for
years this basic philosophy: If you dont
have people to see, then nothing else
really matters.
Doesnt matter how good they are, what
they know, how convincing they may be in
sharing the preneed story, how wonderful
their firm is, how great their facilities
arenone of that matters. Everything
else is irrelevant if they dont have people
to see, people they can make a preneed
presentation to.
This is part of my attempt to help sales
counselors understand the importance of
consistently prospecting, always working
diligently to remind them that every day
they dont prospect, the next week they
will have to settle for lesser performance.
We know from experience that if a coun
selors sales are off today its because
their prospecting efforts were lacking the
previous week.

Principles dont change, only

technique and application do

When you enter into the role of sales

management, the principle is the same,
only the application is different. Sales

managers need people, but instead of

people to see, they need people to go do
the selling. If you dont have people to
sell, then nothing else really matters.
Just as the salesperson needs to be
prospecting on a consistent basis, looking
for opportunities to get themselves in a
preneed selling situation, so must sales
managers be prospecting for people who
fit in their organization and can help them
achieve their sales objectives.
The principle Ive taught to help sales
managers stay focused on this important
concept is this: Every week you dont
recruit, the next month you will settle for a
lesser degree of performance.
This is not new information. Nothing
Ive written so far is breaking news for
anyone in sales management. However,
as I travel around this great country of
ours, I have observed that most sales
organizations either need more people than
they have or they need to replace some of
the ones they do have.
If a sales organization does not have
the needed number of (effective) sales
representatives, doing the things they need
to do on a daily basis to generate preneed
sales, it is literally impossible to reach
sales objectives.
That seems obvious, yet many sales
managers need to be convinced of the fact
that recruiting should be a part of their
weekly activities if they want to grow their
In seminars I do across the country
for sales managers, I often ask, How
many of you have someone in your sales
organization today who needs to go?
Without exception, almost everyone in
the room raises his or her hand.

to page 14
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salEs MaNagEMENt

When you really dont have to hire someone, its amazing how many
great candidates seem to show up. Its equally amazing that when
youre desperate for people, the good ones never seem to show up.
from page 12
Then I ask, How many of you need
more salespeople than you currently
Again, virtually 100 percent of the
participants raise their hands.
So heres whats interesting: It
seems almost every sales manager has
salespeople they need to replace and needs
more people than they have. So lets take
a deeper look into the subject and try to
distill why this is the caseand what
needs to be done about it.

When do most sales managers


Allow me to give a disclaimer: None

of my observations or statements are
intended to be absolute. However, I think
you will agree that many of the situations
I observe are relatively common. So lets
review when most sales managers recruit.
Remember, I said most, not all.
In general, they recruit when they have
to. Someones spouse got transferred and
they move. Someone quits, someone gets
a better opportunity, and the list goes on.
No sales organization is ever constant for
very long.
Another common scenario is that a
sales organization loses one person but
that person is not replaced. Management
thinks, Thats OK; they didnt produce
much anyway, and they needed to go.
Then another leaves, then another,
and so the story goes. Then one day the
sales manager looks up and realizes the
department is extremely understaffed.
Now theres an emergency situation.
Hiring when you absolutely have
to (and quickly!) is often when hiring
mistakes are made. I need people, and I
need them now. Ill upgrade later now
right now I just need a grade, any grade.
Thats when the imagination takes
over and the justification begins. Hiring
someone because you need someone
is when the temptation to lower your
standards rears its head.
This is when you start seeing what you
want to see rather than what you should
be looking for. This is when you may be
tempted to shortcut your process, perhaps

ICCFA Magazine

bypass some of your standard procedures,

and convince yourself that the person you
hire will be able to do the jobwith your
training, oversight and encouragement.
At these times its easy to forget about
the amount of time, money and energy
that will be put into a person whom were
going to give a try. A person we hope
wants to succeed as badly as we need them
to succeed. I have found this scenario
rarely has a positive outcome.
So when should we recruit? Well,
you know by now my standard answer
is: continually. Every week you arent
focused on recruiting, the next month you
run the risk of having a lesser degree of
performance. Things can change so fast
in a sales organization. For many sales
organizations, one or two people leaving
could be potentially disastrous.

Make your organization crisis-proof

Every sales managers goal should be to

have a crisis-proof sales organization. My
definition of being crisis-proof is simply
that you are in a position that if one or
two people leave you will still be able to
achieve your objectives.
When youre crisis-proof, you have
enough people that no individual can
ever hold you hostage. Experienced sales
managers know exactly what Im talking
Can we truly make our sales
organizations crisis-proof? Im not really
sure, but what I do know is that if you
become a recruiting maniac, you have
gone a long way toward accomplishing
just that.
Why? Because youre always bringing new people into your organization.
Because when youre always looking for
top talent, you end up finding top talent.
When you really dont have to hire
someone, its amazing how many great
candidates seem to show up. Its equally
amazing that when youre desperate for
people, the good ones never seem to show
Lets take a few minutes and talk about
some of the key concepts that may help
improve your skill set in this process we
call hiring. Though its as much art as

science, there are some things that you can

look for to help make better choices.

Hire on evidence

As sales managers, we are very excitable.

We believe that everyone wants to achieve
at the same levels we do. We are convinced
that we did it, so they will do it, too.
Did you notice I said will do it, not can
do it? Yes, most people we interview can
do what we do. Thats not the issue. The
question is whether they are willing to do
what is required to be successful in our
In his book, The Entrepreneur Roller
Coaster, Darren Hardy warns his readers
about this very thing. He reminds us that
its important to hire on evidence, not
enthusiasm. We get so excited in some of
our interviews that if were not having the
right conversations, we hire a nice person
rather than a qualified person.
Author Bradford Smart says it this way:
The best predictor of future performance
is past performance.
We must look for evidence in each
candidates past that proves they will be
able to perform in the future in the manner
necessary for them to be successful in our
profession. If this evidence cant be found,
its probably a mistake to offer them an

Hire people with the proper I.D.

Im not talking about having human

resources check their paperwork; Im
talking about the need to evaluate the
candidate to see if they possess the
qualities that will make them the right fit
for your organization, to get the job done
and for our profession.
Because of the uniqueness of our
profession and the seriousness of our
service, we want to make every possible
effort to only bring the most characterbased people into our profession. We also
need individuals who have the drive and
determination needed to be successful in
our profession.
Im fully aware of the fact that this is
a lot easier to write about accomplishing
than it is to execute, but lets spend a few
minutes thinking about this concept of
Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

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Each subsidiary is responsible for its own financial and contractual obligations.
PRE1115 (11-16)

2016 Global Atlantic

Dont miss Gary OSullivans

Fireside Chat
Part of the
for the
Wide World
of Sales
January 1114, 2017,
at the Hyatt

hiring people with the proper I.D.

The I reminds us to look for
individuals with integrity, intelligence and
Integrity. You want individuals with
solid, strong values, people who value
honesty and for whom youve found
evidence in their past that they want to
do things the right way and for the right
Intelligence. This doesnt mean the
people you hire have to be brilliant,
it means they have the ability and
willingness to learn. People of intelligence
are not know-it-alls and theyre willing
to learn new ways and follow your
companys protocols and procedures.
Initiative. You need people who are
self-motivated and self-directed. A person
with initiative is an individual who will get
things done.
The D reminds us that we need
people with desire, determination and
Desire. In the world of direct selling
we need individuals who desire to achieve
something. Desire is something that cant
be instilled in people. They either want to
improve and achieve more or they dont.
You need people who want something
different and will do the work required to
achieve it. This requires desire.
Determination. You also need
people who are extremely determined.
If the desire is strong enough, then their
determination will keep them working at it
long enough to achieve their objectives.
Discipline. The freedom direct sales
brings requires people to be extremely

ICCFA Magazine


Keep this in mind about these six qualities: Without the first one
integritya person can cause great damage to your organization if
they possess the other five. Without the last onediscipline
a person will never do much of anything for your organization.
disciplined. We know that the more
disciplined we are in certain areas, the
more freedom we are afforded. Therefore
having an individual who is disciplined
enough to control their activities and their
emotions in the proper manner will help
them be successful in our profession.
Keep this in mind about these
six qualities: Without the first one
integritya person can cause great
damage to your organization if they
possess the other five. Without the last
onediscipline--a person will never do
much of anything for your organization.
Thats the reason you want to make every
effort to find out if they have these key

The three Rs of recruiting

You need to be relentless, right and respon

sible. Your success as the sales manager is
not judged on what you do but rather on
what you get done through the activities of
others. Therefore, developing the people
you have and looking for the people you
need is a sales managers never-ending
Be relentless. To continually build your
sales organization and make it as crisisproof as possible, you must be relentless.
You must develop the mentality of
being a recruiting maniac. You can never
slow up; you can never slow down; you
can never stop. You must always be
looking for that next talented individual to
join your sales team.
Things you need to know
Be right. As relentless as you must be,
I read this many years ago: Id rather have you must also never lower your standards
an empty seat than an empty suit. Its
on whom youre going to bring into your
one of those quotes that you never forget.
business. Therefore you must constantly be
Its one of those quotes that provides a
looking for that right fit.
sobering reminder of how important it is to
There may be people who could
try to find the right people, people who fit
produce the revenue but are not right for
your sales organization.
your sales organizations culture. Dont
Finding individuals who are willing
let what you have built ever be for sale.
to do the work is certainly no easy task.
Always do your due diligence and look
However, we should be encouraged by the for evidence that this is not only someone
fact that those people do exist, they are in
who is right for your company but also
your market and your job is to find them.
someone who is the right type of person
As you pursue this quest for the right
with the right qualities needed to succeed.
people (and enough of them), here are
Be responsible. You also must accept
a few things you need to try to discern
full responsibility for being the person to
during your interview process:
build your sales organization. That doesnt
Is this a person who gets things done? mean you cant engage others, have
Dig deep to find out if this is a person who other support from your organization, get
is results-oriented.
referrals from your business community
and so on.
Is he or she a good fit for your
What it does mean is that you never
company? Its important to establish if
offer up excuses for why you dont have
someone aligns with your companys
the number of people you need, when
values, if he or she is a team player and
when someone who needs to go is allowed
someone who is going to fit into your
to stay. You take personal responsibility
organizations culture.
and accountability for ensuring that youre
Does this individual have what you
always recruiting, hiring, developing and
cant teach? You cant teach people to be
coaching the people who will build your
self-disciplined; to be persistent; to have
passion; and to have the determination to do business.
Why is all this so important? Its
what needs to be done, the way it needs to
be done, when it needs to be done, whether simple: If you dont have people to sell,
then nothing else really matters.
or not they feel like doing it that day.
Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

Its true that preneed insurance is a product that we offer. But what we provide to our
customers is something more important. The comfort of knowing that when they need us, well
be there. The appreciation that when we give them our word, we keep it. The respect they
deserve for helping guide families through their most difficult hours. Thats why were here.
Of course, ours is a business of providing plans and funding policies. But at its heart, its
a business of people serving people.
Its not just something we say but something we try to live every day.

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National Guardian Life Insurance Company is not affiliated with The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America a.k.a. The Guardian or Guardian Life. PN-Ad 10/13

by Dale Filhaber
ICCFA Magazine author spotlight
Filhaber is president of

Dataman Group Direct,

Boca Raton, Florida.
Filhaber has served as
a member of the Florida
Direct Marketing Association Board of Directors for
the past 26 years, and is a past president
of the Florida Direct Marketing Association.

In addition to being published in local

press and DM industry trade journals, she

is a frequent lecturer on direct marketing, having spoken to the national Direct
Marketing Association as well as several
Florida chapters, The Public Relations
Society of America, the Small Business
Administration, the Water Quality Association and local colleges.

She is the author of several blogs,

including Ask DataDale and Pure Water

Profits. She publishes articles in many
industry periodicals, with recent contributions in Water Technology and Southern
Funeral Directors magazine.

Filhaber has received many industry

awards, including the Golden Mouse

Award for Direct Marketing from Women
in Ecommerce, an Up & Comers Award in
Entrepreneurship from Price Waterhouse
and the South Florida Business Journal
and a Direct Marketing Association Golden

Dataman Group Direct, founded in

1981, provides results-driven direct mail

and telemarketing lists to hundreds of
clients across the country.

