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May 2017


2016 KIP Awards

for personalized
services, products
Also in this issue:
the game-changer
in preneed sales
Van Beck on using
personal examples
in talking to families
The DNA boom
Pass to progressive
Wolfelt on A Tale
of Two Funerals

Inside: Check out the college programs for ICCFA University, July 21-26, 2017

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Creating growth with preneed sales:
Accountability: The game-changer that creates consistent sales success
Whats the secret to success in preneed sales? If its any one thing, its
accountability. But what does that mean? It doesnt mean staring at sales
Top, a toast during a beach-party- totals and demanding more sales. It means sales managers need to make
themed service at Manasota Funeral sure every day that their salespeople are doing whats required to meet
Home (photo by Bonnie Harmsen, sales goals.
Suncoast Professional Photography). by Gary OSullivan, CCFE, and David Shipper
Bottom, a service at Evergreen-
Washelli with a music and art festi- 14 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
val theme. The keys to service: How to use personal examples
(2016 KIP Award winners in the best Using personal examples when talking to families making final arrangements
practice, event and pet catetories will can backfire. Learn the art of making suggestions.
be featured in future issues.) by Todd W. Van Beck, CFuE
8 Washington report
Funeral service again at the
The DNA boom: A case study in incremental revenue opportunities
bottom of FTCs list of consumer What is more personal than your DNA? But its also a familial link, and
complaints one that can be lost forever after death, unless the funeral home offers
by Robert M. Fells, Esq. families DNA collection.
40 Update by Jim Ford
42 Supply Line
46 IMSA: Advocating
memorialization since its beginning
What two funerals for one elderly woman can teach funeral directors
Dr. Alan Wolfelt has long talked about the whys of funeral rituals,
48 New Members
why they are important to families. His latest book addresses the hows,
53 Calendar
how funeral directors need to change their approach to serving families in
54 Classifieds
todays culture where ritual has been devalued.
54 Ad Index
by Dr. Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D.
From pass to progressive: Rethinking personalization
Personalization has been a funeral and cemetery buzzword for a long time
long enough that nearly every organization offers families something in the
To support the way of personalization. But if what you offer isnt regularly reevaluated and
ICCFA refreshed, it will become stale and fail to impress or help families.
presidents by Jeff Harbeson
raising Grand Prize Winner: Manasota Funeral Home became a beach house
money to for special service An unexpected death left family members devastated
fight lung and unsure about having a service, but after several meetings with a funer-
cancer, todays #1 killer of women, al director, they threw themselves into planning a beach-themed send-off
go to http:/www.iccfa.com/lungforce

4 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

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49 ICCFA University, July 21-26, 2017 for a woman who loved parties.
An invitation from Chancellor Manasota Memorial Park and Funeral Home, Bradenton, Florida
Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE 29 The KIP Awards
50 College of 21st Century Services 32 Evergreen-Washelli creates festival to help family honor artistic,
Includes celebrant training by Doug creative young man How do you celebrate the life of a talented and
Manning and Dean Glenda Stansbury, CC creative young man who loved attending music and art festivals?
50 College of Cremation Services By using cemetery grounds for a festival in his honor.
Dean Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE Evergreen Washelli, Seattle, Washington
51 College of Funeral Home Man-
agement Dean Todd W. Van Beck, CFuE
PlotBoxs multi-sided platform keeps deceased persons records in
51 College of Land Management
one place PlotBox allows cemeteries to combine mapping and records
& Grounds Operations
management with a public platform so that families can preserve their
Dean Gino Merendino
deceased love ones legacy.
51 College of International
Plotbox, Porglenome, Northern Ireland, and Palo Alto, California
Studies Dean Jim Hammond
38 Timeline organizes a persons stories and photos on
52 College of Leadership,
webCemeteries.com Timeline by webCemeteries.com was designed
Administration & Management
to provide families with a central place to gather photos and stories
Dean Gary Freytag, CCFE
in order to tell and share the story of a loved ones life.
52 J. Asher Neel College of Sales
webCemeteries.com, Virginville, Pennsylvania
& Marketing
Dean Gary OSullivan, CCFE
53 2018 Wide World of Sales ICCFA calendar
Call for presentations: go to www.iccfa.com for program, registration & scholarship information
Deadline July 14, 2017
2017 Cremation Certification
May 24-25, CANA operator training May 24, ICCFA arranger
traning May 25; Wilbert Funeral Services, Broadview, Illinois
June 7-8, ICCFA arranger training June 7, ICCFA operator training
Catch the WIRELESS newsletter in June 8; Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service, Decatur, Georgia
your inbox for industry news, stories about July 11-12, ICCFA arranger training July 11, ICCFA operator traning July
colleagues making headlines and updates on 12; Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, Texas
ICCFA educational events & conferences July 18-19, ICCFA arranger training July 18, CANA operator traning July
19; Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science, Ohio
Follow the ICCFAs LinkedIn
ICCFA Cremation Programs Coordinator Poul Lemasters, Esq.
page to read breaking news
about colleagues, the profession 2017 ICCFA University
and the association July 21-26
Fogelman Conference Center,
Memphis, Tennessee
Chancellor: Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE
Follow the ICCFA on Twitter
to receive instant updates on 2017 Fall Management Conference
the associations educational October 4-6
events & conferences Indian Wells, California
http://twitter.com/iccfa Co-chairs: Paul Goldstein and Lee Longino

Like and follow the ICCFA 2018 Wide World of Sales Conference
to read up-to-date news on January 10-12
the industry, ICCFA members New Orleans Marriott, Louisiana
making headlines and ICCFA Co-chairs: Shawna de la Cruz and Andy Lopez
events & promotions
http://www.facebook.com/ICCFACafe/ 2018 ICCFA University July 19-26, Memphis, Tennessee

6 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Washington Report
by ICCFA General
Counsel Robert Funeral-related complaints down on
M. Fells, Esq.
FTCs list of consumer complaints
@iccfa.com n early March, the Federal Trade The point of these numbers is to serve
1.800.645.7700, Commission published its widely- as a type of barometer for consumer
ext. 1212 anticipated annual report on consumer transactions that require government
direct line: complaints. Of special interest to ICCFA
attention and enforcement. Clearly,
703.391.8401 members is the category of funeral services.
The 100+ page report summarizes the data funeral services is not among these.
Fells is
ICCFA execu- collected in the Consumer Sentinel Network related complaints would have been 0.03
tive director Database from federal and state agencies, percent.
and general private organizations and, most importantly Critics like to say that these numbers are
counsel, responsible for maintain- for funeral service, from the Better Business only the tip of the iceberg, but it seems more
ing and improving relationships Bureaus. like an ice cube as a practical matter. The point
with federal and state govern- While the actual data may be accessed only of these numbers, indeed the point of the entire
ment agencies, the news media, by law enforcement authorities, the FTC staff report, is to serve as a type of barometer for
consumer organizations and provides a good overview of the volume and consumer transactions that require government
related trade associations.
types of complaints contained in the database. attention and enforcement.
The number of complaints filed between Clearly, funeral services is not among these,
January and December 2016 is 3,050,374. and therefore allocating resources and funding
Oddly, this number is down from 3,140,803 to funeral service issues seems misguided
complaints in 2015 and marks the first time the and wasteful. However, this doesnt mean
total has dropped since 2001when the program that efforts wont be made by industry critics
MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR started. to claim that there are mounting abuses that
Why we vote. A series of Out of 30 categories listed, the top consumer require government action.
articles on the importance of complaints involve debt collection at 28 Such advocates will cite anecdotal data
engagement in the democratic percent, imposter scams at 13 percent and involving individuals who had a bad experience
process in the United States. identity theft, also at 13 percent. At the bottom with a funeral home or cemetery as the basis for
www.iccfa.com at #30 is buyers clubs, at less than one percent. enacting federal legislation or regulations.
Funeral Radio. Second-to-last at #29 is funeral services, also Data measuring trends or critical issues
ICCFA General less than one percent. needing attention such as the FTC report
Counsel Robert Specifically, funeral services complaints for are shunned by funeral industry critics. This
Fells, Esq., talks 2016 numbered 1,212, or 0.04 percent of the approach suggests an approach to legislation
about legal and total. The number was higher in 2015 at 1,222, that is based on anecdote instead of cumulative
legislative issues affecting fu- but still 0.04 percent of the total complaints. data that is updated every year.
neral, cemetery and cremation The number was yet higher in 2014 at 1,229, or The complete FTC Consumer Sentinel
businesses at 0.05 percent. Network Report can be accessed at https://
Perhaps if the total complaints had not www.ftc.gov/reports/consumer-sentinel-
declined in 2016, the percentage of funeral- network-data-book-january-december-2016. r

ICCFA officers International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral

May 2017 Association. Subscription rates: In the United
Scott R. Sells, CCFE, president
VOLUME 77/NUMBER 4 States, $39.95; in Canada, $45.95; overseas:
Jay D. Dodds, CFSP, vice president
Gary M. Freytag, CCFE, vice president $75.95. One subscription is included in annual
Paul Goldstein, vice president membership dues. POSTMASTER: Send ad-
Christine Toson Hentges, CCE, Katherine Devins, communications & mem- Daniel Osorio, subscription coordinator dress changes to ICCFA Magazine, 107 Carpen-
vice president ber services manager (habla espaol) ter Drive, Suite 100, Sterling, VA 20164-4468.
Richard O. Baldwin Jr. CCE, treasurer kd@iccfa.com; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1224 danielo@iccfa.com; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1215 Individual written contributions, commentary and
Robbie L. Pape, secretary advertisements appearing in ICCFA Magazine
Jason Brown, communications assistant do not necessarily reflect either the opinion or
Robert M. Fells, Esq., executive director & ICCFA Magazine (ISSN 1936-2099) is published
jason@iccfa.com; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1224 the endorsement of the International Cemetery,
general counsel by the International Cemetery, Cremation and
Robert M. Fells, Esq., executive director & Funeral Association, 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite Cremation and Funeral Association.
Magazine staff publisher
Susan Loving, managing editor 100, Sterling, VA 20164-4468; 703.391.8400;
robertfells@iccfa.com ; 1.800.645.7700, ext. FAX 703.391.8416;
1212 www.iccfa.com. Published 10 times per year, with
Rick Platter, supplier relations manager Brenda Clough, office administrator combined issues in March-April and August-
rplatter@iccfa.com; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1213 & association liaison; bclough@iccfa.com; September. Periodicals postage paid at Sterling,
1.800.645.7700, ext. 1214 VA, and other offices. Copyright 2016 by the

8 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

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by Gary OSullivan, CCFE,
and David Shipper
ICCFA Magazine author spotlight PRENEED SALES SUCCESS
OSullivan and Shipper are co-authors
of THE SYSTEM, the professions only Whats the secret to success in preneed sales?
complete preneed selling online training
program, and LeadTrak, the industrys If its any one thing, its accountability. But what does that mean?
leading CRM. THE SYSTEM University
program of online training for sales coun- It doesnt mean staring at sales totals and demanding more
selors and managers is offered exclusively sales! It means sales managers need to make sure every day that
by the ICCFA at www.iccfa.com.
their salespeople are doing whats required to meet sales goals.

Creating growth with preneed sales

OSullivan is president of
Gary OSullivan Co., Winter
Garden, Florida, a consult-
ing firm specializing in the
cemetery and funeral profes-
sion. He works with clients in
Accountability: The game-changer
that creates consistent sales success
the areas of leadership and management
development, service and sales processes
and corporate culture. his is the third of a three-part article, with known and repeatable results.
www.garyosullivan.com The elements of top performing We define accountability as: A method of
twitter.com/GOgaryosullivan sales organizations. Our first two measure to ensure that the daily activities and
facebook.com/garyosullivancompany articles focused on the importance of having outcomes are achieved in order to reach your
linkedin.com/in/garyosullivancompany a strong sales leader and the significance of weekly objectives.
His experience began at 18 years of age having a well-defined selling system. In this It is only by consistently tracking daily
selling cemetery property door-to-door and third article, we address the importance and activities and results that a sales manager
includes leading a national sales organiza- impact of daily accountability. has the ability to know exactly who is doing
tion and then forming his own consulting One of the biggest challenges most what, who needs help where and what their
and speaking company in 2001. salespeople have is staying focused on the preneed sales pace is for the week. Whether
In 2014, OSullivan received the first things that help them generate preneed your salespeople are on pace or not, the
ever Lasting Impact Award from the ICCFA sales. Depending on the type, size and other good news is you will know exactly why,
Educational Foundation, in recognition details of the organization they work for, the regardless of where they are.
of the significant educational contribution amount of stuff they can find to do can be This process also tells each salesperson
he has made to the profession. In 2009, enormous and time-consuming. exactly what he or she needs to do every
the ICCFA presented OSullivan with an Yes, salespeople may have to do other day to achieve the desired sales goals. At the
honorary doctorate for his 20 years of con- things besides work on generating preneed same time, it tells the sales manager which
secutive participation in ICCFA University, sales. However, generating preneed sales is salespeople need help and in what area they
where he is dean of the J. Asher Neel Col-
the major reason you have salespeople. need it.
lege of Sales & Marketing.
The challenge for the sales manager is We hope you are starting to see that the
MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR to ensure the salespeople are doing enough accountability process gives sales managers
OSullivan is dean of ICCFA of the right activities to generate whatever the insights they need and salespeople the
Universitys J. Asher Neel College of level of sales volume you require. This direction they need and that is essential to
Sales & Marketing. The next session will be can only be accomplished by creating and their success.
July 20-26, 2017, at the Fogelman Confer- executing a culture of accountability. For this process to work, salespeople must
ence Center, Memphis, Tennessee. More on report on their activities and results daily.
p. 52 and at www.iccfa.com
The accountability concept In addition, the sales manager, or someone
ds@djshipper.com Over the past 10 years of focus and intense else, must review the data in a timely manner
Shipper is a third- observation, we have discovered a few things to determine who needs coaching on what
generation funeral home that seem to work in all circumstances, as and then respond immediately. Correcting
and cemetery owner and the well as things that dont work. behavior daily is critical to connecting a
co-creator of THE SYSTEM, Focusing on volume doesnt work. salespersons activities with their results.
the industrys only complete Focusing on proper activity does. Correcting behavior daily is the fastest way to
selling system for cemeteries Having control over your sales goals better results.
and funeral homes. requires monitoring the daily activities and
He has been involved with the ICCFA results that create sales. Your salespeople Measuring what matters most
since 1978 and has served in all officer must know what activities they will be David says it this way: Volume is a lagging
positions, including president in 2000- expected to accomplish every day, in what indicator of the activity that proceeds it.
2001. In 2014, he was inducted into the quantity and with what results. We believe Volume can only tell you what has already
ICCFA Hall of Fame.
that the accountability system we have happened. Analyzing daily activity reports
developed successfully drives proper activity can tell you what is and will happen, in a

