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 August-September 2017


Irwin Shipper sheds light on past

and current government relations
The FTCs Craig Tregillus on secret shoppers
Poul Lemasters on irrevocable trusts
Bringing the unitrust method to your state
Turning around a distressed cemetery
Employment legislation in the pipeline
How to avoid being sued; what to do if you are
Effective communication for leaders
Discovering the secret numbers
to preneed sales success
Judging a selling price

I C C FA Fa l l M a n a g e m e n t C o n f e re n c e : O c t o b e r 4 - 6 , 2 0 1 7 , I n d i a n We l l s , C a l i f o r n i a
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10 Management/Legal
What should you do when the family wants to revoke an irrevocable
trust? by Poul Lemasters, Esq.
12 Legal & Legislative update
Looking back to move forward
From lawsuits to implementation of the Funeral Rule, Irwin Shipper
Irwin W. Shipper, Esq., CCE, now chair- has seen a lot in the 25 years he has chaired the ICCFA Government
man emeritus of the ICCFA Government and Legal Affairs Committee. As he retires, he reflects on what past
and Legal Affairs Committee, moderates battles have to teach us and how the ICCFA is increasing its presence
a legal and legislative update at an
ICCFA Convention. His final interview as
on Capitol Hill.
chairman begins on page 12. interview of Irwin W. Shipper, Esq., CCE
21 Body donation: An introductory primer for funeral directors
8 Washington Report
24 regulatory issues
Congress: Dont put it on autopilot
by Robert M. Fells, Esq. Q&A with Craig Tregillus of the FTC
54 Supply Line 28 Essay
56 Update Staying in the know and in a position to influence opinions
Funeral directors and cemeterians need to keep on top of legislative
63 New Members
issues, whether in the local, state or national arena. by Paul Elvig
64 Calendar
30 Management/Financial
65 Classifieds
How to enable your cemetery to use the unitrust method The Total
66 Ad Index Return Distribution Method is already benefitting cemeteries in some
states, but its not available everywhere. What do you do if you want
to take advantage of a unitrust but its not yet allowed by your states
laws and/or regulations?
by Bill Williams Jr., LFD, and Wendy Wiener
To support the ICCFAs goal of raising
32 Legal
money to fight lung cancer, todays #1
The role of the white knight in turning around a distressed cemetery
killer of women, go to
or funeral home What happens when a problem is found with a funeral

ICCFA officers  10 times per year, with combined issues in

August-September 2017 March-April and August-September. Periodicals
Scott R. Sells, CCFE, president
VOLUME 77/NUMBER 7 postage paid at Sterling, VA, and other offices.
Christine Toson Hentges, CCE,
president-elect Copyright 2017 by the International Cemetery,
Andrs Aguilar, vice president Cremation and Funeral Association. Subscription
Jay D. Dodds, CFSP, vice president Katherine Devins, communications & Brenda Clough, office administrator rates: In the United States, $39.95; in Canada,
Paul Goldstein, vice president member services manager & association liaison; bclough@iccfa.com; $45.95; overseas: $75.95. One subscription is
Mitch Rose, vice president kd@iccfa.com; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1224 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1214 included in annual membership dues. POST-
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& publisher appearing in ICCFA Magazine do not necessarily
Magazine staff nadira@iccfa.com ; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1225 ICCFA Magazine (ISSN 1936-2099) is published reflect either the opinion or the endorsement
Susan Loving, managing editor by the International Cemetery, Cremation and of the International Cemetery, Cremation and
sloving@iccfa.com Robert M. Fells, Esq., general counsel
Funeral Association, 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite Funeral Association.
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4 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

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59 ICCFA Fall Management Conference home or cemetery trust? Regulatory agencies are not equipped to run
Learn new business management skills funeral homes or cemeteries. Whats needed is a white knight who can
October 4-6, 2017 step in and take over these operations. by Lewis J. Hoch, Esq.
60 Thank you Fall Management 34 Legal
Conference sponsors
How to avoid being suedand what to do when it happens Ceme-
61 PLPA College: Program announced tery, crematory and mortuary owners and their management personnel
October 2-3, 2017
need specific strategies and techniques to minimize or prevent many
61 Dead Ringers: of the liability risks that commonly occur in the profession, and effec-
The latest ICCFA member benefit
tive ways to mitigate potential damage when such events do occur?
61 Performance tracker by Steve Gurnee and John Mason
42 HR legislation
Employment legislation: Whats in the pipeline A year ago, funeral
home owners were well aware of changes in overtime regulations
Catch the WIRELESS newsletter in expected to go into effect before the end of 2016. Today, the legislative
your inbox for industry news, stories about landscape has changed, but that doesnt mean you can stop thinking
colleagues making headlines and updates on about whats going on in Congress. There are a number of bills under
ICCFA educational events & conferences consideration that could affect your funeral home.
by Stephanie Ramsey
Follow the ICCFAs LinkedIn 46 Human resources
page to read breaking news The importance of effective communication for leaders The good,
about colleagues, the profession the bad and the ugly of leadership: HR professionals have seen it all.
and the association One way to make sure you and your organizations leadership are
http://bit.ly/2du252P among the good is to make sure you all communicate well, both
when speaking and when writing.
Follow the ICCFA on Twitter by Julie Judge
to receive instant updates on 48 Preneed sales success
the associations educational Discover your secret numbers: Why sales volume is a lagging
events & conferences indicator of the activity that preceeds it
http://twitter.com/iccfa by Gary OSullivan, CCFE, and David Shipper

Like and follow the ICCFA 52 Management/financial

to read up-to-date news on Cemetery Impossible: How can you tell if a cemetery is priced
the industry, ICCFA members right? Buying a cemetery isnt like buying land. Its more complicat-
making headlines and ICCFA ed and involves sitting down and making the right calculations.
events & promotions by Dan Isard, MSFS

ICCFA calendar
go to www.iccfa.com for program, registration & scholarship information

2017 Cremation Certification 2018 Wide World of Sales

September 11-12, ICCFA operator training Sep- Conference
tember 11, CCFA arranger training September 12; January 10-12
with the Iowa Funeral Directors Association, Stoney New Orleans Marriott, Louisiana,
Creek Hotel & Conference Center, Johnston, Iowa, Co-chairs: Jill Muenich and Lori Salberg
ICCFA Cremation Programs Coordinator Poul Lemasters, Esq. 2018 ICCFA Convention & Expo
2017 PLPA College October 1-3 April 18-21, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas,
Miramonte Resort, Indian Wells, California Nevada, Co-chairs: Shawna de la Cruz
and Andy Lopez
2017 Fall Management
Conference 2018 ICCFA University
October 4-6 July 20-25, Fogelman Conference Center,
Hyatt Regency, Indian Wells, California, Memphis, Tennessee
Co-chairs: Paul Goldstein and Lee Longino Chancellor: Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE

6 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Washington Report
by ICCFA General
Congress: Dont put it on autopilot
Counsel Robert
M. Fells, Esq. n May, members of the ICCFA Government Despite widespread dissatisfaction
and Legal Affairs Committee and this writer
robertfells with Congresson a good day it
met with several key members of the House
and Senate. Similar to past years, our group has an 18 percent approval rating
left Capitol Hill with the firm impression that
ext. 1212 the re-election rate for incumbents
becoming a member of Congress is a job that none
direct line:
of us would want. is 97 percent. How can that be?
Even with our friendly assurances that we
Fells is were not there to hammer them to support or an automatic opposition mode to anything the
ICCFA gen- oppose some piece of legislation, the look on the Republican majority proposes.
eral counsel, faces of politicians and staff members alike told At this point, this will kick us over into 2018,
responsible for the same story. They are daily being pulled from an election year, where controversial legislation,
maintaining and improving rela-
pillar to post by conflicting demands from their no matter how badly, needed is shunned. Then we
tionships with federal and state
government agencies, the news
constituents. Local town halls are not the only will hear lots of talk from both parties about how
media, consumer organizations places that can turn ugly. A simple meet and they will be ready to tackle these issues and more
and related trade associations. greet in a Congressmans office has the potential as soon as the pesky election is out of the way.
to become tense. We have seen this movie before in 2016, 2014,
Out of necessity and survival, members of 2012, 2010you get the idea. The strategy is to
Congress learn how to position themselves to say kick the can down the road and promise that we
things that are mildly supportive but stopping short will deal with it when we get there. The problem is
of making a commitment of support. Some view that we never get there.
this posturing as cynical, but if you spend any time But surely there must be a reckoning, a sort
More from this author on The Hill you will soon view this practice as a of rough justice, served up on election day? The
Why we vote. A series of necessity. truth is, this doesnt happen because the facts tell a
articles on the importance of The late Sen. Daniel Moynihan famously different story.
engagement in the democratic observed that everyone is entitled to their own Despite widespread dissatisfaction with
process in the United States. opinions but not to their own facts. The sad reality Congresson a good day it has an 18 percent
www.iccfa.com is that today every visitor to The Hill is loaded approval ratingthe re-election rate for
with their own facts, and the men and women we incumbents is 97 percent. How can that be?
Funeral Radio.
ICCFA General elect to represent us must learn how to protect I explain this by calling it the not my guy
Counsel Robert themselves from this reality. effect. Even as popular opinion expresses dismay
Fells, Esq., talks about legal However, this jockeying doesnt explain why with Congress generally, many voters make an
and the 535 members of the House and Senate fail to exception of their congressional members. In other
legislative issues affecting fu- take action on legislation we all agree is important. words, Theyre all bumsbut not my guy. With
neral, cemetery and cremation I am referring to the eternal stalemate on the need that attitude, kicking the can down the road on
businesses at for health care reform, tax reform and immigration health care, tax and immigration reform has little
www.funeralradio.com reform. I can say the same thing going back five downside risk.
years or even 10 or more. The bottom line is that we cant let Congress
This 115th Congress is turning out to be sadly operate on an autopilot basis, because the goal
typical. Despite the fact that this is an off-year of career membersto get re-electedis quite
there are no national electionsalmost no action different from the goals we want Congress to
has occurred on these three big issues. achieve for us and for our families.
The House has passed something thats This may be my Reason #57 of why we all
supposed to replace the Affordable Care Act must become politically active and communicate
but the Senate leadership say they will ignore with our congressional representatives. Our
the House bill and start from scratch. As of this government is not a democracy (and never was)
writing, they havent scratched even once. Worse, but a democratic republic, a representative form of
legislation for tax reform and immigration reform government.
hasnt even gotten that far. Just as you would never tell a waiter in a
The problem is not so much the in-fighting restaurant to serve you whatever he thinks is best,
between the two parties that gets all the attention we should never sit by and let our congressional
on the news shows. In fact, the existence of each representatives decide what is important and what
party is a great buffer to blame the other party isnt.
for the stalemate. The Republicans cant seem to If we do, we have only ourselves to blame for
get their act together and the Democrats go into the resultsor lack of them. r

8 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
I knew everything
about my business.
Except how
to sell it.
Laurens Fish III
Funeral Homes &
Cremation Services

One doesnt learn everything about their business overnight. In fact, it has taken me
over three generations of family ownership and Im still learning. When it came time
for me to make a transition, I realized I was out of my comfort zone. My research
kept showing that Johnson Consulting Group was the go-to firm for funeral
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Not only has JCG helped funeral home owners time and time again, they
understood that this would be my first and only time to do this. And that I had
some unique wishes. Like the fact that I wanted to stay involved after the sale. And
that I wanted my staff to stay intact as well. My goal was to remain connected and
have more time to devote to the local community and my favorite charities. JCG
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2017 MKJ Marketing


Mergers & Acquisitions Valuations Accounting Management Services Financing Customer Surveys
by Poul Lemasters, Esq.


Revocable versus irrevocable trusts:

What a difference two little letters can make! The difference
seems obvious, but its becoming an issue.

What should you do when

the family wants to revoke
ICCFA Magazine author spotlight
an irrevocable trust?
Lemasters is principal of Lemasters
Consulting, Cincinnati, Ohio. his may seem like a no-brainer, but now wants their money back from you. So
www.lemastersconsulting.com I can assure you that it isnt. At least the big question is this: Can you simply
He is the ICCFAs cremation program not across the board, its not a simple refund the money?
coordinator and special cremation counsel, issue. Oh wait; are you wondering what the
and co-chairs the Government and Legal issue is? Let me lay it out for you. The reason for irrevocable contracts
Affairs Committee.. A family walks into a funeral home (or Why do we have irrevocable contracts,
He is an attorney and funeral director, cemetery) and says that they are interested anyway? The Code of Federal Regulations
graduated from the Cincinnati College of in preplanning their funeral. They decide to Title 20Employees Benefits
Mortuary Science in 1996 and from North- purchase a full funeral and burial, including CHAPTER IIISOCIAL SECURITY
ern Kentucky University, Chase College of casket, services, cemetery property and ADMINISTRATION 416.1231: Burial
Law, in 2003. He is licensed as a funeral even the monument. spaces and certain funds set aside for burial
director and embalmer in Ohio and West During the arrangements, they also expenses, states this:
Virginia and admitted to practice law in explain that they will be a Medicaid recipient, (6) Irrevocable trust or other irrevocable
Ohio and Kentucky.
and this is part of their spend-down. So far, arrangement. Funds in an irrevocable trust
More from this author this is all day-to-day stuff, right? or other irrevocable arrangement which
ICCFA cremation training, September You then take the basic steps in cases are available for burial are funds which
11-12, with the Iowa Funeral Directors of a Medicaid spend-down. The contract are held in an irrevocable burial contract,
Association, Stoney Creek Hotel & Confer- used specifically states that the contract an irrevocable burial trust or an amount in
ence Center, Johnston, Iowa. Operator is irrevocable. There is even language on an irrevocable trust which is specifically
training on September 11; arranger train- the contract explaining that an irrevocable identified as available for burial expenses.
ing on September 12. www.iccfa.com contract cannot be canceled or changed Many states reflect this language and
at any time. It also states that for it to be require any funeral prearrangement to be
an irrevocable contract, the recipient must designated as irrevocable. So we understand
either be on or going to be on Medicaid. why we need irrevocable contracts, but what
Go to www.iccfa.com to the Crema- The family reads it, acknowledges it and does irrevocable mean?
tion Support section, where you can post a signs the preneed contract. Blacks Law Dictionary defines
question for Lemasters to answer. Fast-forward two years. The family now revocable and irrevocable:
comes back to you and asks for a refund. RevocableCapable of being canceled or
ICCFA membership benefit Yup, a refund. You explain that because the withdrawn.
Lemasters is the ICCFAs cremation contract is irrevocable, you cannot refund IrrevocableUnalterable; committed
program coordinator and special them the money in the contract. beyond recall.
cremation legal counsel. ICCFA mem- You spend time explaining Medicaid It seems clear that you cannot change an
bers in good standing may call him to
rules and regulations, and even walk irrevocable contract.
discuss cremation-related legal issues
through the contract they signed. The family Looking at various state laws, this is
for up to 20 minutes at no charge to the
member. The association pays for this listens and states that they made a mistake where it becomes clear why theres an
service via an exclusive retainer. and are not on Medicaid, So give us our issue. While we understand why we need
money back now. irrevocable contracts, and we know what
Lemasters also provides, to ICCFA mem-
bers in good standing, free GPL reviews to This might sound like something that irrevocable means, many states do not define
check for Funeral Rule compliance. would never happen, but recently it has what can or cant be done with an irrevocable
become an issue. The basis for wanting the contract.
refund may differ, but the request is the (Please note that this is a very basic primer
same: A family with an irrevocable contract on what can be a complex issue. This article

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

We might try to make people happy by simply acquiescing and giving them the money back.
Beware, though. If youthe funeral providersimply cancel the contract and refund
the money, you could be exposed to a charge of Medicaid fraud!
looks at only a couple examples of states that irrevocable contract useless. will help you if a family challenges this.
have language about this issue, while many So, what to do? And yes, there are cases now going on
more do not have anything to compare.) where funeral providers are fighting with
There are a couple of states that have What to do families and regulatory boards over what
general provisions discussing irrevocable First, look at your state laws/regulations can and should happen when families want
contracts. For example, the Ohio State Bar to see what, if anything, is said about to revoke an irrevocable trust. Having good,
Association states that you cannot cancel an irrevocable and revocable funeral clear language in your contract can help.
irrevocable contract, but it can be transferred. arrangements. Most likely, there will be Lastly, know what you can do and
The language in Ohio is not clear, but has definitions and requirements on when you use know when you need to just pass. In a case
been discussed by the Ohio State Bar to help them, but very little on what happens if the where you believe you cant comply with
clarify the issue. family wants to cancel. a familys request, as in the scenario I laid
Massachusetts may have the clearest Second, make sure your contracts clearly out at the beginning of this article, get your
definition, stating: Irrevocablemeans, after state what canand more importantlywhat state regulators involved. Hopefully they will
any cooling-off period, that the Pre-Need cannot be done if the purchaser later changes see the issue and help find a resolution that
Funeral Contract may not be terminated by their mind. complies with state and federal regulations as
any party or beneficiary of the contract except If your state sets this out, then include that well as your contract.
by order of a court of competent jurisdiction. language. If your state is silent on the issue, Remember that while you may want
This term may apply to the Pre-Need Funeral then define irrevocable in the contract to make every family happy, there may
Contract as a whole, or may apply to specific and include an explanation that it cannot be be cases where your ability to do so is
portions of the contract. changed. By having a clear explanation, it limited. r
Massachusetts then goes on to state that
under 239 CMR 4.07: Cancellation of Pre-
Need Funeral Contracts
(4) If a Pre-Need Funeral Contract was
Irrevocable at the time it was originally
created, such a contract shall not be canceled
by either party except by order of a court of LIFE'S TOO SHORT FOR PAPER
competent jurisdiction. Such a contract may,
however, be transferred to another Licensed
Funeral Establishment in accordance with
239 CMR 4.06.
Again, this issue is becoming more
common, and what we are discovering is that
most states do not have anything written on
what you can or cant do with an irrevocable
contract. Perhaps states have avoided the info@plotbox.io +1-650-320-7685 www.plotbox.io

issue because it just seems so simple.

If you look at the basic language of
irrevocable versus revocable, it seems as
if your hands are tied when youre dealing
with an irrevocable trust. If a family asks for
a refund, you simply say no.
But funeral providers dont want to seem
like bad people. We might try to make people
happy by simply acquiescing and giving them
the money back. Beware, though. If youthe
funeral providersimply cancel the contract
and refund the money, you could be exposed
to a charge of Medicaid fraud!
Plusand this is part of the big picture
imagine if more and more families use this
reasoning to cancel their preneed contracts.
It could create a slippery slope of making an

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 11

ICCFA Magazine subject spotlight

ifshipper@aol.com L E G A L & L E G I S L AT I V E U P D AT E
Irwin W. Shipper,
Esq., CCE, has been From lawsuits to implementation of the Funeral Rule,
involved in the cemetery
business for more than
Irwin Shipper has seen a lot in the 25 years he has chaired
60 years. the ICCFA Government and Legal Affairs Committee.
He is an ICCFA past As he retires, he reflects on what past battles have to teach us
president; has chaired
the ICCFA Government and how the ICCFA is increasing its presence on Capitol Hill.
and Legal Affairs Com-
mittee since 1992; and
is a member of the ICCFA Hall of Fame.
He is president of Rose Hills Memorial
Park in Putnam Valley, New York.
He served as president of Beth Israel
Cemetery Association and Woodbridge
Memorial Gardens, Woodbridge, New
Jersey. He was with The Loewen Group for
several years before returning to private
cemetery ownership. T
He chaired the New Jersey State
Cemetery Board, 1972-1994.
He earned his law degree from Brooklyn
Law School.
He is a board member of the Jewish
Federation of Palm Beach County, Florida, Irwin Shipper, CCE, moderating a legal and legislative update at an ICCFA Conven-
and is on the executive committee of the tion & Expo. Shipper has moderated many such panels as chairman of the ICCFA
Commission for Jewish Education of Palm Government and Legal Affairs Committee, a position he has held since 1992.

