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July 2019


ICCFA 2019
Convention &
Expo Coverage

L earn from the best: ICCFA University, July 19-24, 2019, Memphis, Tennessee
smart phone scan Property in photo is Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, NJ, Merendino client since 2005


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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

J U LY 2 0 1 9
11 12 13 14
International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association®
Promoting consumer choices, prearrangement and open competition
15 16 17
Providing exceptional education, networking and legislative guidance and support
18 to progressive cemetery, funeral and cremation professionals worldwide
19 20
12 President’s Letter 62 Supply Line
Are we equipped to serve? 64 Update: Allegheny observes
21 by Jay D. Dodds, CFSP its 150th Memorial Day
14 Washington Report 69 Convention speaker index,
Capitol Hill visits: contact information
Scenes from the 2 0 1 9 ICCFA Convention
& Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina:
ICCFA members meet old friends 70 Calendar
& make new ones
(1 -1 0 ) Firs t-time attendees : by Robert M. Fells, Esq. 70 Classifieds
1 . Ros e Marie Toves (p. 1 7 ), 70 Ad Index
2 . KeynaChiles (p. 5 4 ),
3 . Steven Bruk en (p. 2 8 ),
4 . Kellen Stros nider (p. 4 6 ),
44 From the expo to the hospital, with a good outcome
5 . TabithaVick ers (p. 2 7 ),
more exhibitor photos, pp. 34, 36-37, 56, 60-61, 69 and 70
6 . Daniel Oles ins k i (p. 2 7 ),
7 . AlejandraHernandez Arias (p. 4 6 ), 15 CONVENTION OVERVIEW
15 NASCAR Hall of Fame: The Welcome Reception
8 . Tek eavias Byrd (p. 4 6 ),
16 Photos from the 2019 Convention & Expo
9 . Michael Lewis (p. 1 0 ) and
10 First-timers (more first-timers pp. 17, 27, 28, 46 and 54)
1 0 . Lauren Temple Ruff (p. 2 8 ).
Comments from people attending their first ICCFA Annual Convention
1 1 . Though it s nowed abit one day,
s pring was definitely in the air, and the 18 AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
trees were blooming outs ide the con- 18 New members elected, named to ICCFA board
vention center.
19 ICCFA members earn professional certifications
1 2 . Keynote s peak er Drew Dudley (p. 2 6 ). 19 Quarter-Century Club
1 3 . ICCFA 2 0 1 8 -1 9 Pres ident Chris tine 20 Ernie Heffner, CFuE, accepts Lasting Impact Award
Tos on Hentges , CCE, accepts her a
plaque commemorating her s ervice as
22 Donors give $385,000 to Educational Foundation
pres ident from 2 0 1 9 -2 0 2 0 Pres ident J ay 24 KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
D. Dodds , CFSP.
24 Plan for who will be the calm in the chaos when tragedy strikes someone
1 4 . In the Expo Hall at The Fores ight in your organization
Companies booth.
26 Learn to recognize and demonstrate everyday leadership
1 5 . Ernie Heffner, CFuE, accepts the
Las ting Impact Award from ICCFA 26 Prioritize character goals
Educational Foundation Pres ident J im 27 Learn how to set proper goals
Price, CCFE, CCrE (p. 2 0 ).
1 6 . Attendees at abreak out s es s ion.
28 Understand why communication breakdowns can lead to lawsuits
1 7 . ICCFA Cremation Couns el Poul 28 Don’t offer only two choices
Lemas ters , Es q., s peak s at the Legal &
Legis lative Lunch. 28 Record proper data on a proper form for ID of the deceased
1 8 . The Welcome Reception at the 30 TECHNOLOGY
NASCAR Hall of Fame (p. 1 5 ). 30 Use Facebook strategically to keep friends from unfriending you
1 9 . Amy Shimp and Del Doleman at the 30 Use Facebook obituary-sharing to drive traffic to your website
American Cemetery Supplies booth.
30 Incorporate technology to create the experience consumers expect today
2 0 . J ohn “Gerald” Harris and J es s ica 30 Make sure the person handling your Facebook page is qualified
Rus h at the Firs t-Timers Reception.
30 Know your bounce rate
2 1 . Keynote s peak er Mindy Corporon
(p. 2 4 ).
30 Create videos of your business
➤to page 8
6 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
Every year,
we fund over
5 0 ,0 0 0 funerals,
serve over
2 ,8 0 0 funeral homes,
and pay out over
$ 3 5 0 million for
We must be doing it right.
Admittedly, the stats are pretty impressive. No other insurance assignment
company can boast the number of funeral homes served or the amount of
money paid out yearly to make sure every funeral goes off without a hitch.
But what’s truly impressive is the way in which we work with our clients, as if
each one is our only one. And serving them quickly and painlessly is our only
job, which, in fact, is so. While bigger isn’t always better, sometimes it is. As in
the case of the company you want servicing your insurance assignments.