Editors note

Preneed Sales Success, an ICCFA Magazine column by various authors, focuses on

building success in sales, particularly the
preneed sale of cemetery, cremation and
funeral products and services. Submission
inquiries are welcome. For details, contact
ICCFA Magazine Managing Editor Susan
Loving, sloving@iccfa.com.


Planning your sales and marketing involves figuring out

not only how to advertise and market online but also
the best ways to generate both preneed and at-need sales.

Generating leads for

preneed vs at-need sales

very business relies on the process

of marketing, lead generation and
sales. Sure, there are different nuances
on this theme, depending on the product or
service and the price point of that product
or service, but the core principles hold true,
regardless of the industry.
The death-care profession is selling a
product and/or a service. The end result
of marketing and advertising efforts is the
generation of leads so a salesperson can meet
the prospect face-to-face to close the sale.
Many owners and managers of cemeteries
and funeral homes are savvy marketers. They
can tell you how many leads they need per
month for each counselor; they can tell you
their cost per appointment; they know how
many preneed contracts they have versus how
many calls they got for at-need services.
But many others are pretty much mystified
by todays marketing landscape. Many of
these are family-owned and -operated esta
blishments that have operated a certain way
for many years and are losing market share to
operations using more sophisticated market
ing techniques to drive lead generation.
Even when death-care establishment
owners or operators want to upgrade
marketing outreach, I think there is a real
disconnect between knowing what they want
to do and understanding how to do it.
As we move into 2017, owners and sales
managers need to focus their marketing
approach on their two core products: preneed
and at-need arrangements.
In terms of marketing, generating preneed
sales requires a focus on outreach (you need
to find people to sell to). Improving at-need
sales requires a focus on search (making it
easy for people to find you).

First things first

Owners and sales managers need to

understand that marketing dollars need to be
budgeted across a 12-month period. The rule

ICCFA Magazine

of thumb is 5-10 percent of sales, depending

on the organizations goal. The dollars
need to be allocated between branding and
visibility, direct marketing outreach and lead
A well established, high-name-recognition
cemetery or funeral home may need to spend
less on branding and more on direct outreach;
a newer establishment may need to spend a
higher percentage of its marketing budget on
branding and awareness.

At-need: The simple visibility test

How does a cemetery or funeral home know

if it has visibility in its market? A simple
Google search will tell the story in one
minute. Since most cemeteries and funeral
chapels are local, typing in your companys
name and seeing what pops up is the easiest
way to see if consumers can find you online.
If you dont see your own cemetery/
funeral home listed, chances are that no one
else can see you, either. If you do not see your
company listed, get nervous, get serious and
find a resource that will help you get visible
If your cemetery or funeral home is way
down on Googles list, you also need to be
concerned, because consumers tend to click
on the listings closer to the top.
If you are near the top of the list, great,
because now you can concentrate on lead
generation, since so much of the process
focuses on driving consumers to your website
and phone number.

Local search

There are many resources in the marketplace,

companies that work with cemeteries and
funeral homes to position them online
for both local search and pay-per-click
Part of local search is driving free traffic
to your website. It is paramount that your
cemetery or funeral home is properly listed
Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

Its whats inside

that gives you


With our trust administration technology inside

your business, you can check the balances of your
trusts daily, track your receivables and earnings
down to the contract level, and even access monthly
statements immediately. Unlike others, all our
monthly statements add up to the market value of the
trust. Youll know exactly whats going on with your
trust. And its all backed by unparalleled customer
service. So the question remains: What does your
trust run on? FSI. Any trust, any state, any time.



on Google Local Plus and the mapping
sections of Google and Bing.
You want to make sure that a consumer
using a mobile phone can find you, see your
location and simply click to connect to your
phone number. This is vital. In the world
of at-need service, when a death occurs,
consumers are not going to spend time
looking around.
They will reach for their cell phones and
start clicking on the top listings they see.
They need convenience, they need efficiency
and you need to ensure that your name will
be front and center.
Other components of local search include
submissions and registrations on other local
resource websites, including the internet
Yellow Pages. Again, when it comes to atneed business, you need to be found at the top
of the list, you need to be found quickly and
the system has to be in place for a quick click
to call.

Pay per click

This is where you pay to have your cemetery

or funeral home listed in prime internet real
estate so that consumers will be able to find
your listing near the top of the page. If you
cannot get to the top of the page with free
organic local search efforts, then you need to
bite the bullet and pay for it.
Again, the at-need consumer is not going
to start scrolling around looking for your
listing. Visibility is key.
Most firms work with an outside company
to set up their Google Ad Words account,
create the actual campaign ads and put
together an appropriate keyword list. Its vital
to select the right keywords that consumers
typically click on when they search for a
cemetery or funeral home, and at the same
time strategically budget the keywords to
maximize results.
There are companies that will set this up
for you and then turn it over to you to manage
your campaign. Other companies provide
monthly reporting and maintenance options.
Either way, cemeteries and funeral homes
need to allocate dollars to this part of their
marketing budget.


Many cemeteries and funeral homes are

using Facebook advertising to help them get
in front of prospects in their local area. One
option is to upload your customer list and ask
Facebook to find look-alikes.
Facebook ads can help with visibility and

ICCFA Magazine

branding, since a company can pay to have

its ad appear on their prospects Facebook
New in the marketplace: uploading/
matching a direct mail list to Facebook to
create a blended campaign. Marketers can
time their Facebook ads so they will start to
appear just before their printed piece arrives
in mailboxes.
Since response increases with the number
of impressions a prospect experiences, adding
another channel to the marketing mix is a real

3. Tweak based on findings. 4. Repeat.

Test only one element at a time. This is the
best way to know for sure if your mail piece
is working.
Funeral home and cemetery managers also
need to look at their own databases. This can
be a tremendous source of great information
which can be used to clone or develop new
prospect lists. These lists can be kept current
through NCOA (National Change of Address)
and data-appending processes.
Its also a great idea to contact families on
your customer list. Since these are your actual
customers, its OK to call them on the phone.
Lead generation for preneed sales
Using the personal touch, you can update
Direct mail is still the #1 driver of lead
data and obtain new next-of-kin and family
generation in the death-care business, whether information.
it is used to invite prospects to a lunch
Remember, individuals who had a positive
seminar or offer a home-delivered premium
experience with a family members preneed
that culminates in an in-home presentation.
arrangements are great leads, open to making
Cemetery owners should not fool
their own prearrangements.
themselves into thinking they can do one
Telemarketing is still a viable leaddirect mailer and people will be walking in
generation tool for some companies. Even
the door. Direct mail is not an event, but a
though Do Not Call laws have made the
well-planned series of touches that affirms
search for good quality telephone numbers
brand, serves as a reminder and becomes
much more challenging, telemarketing can
part of the conversation regarding preneed
still bring home good leads.
planning. It is an essential part of your
Sure, things were great in the olden
preneed marketing tool box.
days, when you could call 10 homes, speak
Direct mail does not sell preneed. It sets
to two people and make one appointment
up the opportunity for your salespeople to sell for a home visit, giving a salesperson the
opportunity to close the sale. Today, only 10
It is a lead generation tool.
percent of consumers are available to call,
Many death-care marketers have explored and the best phone numbers have been taken
EDDM (every door direct mail). Some
off the market.
have done well; others not so much. Most
However, for funeral homes and
marketers have found that for preneed sales,
cemeteries in rural markets with spotty cell
its far more efficient and cost-effective to
phone coverage, or in areas with a large
target the best-performing market segments:
Hispanic population, telemarketing is still a
Households with an older adult
great, low-cost outreach tool for generating
leads and setting up appointments.
Selected seniors
Birthday lists
The last word
People buy from people. No one is going to
Individuals whose parents had preneed
plunk down $10,000 on a mausoleum space
because they got a brochure in the mail. The
Marketers need to keep in mind the
goal of a lead generation program is to set the
stage for the personal appointment. Thats
importance of matching the creative piece
what will close the sale.
and the offer to the market segment for best
Final comment: Cemetery and funeral
response. The message to a 60-year-old about
home owners and sales managers need to
his or her parent is substantially different
understand that they must have a working
from the message that will resonate with a
marketing plan that the entire sales team
buys into. It takes a team effort to create and
But you have to test. One of the primary
embark on an ongoing marketing program
strengths of direct mail is our ability to
that takes into consideration both at-needs
measure its efficiency. So keep in mind the
need to be found and preneeds need to
four principles of direct mail testing:
1. Run a test. 2. Analyze the results.
Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

Let SNL show

you a better way.


Guy Winstead

should provide more than
just a product. Our goal is
to provide service-oriented
competitive preneed products
and marketing solutions.

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

November 2016


by Ann Marie St. George, CPC

ICCFA Magazine author spotlight
St. George is the

New York regional

manager for Cooperative Funeral Fund.
She has worked in
the funeral industry
for the past 30 years.
She is also a mortuary officer for both DMORT Region II and
Kenyon International Emergency Services.

Cooperative Funeral Fund Inc. (CFF)

specializes in the management of preneed

and perpetual care fund accounts. CFF
has provided a program for the death
care industry to facilitate the creation,
investment, tax compliance and payout of
funeral trusts since 1989.

Editors note

Preneed Sales Success, an ICCFA Magazine column by various authors, focuses on

building success in sales, particularly the
preneed sale of cemetery, cremation and
funeral products and services. Submission
inquiries are welcome. For details, contact
ICCFA Magazine Managing Editor Susan
Loving, sloving@iccfa.com.


ICCFA Magazine


How do you get people to want to prearrange

funeral and cemetery plans? How can you sell
the idea of doing so without selling?

Creating the want

want you to take care of me when I

die. Do I consider this a compliment?
When I first started out as a 20-yearold funeral director and someone said this
to me, it was usually a young man who
thought I didnt get their true meaning
wink, wink. I will never forget the day
this sentiment was posed on a whole other
A female coworker and I were driving
the hearse to a local crematory. While
driving on the expressway, a car full of
young men passed us at a high rate of
speed, leaving us in their dust. Imagine our
surprise when they slowed down enough
for us to pass. We chuckled, thinking they
probably had never seen a woman driving a
hearse before and wanted to make sure they
hadnt imagined it.
It wasnt very long before I noticed
them in my side mirrors speeding up to
catch us. As they approached the passenger
side of the hearse, one of the men was
holding a sign that read, I want you to
drive me when I die.
Never ones to be outdone, we caught
up with them, holding a sign of our own:
How about now?! Even though they
didnt pass us again, I am sure they still
tell that story. I do, though with a slightly
different perspective.
This incident is one of many that
seemed to follow me during my career in
the funeral profession. What it taught me
was that finding the funny is a unique way
to help people open the dialogue about
prearranging their funeral.
Even as a young funeral director, I knew
intuitively that it was OK to smile and
laugh at certain times when speaking of the
deceased. You just had to be cognizant of
when those right times were.
When my manager called me into the
office to scold me for joking with the
family, I did second-guess myself. But

then I thought, if the family jokes with

me, am I expected to tell them, Thats
not appropriate! I didnt think so. Not
following my intuition felt wrong.
Fortunately for me, the owner of the
funeral home pulled me aside to simply
say, Go with your gut, kid. It was nice
to know someone else felt the same way.
Though it was, of course, to be our little
As professionals in the death-care
industry, even though we might doubt
ourselves at times, we learn to trust our
instincts. We naturally sell without actually
selling, while meeting a need and helping
people reach the point where they want to
take care of their final arrangements.
Whether its a serious conversation
or a playful discussion, just talking with
someone about their final wishes opens
their mind to all of the possibilities. This
is where we excel. Our passion for what
we do shines through. What we see and
believe, we help to achieve.
I rarely hear a grieving family have
anything bad to say about the funeral
directors or cemeterians who handled
their loved one. Yes, there are a few of
knuckleheads out there, as in any industry,
but fortunately, they are few and far
So, how do we naturally create the
want in preneed sales? We talk about it
every chance we get and every place we go.
We can talk about it in obvious places
such as with high school kids in a death and
dying class, adults at a seminar sponsored
by an elder care attorney or with senior
citizens in an assisted living facility.
Or maybe we think outside the box and
talk about creating ones final tribute while
standing in line at the supermarket, while
buying a car or while the x-ray technician
is imaging the leg you possibly broke while
trying to learn something new.
When discussing something we believe
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in and are passionate about, there simply is
no bad place or time.
Recently, while my husband and I drove
his 16-year-old son and his girlfriend back
to her familys home, I thought, Why
not ask these teenagers their thoughts on
prearranging their funeral? It was a long
drive, so I was being creative.
My stepson is used to this type of talk.
There are four funeral directors in the
family, so the subject of death comes up
more often than in most homes. However,
I wasnt quite sure how his girlfriend would
respond, so I approached our conversation
a little differently.
When speaking about death with
someone from any generation, it is best
to see what kind of experiences they have
had with death and go from there. The less
familiar they are with dealing with any type
of death, the more cautious you need to be
starting out.
Let them share their experiences without
leading them. This helps you get a sense
of whether they are open to talking about
the topic or whether you should just let the