10 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 11


The sales manager must monitor two critical aspects of essential activity daily:
Was the activity accomplished, i.e. did the salesperson spend the needed amount
of time prospecting? Did the salesperson meet the company standard?
timely enough manner to allow you change Prospecting when salespeople are prospecting every day.
the outcome when the salesperson is not on As we addressed in part two of this three- As a rule, Monday through part of Thursday,
pace. part series, to achieve consistent volume, they are focusing on setting appointments
This is why monitoring what is happing consistent effort must be put into daily for the week they are in. Part of Thursday
in your sales organization every day is prospecting efforts. We have focused on and Fridays prospecting efforts should be
critical. That is why Gary coaches sales prospecting as the single most important focused on setting appointments for the
managers on this basic concept: Dont source of preneed sales. Remember, if your following week.
focus on making your sales goals for the salespeople dont have people to see, then Another thing to remember: Unless
month. Determine what activities and nothing else really matters. everyone in your organization understands
outcomes need to be accomplished every The sales manager must monitor two the role that accountability plays in reaching
day, and focus on ensuring that they are critical aspects of essential activity daily: their goals, people may feel micro-managed.
accomplished. If the activity goals and Was the activity accomplished, i.e. did the We make sure all salespeople know how
correct outcomes are achieved every day, salesperson spend the needed amount of much each prospecting hour contributes to
and that happens five days in a row, you time prospecting? Did the salesperson meet their income. Once they understand that,
will make the week. If that happens four the company standard? its much easier to get them to willingly
times in a row, you will make the month. We have found when people follow a participate.
So, what does the sales manager need proven script and respond appropriately To accomplish this, we have a series
to monitor every day? We have discovered to objections to setting the appointment, of helpful spreadsheets designed to be
over the past decade that there are only a they should set one appointment for every used when managers and salespeople are
few activities that need to be accomplished hour of prospecting. This is the minimum discussing activities. Using these spreadsheets
every day. As you read them you may think, standard of acceptable performance. that we call earnings calculators will quickly
I know thatnothing new here! show the dollar impact of activities such
However, what we have learned is that Appointments as one more hour of prospecting per day,
its not knowing what needs to be done, We have catalogued and analyzed hundreds a higher average sale or an increase in the
its instantly knowing if it was done that is of thousands of hours of prospecting. As a closing rate.
the game-changer. You know this only by general rule, we are comfortable using the We have found it is very helpful to be able
monitoring all sales activity every day. following ratios as reasonable benchmarks. to mathematically show how a small change
The first thing to do to drive accoun- Of course, nothing will work in all circum- in behavior will create a large change in
tability is to make sure you understand stances. If you have a question, feel free to results.
exactly how many hours of prospecting, ask.
how many appointments, how many Presentation
Lets start with the goal of two sales
presentations and how many sales at Making sure your salespeople are in preneed
per week. A salesperson needs to have five
what average dollar volume per sale your selling situations that they created is critical to
presentations to generate two sales. To have
locations needs to make your budget. ensuring the consistent achievement of your
five presentations, the salesperson will
Then you must do the same breakdown sales goals. That is why two activitiesdaily
need 10 appointments. In order to have 10
for each salesperson. Finally, you must have prospecting and setting appointmentsare
appointments, the salesperson will need to
all salespeople fill in a weekly calendar essential. It is only when salespeople are
prospect about 10 hours per week. In that 10
showing when and for how long they will consistent and effective at these activities that
hours, they will need to average setting one
prospect in the coming week. they can put themselves in a position to make
appointment per hour.
Once these calculations have been made, preneed presentations.
the process starts with knowing the number Prospecting can be a complicated We have found for a salesperson to
of prospecting hours required to obtain the endeavor, and there are many other rules generate two preneed sales a week, he or she
needed number of preneed appointments. of the road we have come to understand. needs to make five self-generated preneed
On average, a salesperson will only be One is that setting an appointment more than presentations.
able to prospect about 10 hours a week. If three days out is going to drastically affect Based on a five-day work week,
you are short of the number of prospecting the hold rate. If appointments scheduled to lets look at what must happen. Each
hours the organization needs, you know you be held within three days generally hold at day represents 20 percent of the weekly
need to hire more salespeople. 50 percent, for appointments more than three needed activities and results (not dollar
If you achieve success even though you days in the future, you will have a 75 percent volume), that should be achieved. For
havent had the number of prospecting no-show rate. example, when Thursday morning arrives,
hours that your plan requires, you are either Another good rule is to make sure each a salesperson should have achieved 60
lucky or your numbers are incorrect. salesperson already has a certain number percent of their needed prospecting efforts,
Now, lets take a closer look at each of of appointments to start each week on set 60 percent of their needed number of
the daily activates and required results. Monday. This can only be accomplished preneed appointments and made 60 percent

12 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

of their preneed presentations. is not following the systematic process of you need to make any needed corrections
The salesperson may have made only one making a proper presentation. Which means before the week is over.
sale at this point, but that is not what matters they are not following the steps and scripts as Holding your salespeople accountable for
most. The point is not the number of sales prescribed by the selling system. achieving the daily activities and outcomes
made so far, the point is achieving the needed The other two reasons are that the sales- is not doing something to them, its doing
prospecting activity and its results. person is not skilled in managing objections something for them. You are helping them
We have found that when the activity or is not following the defined closing stay focused and on pace daily to achieve
goals of prospecting are met and the number sequence. their weekly sales goals.
of preneed presentations are being made, the If you have a salesperson who is not Gathering information daily, analyzing it
sales volume goals are achieved. In other achieving the right closing percentages, the and then using the data to coach an individual
words, if the prospecting, appointment-setting sales manager must act quickly. They should takes minutes, not hours.
and presentation-making goals are being met, debrief the salesperson to determine where
by the end of the week, the sales goals will the issue may be, role play with them to The secret
be, as well. ensure they are following the process and/ If there is a secret to making preneed
or go and observe them making a preneed sales more controllable, predictable and
Closing presentation. repeatable, we believe that it is the process
Once a salesperson has been effective at of daily accountability. The rigor and
getting themselves in a selling situation, Where to put your focus relentless focus on monitoring a few daily
you want to ensure they are achieving the We hope you are now starting to see that activities and outcomes that create sales is
standard closing percentage of approximately focusing on what you can controldaily the secret to consistent sales success.
40 percent. That means if they are making activity and the expected resultsis the key As we have said before, and proven over
five self-generated preneed presentations a to achieving your sales goals. the past 10 years: Good sales managers
week, they should make sales in two of the Remember, volume only tells you what focus on volume. Great sales managers
five presentations. has happened. Monitoring daily activities focus on the daily activities and outcomes
There are only three reasons sales closing and results tells you what is happening in real that create the volume. r
averages are not met: One, the salesperson time. This feedback gives you the information

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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 13

by ICCFA Magazine columnist
Todd W. Van Beck, CFuE
guptoncollege.edu; Using personal examples when talking
gmail.com to families making final arrangements can backfire.
ICCFA Magazine Learn the art of making suggestions.
author spotlight
Van Beck is one
of the most sought-
after speakers and
The keys to service: How
educators in funeral
to use personal examples
He is the director of continuing educa-
tion for John A. Gupton College, Nashville, y experience in the use of personal able to How does this strike you?
Tennessee. examples (from my funeral service There still remains the danger that the
www.guptoncollege.edu career) is that such memories, client family will think they ought to adopt
which hold great meaning for me, might not the course mentioned because others have,
Van Beck is dean of ICCFA Universitys hold that much meaning for others, so I have and particularly because we have pointed
College of Funeral Home Management
concluded that as tempting as it is to share it out, but I have discovered this is only a
and received the ICCFA Educational
Foundations first ever Lasting Impact them, I should be cautious about doing so. minimal danger.
Award in 2014. Giving personal examples from a funeral One great skill which contemporary
career is not the same thing as relying on funeral/cemetery professionals have em-
experiential expertise as a professional braced and excelled at is making suggestions.
Like Todd Van Beck
on Facebook today! internal navigator and guide. For instance, I Lets explore this a moment. A suggestion is
have had some of the most hilarious things a mild form of advice. It is offering an idea
MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR happen on death calls, funeral, burials and the other person might not have thought of.
Van Becks book cremations, but if I shared those stories, the Its overtones tend to be tentative and vague.
Reverence for the Dead: clients probably would faint dead away! Its how the funeral professional can proffer
The Unavoidable Link, If youre not convinced that a personal possible lines of actions.
addresses in detail the story will be helpful for the client family, A suggestion does not demand compliance
ethical standards of car- a safe rule is to be conservative with such nor threaten the client family with consequen-
ing for the dead and the storytelling. (Which will require some ces should they decide not follow it through.
ethical consequences of willpower. To be sure, funeral directors, I am speaking of true suggestions, and not of
not doing so. myself included, do like to tell stories.) masked commands. Suggestions provide the
www.amazon.com Now, if the client family solicits these client family with the funeral professionals
experiences, that changes the situation, and considered opinions, but leaves them free to
Van Becks new book we may well choose to comply with this accept, refuse or propose ideas of their own.
The Story of Crema- request. But even then, it is prudent to qualify Indeed, the purpose of a suggestion may be to
tion, walks the reader words with a remark such as: This has stimulate the client family to think and plan
through the history of worked for others, but I cant say whether for themselves.
cremation, its historical it will work for you, or This helped other When this is the funeral professionals
uses to its use today. It clients, but I wonder how you feel about it as sincere intention, a suggestion communicates
concludes with a discus- regards to yourself. this silent thought: I think my suggestion
sion of the downsides of
In this way, we indicate that it is the client is a good one and may work. Its up to you,
family who is central in the situation, and that of course, to decide. If clearly stated and
they need not copy my example or anyone genuinely intended as a suggestion, it is an
elses. The client family will also realize open rather than closed form of commu-
that we do not look upon our experience nication; it is provisional rather than final.
or examples as necessarily providing the It is equal speaking to equal, one of whom
solution for them. (the funeral professional) hopefully may
One approach which is less confronting possess more information, knowledge or
is to draw upon the experiences of others experience with the matters at hand, but is not
by means of distant generalization and determined to force ideas on the other.
depersonalization. For example: I have I firmly believe that in the 21st century,
known clients who, when faced with a similar funeral/cemetery professionals must abso-
situation, have found it helpful to How do lutely include the ability, skill and interest in
you feel about this? taking on a new role: That of the suggestion-
Or, People do come up against problems maker. The more suggestions the better.
like this. They often feel better when they are Finally, concerning suggestions, two items

14 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
PROFESSIONAL Commissions Lowered? Unappreciated? Corporate Politics?
DEVELOPMENT Cemetery and Funeral Sales

lurk in the background of too many funeral Why do Sales Managers and Sales Counselors move most of their selling careers? Always getting a new deal and it gets harder to earn a

interviews and need to be put to rest.

quality living. Grow Roots!

The first is, If I were you, I would Its a known fact that mausoleum sales generate the most amount of income for sales professionals. Join one of the leading mausoleum
companies in the country started by a mausoleum sales guy over 44 years in the industry. We have commissioned sales people earning a
The client familys reaction may well be: $250k plus without ever having to move. All you have to do is take one look and you will see why our sales professionals earn significantly

Well, I just dont believe it. If you were me,

more than the rest of the country.

youd feel just as confused and unsure as I If you are interested in a quality life with a quality company with no micromanagement and the opportunity to become one of the highest
paid sales professionals in our industry, email your resume to: LN@memorialproperties.com, fax to 732-834-0759 or call Larry Nikola at
do, and so there would be two of us, neither 732-834-9600

knowing what to do.Or, If you were me, We have opportunities for Cemetery and Funeral Sales Professionals

you wouldnt say that! Or, If you were me, Savannah, GA All of New Jersey & NYC South Florida
you wouldnt know what to do any more than
I do!
The second point concerning suggestions
needs only a coup de grace in funeral
service. His name is, I know just how you
feel and I did The client family thinks:
Im not taken in. How can you know
how I feel? Iszvc your child also dead
right now? And if you do know, so what? Help your families . . .
You dont feel the way I feel, or you would
never think of saying that you know.
This I know how you feel approach is
very cold and very remote. If a funeral or
cemetery interviewer saying such a thing has
a mind, he or she surely has no heart, and so
away with them is my vote.
What I do believe is that the funeral
professional must gently and quietly lead
and question and make suggestions so that
the client familys experience of loss is in
the end expressed in a meaningful way. A
way that is meaningful to them, not us.
I have no mixed feelings about the
following attempt at encouragement in the
funeral interview; the funeral professional
should avoid it like the plague. Here are
several examples of the interview plague:
Well, you know, everyone has to go
through this sooner or later.
Every cloud has its silver lining, and by
tomorrow morning youll feel much better.
A good nights sleep always helps, so
why dont you try that?
As ridiculous as these responses
sound, they nonetheless have been used
in funeral interviews in the past. This type
of encouragement expressed to a client
family is belittling to the professionalism
Connect with us to find out
expected from us. how Thumbies & Buddies
If we genuinely empathize with the client can help your business too.
family and what they are feeling, if we can
let them know by our behavior that we are 847.381.9000 meadowhillco.com
feeling with them and interested in them, and
if we can show this without getting in their
way, we dont need to tell them, for they will
already know. They will understand that we
shall never know just exactly how and what
they feel, but as a fellow human being, we are
trying our best to help them. r

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com May 2017 15

by Jim Ford

jim.ford@ T E C H N O L O G Y / S E R V I C E T O FA M I L I E S
What could be more personal than your DNA? Its also
ICCFA Magazine
author spotlight a familial link, and one that can be lost forever after death,
Ford is senior unless the funeral home offers families DNA collection.
vice president, chief
customer officer, for
Foundation Partners
Group, Orlando, Florida.
Foundation Partners Group is a
private company which serves more
than 7,000 families annually at 59
funeral homes and nine cemeteries in
15 states.

DNA samples can provide future generations with helpful informa-

tionif they are preserved. Funeral directors are in a prime position
to educate families about the possibilities and offer the service.