More about thisis subjecect

The Government & Legal Affairs
Looking back to move forward
Breakfast will be part of the Irwin, youve just had a rare honor Oregon filed a complaint in federal court
ICCFA Fall Management Conference, bestowed on you. For the first time in alleging that some cemeteries conspired
October 4-6, at the Hyatt Regency, ICCFA history, the title of chairman to exclude third parties, that is monument
Indian Wells, California. For more about emeritus has been awarded and you are the builders, from selling and installing markers
the conference, see page 59, or go to recipient. Congratulations! in those cemeteries. The lawsuit claimed
www.iccfa.com. these rules violated federal antitrust laws
Thank you. I didnt know this was the first
time the title has been given, so Im very by being an illegal restraint of trade. Then
appreciative. a monument company in Missouri filed a
We looked up our very first interview with similar lawsuit in federal court there.
you that was published in the August 1993 Both cases were decided about the
issue of the magazine. At the time, our same time, around 1983. In both cases, the
industry was just emerging from years of defendant cemeteries won in the lower court
litigation over cemetery rules concerning but lost on appeal.
marker installations. For those of us who Wasnt the ICCFA (then the ACA, the
werent around then, could you sum up American Cemetery Association) sued as
what happened? Perhaps more important, well?
could you tell us if those lawsuits of the past Yes, a bit later, but not in these two lawsuits
have any significance for us today? in Oregon (known as Mack Moore) and
I dont think we will ever see the massive Missouri (known as Rosebrough). The fact
number of lawsuits we experienced during that the plaintiffs won in both cases let loose
the 1980s and into the 1990s. Very simply, a rash of lawsuits by 1984 in Florida, Kansas,
the law that encouraged that litigation has Pennsylvania, Arkansas and maybe one or
changed, and the ICCFA helped change it. two other states.
There were lessons learned and we should not This is when the ACA was named a
forget those lessons today. defendant, along with the state cemetery
In the late 1970s, a monument dealer in association and several cemeteries. We were

12 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
This years ICCFA Hill visits started with a breakfast strategy session with Dykema, the lobbying firm the ICCFA has hired, in the
building Dykema shares with the Washington Post in downtown Washington, D.C. Above, counterclockwise from right, are Ca-
ressa Hughes; Blair Nelsen, CCFE; Jim Brandell and Andy Buczek of Dykema; Ed Horn, CCE, ICCFA General Counsel Bob Fells; Jim
Price, CCFE, CCrE; Steve Schacht, CCE; and Tom Daly, CCE. One of Dykemas objectives is to consolidate the ICCFAs position as the
go-to trade association for cemetery, funeral and cremation issues, as the associations membership encompasses all segments of
the profession. This year marked the first of our Capitol Hill visits with the added
resources of Dykema, our new lobbying firm, said ICCFA General Counsel Bob
Fells. They ably assessed the House and Senate commit-
tees that affected our members business interests and ar-
ranged meetings for us with key players on those commit-
tees. Our own members have some excellent connections
of their own with the committees, but Dykema increased
our contacts, and that proved very helpful. ICCFA repre-
sentatives split up into two groups, each accompanied by
at least one Dykema staffer, so they could make all of the
meetings scheduled over two days. Left, Mary Beth Mc-
Gowan of Dykema makes a point during a meeting with a
legislative assistant to Sen. Gary Peters, D-MI. Right, con-
ferring in a hallway before a meeting with congressional
staff, counterclockwise from lower right: Jarrett White and
Andy Buczek of Dykema; Ed Horn, CCE; Tom Daly, CCE;
Keenan Knopke, CCE; and Steve Zimmerman of Dykema.

Above left, in order to make it from a House office building over to the Senate side without having to go through the long
security lines again, ICCFA representatives took to the tunnel access, which involved a brief tram ride followed by a lot of
walking. Pictured are Jim Price, CCFE, CCrE; Steve Schacht, CCE; and John Resich, CCE. Above right, after a discussion on
the issues, Rep. Peter King, R-NY, center, showed Tom Daly, CCE, and Ed Horn, CCE, the view from his balcony.

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 13


Craig Tregillus of the FTC stands behind the ICCFA representatives visiting the FTC office to discuss the Funeral Rule, secret
shoppers and other matters. (An interview with Tregillus starts on page 24.) Seated, from left, Steve Zimmerman of Dykema,
the lobbying firm the ICCFA is working with; ICCFA General Counsel Bob Fells, Esq.; Ed Horn, CCE; Jim Price, CCFE, CCrE;
Keenan Knopke, CCE; Tom Daly, CCE; John Resich, CCE; Caressa Hughes; Steve Schacht, CCE; and Blair Nelsen, CCFE.

all accused of conspiracy to restrain trade by Is that what happened? the right to install all memorials and
using and promoting an exclusive marker No. We proved we could walk and chew monuments itself could run afoul of
installation policy, that is, where only the gum at the same time. We continued some case law. But that year, the U.S.
cemetery could install all monuments and CLDF to help the cemetery defendants Supreme Court made a landmark decision
markers. and handled our own legal bills through in a case called Jefferson Parish Hospital.
Were these allegations taken seriously? insurance coverage. The hospital had an exclusivity rule that
Strategically, I think the plaintiffs made only doctors who were granted hospital
Oh yes, we had to take these seriously,
a big mistake by bring us into three of the privileges could work in that hospital.
because a finding of liability could
lawsuits, because in defending ourselves A patient wanted to bring in his own
financially destroy all the defendants. As
we brought in top antitrust lawyers to assist doctor, who did not have privileges at this
I recall, the ACA was named in three of
the other defendants lawyers. Eventually, hospital. The doctor was barred and the
the lawsuits, in Pennsylvania, Kansas and
I believe that plaintiffs attorneys realized patient sued the hospital, claiming an illegal
their tactical mistake and were eager to get restraint of trade. You can see how this fact
The first two were settled rather quickly
rid of the association as a defendant. situation paralleled the cemetery exclusive
along amicable terms. But the plaintiff in
But as I said, the Arkansas plaintiff memorial installation policy by barring
the Arkansas litigation (Baxley-De Lamar)
believed he would win, and we went to a third parties from doing the work.
refused to settle and we went to trial. Of all
the cases, the Arkansas litigation was the jury trial and won. Of course, the cemeteries Then the Supreme Court found in favor of
only one tried by a jury. in the first lawsuits in Oregon and Missouri the hospital?
won at trial, then lost the appeal. The Yes, but the reasons behind the ruling are
Why was the association targeted in the
Arkansas plaintiff appealed the jury verdict what helped us in our litigation. The high
first place?
to the federal appeals court and we won court ruled that the hospitals restriction on
Well, we had our theories, because there there, too. In fact, our victory in Arkansas doctors who may work at the hospital was
was no factual basis for saying we ever made it much more difficult for monument legal, provided the hospital did not have
suggested what sort of rules and regulations builders to sue cemeteries. market power. That means that there were
our member cemeteries should have.
That was a long time ago. Are there any other hospitals in the general area that a
The ACA was raising money to help the
lessons for industry members today? patient could use if he or she didnt like the
defendant cemeteries in all these lawsuits
Very much so. In fact, I am concerned that rules at this particular hospital.
pay their legal bills. The campaign was
the new generation of cemetery owners and Applied to a cemetery fact situation, this
called CLDF, or the Cemetery Legal
managers are not aware of all this litigation meant that if a purchaser of a memorial did
Defense Fund.
and as a result may create new forms of not like a cemeterys installation policy, the
I thought the plaintiffs attorneys didnt
liability for themselves. customer could go to another cemetery. This
like this, so I suspected that we were added
assumed a cemetery did not have market
as a defendant to keep the association busy How so?
power, in other words, did not control
raising funds to pay its own legal expenses Before 1989, any cemetery that claimed so much of the burial market in a defined
in the litigation.

14 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 15

geographic area that the public our association stated its
had no other cemetery to go to, objections along factual
for all practical purposes. lines. We did not quarrel
Did the Supreme Court say with the concept, but
how much of the market a only with the practical
business had to control in order difficulties of shoehorning
to have market power? cemeteries into a trade
regulation developed for
Not directly, but the court
funeral homes.
said that Jefferson Hospital
We even suggested
controlled only about 30 percent
that if the FTC felt so
of the market for hospital
strongly about regulating
services and that was insufficient
cemeteries, it should
to create market power. I think
develop a separate trade
later cases found that controlling
rule for cemeteries and the
even 50 percent of the market
association would help
was insufficient.
them draft it.
What does that mean for We have similarly
ICCFA Board Member Steve Schacht, CCE, makes a point during the
meeting with FTC staff as Board Member Blair Nelsen, CCFE, listens. positioned ourselves on
Well, first, the ICCFA has never other issues, such the
recommended that any cemetery use an possible revisions to the FTC Funeral Rule. proposed Bereaved Consumers Bill of Rights
exclusive installation policy. We feel that That is again a current topic of discussion, Act championed by Rep. Bobby Rush (D-
while it may be found legal in court thanks but has anything changed? IL). There are some good things in the bill,
to the Jefferson Parish decision, a cemetery The focus of what should be changed in but it has some major flaws that prevent the
could spend a great deal of money trying to the Funeral Rule has evolved considerably. association from supporting it.
win a court challenge. The discussion used to focus on expanding This approach blunted any efforts to brand
That sort of empty victory doesnt help the rule to all retailers of funeral goods or the ICCFA as anti-consumer?
anybody. Therefore, we urge all our members funeral services, especially with respect to
cemeteries. Yes, I believe that by explaining our concerns
to consult with a knowledgeable attorney in
This may continue to be an important along factual lines, we appealed to anybody
this area of law before adopting such a policy.
topic, but today there is much more attention who was trying to be fair-minded about the
At the time of our first interview in 1993, issue.
attention was focused on new lawsuit given to posting funeral prices online. Of
course, many funeral homes and cemeteries The few people who wanted to brand us
in Fort Wayne, Indiana, that involved as anti-consumer just looked ridiculous. This
grave openings and closings. The plaintiff do this voluntarily. The question is whether
the FTC will require online pricing disclosure approach also increased the associations
was challenging the cemetery policy of standing with regulators and legislators,
exclusively doing this work, prohibiting under a revised Funeral Rule. And whether
mandatory or not, will online posting exempt because we showed a willingness to work
any third party from performing it. What with them.
happened to that litigation? the funeral provider from being visited by the
FTCs undercover shoppers? What would you say is the greatest change
The lawsuit, known as McComb v. Memory
Gardens, eventually reached an out-of-court Part of that first interview in 1993 discussed in government relations work over the last
the strategic difficulty of the association 25 years?
settlement and never went to trial. The terms
of the settlement were kept confidential, opposing proposed legislation or regulations The rise in the cremation rate has made
that were labeled consumer protection standard parts of the funeral, such as the
but the parties announced that the cemetery
without appearing to be anti-consumer. Is viewing and interment, into options. In
defendants would continue to perform all
this still a challenge? fact, a growing problem with cremation
openings and closings.
Back then, I recall members telling us providers is the increasing number of
But while the litigation was active,
privately that if we opposed a consumer unclaimed cremated remains that result.
we initiated our Government and Legal
Fundraising Campaign to replace the protection proposal, we risked being accused Families order the cremation, then never
of opposing consumer protection. Should return to pick up the remains.
old CLDF I just mentioned. Even when
that happen, their company would have to Many states have passed laws protecting
a lawsuit settles, a great deal of expense
distance itself from the association. I dont cremation services from liability if, after a
can be incurred just to reach that point.
know what that meant as a practical matter. stated period of time, the cremated remains
Our fundraising to help the Fort Wayne
Maybe they would resign their membership are not claimed and the provider disposes of
defendants strengthened their position in
to show they were pro-consumer protection. them in any lawful manner.
being able to resolve the litigation.
Fortunately, we never had to find out. We need new legislation to address
Some things dont seem to have changed situations that never troubled us in the
over the past quarter century. In our first As things developed, such as the proposal
to include cemeteries under the Funeral Rule, past. Cemeteries face similar issues
interview, we had quite a discussion on regarding the income generated by their

16 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
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The Parental Bereavement Act of 2017 would amend the Family and Medical Leave Act to allow
parents grieving from the death of their child to receive up to 12 weeks of job-protected time off.
By supporting this bill, the ICCFA is making a statement on the importance
of taking time to grieve when confronted with one of lifes greatest tragedies.

Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ, second from left, talks to ICCFA representatives, from left, MaryBeth McGowan of Dykema; Steve Schacht,
CCE; John Resich, CCE; Bob Fells; and Jim Price, CCFE, CCrE. Gosar is sponsoring two bills the ICCFA supports, The Label and
Transport Tissues Safely Act and the Sarah Grace-Farley-Kluger Act, also known as the Parental Bereavement Act of 2017.

maintenance care funds. Lawmakers at both the state and local is always well-received, usually with the
What has been the problem there? levels are always surprised when we tell observation that they are not aware of any
Many state laws restrict cemetery care them the simple truth: Cemeteries are the problems their constituents have with our
trust funds from withdrawing long-term only businesses that must service what members. Of course, we appreciate this
capital gains. Simply stated, these gains are they sell forever. Theres no five-year information.
mandated to be treated as though they were warranty period, after which they have no Then we mention any pending bills we
original deposits to the trust. more responsibilities. Grave maintenance are watching. This year was a little different
In other words, just as the principal is a continuing responsibility, but the in that we are following four bills that are
deposits can never be withdrawn, neither care trust laws in many states undermine all constructive in nature and that we can
can these capital gains. This restriction this obligation through short-sighted support.
forces trustees to avoid long-term growth regulations. What are these bills and what progress
investments and focus only on current In May, some members of the ICCFA have they made going through the House
income investments, which limits the Government and Legal Affairs Committee and Senate?
amount of income earned. made their annual visit to Capitol Hill. Perhaps the most important of the four
In recent years, a few states have How did that go? is H.R. 2022, the Label and Transport
enacted laws to allow a total return form The visits with 18 representatives and Tissues Safely Act, introduced by Rep.
of investment that permits the withdrawal senators went very well. For the first Paul Gosar (R-AZ). The issue is that non-
of some portion of the capital gains. This time, we had the services of our new transplant body donation is an unregulated,
approach maximizes the earnings potential lobbying firm, Dykema, to help us schedule growing industry that profits from the sale
of the trust funds and releases more income appointments. of donated tissues and organs. (Editors
for cemetery maintenance. (Editors note: We typically offer our assistance to the note: See related article, Body donation:
See related article, How to enable your congressional members constituents should An introductory primer for funeral
cemetery to use the unitrust method, on there be a problem or concern involving directors,on page 21.)
page 30.) a cemetery or funeral home. This offer There is a public health concern

18 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 19

H.R. 2022 would require the federal regulation

of non-transplant businesses that sell body parts for profit.
We are working with Rep. Gosar to add language concerning related aspects of this issue.

veterans and ensure that veterans receive

a dignified funeral and burial regardless of
ability to pay or the circumstances of the
death. H.R. 1212 would raise benefits for
non-service-connected deaths, veterans
without next-of-kin and deaths in a VA
facility to $2,000 to match benefits for death
from a service-connected disability and,
finally, would index the benefits to increase
with inflation.
Irwin, your appointment as chairman
emeritus of the Government and Legal
Above, Jinny and Mike Doherty of Affairs Committee means that a new
Fairfax Memorial Park in Northern
chair had to be appointed in your place.
Virginia again hosted a dinner for
the ICCFA members who traveled
Everybody agrees that it is impossible to
to Washington to help with the replace you, so we shouldnt be surprised
Capitol Hill visits. Right, ICCFA that President Scott Sells appointed co-
General Counsel Bob Fells stands chairs. How do you feel about that?
next to a bust of Winston Churchill. Youre referring to Keenan Knopke and
because bodies may not be screened for its ultimate passage will depend on a variety Poul Lemasters, who have been members
infectious disease and handled or disposed of other factors in the healthcare debate. of the Government and Legal Affairs
of appropriately. Also, body donors can You mentioned four bills. What are the Committee for many years. Keenan has
be misled to believe they have authorized other two? spent years engaged in lobbying for state
human remains for whole body research legislation in Florida, which is one of the
One is another bill introduced by Paul most active states for funeral, cemetery and
when they are actually dissected and sold
Gosar, H.R. 1560, the Sarah Grace-Farley- cremation legislation. He also participated
for profit.
Kluger Act, also known as the Parental in the Capitol Hill visits in May.
H.R. 2022 would require the federal
Bereavement Act of 2017. This bill would Poul Lemasters, as is generally known,
regulation of non-transplant businesses
amend the Family and Medical Leave Act is both an attorney and a licensed funeral
that sell body parts for profit. We are
(FMLA) to allow parents grieving from director. He also serves as ICCFA cremation
working with Rep. Gosar to add language
the death of their child to receive up to 12 counsel and advises our members on
concerning related aspects of this issue.
weeks of job-protected time off. cremation liability issues. A member can
The second bill discussed during the
This statutory change would treat the have a telephone consultation with Poul as
Capitol Hill visit is H.R. 1101, the Small
death of a child like other life-altering a membership benefit and the ICCFA picks
Business Health Fairness Act, introduced
events covered by the FMLA, such as up the tab. This is a tremendous benefit.
by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX). Currently,
care for newborn babies, adopted children To answer your question, I am very
business or trade associations such as the
or family members with serious health pleased that Keenan and Poul have been
ICCFA are not allowed to sponsor group
conditions. By supporting this bill, the appointed the new co-chairs. They bring a
health plans, or association health plans
ICCFA is making a statement on the great deal of experience to the table.
importance of taking time to grieve when
The ability for trade groups to offer their There is another major change taking
confronted with one of lifes greatest
members multi-state AHPs would increase place. Im referring to the retirement of
small and midsize employers ability to Bob Fells as ICCFA executive director.
The fourth bill is H.R. 1212, the Burial
negotiate better rates with health insurers How do you feel about that?
Rights for Americas Veterans (or BRAVE)
and benefit plan administrators and stop- Bob has served ICCFA as general counsel
Act, introduced by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-
loss providers. for over 34 years, and as executive director
CA). Currently, the VA provides $2,000 in
H.R. 1101 would authorize fully-insured for the past six. I am very glad to see that
the case of a death from a service-connected
or self-insured AHPs, and we believe Bob will continue as the associations
disability. However, VA benefits are only
this would be a great benefit for ICCFA general counsel, with a special focus on our
$300 for non-service-connected deaths or
members. This bill was passed by the House government relations program.
for veterans without a next-of-kin, and only
in March and is pending in the Senate. Of In a sense, we all are just shifting our
$700 for death occurring in a VA facility.
course, this issue is not the only one that chairs a little bit to make way for the
This bill would create equity among
impacts healthcare insurance overhaul, so

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

Body donation: An introductory On The Go

primer for funeral directors - Mobile App -

he frequency of human remains education or research purposesat the state
being donated to science, either by level. Many states also have some pertinent
choice of the deceased or by the laws in the funeral or cemetery code. DW\RXUILQJHUWLSV
next-of-kin, has increased significantly Beyond that, donation program
over the past several years. However, the operations are not regulated by local or
practical effects of such donations are federal government. Body donation for
not often understood and sometimes not compensation is largely unregulated. Few Mary Jones

properly disclosed to participants, including states have laws beyond those that govern (888) 239-0351

funeral homes. consent or revocation, and to date there are Monday, Nov 28, 02:02 PM
She is calling in regards to her

The following questions and answers no federal regulations, though currently

mothers death certificate. She would
like a call back as soon as youre

highlight a few of the key issues involved. a bill is pending in the U.S. House of CALLER I.D.
(770) 830-1120

These are not meant to be complete or Representatives. RECEPTIONIST TAKING CALL: HF

exhaustive of the subject matter. 4. How can a funeral home protect

1. Donating ones remains to science itself should family members turn to
is commendable, but are there issues that litigation because they believe they have
donors, the next-of-kin and funeral directors been deceived in consenting to body
who may assist their customers need to be donation?
aware of? Funeral homes should consult with FuneralCall Answering Service
There are several types of body/organ/ a knowledgeable legal representative 888-239-0351
tissue donation. Some whole body prior to partnering with another business www.funeralcall.com
donation programs operate for profit. In or performing services on their behalf.
those cases, businesses facilitating the so- Donation is a choice that an individual or
called donation are compensated and, in family should make independently, based
some cases, are owned by investment firms on information provided in an impartial
with public shareholders. manner.
It is important to identify and understand In particular, the incentive of free
the mission of the institution or company to cremation in return for donation is
which you are making the donation and use potentially a source of litigation, i.e., class-
this as the basis for making your decision. action lawsuits, because it may violate the
2. Funeral directors are increasingly legal concept of no valuable consideration
being approached by businesses that in exchange for a donation.
facilitate body donations. Before entering Further, cremated remains that are
into a relationship with one of these returned may be partial remains, and the
businesses, what should a funeral director disposition of the unreturned specimens
know about it? or tissues may not be tracked, returned
Funeral homes should not act as a third for disposition or disposed of in a similar
party or middle man for donation programs. manner. These details may not have been
Be careful of businesses that offer any disclosed to a donor family.
type of compensation to the funeral home Therefore, the funeral home participating
or family in exchange for securing a body in the donation should take steps to ensure
donation. that donors, next-of-kin, family members
The paperwork involved may not inform all persons who are potential plaintiffsare
donors or next-to-kin of the programs effectively informed in writing of aspects of
financial model or whether compensation the donation that could be characterized as
is provided to any party. This could lead to deceptive if not disclosed.
allegations of deception and the lack of full The ICCFA thanks Brandi Schmitt, MS, Proven Solutions for the Mausoleum
disclosure. executive director of Anatomical Services, Casket Protection
3. Is there any governmental oversight University of California Office of the PPE Kits
of body donations? President, for her assistance in drafting Mausoleum Trays
The UAGA (Uniform Anatomical Gift these questions and answers. Consultation
Act) governs the consent, authorization, For more information or to comment,
modification and revocation of all types please contact ICCFA General Counsel Bob ensureaseal.com
of donationfor transplant, therapeutic, Fells at robertfells@iccfa.com. r 800 864 4174