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

subject drop. Fortunately for me, neither

of them had endured a bad experience and
both were interested in talking about it.
My question to them: What would
someone talk about while prearranging their
funeral? Their main focus was whether
they would be cremated or buried.
When I asked them what their parents
want, they looked at me and exclaimed,
How should I know?! Sound familiar?
I guess most people, regardless of age,
feel the same uncertainty when it comes to
arranging someone elses funeral.
Here is the scary part: This is the gener
ation that will be taking care of many of us
baby boomers, not to mention Gen Xers.
If you want to create the prearrangement
want in a baby boomer, share with her or
him their childrens mindset about making
funeral arrangements for their parents.
Cant you picture the LED bulb going
off in their head? Uh oh, Id better
prearrange my funeral. My kids wouldnt
have a clue, and if Im not around to text
them, they will never get it right!
Reach out to members of the baby

boomer generation. They, more than

anyone, understandor can easily be
led to understandthe importance of
prearranging a funeral.
Creating their want can be done
naturally when you understand what will
motivate them. Many have already had to
make arrangements for a parent who did not
leave instructions. They are often painfully
aware of how difficult that process can be.
They also know full well that their
children often have their heads in the
virtual world more than in the real one.
I understand that feeling. I have already
talked about my final wishes with my
stepchildren, yet they admit to not remem
bering what I requested. Talk about having
your personal LED light go off.
This is what we need to convey to as
many people as possible: We all should
sit down and prearrange our own funeral
rather than relying on family members
to remember what we did or did not tell
them about our final wishes. Hows that for
creating a want?

November 2016


by Amy Cunningham, CC
ICCFA Magazine author spotlight
Cunningham is a

Brooklyn-based funeral
director and certified
celebrant (trained by
Doug Manning and
Glenda Stansbury).

She is owner of
Fitting Tribute Funeral Services LLC,
Brooklyn, New York, and in 2015, was
listed as one of the Nine Most Innovative
funeral professionals in the country by
She regularly blogs about the funeral
industry at TheInspiredFuneral.com.

Fitting Tribute Funeral Services

specializes in green burials in cemeteries certified by the Green Burial Council,

home funerals, simple burials within the
New York City Metro area and cremation services at Green-Wood Cemeterys
crematory chapels.


ICCFA Magazine


A poorly done transfer of the deceased in front of

family members can effectively ruin the funeral experience
for them. Put more time and thought into how
your firm handles these first calls and turn these potentially
awkward moments into positive experiences.

From perfunctory transfer to

a transformative experience
One directors view on how to make a graceful
transfer with grieving family members in the room

he funeral consumers I meet arent

excessively distressed by todays
funerals costs. More frequently, they
are infuriated by the insensitive way funeral
firm personnel, in the presence of family,
transfer the dead to the funeral home from the
beds they died in.
Two men in dark suits came in and
suggested we might want to leave the
room. Then we heard the creepy zipping
of a bag. Then they all left. It felt like they
were in a hurry to get to an appointment, or
You yourself have heard this complaint.
Funeral home transfer teams can bow and
offer condolences until theyre blue in the
face, but if they cant manage a compassionate, careful collection of a deceased
person from the room he or she recently died
in with grieving family members looking on,
they have botched the funeral, and the funeral
homes owner might spend the next three
days trying to redeem the whole firm.
It is hard for such a loaded exchange
to look as good or seem as smooth as
anyone might desire. But the honesty and
transparency of the moment is critical.
Detaching medical equipment from the
body, quickly reaching to support limbs that
might hang down and look a little frightening
in order to get the deceased person onto the
funeral homes stretcherall of those actions
performed in the presence of family can be
painfully awkward for the funeral homes
hard-working (sometimes up-all-night) trade
service or transfer team. In essence, this is a
changing of the guard.
But I think success stems from engaging
families more in the moment instead of
fearing their reactions and trying to shield

them from the transfers inevitable imperfections. The relocation of the dead from
place of death to the next stop on the journey
truly holds the most amazing ceremonial
Some transfer teams see this moment of
the funeral as the worst part, when they could
see it as the bestand take greater pride in it.
(Dare I say that many of the families wishing
to pay less for a casket would pay more for
an improved transfer-from-place-of-death
We need to adapt to modern families
wishing to witness as much as they can, even
when what those families are choosing to see
is difficult. It is not our job to remove them
from an experience in order to protect them
from it.
Lets face it, the popularity of cremations
without any funeral parlor visitation, combined with the success of the hospice movement and home funeral (or just a requested
delay in the pick-up) have created an
environment where the time spent at place of
death is the viewing.
At this modern on-the-spot ceremony,
family members may have been singing,
praying, crying and exchanging stories at
the bedside in the 90 minutes since death
occurred. The tributes have commenced
before the funeral firms arrival.
Hospice workers, hospital chaplains and
death midwives are facilitating this new kind
of working wake immediately after death
exquisitely well. And families are navigating
the liminal spacethe time between death
and dispositionas best they can.
Enter the funeral director (or the funeral
homes representatives). Yow. Not an easy
to page 26
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My Business
Didnt Mean
Selling Out.
It Meant
Partnering Up
For Something
With the challenges our profession faces, my family knew
we needed a partner to help us grow and adapt. But we
had to be able to maintain our reputation. We couldnt
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Former Owner of Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services,
Current Senior Vice President of Business Development
for Foundation Partners Group

We found the right fit with Foundation Partners Group, a

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When my wife and I were considering a
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Give them a moment to gaze at their loved ones face one last time. Wait for the nod.
If youre not getting the nod, wait some more. The family eventually will nod when ready,
and some transfer teams find they can avoid zipping over the face until safely out in the hall.
zip yet. Tell the family, Im going
from page 24
to cover and close, but before I do,
Here are some ways funeral
is there any music you would like
directors and funeral home personnel
to put on? Any smartphone in the
can support, even uplift, a grieving
room on speaker creates this splendid
family at point of transfer. Not all of
these suggestions will work for every
Any flowers on the bedside table?
community, but its my hope youll
the family if theyd wish to
get some useful ideas.
the deceased exit with flowers
1. Clear your head and fill it
Gently tug stems out of the
with compassion on your way to the
tuck them in.
home, hospice or hospital. Arrive at
zipped bag is involved,
the agreed-upon time. Stand at the
zipping at the feet.
door of the room where the death has
laws on the bag
occurred, knock softly, then enter.
approaches will
Slowly offer your hand to family
to zip at
members, extend condolences. Youve The cot cover (from FinalEmbrace.com) that Cunningham
been doing that with every job, right?
This is just like a witnessed casket
Whats new is what comes next.
Stay formal. Be elegant. Go slowly.
2. Ask what the people in the room
4. Again (now, this is key), address the
the compassion you brought
called the deceased, and if you may use
deceased by name and then say, Forgive
door? Use it now most of all.
that name for a moment. Walk to the bed,
us in the coming minutes if we seem in any
8. Stop your zipping at the base of the
touch the deceaseds shoulder and introduce
way awkward or clumsy as we take you to
yourself to the deceased by name and say you the funeral home. We are doing our level best, neck, with face of the deceased still exposed.
Look up, and lock your eyes on the faces of
are there to help. This is a leap, I know. But
and we promise to continue to do our best as
the family members, indicating non-verbally:
hang in there with me.
long as we, and the others we work with, are
Is it okay to zip over the face?
What is said next is open to personal
taking care of you.
Give them a moment to gaze at their
style and cause of death. One possibility is
I have found that even the most secular
loved ones face one last time. Wait for
a moment of silence while staring into the
families appreciate this. Soul or no soul.
the nod. If youre not getting the nod, wait
face of the deceased, telegraphing nothing
People care that you care and that you are
some more. The family eventually will nod
but a calm, confident demeanor in deaths
announcing your caring intentions. Did you
when ready, and some transfer teams find
notice how the family just took a huge sigh
they can avoid zipping over the face until
A very brief prayer could follow, if the
of relief?
safely out in the hall.
family is religious and no clergy is present.
5. At this point, turn to the family, and
In any case, youve been extraordinarily
(God full of mercy who dwells on high,
say, Listen, its fine at this point if you guys
grant perfect rest on the wings of your divine stay in the room, but you need to make a little helpful in preparing this family for the road
path for our stretcher here. Orits up to
Or, you could reflect out loud on the fact
9. I take my leave with the cot
youyou might want to wait outside in the
that death is a labor, and that the deceased
cover pictured on this page from
has successfully gotten to that labors other
FinalEmbrace.com on top of the stretcher,
If youre a bit inexperienced and worried
side. Death is not a lost battle.
gliding along to music as we roll down
about being graceful with the body, your
3. Turn to the next-of-kin and ask if
the hall. When the death has occurred in a
dream may come true: the family may
everyone has said their goodbyes for now.
tearfully retreat to the hallway and let you and residence, the exit may be even more effusive
You must be willing to spend more time here your partner manage the lifting in private.
and elaborate. A parting poem? Solo sung by
if family members have still not completely
a family member? Absolutely.
I feel grateful when I work for a family
collected themselves. You may have arrived
Even more terrific things can occur
who wants to stay in the room. And, if Ive
too quickly, so be prepared to back off. Chan- got a do-it-yourself crowd, I might allow
when the whole funeral has been held in the
ces are good that they are ready, but you have some able-bodied family help at the feet, in
residence and you are now on your way to the
no good reason to rush them if theyre not.
crematory or cemetery. Turn up the volume
the lift to the rolling cot, at this point.
Check, of course, for wedding rings and
of the music; family members could cast rose
Family members may not want to do
personal belongings. Remove if necessary,
petals as you graciously depart.
much in the tight space allowed, save tuck
and offer to the next-of-kin. (Your lawyers
Children or pets present? Get them
the sheet under. Either way, the offer to work
may want you to get personal property
involved, too. This is it. This is now. No one
collaboratively is what counts.
documents signed.)
6. Now its almost time to zip, but dont will ever be quite the same again.

ICCFA Magazine

Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

Saying Goodbye
ye to
a 90-Year Legacy
was a Tough Battle.
Deciding Who
o Should
Sell it for Me Wa
Wass No
Dave McComb,
Former Owner of
D.O. McComb & Sons
Funeral Homes

For over 90 years, our neighbors in Ft. Wayne, IN. have trusted
D.O. McComb & Sons during a difficult time. When it came time
to select a merger partner, I chose Johnson
nson Consulting Group,
because I needed to trust that my broker
ker would handle all the
details from start to finish. I knew they had the contacts to find
the right merger partner, the skills for tough
ough negotiations, and the
ey also got me more for
f r my
integrity to maintain confidentiality. They
business than I had expected.