The DNA boom:

A case study in incremental
revenue opportunities
inston Churchill once said, We can provide vital information for future
make a living by what we get, generations important in:
but we make a life by what we Determining disease risk and
give. As funeral professionals, we work prevention
hard to preserve the memories of loved Diagnosing medical conditions
ones in unique and memorable ways, but Calculating inherited risks for children
what if you could give families something Measuring generational mutation rates
extraordinary? Discovering genealogical history
What if funeral homes offered a way Finding relatives
to save lives, instead of just caring for Establishing citizenship
families after the loss of life? Did you Having the ability to track, diagnose
know you could increase your revenue and prevent anything from skin disorders
opportunities while helping future to cancer has huge implications for the
generations uncover medical problems in future. In fact, many people are already
their family history, potentially preventing reaping the benefits from this technology.
the onset of deadly diseases? You may recall that in 2013, actress
DNA preservation is an exciting and Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy.
innovative way for families to preserve Through genetic testing, doctors were able
otherwise irretrievable information about to determine Jolie had a gene that gave
a loved one before burial or cremation. her a four in five chance of developing
DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is the breast cancer, the same disease that had
hereditary material in humans that contains killed her mother. The knowledge gained
each persons unique genetic code. It from genetic testing enabled her to avoid

16 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
T E C H N O L O G Y / S E R V I C E T O FA M I L I E S

Families can purchase custom, handcrafted jewelry and remembrance crystals that weave
in a loved ones DNA with a swirl of color in a glass remembrance item or piece of jewelry.
developing breast cancer and may have across the country. Part of our core
saved her life. strategy as a company is to always be
Why, you might ask, is the funeral at the forefront of new technology and
industry such a critical piece of the puzzle? innovation. When we learned about DNA
The answer is simple: We represent a preservation and related offerings, we were
familys last opportunity to collect DNA immediately interested.
from a loved one before he or she is buried We tested it for several months at many
or cremated. of our locations to see if it would take
When someone is cremated, that off. It started slowly, but in early 2016, it
persons DNA is completely destroyed. started gaining traction as our arrangers
When a person is traditionally buried, became more proficient at presenting the
disinterment is financially and emotionally option and explaining the value.
challenging, and there is no guarantee that We received media coverage, including
the DNA will be intact and usable. This local television broadcasts as well as
makes it vital that funeral homes harvest stories in local newspapers, at multiple
DNA before final disposition of the body. locations across the country. We also
have found promoting DNA preservation
The DNA collection process through Facebook to be successful.
For funeral homes, the overall DNA Jennifer Parks, general manager
collection process is simple. After you at McDermott-Crockett & Associates
choose a DNA preservation company, Mortuary in Santa Barbara, California, has
they will send you a collection envelope. seen tremendous success with the DNA
A funeral home staff member performs preservation program.
a simple cheek swab, places the swab Although DNA preservation is a
in a sample envelope and mails it to the relatively new offering, families seem
company. really excited about it, she said. About
Once the DNA preservation company 25 to 30 percent of the families we offer
An exhibit of DNA being extracted at the
receives the sample, it is purified and Berlin Naturkudemuseum.
it to decide to go ahead and do it. Some
stabilized in a permanent form, protecting choose to preserve their loved ones
the DNA from environmental damage. It is the well-known and nationally-advertised DNA because there is a family history of
then either stored in a lab or mailed to the DNA collection companies that do provide disease, and some do it for sentimental
designated family member, based on the detailed testing and reporting do not offer reasons. Many people say it makes them
familys preference. post-mortem services. We are working feel like their loved one is still here
Depending on your provider, the DNA on a solution, but in the meantime, we because they have retained their DNA.
sample can be sent in a sealed glass vial are counseling families to begin the Parks recalled a woman who lost her
and presented in a display box with a testing process with their general practice 39-year-old husband to a heart attack.
certificate of authenticity. Because the physician. This young widow wanted to preserve
DNA is sealed and preserved, a sample can Even though the DNA preservation her husbands DNA, because she was
be extracted multiple times. It is preserved company Foundation Partners Group uses concerned that if her children, ages 5 to
in a way that, five or six generations later, does not provide the genetic or medical 17, contracted an illness, the DNA could
the DNA can still be testedand it never testing process, it does offer keepsake carry genetic information helpful in the
needs refrigeration. items for families. diagnosis and treatment. In addition, she
The family may then take the sample Families can purchase custom, said having her husbands DNA makes it
and have genetic or medical testing done at handcrafted jewelry and remembrance feel like hes still there with her.
their lab of choice. The funeral home does crystals that weave in a loved ones DNA When asked about the success she and
not offer any part of the genetic testing with a swirl of color in a glass remembrance her team have experienced with DNA
process, and that fact has been one of the item or piece of jewelry. Once the DNA is preservation, Parks said, I believe we are
drawbacks to offering DNA preservation embedded in glass, it cannot be extracted, successful with the DNA program because
for FPG funeral homes. so DNA preservation in a separate vial is I believe in it, and my staff believes in it.
Sometimes family members want included in the purchase price. I used to work in womens healthcare,
more than DNA preservationthey and we offered (umbilical) cord blood
want some testing done right away, some DNA incremental revenue banking. Families would pay thousands of
data included when the DNA sample is opportunities dollars to bank blood, and many could not
returned. Foundation Partners Group owns and even afford it.
Our research indicates that many of operates more than 55 funeral homes DNA preservation is so inexpensive.

18 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

For a small fee, families can preserve

their loved ones DNA. Weve come so
far medically in just 30 years. What could
this information mean for someones
great-great-grandchild? Whats another
few hundred dollars, when you could
potentially save a life?
The entire process is so easy; it takes a
total of 15 minutes. I ask the family to sign
a waiver that they understand declining a
DNA sample means that once a loved one
is cremated or buried, that information is
lost forever.
If a family is on the fence about
whether or not they want to purchase the
service, Parks allows them to go home and
think about it, and stores the DNA sample
in that loved ones file.
The DNA sample is actually good for
about 30 days before it has to be sent off,
Parks said, so with every person who
comes into our care, I collect a sample and
file it away just in case. I have families
who end up changing their mind and
wanting a sample, and then I can just pull
it from their loved ones file. The more
they understand about the process, the
more they come back.
While most DNA preservation is sold
after a person has passed away, it also can be
collected on a preneed basis. Many families
find it valuable to go ahead and have DNA
preservation completed while they are
preplanning. Whether taken before or after
death, the DNA collection process consists of
a simple, non-invasive cheek swab.
For Foundation Partners Group, offering
an innovative service to save someones life
in the future is a privilege, and we believe
DNA preservation holds the key to unlocking
medical breakthroughs.
It not only offers the potential to save
lives, but also offers one more way to
incrementally increase revenue at funeral
homes across the country.
We believe in revolutionizing the
funeral profession, and a few years down
the road I think you will see a majority of
funeral homes offering DNA preservation.
This DNA boom will help sustain the
industry with incremental revenue, while
preserving the future.
Churchills quote rings especially true
in this case. We make a living by what we
get, but we make a life by what we give.
We believe we are not only making lives
in our industry, but saving them, too. r

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com May 2017 19

by Alan Wolfelt, Ph.D.

M A N A G E M E N T / S E R V I C E T O FA M I L I E S

Dr. Alan Wolfelt has long talked about the whys of funeral rituals,
why they are important to families. His latest book addresses the
hows, how funeral directors need to change their approach to
serving families in todays culture where ritual has been devalued.

What two funerals for one elderly

woman can teach funeral directors
n my latest book, A Tale pyramid graphic on page 22
of Two Funerals, I tell shows the main purposes
a story in which, due to of funerals. I call it my
a Twilight Zonesque space- hierarchy of the why of
time anomaly, two funerals funerals. The essential idea
are held simultaneously for is that personalized, full
the same elderly woman, funerals give families the
Carol Williams. One funeral chance to begin working on
drwolfelt@centerforloss.com is arranged by funeral director healing, and the whys of
Sam Standard, and the other the funeral are what helps put
ICCFA Magazine author spotlight
by funeral director Grace them on the path to healing.
Dr. Wolfelt is a respected author, Gatekeeper. Reality, for example,
educator and consultant to funeral service. The two funeral directors is the foundation of the
He advocates for the value of meaningful have different approaches, pyramid. Funerals help
funeral experiences in his death education which in turn result in two very different families acknowledge the reality of the
workshops across North America each ceremonies. The question the book poses death. Recall is the next layer, because
is: Which funeral is more helpful to family funerals help families actively remember
Among his many other books are and friends, and why? and tell stories about the person who died.
Funeral Home Customer Service A to Z I thought it might be helpful to talk Next we come to support. Funerals are
and Creating Meaningful Funeral Experi- about the bookwhy I wrote it, why I all about people gathering to support one
ences: A Guide for Caregivers. took this approach and what I hope people another in their grief. Expression means
He advocates for the value of meaning- learn from itin a question-and-answer embracing and outwardly expressing
ful funeral experiences in his death educa- format. the pain of the loss, and meaning is all
tion workshops across North America
Youve been an advocate for meaningful about the thinking through that goes on
each year. at funerals of the meaning of the life and
funerals for a long time. Why?
death of the person who died.
MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR I discovered long ago that when words
Finally, we come to transcendence.
Dr. Wolfelts annual training program are inadequate, have a ceremony. I trained
Ultimately, good funerals help us take a
for funeral directors on the WHY of the for 13 years as a talk therapist, and I
step toward transcending our grief and
funeral will be June 12-14, 2017, in Fort discovered early on in my career that the
continuing on with a life of purpose
Collins, Colorado. For more information or funeral ceremony is an essential rite of
and love. When families dont have a
to receive a descriptive brochure, call the initiation to get people off to a good start
meaningful funeral, they often struggle
Center for Loss at 970.226.6050, email Dr. following the death of someone in their
Wolfelt directly or go to the website. much more than they otherwise would.
Im honored that many organizations
www.centerforloss.com But more and more, people today lack
now use the pyramid and other visual
an understanding of the value of funerals.
tools Ive created to help families and
I feel I have a responsibility as a grief
their communities better understand why
counselor and death educator to attempt to
we have funerals. I hope to continue to be
counter this trend toward deritualization.
an advocate for meaningful funerals, and
Its bad for families, its bad for funeral
writing A Tale of Two Funerals is one
service and its bad for our society as a
way to achieve that goal.
In my writing and teaching, Ive Youve written other books on the subject.
attempted to articulate why weve had Why did you decide to try this creative
funerals since the beginning of time. The storytelling approach?

20 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
M A N A G E M E N T / S E R V I C E T O FA M I L I E S

Back in the normative days of funeral service, when families knew what they wanted,
tended to have multi-day funerals and understood the importance of ritual,
you could get away with not educating. But now, in the integrative phase of funeral service,
we need funeral directors to teach families about everything.
I realized its one thing to talk in the using the many elements of the
abstract about what funeral directors funeral together is what creates what
should do, but its another thing I call the tapestry of experience
to show it. The story in A Tale of for the family. If a basic, generic
Two Funerals shows, moment-by- funeral is a serviceable throw rug,
moment, step-by-step, how the two then a comprehensive, personalized
different funeral directors work with funeral rich in elements and the
the family. The reader gets to be a participation of people who cared
fly on a wall throughout all the steps, about the person who died is a
from the transfer all the way through beautiful tapestry. Thats the goal.
to aftercare. You present a fair and balanced
In the story, one of the funeral view of funeral service in this book.
directors, Grace Gatekeeper, stops Both funeral directors are good
now and then to explain to the people who are good at their jobs.
family why they might consider Why didnt you make one of them
including a certain element or piece the bad funeral director?
of ritual. Is this important? Im honored to be invited to speak
Educating families about the at many funeral service conferences.
why of the funeral is the crux I also count many funeral direc-
of the matter. For a number of tors among my friends. In my
reasons, todays families are often experience, funeral directors are
inexperienced with death and funeral rarely bad at their jobs.
planning. They dont understand On the contrary, theyre kind,
why many of the elements of ritual and theyre good at getting families
that funeral service takes for granted through the experience quickly
are included. Not understanding the and efficiently. Theyre skilled at
value of many of the elements, they making things as easy as possible for
often subvert or eliminate them. The families.
more they eliminate, the less likely Dr. Alan Wolfelts pyramid graphic shows the main The trouble is, some funeral
they are to achieve a sweet spot of purposes of funerals. directors whom Ive observed (and I
experience. could say this about funeral service
thing they do with information, education
So funeral directors must educate in general) tend to confuse efficiency with
and choices, they have the power to help
families. Why have a visitation, for exam- effectiveness. I would suggest that fast and
families in profound waysways that will
ple? What functions does the visitation efficient are not better.
impact their lives for decades to come.
serve? If you look back at the hierarchy When it comes to planning and carrying
of the why noted above, youll see that Do you think funeral directors know out a truly meaningful funeral, slow and
the visitation helps mourners with many of why weve traditionally used the various thoughtful are much more effective. I
them. elements of funerals, such as music or the believe part of my role as a funeral service
Spending time with the body is one committal? educator is to encourage funeral directors
significant way in which families really I think funeral directors understand that to slow down and try not to confuse
begin to acknowledge the reality of the most of the elements are helpful, but I efficiency with effectiveness.
death. Memories start coming up, and dont think theyve ever been asked to We have good funeral directors. What
people share those with one another. They articulate why. Why is it good to have a we as a culture now need, because of the
also hug, talk to and support each other. personalized eulogy, for example? To help deritualization trend I mentioned earlier,
Expressing the pain of the loss is families, youve got to be able to explain are great funeral directors. Weve got
natural at the visitation as well, as is this and many other whys to them as you to train both veteran and rookie funeral
talking about the meaning of the life and help them plan. directors in how to anchor everything they
death of the person who died. Its essential A Tale of Two Funerals gives many do in the whys of the funeral.
to educate families about all of the reasons examples of how Grace Gatekeeper teaches For funeral directors to be able to teach
why we have visitations. the Wilson family about the whys. the purposes of the elements of funerals,
When funeral directors connect every- I also wanted to show readers how they have to study the body of knowledge

22 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

in ways they have not done before. My

goal in the book is to hold the mirror
up to funeral directors and ask: Are you
educating every step of the way, from the
moment youre receiving the call all the
way through to aftercare?
Back in the normative days of funeral
service, when families knew what they
wanted, tended to have multi-day funerals
and understood the importance of ritual,
you could get away with not educating.
But now, in the integrative phase of
funeral service, we need funeral directors
to teach families about everything.
Because the choice today is to educate
people or run the risk of going out of
How do you envision A Tale of Two
Funerals being used?
My hope is that the book will be an
excellent training or in-service tool for
funeral homes. Its concise, and the story
format makes it engaging to read. Ive
included discussion questions at the end LIFE'S TOO SHORT FOR PAPER
of each chapter, so funeral directors can
reflect on what theyve read and come
to a meeting prepared to talk about their
Of course, it also makes a refreshing
textbook for mortuary schools. Funeral
directors-in-training would really benefit
from seeing their roles as educators from
the get-go. info@plotbox.io +1-650-320-7685 www.plotbox.io
I also enjoy hosting an annual training
for funeral directors every June in
Colorado, so I will use this book as one of
the resources for that course as well.
Whats the one thing you hope funeral
directors take away from A Tale of Two
That its doable and rewarding to create
exceptional funerals. All it takes is a
slight shift in focus and a commitment
to doing whats really and truly best (not
necessarily easiest) for the families you are
honored to serve.
Lets all remember: Good funerals are
no longer sufficient.
Based on the trend away from
ceremony when death occurs, funeral
services commitment must be great
funerals, funerals that help people see the
value in every aspect of the experience.
The goal should be for every funeral to
conclude with families and guests saying,
Now that was a great funeral! r