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 21


The first day of Capitol Hill visits turned out to be a busy one, full of last-minute calls for legislators to vote, so ICCFA mem-
bers spent a lot of time meeting with legislative assistants in hallways, foyers and conference rooms. Above left, Keenan
Knopke, CCE; Tom Daly, CCE; Maddie
Bushnell, legislative assistant to Rep.
Dave Loebsack, D-IA; Ed Horn, CCE, and
Jarrett White of Dykema. Above right,
Steve Zimmerman of Dykema; Anna Yu
and Maya Kalonia, legislative aides to
Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-CT; Knopke,
Daly and Horn. Left, Daly with the only
lunch this group managed, boxes of
Newmans Own raisins offered to visitors
in Blumenthals office. Right, Horn, Daly,
Andy Buczek of Dykema, Knopke and
White meet with Kevin Casey, legislative
assistant to Rep. Joe Crowley, D-NY.

future and at the same time build on the without the active support of the ICCFA legislation that affects our members tends
very successful record that the ICCFA membership. The committee has over 20 to receive bipartisan support in Congress.
government relations program has achieved members and is truly a working committee. This means that we need to cultivate
in the last few decades. These changes Likewise, member contributions to the friendships on both sides of the aisle,
arent breaking with the past so much as Government and Legal Fund are good, but Democrats and Republicans alike.
moving everything forward. frankly there are some members who have There is no such thing as a permanent
Many ICCFA members know that in never contributed, or did so once years ago. majority in either house. The majority shifts
addition to chairing the Government Maybe these people think there are back and forth every few years, so for the
and Legal Affairs Committee, you also plenty of members who do contribute so ICCFA to be known for siding with one party
were responsible for the fundraising they dont need to, but they are mistaken. would undermine our communications with
activities of the Government and Legal It is more difficult to raise funds for our the other party. As a result, our PAC donates
Fund. You also chaired the ICCFA PAC PAC because, by law, these contributions evenhandedly to candidates in both parties.
Disbursement Committee that decides must be from the personal funds of each Were just being sensible.
which candidates in congressional member and cannot be reimbursed by their Is there any unfinished business or goal
elections received our PAC support. Can company. that you havent achieved in your 25 years
you comment on these two activities? That said, the PAC fundraising handled as chair?
by Paul Elvig for many years has been
If we think of a three-legged stool, we Only one. To be honest, for many years I had
successful and allowed the association
know it is useless if only two of the three hoped that we could raise enough money
to show its support for key members of
legs are working. Our Government and for the Government and Legal Fund to be
Congress. I had the easy job with the
Legal Affairs Committee is one leg, and the self-sustaining on its earnings or investment
PAC. I helped decide which candidates we
other two are the Government and Legal returns. Then we could suspend the annual
should support.
Fund and the ICCFA PAC. Together they fundraising until such time, if ever, that the
work to make possible the success of the How did you decide whom the ICCFA funds went below a certain level.
associations overall government relations PAC would support? My hope also was that this would never
program. It was necessary to park our political happen and the fund would continue to
Of course, none of this matters opinions and realize that the typical be self-sustaining while continuing to

22 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
underwrite the expenses of our government Create timeless memories for your
relations program. clients while improving your bottom line.
Our program is a great add-on service.
What sort of goal would have to be
reached to make the fund self-sustaining? CALL OR VISIT US ONLINE TODAY

I estimated that a million-dollar goal would

make that possible. The fact is that we
came within striking distance of this goal a
few times, but it wasnt close enough.
In all our fundraising efforts, we 803-779-6186
suggested a minimum contribution rate of
$2 times the number of interments or calls
each member had during the previous year.
If that suggested formula were followed,
we would have made our goal. But I have
hopes for the futureI havent given up on
this idea.
We traditionally end our interview by
asking you to look into the future, or at
least the year ahead. But since this is a
very special interview, we want to invite
you to comment on anything you like.
Looking back on my 67 years as a member
of the ICCFA, a few things come to mind.
First off, its hard for todays members to
understand how many real challenges we
have overcome to become todays ICCFA.
The volunteer members who have
steered the association through years of
difficult times understood that things are
much more fragile than they seem. While
everything appears rosy on the surface,
there are always important undercurrents
that must be understood and dealt with
For example, on our Washington visits
with Congressional members we always
start by asking, What can we do for you?
Using this approach, we began the process
of becoming the national association the
news media and other influential outlets
should consult in any serious discussion of
the industry. This alone was a big step that
started 25 years ago!
One of the major forces behind this
initiative and so many others has been Bob
Fells. Bob and I have spoken thousands of
times, perhaps even more than that. When
something was going on, for months on
end we talked every day.
Bob has been exceptionally effective,
a pleasure to work with and a tremendous
part of my success at ICCFA. In truth, much
of what I have been credited with would not
have been possible without Bob. All of the
staff have been great partners and have been
some of the smartest, most effective people
 to page 24
Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 23

Q&A with Craig Tregillus of the FTC

raig Tregillus is with the In the early years of Funeral Rule shoppers must complete following their visit
Federal Trade Commis enforcement, the FTC sometime to a funeral provider. Is it possible for our
sion Division of Market used volunteers from groups members to see the form the shoppers must
ing Practices, which oversees the such as AARP (but not, to my complete after each visit?
Funeral Rule. ICCFA General knowledge, from the Funeral As you might expect, we keep our investi
Counsel Robert M. Fells, Esq., Consumers Alliance). gative procedures and materials confidential
conducted a written interview However, the agency aban to ensure that our shoppers are experiencing
with him, asking some of the doned that practice long before what any other member of the public would
questions hes been hearing I became involved with Funeral experience when visiting a funeral home to
from funeral directors across the Rule enforcement. Now, only make funeral arrangements.
country. FTC staff conduct almost all our
With respect to providing the general price
The views expressed by Craig Tregillus, test shops, with rare, periodic
list (GPL), if the GPL was not given at the
Tregillus are his own, and do not FTC Funeral Rule assistance from law enforcement
beginning of the conversation, does it make
necessarily represent the views of coordinator. staff in a state attorney generals
any difference in terms of liability if it was
the commission or any individual 202.326.2970; office.
ctregillus@ftc.gov given five minutes into the conversation or
commissioner. Many of our shoppers have
10? In other words, why does the report ask
You have been the Funeral Rule coordinator years of experience, and new
for that timing detail?
for many years, but I can remember in the shoppers are carefully trained. All our
shoppers are required to request an appoint We ask our undercover shoppers to report on
early days of the rule when the coordinator
ment with a funeral director, and to return to the circumstances surrounding the delivery
seemed to change about every six months.
a funeral home if a director is not available. of the GPL and other required price lists,
Can you share with us your background
The shoppers often make appointments by including when they receive them, so that we
before you became involved with the rule?
telephone in advance of their visits. can determine how the home they shopped
After a two-year clerkship with a federal sought to comply with the rule.
judge, and five years in private practice, I Are the individuals assigned as shoppers
selected by the national office? In other Another issue causing some controversy
joined the FTC in 1978. Before becoming
words, do you assign them, or do the among industry members is the lack of
the Funeral Rule coordinator in 2007, I had
information provided by the FTC when a
served as Franchise Rule coordinator, worked regional FTC offices handle that?
funeral provider is notified of a violation. In
on amendments to the Telemarketing Sales The regional directors of our seven regional
particular, the identity of the funeral home
Rule, and litigated cases involving franchise offices, all of which have been actively en
staff person is not revealed. Doesnt that
and business opportunity frauds, computer gaged in our annual undercover shops, assign
hinder efforts by the provider to deal with an
frauds and pyramid schemes. shoppers from their staff as needed, and
errant employee whose misconduct can cost
We recently discussed some issues relating ensure that every shopper is properly trained.
fines of $40,000 or more?
to Funeral Rule enforcement that industry Is there a script or a series of guidelines,
When, in the past, the FTC identified the
members are questioning. The first issue sort of a Do and Dont type of list for the
individual at fault, funeral providers often
involves the undercover test shoppers. That undercover shoppers to follow?
fired that employee, then argued that there
is: Who are they? Some believe they are We have detailed guidelines for our under was no need for FTC action because there
volunteers from organizations such as the cover shops that we use in training and for was no longer a risk of future violations.
Funeral Consumer Alliance. Also, to what evaluating shop results. But the rule places the responsibility for
extent do the shoppers receive training?
We know there is a written report that  to page 26


from page 23 pulling together, even at their own peril, Personally, Im just glad that it took two
Ive ever had the pleasure of working with. to fix, smooth or deal with critical issues people to replace me!
Another thing to keep in mind is that the that may not really have affected them but And Ill still be around for advice
most successful volunteers are the ones for would have had a devastating impact on and counsel with plenty of energy and
whom the journey was the most important other members and their businesses. enthusiasm to help things going forward.
thing. Im referring to old-fashioned ethics Im delighted that Keenan Knopke and On behalf of our entire family and our team
and a willingness to pull together without Poul Lemasters are in place as co-chairmen. at all our businesses, I want to thank the
partisan wrangling or petty disputes. I They are a great and potent team that will ICCFA and its members for such wonderful
remember so many instances of members provide lasting and effective leadership. memories. r

24 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Enrich the experience by making it personal

At the heart of a memorable, emotionally-rich

experience is the personalized Wilbert touch
Whether for burial or cremation families, your Wilbert
licensee can help you create enduring experiences
through innovative personalization.

Call your local Wilbert licensee and ask how they can help
you deliver uniquely personalized services.

Hear some stories from funeral

professionals on personalization:

We train our shoppers to meet with a funeral director. We do not dupe a receptionist
or other non-professional into violating the rule, much less a funeral director.
If a question arises about a shop, we will address it.Craig Tregillus
from page 24 since the 1970s.
compliance on the In trying to settle an
funeral home. It is up to alleged rule violation
the home to ensure that that includes a civil
all its employees are penalty, by statute, staff
trained in compliance, must take a number of
and that they are factors into account,
actually complying including the severity
with the rule. That said, of the violation, the
we are continuing to impact of any penalty
reassess this policy. on a small business and
its ability to pay.
What recourse does
As such, in
a funeral provider
discussing the
have if he or she
matter with us, the
believes that the
provider will have
undercover shoppers
an opportunity to
inappropriately goaded
demonstrate that it
an employee into
lacks the ability to pay
giving a ballpark
the full civil penalty,
price for something
and to enter into a
when the person they
stipulated judgment for
need to talk to (i.e., the The Federal Trade Commission building in Washington, D.C.
a lesser amount.
funeral director) is not
from an experienced funeral director who was In approving any settlement, the commis
available at the moment? In other words,
sion also must take such factors into account.
short of litigating, is there an administrative incredulous that a recent training required
directors to make that statement. To be clear, Similarly, if a settlement cannot be reached
procedure available whereby the circum
the rule does not require it. But as I told him, and the commission votes out a complaint, a
stances of the visit can be reviewed?
nothing in the rule prevents a funeral provider federal judge must take the same factors into
We train our shoppers to meet with a funeral account in awarding any civil penalty.
from going beyond the rules requirements if
director. We do not dupe a receptionist or Of course, funeral providers that are first-
it wishes to do so.
other non-professional into violating the rule, time rule violators will continue to have the
much less a funeral director. If a question For many years, the penalty for violating option of entering the compliance training
arises about a shop, we will address it. the rule was set at $16,000 per violation. program known as FROP (Funeral Rule
In all my public presentations, I have Currently, the penalty has been increased Offenders Program) instead of facing an
made a point of inviting funeral providers to $40,564 per violation. Yet there seems to enforcement action.
who have concerns about our shoppers to let be no consideration of what might be called
the punishment should fit the crime. In Officially, the review of the Funeral Rule
me know. I can be reached by telephone at is scheduled for 2019. Whenever it occurs,
202.326.2970, or by email sent to ctregillus@ other words, is the fine out of proportion to we understand that posting prices online
ftc.gov. the relative severity of the violation?
will likely be an important subject, since
Another issue of concern is the perception More to the point, rule enforcement does that currently is not covered by the rule.
that interpretations of the rule are not require any showing that the consumer Few, if any, businesses in any industry
becoming the same as the stated require suffered harm in a delay in receiving the are required to post prices online, though
ments of the rule. For example, the rule GPL or casket price list (CPL). Nor is it many do so voluntarily.
states that the provider must give the shop necessary to show that the consumer even
per a GPL to keep although there is no looked at the GPL or CPL before making a Is it likely that such a proposal under the
affirmative obligation to say, This is yours purchasing decision. This sounds to some Funeral Rule review would be optional
to keep. We know of one instance where an industry members like a lack of due process. rather than mandatory? At this point,
interpretation was cited that the obligation Please comment. we are just engaging in speculation, but
was inferred, therefore if the consumer is should a funeral provider post its prices
As an initial matter, it was Congress, not the online, would that provider be granted
not told he or she may keep the GPL, the FTC, that mandated the civil penalty increase. an exemption from being visited by the
provider has committed a violation. Can you The new law required all federal agencies
comment? undercover shoppers? In other words,
to increase the civil penalty for violations of assuming the online prices comply with
I received a call a number of months ago their regulations to better account for inflation

26 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
the GPL and CPL requirements of the
rule, would only providers who do not
post their prices be subject to shopper
I cannot speculate on what will come from
the scheduled regulatory review. As with
all its regulatory reviews, the commission
will want to hear the views of all interested
parties, and will withhold judgment about
whether the rule should be amended until all
interested parties have had an opportunity to
Craig, would you like to add anything
Yes. First, Id like to stress the importance
of giving consumers the required itemized
price lists and showing whats in them.
The purpose of the rule is to ensure that
consumers have itemized prices so they
can buy only what they want or need. They
cant do that if the price lists are hidden in a
folder thats handed to them, or if the price LED Lighting Solutions
lists they receive are never shown or used
for Memorial Products
during the arrangements conference.
While some consumers might prefer the
simplicity of packaged funeral options, the E N E R G Y S AV E R
home must provide all consumers with the
required price lists to allow them to make LED light bulb for Crypt
an informed decision. & Niche Fronts
Second, Id like to point out that funeral Warm color for Bronzes
providers can bullet-proof their compliance
quite simply by giving and showing E A SY TO I N S TA L L
consumers all three of their price lists at the www.septechnologies.com
outset of the arrangements conference. 1 877 515-4672
The rule expressly permits providers
to include their casket and outer burial
container price lists in their GPL. If a
funeral home prefers not to combine the (3&7&38"3%
price lists, it can give consumers the three
separate price lists at the same time.
Either way, if the funeral director shows
a consumer whats in the price lists at
the outset, the home will have protected
itself from what is now the most common
violation we see: failure to show the CPL
before showing caskets.
Finally, Id like to say that we have a 4*/$&
great deal of respect for the important work
that funeral providers do, and the many &2035(+(16,9(0$67(53/$16&216758&7,213/$16 63(&6
other contributions your members make to 6(&7,21/$<2873/$16&5(0$7,21*$5'(13/$16
their communities. 3/$17,1*3/$16 63(&6
Our goal is to protect consumers by /27/$<287 6$/(60$3663$&(5(&29(5<352*5$06
ensuring compliance, not to bring enforce
6,7((9$/8$7,216 )($6,%,/,7<678',(6
ment actions. We are open to hearing any
concerns, comments, or suggestions you *:*5(9(5 :$5'

and your members might have on how we

   1 % 8 ) )$ / 26 7

can work together to further that goal.  r

2 5 & + $ 5 '3$ 5 . 1 <         

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 27

by Paul Elvig

paulelvig@frontier.com E S S AY
ICCFA Magazine
author spotlight Funeral directors and cemeterians need to keep on top of
Elvig retired in 2008 legislative issues, whether in the local, state or national arena.
as general manager

Staying in the know and in a

of Evergreen-Washelli
Memorial Park and
Funeral Home, Seattle,
Washington. He is a
position to influence opinions
past president and
former secretary of the ICCFA. His interest
in cemeteries as guardians of our nations
nyone who has joined with ICCFA
heritage continues. members as they tour the US
Capitol and grounds quickly learns
Elvig previously worked as an adminis-
what members of Congress want to know:
trator at the Washington State Department
of Licensing, where he assisted in the
What is the public thinking about on a host
redesign of Washington cemetery law. of matters? Do we know what the public
is thinking about these things? How does
He has testified in Washington, D.C.,
one get a reading about what the public is
on behalf of the ICCFA a number of times,
including at the hearings of the Senate
thinking about products, business, politics
Special Commitee on Aging. and political reputations?
Having worked with incumbents and Paul Elvig with then House Speaker
www.washelli.com John Boehner.
prospective candidates in the past, I know
that learning how to get accurate readings people, simply that you enjoy joining in
on what people are thinking can be a major public conservations.
task. We all are unofficial lobbyists. Opinions
You can spend a lot of dollars on polls count with those who write and enforce
and professional research, or you can use laws. We, as an industry, musts always be
the coffee-bean approach. Thats right, the prepared upon a moments notice to defend
coffee bean approach. Starbucks coffee publicly the need for our industry and for its
beans will do. future.
If you enjoy coffee, as I do, when getting The next time you hear about an upcom
your daily dose at a place like Starbucks, ing Capitol Hill visit by the ICCFA (look
just sit back with a newspaper and listen to for them in the spring), make your travel
the conversations taking place around you. plans ASAP and join a group of funeral
People packed into small groups around directors and cemeterians dedicated to
tables, chairs drawn into tight circles, staying involved.
discuss everything from the business across If you already know one of your
the street to whos sitting in the White representatives in congress, you can help
House, and its easy to overhear a lot about ICCFA staff and our lobbyist with setting an
what the public is thinking. appointment to see him or her, as senators
Just this morning, my first cup of coffee and representatives are naturally more
in hand, the first word I heard in the coffee interested in meeting with a group that
shop was Trump! What should Trump includes one of their constituents.
have done No, instead he should have During the Capitol Hill visits, you
tried I think he should tell his English will meet with one or more members of
counterpart And the list goes on and on. Congress, as well as some of their eager
Not a day goes by during my coffee hour young staffers.
that I dont learn what the latest football And though the stereotypical view of
or baseball issues of the day are, why the these visits is that people make them to ask
speed limits in our area should be changed legislators for help or consideration, you
or whether a local judge made the right might have someone pull you aside to ask
decision in court yesterday. for personal help with a very difficult and
I feel funeral directors and cemeterians emotional issuethe kind people in our
need to stay on top of local and national business deal with every day.
issues at all times, as they can and do have That happened to me once. I felt
a direct impact on our businesses. Many of humbled to be asked and count it as one of
us are opinion-makers ourselves. I am not my own personal highlights of my many
suggesting you engage in arguments with visits to congressional offices. r

28 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Its whats inside that gives you
With our trust administration technology running inside your
business, youll have the power to access any detail of your account
24/7. Its web-based, so you can check your balance daily and
monthly statements are immediately accessible. And unlike others,
all monthly statements report the market value of your trust. Plus,
with our expert knowledge of the death care industry, youll be
wise to any new trust laws and meet regulatory requirements easily.
So the question remains: What does your trust run on? FSI. Any
trust, any state, any time.
by William H. Bill Williams
Jr., LFD, and
Wendy Russell Wiener, Esq.
ICCFA Magazine author spotlight
The Total Return Distribution Method is already benefitting
Williams is president
cemeteries in some states, but its not available everywhere.
and CEO of Funeral Ser- What do you do if you want to take advantage of a unitrust but
vices Inc. and serves on
the FSI Board of Direc- its not yet allowed by your states laws and/or regulations?
tors as vice chairman. He