Mergers & Acquisitions Valuations Accounting Management Services Financing Customer Surveys

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Now my focus is on my three funeral care

are businesses: Eagles
eneed. Johnson Consulting
Wings, Inman Services, and Premier Preneed.
ped make that possible.
Group went to the mat for me and helped

by ICCFA Magazine
Managing Editor Susan Loving


Rubins book encourages

all kinds of preneed planning

ICCFA Magazine subject spotlight
Gail Rubin, CT, CC,

is certified in thanatology: death dying and

bereavement, is author
of Bucket List: 100
Downsizing & Organizing Things to Do
Before you Die. She also is author of the
award-winning book A Good Goodbye:
Funeral Planning for Those Who Dont
Plan to Die and The Family Plot blog.

She is a death educator,

Certified Celebrant, and pioneering Death Caf host who
uses radio, television and
funny films to help start funeral planning
Her 12-episode TV show, also called A

Good Goodbye, helps bring the funeral

planning conversation home. The four-DVD
set is available.



ICCFA Magazine

ast year, Marie Kondo, author of the

best-sellingThe Life-Changing Magic
of Tidying Up, was named one of
Times 100 most influential people. Bucket
lists, from 10 places you must visit before
you die to 100 essential movies to see,
have proliferated oline.
Gail Rubins new book, Bucket List:
100 Downsizing & Organizing Things to Do
Before you Die, combines these two popular
preoccupations in a book that promotes
preplanning. Rubins book encourages people
to undertake downsizing and organizing not
because its a dreary obligation, but because it
will make their lives better. (Sound familiar?)
The tie-in to our profession begins in the
foreward by funeral director Amy Cunningham, who notes were taught that staying
busy and accumulating things will lead to a
better life, and that our fear of death begins
early, as well-meaning parents seek to shield
us from the inevitable by avoiding funerals.
But decluttering our lives and preparing
for our deaths can be an uplifting experience,
Cunningham says, and all this organizing will
enable our families to focus on their grief
and/or our send-off when we die: They
wont have to wonder what we would have
wanted, where the car title is or what our
Facebook password might be.
Rubins book doesnt provide a checklist
of steps to take, one by one. Instead, it provides options and ideas. Frankly, if you take
care of #91, focus on joy (which involves
following the KonMari method of tidying
up everything), you dont need to do #93,
evaluate your stuff, or #92, list what you
need or dont need, because you will have
divested yourself of stuff you dont need.
But #93 and #92 do provide alternatives
for those not enchanted by Mari Kondos
method. Rubins list gives people options for
finding the downsizing-organizing method(s)
that work best for them, as well as ideas for
making the job less tedious. She includes
URLs for more information about ideas and
methods that do appeal to you.
The list includes every way you might
want to get rid of things, from selling them
online or at yard sales to donating materials
to Habitat for Humanity and giving vintage
clothing to local theater groups. It also lists
ways to dispose of potentially hazardous

Kicking the
Bucket List:
100 Downsizing
& Organizing
Things to Do
Before You Die,
by Gail Rubin, Rio
Grande Books,
ISBN: 9781943681150.
items such as old medications and paint.
Decluttering and organizing is designed to
help you live a less stressful, more joyful life,
but it also has an impact on estate planning,
since it will make things easier for your
executor and heirs, as will the advice to have
art, jewelry, musical instruments and other
items appraised.

The end-of-life list of things to do

The list counts down from #100 to #1.

Number 39 is get organized for end-of-life
issues. She says that fear of death is why
more than 70 percent of adults dont make
these arrangements. Yet death comes to us
all, she notes, urging people to finish the list
so your loved ones wont have to scramble
to gather vital information and make
expensive decisions under duress of grief.
End-of-life issues listed span everything
from doing estate planning and making a will
to writing your family history and recording
online passwords. Number 15 (shop before
you drop) advises visiting several funeral
homes to learn about options.
The list also includes making your funeral
plans and arrangements to cover funeral and
cemetery costs. She does advise people not
to write a check directly to a funeral home:
Make sure you buy a preneed funeral
insurance policy you own and can transfer to
a different funeral home if you move.
Rubin suggests writing an epitaph, and
says she hopes hers will fit on her marker:
Talking about sex wont make you pregnant,
and talking about funerals wont make you
dead. Start a conversation today.
Number 1 on her list: enjoy your life and
start your bucket list today. After all, your
stuff isnt going to organize itself. And your
funeral isnt going to plan itself.
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by ICCFA Magazine columnist

Todd W. Van Beck, CFuE
ICCFA Magazine
author spotlight
Van Beck is one

of the most soughtafter speakers and

educators in funeral
He is the director of continuing education for John A. Gupton College, Nashville,

Van Beck is dean of ICCFA Universitys

College of Funeral Home Management
and received the ICCFA Educational
Foundations first ever Lasting Impact
Award in 2014.

Like Todd Van Beck

on Facebook today!

More from this author

Van Becks book

Reverence for the Dead:

The Unavoidable Link,
addresses in detail the
ethical standards of caring for the dead and the
ethical consequences of
not doing so.

Van Becks new book

The Story of Cremation, walks the reader

through the history of
cremation, its historical
uses to its use today. It
concludes with a discussion of the downsides of


ICCFA Magazine


Some people think saying uh-hum isnt saying anything at all.

On the contrary, it can say a lot and should be one of the
verbal tools used by every funeral director and cemeterian.

The keys to service:

Simple encouragement

hope that pretty much everything we

logical message: Thats it. Go on. Youre
do in the funeral interview we do to
on your way. Im with you. I care.
encourage the client family in one way
This manner of encouraging our
or another by engaging them, by showing
bereaved clients is an integral part of our
them kindness and attention.
professional funeral service philosophy.
It has been my longtime observation
In fact, the uh-hum almost becomes
that by far the vast majority of funeral
obligatory when youre helping other
professionals excel at showing clients
people, and you dont need a Ph.D. to use
and the entire communities in which they
it effectively.
work and live kindness and attention. In
Like empathy, the uh-hum is not
such a complicated, impersonal and often
really stated in words; it is more of
cynical world, people who can show others a simple presence, and my personal
kindness and attention are indeed sweet
experience is that, as with empathy, the
bereaved client family will sense it.
Our attitude toward life, our approach
Case study
to living and our response
When I was a student
as funeral professionals
at the old New England
are all meant to support
Institute in Boston, I worked
and reinforce the client
alongside of one of the
family in their efforts
kindest, sweetest, most
to create memorial/
outstanding funeral directors
ceremony decisions that are
I have ever encountered. His
meaningful and worthwhile
name was Alfred B. Marsh,
for themwe all know that.
We strive to help them in
and he was a jewel in the
coming closer to accepting
crown of the human race.
the reality of death and
I did a great deal of
Als embalming, as he was
to being satisfied with us
and with the service our
allergic to chemicals. I liked
and admired him so much
companies provide so they
can experience the benefits
Funeral director Alfred B. that I was continuously
motivated to never, ever
of the entire memorial
Marsh, a master of quiet
disappoint him. I owe him a
great deal of gratitude, and
In this ongoing effort to
create a meaningful experience, we cannot cherish his memory to this very day.
I remember I was helping Al work a
underestimate to what extent our slightest
visitation one evening. A woman came
uh-hum can spur them on in their
choices, in their decisions as they design
over to Al, and she was a magpie. She
just would not stop talking. She rambled
a ceremony that will provide them with a
valuable experience.
almost randomly from one subject to
Though frowned upon by some people, another and didnt even seem to need to
breathe, as it was clear that she never took
I believe the uh-hum is an excellent
a breath. On top of all this, she was a bore.
interviewing skill to possess. The simple
uh-hum conveys this important psycho
I wasnt even part of the conversation,
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In fact, the uh-hum

almost becomes obligatory
when youre helping
other people, and
you dont need a Ph.D.
to use it effectively.
yet was so annoyed with her that I just
turned around and stood staring at the front
door. Now, there is a very ineffective way
to communicate with or be nice to others:
turning around and staring at the door.
Al couldnt get a word in edgewise.
All he kept saying was uh-hum. I think
he probably said uh-hum 500 times. I
couldnt believe his tolerance and patience,
because this talking machine who was
dressed up like a human being obviously
was nuts!
Finally the ordeal ended. Al thanked her
for the conversation (monologue, more
like it), shook her hand and walked quietly
into the chapel.
I was still standing staring at the front
door, which really hadnt seen much action
that particular night. Kind of pitiful, isnt
it? A young man just staring at the front
door of a funeral home while no one goes
in or out.
The talker was ready to leave, and as
she walked past me I said a silent prayer
that she would not open her mouth, but
open it she did, and she said to me: Your
boss is a mighty smart man. He is such a
gentleman, and it was so nice to talk with
him and get his thoughts.
Get his thoughts? Al had only said uhhum now and then!
In short order, here came Al, and he
could probably see that the expression on
my face betrayed my immature annoyance
with this non-stop talker.
I made some crack about how offensive
she was, and Al, the consummate gentle
man and funeral professional, just smiled
and said, Well, Todd, you could look at it
that way, but I just thought she was lonely
and needed somebody to listen.
I felt might puny after that interaction
with Al. Looking back, I realize it was
precisely that depth of kindness and char
acter that made Al beloved and admired by
so many people. And he managed it many
times simply by muttering uh-hum at the
right time.
Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

November 2016


by Daniel M. Isard, MSFS



ICCFA Magazine
author spotlight
Isard is president of

The price for a water feature might seem high, but consider
the ways it can generate more revenue for your cemetery.

The Foresight Companies

LLC, a Phoenix-based
business and management consulting firm specializing in mergers and acquisitions, valuations, accounting, financing and customer surveys.

He is the author of several books, and

the host of The Dan Isard Show.

More from this author

Educational information, including

copies of this article, can be found at


You can follow Isard on Twitter at

@f4sight and like his page on Facebook.
Editors note: The Cemetery Impossible
column is written by the staff of The Foresight
Companies. If you have a question you
want to be featured in this column, please
send it to danisard@f4sight.com. Dan Isard
or a member of his staff will call you to get
more information and a recommendation will
be provided via this column, helping not only
you but also others who are facing similar


ICCFA Magazine

What do you do when the well runs dry?
Dear Cemetery Impossible,
My cemetery is almost 80 years old. We use
a well for our groundwater source. The well
is starting to dry up. My city has told me
that if the well dries up, I will be required
to use a low-lying area for a retaining pond.
water can be private estate mausoleums or
The alternative is to buy water from the city,
communal mausoleums. These would be
which is very expensive.
valued at a premium with the water feature.
The retaining pond idea scares me,
Most designers look at a water feature
because I have not developed that area yet
and design it as a circle or oval. This is
and the local land architect estimates it would
simple and easy to build. I would ask that
cost about $250,000 for a quarter-acre lake
you think about a different design. Think
site. What can I do?
about a kidney shape, or a figure-eight.

Sincerely, High and Dry
You might need a quarter-acre pond, but
can take that surface area and create
Dear High and Dry,
shoreline, that gives you more options
Frankly, based upon todays interment
rights adjacent to or in sight of
market, you are lucky that you need to
you have more points
create a lake. I say this from the perspective
of cost, features and revising your master
Think about features within the lake.
fountains provide a pretty
The city water could cost $20,000 a year
aerate the water, helping the
in perpetuity. Alternatively, you can finance
the cost of the lake and pay it off at $20,000
Incorporate some lightscaping in the
a year for 15 years or so. From a dollarsarea.
This will bring more attention to the
out-of-pocket standpoint, the lake is a better
night, which gives people driving by
solution than getting water from the city.
of the quality of your property.
Since I solved your problem in fewer
lights can provide illumination
words than it took to describe it, let us now
hours each evening at no
discuss the greater benefit of the lake.
You do not need to illumi
You perceive the lake as a liability. You
than that.
need a retention area to draw water from as
I have seen many lake areas include a
a replacement for or a compliment to your
ramada or kiosk that encourages people
well. However, I see it as a great source of
to congregate. Add permanent seating and
potential income and benefit for you.
tables and you encourage people to come to
Water retention areas are features.
your cemetery. A lake and the amenities you
Features raise the value of the interment
create can provide that invitation to your
area. You said this was a low-lying area,
familiesand to potential customers.
which leads me to infer it is often wet
As you can see, water can offer positive
anyway. These areas are usually not good
options. However, it also brings a few bur
for burial because, depending upon the
weather, you could be burying into a water- dens. Some cemeteries have brought in swans
or waterfowl to inhabit the area. Obviously,
filled grave. No one likes that.
animals need care and create waste.
However, by creating a design around
When dealing with animals, there are
a lake, you can offer high-end abovemanagement issues to be dealt with. Even
ground options, rather than needing to dig
if you do not stock the area with wildlife,
for burial. Above-ground options around
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A lake can provide many

cremation interment options.
You can allow scattering in the
lake. You can build cenotaphs
(memorial trees or brick
programs) to provide permanent
memorials. The shoreline can
also provide interment options.

migrating species will find their way to you.