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com May 2017 23

by Jeff Harbeson
602.274.6464 M A N A G E M E N T / P E R S O N A L I Z AT I O N
Personalization has been a funeral and cemetery buzzword
ICCFA Magazine
author spotlight for a long timelong enough that nearly every organization
Harbeson is the director offers families something in the way of personalization.
of marketing for The Fore-
sight Companies LLC, a But if what you offer isnt regularly reevaluated and refreshed,
Phoenix-based business and manage- it will become stale and fail to impress or help families.
ment consulting firm specializing in merg-

From pass to progressive:

ers and acquisitions, valuations, account-
ing, financing and customer surveys.
He is a funeral home owner, business-
man and former Batesville representative
who has marketed his companies under Rethinking personalization
the social media labels of The Funeral
y objective for this article is to The personalization boom
MORE FROM THIS AUTHOR challenge readers to consider In recent years, we have witnessed a
refreshing stale practices boon of keepsake and personalization
Harbeson teams with Ryan Thogmartin developed over the last few years. In innovation.
to co-host a weekly video podcast called
addition, I challenge you to take a new If you attend any of the convention
Funeral Nation.
view of what has become pass (for my expos, you will see lots and lots of
Educational information, including fellow preppy rednecks, that means the keepsakes, everything from coffee cups
copies of this article, can be found at same old thing) in many funeral home and made with cremated remains to 3-D
www.theforesightcompanies.com cemetery operations. replicas of a persons head to an actual
For more information on Harbeson or Offering keepsakes and personalization tattoo, still affixed to the skin of the
The Foresight Companies, follow them on has become a staple in our business, but in deceased, repurposed for artistic display.
Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn. some cases, the way were going about it You can even buy a personal massager
is making us lazy and failing the families that holds some cremated remains so you
we serve. I wonder whether keepsakes and can keep a deceased loved one close,
personalized products have the same value especially in those lonely times.
to the families you serve as they do to you. I submit that the market for personalized
From a historical perspective, keepsakes keepsakes is saturated, though Im sure that
to remember the dead have been around a somewhere out there is an inspired genius
long time. Just for reference, the Websters inventing the newest and best memento for
Dictionary definition of keepsake: (noun) us.
something given or kept as a memento. It Lets ponder the definition I cited earlier:
is interesting to me that the definition does something given or kept as a memento. I
not include purchased, but Ill address can offer a couple of personal examples that
that later. may resonate with the families you serve.
I have many friends and acquaintances Last summer, we lost my wifes
who supply the funeral and cemetery younger sister to cancer. Because of my
industry with keepsakes and/or personal- industry knowledge, our family had access
ization. In fact, there was a time when I to virtually any keepsake and memento
was among them, doing my best to make available on the market, but the sweetest
sure that funeral directors knew the value and most poignant item that reminds us of
of a casket adorned with personalization. her life is the decorative art-glass flower
I also believe that everyone should have plates (garden ornaments) my sister-in-law
a chance at redemption. Thus, I publicly made herself. When I see these pieces,
beg forgiveness for the words I invariably Im reminded of her: simple, sweet and
used: Families will love this. whimsical.
Before any suppliers or funeral Another keepsake that is one of my
directors initiate a social media campaign prized possessions is my grandfathers tin
(todays weapon of choice) against me, drinking cup. Where we live in rural eastern
please take a deep breath. Remember, this South Carolina, the summers oppressive
is a cerebral exerciseI want to challenge heat causes everyone to seek shade and cool
assumptions, to make you think about what drinks.
youre doing and consider some changes. I have vivid memories of my grand-

24 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
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Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com May 2017 25

M A N A G E M E N T / P E R S O N A L I Z AT I O N

These personalized funerals are great examples of funeral professionals co-creating,

with the families who loved the deceased, services that reflect the life lived. If your standard
personalization offerings are a picture board and a cap panel, youre missing an opportunity
to show people what a funeral can and should be: a reflection of a persons life.
father drinking tea (so sweet your teeth photos and a few songs. experience and catering services for a
shook) from this tin cup full of ice Recently, personalization has reached better funeral experience. Those same
chipped from a block. He would offer new heights of creativity, and I salute those naysayers dont believe that churches
me sips, and that cold tea was heaven in leading the way. One example that comes are vying for some of our professions
a heated hell. I touch this cup every day, to mind is a service for a young boy who memorialization business by offering
using it to measure water for my one-cup was a big superhero fan. At his funeral, cremation niches.
coffeemaker, and sometimes I fill it with virtually everyone, including the preacher It is often easy to identify the people in
ice and tea to fight the dry Arizona heat. (dressed as Batman), attended in costume. our profession with their heads in the sand
Such keepsakes cannot be purchased That service reflected his young life and by looking at their websites. What source
in a funeral home or online; they are truly was deeply personal. do you think consumers are going to when
personal. I give these examples because Another example is a service for a researching information regarding funeral
they are examples of keepsakes as defined young girl who was a rodeo competitor. providers? The Yellow Pages? No; theyre
by Websters. The funeral was in a horse arena adorned checking out websites.
However, not everyone has such with rodeo-related items, including horses. I have some bad news for you: Families
memory-evoking items to hold onto. Everyone in attendance knew her story researching different websites are not
Thus, funeral homes and cemeteries offer without even hearing the eulogy. your families. They have no allegiance
all sorts of alternatives. The question is, How about a veteran who was a whatsoeverthats why theyre checking
which ones should you offer families? helicopter pilot in Vietnam having his out you and your competition online!
Consider taking a refreshed look at casket loaded up on a chopper, or a tow You no doubt have some loyal families
your keepsake offerings by conducting an truck driver having his casket placed on who will come to you no matter what, but
inventory of products in your display. If a the back of his tow truck for a last ride? consider their children and friends who
keepsake has not sold five to eight times Some funeral professionals are setting attend the funeral. I wont have the type of
during the past year, its not worth the the standard for the rest of us to follow. funeral my dad did is a recurring theme,
shelf space. When was the last time you created some- even with our beloved baby boomers.
If you paid wholesale for something that thing memorable? Not just for the family, If your website is provided free to
has not sold and collects dust, it must go. but for those attending the service. you in exchange for buying boxes with
If it hasnt sold, it probably wont sell in a If the people who attend a funeral graphics just like other funeral homes
different color, size or even price point. your firm handles leaves saying, I want all over the country, youre in trouble.
Just because you like something something like that, it bodes well for your If your website has music playing in the
doesnt mean that your families will, and firms future. If they leave saying, That background, too much copy (words) and
just because your competitor cant have sucked, you know that does not bode well. no video, you have cause for concern.
it doesnt mean that you should. Think These personalized funerals are great This is an opportune time to refresh our
logically about keepsakes and whether examples of funeral professionals co- industry in the eyes of the consumer. I am
they truly can be personalized enough so creating, with the families who loved passionate about the funeral and cemetery
that consumers will value and buy them. the deceased, services that reflect the life profession, as well as optimistic about
lived. If your standard personalization what our collective future holds for those
What does personalization mean? offerings are a picture board and a cap of us willing to consider positive changes.
And speaking of personalization In panel, youre missing an opportunity to The alternative is continuing to see the
an effort to maintain consistency, I offer show people what a funeral can and should world the way it was and letting people
Websters definition of personalize: be: a reflection of a persons life. outside the industry determine our future
(transitive verb): personify; to make Unfortunately, some funeral homes and possibly our very existence.
personal or individual specifically. continue to limit themselves to now stale Its time to refresh what may have
Our profession has taken personal- products and practices, to the detriment become stale in our own views and
ization in different directions. Of course, to the entire profession. A funeral director operations to accommodate the ever-
just as everyone has a bellybutton, needs to beor to hirean event planner. shifting markets we serve. The ICCFA
everyone will have an opinion on what I can sense the resistance from some provides an international platform for
constitutes personalization. people reading this statement, and I know discussions about how to advance our
Early on in my funeral career, personal- that many directors disagree. collective businesses. Get involved in the
ization involved including elements But those same people are the ones who discussion and become passionate about
on a casket that reflected the life of the refuse to see that the hospitality industry moving beyond pass to progressive.
deceased, or displaying a picture board, is diligently working to persuade families I truly would enjoy your feedback; send
or maybe showing a video that included to use their properties, event-planning me an email or give me a call. r

26 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff



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


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. withum.com
Start your search at our homepage www.iccfa.com.

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com May 2017 27


An unexpected death left family members devastated

and unsure about having a service, but after several meetings
with a funeral director, they threw themselves into planning
First Place Winner a beach-themed send-off for a woman who loved parties.
& Grand Prize Winner:
Manasota Memorial Park
and Funeral Home
Bradenton, Florida
Photos of On the
Patricia with back of the
WHAT THE JUDGES SAID family and photos it
n Amazing and elaborate. friends were said,Live,
hung in the Laugh, Love
n Attention to detail and
chapel as ... Dont
creativity impressive.
mementos Panic,
n What a unique and beautiful people something
way to remember someones could take Patricia used
life. home. to say.
n This was not your traditional
funeral, and I thought it was a
fantastic idea.
n Beautiful.
n A great celebration of life.

Manasota Funeral Home became

n Not only very personalized,
very innovative and really out
of comfort zonebut great!
n Very personal and a true
a beach house for special service
celebration of life.

n May 27, 2016, Patricia Ann Gadberry

Harry Sacchetti,
who worked with
passed away suddenly at the age of 52.
the family, was a Her surviving family was not simply
florist for 25 years shocked but completely devastated.
before becoming Initially, the family was unsure if they wanted
a funeral director. a service to pay homage to their vivacious
He is a graduate wife, mother, daughter, and sister. After several
of Rhode Island meetings with funeral director Harry Sacchetti,
Community Col- the family decided to have a service.
lege and of Fine Mortuary Col-
The service would not be by any means
lege in Norwood, Massachu-
setts. He joined Manasota in
traditional, and would be unlike anything
2015 and has been promoted Manasota Memorial Park and Funeral Home had
to funeral director in charge. seen in its 17 years of operation.
Patricia loved to host parties with lots of
food, games and fun for everyone who attended.
Collectively, we set out to have a big celebration
that encompassed those elements.
With some help from the staff, Patricias
all photos by family took on the work of decorating the chapel.
Bonnie Harmsen, Suncoast In the end, this proved to be great therapy for
Professional Photography, them, as it gave them an outlet to facilitate their
Bradenton, Florida grief. By Wednesday the funeral home had been
transformed into a beach oasis.
Guests were greeted at the door with Hawaiian
leis handed out by Patricias sister. From there, they
walked across a bamboo mat into our chapel, where
The funeral home was completely transformed
balloons hung from the ceiling with photos of her for the casual, beach-themed celebration of life.
to page 31
28 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
The KIP Awards marks to a beach-themed celebration of life ICCFAs Personalization Subcommittee to

by Manasota Memorial Park and Funeral encourage the sharing of ideas for person-
he ICCFAs Keeping It Personal contest Home, Bradenton, Florida. This grand prize alizing services and products to better serve
drew nearly 55 entries. The KIP Awards winner received a free registration to the 2017 families. A pet category was added in 2011.
recognize personalization in funeral, cemetery convention in Nashville, Tennessee, at which Entries for the 2017 contest will be
and cremation products and services. all KIP Award honorees were recognized. due late this year. Forms will be available
This years judges gave the highest The contest was started in 2001 by the for download from the ICCFA website. r


Left, the themes
of the celebration
of life spelled out.
Below, people
in casual beach
attire look at the
memorial photos,
exhange stories
and enjoy refresh-

Patricias sister handed out leis to people

as they entered the funeral home.

A register was one traditional touch.

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2016 RBC Wealth Management, a division of RBC Capital Markets, LLC, Member NYSE/FINRA/SIPC.

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 29


From left, sack races, 2,000 pounds of sand to play in, bingo and
a photo booth were available during the five-hour life celebration.

RIght, the chapel

was set up with
Patricias boogie
board as the cen-
tral feature, using it
as a table for flow-
ers, a photograph
and her beach-
themed urn.

Below, close-ups
of some of the
food and decor.

30 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

Above, beach-themed memory cards were

available so that people could leave mes-
sages for the family. Right, games were
followed by a balloon release.
from page 28
and the family attached as mementos people
could take home. Her boogie board was up
front with her beach urn, photo and flowers.
Guests played bingo, heard stories, ate
food and had a toast in her honor. Then
they headed outside for more fun, with corn
hole set on a beach of 2,000 pounds of sand
brought in for the event.
Guests then had time to use the photo  
booth to created a memory of Patricia with
a special photo print with her saying of
Live, Laugh, Love ... Dont Panic.
There were also wheelbarrow, three-
legged, and sack races, as well also
other games Patricia used to plan for her
gatherings. This was followed by a balloon
release, where over 150 biodegradable
balloons were released in honor her.
Her favorite music added to the
ambiance as guests had fun, exchanged
memories and enjoyed cupcakes. The event
was set for 6 to 8 p.m., but ended up lasting  
five hours, and was attended by more than    

250 people.
This celebration of life was not the norm
for Manasota. We had to think outside the 
box as we tried to bring the family together  
for Patricias celebration.
One thing that was unusual was hiring
a professional photographer to capture the
event for family members, since some of
them had not seen each other in many years.
They were able to have family photos taken
before and during the celebration and have
a record of the event.
The photo booth, the sand, the games,
the use of Patricias patio furniture inside
and outside the funeral home and the boogie
board set up in the chapel were all outside
the norm.
By the end of the night, her family,
friends and the funeral home staff had
learned to live, laugh and loveand we
didnt panic. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 31


How do you celebrate the life of a talented and creative

young man who loved attending music and art festivals?
By using the cemetery grounds for a festival in his honor.
Honorable mention:
Evergreen Washelli
Seattle, Washington


n Incredibly personalized,
age-appropriate, engaging
remembrance event.
n Simple and cost-effective
way to deliver a perfect
service and honor Chase.
n Love the food trucks and
n It is tragic when a parent
loses a child. What a beautiful
way to memorialize their son.
n Fantastic job.
n Nice tribute.
n Connected with Chase on
so many levelsart, music Family and friends gather at Evergreen-Washelli for a service remembering a young man who
and food. Truly memorable. loved attending art and music festivals and had hoped to attend Burning Man.