How to enable your cemetery

joined FSI in 2001 as vice
president and was named
president in 2003. Under
his leadership, FSI has expanded to offer
to use the unitrust method
services in 19 states across the country.
Williams has experience in every aspect
of the funeral service profession, includ- he Total Return Distribution Method, usually required for trustees to distribute a
ing ownership and management of funeral also known as unitrust, is, as its portion of the total return of the trust to the
homes and cemeteries. He began his name indicates, a method of trust cemetery owner or operator.
career in the death-care industry when he distribution that permits the trustee to In a small number of states, a change to a
became a licensed funeral director in 1980. distribute a percentage of the trusts total state rule or regulation could be sufficient to
He is a graduate of Gupton-Jones College market value. allow for total return distribution.
of Mortuary Science in Atlanta, Georgia.
The unitrust method of distribution is
www.FSITrust.com used by trustees for institutions with very Whom should I talk to
Funeral Services Inc., Tallahassee, long-term needs, such as universities, about unitrust?
Florida, is a trust administrator and record- foundations and hospitals. It can be argued It is important to identify the stakeholders in
keeping company with 35 years experi- that no institution has longer-term needs than any issue about which you want to effectuate
ence in the death-care industry, serving cemeteries required to maintain interment change. The enactment of the Total Return
funeral homes, cemeteries, associations rights in perpetuity. Distribution Method either by amendment
and financial institutions.
The benefits of the unitrust method of state law or adoption of state rule or
Wiener is a partner in have been described and examples of those regulation starts with the cemetery owner or
the Tallahassee office of benefits were provided in an earlier article. operator: YOU.
Broad and Cassel LLP. She (The case for unitrusts as a solution for Once you are educated on the topic, you
chairs the regulatory de- perpetual care, by Jim Atwood, ICCFA must engage your colleagues on it. Explain
partment of the firms cor-
Magazine, August-September 2014.) the benefits to them, suggest that they engage
porate and finance practice
group and has provided
Now that weve gotten your attention their colleagues on it, and so on.
regulatory consulting and and you have seen how the unitrust method Then, reach out to industry associations.
legal services to death-care can offer your cemetery increased cash flow Industry associations exist to support their
clients for more than 23 years. steadily throughout the calendar year, how members. When industry members and
Wiener practices regulatory insurance can you ensure that your state adopts the associations have been mobilized, it will be
law and regulatory death-care industry Total Return Distribution Method in its laws, time to approach regulators to ensure they
law, representing entities and individuals administrative rules or regulations? understand the method.
who interact with the administrative agen- Remind cemetery regulators that when
cies that regulate all aspects of insurance My state hasnt adopted cemeteries receive more funds for care and
and the death care industry. the unitrust method, maintenance, they are more likely to thrive,
www.broadandcassel.com so how can I use it? and thriving cemeteries are often the pride of
Broad & Cassel LLP., Boca Raton, The Total Return Distribution Method is a community. And, maybe most importantly,
Florida, has 10 locations across the state. already part of the Uniform Trust Code, remind them that the opposite is true, too.
The company was founded in 1946 and which has been adopted as law in roughly If your state can allow unitrust simply
offers full-service legal representation two-thirds of states. The states that have by a rule or regulation change, you might
for individuals, public entities and private adopted the Uniform Trust Code currently have been successful at this point. But, if
enerprises, from start-ups to Fortune 500 allow trustees, generally, to use the unitrust you are in a state where legislation will
companies. method. be necessary, go to the legislature with
More ababout thishishis topicpicpic However, in many, if not most, states, regulators and explain to legislators the
A recording of the ICCFA 2017 Conven- cemetery laws restrict cemetery trustees to benefits of empowering cemeteries to better
tion presentation, Perpetual solutions for distributing only income from investments care for themselves.
perpetual care cemeteries, in which a panel to the cemetery for its use in caring for and
moderated by Williams discusses unitrusts, maintaining the cemetery. What difficulties should I expect?
can be purchased at www.iccfa.com. Therefore, a change in cemetery law is The total return distribution method sells

30 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Regulators and legislators
can ask technical questions that
you may not be able to answer.
Industry lobbyists and unitrust
experts are available to answer
those tough questions.
itselfit really does! Therefore, the difficul
ties you can expect often revolve around the
its too good to be true factor.
When regulators and legislators review
examples of the higher cash flow enjoyed
by cemeteries using the unitrust method,
they often say, How can that type of
distribution flow hold up?
It will be your job to explain that the
method generally uses a three-year average
of annual trust returns to calculate a yearly
return that protects against the highs and
lows of the market, thus allowing ceme
teries to plan for their care and maintenance
throughout the year.
One more important note: Make sure
you encourage cemetery owners to review
their trust agreements and cemetery
contracts before electing to use the unitrust
Some documents may contain language
that restricts a cemetery from using
endowment care principal for general care
Your Real Source.
and maintenance of the cemetery. If your
document contains such a restriction, you
Anywhere. Anytime.
should consult your attorney before electing
the total return distribution method.
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not be able to answer.
If that occurs, industry lobbyists and CLASSIFIEDS
unitrust experts are available to answer
those tough questions and help you adopt
the unitrust method in your state.
The popularity of unitrust has grown
tremendously over recent years, and it is
only going to keep gaining momentum,
providing cemeteries with a dependable
and healthy distribution.
If the Total Return Distribution Method
is not permitted in your state, take the
steps needed to determine how you can get
it adopted and therefore protect the long-
term sustainability of cemeteries and their 800-321-7479 Fax 800-321-9040
trusts. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 31

by Lewis J. Hoch, Esq.
215.569.5542 R E G U L AT O R Y I S S U E S
ICCFA Magazine What happens when a problem is found with a funeral home
author spotlight
or cemetery trust? Regulatory agencies are not equipped
Hoch is a partner at
Blank Rome LLP, in the to run funeral homes or cemeteries. Whats needed is
Philadelphia, Pennsylva-
nia office. a white knight who can step in and take over these operations.
He has been a practicing attorney for
35 years and maintains a corporate prac-
tice with an emphasis in several areas, The role of the white knight
in turning around a distressed
including transactional, regulatory and
compliance issues impacting cemeteries,
funeral homes and crematories.
He served as outside general counsel
cemetery or funeral home
from 1999 to 2016 to StoneMor Partners
LP, Trevose, Pennsylvania.
he laws of most states provide portion of the monies from the sale of a
a comprehensive regulatory burial space (typically around 15 percent)
Blank Rome has offices in a dozen
framework governing cemetery and with the income used for maintenance and
cities in the United States and in Shang-
hai, China.
funeral home operations, cemetery and upkeep of the cemetery.
funeral home trusts relating to preneed State law also mandates requirements
contracts and cemetery trusts relating to for the trust arrangements, including who
endowment care. may serve as trustee, how trust funds may be
Despite these extensive regulations, invested and what may be paid to the operator
state regulators too often find themselves and when.
confronting situations where trust Despite these safeguards, trust funds can
funds have been dissipated by bad or prove a tempting target to an operator facing
impermissible investments, diverted financial difficulties or an operator who seeks
by operators for improper purposes or to make improper use of the money. Even
inappropriate schemes or even embezzled. in the absence of irregularities surrounding
Whether the magnitude of the problem trust funds, the performance of a cemetery or
is small or many millions of dollars, it can funeral home may suffer from a poor operator
leave state regulators in a quandary. or an operator who has not made plans for
While the state statutes and regulations succession, which, in turn, may leave the
under which cemeteries and funeral homes property distressed.
operate allow a regulator to identify trust Simply put, states are not equipped to take
shortfalls and impermissible activities, over the operation of distressed cemeteries or
state law does so after the fact and does not funeral homes, to maintain them or to provide
always provide a good remedy to resolve funds to perform preneed contracts. Even
these situations, to recover missing trust the appointment of a state receiver can prove
funds or to make whole the customers of a expensive and unhelpful.
poor or even disreputable operator.
This can be especially unfortunate Finding a white knight to help
for customers of limited means who in The key to resolving these situations is for
their later years have tended to their final the regulator to find a responsible operator
arrangements to provide themselves with who can work with the regulator as a white
peace of mind and to avoid being a burden knight to structure an arrangement to turn
to their families. around the distressed property.
Under most state regulatory Many challenges arise when a white
requirements, a cemetery or funeral knight works with a regulator to turn around a
operator who has sold preneed goods or distressed property. These challenges include:
services is required to place in trust some 1. incomplete recordsfinancial and
portion of the purchase price until death, operational;
until the goods are delivered or until the 2. unrecorded cemetery or funeral home
services are performed. contracts;
Similarly, state law typically requires 3. trust shortfalls resulting from failure
a cemetery operator to set aside in trust a to make trust deposits, impermissible trust

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

investments, illiquid or poorly performing In these instances, the receiver reports to a a. Sale of assets. In certain instances, sale
investments or impermissible trust receivership court. of a distressed property can prove to be an
withdrawals; The receiver will try to turn around ideal result. The sale typically will take the
4. impermissible liens such as factoring the distressed property, sell the distressed form of an asset purchase. If a receivership is
arrangements; property as an ongoing business or liquidate in place, the white knight may agree to serve
5. deferred maintenance; and sell the assets of the distressed property. It as a stalking horse in an auction with the
6. deferred capital expenditures; may use an interim operator or a white knight white knight receiving a breakup fee if it is
7. delinquent contractual liabilities and for this purpose and to reduce the costs of not the successful bidder.
accounts payable; receivership. In a distressed sale, the consideration paid
8. uninsured losses; Again, costs associated with the by the buyer is used to fund trust shortfalls
9. outstanding liens and other security receivership are either paid from the assets and discharge outstanding liabilities,
interests; of the distressed property held by the including fees related to oversight of the
10. customer complaints and litigation; receivership, by the white knight or both. distressed property by a regulator or fees
and 3. Turning around a distressed related to the receivership.
11. regulatory non-compliance. property. A white knight can be key to If the purchase price proves insufficient
In addressing the foregoing issues, the a receiver who is trying to turn around to cure trust shortfalls and outstanding
regulator and the white knight may consider a distressed property. A management liabilities, the buyer can post a performance
the following: arrangement and an operating arrangement bond securing performance of certain
1. Interim operator. In dealing with a are two methods. In the former, the white agreed obligations with the regulator
distressed property, time is of the essence. knight receives a management fee paid from setting the amount of the bond and ensuring
Where possible, the regulator, the white operating revenues of the distressed property. performance. The receivership court, as
knight and the operator should quickly put In the latter, the white knight is responsible part of its sale order, can provide protection
in place an interim arrangement to allow the for all expenses and keeps all revenues. against unasserted claims of creditors or
white knight to secure the operations of the The management or operating customers of the distressed property.
cemetery or funeral home on an interim basis. arrangement may be short-term or long-term. b. Misappropriation claims. Important
Where the white knight has not been A short-term management arrangement is assets a buyer may receive in an asset
identified, there are companies that will work frequently tied to a sale, as discussed below. purchase of a distressed property are claims
with state regulators on an interim basis to A long-term management or operating against third parties who have been complicit
preserve and maintain the property to prepare arrangement may be particularly well suited in improprieties surrounding trust funds.
it for sale or other turn-around arrangement. to a nonprofit cemetery. Recoveries from misappropriation claims
Whether an interim operator or a white knight Key to these arrangements are the can be an important tool in completing a
is involved, any associated cost is either paid termination provisions and what the white sale, including satisfying trust shortfalls or
out of the assets of the distressed property or knight will receive as a fee in the event discharging outstanding liabilities.
by the white knight. of termination. These might include net
2. Receivership. Almost all states have receivables, increases in the merchandise trust In sum, a responsible operator working
laws providing for the appointment of a less merchandise liabilities and unamortized with a state regulator and a receiver, if
receiver, and there has been recent precedent costs related to equipment and capital appointed, can be helpful in effecting a turn-
involving appointment of a receiver for improvements. around of distressed cemeteries and funeral
distressed cemeteries and funeral homes. 4. Sale of the distressed property. homes. r

Investing for the future because forever is a long time

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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 33

by Steve Gurnee, Esq., and
John Mason, Esq.
ICCFA Magazine author spotlight LEGAL

Gurnee is managing Cemetery, crematory and mortuary owners and

partner with Gurnee Mason
& Forestiere LLP. He was their management personnel need specific strategies
admitted to the California
Bar in 1975, and has since and techniques to minimize or prevent many of the liability risks
focused on civil trial work of that commonly occur in the profession, and effective ways
all kinds, with a particular
emphasis on the defense to mitigate potential damage when such events do occur.
of businesses and indi-

How to avoid being suedand

viduals. He has a wide range of jury trial
experience in high-exposure cases involv-
ing professional negligence, employment,
products liability, public entities, construc-
what to do when it happens
tion defects, flood, fire and agricultural
losses, aviation, real estate and general
personal injury matters. our industry is always one that If you create a manual of operations, a
He is an expert in the field of funeral provides challenges, and lots of manual of procedures, and you dont
and cemetery law, and is frequently interesting cases. Were going to comply with it, youll get hung up in court
called upon by owners of funeral homes, talk today about some techniques to avoid if litigation ensues. Theyll use that against
cemeteries and crematoria to provide litigation, how bad things can get and how you. So, its great to have great standards,
advice and to defend litigation involving a to salvage situations. but make sure your employees follow
wide spectrum of issues affecting those Were going to talk about the develop them.
industries. ment and use of standards and policies The basic elements to include in a
steve@gurneelaw.com and procedures, training, professionalism, good policy:
Mason is a partner with dealing with problems immediately Who is responsible for the task that
Gurnee Mason & Forest- and your best defense, whether it be in youre creating the SOP for.
iere LLP. He received his litigation or in dealing with customers: Where and when its going to occur.
bachelors degree with high being honest with people. What materials or tools may be
honors from the University necessary to do the task properly.
of California, Berkeley, in Standard policies and procedures How the procedure is to be done.
1988, and his Juris Doc- I think you all know what they are Thats the most important part.
tor from University of the
theyre written policies, often set forth in a Again, you can have all the policies in
Pacific, McGeorge School
manual of some sort, covering procedures the world, but if you dont follow them,
of Law, in 1993.
done on a recurring basis so that everyone theyre not worth very much. In fact, Ive
Mason has a broad-based civil litiga- has a full understanding of what is had clients say, Yeah, weve got all these
tion practice which focuses primarily on expected of them. polices in this big manual, but nobody
defending complex matters including
In the death-care industry, critical ever follows them, or, No one ever even
commercial disputes, as well as personal
things you should have SOPs on include bothers to read them. If thats what youre
injury, product liability, professional neg-
ligence, wage and hour, class action and identifying the decedent; handling the doing, its wasted effort.
unfair business practice claims. He also decedents personal effects; documenting You should train new employees at the
has extensive experience in defending cli- all requested arrangements that have start for any tasks they will be doing. Then
ents in litigation pertaining to the cemetery been made, including goods and services; after that, you need to make sure you test
and funeral industry. identifying who has the authority to make your employees annually on procedures,
john@gurneelaw.com those arrangements; and compliance with make sure they understand correctly what
www.gurneelaw.com laws and industry standards. theyre doing and if they dont, have a
Gurnee Mason & Forestiere LLP, If you do that, it really maximizes the refresher for them.
Roseville, California, is principally a civil opportunity for you to ensure that not only If an employee breaks a policy,
trial firm emphasizing the defense of indi- are your own internal policies followed, particularly an important one, such as
viduals and businesses in complex cases. but that they comply with any state or identifying remains, you need to have a
federal rules. disciplinary procedure in place and then
Editors note: This article is an edited State regulation varies widely. There implement corrective training to make sure
excerpt from Gurnee and Masons are highly-regulated states like California, they do fully understand your policy.
presentation at the ICCFA 2017 Conven and then there are states that are rather lax The disciplinary procedure part is
tion, Litigation avoidance techniques. about regulation, where you really are kind important. If you realize youve got a bad
You can purchase a recording of their of on your own. apple in your organization, dont hesitate
entire presentation at www.iccfa.com. One thing about standards and manuals: to get rid of them. But to do so, youve
Theyre great if you comply with them. got to have documented the wrong-doing

34 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 35


theyve engaged in. If you dont have intended for your lawyer. Notes and
Another thing you should have in place communication prepared in anticipation of
is annual verification and certification of a lawyer, you litigation are privileged. Create a separate
compliance. Litigation often arises from should probably file immediately; keep these notes out of
rogue employees, employees who turn on your arrangement file, the file in which all
you, somebody youve let go, somebody identify somebody your contract documents and so forth are
who doesnt like you, somebody who in your community, located.
decides that theyve got whistleblower- Your notes that deal with problems
type information to use against you or at least your should be kept in a separate file. You can
and goes to a lawyer and becomes your state, who is at least somewhat call it a legal file or whatever you want,
archenemy. but put it in a separate file. Then, if you
This is why, every year, you should familiar with funeral or cemetery get a request to produce your files on the
get certification from each and every law and any state or federal arrangements, you can produce it without
employee acknowledging that they have worrying about things that shouldnt be in
complied with all rules and regulations, the regulations that may control in there.
companys internal policies and the law. your particular jurisdiction. And bear in mind were now in
Also, that they have not observed anybody the era of electronic discovery, email
else not in compliance, of if they have, that John Mason discoveryESI its called, electronically
theyve told you about it. This should be mistake, apologizing and refunding money stored information. Its a huge issue in our
signed under penalty of perjury. promptly, are all evidence that can be business, and its a nightmare. Everybody
If an employee later comes back and presented. When a jury hears that you did is now communicating that way, and the
says, Well, gee, I saw this guy do that everything you possibly could to correct cost of going through and identifying
thing wrong, and goes to a lawyer and an error, theyre going to be much more privileged versus non-privileged
tells a great tale about all the wrong-doing forgiving. information is huge.
he saw at your place after hes signed that Other things to remember when When there is potential for litigation,
certification saying otherwise, its a pretty you make a mistake: Remain calm and you will get a letter from the plaintiffs
useful defense for you. professional and dont ever pass the lawyer asking you to put a litigation hold
Or, if an employee says, Well, yeah, buck to somebody else. Determine what on your documents, and that includes your
they have this policy, but they dont the heck happened so you can fix it and electronically stored information. You
really enforce it, you can bring out this so that it doesnt happen again. Keep must hold onto it, by law.
certification, and say, You confirmed last communication with the family open. What can you tell employees? You can
year that you were in fact following all Try to avoid admitting you did ask them not to talk about whatever the
these policies. something wrong, per se, but be sincere in problem is, the incident. You cant fire an
Make sure you review, annually or at apologizing about the fact that the family employee for talking to someone, but you
least every two years or so, your SOPs. is not happy with your service. Thats a can request that they dont. Remember that
Make sure they still comply with industry little different than saying outright, I did every time someone tells their story, it has
standards and current state and federal something wrong. Save that for later, if a chance to change. We want the story to
regulation. necessary. be clean, and told once.
The important thing to do when a prob The same thing with written statements.
Handling mistakes lem arises is to document it. We want you Its important to document in a written
Youre going to make mistakeseveryone to do this because for the family, making form, as soon as you can, what each
does, from time to time. When you make the funeral arrangement is probably one employee involved has to say about what
a mistake, youve got to deal with it, and of the most important and unusual events happened. Make sure they put their name
youve got to deal with it now. Dealing in their lives, and they will remember and date on it, and make sure it says, for
with it right away and in the correct way is everythingeven if they dont remember my attorney, attorney-client privilege on
often your best defense against a potential it correctly. top of it.
lawsuit. You do this every day, so you wont be Have each employee involved,
People are fairly understanding, believe able to remember the details of one versus separately and independently, write down
it or not, when you fess up and deal with a another unless you wrote down some notes what they recall about the incident
mistake promptly. In fact, weve had a lot about what happened. Those notes should ideally before theyve had a chance
of situations where theres been a mistake be made in a way that they are protected to discuss with other employees what
made of some sort, the family is told about by the attorney-client privilege, because happened.
it immediately and the family says, Gee when a problem arises, keep in mind that
you didnt have to tell me; I would have it might result in litigation, so we want Be ready to be sued
never known. But thank you; I appreciate you to document things it in a way that If you operate a successful business, you
it. And in many cases, thats the end of it. preserves the privilege of confidentiality will get sued, because mistakes happen.
In other cases, litigation will follow, between a lawyer and a client. No matter how hard you try, how nice
but actions such as acknowledging the Make notes and write that theyre you are, how properly you respond to