Bees may also create an issue. However,
if you find ways to house the bees, you can
offer the honey to a local food pantry and
convert this to a solid local community
outreach program that will bring good
So, a lake can become a central point for
humans, animals and insects.
I recommend that todays cemeteries
revisit their master plans. This should be a
priority. Your property is 80 years old. Except
for a few crazies, burials were common in the
days of President Roosevelt.
Well, the tide has obviously turned. Recent
studies show cremations make up 48 percent
of dispositions. I believe that number will
go up to almost 80 percent within the next
I also know that in cemeteries that offer
multiple inurnment options, almost 50
percent of those choosing cremation entrust
the cremated remains to the cemetery. I also
know that almost 35 percent of all people
retain their loved ones cremated remains for
future decision-making.
Its obvious that the cemetery of tomorrow
needs to refocus on cremation interment
options rather than traditional burial.
A lake can provide many cremation
interment options. You can allow scattering in
the lake. You can build cenotaphs (memorial
trees or brick programs) to provide permanent
memorials. The shoreline can also provide
interment options via man-made river rocks
for inurnment.
I have seen several cemeteries create
islands within their lakes for private and
communal mausoleums. The exclusivity of
this offering can generate substantial revenue
for you. Memorial bricks can line the bridges
connecting the island to the shore, providing
more options for cremation families.
You know that if life gives you lemons,
you should make lemonade. In this case, it
would be very sweet lemonade indeed.
Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

November 2016


by Paul Elvig


ICCFA Magazine
author spotlight
Elvig retired in 2008 as

The daughter of a man who was among those

who landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day
has a special connection to observances in honor
of veterans at Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park.

general manager of Evergreen-Washelli Memorial

Park and Funeral Home,
Seattle, Washington.
He is a past president
and former secretary of the ICCFA. His
interest in cemeteries as guardians of our
nations heritage continues.

Elvig previously worked as an administrator at the Washington State Department

of Licensing, where he assisted in the
redesign of Washington cemetery law.
He has testified in Washington, D.C.,
on behalf of the ICCFA a number of times,
including at the hearings of the Senate
Special Commitee on Aging.

Brenda Spicer tallks to attendees and hands out programs at the Evergreen-Washelli
Memorial Day observance.

D-Day and counting ...

a daughter remembers

Brenda Spicer of Evergreen-Washelli.


ICCFA Magazine

n 1944 with France in view, the Allied

forces led by Supreme Commander
General Dwight David Eisenhower had
prepared for an invasion. It would be early
in the morning of June 6 on the beaches of
Normandy. Amphibious landings at five
different locations would require the allout efforts of everyone involved.
Frank Spicer Jr. prepared for what he
and others felt could well be a suicide
mission. Still a teenager, Spicer knew that
this was it. They would face battering from
heavy winds and waves pouring seawater
over those who would be taking on the
Carrying their military rifles, the
invaders immediately encountered heavy
fire coming from beach cliffs, fire that

took down many of their friends. There

would be blood in the water and on the
beach. Such would become the vivid,
unforgettable memories of that day.
Those who made it to the beaches
would scramble to find places on shore to
duck behind as the enemy fire continued.
Then the invaders would fight their way
on to enemy-held bunkers, taking control
of them. It would become the Allies first
beachhead in France.
Half a century later, US Navy
Boatswains Mate Second Class Frank
Spicer Jr. stood at the very site of that
landing with his daughter Brenda Spicer,
each making a special trip to visit the
storied place. D-Day would always be
a special day for 2nd Mate Spicer. This
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November 2016



Above, rows
of veterans
graves at
decorated for
Memorial Day.
Right, Brenda
Spicer confers
with EvergreenWashelli General Manager
Scott Sheehan.

Above and left, Brenda Spicer talks to attendees at the observances.

particular one was a day his daughter would never forget.

For years, Brenda Spicer has given special attention to memorial
services for veterans held at Evergreen-Washelli Memorial Park in
Seattle, Washingtoneven more attention than the average staff person
might be expected to show for such special events.
Wet and windy days in the Pacific Northwest find her decked out in
raingear and boots, ready for action on Veterans Day. Why? Learning
about her fathers experience explains it all.
The 52nd anniversary of D-Day, June 1996, found the father-daughter

ICCFA Magazine

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pair at the very place in France where Frank
Spencer found himself ready for action on
that most famous of World War II dates.
It of course was moving for the veteran
to be at that special bunker, but it was
equally so for his daughter. She was
able to see a side of her fathers life and
experiences she had never been exposed
to before. She found her love and respect
for him growing as she came to understand
what he had gone through.
Even though D-Day continues to fade
into the past and fewer veterans are around
to reminisce and honor fallen comrades,
Brenda Spicer makes sure its still
remembered well at Evergreen-Washelli.
She makes sure the visiting veterans
are lined up for their formal march and
flag presentation. The media still finds the
event newsworthy. Television cameras are
on hand, ready to record historys heroes
standing at attention. She has arranged
to block off cemetery roadways to assure
undivided attention for them.
With thousands of veterans markers in
the background, the band begins playing
marching music. Its time to proceed.
List in hand, Brenda nods to the folks
whose time to march has arrived. The
guest speaker is readied; microphones and
sound speakers are turned on.
Meanwhile, she has slowly stepped into
the background, not seeking attention for
herself. Dad would be proud!
Listening to Brenda talk about
her father, you realize why she is so
emotionally involved in making sure the
sacrifices made by veterans are never
At the end of this days ceremonies,
someone says to her, You did a great
jobagain! She expresses her thanks but
immediate brings the attention back to the
veterans, the people like her Dad. Theyre
the ones who made it happen; theyre the
ones on whom the attention needs to be
At 82 years of age, another WWII hero
passed on. Frank Spicer Jr. was buried at
Holyrood Cemetery, north of Seattle.
There arent many of them left nowadays. Do you personally know anyone
who stormed the beaches of Normandy?
Regardless, your cemetery can help make
sure that, long after the last heroes of
World War II are gone, they are never
Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

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November 2016


If youre a funeral industry supplier but not an IMSA member, you should
know what our members are getting that youre not: the best booth pricing
at the major tradeshows, hours of free one-on-one consultation from top
industry experts, business-boosting webinars, networking with other IMSA
members, and so much more. And the kicker is, our members pay only
$175 a year for the privilege. Is that unfair? It is, unless you join IMSA
too. Dont lose the upper hand. Join now at www.IMSA-Online.

Supply Line

Perfect Memorials new Battle Cross

cremation urn.

EvaTechs robotic trimmer attachment.

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

n Perfect Memorials, Eden Prairie,

Minnesota, has introduced a new Battle
Cross cremation urn based on a military field memorial, the battle cross. The
origins of the battle cross likely date all the
way back to the American Civil War, when a
fallen soldiers location was marked by sticking the bayonet of their rifle in the ground
and placing their helmet on top of it. More
recently, the battle cross began to appear in
photos showing units in Iraq and Afghanistan erecting battle crosses to memorialize
their fallen comrades.
Perfect Memorials has created a highlydetailed cremation urn that allows families
and friends of fallen soldiers to commemorate their lost loved one with a battle cross
memorial at their home. The urn stands
over two feet tall. The realistic details of
the rifle, boots and helmet are accentuated
by an antique bronze finish applied over
the cold cast resin base. The urn allows for
three lines of engraving, a military emblem, stars and poem on the front plaque.
n Evatech, Tampa, Florida, has
released a robotic trimmer attachment for its Hybrid Goat 22T series.
The attachment allows operators to
reach small, hard-to-reach spots. Steep
slopes can be mowed safely without a
weed-eater and in an environmentally
friendly way. The 22T generates its own
electric power. The attachment has two
individual 18-volt trimmer motors,
each having a 10-inch cut width. The
cut height is adjustable with the remote
control. The arm moves on a spring, allowing the attachment to push up against solid

objects, such as poles, without damage.

727.643.7242; sales@evatech.net;
n THe Foresight companies,
Phoenix, Arizona, has hired Many Rohde,
CPA, as director of accounting services.
She replaces Diane DeClercq, who is retiring. Rohde has more than 15 years experience. She has a bachelors degree in accountancy and a masters degree in taxation from
Arizona State University. She will work with
clients on reducing their tax bills and in
business succession or sale situations.
1.800.426.0165; danisard@f4sight.com;
n Starmark Cremation products,
Richmond, Indiana, has
promoted Chad Eversole to
assistant regional manager
and transfered him to Lakeland, Florida. Eversole had
been located in Richmond,
Indiana. He will be working
with regional manager Cecil Beach to grow
the warehouse direct route truck delivery
routes in Florida. Eversole graduated from
the Art Institute of Pittsbugh and interned
with Hasbro Toy Group before going to
work at Vandor in Richmond as a press
operator, then shift supervisor and then as
a member of the research and development
team. He later moved to customer service,
production and marketing. He received
certification in organizational leadership
and supervision from the Purdue School of
Technology. 1.888.366.7335;

to page 40

November 2016


IMSA updates
charter, sets
new objectives

MSA, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has

updated its charter and established
new objectives. The actions were taken
during a strategic planning meeting of the
organizations board.
A core objective of IMSA and its membership has always been to improve the quality of material and service to the industry.
This was further affirmed and clarified in the
first revised goal of promoting the success
of its members by supporting best standards and practices in the
death-care industry through
open communication and
information sharing.
IMSA plans to strengthen
its cooperative efforts with
other industry associations
to provide expertise and help
connect its members to the
Jeff Hodes, many resources available.
While each organization
provides specialized focus and strengths,
we feel that the ultimate strength lies in the
collective knowledge of the industry, said
IMSA President Jeff Hodes, CCE. We want
to work on ways to harness this collective
expertise for our members and the industry
Both the second and third objectives
established by the board delineate IMSAs
To expand the dissemination of innovative information throughout the industry
To advocate cooperation amongst various associations serving the industry
Numerous avenues toward achieving
IMSAs new objectives were discussed at
length during the strategic planning session
and will be shared with its members at the
Annual Membership Meeting in Nashville,
Tennessee, during the ICCFA convention.
We are truly excited about the redefined
goals of IMSA as we feel they bring more
benefits for members, Hodes added. I
encourage members to contact me or any
board member with any ideas or input.
The International Memorialization
Supply Association is comprised of more
than 100 suppliers of funeral products and
414.708.6960; www.imsaonline.com


ICCFA Magazine

Memory Glass cremation memorials are now available with
their patented fingerprint
laser engravings.

n memory glass,
Santa Barbara, California,
has introduced its new patented fingerprint memorials. Memory Glass has added
its laser engraving capabilities
to all of its products, allowing
customers to have a loved ones fingerprint
preserved as part of their glass memorial.
In cases where the loved one is very young,
hand prints and foot prints are available,
while paw prints and nose prints are available for pet memorials.
1.866.488.4554; orders@memoryglass.com;

can now be found at 3201 Old

Jacksonville Road, Springfield.
The office relocation to Old
Jacksonville Road represents
a significant investment by
Federateds parent company,

n Funeral Directors
Life INsurance Co., Abilene,
Texas, has recently released a new suite
of digital services, DIGicare Services. The
five digital services that make up the suite
follow families throughout the sales cycle to
enhance their experience, offer education,
automate services and support and provide
professionals with leads to follow up with
and tools to build and
nurture customer relationn new Memorials
These subscription
Direct, Gig Harbor,
Washington has introCustomer Relationship
duced a new memorial
Management, Circle of
and personalized jewelry
eAftercare, Pre
brochure. The brochure
Tribute Planner
makes it easy for famisales
lies to choose the tye of
Manageengraving desired, the
jewelry style, metal choice
together to help funeral
and whether or not to
professionals save time
include a chamber for
offering professionals
remains. The pricing is not
opportunities to
shown in the new brochure New Memorials Directs new
and care for
,enabling families to freely catalog.
that meet
browse and share it with
friends and relatives. Separate price sheets
are provided to funeral homes upon request.