Evergreen-Washelli creates festival to help

family honor artistic, creative young man
e received word in our office that a he was so talented
23-year-old had overdosed and passed he could pick up an
away. My heart instantly hurt, as I was instrument and make
at the time 29, and young tragic deaths struck a it sing, or a paintbrush
special chord with me. His name was Chase. and make it dance. He
When I met his parents, I could tell they were took to rare hobbies
unique. Well-dressed, down-to-earth, a good like fire dancing and
sense of humor, drumming. He was
with a certain free the very definition of
spiritedness about creative.
them, and in so much He loved to go to
pain. art and music festivals
When they spoke and reveled in the
of Chase, they creativity of others
showed me photos like him. His ultimate
of their family trip to dream was to attend The front of the keep-
Italy. He always had Burning Man, which sakes Evergreen-
a smile, and often he had planned to do Washelli staff created:
custom concert badges.
was giving a thumbs- that year. His father
up. would be taking his urn there instead.
They glowed There was only one way, in my eyes, to truly
when they told me memorialize such an uncommon soul. We would
of his imaginative put on a festival for him.
Evergreen-Washelli staff who worked on the service,
from left: Damaso Garcia, working foreman; Aaron side and how he In our cemetery, there is a large open area
Sholes, operations lead; Nikole Mitchell, funeral direc- was truly an artist surrounded by trees with lush green grass. I
tor; and Christina Shepherd, funeral coordinator. at heart. They said immediately began to visualize this area turned into
to page 35
32 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
MKJs Digital 360 is unlike anything else in the
industry. MKJ has designed websites for our
funeral homes, cremation society, cemetery,
and foundation. They manage Facebook and
Yelp content and advertising for each brand.
Our blogs let families learn more on their
schedule. And search marketing and PPC
generated leads the first week we started.

KEN VARNER, Past President, ICCFA

Cypress Lawn | Colma, CA



Dont wonder if digital marketing is worth the cost

we show you the leads and traffic in regular reporting.
You can even listen to the phone calls.

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CASE STUDY: Blogging
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2017 ICCFA Convention.


The result was a beautiful piece of
remembrance art.
funeral director Nikole Mitchell

For the programs (above and right),

Evergreen-Washelli created a trifold
that included a set list outlining the
order of service and a poem Chase had
written himself, along with personalized

Above, attendees look at some of the art set up for the event. Right, a basket with
the concert badges Evergreen-Washelli created as keepsakes.

Above, a hired food truck provided Chases favorite

food, pulled pork sandwiches.

Right, since the young man had a serious sweet

tooth, a table was set up with a variety of desserts.

34 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
from page 32
an art exhibit honoring Chase. We started
with signs throughout the cemetery to direct
folks to the area. We used a black and white
photo of Chase with directional arrowsthe
conventional signs wouldnt do.
We set up stations for attendees to
visit. One station was a tent with DVD of
his life playing inside on a large screen.
Another had a microphone and podium for
open sharing, and a live band. His friends
came and performed their fire dancing to
pay tribute to his love of it.
Enlarged photos of Chase were set
on easels like art around the perimeter
of the service.
Another station
included favorite
deserts, as Chase
had a serious
sweet tooth. His
favorite food, LED Lighting Solutions
pulled pork
for Memorial Products
sandwiches, was
provided by a
hired food truck. E N E R G Y S AV E R
As keepsakes
The memorial DVD for family and LED light bulb for Crypt
played on a large friends, we & Niche Fronts
screen in a tent.
created a custom Warm color for Bronzes
concert badge on a lanyard with a collage
of Chases interests and a poem on it. E A SY TO I N S TA L L
A large board for signatures and custom www.septechnologies.com
art pieces was erected so that funeral-goers 1 877 515-4672
could express themselves via art as he
would have done.
The programs were customized trifolds,
unlike anything we had done before.
They included a set list for an order of
service and a poem Chase himself wrote,
and were saturated in beautiful colors and $&.&5&3:1-"//*/(
personalized graphics. The result was a
beautiful piece of remembrance art.
After the service we held a giant drum
circle to end the event. It was wonderful.
His parents gave hugs and cried while
speaking of their sons memory. His 1-"//*/($&.&5&3:%&7&-01.&/54
eclectic group of friends told stories that 4*/$&
brightened the day and were in keeping &2035(+(16,9(0$67(53/$16&216758&7,213/$16 63(&6
with Chases free spirit.
I received tearful thank-yous from 6(&7,21/$<2873/$16&5(0$7,21*$5'(13/$16

the family, who said their sons love of 3/$17,1*3/$16 63(&6

festivals had been honored in a way they /27/$<287 6$/(60$3663$&(5(&29(5<352*5$06
never thought possible. I can honestly say 6,7((9$/8$7,216 )($6,%,/,7<678',(6
that being able to personalize a service like
this was not only fulfilling for myself, but *:*5(9(5 :$5'

seemed so needed and healing for this one-    1 % 8 ) )$ / 26 7
2 5 & + $ 5 '3$ 5 . 1 <         

of-a-kind family. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 35


PlotBox allows cemeteries to combine mapping

and records management with a public platform so that families
can preserve their deceased love ones legacy.
First Place Winner:
Portglenone, North Ireland,
and Palo Alto, California


n Visiting a grave virtually,
sending flowers genius.
n Useful.
n Good solid program.
n Badly-needed product.

The core modules of PlotBox focus on one place to keep all records related
to a plot intuitively linked to each other. Onc click shows who owns the plot,
who is buried there and any other related records.

PlotBoxs multi-sided platform keeps

deceased persons records in one place
Plotbox co-founders CEO Sean

McAllister and Chief Commer-
cial Officer Leona McAllister.
n 2009 Sean McAllister, an engineering saw two main problems. First was the lack of
surveyor from Ireland, was asked to survey linkage of records to the maps, and second was
the plots in his local cemetery. Given that it the lack of modern technology. These problems
was his parish, he wanted to do a little extra, so affect two stakeholders in particular: the cemetery
he took photographs of the headstones and his operatives and the public.
wife Leona transcribed the inscriptions. Together Surely there had to be a better way than
they linked the records and images to the accurate having all the different pieces of information
GPS location on Seans map using a simple in separate books, spreadsheets and systems
spreadsheet. accompanied by (largely inaccurate) old paper
This experience maps.
highlighted a Fast-forward seven years, and the McAllisters
number of issues, have created PlotBox, a multi-sided platform
including burials in which allows all records for a deceased person
the wrong place, lost to be held in one place, linked to the accurate
burials in unmarked location of their interment or memorial.
graves and lost and On one side of the platform, cemeteries and
damaged records, crematories use PlotBox to manage their daily
that sparked a desire operations online and in real-time
in the McAllisters to On the other interface, families and members
PlotBoxs platform is designed for use by cemeteries and explore this industry a of the public can search the records and maps via
crematories and also by families, genealogists and people little further. Discover EverAfter, a website designed to show
researching local history. Sean and Leona not only a deceaseds name and date of death,

36 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

Left, PlotBoxs Discover

EverAfter website, where me-
morials can be created with
uploaded videos and photos,
and where people can search
for grave sites, listed here by

Far left, a cemetery employee

uses an iPad to take a photo
of a memorial for uploading
to the PlotBox platform.

or a genealogist looking to
but also a picture of their memorial as well It allows find that missing link on the
as photographs and videos to tell their sales council- family tree, Discover Everafter
story and preserve their legacy. ors the oppor- allows them to search records
PlotBox is used by cemetery and cre- tunity to sit of PlotBox users all around
matory operators in the United States, in a family home and pull out an iPad to the world, virtually visit the graves and
Uniked Kingdom and Ireland to manage navigate an aerial drone map displaying order flowers.
their full business functions, including at- all available plots closest to their deceased This website is due for re-launch in
need and preneed sales, calendar booking loved ones. They can DocuSign a contract 2017, and during the year users will see
system, accounting, CRM and much more. then and there and make payment online increased functionality. They will be able
It allows funeral directors online access so that the family doesnt even need to to remember their loved ones via an online
to book a service 24/7, providing a better visit the cemetery. memory box where they can share stories
service to the bereaved. For the public searching for a loved one and memories everafter. r


Submit your news to ICCFA Magazine

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 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
Photoshigh-resolution jpgscan be emailed. remember you must adjust digital camera settings to take
high-resolution images before taking the photos! Check the owners manual for instructions. (If youre scanning in
glossies, they must be scanned in at a minimum of 300 dpi at the size they are to be printed.)

Questions? Need some guidance?

Email ICCFA Magazine Managing Editor Susan Loving at sloving@iccfa.com.

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 37


timeline by webCemeteries.com was designed

to provide families with a central place to gather photos and stories
in order to tell and share the story of a loved ones life.
Honorable Mention:
Virginville, Pennsylvania
n Very useful for preplanning. it ap-
n Nice program. pears on
a laptop,
n Great connection to pad and

Nick Timpe,
partner at

Timeline organizes a persons stories

and photos on webCemeteries.com
he stories that make up a lifetime are shared cally creates a Timeline page for every single one
by friends and family members spread out of the thousands of individuals they have served,
across the country and around the world. immediately allowing families to upload an unlim-
Rarely are these memories captured in one place for ited number of memories, photos and other content.
all to treasure. The cemetery or funeral home pays a flat license
The photos that bring these stories to life are in fee to support all of these pages, making them
boxes, on phones and buried in computer drives. free to the family, and, in contrast to traditional
It is too easy for these memories to fade and these condolence sites, permanently available.
visual reminders to be lost. As more and more people are realizing the
Our industry is flush with memorial pages that benefits of preplanning their final arrangements to
announce the death of a dear loved one and collect ease the burden on their families, there is also an
condolences and expressions of grief. These tributes opportunity for those individuals to participate in
focus on the death and the end of a life, rather than building their own Timeline page and capturing the
the lifetime that was lived. stories that they want to share with their families.
To address this need, webCemeteries.com Building a page during the preplanning process
gathered an industry focus group of leading creates a digital time capsule that the cemetery will
cemetery and funeral directors to design a new publish at the appropriate time, releasing the story
product. These industry experts inspired the design of their life. The page can also collect letters, videos
of the software, and the technology has now been and other content that can be privately shared with
brought to consumers with great success. specific people. Items are organized into categories,
Timeline of a Lifetime is a collaborative digital including family, relationship, education, career,
platform that allows friends and family to submit hobby and military.
memories, photos, videos and other content through The Timeline page is geo-referenced to the final
one simple form that will automatically build this resting place of the deceased. Whether that location
content into a timeline of their loved ones life. is in the cemetery, or at a favorite family spot where
This platform combines the ease of social media scattering took place, the Timeline page will provide
Photos and an article that interaction with the need to tell the larger story of the satellite image and GPS navigation back to that
are included in this the who a person was and what defined them. special place.
Timeline Timpe created for When cemeteries and funeral homes use this Every life has a story, and those stories are worth
his grandfather. platform on their website, the program automati- saving. r

38 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Your Real Source.
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has a to perfect all licensed
lot of
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 39
Update 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.

n WEST LAUREL HILL, Bala Cynwid,

Pennsylvania celebrated its 15th annual
Easter Egg Hunt. To mark the occation, the
cemetery partnered with Alexs Lemonade Children take
part in West
Stand Foundation to raise money to fight
Laurel Hills
childhood cancer. Children searched for annual East
thousands of prize-filled and chocolate eggs Egg Hunt while
from Zitners Fine Confections. Music was parents take
provided by More FM, someone was on photos.
hand to make balloon animals and the Easter
Bunny stopped by for photos.
Also, the cemetery hosted its fifth annual
Kentucky Derby Party. Attendees at this
ticketed event could watch the derby on tele-
vision, enjoy horse and carriage rides and live n Burcham-Jennings Funeral Home, n PIERCE MORTUARY
music and dress in Southern attire and hats Fairborn, Ohio, has unveiled a new name, COLLEGES, Broadview,
to compete for prizes. Free mint juleps, other BURCHAM-TOBIAS FUNERAL Illinois, has named Jay D.
drinks and hors doeuvres were available. HOME. The company now has five loca- Dodds, CFSP, and Timothy
tions: Burcham-Tobias in Fairborn, Tobias R. Borden to its board of
Beavercreek Chapel, Tobias Belmont Chapel, trustees. Dodds is a licensed
& ARBORETUM, Lynchburg, Virginia,
Tobias Englewood Chapel and Tobias Far funeral director with over 33
recently held a Help Our Pollinators
Hills Chapel. years of experience in the
nature walk. A columnist from the local Dodds
n Rick Touchette, executive director of funeral and cemetery profes-
newspaper lead a casual walk around the
ALBANY DIOCESAN CEMETERIES, sion. He is founder, owner and
cemetery to locate plants that attract bees,
Albany, New York, has been re-elected president/COO of the Signa-
butterflies and other pollinators and to discuss
to the executive board of the National ture Group, which owns and
what people can do to help the insects and
Catholic Committee on Scouting. The com- operates 20 funeral homes and
other animals critical to our food supply.
mittee, which is advisory to the Boy Scouts 10 cemeteries in five states.
of America, seeks to sustain and strengthen Prior to founding Signature
the relationship between the BSA and the Group in 2011, he was execu-
Catholic Church in the U.S. tive vice president and COO
Also, Albany Diocesan Cemeteries is now of Carriage Services, where
managing St. Patricks Cemetery, Coey- he had 17 years in various senior operations
mans, New York, bringing the number of leadership and management roles. A graduate
cemeteries managed to 18. of Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, he is
an ICCFA vice president and a trustee for the
n PARK LAWN CORP., Toronto, Ontario, ICCFA Educational Foundation, the Funeral
has expanded its funeral operations into Service Foundation and the Matthews Chil-
British Columbia. The expansion is through drens Foundation.
purchase of two funeral homes, a cremato- Borden is a licensed funeral director and
Maureen Lindley, left, vice president rium and a discount funeral operation in the embalmer in Kentucky, Indiana and Michi-
of marketing at Flanner and Buchanan Okanagan Valley, all from Ron Crooker. They gan. He is the founder, president and CEO of
Funeral Centers, presents the Volunteer are Providence Funeral Homes & Cremato- the Borden Mortuary Group, with locations
of the Year award to hospice volunteer rium, which consists of a funeral home and in Louisville and Lexington, Kentucky, and
Connie Sieferman. separate crematorium site in Penticton and a Scottsburg, Indiana. Founded by Borden
n FLANNER AND BUCHANAN funeral home in Summerland, and Credible in 1995, The Borden Mortuary Group is
FUNERAL CENTERS and LEGACY Cremations Service Ltd., a low-cost funeral Kentuckys largest volume mortuary service,
CREMATION & FUNERAL SERVICES, service provider in the Okanagan Valley. providing embalming and cremation services
Indianapolis, Indiana, recently honored n Nancy Lohman has retired as director, as well as mortuary supplies for funeral
hospice volunteers and caregivers. At the corporate development, of STONEMOR professionals in the area. He and his wife also
annual hospice awards banquet, held at the PARTNERS, Trevose, Pennsylvania. operate a pet cremation business in Louis-
Flanner and Buchanan Geist Event Center, all StoneMor acquired Lohman Funeral Homes, ville. A graduate of Mid-America College
the Caregivers of the Month and Volunteers Cemeteries & Cremation, of which she was of Funeral Service, he is also a member of
of the Month for 2016 were honored, and vice president and co-owner, in 2012. In its advisory board. He is president of the
two were named Caregiver of the Year and addition to continuing as a board member or board of The Cremation Association of North
Volunteer of the Year. officer with several nonprofit organizations, America and past chairman of the British
she is completing a masters degree. Institute of Embalmers. r

40 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Which of the 3
funeral business
building blocks
can you do
NONE... You cant build your business
without ALL of the pieces, I know, Ive tried. As a
funeral home owner I understand firsthand the value of
what Johnson Consulting Group can bring to a funeral
home. Without their accounting, management services
and customer satisfaction surveys our organization
wouldnt be nearly as successful. Their extensive
industry knowledge & experience helped me maximize
profitability and achieve higher levels of customer service
While JCG is legendary for their merger and acquisition
expertise, they are equally experienced in the core
building blocks every funeral home needs. Im using
each one of their key services and each one has helped
increase my profits. I wouldnt risk eliminating any
of them.
I was tired of waiting months
for year-end statements and
other financial data. They got
it to me in weeks rather than months
which helped me improve my cash
flow. And their interpretation of the
information is unmatched.