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

When you make the back. A lot of times, funeral directors tend to change over time.
will write notes on the inside cover of the Generally speaking, you dont want
a mistake, youve arrangement file, or on the back of it, and to give statements to the press. The press
got to deal with it, then they dont photocopy the cover. is not your friend. Funeral cases tend to
You might get a call from your lawyer be like plane crashesthe media goes
and youve got to saying, I think maybe you missed nuts; they love this stuff. A no-comment
deal with it now. something. Or maybe they wont realize response is probably your best friend,
some notes are missing and those notes because basically the story will die.
Dealing with it include critical information. I know everybody is afraid of bad
right away and in the correct Your insurance company is theoretically publicity in your business. Bad publicity
your friend. They are supposed to help you lasts about a nanosecond.
way is often your best defense and resolve the claim, and you should feel You could say that its company policy
against a potential lawsuit. free to cooperate with them. In fact, you not to comment on matters like this while
have a duty under your insurance policy they are under investigationthe press
People are fairly understanding, contract to cooperate with your insurance is used to hearing that. If they hear that,
believe it or not, when you fess company. If you dont, they can deny they know youre not going to budge, and
coverage. Its rare, but they can try to do usually theyll back off at that point.
up and deal with a mistake that. The worst thing that can happen in
promptly.Steve Gurnee The insurance company will hire a your case is to cover up, to liethat will
defense lawyer for you, usually somebody kill you. Bad results in these cases are
complaints, there are people out there who from a panel of lawyers they frequently generally due to fraud or some intentional
will sue. use, or an in-house lawyer. If you have misconduct by the defendant, funeral home
The first thing you should do when some influence with your insurance or cemetery.
there is a problem that could lead to company, try to steer them toward hiring In cases where people make a sincere
litigation is call your lawyer. If you dont somebody who knows something about effort to be gracious, responsive and
have a lawyer, you should probably your business, because there are lawyers empathetic, and try to deal with the
identify somebody in your community, who know nothing about your business. situation up front, often the funeral home,
or at least your state, who is at least The way death-care cases are handled cemetery or crematory comes out ahead.
somewhat familiar with funeral or is important. How you pick a jury, how Ive tried some cases in California, jury
cemetery law and any state or federal you present the case, is a lot different in trials, where the organization definitely
regulations that may control in your your business than in the case of a rear- made a mistakeburied the body in the
particular jurisdiction. Having somebody end accident, or a construction fallthe wrong place or gave back the wrong
available you can pick up the phone and kind of things handled by many lawyers remains or something else. We stood up in
call immediately if a crisis occurs is insurances companies use. So, if you have front of a jury, admitted what we did, said,
obviously beneficial. the chance, you want somebody who Yeah, we made a mess, we tried to make
We hope all of you have liability knows something about your business. it right, but the plaintiff wanted the moon,
insurance for your death-care business. If you are in a situation where youve and the jury came back and gave them
If you dont, get it. You need to promptly got a claim, youve tendered it to your nothing.
notify the insurance carrier about any insurance company and theyve hired a This is really rare in an admitted
potential claim. Some insurance carriers lawyer who isnt particularly familiar with liability case, but it happened because the
have specific notice requirements, and if your business, spend some time with that client handled the mistake and the potential
you delay too long in reporting the claim, lawyer, help them learn your business for a lawsuit responsibly and properly. And
that can put your coverage in jeopardy. inside and out. Show them everything the plaintiffs were unreasonable.
Send that legal file we talked about your facility, everything about the One of the things Ive learned in hand
about to your lawyer so they can start things that went on in the transaction thats ling these case is we rarely see the same
evaluating the situation. Include all your in dispute. plaintiffs lawyer twice. Most lawyers and
documentation, your arrangement file, Being educated on the details of what judges think these cases are worth a lot
any email communication, employee you do, why you do it and how you do it, of money, but theyre not. So most of the
statements. is really helpful to a lawyer in presenting a time in these cases, the plaintiffs lawyer
We often will tell the mortuary, or case to a jury. has never handled one of these cases
cemetery or crematory, We need your Everybody is kind of afraid of lawyers, before.
file. And they send us the file but they but were there to help and protect you and
dont send us everything. stand up for your rights and interests. A checklist of common claims
For example, theyll forget to copy the Not only your employees but you Were going to talk about the kinds of
back side of documents like contracts, should not talk to investigators or other claims we keep seeing over and over
so we cant read the provisionswe just lawyers for other parties. You want to tell again. We keep running into the same kind
have the front of the statement of funeral your story one timeunder oath, if you of problems all the time:
goods and services, for example. Copy can. When stories get told and retold they Wrongful burial. Someone buried in the

38 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
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Professionalism Case stories Case #3. A gentleman who was

Weve got several examples of the kinds of supposed to be cremated was buried in
When problems do arise: cases weve handled, or are handling: place of another man. Fortunately, the
Case #1. A gentleman died and I error was discovered quickly, the correct
Remain calm and professional.
believe a removal service picked up the permits obtained and the error corrected.
Assure the family that youll do what-
body from the hospital. The hospital The funeral home did everything right,
ever you reasonably can to make it
right. represented the remains as being those of did everything weve said youre supposed
the decedent, and the person who did the to do when you make a mistake: They
Promptly determine and correct the
cause of the problem. pick-up did not bother to check the ID. It immediately notified the family and they
turned out to be the wrong body. apologized profusely. They fully refunded
Maintain open communication with the
family. But whats interesting is what happened the familys money. They also gave them a
before that was discovered. The body was very nice urn.
Avoid admissions of wrongdoing, but
offer a sincere apology. prepared and scheduled for a viewing and At the time, the family seemed grateful
services. The widow and children of this and happy, thanking the mortuary for
Contemporaneously document every-
thing. man, who was quite elderly, came in. The being honest. Lo and behold, a lawsuit
widow said, Thats not my husband. But still followed. But this was another case
wrong place; someone who was supposed the children said, Mom, it is Dad, but he where the jury returned a verdict for the
to be cremated but was buried instead. doesnt look quite the same because hes defense, reinforcing how important it is to
Wrongful cremationsomeone who was dead. So the funeral home tried to adjust respond properly when something like this
cremated who shouldnt have been. the make-up a bit and the service went happens.
Delayed services are always an issue. ahead. Case #4. A couple bought a double-
Somebody didnt get the permit on time, The service and burial took place. depth crypt in a nice spot. Dad died and,
somebody didnt get the death certificate A couple of weeks later, the hospital called for some reason, the grounds department
done and so forth. the funeral home and asked when they placed him in the top shelf. Several years
Double sales of graves. were going to pick up Mr. So-and-So. later, when it was time to bury Mom, the
Improper embalming and body At that point, the mistake was discovered. grave was opened and Dads casket was
preparation. A lawsuit ensued against the hospital, the discovered on the top shelf.
Mistakes by third-party vendors. removal firm, the mortuary. The cemetery figured all they have to
When the independent contractor fouls Case #2. A young woman died, her do was move him to the bottom shelf, but
things up, youre going to get sued, too. mother picked out a cemetery plot and the when they removed Dads casket, they
Misidentification of remains. daughter was buried. The next day, she found someone had already been buried
The right to control disposition of came back and said wanted to be buried on the bottom shelf. They had no idea who
remains is frequently a problem. Your next to her daughter. The cemetery sold it was. Theres no record of the burial and
industry tends to get caught in the middle her an adjoining grave and gave her a the grounds superintendent at the time of
of battles between family members. certificate of interment rights. the previous interments is no longer there.
Siblings or parents disagree over burial A few months later, the woman returned Mom and Dad were buried elsewhere,
versus cremation. Then you have the ex- to the cemetery to visit her daughters and that family sued.
spouse versus the current spouse. Right to grave and found that someone had been There hasnt been a lawsuit over the
control disposition is a huge issue. buried in the grave she bought for herself. misplaced casket because that person has
Loss of personal effectsyou see a lot She went to the cemetery office and the not been identified. For some reason, a lot
of that. manager said, no problem, theres a grave of cemeteries dont place an identification
Unauthorized tissue harvestingwe on the other side of your daughter. They tag of some sort on caskets. I think its an
have a couple of cases involving that right gave her her money back and handed her a excellent idea to do so, because these kinds
now. This could be where a tissue bank new certificate of interment rights. of things do happen.
comes in and harvest from the wrong body, The problem was, the next day they Case #5. A retired Air Force general
or harvests more than they were supposed buried somebody else in that other was being entombed in the top shelf of the
to. grave. Well, the woman was very upset, mausoleum. As the family watched, the lift
Equipment failures. of course. She was offered a new grave basically fell apart and the casket fell and
Improper burial practices, such as site nearby where they could move her basically exploded. It was really bad.
breaking outer burial containers when daughter and she could be buried next The widows lawyer happened to be
digging a grave. to her. She didnt want that; she wanted reasonable, so we made arrangements to
Regulatory non-compliance. money, so she hired a lawyer and went to give them a really nice new crypt in a new
Employee disputes. About half of court, asking for a lot of money. part of the cemetery, a new mausoleum,
the litigation we do for your industry This is one of the cases where after the and to give them $50,000.
involves employment; getting sued by jury heard everything our client tried to That was a case that could have been
your employees is a real risk, especially in do to make it right, gave the plaintiff zero very, very expensive. This is an example of
states like California. dollars, even though the cemetery had the kind of case you dont want to try; you
made a mistake. have to settle it. r

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


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by Stephanie Ramsey
stephanie@theforesight H R L E G I S L AT I O N
ICCFA Magazine A year ago, funeral home owners were well aware
author spotlight
of changes in overtime regulations expected to go into effect
Ramsey is the HR
specialist for The before the end of 2016. Today, the legislative landscape has
Foresight Companies
LLC. She has a unique
changed, but that doesnt mean you can stop thinking about
perspective on the whats going on in Congress. There are a number of bills under
challenges funeral and
cemetery business consideration that could affect your funeral home.
owners and managers face when dealing
with employee issues.
Ramsey has managed both small staffs
and ones with more than 200 employees
Employment legislation:
and more than 25 supervisors directly re-
Whats in the pipeline
porting to her. She also has run an 800-call
regional combination business. She has
written many employee handbooks and ast year many funeral business deadline for presenting opening briefs and
other job-specific documents for clients employers were frantically attempt responses to the court. As of this writing,
nationwide. ing to address the potential change the DOLs extension gives them until
to their payroll based on implementation June 30, 2017, to present these briefs and
More from this author of the Fair Labor Standards Act Overtime responses. So, while the overtime rule has
Ramsey writes a quarterly blog Rule which was anticipated to go into been put on a back burner by the current
on HR matters that can be viewed at
effect on December 1, 2016. administration, the judicial process is still
The enactment of this rule was stalled proceeding.
by a Texas District Court judge issuing a There are indications that if the injunc
nationwide injunction in November. Then tion is appealed, it will never formally be
President Trump paused, via a presidential entered into the Federal Register and thus
memorandum, all proposed federal it will never be implemented. It is quite
regulations that had not yet taken effect. possible that the current administration
Does that mean that the FLSA Overtime will bring forward their own overtime rule
Rule is dead? which would favor employers more than the
What about other new or proposed current one.
employment regulations that might impact The bottom line is that funeral business
funeral business owners? For employers, operators do not have to currently comply
the environment under which they try to with the rule but should be aware that
operate a business is often caught up in the revisions to overtime regulations may be
ever-changing waves of new employment forthcoming.
laws or regulations at both the state and
federal levels. Working Families Flexibility Act
At mid-way through 2017, let us take While the FSLA Overtime Rule has
a closer look at some of these critical languished in the appeals court, the House
employment regulations and laws in an of Representatives passed the Working
effort to help funeral business operators Families Flexibility Act, now under review
understand how to effectively navigate by the Senate. Whether it will pass the
these issues. Senate is questionable at this point.
However, should it pass, this act would
Status of the FSLA Overtime Rule allow employers to offer employees
First and foremost, the FSLA Overtime compensatory (comp) time in lieu of
Rule is not yet dead. The Department of paid overtime. Further, the act gives the
Justice, on behalf of the Department of employer the discretion of whether to
Labor, filed a request for an expedited provide the employee the comp time
appeal with the U.S. Circuit Court of versus the paid overtime.
Appeals for the 5th Circuit on December The big question stems from whether
1, 2016. or not the employer can defer providing
Since then, the DOL has requested employees their earned comp time for a
and been granted two extensions of the significant period of time.
 to page 44
42 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 43

The intent of the PFA is to address this gap in compensation between men and women.
This is accomplished by tightening language in the Equal Pay Act
which creates a loophole for employers to use to justify gender pay discrimination.
from page 42 equal work, women who work full time are to the position they are seeking.
still commonly paid substantially less than The act also provides that job candi
Pregnant Workers Fairness Act men in the same position. dates be given an opportunity to review
The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
The intent of the PFA is to address this background-check results.
(PWFA) is another legislative act that was
gap in compensation between men and The Fair Chance Act is on the Senate
reintroduced in May 2017 to Congress
women. This is accomplished by tightening legislative calendar and may be addres
by a bipartisan group of senators and
language in the Equal Pay Act which sed this year, as it does appear to have
representatives. The act is intended to
creates a loophole for employers to use to bipartisan support. However, more impor
provide protection to pregnant workers
justify gender pay discrimination. tantly for funeral business operators is
not covered under the American with
The act also would prohibit employers the fact that more states are looking at
Disabilities Act (ADA), as the courts
from screening job applicants based on the possible introduction of Ban the Box
have determined that pregnancy is not a
salary history or retaliate against employ legislation.
ees for discussing their salaries with co- Where it is adopted, private employers
The PWFA resembles the ADA in
workers. must change job applications used during
that it would require employers to make
In addition, the proposed act would the hiring process. It would be wise to
reasonable accommodations for employees
open the door for plaintiffs who file determine if your state has or is considering
who have limitations stemming from
gender-based wage discrimination to claim implementing such legislation so you can
pregnancy, childbirth or related medical
the same remedies available to plaintiffs be prepared.
conditions, unless the accommodation
who file race- or ethnicity-based wage
would impose an undue hardship on the
discrimination. Also, this act allows for the Minimum wage
creation of class-action lawsuits to address Lets not forget about the minimum wage.
The PWFA would prohibit employers
systemic pay discrimination. President Obama instituted an executive
from discriminating against pregnant em
The continuing increase in the numbers order that established a new minimum
ployees should they need to request an
of women entering funeral service makes wage for all federal contractors. Since that
accommodation as a result of their condi
this a critical act for employers to watch. time, multiple states have passed legislation
tion. It also would prevent employers from
increasing the minimum wage requirement,
requiring pregnant employees to use their
Fair Chance Act as well as creating a process by which the
paid or unpaid leave when they are not
While the Fair Chance Act (associated with wage rate will be adjusted for the cost of
provided a reasonable accommodation
the Ban the Box movement) was stalled inflation going forward. In fact, 19 states
allowing them to remain on the job.
after its initial introduction in late 2015, enacted new minimum wage rates for 2017.
For the funeral industry, this could have
more states have jumped on board by It is critical that funeral business
some strong implications, as more women
implementing state legislation requiring the owners know what the minimum wage
continue to enter the workforce as funeral
removal of the conviction history question requirements are in their state as well as
directors/embalmers, positions where
on job applications for private employers. being aware of any proposed increases.
lifting significant weight might occur.
At this point, 27 states have passed this type All in all, 2017 is projected to be a busy
During pregnancy many doctors advise
of legislation. year for employment legislation. Given the
women not to lift more than 25 pounds.
Many jurisdictions also are incorporating focus that funeral business owners have on
The PWFAs current draft says that only
the best practices of the 2012 U.S. Equal serving their families and communities, it
businesses with 15 or more employees
Employment Opportunity Commission is understandable that you may not always
would be required to comply with this act.
guidance on the use of arrest and conviction be aware of these possible employment
However, if not only full-time but also
records in employment decisions. regulations.
part-time employees are counted, many
The Fair Chance Act encourages em Unfortunately, many of the proposed
funeral businesses may find they would be
ployers to make assessments of job appli regulations discussed in this article can have
required to comply.
cants based on their skills and experience a significant impact on your budget and
rather than instantly deeming an individual business practices, so it is important that
Paycheck Fairness Act unqualified based on a conviction record. you keep your ears tuned to the changing
Funeral business owners should also be
The belief is that if an employer consi regulatory employment environment so you
aware of the Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA)
ders the age of the offense and its relevance are not caught off guard.
which is currently in the Committee on
to the job, employment opportunities would Having a relationship established with
Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.
be made available to a large segment of an HR specialist or employment law
While the Equal Pay Act of 1963 made it
Americans who struggle to find employ attorney is an excellent way to avoid the
illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to
ment simply based on a past transgression pitfall of not being prepared when new
men and women who perform substantially
which may or may not have any relevance legislation is enacted. r

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


Dedicated and focused, Bills

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

Bill Newman, CPA







SUPPLY 863-646-2222

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 45

by Julie Judge


author spotlight
The good, the bad and the ugly of leadership:
HR professionals have seen it all.
One way to make sure you and your organizations
leadership are among the good is to make sure you all
communicate well, both when speaking and when writing.

The importance of effective

communication for leaders
407.680.2777 leader sets the standardfor As I began to research the situation, the
Judge is vice president, human organizational culture, for expected sales leader vehemently denied that any
resources, for Foundation Partners performance and for how effective such events had occurred.
Group, Orlando, Florida. communication plays a role in allowing a A series of corporate card receipts from
Foundation Partners Group is a company to operate with excellence. Said various drinking establishments and the
private company which serves more another way by author and speaker John hotels security footage told a different
than 13,500 families annually at 61 Maxwell, Leadership IS influence. story, one that ended with the entire sales
funeral homes and nine cemeteries in Investing in effective verbal and written team wading in the fountain, collecting
16 states. communication demonstrates your interest their colleagues clothing and personal
in your team and influences them to move items.
www.foundationpartners.com in the direction you need the organization Aside from providing a great crazy
to go. My goal as a leader and HR story to tell, this incident had some very
professional is always to leave a legacy negative consequences.
of making team members feel empowered Our organizations credibility was
and appreciated, and stretched toward affected, both in the eyes of the hotel
discovering what they are truly capable of management and with others in our
accomplishing. industry attending the convention who no
Effective communication skills and doubt heard about what had happened.
strategies are key to reaching those In addition, what had been a reasonably
objectives. We must remember that as successful team became paralyzed and
leaders, what we do always trumps what rendered ineffective for a time because
we say, that our life on and off the clock of the distractions brought on by the
communicates our intent and, lastly, consequences of one night where the
that giving appropriate feedback and leader demonstrated poor leadership.
communication is an important learned These are lasting impressions that
skill. had a real cost, and could have created
significant liability for the company.
Leadership can be good, bad ... Thankfully, not every HR experience
or even ugly I have had over the years has been quite
After 25 years in human resources, I have so eventful. A much more common
more than a few stories that illustrate both occurrence is an employee contacting
positive and negative leadership. Once, the HR department to complain about a
a sales leader in my organization took manager, for one reason or another.
his sales team out partying until the early My manager doesnt like me. My
morning hours at a national convention. manager is unfair. My manager is
With inhibitions rather lowered, a series showing favoritism. My manager is just
of events unfolded which resulted in the trying to get me fired.
sales leader dumping the entire contents These are likely not unfamiliar phrases
of a team members suitcase into the hotel to anyone leading a company or even a
fountaininside the main lobby. As you small department.
can imagine, the hotel manager was less In one case, as I attempted to address
than enthused, as was I with receiving the this common complaint, the employee was
early-morning phone call. asked what evidence or experiences she