n Preneed Builders, a subsidiary of Directors Advantage, Clinton, North

Carolina, has launched its aftercare card
program, which enables funeral homes to
automatically stay in touch with families
the first year following a loss. The fully
automated program works by sending out a
follow-up survey plus four cards to the family during the first year following a loss. The
program includes a sympathy card, birthday remembrance card, holiday card and a
card on the first anniversary of the death.
n Federated Funeral directors of america, Springfield, Illinois,
has moved into new offices. The company

n FUneral call, Carrollton, Georgia, has announced their integration API

and successful integration with several
software vendors, including Consolidated
Funeral Services, Ionic and Directors
Advantage. This integration allows FuneralCall clients to automatically sync obituary
information once it is uploaded onto their
website. 1.888.239.0351;
com; www.funeralcall.com

n Duncan stuart todd, Boulder,

Colorado, is concluding its year-long silver
anniversary celebration with a gift for
funeral home owners. Throughout the rest
of 2016, funeral directors may request a
certificate entitling them to special privileges for prep room projects.
720.583.1886; info@duncanstuarttodd.com;

to page 47
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November 2016



Send in news about your cemetery, funeral home, crematory or association to sloving@iccfa.com. If you publish a newsletter,
please email a copy to sloving@iccfa.com or mail to: Susan Loving, ICCFA, 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100, Sterling, VA 20164.

To accommodate the massive crowds, Perches staff members were on call 24-7
and hundreds of thousands of prayer cards were passed out to fans.

A portrait of
singer and
songwriter Juan
Gabriel at his
service, handled
by Perches
Funeral Home,
Juarez, Mexico.

Perches handles funeral for superstar Juan Gabriel

hen international recording artist Juan

Gabriel (legal name: Alberto Aguilera
Valadez), 66, unexpectedly passed away on
August 28, 2016, all of Mexico and fans from
around the world were in shock. He had a
sold-out concert planned for El Paso, Texas,
that evening, and thousands of admiring fans
were already lining up at the doors.

Gabriel, who composed more than

1,800 songs and sold more than 100 million
records, was a beloved celebrity on both sides
of the border and wrote songs for a number
of recording artists, including Gloria Trevi,
Roco Drcal, La India and Mark Anthony.
He was considered one of the top 30 most
influential Latin artists of all time.

When Perches Funeral Homes received

the call to conduct the services, staff found
that the logistics were like nothing the funeral
home had ever experience before. Lastminute instructions were the norm to keep the
media at bay and to protect the safety of the
legions of fans who wanted to pay their final
respects. Security was critical for all parties,

Tips for planning

a celebrity funeral

hen planning a large funeral of this

magnitude, Perches recommends the
Sit down and listen to the family closely
and explain their options.
Come up with a plan.
Have programs in place. Perches offers
a variety of services, including international
transport and a communication bridge pro
gram that assists non-Latino funeral homes
in helping Latino clients. These programs
directly and indirectly helped with this
Communicate the plan with all parties
involved, from law enforcement to the florist.
Be flexible and have alternate plans B, C
and D.
Communicate throughout the process.
Thank all parties involved. You could
not have accomplished what you did without Sal Perces drives the hearse as Juan Gabriels fans reach to touch the car or take
their assistance.
r photos. More than 1 million people paid their respects to the singer.

ICCFA Magazine

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Right, Sal
perches greets
guests at the
service for
Juan Gabriel.
Far right, a
screen projection of the
service to allow
more people to
see it.
Below right,
the transport of
Juan Gabriels
body from El
Paso, Texas, to
Juarez, Mexico.

especially for family members.

When we told that the body was to be
cremated in Los Angeles and then flown
over here by a plane of the presidents
fleet, we immediately began the task of
coordinating efforts with the governor of
Chihuahua, police, bodyguards and state
and local agencies, said Salvador Perches,
owner of La Paz-Perches Funeral Homes.
We discussed with the family several
options and came up with a plan to transport
the secured urn on top of the hearse with
500 roses. I drove the hearse myself, and
I felt chills I never felt before when trans
porting a client.
Hundreds of thousands of persons
lined the street, and many were trying to
touch the hearse as I drove by. For the
actual service, more than 300,000 were in

Overall, more than 1 million persons

turned out to pay their final respects to Juan
To accommodate the massive crowds,
Perches staff members were on call 24-7
and hundreds of thousands of prayer cards
were passed out to fans. Emergency res
ponse vehicles were on call to assist persons
in need, and food and water vendors set up
at locations all along the routes.

A communication hub was set up to keep

the team and media informed. We received
more calls in a few short days than we nor
mally experience in a quarter, Perches said.
Everyone wanted to get a closer glimpse
of Juan Gabriel, including the paparazzi,
who often battled each other for the best
photo angle. Fortunately, our security was
outstanding and everything went accordingly
without a hitch.
Juan Gabriel was like the John Lennon of
Latin music. We all miss him dearly, and his
music has left a lasting legacy that will live
for centuries to come.
Perches has four locations in El Paso,
one in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and one in
Juarez, Mexico.

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November 2016



Remembering one of the industrys great sales directors

by Richard Sells, CCE

ICCFA past president; sellsne@cox.net
aul Vanderkolk was the preeminent
sales leader in our industry for
over 25 years, working as director
of sales for Restland Memorial Park in
Dallas, Texas.
His concept of reaching the market
with effective marketing material was
the example that cemetery and funeral
operators across North America duplicated.
He maintained high standards in recruit
ing and training high-quality candidates,
and that was a great part of his success.
A perfect example of this was his hiring
of former Braniff Airlines pilots. They
had experienced having good incomes and
were willing to learn to make big money in
their new careers in sales.
An example is one of his pilot
recruits, Milt Songy, who wrote about his
experience working for Paul in the piece
printed below.
Innovative products and concepts and a
presentation that closed sales were Pauls
Owners and sales leaders from across

the country came

to Restland to
visit with Paul
and learn from
him. He was
open about
sharing with all
who came his
philosophy and
the reasons for
his sales success.
Paul was
Paul Vanderkolk, who
an effective
worked for Restland
presenter on
of Dallas, Texas.
industry sales
Owners and sales
leaders came from
panels and was
across the country to always available
learn from him.
to speak. His
chair of a very successful convention
brought out a record attendance.
After the acquisition of Restland by
Stewart Enterprises, Paul was a great
source of information and leadership to the
Stewart organization.
He was a great friend, a true profes
sional and a pacesetter for everybody to
follow, recalled Frank Stewart Jr.

He was had of our industrys strongest

marketing mentalities. He was a very
dear friend, as you know. He spent four
Christmases with us in New Orleans. My
kids called him Santa Claus.
Paul became my mentor when we met
in 1972 at the beginning of my career in
the industry.
That relationship evolved into a great
friendship. We traveled both across North
America and internationally together with
our wives. We enjoyed both our place in
Kauai and his home in Naples, Florida,
many times. He referred to himself as Old
Mr. V.
He taught me about strength, deter
mination and positive mental attitude, as
well as the importance of setting goals,
said his son Mark.
He was born on August 9, 1922, and
died November 23, 2015. Paul graduated
from The Citadel in South Carolina and
served his country in World War II.
Paul Vanderkolk was one of the great
sales directors in the history of the industry
and will always be remembered for his
contribution to our profession.

He put no limits on how much you could workor how much money
you could make, and the two are directly proportional.

Paul Vanderkolk turned him from a pilot into a salesman

by Milt Songy
aul Vanderkolk was one of a kind,
thats for sure, and if Saint Peter
needed a sales manager, hes got the best.
From the first few minutes of my new
hire interview with Paul, I knew there was
something very special about this man. I
didnt dare guess what that was, but you
knew that life would now be very different.
This, boys and girls, is an understatement.
He put no limits on how much you
could workor how much money you
could make, and the two are directly
proportional. WOW! Great news for a
guy with a wife, two hungry kids and a
diminishing bank account. Talk about
But working in a cemetery? What
would my friends think?
My friends didnt know what to think.
I was happy and making some very good
money, which was very unusual for a laidoff airline pilot. They really flipped when

ICCFA Magazine

I drove home a new Cadillac DeVille and

gave my wife, Emma, the keys. How?
What was going on??
The how and what was spelled
Paul Vanderkolk. He gave us the tools
and opportunities, and got management to
cough up the bucks to those who produced.
If you didnt produce, you could count on
a little counseling.
When you were successful, he felt
successful, and rewarded you generously.
Salespeople know that its very hard to
stay pumped up every day, and Paul
knew it, too, so he came up with all kinds
of sales challenges. What fun! Work, yes,
but funand good money to boot.
Paul worked long hours for his sales
force, and if sales managers had rank, Paul
would have earned four stars for sure.
It was very hard to leave Restland
Memorial Park when Braniff Airlines
called me back to the cockpit; it really was.
But as I said in a meeting with Paul and

Frank Stewart when asked why I didnt

want to stay, You dont have any airplanes
for me to fly.
No, not now, Frank said.
Oh, well; life surely is a series of
choices, and one of the best choices Ive
made in mine was to go to that interview
with Paul V back in 1970.
The result was far more rewarding
than I could have imagined. Not only
monetarily, but in knowing that I could
actually helppeople solve the problem of
memorial estate planning. Andthis is
a very bigand in realizing that I was a
good salesman, and would never have to
worry about not having a job for the rest of
my life. Thanks, Paul.
My flying took me away from Texas
and the Vanderkolks, but Ill never forget
them, the good people of the preneed sales
department of Restland and the good times
we had earning a living. Thats the way it
should be.
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n Cedar Memorial, Cedar Rapids,
Iowa, is a community partner for a weekly
mindfulness meditation group. The stress
reduction program teaches participants
to practice mindfulness, described in the
n The Allegheny Cemetery Historical Association, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania, is offering self-guided tours of
the resting place of 28 city mayors to commemorate the citys bicentennial celebration. Notable stops include Ebenezer Denny,
the citys first mayor, a compatriot of George
Washington; Joseph Barker, who served from
1850-1851 and was elected into office while
incarcerated (one of at least eight times he was
imprisoned); George W. Guthrie, who served
1906-1909 before his appointment as the
United States ambassador to Japan; Charles
Kline, whose service was marked by scandal
and a corruption conviction; and William
McNair, whose headstone simply reads, Husband, though he is best remembered for his
antics in office when he named his chauffeur
the director of public safety and gladly stood
on his head for press photos.
At every stop, visitors will find a plaque
with an image of the mayor (when available)
and details on the years they lived, terms
served, political affiliation and accomplishments while in office. Maps, brochures and
literature detailing the cmeterys history and
additional famous residents are available at
the administration office.
n Old City Cemetery, Lynchburg,
Virginia, recently offered a guided walking tour to the gravesites of some of the
citys sporting ladies. The Bawdy Ladies
of 19th-Century Lynchburg tour featured
stories about women who lived and worked
in the citys infamous red-light districts. They
were well-known members of the community,
and frequently the subject of newspaper articles, court cases and local lore. More than a
dozen of these women are buried at Old City
Cemetery. The tour was presented by Nancy
Weiland, a research assistant at the citys Jones
Memorial Library who has been researching
the topic for over 30 years. The tour was followed by refreshments and a small exhibit.
n The Pittsburgh Institute of
Mortuary Science, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, recently held its 153rd commencement exercise. William G. Harris, chairman
of the Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral

ICCFA Magazine

release as an open, kind, non-judging attention to what is happening in the present

moment as it is happening.
The program is modeled after the
mindfullness-bases stress reduction

At the PIMS graduation, Dr. Barry

Lease; Jordan Lenick, who received the
Eugene C. Ogrodnik Enterpreneurial
Award; Kevin Drobish; Taylor Allison,
who received the Pierce Chemical Restorative Award; and Dr. Joseph Marsaglia Jr., dean.