Paul C. St. Pierre, President

Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service & Crematory &
Brown-Butz-Diedring Funeral Service & Crematory

888.250.7747 | www.JohnsonConsulting.com

Mergers & Acquisitions Valuations Accounting Management Services Financing Customer Surveys

2017 MKJ Marketing

Supply Line
n HEKMAN, Zeeland, Michigan, has or an additional print or photo.
introduced a six-piece collection of 1.877.995.8767; service@newmemorials-
counter and bar stools. Fabric selections direct.com; www.newmemorialsdirect.com
range from residential to extra-durable n SPARTACRAFT,
contract grade. Four different stain finishes Connelly Springs, North
are available: satin black, French roast, Carolina, has hired David
aged grey or vintage brown. The stools Maguire as vice president
height makes it easy for people to slide of sales and marketing. He
in and is especially convenient for people previously served as director
with knee or back issues, said MaryAnne of visual merchandixing at
Scheuble, sales director. JELD-WEN Windows and
616.748.2660; www.hekman.com Maguire Doors. 1.800.282.8044;
Heckmans new counter and bar stools. n PASSAGES INTERNATIONAL, Al- sales@spartacraft.com;|
buquerque, New Mexico, has added new www.spartacraft.com
sizes, designs and prices to their scat- n EXPRESS FUNERAL
tering tube collection. The new designs FUNDING, Clarksville,
are Orchid and Lily, available in adult and Indiana, has hired Deanna
mini sizes. The size selection has been Dydynski as marketing
increased by the addition of token (10 cu) and public relations man-
and extra-large (240 cu) in select designs. ager. She previously pro-
The token sizes, designed for families who vided marketing and brand
want to split remains, are available mixed development for nearly two
and matched in packages of six and come Dydynski years to Thacker Caskets.
Above, Passages in an eco-friendly blue presentation box
Mount View tokens Before joining the funeral industry, she
with a magnetic closure. 1.888.480.6400; worked in marketing and public relations
with presentation
sales@passagesinternationalcom; at the Oklahoma City Zoo, Oklahoma City,
box. Above right, Passages Orchid and
Lily cremation scattering tubes. www.PassagesInternational.com Oklahoma, and Patrick Ellis, DO, Psy-
n NEW MEMORIALS DIRECT, Gig chiatry & Nutritional Medicine, Morman,
Harbor, Washington offers votive candle Oklahoma. 1.800.231.8383;
urns for memorializing people or pets. www.expressfuneralfunding.com
Colorful options are available in both a n AMERICAN COACH SALES,
New Memorials Di-
rects new votive
full-size square cremation candle holder Cleveland, Ohio, has redesigned its
candle holder. urn and a small cylindrical sharing size. website. The new interactive site allows
The urns have a brass fitted top and bot- customers to view the up-to-date inven-
tom and an interior with a matte finish tory, both new and used, and inquire about
in espresso, sage, scarlet and violet. Urn vehicle pricing. Hitting the contact us
access is from either top or bottom with button allows people to fill out an inquiry
secure threaded screw closures. Padded form that will be sent directly to the com-
feet are affixed to the bottom of the urn. panys email system. From there, Jay Maz-
The urns can be personalized with any- zarella, a third-generation employee of the
thing from elegant text engraving to baby family business, will promptly respond.
New Memorials footprints.
Directs new 1.888.321.6613;
The company has also released a new www.americancoachsales.com
layered memo-
rial pendant, layered memorial pendant that allows
for additional memorial personalization. n SECURITY NATIONAL LIFE
with finger-
The pendants are layered together with a INSURANCE CO., Salt Lake City, Utah,
print, photo
and birthstone combination of texture, shapes and a pop has hired Aurelio Calero as market sales
charm. of color. The base layer is a an elegant manager for the San Antonio, Texas,
stainless sterling silver dog tag engraved area. He has extensive background in
with a full coverage fingerprint. The both the sales and sales management side
middle layer is a durable stainless steel of the life insurance/preneed business.
round engraved with a photo. A birthstone He worked for a Texas-based national
charm lies atop the fingerprint and photo. funeral service provider as both a mar-
The three elements are free-standing, so ket sales director and a market manager.
can be separated onto different chains or 1.800.574.7117;
charm bracelets. The two metal pices can www.snlabetterway.com
be engraved with text, a custom signature

42 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 43

Illinois, has released its new product IAN LIFE, Madison, Wis-
catalogs and brochures. The marketing consin, has hired Kirsten
pieces design is a result of feedback from Pedersen as vice president
funeral directors, said Sandi Simos, vice actuary. She is responsible
presidentmarketing and customer ser- for the product and busi-
Meadow Hills vice. They wanted materials that made it ness development area of
new brochure and easier to walk family members through the actuarial. This is a newly
process of selecting custom keepsakes. Pedersen created position designed
Copies are available on the directors re- to support the growth of NGL. Pedersen
source page of the website or by calling or has more than 20 years of experience in
emailing the company. 1.877.848.6243; financial services, coming to NGL from
info@meadowhillco.com; CUNA Mutual Group, where she was
www. meadowhillco.com vice president, compliance/life product
n PRENEED FUNERAL PROGRAM, executive. Previously she worked at Penn
Metairie, Louisiana, has received the Mutual Life and AIG. Besides managing
Daniel M. Voecks Sales Achievement product development and compliance, she
Award for volume for the fourth con- held multiple senior leadership positions,
secutive year. With 28 of PFPs sales including being responsible for operations
counselors qualifying to attend the confer- and underwriting. She has a bachelors
ence this year, six were represented in the degree in mathematics from University of
top 10 overall producers and two took Minnesota-Twin Cities..
Quinn Eagan of Preneed Funeral Pro- home top awards. PFPs top counselor 1.877.402.5900; www.nglic.com
grams accepts the Daniel M. Voecks took home the James O. Wilson Personal n MESSENGER CO.,
Sales Achievement Award from Home- Achievement Awards for volume and for Auburn, Indiana, has hired
steaders COO Steve Shaffer (left) and paid annualized premium and another PFP a new sales consultant,
Steve Lang (right), Homesteaders chair-
counselor received the Dennis G. Kerschen Kevin Durkan. He will
man, president and CEO.
Persistency Award, which recognizes the cover the New England area.
highest achievement in persistency during He is a graduate of Mount
the calendar year. www.preneed.net Ida College in Boston.
n TERRYBEAR, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1.800.827.5151;
and has introduced its new Legacy
Metallics collection. It features a ham- www.messengerstationery.com
mered finish and is available in pink, blue website@messengerstationery.com;
or silver with pewter accents. The collec- n COLUMBARIUM BY DESIGN,
tion includes matching heart, memory and Santa Fe, New Mexico, has moved its of-
traditional keepsakes. Personalization is fices to Santa Fe, New Mexico. The new
available for all pieces. address is 150 Washington Ave., Suite 201,
1.888.588.8767; www.terrybear.com Santa Fe, NM 87501. 1.877.7NICHES;
n ASD, Media, Pennsylvania, has been www.columbariumbydesign.com
issued a patent for its MobileFH feature. n THE CENTER FOR LOSS AND
Terrybears new urns and keepsakes MobileFH gives funeral directors control LIFE TRANSITION, Fort Collins,
with a hammered metal finish. over their outgoing called ID, so they can Colorado, has workshops by Dr. Alan
use their cell phones for business calls Wolfelt scheduled across the country
READERS: To find the products and ser- while keeping their business and personal and in Canada and Brazil. The content
vices you need online, go to use of the phone separate. To activate workshops helps participants understand
www.iccfa.com for the Supply MobileFH, directors tap on any phone their own grief, how to companion others
Link Search Engine, the fastest number within ASD Mobile and tap on in their grief and the significance of how
way to find the products and the funeral home number. The call will be when words are inadequate, have meaning-
services you need at your funeral home, connected displaying the funeral homes ful ceremonies. Sponsors include hospices,
cemetery or crematory. phone number as the outgoing caller ID. hospitals, universities, funeral homes and a
SUPPLIERS: Send your press releases The proprietary technology also allows variety of community agencies. Check the
about your new products and services, and funeral directors to record these calls for centers website for details about locations,
about awards, personnel changes and other future reference. This is the fourth patent dates and registration.
news to sloving@iccfa.com for inclusion in the company has received. 970.226.6050; www.centerforloss.com
Supply Line. Kevin@myasd.com; 1.800.868.9950;

44 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Thoughtfulness.. When your reputation is on the line,
Consideration. use Inman Shipping Worldwide.
We have over 35 years of experience in
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We are a cemetery, crematory and mausoleum product supplier.
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Accommodates most urns, X Lightweight, high-impact polystyrene. Consistent Appearance.
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 45

IMSA: Advocating memorialization since its beginning
by Jeff Hodes, CCE of the supplier group. Cooperatively working with other industry
president, International Memorialization While the ICSA and the ACA each had associations is considered so important to
Supply Associationt other programs for their members, the annual IMSA that the IMSA Board of Directors

M emorialization of a loved one has

always been important for families, but
it seems to be a topic that is receiving more
convention and exposition proved to be a
success both in terms of participation as
well as in fostering relationships between
incorporated doing so throughout its
organizational strategic plan, revised in 2016.
In fact, all three core IMSA objectives reflect
attention lately within industry publications the organizations. This was beneficial for collaboration to some degree:
and conferences. Perhaps this is because of a the industry as a whole and demonstrated Promote the success of its members
concern that society seems to the value of working together on common by supporting best standards and practices
be more casual, or worse, in a interests. in the death-care industry through open
rush to get things over with, Ultimately, the ACA came to view the communication and information-sharing.
and we need to be sure that trade show as such an integral part of its Expand the dissemination of innovative
families realize the importance convention that it assumed the management information throughout the industry.
of memorialization. of the expo. Still, the cooperative relationship Advocate cooperation amongst various
Whatever the reason remained strong, as the ICSA worked associations serving the industry.
for the renewed focus on closely with the ACA on decisions regarding IMSA members have long recognized that
Hodes convention locations, facilities, program the most important area of cooperation for
memorialization, it is to be
celebrated, and is something the International schedules and other matters. everyone in the profession is in understanding
Memorialization Supply Association has Eventually the expo component was so and serving families. To that end, for over
supported since its inception in 1976. interwoven into the ACA convention that two decades, IMSA-member companies have
As IMSA commemorates 40 years as an logistics and related decisions were absorbed provided the results of their own extensive
association, it is interesting to look back at entirely by the ACA, which in the mid-1990s consumer research at industry seminars and
how it came to be and how it continues to became the International Cemetery and conventions.
evolve. Funeral Association (ICFA). In addition, IMSA has been a member
IMSAs predecessor was the Cemetery Still, the value of memorialization was and supporter of the Funeral and Memorial
Supply Association (CSA), which began in a major theme that continued to unite the Information Council (FAMIC) for many
1955 as an organization of suppliers serving associations. Funeral professionals and ceme- years. The FAMIC surveyinitiated in 1990
the cemetery industry. One of the CSAs main teries help families with commemoration as the Wirthlin Reporta long-term study
functions was holding an annual trade show services for their loved ones, while ICSA of consumer attitudes toward all aspects of
where its supplier members exhibited their member companies offer the memorialization memorialization, has provided an invaluable
products to cemetery personnel. products and services to help create those resource for every segment of our profession
Separately, another association comprised meaningful services and final resting places. regarding how families think about funeral
of cemeteries held annual meetings for its As the suppliers branched out to serve services, cremation, preplanning, cemeteries
members. This group was called the Ameri- funeral homes, combination operations and and many other related topics.
can Cemetery Association (ACA), which crematories and the concept of memoriali- From a nascent group of several suppliers
also evolved, merging with other cemetery zation strengthened, the ICSA decided in 60 years ago to a vibrant association of more
organizations and eventually becoming 1991 to become the International Memoriali- than 100 suppliers today, the International
the International Cemetery, Cremation and zation Supply Association (IMSA). Memorialization Supply Association is a
Funeral Association (ICCFA). Over the ensuing years, IMSA has forged collective group of subject-matter experts
Understanding the value to their respective relationships with the other industry trade who share common goals with those who use
members of one event combining the ACA groups, including the Catholic Cemetery their products and serve families.
convention with the CSA exhibit, the two Conference and the National Funeral Regardless of whether a familys choice
groups began cooperative annual convention/ Directors Association, again sharing common of final disposition, dignified memorialization
expos in the mid-1970s. During this same goals in the advancement of memorialization of loved ones provides fulfilling experiences
period, the CSA changed its name to the and professionalism in the industry. IMSA for family members and validation of the
International Cemetery Supply Association and its members also work with various state important guiding role of the funeral service
(ICSA) to reflect the expanding composition and regional associations. profession. r

n PIERCE CHEMICAL, Broadview, Il- three awards, including 2016 Rookie of the the award for Top Cosmetics Sales Growth
linois, recently presented sales achievement Year. He has been a sales rep for California, in 2016. Don Summers received the 2016
awards to four regional sales representa- Hawaii and Nevada for just over a year, yet Top Urn Sales Growth Award. His territory
tives and one distributor. Jason Thornhill grew the territory so quickly that he also won is Texas. American Wilbert Vault Corp.,
was awarded the Bill Pierce Award, given Top Memorial Book Sales Growth and Top Bridgeview, Illinois, received the 2016 Top
to one who demonstrates exemplary profes- Sales Growth Overall, increasing overall Distributor Sales Award.
sionalism and above-and-beyond efforts. He sales by 30 percent. David Hicks, who covers 1.800.527.6419; www.piercechemical.com
covers Georgia and Florida. Ryan Lee earned Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia, was given