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

In one case, as I attempted to address this common complaint, the employee was asked
what evidence or experiences she might have had that would cause her to feel that her manager
did not like her. Much to my surprise, the employee quickly produced several screenshots
of her managers Facebook account, where he had created a series of posts expressing how weak
his team was and saying that he wished he could fire them allif HR would only let me.
might have had that would cause her to Basics of performance reviews mention verbally anything about a Family
feel that her manager did not like her. and performance feedback Medical Leave Act or active duty leave
Much to my surprise, the employee I always recommend that employees get as being a reason for less than acceptable
quickly produced several screenshots of constructive feedback in a face-to-face performance.
her managers Facebook account, where setting or via the phone or web conference, Record in any written form or
he had created a series of posts expressing when an in-person conversation is not mention verbally any Title VII protected
how weak his team was and saying that possible. class (gender, race, color, national
he wished he could fire them allif HR The written communication should origin, religion) as a reason for less than
would only let me. be prepared in advance of the meeting acceptable performance.
There are a couple of lessons here. and should be supportive of the overall Mention anything about the
One is that as a leader, all of your conversation and provide context for the individuals sexual identity or orientation.
communication, not just what is found specific observations and desired goals and
in an employee review, matters. Every next steps outlined in the feedback. Not using written communication and
where you digitally or in written form Consider a few simple dos and donts feedback effectively does cause problems.
communicate to or about your team of written reviews and feedback with your I cannot tell you the number of times this
matters. team members: scenario has played out: A manager goes
In this case, the leader not only to the HR department and says they need
simultaneously berated his team publicly Do: to fire someone who is not performing to
and threw the HR department under the Spend time preparing, and be expectations.
bus along the way, they also provided the thoughtful about the words you use and Upon pulling up the employees last
confirming evidence the employee needed what they communicate to the reader performance review (which the manager
to lodge a formal complaint. Clearly articulate each goal/ wrote a few months or weeks ago), it is all
Secondly, while there may have performance standard and factually too common for the HR department to find
been some real issues with personnel in articulate how the employees performance that false praise or a lack of constructive
the department, beyond making a few compares to that goal. feedback prevents any action from being
Facebook posts, the manager had not Care enough to be genuine. Use taken.
properly addressed and documented the praise, but only if you really mean it. If a conflict-avoiding manager indicates
weaknesses or poor performance of his Positive feedback is important and that the employee meets expectations on
team members. affirming, but if in fact it was not the performance review (I call this pencil-
Therefore, barring some major incident, warranted, it can become a problem whipping a performance review) instead of
there was no real basis for letting any of later when you are trying to correct giving the employee feedback indicating that
the managers employees goor even for performance. their performance was lacking, terminating
taking corrective action such as imple Make goals SMART: becomes much more challenging to defend.
menting a performance improvement plan. Specific, significant, stretching Bad communication or a lack of
Proper written communication with Measurable, meaningful, motivational feedback can keep team members from
your team members is vital and goes well Agreed upon reaching their full potential, becoming a
beyond the annual performance review. Relevant lost opportunity for the organization.
So, what is good written communication? Timely Maya Angelou said, I have learned that
First and foremost, written commu people will forget about what you said,
nication is by its very nature intended to Dont: people will forget what you did, but people
be more thoughtful and deliberate than Add subjective reasons for the poor will never forget how you made them
extemporaneous verbal communication. performance such as, Johnny does not feel. Being a leader is an opportunity to
It should be used either to document like to use Word, and that is why he often support, develop and motivate others to
your affirming or constructive observations misses obituary deadlines. Inferring bring out their best.
about a team members performance or motivation is subjective and can lead to Care enough about your role as a leader
to give clear specific direction about an real challenges in trying to correct the to invest time in well-thought-out written
opportunity for improvement or to provide behavior. The fact is that the obituaries are communication. Your words will last
a course correction in employee behavior late. Address that fact and ask Johnny to forever, and so will their impact, positive
when needed. help you understand the reasons. or negative, on the people you have been
Record in any written form or entrusted to serve and lead. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 47

by David Shipper and
Gary OSullivan, CCFE
ICCFA Magazine author spotlight PRENEED SALES SUCCESS
OSullivan and Shipper are co-authors
of THE SYSTEM, the professions only Sales managers can control sales volume
complete preneed selling online training
program, and LeadTrak, the industrys only by tracking and managing their sales teams
leading CRM. THE SYSTEM University
program of online training for sales coun- prospecting hours, appointments set, presentations given,
selors and managers is offered exclusively closing rate and average sale amount. Staying on top of these
by the ICCFA at www.iccfa.com.
secret numbers is the key to meeting sales goals.
Shipper is a third-
generation funeral home
and cemetery owner and the
co-creator of The System,
Discovering your secret numbers
the industrys only complete The secret numbers: Why sales volume is a
selling system for cemeteries
lagging indicator of the activity that preceeds it

and funeral homes.
He has been involved with the ICCFA f you go on a diet, your weight is a something on commission also make them
since 1978 and has served in all officer lagging indicator of what you ate. The less willing to comply with procedures than,
positions, including president in 2000-
scale is merely a reflection of the eating say, an accountant.
2001. In 2014, he was inducted into the
ICCFA Hall of Fame.
that preceded it. Its precisely the same with Thats why The System is geared for the
sales. average performer. We need our salespeoples
go@garyosullivan.com We cant manage sales volume, we can participation in our methods and procedures
OSullivan is president of only manage that activity that will create to keep track of their activity and impact it
Gary OSullivan Co., Winter it. Since we cant be involved in all of a positively.
Garden, Florida, a consult- salespersons interactions, we are effectively To achieve this, we need to know the
ing firm specializing in the trying to manage the invisible. No one hears total amount of each of our main activity
cemetery and funeral profes-
a salespersons actual presentation but the categories that will be required to meet our
sion. He works with clients in
client. sales budget:
the areas of leadership and management
development, service and sales processes But we do have some control over the number of prospecting hours,
and corporate culture. quality and quantity of the appointment, number of appointments,
www.garyosullivan.com because it is directly related to the efficiency number of complete presentations,
twitter.com/GOgaryosullivan and effectiveness of the prospecting activity number of sales and
facebook.com/garyosullivancompany that was used to secure that appointment. the average sale amount.
linkedin.com/in/garyosullivancompany We have expectations of each depart We call these numbers secret numbers
His experience began at 18 years of age ment in any business. Accounting and because unless you put pencil to paper,
selling cemetery property door-to-door and administration have processes that everyone you dont know them. We know lots of
includes leading a national sales organiza- follows. For example, isnt there a method sales organizations that have sales volume
tion and then forming his own consulting and administrative tracking to process a requirements, but we know few that know the
and speaking company in 2001. check? Dont we expect great precision when amount of activity necessary to attain them.
In 2014, OSullivan received the first entering file information? Its the same with We calculate these same numbers for each
ever Lasting Impact Award from the ICCFA operations. Dont we have expectations as to salesperson, as well as for the department as
Educational Foundation, in recognition when and how something is to be done? a whole. We add up those individual secret
of the significant educational contribution Whether its dealing with accounts numbers and if the total does not equal the
he has made to the profession. In 2009, receivable or handing a grave opening and amount needed for the company to reach
the ICCFA presented OSullivan with an closing, having a process that everyone budget, we hire more salespeople until the
honorary doctorate for his 20 years of con- follows means that results will be more numbers add up.
secutive participation in ICCFA University, controllable, predictable and repeatable. In Keep in mind that you can only get so
where he is dean of the J. Asher Neel Col-
fact, we can predict in advance how many much effort from each person. Setting sales
lege of Sales & Marketing.
people we need in each department and what volume requirements that cannot possibly be
More from this author they should be doing. met by the number of salespeople you have is
OSullivan is dean of ICCFA We have found that in sales departments, pointless.
Universitys J. Asher Neel College of management accepts a much lower level The System starts with tracking daily
Sales & Marketing. The next session will be of compliance than in other departments. activity. The scripts, online courses, client
July 20-25, 2018, at the Fogelman Confer- This is partly due to the personality traits materials and all the collateral support
ence Center, Memphis, Tennessee. of the people who go into sales. The same materials were created to make prospecting
personality traits that allow someone to talk and selling activities efficient and effective.
to people they dont know and sell them You cant expect salespeople to just

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

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marketing guru Dan Katz of LA ads, business strategist
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But of course theres so much more, including networking
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Empowering Cemetery &

Funeral Service Suppliers
preneed sales success

know how to prospect, present and close for sales of $15,000 per week. The first Now we have finally arrived at the
the sale. Youve got to give them the thing to calculate is your average sale. beginning: prospecting hours. All activity
tools to succeed, tell them what the daily Once you have that number, then divide it starts with prospecting hours. How long
activity expectations are and track their by your weekly sales plan. does it takes to make an appointment?
resultsdaily. For example, if your average sale is There are lots of ways to measure this
$2,500 and your sales budget is $15,000 initial activity, but keep in mind that no
The discovery per week, you now know that you need six prospecting means no appointments, no
When we first realized we would have sales each week (6 x $2,500) to make your appointments means no presentations, which
to track activity to understand the sales budget. means no sales unless a client walks in.
process, we made an interesting discovery. Lets assume that youll make one
When we asked salespeople how much $15,000 weekly sales budget appointment per hour of prospecting.
time they spent each day prospecting Divided by $2,500 average sale amount We learned above that we need 30
(talking with people with the direct purpose Equals 6 sales per week appointments to reach our budget. This
of setting an appointment), they would give means that we need to schedule at least 30
us a numbersay, eight hours a week. Next figure out how many complete hours of prospecting each week to reach a
When we started tracking their daily preneed presentations it takes to make a $15,000 budget. If each person prospects
prospecting efforts, we found that, almost sale. If you really dont know, you can use 10 hours per week, we need at least three
without exception, they actually were doing a 33 percent to 40 percent closing rate. people to reach our budget.
about half the amount of prospecting they Side note: if you do not have an active This number of people may not be
thought they were doing. sales program, you may have order-takers. suitable or affordable at this budget. You
Then we asked them, What is the In this case, their closing rate could be may need to improve your average sale
purpose of prospecting? The responses much higher than 40 percent, because they or be more efficient in your prospecting.
varied from, Because they make me, to are mostly responding to direct inquiries (Once you know these secret numbers
To try to set some appointments. from potential clients. you can use the resources of The System
Then we asked, Some appointments Lets say that you make 10 presenta to improve an individuals skill sets, from
what does that mean? The responses tions per week and close 40 percent of prospecting to closing.)
varied, of course, but most said something them at $2,500 each sale. This means that
like, As many as we can. your sales per week should be $10,000 What else do the secret numbers
Prospecting without specific goals and (10 presentations resulted in four sales tell you?
an accountability process to measure and x $2,500 = $10,000). If your budget is We have learned over the many years,
drive those goals doesnt work. $15,000, you need more activity. working with different companies and
The math shows that we need six sales tracking thousands and thousands of daily
The secret numbers at $2,500 each week to reach $15,000. prospecting hours and activities, that for the
As we mentioned earlier, a sales manager How can you achieve six sales a week? most part, you will only be able to get the
cannot see what their salespeople are doing Lets look at our remaining activities: average salesperson to prospect, as we have
every hour of every day. Yet the manager number of appointments and prospecting defined it, 10 hours a week.
is responsible for their salespeoples hours. Now that you know your average The over-achievers will prospect 12 to15
preneed sales volume. sale and your closing rate, you need to hours a week, but those are the few, not
Therefore, a sales manager must learn figure out how many appointments it takes the many. So, lets use 10 hours a week per
how to manage what needs to be done to to get a one full presentation. salesperson as our model.
achieve that volume, activity that, for the Generally, half of your appointments If you need 30 hours a week, you will
most part, is currently invisible to them. are no-shows, cancellations or resets. need at least three salespeople. If you need
Tracking activity allows you to create the If it takes 20 appointments to get 10 60 hours of prospecting, you will need at
secret numbers you need. presentations (50 percent no-show rate) least six salespeople. You cant get two
We understand that some managers to get four sales (40 percent closing rate), people to produce 30 hours of prospecting
reading this article may not be able to then you know it will take 30 appointments every week, or four people to prospect
dictate their sales teams hourly activities, to get 15 presentations to get six sales 60 hoursat least not effectively and
but many of you can. per week (15 presentations x 40 percent efficiently.
The five activities we track every day closing rate = 6 sales) to make your sales Making the companys secret numbers
are: budget of $15,000. add up is not the individual salespersons
prospecting hours (sometimes problem, its the sales managers.
contacts), 30 appointments Not only does the secret number tell you
appointments set, Times 50% no-show rate how many hours of prospecting are required
presentations given, Equals 15 presentations to get the number of appointments and
number of sales closed and Times 40% closing rate then the number of complete presentations
Equals 6 sales per week
average sale in dollars. needed, it also tells you how many
Times $2,500 average sale amount
Lets look at some numbers. Lets salespeople you need. Which usually means
Equals $15,000 sales budget
assume that your preneed sales plan calls at least one fulltime, well-trained person for

50 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
preneed sales success

each 10 hours of prospecting. Using our example, you need 30 hours potential client is entered and another
Even if you have people who are pros of prospecting to achieve your sales goal salesperson is just as likely to make a sale
pecting more than 10 hours a week, its best of $15,000. If at the end of the week you as the one who set the appointment. This is
to calculate only 10 hours/10 appointments only achieved 79 percent of your needed very good news!
per person when figuring how many prospecting hours, more often than not, The bottom line is this: Assuming
salespeople you will need. Over a 52-week your sales volume for that week will be your sales team is adequately trained
period, Joe will have a grandchild, Sallys between 76 to 82 percent of budget. on prospecting and making a proper
car will break down, Sofie is moving to the Why? Because instead of reaching your preneed presentation, if you meet your
West Coast, etc., etc. No sales organization 30 hours of prospecting, at 79 percent you secret numbers (the needed amount of
is static. Building in some time off and would have only achieved about 24 hours, prospecting and proper number of valid
turnover will keep your organization falling six hours short. Six hours equals appointments set), you will reach your
healthy and up to the challenge of reaching 20 percent of your needed prospecting. sales goals, week in and week out.
your budget. As a rule, if you are short 20 percent in Why? Because you have learned the
prospecting, you will be 20 percent low secret to sales management success:
The secret numbers of success on your volume. In this case, your sales Having enough people doing the right
Here is one last interesting discovery. Its volume should be about $12,000, or 80 things at the right time and holding
a secret David has found in his personal percent of $15,000. people accountable to their daily preneed
businesses and Gary has witnessed in the That is why we teach sales managers activities and the results of those activities.
companies he works with in his consulting not to focus on the volume; focus on the When this is accomplished, your weekly
practice. activity that creates the volume. sales volume goals are achieved.
When the prospecting hours are Even better, when an organization Within The Systems accountability
correctly defined and properly reported, ensures proper prospecting, it simply process there are lots of ways to ensure
this is what we find: The percentage of doesnt matter whether the salesperson that the information is correct. To find out
prospecting hours you achieve will be who booked the appointment is available more, visit www.thesystemuniversity.com
within plus or minus of about 5 percent of to make the presentation. If you use a or contact us at info@thesystemuniversity.
your sales results. CRM system, the information about the com. r

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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 51

by Daniel M. Isard, MSFS
companies.com Buying a cemetery isnt like buying land. Its more complicated
ICCFA Magazine and involves sitting down and making the right calculations.

Cemetery Impossible
author spotlight
Isard is president
of The Foresight
Companies LLC, a Phoenix-based
business and management consult-
ing firm specializing in mergers and
How can you tell if a cemetery is priced right?
acquisitions, valuations, accounting, Dear Cemetery Impossible,
financing and customer surveys. I own a small cemetery in a two-cemetery
He is the author of several books, town. The other cemetery is larger, and I am
and frequently speaks at industry very familiar with it. About a decade ago, it
conventions. was bought by someone and then acquired by
another company, then was acquired by another buying inventory. You can no longer purchase
More from this author
company, and so on. this as land, as it has a very limited use. Its only
Educational information, including I asked the current manager of the property to
copies of this article, can be found at use is for the stewardship of deceased human
let me know if his company ever wants to sell it. beings via burial, inurnment or mausoleum
Well, I recently received an offering memo, with entombment.
You can follow Isard on Twitter at financial data, from the company. It turns out that Some people think of the value in simple
@f4sight, LinkedIn and like The they own hundreds of cemeteries and funeral terms. For example, each acre can accept the
Foresight Companies on Facebook. homes. burial of 1,000 bodies and the sale price of each
I thought the asking price looked reasonable, interment right is $X, so the value is 1,000 times
Editors note: The Cemetery so I took it to my accountant and lawyer. They $X times the quantity of acres.
Impossible column is written by the both agreed that it was a great deal. I then took However, this is not the present value of
staff of The Foresight Companies. it to my banker and he said he will finance it at this business. This might be a way to look
If you have a question you want that price. So, if three people who know nothing
to be featured in this column, at the future value, but not the value today.
about the cemetery business tell me it is a good The value today is a multiple of the EBITDA
please send it to danisard@
deal, my intuition is that I should get you to (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and
theforesightcompanies.com. Dan
weigh in before I make a big mistake. amortization) of the business.
Isard or a member of his staff will
call you to get more information The property has 20 undeveloped acres which If you have 20 acres of land and only develop
and a recommendation will be they value at $150,000 apiece. The business has burial inventory, that results in about 20,000 to
provided via this column, helping had earnings of about $200,000 and it is run lean. 24,000 total burials. If you develop inventory
not only you but also others who They do about 200 sales a year (advance and at- blending crypts, niches and burial options, the
are facing similar challenges. need). The seller wants $2.2 million. total development could be 100,000 interment
What is it that I dont know, that you do, sites or more.
before I sign to buy it? If there are 200 sales a year, it will take about
Looks too good to be true in Titusville five years to fill one acre, and therefore, there
is at least 100 years of inventory. That means it
Dear good-looking, will take at least 100 years to actualize this future
I have created a number of catch phrases over value. The cemetery business involves making
my career, one of which is, You dont make decisions to start something today that wont be
money when you sell a business, you make it completed for several generations.
when you buy a business. If you pay too much, My second concern is the multiple of
you can go broke. Even if you overpay a little EBITDA they expect you to pay. We use
bit, all your profits will be essentially given to EBITDA as a threshold of value because it
the seller. Therefore, it is critical to pay what allows us to compare dissimilar businesses to
something is worth, or less. each other. We use it many ways. In this case, we
Looking at this limited data, I have four major are using it two ways.
concerns. The first one involves semantics. One reference to EBITDA is a result of
Your letter and the offering memo include the operations. They told you the EBITDA is
misplaced perception that this is land. It is not. It $200,000. This is neither good nor bad as it is
was land at one time. Once land is consecrated stated; it is a number. However, this number
as a cemetery, it goes from being land to being is relative to the sale price. Assuming their
inventory. computation of EBITDA is correct, a $2.2
You would not be buying land; you would be million sale price divided by EBITDA of

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

$200,000 is an 11 times multiple. That will vary, depending on your credit loans, but a cemetery loan is a loan on the
I hate rules of thumb for valuation rating and the banks desire to make you a business of the cemetery. It typically cannot
methods, but I do refer to them. Cemeteries loan on this type of business. be secured by the land, since it is inventory.
sell for a multiple of EBITDA. In the Assuming you borrow the full amount Furthermore, it often cannot be secured
majority of cases, this range is between four from a lender and/or investors, your annual by the inventory. The bank would need to
and eight times EBITDA. Knowing why principal and interest (P&I) payment will have a mortgage on each interment right. If
there is a such a huge difference from the low be about $140,000. You have $200,000 of that were the case, every time you made a
of four to the high of eight times EBITDA EBITDA and $140,000 of P&I. You have sale, you would have to have the bank release
is what an expert analysis provides. Your enough cash flow to pay the loan and income their interest on that one plot. That would be
attorney and accountant have no knowledge taxes. expensive and time-consuming.
in this matter. The ratio of the EBITDA to P&I is called Your last question concerns the fear of
I didnt publish your town information a debt coverage ratio (DCX). The DCX in dealing with a big company. I have done
and I did look at this site online. I will tell you this case is about 1.40. Anything above 1.35 more than 500 transactions with large funeral
this business is probably a six- to seven-times is usually a good loan. The relationship of the or cemetery acquisition companies. I have
multiple. Therefore, the value is between $1.2 EBITDA to our conclusion of value to the bought businesses they were divesting and
million and $1.4 million. P&I is in harmony. sold them client businesses they wanted to
A deeper study in their operations, types However, if the value was $2.2 million, a acquire.
of sales, types of remaining inventory and loan payment would be more than $230,000. Large companies are very proficient at
overall care of the property would be useful That is greater than the EBITDA! You can the process. They know what due diligence
to narrow this multiple down to a precise see very easily the offering price just cannot you will need and usually have excellent
number. Suffice to say that this business is be right. recordkeeping. Their people are not acting
worth $1.3 millionish. The third point you raise is the bank. out of personal gain or ego, unlike an
Their offer to sell it for $2.2 million is News flash: Banks dont like to make loans individual buying or selling a business.
aggressive. Either that, or they hope that they to cemeteries! There are two types of banks. While you should be cautious in dealing
have an uninformed fool with more money Most are asset-based lenders. If you bring with them yourself, other experts on your
than sense as a buyer. a banker $1.00 of assets, they will loan you side will help level the playing field. When it
But let us not assume I am right. Lets about $0.75. The other type is cash-flow- comes to contract points, an expert will know
look at the cash flow. As they have told you, based lenders. They make the loans I refer to the usual and customary language that an
there is $200,000 of EBITDA. Since they are above in the DCX ratio analysis. acquirer demands.
a big company and have no owners salaries There are very few cash-flow lenders. If something is good for the goose, it
or owners perquisites in the overhead, we The good news is the Small Business should be good for the gander. A large
can assume this is a real number. So, in Administration (SBA) is a cash-flow-based company should expect to concede the same
todays financial world, what can that afford lender, so you are probably looking at an points when they are a seller that they require
you in debt service? SBA loan. There are some cemetery loan as a buyer. Someone who has not done this
Of course, the timing of this article is SBA-specialty banks. before has no idea what those points should
important. If you go to the bank today for You might be wondering, Why dont be. You can spend a lot of money educating a
a fixed-rate loan for a business purchase, banks like cemetery loans? Because they new lawyer on cemetery transactions and still
you will probably pay an interest rate of 6.5 are not real estate loansthey are inventory not get a fair contract. r
percent for a 15-year loan of $1.3 million. loans. These banks can handle real estate