Directors and owner of Harris Funeral Home

in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, gave the address. A number of awards were presented.
Ralph Rich received the Memorial Award,
having been chosen by his classmates as the
student who, through qualities of leadership, professional conduct and good citizenship, best typifies the ideals of the student
body. The John Rebol Award was presented
to Daniel Groff, who had maintained the
highest scholastic average for the 2015-2016
school year. On behalf of the PIMS Board of
Directors, Goff also received a $500 scholarship. Ronald Rich received the William J.
Musmanno Memorial Award in recognition
of his outstanding ability, attitude, commitment and achievement in the clinical setting,
and received a $500 scholarship approved
by PIMS board and an embalming kit from
PIMS alumnus Wayne Urbine. The Pierce
Chemical Restorative Award was presented to
Taylor Allison. The Dodge Award recognizing
a student who demonstrated both exceptional and theoretical expertise throughout
the embalming curricula practicum was
presented to Brett Rogers, who received a
complete Dodge embalming kit. Jordan Fieds
received the Champion Award for Mortuary
Science Excellence, having been selected by of
PIMS science faculty for scholarship, aptitude
and practical skills specifically in the core
science component of the PIMS program. It

program founded in 1979 by Jon KabatZinn. Our world needs more gratefulness
and less stress, said Cedar Memorial President C. John Linge, CCFE. I love mindfulness trainingits a daily thing.
came with a $500 credit toward Champion
Jordan Lenick received the Eugene
C. Ogrodnik Entrepreneurial Award for
demonstrating the qualities of stewardship,
scholarship and leadership. It came with
$500 from the PIMS board and $500 from
PIMS President Ogrodnik and his wife The
Joseph D. Moon Educational Grant, given
to the graduate who has mainted the highest
scholastic average for the year, was awarded to
Sarah Worthington and Daniel Groff.
Ten percent of the graduates received the
Mu Sigma Alpha Award for scholarship and
citizenship: T. Anthony Vargo, Daniel Groff,
James Woofter and Amanda Mark.
n The Louisiana Funeral Directors Association, Baton Rouge,
installed the following officers and directors
for 2016-2017: President William Bill Wimberly, general manager of Ardoins Funeral
Homes, Eunice; Vice-President Timothy I.
Dulany, general manager of Osborn Funeral
Home, Shreveport; Treasurer Isabel Espinosa,
location manager for Green Oaks Memorial Funeral Home, Baton Rouge; Secretary
Jimmy Bordelon, funeral director for Martin
& Castille Funeral Home, Lafayette; Sergeantat-Arms Gary Tranchina, vice president of
Honaker Funeral Home, Slidell; Immediate Past President Joel L. Swisher, general
manager of Hixson Brothers Funeral Home,
Alexandria; Southwest District Governor
Retanna Mire, funeral director and embalmer
at Sibille Funeral Home, Opelousas; Southeast
District Governor Scott Haynes, funeral director and location manager at Baker Funeral
Home, Baker; North District Governor W.
Bryan Price, funeral director at Southern
Funeral Home, Winnfield; and South District
Governor Boyd Mothe Jr., vice president of
Mothe Funeral Homes in the New Orleans.
Wimberly is serving his second consecutive
term as president.
n Carriage Services, Houston, Texas,
has bought Jay Chapel, Madera, California,
founded in 1893. Dan Whistler has been
president since 1984 and will continue to be
involved with the business. Carriage operLike the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

ates 170 funeral homes in 27 states and 32
cemeteries in 11 states.
carriage also recently announced
the retirement of dave decarlo.
DeCarlo came out of retirement from a
long career with Matthews International
to join the Carriage board in 2011. He
joined the company full-time as board
president and vice chairman on March
4, 2014.
n Park lawn corP., Toronto,
Ontario, has exercised its right to buy all
remaining outstanding shares in amety
ltd. Amety owns Tubman and Cadieux
funeral homes in the Ottawa, Ontario,
area and Outaouais, Quebec City. Park
Lawn bought 50 percent of Amety in 2014.
Since 2013, Park Lawn has grown from six
cemeteries in the greater Toronto area to
56 properties operating across Canada and
in the U.S. PLC and it its subsidiaries own
and operate 34 cemeteries in Ontario and
Michigan and 16 crematoria and 22 funeral
homes, chapels and planning offices in
Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

from page 40
n GloBal Bronze inc., Toronto,
Ontario, has relocated its corporate headquarters and primary warehouse facilities to
much larger premises in Canada.
n treasured MeMories, Wheeling,
West Virginia, has started a crowdfunding site to help families raise funds. It can
be used for anything, including when the
family requests help in raising funds for
the funeral and memorial celebration or
for giving donations to the deceased clients
favorite charity. This is the next step we can
take as funeral professionals to serve families, charities and our community today. It
allows your funeral service to be receptive

to todays trends and make a

lasting legacy, said company
President James E. Altmeyer.
Funds also may be set up for
schools, churches, charities,
memorial races, golf tournaments and other events.
n unity financial life insurance co., Cincinnati, Ohio, recently
launched a redesigned website. The new
site offers a clean and contemporary design
and allows consumers to make credit card
payments on their policies.
1.877.523.3231; www.uflife.com

READERS: To find the products and services you need, go to www.

iccfa.com and select directory to find: Supply Link, the fastest way to
find the products and services you need at your funeral home, cemetery or crematory.
SUPPLIERS: Send your press releases about your new products and
services, and about awards, personnel changes and other news to
sloving@iccfa.com for inclusion in Supply Line.



Dedicat and focused, Bills

knowledge and experience of the
death ca
care industry provides you
with val
value added services, enabling
you to fo
focus on what truly matters
in such challenging times.

Bill Newman, CPA



Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

November 2016


New Members
For information about
the ICCFA and Membership:

Go to www.iccfa.com/membership to download a benefits brochure and an application form.

Call 1.800.645.7700 to have membership information faxed or mailed to you.


Athens Memory Gardens

Athens, Georgia
Cedar Knoll Cemetery
East Taunton, Massachusetts
City of Delray Beach
Del Ray Beach, Florida
Oconee Memorial Park
Watkinsville, Georgia
C. Luxx Mortuary Service
Avondale, Arizona
American Memorial Association
Renton, Washington

Providing exceptional education, networking and legislative guidance and

support to progressive cemetery, funeral and cremation professionals worldwide
Membership applications

Admission to ICCFA membership normally requires a majority vote of those present and voting at any
meeting of the executive committee. The names of all applicants must be published in this magazine.
ICCFA members objecting to an application must do so in writing to the ICCFA executive director within
45 days of publication. In the event of an objection, the executive committee will conduct an inquiry. If an
applicant is rejected, they will be granted an appeal upon written request. The decision of the Board of
Directors shall be final.

Darlington Cremation and Burial Service

Kalispell, Montana
High Point Funeral Home & Affordable
Cremation Service
Memphis, Tennessee
Mitchell-Jerdan Funeral Home
Mattoon, Illinois
Pet Pilgrimage Crematory & Memorials
Mooresville, North Carolina
Blackstone Cemetery Development
Santa Ana, California

Colorblends Wholesale Flowerbuds

Bridgeport, Connecticut
My Memory Box
Centerville, Utah
Nelson Monuments Ltd.
Sussex, New Brunswick
Ring Ring Marketing
Henderson, Nevada

Professional: Pet Loss Services

Faithful Friends Pet Memorial Services

Edmonton, Alberta

Cemeteries Crematories Funeral homes Suppliers Pet loss professionals

Submit your news to ICCFA Magazine

Whats going on at your organization?
Have you held a groundbreaking or grand opening for a new facility?
Hired or promoted someone?
Is your company offering a new or updated product to cemeteries and/or funeral homes?
Have you recently held an unusual service or a successful seminar at your location?
Added a grief therapy dog to your staff?
Share your news with colleagues all over the worldsend it in to ICCFA Magazine!
Its a simple way to receive some well-deserved publicity for you & your staff & to share ideas with peers.
Heres how to get your news in ICCFA Magazine:
n Write it down. It doesnt have to be written perfectly (thats why we have editors)it just needs to include the
facts. Remember the basics: Who, What, Where, When & How (and sometimes Why).
n Send it in:

Email your Word document or pdf as an attachment to sloving@iccfa.com, or write your release in the body of
your email. Please include your full name and title and the companys name and location in the body of your email.
If your email is a large file and bounces back, send it to slovingiccfa@yahoo.com.

Photoshigh-resolution, RGB jpgscan be emailed or Dropboxed. Photos must be suitable for magazine printing, not for use on the internet. Make sure your e-mail program isnt helping you by maximizing photos for emailing (that means its reducing the resolution). If youre scanning in glossies, they must be scanned in at a minimum
of 300 dpi at the size they are to be printed. If youre not sure if your photos are high-resolution, please check. A 10k
headshot is not high-resolution. A 100k photo of your event is not high-resolution. We want you to look good in print!
Questions? Need some guidance?
Email ICCFA Magazine Managing Editor Susan Loving at sloving@iccfa.com.

ICCFA Magazine

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Build on basics: 2017 WWS in Phoenix, Arizona

he 2017 Wide World of Sales in Phoenix, Arizona, will

feature three motivational keynotes on topics driving
the culture of our profession today: technology, cremation and people. The program is designed to give you the
knowledge, motivation and understanding to meet your families
where they are now and surpass their expectations. After you
have been inspired by the keynotes, industry professionals will
take the stage and bring the message even closer to home. Then
we will get even more in-depth with our series of breakout sessions. Whether you are a manager or a counselor, you will leave
Phoenix with a greater understanding of how to be successful in
preneed sales and family service. We guarantee it!
So what can you expect at this years WWS? People. Technology. Cremation. All things that are relevant to your profession. Here is a peek at the program:

Thursday, January 12, 9:30 a.m.

Ryan Thogmartin presents his talk, How to Drive Leads
on Social Media: Its Not Just Good Will Marketing. Are
your customers really using social media and do they want to
talk about your company? You bet they are, and Ryan Thogmartin is going to show you the proof! He will overload your mind
with power content that is helping funeral companies across
the country be the go to source for death conversationand,
get thisthe consumer is the one starting the conversation. He

Visit Phoenix/Doug Stremel

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

will give you the numberswho is engaging funeral companies

on Facebook, what are they talking about and how you can
produce real leads through social media content.

Thursday, January 12, 10:30 a.m.

Learn Effective Uses of Technology in the Sales Process
with Lori Salberg. Todays consumer is different from the cemetery consumer of the past. Strictly in terms of population, the
majority of consumers we meet with today are either baby boomers or millennials. In this session, Lori Salberg will explore the
characteristics and buying behaviors of these two generations
how they use technology to research and what they expect in
the customer service experience. She will provide a step-by-step
modeling of how to give a more effective sales presentation using
technology, demonstrating how technology can be used throughout the process to engage and enhance the experience and provide
credibility to the cemetery in the process.

Thursday, January 12, 4:25 p.m.

Cremation isnt ruining your business, assumptions are. Learn
the facts about cremation. Robert Boetticher Jr. will present
these facts at his talk, Dont Blame Cremation for Ruining
Your Business, a review of the CANA cremation statistics
emphasizing current trends and growth rates and what is driving

Visit Phoenix/Jill Richards

Visit Phoenix/Michael C. Snell

November 2016


cremation as a consumer choice. Participants will learn strategies for applying statistics to invent creative sales strategies in a
rapidly changing, cremation-focused environment. Families are
choosing cremation for all sorts of reasons, but do they really
understand the importance of memorialization?

Friday, January 13, 10:30 a.m.

Babysitters vs. Influencers is the focus of West Foulgers presentation. As sales managers within the funeral and
cemetery profession, we are often challenged with motivating
our teams in a positive and influential way. Unfortunately, we
often turn to strategies that focus on managing the numbers
instead of influencing our teams. Babysitters are managers
who find themselves forcing people to do what they say, while
influencers motivate people to follow a proven system because they know it works. West Foulger will talk about how to
attract talent and reward them based on a culture of merit, and
lead and empower your team to solve their own problems to
create a relationship of loyalty and personal empowerment.