46 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

n ASTRAL INDUSTRIES, Lynn, Category two winners: Crapo-Hatha- Luyben-Dilday Mortuary, Long Beach,
Indiana, has hired Scott Weisenbach as way Funeral Home, Taunton, Massachu- California. 1.888.250.7747;
a distributor representative. He has a setts; Phillips Funeral Home, Ironton, info@johnsonconsulting.com
bachelors degree in business from Indiana Ohio; Smith Benton Funeral Home, www.johnsonconsulting.com
University and has spent the last 20 years Benton, Arkansas; McGuinness Funeral
in the funeral industry, six of those in Home, Woodbury, New Jersey; Heartland
ditributor sales. 1.800.278.7252; Funeral Home, Early, Texas; Seawinds
sales@astralindustries.com Funeral Home & Crematory, Sebastian,
www.astralindustries.com Texas; Weed-Corley-Fish, Lake Tavis,
n JOHNSON CONSULTING, Scott- Texas; Lucas Funeral Home, Keller, Texas;
sdale, Arizona, has announced the win- Brown-Butz-Diedring Funeral Service,
ners of its 2016 Excellence in Customer Anderson, Indiana; Turcotte-Piper Mortu-
Service Awards. Awards were presented ary, Kingsville, Texas; Daniels Family Fu-
to client funeral homes with the highest neral Services, Rio Rancho, New Mexico;
scores from family satisfaction surveys Forest Lawn Funeral Home, Henderson,
mailed to families in 2016. The funeral North Carolina; Coxe & Graziano Funeral
homes were divided into categories based Home, Mamaroneck, New York; Williams
on call volume. Funeral Home & Crematory, Columbia,
Category one winners: Hoyt Funeral Tennessee; and Weed-Corley-Fish, South,
Home & Cremation Service, New Canaan, Austin, Texas.
Connecticut; Ascension Funeral Home, Category three winners: Whitney &
Left, Bill Sheehan, president of Bass-
Gonzales, Louisiana; Baker Funeral Home, Murphy Funeral Home, Phoenix, Arizona;
Mollett, and Saul Goldstein, Elegante
Baker, Louisiana; Adams & Jennings Smith North Little Rock, North Little Brass, at Miami Funer, a trade show
Funeral Home, Tampa, Florida; Kersey Fu- Rock, Arkansas; DeGusipe Funeral Home sponsored in Miami, Florida, by Tan-
neral Home, Auburndale, Florida; DeGu- & Cremation, Maitland, Florida; Ra- expo, Bologna, Italy.
sipe Funeral Home & Cremation, Ocoee, benhorst Funeral Home, Baton Rouge,
Louisiana; Andrews Mortuary, Wilm- n BASS-MOLLETT PUBLISHERS,
Florida; Harper-Talasek Funeral Home,
ington, North Carolina; Twiford Funeral Greenville, Illinois, has named Elliott
Killen, Texas; Lagrone Funeral Home,
Home, Elizabeth City, North Carolina; Goldstein as sales representative in New
Roswell, New Mexico; Skradski Funeral
Michels & Lindquist Funeral Home, New Jersey. He has a bachelors degree in com-
Home, Kansas City, Kansas; George Funer-
Port Richey, Florida; Treasure Coast Fu- munications from the College of Staten
al Home & Cremation Center, Aiken, South
neral Home & Crematory, Stuart, Florida; Island, New York, and has been represent-
Carolina; Morrison Funeral Directors,
Menke Funeral Home, Sun City, Arizona; ing funeral homes for 17 years.
Dumas, Texas; Grissom-Serenity Funeral
Lucas Funeral Home, Hurst, Texas; Custer Also, Elegante Brass Co., Brooklyn,
Home, Cleveland, Tennessee; Bartlett-
Christiansen Mortuary, Covina, Califor- New York, recently acquired by Bass-Mol-
Chapman Funeral Homes, St. Albans, West
nia; Altmeyer Funeral Home, Virginia lett, will continue supplying its products,
Virginia; Wilson St. Pierre Funeral Service
Beach, Virginia; Weed-Corley-Fish, North, but only to industry distributors. Bass-
& Crematory, Pendleton, Indiana; Weigel
Austin, Texas; Starks & Menchinger Fam- Mollett will continue its services to funeral
Funeral Home, Batesville, Indiana.
ily Funeral Home, St. Joseph, Michigan; directors. www.bass-mollett.com r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 47

New Members
Providing exceptional education, network- MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS
ing and legislative guidance and support to Admission to ICCFA membership normally requires a majority vote
progressive cemetery, funeral and cremation of those present and voting at any meeting of the executive commit-
professionals worldwide tee. The names of all applicants must be published in this magazine.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT THE ICCFA AND MEMBERSHIP: ICCFA members objecting to an application must do so in writing
Go to www.iccfa.com/membership to download a benefits to the ICCFA executive director within 45 days of publication. In the
brochure and an application form. event of an objection, the executive committee will conduct an in-
quiry. If an applicant is rejected, they will be granted an appeal upon
Call 1.800.645.7700 to have membership information faxed or
written request. The decision of the Board of Directors shall be final.
mailed to you.

Regular Jardines del Apogeo SA Professional/Supplier

Blacks Funeral Home PA Bogota, Colombia Angel Pawprint
Thurmont, Maryland Kern Funeral Home Las Vegas, Nevada
Camposanto La Piedad SA Mt. Vernon, Washington Bright Corp.
San Jose, Costa Rica La Aurora Funerales y Capillas Anderson, Indiana
Casa Napolitano SA Manizales, Colombia Dadant Candle Co.
Buenos Aires, Argentina Lauck & Veldhof Funeral & Cremation Hamilton, Illinois
Chapel of Memories Ltd. Services Eternal Brandings*
Peace River, Alberta Indianapolis, Indiana Daytona Beach, Florida
Chestnut Grove Cemetery* Mesa Cemetery EVERDAYS
Herndon, Virginia Mesa, Arizona Birmingham, Michigan
City of Mesa Cemetery* Mount Vernon Cemetery Inc. Funeral Innovations*
Mesa, Arizona Mt. Vernon, Washington West Des Moines, Iowa
Cobb Funeral Home* Mountain View Cemetery* FuneralMarketingServices.com
Blytheville, Arkansas Oregon City, Oregon Lynbrook, New York
Cooke Funeral Home Inc.* Newton Parks & Recreation Department Galaxy Audio
Cedar Grove, West Virginia Newton, North Carolina Wichita, Kansas
E. Harper & Son Funeral Home Organizacion La Esperanza SA GetUrns
New Haven, Indiana Cucuta, Colombia Dallas, Texas
Flanigan Funeral Home and Crematory Parque de la Paz SRL Granite City Tool
Inc. Guayaquil, Ecuador Waite Park, Minnesota
Buford, Georgia Parque de las Memorias HoverTech International
Ford City Cemetery Association Cochabamba, Bolivia Allentown, Pennsylvania
Kittanning, Pennsylvania Parquesanto del Ecuador Landmark Control Services Inc.
Greenlawn Memorial Park Quito, Ecuador San Jose, California
Natchez, Mississippi Roller-Citizens Funeral Home Makey WoodUrns Factory
Greenwood & Myers Funeral & Mortuary West Memphis, Arkansas Qingdao, China
Boulder, Colorado SCI Hispana East Memori Diamond
Hogg Funeral Home Inc. Miami, Florida Mequon, Wisconsin
Gloucester Point, Virginia Senoriales Corporacion de Servicios Memorial Markers LLC
Inmobiliaria Herkas Ltda. Guatemala City, Guatemala Palm Harbor, Florida
Pueto Mont, Chile Town of Harwich Preferred Payments
Inversiones El Paraiso Parque Cementerio Harwich, Massachusetts Westlake Village, California
SA Westlawn Cemetery Shenzhen Tidelong Industrial Develop-
Bogota, Colombia Norridge, Illinois ment Co. Ltd.
J. Garcia Lopez SA de CV Futian Dist Shenzhen, China
Mexico City, Mexico Professional: Pet Loss Services
The Living Urn
In Loving Paws LLC
Jardines de la Paz Greenwood, Colorado
Gloucester, Massachusetts
Lima, Peru Wards Transport and Supplies
Metro Pet Crematory Inc.
Jardines de Paz S.A. Douglas, Georgia
Upper Sackville, Nova Scotia
Bogota, Colombia Xiamen Rikata Commercial Trading Co.
The Pet Memorial
Jardines de Trujillo SA Ltd.
Flora Vista, New Mexico
Trujillo, Peru Xiamen, China
*rejoined r

48 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff


ear prospective students, tthe numerous professors who have amassed a
I am honored to serve as your wealth
w of real-world experience in their fields.
ICCFA University chancellor. I They truly are experts at what they do. They
have had the pleasure over the past two continually fine-tune their curricula throughout
years of seeing the university from all sides, the year to present you with the most relevant
first attending and graduating, then becom- and current information to take back and ap-
ing a professor in several colleges, and ply as soon as you get home. And we should
finally serving as dean of the College of Land note that most of them donate their time and
Management & Grounds Operations for five share their expertise on a volunteer basis.
years. They just want to give back to our profession
I was raised in the funeral service industry, that has so generously rewarded them over
with my family owning a cemetery and funeral the years.
homes in the Philippines, and me personally The 2017 ICCFA University is the ulti-
working for memorial design companies mate educational opportunity in our pro-
for numerous years. I thought I had a pretty ICCFA University Chancellor fession. Everyone involved in the university is
good grasp of what was going on in the Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE proud to continue this one-of-a-kind experience
profession until I was encouraged to attend by which thousands have already enriched them-
ICCFA University back in 1992. After I attend- selves, their firms and ultimately their customers
ed, my career really began. through superior, relevant and contemporary service.
Why is the ICCFA University so life-changing and one of the I encourage you to enroll in the 2017 session of the U to begin,
most revered educational programs in our profession? The pro- or continue, your journey of professional development today.
gram is more than just a training seminar or conferenceit is an
EXPERIENCE. The experience starts from the moment you Sincerely yours,
arrive in Memphis, and actually continues for the rest of your ca-
reer. The professors and fellow students you share the week with
will become lasting friends. The memorable conversations during
breakfast, lunch and dinner with fellow students are enlightening.
The opportunity to sit on a couch and have a late-night fireside Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE
chat with Gary OSullivan is priceless. The hospitality provided ICCFA University Chancellor q
by the Fogelman Center staff will be difficult to explain to others
(its awesome!). Everything you learn will alter the lens through
which you view the profession from that point forward. This is a
situation where the whole is much more than the sum of its parts.
ICCFA University boasts seven colleges in tune with our
profession today.
21st Century Services
Land Management & Grounds Operations Find complete program
Leadership, Management & Administration
J. Asher Neel College of Sales & Marketing
details, hotel reservation and
Funeral Home Management registration information at
Cremation Services
College of International Studies www.iccfa.com/university
The success that ICCFA University enjoys is the result of the
dedication and hard work of our seven remarkable deans and

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com May 2017 49


stories, songs and experiences that defined the deceased.

COLLEGE OF Celebrants schedule a special family time meeting when
the family can share memories, anecdotes and defining mo-
21ST CENTURY ments in the loved ones life. They then base the essence of
the service on the remembrances of the family, and family
SERVICES and friends are encouraged to participate.
Celebrants develop a library of resources available for
Dean Glenda Stansbury, CC readings, music, ceremonies and personal touches. They con-
sult with the family to help them choose elements of the service
How do you respond to a family who says, We dont that reflect their loved one. They are bound by a code of ethics
want a traditional funeral? Youll learn how to go for complete confidentiality in all dealings with the family.
beyond tradition with innovative offerings and become
certified as a funeral celebrant trained to provide Becoming a Certified Celebrant
meaningful alternatives to clergy-led services. After completing this college, students will be certified as cel-
ebrants. The training for celebrants as established by the In-Sight
Classes include: Institute seeks to provide the most comprehensive and sensitive
Celebrant Training: Doug Manning and Glenda Stansbury training available for people who wish to develop this as a profes-
Celebrants offer an alternative to services provided by clergy for sion or to add to their current job description. It is important that
those families who are not affiliated with a church or who do not a family knows they are being served by someone who under-
wish to have a traditional religious funeral service. They design stands the process and is prepared to offer the very best funeral
services that are completely personal, incorporating those unique possible. q

Please note: This college includes a one-day option for those who
COLLEGE OF wish to attend only the Certified Crematory Operator program.

C Administrator Curriculum: Zoning/NIMBY/Equipment
Real and Imagined Issues: Ron Salvatore
S One of the highest-rated portions of the College of Cremation
Services, this curriculum covers:
adding a crematory to your operation
Dean Jim Starks, CFuE, CCrE
D municipality zoning hurdles to installation
timing, from ordering to being fully operational
Cremation doesnt have to mean no service or no costs to purchase/maintain equipment
memorialization. Youll discover how to better serve facility requirements
families, improve cremation operations and increase considerations in selecting a crematory supplier
your companys cremation-related revenues. Youll Arranging More Than a Cremation: Gary OSullivan, CCFE
also earn three types of certifications: operator, Too many times, funeral homes and cemeteries dont have a
administrator and arranger. systematic process through which they help families consider the
power and value of cremation memorialization. The beliefs and
Classes include: behaviors of how these options are approached, both preneed and
Crematory Operator Curriculum (sponsored by Matthews at-need, have a lasting impact on both the family and the firm. In
Cremation Division): Ron Salvatore and Richard Thomas this session, you will be challenged and enlightened on how to
You will receive an extensive operations manual and training on: make your cremation memorialization options more than a pas-
professional terminology sive phrase.
incinerator terminology Arranger Curriculum: Reducing Your Liability to Add to
principles of combustion Your Bottom Line: Poul Lemasters, Esq.
cremation and the environment This seminar will focus on the Cremation Authorization Form,
and educate the arranger on why each section is critical. Partici-
incinerator criteria and design
pants will not only learn the importance of each section, they will
basics of operating cremation equipment also learn how to explain the sections to the family. There will
general maintenance and troubleshooting also be examples of lawsuits that have cost providers millions.q
forms and record keeping
handling and exposure control

50 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

Creating Economic Visibility for Your Company

COLLEGE OF This portion of the Funeral Management College is predicated on
one idea: Action This Day. One important way that you can dif-
FUNERAL HOME ferentiate your funeral home or cemetery from others in your area
is through your community outreach efforts. Becoming involved
MANAGEMENT and visible in your community is easier than you may think,
especially when you have Todd Van Becks master list of best
Dean Todd Van Beck, CFuE practices and creative marketing ideas. These workable and at-
tainable programs range from the little things of customer service
Too many managers consider creativity someone to presenting major community outreach programs and wowing
your local hospices.
elses department. In funeral service, creative
Creative Ideas for Under $500
management is the key to differentiation. Youll learn
Community Outreach Programs: The Turn-Key Approach
Dr. W. Edwards Demings creative service management The Little Things of Service
system and its specific applications to our profession. 30 Community Outreach programs with instructions
20 Hospice programs q


Dean Gino Merendino
Exceptional cemetery service starts with the grounds and operations department. Without
effective land management and a commitment to an attractive, well-maintained property, there will be no sales
or service. Youll learn how your grounds management team can succeed and continuously improve interments,
landscaping, buildings, grounds maintenance and exceptional client experience and satisfaction.