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 53

Supply Line
n ColdSpring, Cold has worked for eight years. Friedel brings
Author seeks input Spring, Minnesota, has 30 years of leadership experience at vari-
from funeral directors named John Mattke as ous building- and manufacturing-related

president of Stone Pan- companies throughout North America.
hen the award-winning book A els International LLC, www.coldspringgranite.com
Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning a recently acquired,
for Those Who Dont Plan to Die was n Memorial Busi-
wholly-owned subsid- ness Systems, Frank-
published in 2010, funeral service was iary of Coldspring. Stone
quite different. A lot has changed in seven Mattke lin, Tennessee, has named
Panels International is the Gerald Jenkins as CEO. He
years, and author Gail Rubin, Certified Texas-based producer of the universally
Thanatologist, wants funeral director input has installed MBS systems
recognized StoneLite solution for interior in 45 states and provided
for updates to the second edition. and exterior building cladding. Mattke
When A Good Goodbye first came thousands of clients with
joined Coldspring in 1994 and held various training and support. He will
out, the national cremation rate was management positions before being named
still under 50 percent, death discussion retain his responsibilities for managing
president and COO in 2004. Throughout training and support services and assume
movements like the his career, Mattke has been instrumental
Death Caf and Death the additional responsibilities for sales
in developing and implementing strategic and personnel management. Jenkins was
Over Dinner had not changes and improvements throughout
yet started and the educated at Florida and Sheridan Techni-
Coldspring, including the relocation and cal Colleges in Florida and spent his earlier
term celebration of development of the companys state-of-
life was rarely used. years as a computer systems integrator
the-art foundry in 1998. He directed the before moving into the training and support
Weve seen many strategic relocation and consolidation of
funeral business area. Jenkins joined the MBS team in 1994
all Cold Spring, Minnesota, operations and promptly became its managing director
changes over the past and corporate offices into one location at
seven years, and the of training and support. 1.800.844.4447;
the companys new LEED-gold certified www.mbs-intl.com
second edition of the book will reflect those headquarters in 2007.
developments, said Rubin. Based on market input, Mattke led the n national mortuary ship-
Consider the advice youd give as a strategic rebranding of the company in ping, Cleveland, Ohio, has launched its
funeral director if you were chatting with 2013, bringing all divisions and brands new NMS Mobile app. The app allows
a friend over a cup of coffee or a glass of under the single masterbrand of Coldspring funeral directors around the globe to give
wine, Rubin suggested. What would you from the former Cold Spring Granite, to new death calls, receive price quotes and set
want that person to know? better reflect the companys broad product up prearranged shipping and cremation calls
Possible topics to weigh in on: offerings. more easily than ever. The app is available
The impact of technological develop As a past board member of the for Apple and Android devices, in both
ments: mobile phones, online videos, Natural Stone Council, Mattke played an English and Spanish.
communications apps, webcasting, crowd instrumental role in the stone industrys www.natlmortuaryshipping.com
sourcing, website changes and online recent adoption of a sustainability n Funeral Vision, Columbus, Ohio,
collaboration for distant family members to standard for stone, known as ANSI/NSC is a new app for the iPhone that provides
participate in funeral planning. 373 Sustainable Production of Natural private live streaming of funeral services.
How you reach out to your community Dimension Stone. Mattke led Coldspring Funeral homes that buy the service will set
to encourage preneed funeral planning. to achieve ANSI/NSC 373 certification in up equipment provided by Funeral Vision,
Your responses to religious and cultural 2016. input information into the interface to keep
changes: cremation and religious traditions, Mattke will move it secure and press record. People who
a rise in multicultural populations and those to Marble Falls, Texas, cannot attend the service will be able to
who identify as spiritual but not religious. where the production of download the app and then use it not only
The growth of pet loss businesses and StoneLite has been moved, to view services but also to make donations,
the use of therapy dogs in funeral homes. and will provide ongoing leave condolences and even send flowers to
Ways your funeral home is addressing guidance and support to the family. The company is offering demos
the rising cremation rate. Greg Flint, Coldsprings to funeral homes. 850.425.1340
Those who provide quotes and sugges incoming president and www.FuneralVisionUSA.com
tions may be featured in the second edition COO, and the Coldspring Flint
of A Good Goodbye, slated for release n passare, San Francisco, California,
executive team as he assumes a new role has announced its integration with Con-
in the fall of 2017. The ebook version will as a member of the Coldspring Board of
feature links to contributors websites. solidated Funeral Services, Boston, Mas-
Directors. sachusetts, a provider of custom websites
Email Gail@AGoodGoodbye.com or Tim Freidel will assume the role of
call 505.265.7215 to arrange an interview. for funeral homes. Passare is now able to
executive vice president, responsible for send information such as the obituary, ser-
www.AGoodGoodbye.com r sales, marketing and business development vice dates and times, types of services and
for Stone Panels -nternational, where he much more directly to CFS websites with

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

just one click, said Passare Vice President childs stick figure drawing.
and Chief Product Officer Chris Baber. A wide variety of jewelry pieces
Passare launched its collaboration platform can be customized in this way. Each of
in 2014 to help funeral homes and families these jewelry options can be ordered in
connect and collaborate in an interactive, different metals, including stainless steel,
online environment designed to simplify the sterling silver, gold-plated, 14K white and
funeral planning process. The collaborative yellow gold and platinum. Many items New Memorials Directs handwriting
platform is also a fully functioning funeral also come in remains-holding cremation jewelry.
administration system built on a web-based jewelry styles. The turn-around time for
platform, which is accessible anytime, any- handwriting jewelry is 24 hours.
where, from any Internet-connected device. 1.877.995.8767;
With Passares integration with CFS, service@newmemorialsdirect.com;
funeral directors can send the data gath- www.newmemorialsdirect.com
ered on a case, such as the obituary, vital n Evatech, Tampa, Florida, has in-
statistics, and funeral options, straight to troduced its most advanced intelligence
the funeral homes CFS website. The inte- mobile systems (AIMS). The systems
gration will allow for a single point of data can be used in mowing, sand-blasting or
entry, eliminating the need to reenter data other repetitive or dangerous tasks. AIMS
that is already available on Passare. has long-term and short-term memory, the
925.968.9495; www.passare.com ability to learn new patterns and skills, a
An Evatech mower at work using
n Sich Casket, Ningbo, China, is good sense of direction and sonar and can
advanced intelligence mobile systems
giving away a casket every month in a be installed in any of the companys units. It technology.
Year of the Funeral Director drawing. can be upgraded to GPS.
The second winner, Todd Schrag, a funeral 727.643.7242; sales@evatech.net;
director at Roper and Sons Funeral Home in www.evatech.net READERS: To find the products and ser-
Lincoln, Nebraska, received the companys n aftercare.com, Clinton, North vices you need online, go to
McKenzie Sangria solid Paulowina hard- Carolina, has made its aftercare card pro- www.iccfa.com for the Supply
wood casket with a rosetan crepe interior. gram available in Spanish. Funeral homes Link Search Engine, the fastest
Information about entering the drawings is and cemeteries can now enroll a family way to find the products and
available on the companys website. and choose to send the Spanish version the services you need at your funeral home,
1.888.317.1929; www.SichCasket.com companys cards and survey. cemetery or crematory.
n new Memorials Direct, Gig With growing Latino communities, SUPPLIERS: Send your press releases
Harbor, Washington, has introduced having this available makes it easier to stay about your new products and services, and
handwriting jewelry to their line of per- in touch with all families during that first about awards, personnel changes and other
sonalized keepsakes. Families can choose year following the loss of a loved one, news to sloving@iccfa.com for inclusion in
from a signature, line drawing, short note, said Ellery Bowker, the founder of Supply Line.
a saying or any other personalized hand- Aftercare.com.
writing, from a note from grandma to a 1.800.721.7097; www.aftercare.com r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 55

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.

Above, the memorial at the Historic

African Burial Ground in St. Agnes
Cemetery. Left and below, the cer-
emony dedicating a bronze plaque.

n St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands, New York, part of Al-

bany Diocesan Cemeteries, Albany, New York,
recently held a bronze plaque dedication ceremony mark-
ing the cemeterys Historic African Burial Ground. The
site pays tribute to the discovered remains of 14 formerly
enslaved Africans. The ceremony included dedication of a
bronze plaque, traditional African dance, poetry readings and
African spiritual music by Heavenly Echoes and a keynote
address by Nell Stokes, a local expert in African history. The
ecumenical ceremony was attended by clergy and spiritual
leaders from dozens of churches. Assembly Member John T.
McDoonald read a resolution designating June 17 as Ances-
tor Appreciation Day. The burial ground project received a
2016 New York State Historic Preservation Award. r

n Park Lawn Corp., Toronto, Ontario, management expects Saber to generate ap- tions, sales and marketing efforts at Sabers
has entered into a definitive agreement to proximately $21 million of revenue and $5.3 locations will continue to be actively man-
acquire Saber Management LLC. The million in EBITDA. aged by Sabers existing team.
acquisition of Saber presents an exciting If Saber achieves the financial hurdles Park Lawn Corp. and its subsidiaries
opportunity for Park Lawn, said Park Lawn necessary for the payment of the additional own and operate 65 businesses, including
Chairman and CEO Andrew Clark.The consideration, the purchase price multiple cemeteries, crematoria, funeral homes, cha-
acquisition is in line with our communicated will be approximately 8.5 times Sabers pels, planning offices and a transfer service.
growth strategy and significantly increases EBITDA. The company operates in Ontario, Quebec,
our footprint and presence in the U.S. Significantly increases the number of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia
market. Completion of the acquisition is cemeteries in the companys portfolio, adds and Michigan.
expected to occur on or about September 30, funeral home assets into the U.S. operations n St. Michaels Cemetery,
2017, subject to the satisfaction or waiver of and geographically diversifies the companys Queens, New York, this year introduced
certain closing conditions, including, among U.S. operations. an esssay competition to its annual 9/11
other things, third-party consents and approv- Going forward, Sabers management commemoration. The competition is open to
als. Acquisition highlights: will join Park Lawns existing U.S. manage- all schoolchildren, with winners to be chosen
Continues to accelerate PLCs growth ment team. by three independent judges in two catego-
strategy, while increasing its scale in the Saber owns and operates 19 cemeteries ries: elementary and junior/intermediate high
U.S. market. and four funeral homes in Kentucky, Illinois school. The prizes will be $250 for first place,
Significantly increases PLCs revenue, and Texas. Saber was established in 1998 by $150 for second and $100 for third. Essays
while providing a business platform with David Sullivan (CEO and majority owner), are to be on the theme, What it means to be
strong operating margins. In the first full who brings more than 40 years of industry an American.
year of operations following closing, PLC experience with him. The day-to-day opera-

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

Clark County Veterans Council and Spring- I die festival in Albuquerque, New
field mayor Warren Copeland addressed the Mexico. Event coordinator Gail Rubin, A
crowd. H. Eugene Doak Walker, Detach- Good Goodbye, described the festival as a
ment 963 of the Marine Corps League, posted great opportunity for sponsors to reach baby
and retired the colors. boomers. The festival includes the Prelude
Ferncliff is honored to pay tribute to to eternity festival kick-off party with
fallen military service men and women who Death Over Dinner discussions; a panel of
sacrificed so much for our country, said local funeral directors discussing What you
Ferncliff Superintendent Stan Spitler. need to know before you go; daily Death
n Oasis Albuquerque and the Os- Cafe discussions at various settings around
The floating lantern ceremony at Fern- town; a tour of historic Fairview Cemetery;
cliff Cemetery, Arboretum and Crema- her Lifelong Learning Insti-
tute are co-sponsoring the first Before panel discussion on Making plans to live
tory, part of the cemeterys Memorial
Day activities.
n Ferncliff Cemetery, Ar-
boretum and Crematory,
Springfield, Ohio, dedicated Memorial
Day weekend to fallen soldiers and all
who have died. Ceremonies and activi-
ties brought together families, community
members, military and religious dignitaries
and government officials. During Sundays
fifth annual floating lantern ceremony,
families inscribed personal messages to their
deceased loved ones on candle lanterns,
and when night fell they released them onto
the pond at Ferncliff. Inspirational words
were shared by Mandy Sanders, associate
pastor of New Hope Church in Springfield,
and participants had time to remember and
reflect. Refreshments were served and raffle
prizes, including a TV and a girls and a
boys bicycle, were awarded.
A parade marked Memorial Day, followed
by Clark Countys Veterans Honor Service at
the cemeterys War Memorial. The cemetery
is the final resting place of more than 5,000
military personnel, dating back to 1863.
Chaplain Jim Stewart, Jon Stewart of the

In memoriam
Philip Kaplan
Philip Kaplan, 76, of
Boynton Beach, Florida,
the former owner of
Parsky Memorial Chapel in Rochester,
New York, and a longtime Jewish
Funeral Directors Association
member, died June 8, 2017.
He survived by his wife of 53 years,
Sheila; a son and daughter; and three
A memorial service was held at Beth
Israel Memorial Chapel, Boynton Beach.
Memorial contributions may be made to
a charity of the donors choice. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 57


n Mount Auburn Cemetery, , The suites contain both vocal and instru-
Cambridge, Massachusetts, has inspired mental works. Of the voice-based pieces, all
an album of 12 original compositions by but one are musical settings of poems written
the cemeterys artist-in-residence, Mary by poets buried at Mount Auburn Cemetery
Bichner. Bichner is an orchestral composer (Maria White Lowell, James Russell Lowell,
with the music superpowers of perfect pitch Frances Sargent Osgood, and Henry Wads
and synesthesia (a condition that causes her worth Longfellow). The remaining vocal
to see splashes of specific colors when she work is a musical setting of a poem by Emily
hears their corresponding pitches sounded). Dickinson who, while not buried at Mount
Her compositions were inspired by Mount Auburn, is classified by the archives depart-
Auburn Cemeterys breathtaking landscape ment as one of the cemeterys notable visitors.
and landmarks. She used her sound-to-color In January 2017, the works were recorded
synesthesia to select the musical components by a 19-piece chamber orchestra at WGBH
that best match the natural color palette of Studios of Boston, Massachusetts, and were
each location at different times of year. The released online as a digital album on June 3,
The album inspired by Mount Auburn
Cemetery, created by the cemeterys
finished collection consists of a six-movement 2017. The tracks are also featured in Mount
artist-in-residence. Spring Suite and a six-movement Autumn Auburns new mobile app, so that visitors to
Suite that, when played in order, also takes the cemetery will be able to experience the
place over the course of a single day. music in the setting that inspired it. r

well until we die on medical care and of funeral service/mortuary science educa- Community and Technical College, Cumber-
end-of-life issues; a yoga class, From child tion programs. Granted reaccreditation for land, Kentucky; and Bishop State Commu-
pose to corpse pose: Life, death, yoga and seven years were the programs at Community nity College, Mobile, Alabama.
spirituality; movie matinees at the Guild College of Baltimore County, Catonsville, n The Pennsylvania Funeral
Theater, featuring The Seventh Seal and Maryland; Fayetteville Technical Community Directors Association, Harris-
Harold and Maude; Earth, air, fire & College, Fayetteville, North Carolina; and burg, Pennsylvania, installed its 2017-2018
water: A celebration of cremation and art, Mt. Hood Community College, Gresham, officers at its recent convention. They are:
with local artists selling their works in ce- Oregon. Renewal of accreditation was de- President Deron K. Youse, supervisor of the
ramics, paper and other media; and Day of ferred at Northwest Mississippi Community Ludwick Funeral Homes Inc. facility in Kutz-
the Dead educational events at the National College, Southhaven, Mississippi, pending a town; President-elect Stephanie Doriguzzi,
Hispanic Cultural Center. focus visit to verify that newly implemented supervisor at the Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral
n Phaneuf Funeral Homes and recordkeeping and assessment plans are in Home, Fredericktown; and Secretary-Trea-
Crematorium , Manchester, New compliance with accreditation standards. surer David V. Peake Jr., supervisor of Craft
Hampshire, recently received the 2017 The following accredited programs were Funeral Home of Edenheim, owned by Rob-
Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics. The placed on probation for failure to com- ert L. Mannal Funeral Home, Philadelphia.
Better Business Bureau in New Hampshire ply with the standard requiring a national
licensing examination pass rate of at least n The Iowa Funeral Directors
each year presents the award to recognize Association, West Des Moines, Iowa,
businesses and organizations that maintain a 60 percent: Holmes Community College,
Ridgeland, Mississippi; Southeast Kentucky installed its 2017-2018 officers at its recent
solid commitment to conducting their busi- convention. They are: President David M.
ness practices in an ethical fashion. Phaneuf Technical and Community College, Cumber-
land, Kentucky; SUNY-Canton, Canton, New Fry, Fry Funeral Home, Tipton; President-
won in the Medium-Sized Business category. elect William J. Armstrong, Armstrong
We are honored and humbled to be one of York; and Vincennes University, Vincennes,
Indiana. Ivy Tech Community College-North- Funeral Homes, Mount Ayr; Secretary-Trea-
this years winners, and to be in the company surer Charles J. Yoder, Yoder-Powell Funeral
of the many great businesses who have won west, East Chicago, Illinois, was returned to
full accreditation status after satisfying proba- Home, Kalona; and Immediate Past Presi-
this award, said company President Buddy dent Patrick A. Leonard, Leonard Funeral
Phaneuf. In an industry that serves people tion requirements.
One-year candidacy was approved for pro- Home & Crematory, Dubuque. Members of
at their most vulnerable, ethics is a critical the IFDA Board of Governors are Ryan G.
component of success. grams at Northeast Texas Community Col-
lege, Mount Pleasant, Texas; and University Tucker, Kaiser-Corson Funeral Homes, Den-
Phaneuf has been serving the public since ver; Jacob Wittrock, Stewart Baxter Funeral
1906 and operates three full-service funeral of District of Columbia Community College,
Washington, D.C. & Memorial Services, Cedar Rapids; Paul A.
homes, two crematories, two non-denomina- Fouts, Fouts Funeral Home, Woodbine; Justin
tional chapels and a cremation society. The following programs will teach-out
existing students and cease to offer the cur- Rasmusson, Rasmusson-Bacon Funeral
n The American Board of Fu- rently accredited program by the end of 2017: Home, Nevada; Andy Joyce, Joyce Funeral
neral Service Education, Wood- Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Home, Emmetsburg; and James M. Fullerton,
bury Heights, New Jersey, recently took a Perkinston, Mississippi; Southeast Kentucky Fullerton Funeral Home, Mason City. r
number of actions regarding accreditation

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

kills in business management evolve continuously as time the seven talent problems that kill profits and, finally, accelerate
goes on. Competition grows, technology improves and cus- knowledge transfer across generations.
tomers change. These are all things that business managers Friday morning will be kicked off by the Government & Le-
and owners should pay attention to as they go about their daily gal Breakfast. The ICCFA Government & Legal Affairs Commit-
business. The ICCFA Fall Management Conference, Octo- tee members will be joined by specialists in various fields of law
ber 4-6, 2017, at the Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa in Indian and regulation. This traditional event will deliver important news
Wells, California, is the conference to attend for new insights on you can use about things that affect your business, such as taxes,
business management as you build and strengthen your business. labor law and litigation.
CEO of Smart Advantage Inc., author and Also on Friday, author of several best-sellers
consultant Jaynie L. Smith kicks the conference Dr. Chip Bell presents Wired and Danger-
off with her workshop, Think you know your ous: How your customers have changed and
#1 competitive advantage? Think again! She what to do about it. Drawn from Dr. Bells
has spent over 30 years as a consultant to busi- experience in consultations with many elite
nesses who want to differentiate themselves and service-providing companies, this presentation
have an advantage over their competition. will be energetic and powerful, featuring Dr.
Based off her best-selling book, Creating Bells ground-breaking customer research. Bell
Competitive Advantage, Smith uses first-hand According to Dr. Bell, your customers have
case studies for her presentation as she demon- been changed forever. Anxiety created by a
strates what competitive advantage is and what it isnt. Shell tough recession and the frustration brought on by too much high-
make sure to convey what prevents companies from identifying tech service is combined with the power of voicing displeasure
their own advantage, along with the loss of profits when they fail instantly to thousands via social media platforms. Dr. Bell says
to do so. Smiths presentation is rich in content because she fo- organizations that acknowledge this emerging customer revo-
cuses on providing the framework for attendees to uncover their lution and adjust to this new type of customer will thrive, and
competitive advantage, with the end goal being to increase their those who continue to use the old methods from the past will fail.
companys customer retention and sales closing rates. The customers of today demand value, are quicker to leave,
Following the workshop, Dr. David DeLong, are vocal and expect personalized service. In 2016, customer
a leading expert on practical solutions on clos- expectations were 33 percent higher than the year before, and
ing skills gaps, presents Close the skills gap: will only rise. And because of the reach of social media, word-
Innovative talent management solutions for a of-mouth has five times the impact.
changing workforce. Dr. DeLongs presentations Dr. Bell will have you rethinking strategies and tactics, select-
are uniquely customized, with strategies to build a ing ones that change todays customer as king into tomorrows
millennial-friendly culture while developing new customer as partner.
leaders more quickly and managing changes in At the conclusion of the conference, Gary Freytag, CCFE,
organizations to build tomorrows workforce. will present Leadership through crisis management. Lifes
He will offer solutions that are practical for most important lessons are learned during the darkest of days,
attendees so that they may evaluate talent-related risks, identify and in this workshop, participants will be immersed into a lead-

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 59


ership crisis taken from real-life events at Spring

Grove Cemetery in 2013-2014. Participants will
be asked to put themselves into the role of the
cemeterys CEO and decide how they would
navigate a minefield of human resource, legal,
media, PR and operational challenges.
Aside from the educational sessions, there are
Freytag several events where attendees will have oppor-
tunities to catch up with business contacts and
friends, as well as to make new ones. Receptions will be held on
Wednesday and Thursday evenings, featuring food, drink, enter-
tainment and the opportunity to socialize with fellow attendees.
An attendee favorite at this conference is the Fall Manage-
ment Golf Tournament. Indian Wells Golf Resort offers 36 holes A view of the Hyatt Regency Indian Wells villa pond.
of championship golf. The courses are surrounded by breathtak-
ing mountain vistas, natural flowers and exquisite waterfalls
the perfect setting for a golf course near Palm Springs.
Hyatt Regency Resort & Spa is a resort unlike any other in
the area. Guests enjoy premium amenities while staying in vil-
las that are of the highest quality. Amenities include:
Complimentary Wi-Fi.
Dining options within the hotel.
Swimming pools, private poolside cabanas and a deluxe
Access to three tennis courts.
The ICCFA has negotiated a rate of $169 per night for at-
tendees. Make your reservation by calling 1.760.776.1234 and
reference the ICCFA Fall Management Conference.
For more information on the conference, visit
www.iccfa.com/fall. The celebrity course of the Indian Wells Golf Resort, where
the golf tournament will take place.