Friday, January 13, 11:30 a.m.

Chuck Gallagher will be Decoding Sales: The Five
Reasons to Buy Anything. People buy for emotional reasons.
Whether its a car, fast food or preplanning, if you want to in-

crease the likelihood of making the sale, learning the underlying

emotional reasons people purchase is critical. Chuck Gallagher
will share the five buying motives that cause a prospect to say
YES! This practical and fun presentation will, when applied,
increase your sales success and allow you to help more people
preplan. This is a must for sales managers and counselors.
You will have a chance to attend all of these educational
sessions and more. Included in your registration are:
Sales Boot Camp: The focuses of this boot camp are prospecting, presenting and referrals (free to attend but limited
to 40 people)
The new and improved Wide World of Sales notebook with
complete on-site schedule along with note-writing space
Welcome reception
Networking lunch
Breakfast, coffee and refreshment breaks between sessions
Mark your calendars now for January 11-14 to attend the
2017 Wide World of Sales Conference. Hotel rooms at the
Hyatt Regnecy Phoenix are only $179 per night. Registration
forms, hotel information and sponsorship opportunities will be
available online at www.wideworldofsales.com.

2016 KIP Awards: Recognizing excellence in personalization

he ICCFA is pleased to announce that we are now accepting entries for the 2016 KIP Awards.
The KIP Awards recognize personalization in funeral, cemetery and cremation products and
services. The categories are:
Most Personalized Service or Memorial
Best Event

Best Practice/Personal Touch

Most Personalized Pet Service or Memorial

Innovative Personalized Product (supplier only)

Entries for the 2016 contest are due on Monday, November 28, 2016. Visit www.iccfa.com/kip to
download entry forms. You can also read information on past winners of the KIP Awards.


Best in Personalization


Applications available for 2017 WWS & ICCFAU scholarships

ave you wanted to go to one of the ICCFAs conferences

but needed financial help to attend? Apply for a Wide
World of Sales or ICCFA University scholarship. ICCFAs Educational Foundation, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity,
makes it possible for the ICCFA to provide scholarships to attend ICCFA educational programs.
If you are a sales professional who would like to attend the 2017 Wide World of Sales Conference, apply for the scholarship to pay
for the registration fee and other expenses. The deadline to submit the WWS scholarship application is November 14, 2016.
Numerous scholarships are presented annually to selected recepients who wish to attend ICCFA University. Applicants must be
ICCFA members in good standing and employed in the cemetery, cremation or funeral profession for a minimum of two years. The
deadline to submit an ICCFAU scholarship application is February 19, 2017.
Both applications are ready to download now. Visit www.iccfa.com/education for more information.


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Put the spotlight on your company by sponsoring at

the 2017 WWS Conference or the Annual Convention

here are still two months left in 2016, but we at the

ICCFA are looking to the future. The new year will begin
with the ICCFAs Wide World of Sales Conference,
January 11-13, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix, Arizona.
This years sales conference will feature some new
sponsorship opportunities, including:
Thursday night bowling: A night of fun and networking at
Lucky Strike Lanes. [$5,000]

Ad in sales notebook/on-site program: This year, the

famous sales binder is being reborn. Attendees will receive
a notebook with sponsor advertising and note pages to take
notes during educational sessions. [$750]

Popular sponsorships such as keynote sponsoring and refreshment breaks are also available. Co-sponsorships are also
If you would like more information on WWS sponsorship,
visit www.wideworldofsales.com or contact Kelly Spann, the
ICCFAs meeting planner, at kspann@iccfa.com.

Hyatt Regency in Phoenix, Arizona

The stage is being set for ICCFAs Annual Convention and

Expo, April 5-8, 2017, at the Music City Center in Nashville,
Tennessee. Attendees will be able to experience this new
convention center as they visit the Expo Hall and sit in on
educational sessions.
Have your company on display by sponsoring the convention
tote bags or one of the amazing keynote speakers. There are
many more opportunities to market your business, such as:
Expo lounges: A media rack will showcase your printed
materials for attendees to read as they sit down and relax.
[$3,000-5,000 per lounge]

ICCFA App: Have your companys logo displayed in the

ICCFA cellphone app. [$8,500-10,000]
There are many other sponsorship opportunites. Contact
Kelly Spann at kspann@iccfa.com for more information on
Additional information on the 2017 Annual Convention,
including the schedule of events and exhibitor prospectus, are
coming soon.Visit www.iccfa.com/annual to see updates on
hotels and programming announcements.

Music City Centers hall entrance

THANK YOU TO OUR 2016 Fall Management


Cave Hill Cemetery Cypress Lawn Forest Lawn Memorial-Park & Mortuaries
Gibraltar Remembrance Services LLC Global Atlantic Financial Group
Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuaries Homesteaders Life Inglewood Park Cemetery
Johnson Consulting Group Los Parques Matthews International Corp.
NOMIS Publications Regions Trust Service Corporation International
Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum StoneMor Partners LP
The Signature Group The Tribute Companies Inc.

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

November 2016



To defeat lung cancer,

its going to take all of us.
Please join me and the American Lung Association in our goal to raise
$100,000 to support lung cancer research, education and advocacy.
November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month. And were looking for 100%
participation from our generous and dedicated ICCFA members.
Together, we can make a difference for our wives, daughters, sisters and
loved ones, including my wife, Victoria.
Please make a contribution to this important, life-saving goal. Thank you.

Michael Uselton, CCFE, ICCFA President


ICCFA staff Members Kelly Spann, Julie Bly and

Katherine Devins at the Fight for Air Climb event.

Lung Forces turquoise booth at Fight for Air Climb.

ICCFA staff members raised a total of $663 and stepped up

to the challenge at the 2016 Fight for Air Climb on September 24

ICCFA Magazine

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E-mail calendar listings and additions or corrections to bclough@iccfa.com and sloving@iccfa.com.

For continually updated meeting listings and direct links to websites
for professional associations, go to www.iccfa.com; select Find a
Member, then Industry Associations.
November 2: Funeral Directors Service
Assn. of Greater Chicago Annual Trade
Show, White Eagle Banquets & Restaurant,
Niles, Illinois. www.fdsachicago.com
November 2-3: Mid-Atlantic (New Jersey
Cemetery Assn.; Pennsylvania Cemetery
& Funeral Assn.; Delaware First State
Cemetery Assn.; Maryland Cemetery,
Funeral & Cremation Assn.; and Virginia
Cemetery Assn.) Cemetery & Funeral
Convention, Golden Nugget, Atlantic City,
New Jersey. www.njcaonline.org
November 10-11: Cemeteries &
Crematoria Association of New South
Wales Conf., Tweed Heads, Australia.
November 10: Michigan Embalmers Soc.
Mtg., Wayne State University.
November 11-12: Ninth Funeral Expo
Funergal, Expo Center Ourense, Spain.
November 14-15: Casket & Funeral
Supply Assn. of America Fall Conf. & Trade

To see all industry conventions and meetings for a particular month,

go to www.iccfa.com; select Find a Member, then Industry Calendar.

Go to www.iccfa.com and choose Directory/Industry Event Calendar to see a

monthly calendar of industry association meetings worldwide.
Show, Indianapolis, Indiana.
November 15-17: Georgia Funeral
Directors Assn. District Mtgs. North.
November 17-19: Memento, Poznan

International Fair, Poznan, Poland.

November 19: Maine Funeral Directors
Assn. 91st Annual Mtg. & Convention,
Freeport. www.mainefuneraldirectors.org

to page 54


TAP INTO the dynamic online supplier network of the ICCFA with the
ICCFA Supply Link. Powered by MultiView, the ICCFA Supply Link is
the premier search tool for your industry. All the products and services
you need, all within the supplier network of the associaton you trust.
Start your search at our homepage www.iccfa.com.

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com

November 2016


ad iNdex
35 A Simple Thank You
11 Abbott & Hast
37 American Cemetery/Mortuary
39 American Funeral & Cemetery
Trust Services
47 ASDAnswering Service for
2 Continental Computer Corp.
11 Cooperative Funeral Fund
3 Eickhof Columbaria Inc.
35 Ensure-A-Seal
53 Flowers for Cemeteries
25 Foundation Partners Group
11 Funeral Call Answering Service
19 Funeral Services Inc.


Global Atlantic Financial Group

Homesteaders Life Co.
J. Stuart Todd Inc.
Johnson Consulting
Madelyn Co.
Merendino Cemetery Care
Miles Supply Inc.
National Alliance for Grieving
National Guardian Life Insurance Co.
Nomis Publications
Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell &
Paradise Pictures

7 Physicians Mutual &

The Outlook Group
23 Pontem Software
43 RBC Wealth Management
31 Ring Ring Marketing
21 Security National Life Insurance Co.
37 SEP Technologies
29 Sich Caskets
53 Supply Link
13 U.S. Metalcraft
47 WithumSmith + Brown
55 Worsham College
33 Xiamen Ever-Rising Stone Co.
21 Zontec Ozone

from page 53
December 1: Connecticut Funeral
Directors Assn. Annual Mtg. www.ctfda.org
January 11-14: ICCFA Wide World of
Sales, Hyatt Regency, Phoenix, Arizona.
January 14: New Hampshire Funeral
Directors Assn. 117th Annual Mtg., Church
Landing, Meredith. www.nhfda.org
January 15-17: Alabama Funeral
Directors Assn. Mid-Winter Trade Show,
Birmingham. www.alabamafda.org
February 7-13: Ohio Funeral Directors
Assn. Annual Educational Conf., Panama
City, Panama. www.ofdaonline.org
February 10-12: Monument Builders of
North America Industry Show, Indianapolis,
Indiana. www.monumentbuilders.org


February 18: Ohio Cemetery Assn. Annual

Awards Banquet, Holiday Inn, Worthington.
February 23: Alliance of Illinois Cemeterians Annual Convention, President
Abraham Lincoln Hotel, Springfield.
February 23-25: California Assn. of Public
Cemeteries 59th Annual Conf., Oxnard.
March 1-2: International Conf. of Funeral
Service Examining Boards 113th Annual
Mtg., Omni Hilton Head Oceanfront Resort.
March 9-11: Casket & Funeral Supply
Assn. of America Winter Seminar, Hotel del
Coronado, San Diego, California.
March 31-April 1: Arkansas Funeral
Directors Assn. Annual Convention,
Rogers. www.arfda.com

April 5-8: ICCFA Annual Convention &

Expo, Music City Center & Renaissance
Nashville & Onmi Nashville, Tennessee.
April 24-28: Catholic Cemeteries of the
West Annual Convention, Lake Tahoe
Resort, California. www.ccwecare.org
April 30-May 3: Kansas Funeral Directors
Assn. Annual Convention, Wichita.
May 15-18: Ohio Funeral Directors Assn.
Annual Convention, Hilton Columbus at
Easton. www.ofdaonline.org
May 16-17: Iowa Funeral Directors Assn.
Annual Convention, Altoona. www.iafda.org
June 4-7: Texas Funeral Directors Assn.
Summer Convention, Austin. www.tfda.com
June 4-7: Georgia Funeral Directors Assn.
Summer Convention, King and Prince
Beach Resort, St. Simons Island.

Check the classified announcements at www.iccfa.com/employment.htm

To place a classified, contact Rick Platter, rplatter@iccfa.com


3, 4, 5 X 5

Highest Quality Memorials,

Lowest Delivered Price.


Andover Markert Company

634 Berkley Street
Berkley, MA 02779
TEL: (508) 822-3127
FAX: (508) 824-5895

ICCFA Magazine

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Where love and loss come together, there
can be no such thing as going half-way.
Which is why the finest memorials feature
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Paradise Pictures. There is no compromise.
Each portrait is a beautifully hand-crafted,
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Its a visible difference you may be proud
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To them, it will mean the world.
For a free sample, along with our price list,
call us or email


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