Cemetery Sustainability: Gino Merendino

This session will focus on people, planet and profits, the triple bottom line results required to be successful for the next 100 days
or the next 100 years. Proven methods of using low-maintenance plants, equipment and procedures that have been successful
with some of the biggest and well run cemetery systems in the US will be presented. q

The Greek Orthodox Experience of Death & Mourning:

COLLEGE OF Christina DiBari
Viewed as a temporary separation of body and soul, death for the
INTERNATIONAL Greek Orthodox community is a rich and powerful experience.
Because Jesus overcame death, the Greek Orthodox believe that
STUDIES death is a passage to a new life where we are able to be in closer
union with God. This class will provide you with the theologi-
Dean Jim Hammond cal fundamentals and reasoning for many of the Greek Orthodox
customs. You will learn the symbolism and various traditions,
Globalization is making the world a much smaller place some deeply rooted in rituals performed in Greece, as well as
how families keep the memory of their loved ones alive.
to live in. Are you sure that you know how to serve
families of all nationalities and religious backgrounds Jewish Funeral and Burial: Paul Goldstein
Jewish tradition teaches that human beings are created in the
in your community? Learn about the funeral customs of
image of God. This is the foundation for all Jewish funeral and
all major religions and population groups from around burial rituals. This class will examine those practices and the
the world. religious traditions behind them. You will learn about funeral
customs, their origins and the practices of modern Jews. q

Start every day at the ICCFA Caf at www.iccfa.com May 2017 51


Dean Gary Freytag, CCFE
The cemetery, cremation and funeral service profession is changing, and so are the skills needed
to manage and lead effectively. Youll receive solid, relevant, results-focused training targeted at todays required
core competencies.

A Critical Look into the Future: Adjusting to Issues, Trends Carol Little brings 15+ years of experience as a certified master
and Changes: David Nixon trainer and public speaker to these questions to help you improve
What are the critical issues, trends and changes in our market- the way you communicate with your team. In this workshop, she
place and in our profession? David Nixon will uncover and ex- will discuss:
amine these and provide the strategic ideas and adjustments you The essential elements of feedback
need to embrace to maintain your success. How, when and where to deliver feedback
Well examine threats and opportunities and specific programs How to address problems and get your team to buy in to
to help you compete both in the short term and the long term. the solutions
Learn how to build a stronger, more viable business with the Funeral Home and Cemetery Accounting: Keys to Affecting
knowledge of these future trends, and discover programs you can Your Bottom Line: Bill William
implement now to prepare yourself and your business for success Profit is all about increasing revenue and decreasing expenses.
in the future. But what are the standards against which you can benchmark
Communication and the Art of Effective Feedback: yourself? How often does your company truly analyze its ex-
Carol Little penses? Do you sometimes wonder whether there are line items
you should be taking a keen look at but are missing? In this
We all know that powerful communication is essential to strong
session, well examine critical expense items, including how to
leadership. But what is powerful communication and how can
manage them, ideal ways to reduce them and industry norms to
you effectively deliver feedback so your team will actually re- benchmark against them. q
ceive and benefit from it?
As president and CEO of The Little Training Company LLC,

how to find more leads. Not only will you learn how to evaluate
J. ASHER the opportunities you have and develop strategies for implemen-
tation, you also will learn what role training needs to play in
NEEL COLLEGE developing your salespeople to be able to generate business from
these events.
OF SALES The Seven Vital Signs That Drive Your Sales Teams Success:
MARKETING Patrick Downey, CCE
This session will show you the seven key diagnostics that can
show a sales manager how to take the pulse of his/her sales
Dean Gary OSullivan, CCFE organization and how to direct their skills and energy toward the
actionable areas that matter most. Participants will learn what
The principles of sales and marketing dont change, only sales performance warning sign to watch for and how to apply
technique and application do. Learn how to take the the best proven prescriptions for keeping a sales team healthy
tried-and-true principles of cemetery and funeral sales and on track for high performance.
and apply them within todays highly mobile, multi- Branding from the Inside Out and the Outside In:
cultural, high-tech, information-driven marketplace. Tiffany Gallarzo
Generating Leads Without a Phone: Daniel Thomas Learn how to leverage your brand to create a culture and envi-
In this session you will be shown how to go far beyond the ronment for development and growth that will unite your staff,
traditional methods of prospecting. While making phone calls increase retention, enhance your companys reputation and ulti-
and going to the front door are great ways to generate leads, there mately increase sales. Walk away with real life examples that will
are numerous other ways to reach your target audience. From the allow you to internally build your brand and externally stand out
mall to the farmers market, this session will show you where and in your market. q

52 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
E-mail calendar listings and additions or corrections to bclough@iccfa.com and sloving@iccfa.com. Calendar
For continually updated meeting listings and direct links to websites To see all industry conventions and meetings for a particular month,
for professional associations, go to www.iccfa.com; select Directory, go to www.iccfa.com; select Directory, then Event Calendar.
then Industry Association Directory.

Go to www.
Wide World of Sales: and choose
Call for presentations Directory/Find

a Member/In-
e are seeking presentations on dustry Event
the most relevant and thought- Calendar to
provoking sales and marketing insights, see a monthly
tools and techniques for the 2018 IC- calendar
CFA Wide World of Sales conference of industry
to be held in New Orleans on January association
10-12. We are looking for presentations meetings
that offer concrete, how-to information, worldwide.
with an emphasis on the how rather
than the why. May 2-4: Nebraska Funeral Directors June 5-6: Missouri Funeral Directors &
This is your opportunity to give Assn. Annual Convention, Younes Conf. Embalmers Assn. Annual Convention, Lake
Center, Kearney. www.nefda.org Ozark. www.mofuneral.org
back to the profession by sharing your
May 4-7: Oregon Funeral Directors Assn. June 5-9: Funeral Service Assn. of Canada
knowledge and expertise. Proposals
Annual Convention, Holiday Inn Eugene- Annual General Mtg. & Trade Show, Char-
are due to the ICCFA by Friday,
Springfield. www.ofda.org lottesville, Prince Edward. www.fsac.ca
July 14. 2017. When submitting a
May 8-9: New York State Assn. of Cem- June 6-8: Funeral Directors Assn. of Ken-
session proposal, the ICCFA Sales & eteries Public Affairs Seminar, Albany. tucky Annual Convention, Crowne Plaza
Marketing Committee requests that www.nysac.com Hotel & Kentucky Fair & Expo Center,
you include: May 10-12: South Dakota Funeral Direc- Louisville. www.fdaofky.com
1. Your contact information, a brief tors Assn. Annual Convention, Watertown, to page 54
bio regarding your background and South Dakota. www.sfda.org
qualifications and a head and shoulders May 15-18: Ohio Funeral Directors Assn.
picture of yourself. Annual Convention, Hilton Columbus at
2. A detailed description of your Easton. www.ofdaonline.org
how-to topic, including the specific May 16-17: Iowa Funeral Directors Assn.
tools, techniques and/or initiatives the Annual Convention, Altoona. www.iafda.org
attendee will be able to use immedi- May 21-24: North Carolina Funeral
ately. Directors Assn. 130th Annual Convention,
3. The primary target for your Raleigh. www.ncfda.org
presentation (managers, counselors or May 22-24: Minnesota Funeral Directors
both.) Assn. Annual Convention, Minneapolis.
4. Any request for compensation www.mnfuneral.org
must be included in your proposal or it May 24-25: CANA-ICCFA Cremation Op-
will not be granted. erations Certification & Cremation Arranger
WWS breakout sessions are typi- Certification, Wilbert Funeral Services Inc.,
Broadview, Illinois. www.iccfa.com
cally 50 minutes in length, so please
May 24-26: Funermostra, including FIAT-
narrow your topic to one or two key
IFTA Mtg., Feria Valencia, Valencia, Spain.
points that you can fully develop and
communicate within that time frame.
May 25-27: Pieta, Dresden, Germany.
All speakers are required to provide a www.pieta-messe.de
one-to-two-page supplemental handout
May 26-28: 2nd Funeral & Cemetery
which will be printed in the onsite Equipment Expo, TIF Helexpo Center,
program. Thessaloniki, Greece. www.atou.gr
Speakers will receive a complimen- June 2-4: Necroexpo, Targi Kielce Expo Proven Solutions for the Mausoleum
tary registration. Panelists or speakers Center, Kielce, Poland. www.targikielce.pl
sharing the stage with three or more June 4-7: Texas Funeral Directors Assn.
Casket Protection
people will be offered a discounted PPE Kits
Summer Convention, Austin. www.tfda.com
registration. Mausoleum Trays
June 4-7: Georgia Funeral Directors Assn. Consultation
Please send proposals to Kirsten Summer Convention, King and Prince
Kase at kase@iccfa.com. Questions? Beach Resort, St. Simons Island.
Call Kirsten at 703.391.8402. r www.gfda.org 800 864 4174

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com May 2017 53


19 American Cemetery/Mortuary 35 Grever & Ward 35 Nunn Products

Consultants 39 Holland Supply 31 Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell &
27 ASDAnswering Service for 55 IMSA Hippel
Directors 43 Paradise Pictures
45 Inman Shipping Worldwide
5 Coldspring 23 PlotBox
41 Johnson Consulting
7 Continental Computer Corp. 29 RBC Wealth Management
25 Kryprotek
25 Eagles Wings Air 35 SEP Technologies
23 Madelyn Co.
3 Eickhof Columbaria Inc. 27 Supply Link
9 Matthews Cemetery Prodcuts
53 Ensure-A-Seal 31 The Key Chain Urn Co.
15 Meadow Hill Corp.
13 Eternitys Touch 43 THE SYSTEM
15 Memorial Properties LLC
27 Flowers for Cemeteries 11 The Tribute Companies
17 Merendino Cemetery Care
47 Franklin Wrap 45 Triple H Co.
19 Miles Supply Inc.
39 Funeral Call Answering Service 21 U.S. Metalcraft
33 MKJ Marketing
2 Funeral Home Gifts 27 WithumSmith + Brown
23 Mortuary Lift Co.
56 funeralOne 11 Zontec Ozone
39 Nomis Publications r

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

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

Cemetery sales opportunities about your job security with your in the country, currently with 40 An old-school sales mentality,
Are you looking for a change? current employer? locations in nine states, is seeking not a corporate operations mental-
Are you tired of all the corporate This could be your last call! experienced and successful ity
changes, lowered compensation, The fastest growing privately cemetery sales managers and The opportunity to be the only
unfulfilled promises and concern owned cemetery sales company family service counselors in: salesperson at the location or part
Metro Baltimore, Maryland of a sales team
Long Island, New York No corporate micromanage-
Charleston, West Virginia ment
Johnstown, Pennsylvania Relocation assistance
Central Illinois Be appreciated and earn what
Northern California youre worth!
We offer: Contact Tracy Palm at
The highest commissions and 410.638.2811 or e-mail me at
over-rides in the industry cemeterysales@hotmail.com
No caps on income Those who join our team dont
A compensation plan that has leave!
not changed in over 13 years They have worked for most
An excellent benefits package, of the others but have never been
including matching 401K happier than they are with us.
The premier locations in their You can ask any of them. r

from page 53 www.nationalfuneralexhibition.co.uk Assn. Annual Convention, Oshkosh.
June 10-13: Louisiana Funeral Directors www.wfda.info
June 6-8: Arizona Funeral, Cemetery &
Assn. & Mississippi Funeral Directors June 12-14: The Center for Loss and Life
Cremation Assn.Annual Convention, Litch-
Assn. Joint Annual Convention, Windsor Transition trainning session by Dr. Alan
field Park. www.azfcca.org
Court Hotel, New Orleans, Louisiana. Wolfelt, Opening Your Communitys Eyes
June 7-8: ICCFA Cremation Arranger Cer-
www.lfdaweb.org to WHY We need Funerals, Fort Collins,
tification & Cremation Operations Certifi-
June 11-14: California Funeral Directors Colorado. www.centerforloss.com
cation, Gupton-Jones College of Funeral
Assn. Convention, Monterey Hyatt Regency. June 14-16: Pennsylvania Cemetery,
Service, Decatur, Georgia. www.iccfa.com
www.cafda.org Cremation & Funeral Assn. Annual Mtg.,
June 7-9: Independent Funeral Directors
June 11-15: Catholic Cemetery Conf. Kalahari Resort, Pocono Manor.
of Florida 25th Annual Convention, Rosen
School of Leadership & Management Ex- www.pccfa.com
Shingle Creek. www.ifdf.org
cellence, University of Notre Dame, South June 22-24: Southern Monument Builders
June 9-11: National (British) Funeral
Bend, Indiana. Assn. Annual Convention & Trade Show,
Exhibition, National Agricultural Center,
www.catholiccemetery conference.org Rockwall, Texas.
Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, England. r
June 12-13: Wisconsin Funeral Directors

54 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Free Them

Only IMSA members get a free hour of consultation with

marketing guru Dan Katz of LA ads, business strategist
Jake Johnson of Johnson Consulting, social media maven
Ryan Thogmartin of Disrupt Media and legal eagle Poul
Lemasters of Lemasters Consulting. Thats over $1000 of
value alone for the annual membership fee of just $175.
But of course theres so much more, including networking
opportunities, education, trade resources and industry
support. Visit www.IMSA-Online.com. Join, unite and thrive.

Empowering Cemetery &

Funeral Service Suppliers