Thank you to our Fall sponsors!

Assurant Blackstone Cemetery Development Carrier Mausoleums Construction Cave Hill
Cemetery Coldspring Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries Funeral Directors Life
Insurance Company (FDLIC) Funeral Services Inc. Gibraltar Remembrance Services LLC
Global Atlantic Financial Group Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuary Hillside Memorial Park
& Mortuary Johnson Consulting Group National Guardian Life Insurance Co. Nomis
Publications Northstar Memorial Group Service Corporation International Spring Grove
Cemetery & Arboretum StoneMor Partners LP The Signature Group Star Granite Trigard
60 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff

2017 PLPA College program announced

T Tuesday, October 3
he 2017 PLPA College will be
held prior to the Fall Management Working Lunch: Talk to the experts
Conference on October 13 at the question & answer time
Miramonte Resort in Indian Wells, Cali- There never is enough time to engage in
fornia. Here is a preview of what you will a conversation with those who are knowl-
take away from this years PLPA College: edgeable thoughtleaders in their profes-
Monday, October 2 sion. For this reason, weve asked the
experts to spearhead conversations and answer questions related
Stand tall and do it right: Why we get into this business
to their niche. If you would like to participate in an open lunch
Brett VanDeWoestyne, CPLP, Vandemore Pet Cremation Ser-
and learn, simply sit down at the table with the expert you would
like to talk with.
VanDeWoestyne, a licensed funeral director, was a very early
adopter of providing pet loss services to his community. He will Roberta Knauf: therapy dogs, community events, pet loss
candidly share his why, what motivates him, along with his Jodi Clock: marketing, pet trusts, small businesses
successes and failures. Its his hope that you can shorten your Coleen Ellis: starting a pet loss business, pet grief, training
cycle of learning and gain some inspiration to draw upon.
Bill Remkus: pet cemeteries, running an efficient crematory
OSHA and Your Business
Jim Starks: OSHA compliance and employee HR manuals
James R. Starks, CFuE, CCrE, J. Starks Consulting
Part 1: OSHA standards that affect the pet loss profession Paul Seyler: flame-based and water-based cremation and
General risk management: equipment
Decrease risk exposure and limit your overall liabiltiy Kim Barnes: SEO, social media, email marketing, online
What are you doing with your communal remains? branding
Return more and co-mingle less Dr. Richard Hobart, DVM: infectious disease, vet clinic
Part 2 : From business policy and procedures to employees relations
What is your employee manual?
Brett VanDeWoestyne: combining pet loss with funeral
How to keep yourself from getting a bad employee
How to let an employee go: what safety measures you
should use to protect yourself There also will be tabletop exhibits and vendor visits during
What tools to use for hiring; what can you say; how to breaks. Plan now to attend in October! For more information or
research potential new hires to register, visit http://events.myplpa.org

Dead Ringers: The latest ICCFA member benefit

ounded by Poul Lemasters of Lemasters Consulting and Cole
Imperi of Doth Brands, Dead Ringers measures a provider of
funeral services based on phone calls, your website and social
mediathe true elements of a first call. Then, you receive a digital
copy of the entire call, as well as a detailed report broken down into
10 specific areas. This report compares your scores in each category
against national averages. The report highlights areas that were done
well, areas that could use attention and areas that failed.
Dead Ringers also offers on-site training. This training provides
you with the confidence that all your staff have received the same
training. It sets the standardfor everyonecreating consistency,
improving service for your families and smoothing internal business
Any ICCFA member in good standing can order the Ruby Pack-
age ($499) and receive a $50 discount. The Ruby Package includes
three mystery shopper calls, as well as recordings and a full report.
To learn more about Dead Ringers, visit them online at

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 61


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your customers, sales, and
accountability management.
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Go to JCGPerformanceTracker.com to sign up for a demo!

What will JCG Performance Tracker do for your Funeral Home or Cemetery?
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62 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
New Members
Providing exceptional education, networking Membership applications
and legislative guidance and support to Admission to ICCFA membership normally requires a majority vote of
progressive cemetery, funeral and cremation those present and voting at any meeting of the executive committee.
professionals worldwide The names of all applicants must be published in this magazine. IC-
For information about the ICCFA and Membership CFA members objecting to an application must do so in writing to the
Go to www.iccfa.com/membership to download a benefits ICCFA executive director within 45 days of publication. In the event of
brochure and an application form. an objection, the executive committee will conduct an inquiry. If an ap-
plicant is rejected, they will be granted an appeal upon written request.
Call 1.800.645.7700 to have membership information faxed or
The decision of the Board of Directors shall be final.
mailed to you.

Regular Grupo Recordar* St. Hedwig Cemetery & Mausoleum Inc.

Bogota, Colombia Dearborn Heights, Michigan
Camposanto Jardines del Valle
Quito, Ecuador Jardin Del Pilar SA Kansas Coach & Livery Cremation Service
Buenos Aires, Argentina Sublette, Kansas
Colinas de la Paz*
Miami, Florida Jardines Del Recuerdo Asociacion Civil San Juan Bautista
San Pedro Sula, Honduras Lima, Peru
DECASA Camposanto La Colina*
Miami, Florida Mission City Memorial Park* Britton Funeral Homes Inc.*
Santa Clara, California Auburn, Massachusetts
Durbanville Memorial Park*
Durbanville, South Africa Mount Eden Cemetery Cofuneraria Los Olivos
Hayward, California Bucaramanga, Colombia
Funeraria y Camposanto Santa Ana
Cuenca, Ecuador Origen SA Coorserpark SAS
Perez, Argentina Bogota, Colombia
Greenlawn Funeral Home and Cemeteries
Bakersfield, California Prever SA Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral
Medellin, Colombia Home*
Grupo Memorial Corporativo
Panama City, Panama Oak Park, Illinois
to page 64

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what youve learned Service Requests & Much More

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 63

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

For continually updated meeting listings and direct links to websites To see all industry conventions and meetings for a particular month,
for professional associations, go to www.iccfa.com. go to www.iccfa.com.

August 16-18: Cremation Assn. of North September 26-28: New Jersey State Show. www.fdsachicago.com
America 99th Annul Convention, New York Funeral Directors Assn. Annual Convention November 14-15: Casket & Funeral
City. www.cremationassociation.org & Expo, Atlantic City. www.njsfda.org Supply Assn. Fall Conf. & Trade Show,
August 20-24: New York State Funeral September 27-28: Illinois Cemetery & Indianapolis, Indiana. www.cfsaa.org
Directors Assn. Annual Convention, The Funeral Home Assn. 89th Annual Fall November 22-25: Funraire, Parc des
Saratoga Hilton & Saratoga City Center, Convention, Harrahs Casino & Hotel, Exposition du Bourget, Paris, France.
Saratoga Springs. www.nysfda.org Joliet. www.icfha.org www.salon-funeraire.com
August 21: ALPAR The World United for October 1-3: PLPA College, Miramonte 2018
Life Global Event. www.alpar.com.co Resort, Indian Wells, California. January 10-12: ICCFA Wide World
August 29-31: Celebrant training hosted www.iccfa.com of Sales Mtg., New Orleans Marriott,
by the Florida Cemetery, Cremation October 4-6: ICCFA Fall Management Louisiana. www.iccfa.com
& Funeral Assn., Lido Beach Resort, Conf., Hyatt Regency Indian Wells Resort February 22-24: California Assn. of Public
Sarasota, Florida. www.insightbooks.com & Spa, California. www.iccfa.com Cemeteries 60th Annual Conf., Embassy
September 10-13: Selected October 5: Ohio Cemetery Assn. Fall Suites, San Luis Obispo. www.capc.info
Independent Funeral Homes, Maintenance Seminar-North, Perry. April 18-21: ICCFA Annual Convention &
99th Annual Mtg., Chicago, Illinois. www.ohiocemeteryassociation.com Expo, Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las
www.selectedfuneralhomes.org October 6-7: California Assn. of Public Vegas, Nevada. www.iccfa.com
September 11-12: ICCFA Arranger- Cemeteries Educational Seminar & Area June 3-6: Georgia Funeral Directors Assn.
Operator Cremation Certification, Stoney Mtg., South Lake Tahoe. www.capc.info Summer Convention, King and Prince
Creek Hotel & Conf. Center, Johnson, October 10: Ohio Cemetery Assn. Fall Beach Resort, St. Simons Island.
Iowa.www.iccfa.com Maintenance Seminar-South, Greenwood www.gfda.org
September 16-19: New York State Cemetery, Hamilton. June 5-7: Funeral Directors Assn. of
Assn. of Cemeteries Annual Fall Conf. www.ohiocemeteryassociation.com Kentucky Annual Convention, Crowne
www.nysac.com October 29-November 1: NFDA Convention Plaza Hotel & Kentucky Fair & Expo Ctr.,
September 19-22: Catholic Cemetery & Expo, MCCA Boston Convention Center, Louisville. www.fdaofky.com
Conf. 68th Annual Convention & Expo, Massachusetts. www.nfda.org July 19-25: ICCFA University, Fogelman
JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa, November 8: Funeral Directors Service Executive Center, University of Memphis,
Summerlin, Nevada. Assn. of Greater Chicago Annual Trade Memphis, Tennessee. www.iccfa.com r

from page 63 PX Dermody Funeral Homes* Professional/Supplier
Einans at Sunset Funeral Home Hamilton, Ontario
Ebey Funeral Consulting LLC
Richland, Washington Parkland Funeral Home Mesquite, Texas
Ethernus Velorios e Servicos Funerarios Red Deer, Alberta
Funeral International Group
Ltda. R. Bernard Funeral Services Rionegro, Colombia
Fortaleza, Brazil Memphis, Tennessee
Franklin Ranear Jr. Affordable Funeral Roller McNutt Funeral Home Wilmette, Illinois
Service & Cremation Conway, Arizona
Heppell Funeral Planning Ltd./ Funeral
Ewing, New Jersey Sierras De Paz Results Marketing
Funerales Las Flores SA Managua, Nicaragua Victoria, British Columbia
San Salvador, El Salvador Sims Funeral Home Inc. Imperial Group
Gendron Funeral & Cremation Services Douglas, Georgia Calgary, Alberta
Fort Myers, Florida Smalls Mortuary Inc. Investors Heritage Life Insurance Co.
Gillies Funeral Chapel Mobile, Alabama Frankfort, Kentucky
Brigham City, Utah Vision Chivilcoy Kinetic Leasing Inc.
Greenlawn Funeral Home and Cemeteries Chivilcoy, Argentina Fargo, North Carolina
Bakersfield, California Voss & Sons Inc.* Servicios Exequiales Latinoamericanos
Hardesty Funeral Homes PA Seymour, Indiana SAS
Annapolis, Maryland Supia, Colombia
Professional: Pet Loss Services
Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel Sunwest Bank
McCook, Nebraska Compassionate Care Pet Crematory Irvine, California
Hillside Chapel Inc. Services *rejoined  r
Oregon City, Oregon Rockingham, North Carolina
Hunn Black & Merritt Funeral Home Paw Prints Forever
Eufaula, Oklahoma Garnet Valley, Pennsylvania

64 ICCFA Magazine Like the ICCFA on Facebook & friend ICCFA Staff
Check the classified announcements at www.iccfa.com/employment.htm
To place a classified, contact Rick Platter, rplatter@iccfa.com Classifieds
Sales Requirements and qualifications. Funeral discounts and more. including motivating sales teams
manager, Sales experience is helpful but SCI offers advanced online to become highly productive in a
North not mandatory. training resources, career professional environment.
Augusta, SC High level of comfort using advancement opportunities in the Managing 400 calls.
SCI was computer systems within a sales largest organization in the industry, The sales manager will coach
ranked on environment. attractive benefits and a wonderful and mentor the sales counselors to
Selling Previous experience with community to serve with plenty manage leads and train the team on
Powers 50 customer relationship management of culture and personality. For customer service and satisfaction,
Best Companies to Sell For list for (CRM) systems is a plus. additional information regarding our prospecting, product knowledge,
2015! This ranking was determined High level of integrity, company, please visit our corporate sales presentations, closing skills,
by our compensation, training, dedication, and desire to succeed. site at www.sci-corp.com. product/service pricing, terms,
reputation and consumer growth. Desire to help others and earn a As used herein, SCI refers to paperwork, and interpreting sales
We are growing our sales team by competitive income. Service Corporation International guidelines.
30 percent this year to meet the Ability to work well as part of a and its affiliated companies. Help prepare yearly sales
increasing demand for our products team and independently. Equal Opportunity Employer, quotas and ensure that quotas are
and services. This opportunity Creative, outgoing and M/F/D/V achieved.
represents unlimited potential energetic. Recruit and hire sales
for income, leads, and career Comfortable with in-home sales Sales counselors.
advancement! and conducting group presentations. manager, Provide sales counselors with
This is not just a job. Its a A good driving record and valid Kansas City, proper training regarding sales
meaningful career in sales that makes drivers license. MO techniques, legal requirements and
a difference in the lives of people Solid work history. SCI was company products, policies and
we serve while providing you an Bilingual candidates are ranked on procedures.
opportunity you will love. strongly preferred. Selling Review and evaluate the sales
We are looking for a strong, This position may require the Powers teams performance.
professional sales manager for the associate to obtain and maintain 50 Best Companies to Sell For Handle personnel issues
North Augusta, South Carolina, an insurance license in any list for 2015! This ranking was concerning the sales team.
market, managing three cemeteries state in which he/she conducts determined by our compensation, Conduct and assist in the
and two funeral homes. sales. To obtain the insurance training, reputation, and consumer weekly sales meeting.
The sales managers license, the candidate must meet growth. We are growing our sales Ensure all contracts and
responsibilities will include the the requirements of Assurants team by 30% this year to meet the paperwork is completed and
following: background check process which increasing demand for our products returned accurately and in a timely
Ability to motivate individuals includes, but is not limited to, a and services. This opportunity manner.
with excellent communication skills, criminal history and credit check. represents unlimited potential Work in the field with the sales
incredible relationship-building Who we are. What we do. for income, leads, and career team.
abilities and a natural talent to lead. Were more than North Americas advancement! Requirements and Qualifications:
Managing sales professionals, largest provider of funeral, cremation This is not just a job. Its a Sales experience is helpful but
including motivating sales teams and cemetery services. We are meaningful career in sales that not mandatory.
to become highly productive in a mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, makes a difference in the lives of High level of comfort using
professional environment. sons and daughters who are devoted people we serve while providing computer systems within a sales
The sales manager will coach to the communities where we live you an opportunity you will love. environment.
and mentor the sales counselors to and work. We are more than 20,000 We are looking for a strong, Previous experience with
manage leads and train the team on dedicated individuals who provide professional sales manager for the customer relationship management
customer service and satisfaction, caring assistance to families in need, Kansas City, MO. (CRM) systems is a plus .
prospecting, product knowledge, honor veterans and public servants The sales managers High level of integrity,
sales presentations, closing skills, and deliver lifesaving programs to responsibilities will include the dedication, and desire to succeed.
product/service pricing, terms, help keep children and seniors safe. following: Desire to help others and earn
paperwork and interpreting sales We operate under the umbrella Ability to motivate individuals a competitive income.
guidelines. of the Dignity Memorial network of with excellent communication Ability to work well as part of
Help prepare yearly sales quotas 1,800 funeral homes and cemeteries. skills, incredible relationship- a team and independently.
and ensure that quotas are achieved. Dignity Memorial providers care building abilities, and a natural Creative, outgoing and
Recruit and hire sales for more than 300,000 families each talent to lead. energetic.
counselors. year and understand the importance Managing sales professionals,  to page 66
Provide sales counselors with of thoughtful, personalized
proper training regarding sales arrangements. We believe creating
techniques, legal requirements, and meaningful ways to pay tribute to a
company products, policies and loved one begins with compassion Highest Quality Memorials,
procedures. and is shaped by the understanding Lowest Delivered Price.
Review and evaluate the sales that each life is truly unique. For us, GUARANTEED!
teams performance. there is no greater responsibility than
Handle personnel issues honoring and preserving the story of
concerning the sales team. ones life.
Conduct and assist in the Benefits options:
weekly sales meeting. Health benefits (medical, dental,
Ensure all contracts and vision, life).
paperwork is completed and returned 401K Retirement Savings Plan
accurately and in a timely manner with company match.
Work in the field with the sales Vacation and sick time.
team. Tuition reimbursement.

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com August-September 2017 65

ad index
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67 Continental Computer Corp. 17 Live Oak Bank 66 Supply Link
2 Eagle Granite Co. 27 Madelyn Co. 57 The Foresight Companies LLC
5 Eickhof Columbaria Inc. 45 Mausoleum Supply 63 THE SYSTEM
21 Ensure-A-Seal 37 Merendino Cemetery Care 15 The Tribute Companies
45 Flowers for Cemeteries 41 MKJ Marketing 43 Triple H Co.
55 Franklin Wrap 23 Mortuary Lift Co. 7 U.S. Metalcraft
21 Funeral Call Answering Service 23 My Flowers Forever 35 Vantage Products Corp.
29 Funeral Services Inc. 31 Nomis Publications 25 Wilbert Funeral Services
68 funeralOne 23 Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & 45 WithumSmith + Brown
27 Grever & Ward Hippel 19 Zontec Ozone r
53 Heritage Flower Co. 19 Paradise Pictures
49 IMSA 11 PlotBox

from page 65 an insurance license in any We are mothers, fathers, sisters, Cemetery sales opportunities
state in which he/she conducts brothers, sons and daughters who Are you looking for a change?
Comfortable with in-home sales. To obtain the insurance are devoted to the communities Are you tired of all the corporate
sales and conducting group license, the candidate must meet where we live and work. We changes, lowered compensation,
presentations. the requirements of Assurants are more than 20,000 dedicated unfulfilled promises and concern
A good driving record and background check process which individuals who provide caring about your job security with your
valid drivers license. includes, but is not limited to, a assistance to families in need, honor current employer?
Solid work history. criminal history and credit check. veterans and public servants and This could be your last call!
Bilingual candidates are Who we are. What we do. deliver lifesaving programs to help The fastest-growing privately-
strongly preferred. Were more than North Americas keep children and seniors safe. owned cemetery sales company
This position may require the largest provider of funeral, We operate under the umbrella in the country, currently with 40
associate to obtain and maintain cremation and cemetery services. of the Dignity Memorial network of locations in nine states, is seeking
1,800 funeral homes and cemeteries. experienced and successful
Dignity Memorial providers care cemetery sales managers and family
for more than 300,000 families each service counselors in:
year and understand the importance Metro Baltimore, Maryland
of thoughtful, personalized Long Island, New York
arrangements. We believe creating Peoria, Illinois
meaningful ways to pay tribute to a Eureka, California
loved one begins with compassion Sherman, Texas
and is shaped by the understanding We offer:
Optimized. that each life is truly unique. For us, The highest commissions and
there is no greater responsibility than over-rides in the industry
honoring and preserving the story of No caps on income
ones life. A compensation plan that has
Benefits options: not changed in over 13 years
Health benefits (medical, An excellent benefits package
dental, vision, life). including matching 401K
401K Retirement Savings Plan The premier locations in their
with company match. markets
Vacation and sick time. An old-school sales mentality,
Tuition reimbursement. not a corporate operations mentality
Funeral discounts and more. The opportunity to be the only
SCI offers advanced on- salesperson at the location or part of
line training resources, career a sales team
advancement opportunities in the No corporate micro-
largest organization in the industry, management
attractive benefits, and a wonderful Relocation assistance
community to serve with plenty Be appreciated and earn what
TAP INTO the dynamic online supplier network of the ICCFA with the of culture and personality. For youre worth!
ICCFA Supply Link. Powered by MultiView, the ICCFA Supply Link is additional information regarding Contact Tracy Palm at
our company, please visit our 410.638.2811; or e-mail me at
the premier search tool for your industry. All the products and services
corporate site at www.sci-corp.com. cemeterysales@hotmail.com
you need, all within the supplier network of the associaton you trust.
As used herein, SCI refers to Those who join our team dont
Start your search at our homepage www.iccfa.com. Service Corporation International leave! They have worked for most
and its affiliated companies. of the others but have never been
Equal Opportunity Employer, happier than they are with us. You
M/F/D/V can ask any of them. r

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