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& You
32 Consider hiring more veterans
32 Be on the lookout for bullying
Mark 32 Investigate every complaint
32 Get creative to deal with the talent shortage & find good people
now 33 JFDA
for the 33 Accept that change is inevitable
Annual 38 Even if you aren’t actively doing social media, do social listening
Conven- 38 Take a cue from AARP about what to post on social media
tion, 38 Learn what appeals to Generation X
March 3 0 -
38 Focus on customer experience
April 2 ,
in San 40 Use your website to tell people how to save money on a funeral
Antonio, 40 Post your prices online
Texas . 40 Take care in scheduling events
40 Get a CRM tool, a website chat box and live inventory data online
42 Help children grieve and heal
42 Plan a community memory bash
➤to page 10
ICCFA news
66 PLPA College: ICCFA calendar
A Whole New World with new horizons to go to www.iccfa.com for program, registration & scholarship info
pursue at PLPA College
July 17-19, 2019 2019 Crematory Operator Training
66 Membership benefit spotlight: July 16, Dallas Institute of Funeral Service, Dallas Texas
eHealth Medicare plans ICCFA Cremation Program Coordinator Poul Lemasters, Esq.
67 Thank you to our 2019 ICCFA Annual
Convention sponsors
68 Everyday benefits 2019 PLPA College
July 17-19, Holiday Inn, University of Memphis, Memphis,
Tennessee, PLPA Chair Roberta Knauf, CPLP;
Education Chair Leslie Reid, CPLP
Catch the WIRELESS newsletter in your
inbox for industry news, stories about colleagues 2019 ICCFA University
making headlines and updates on ICCFA July 19-24, Fogelman Conference Center,
educational events & conferences
University of Memphis, Memphis, Tennessee,
Chancellor Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE
Follow the ICCFA’s LinkedIn
page to read breaking news about
colleagues, the profession and the 2019 Executive Leadership Summit
(formerly the Fall Management Conference)
September 25-27, Hyatt Regency Tamaya,
http://bit.ly/2du252P Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico
Follow the ICCFA on Twitter Co-chairs Stacy Adams and Steve Feliciano
to receive instant updates on the 2020 Wide World of Sales Conference
association’s educational events January 15-17, Luxor Las Vegas, Nevada
& conferences Co-chairs Yvonne Slonaker, CCrE, and Don Winsett

Like and follow the ICCFA 2020 ICCFA Convention & Expo
to read up-to-date news on the March 30-April 2, Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
industry, ICCFA members making & Grand Hyatt, San Antonio, Texas
headlines and ICCFA events &
Co-chairs Gino Merendino and Robbie Pape

8 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
Brass Cremation Urns
Silver 9 2 5 Ashes Jewelry

8 8 8 -9 1 0 -7 8 6 0
I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

Tribucas t

Remembrance Ornaments C&J Financial

CemSites Frazer Cons ultants

Funeral Directors Life Ins urance Co. Heritage Flower HIS Crys tal Memory

What did you think of your TABLE OF CONTENTS

first ICCFA convention?
Marie Palmieri
The Ewing Cemetery Associa- 42 Make embalming a priority
tion, Ewing, New Jersey
It’s very good. I’m over- 46 CEMETERY MANAGEMENT
whelmned, actually, by every- 46 Take care when you grow quickly
thing I’ve had thrown at me in 46 Promote your trees as community assets
the las t two or three days . I’ll 46 Look everywhere for revenue
have time to s ort it out later.
Chris tinaRajcoomar 48 Help families find ways to include people with disabilities in the funeral
Rajcoomars Burial,
48 Remember that funerals today are experiences
Georgetown, Guyana
Amazing. I’ve learned alot 48 Learn the difference between ceremonies and rituals
s o far. I came with alot of 48 In choosing trust or insurance, consider what’s important to you
expectations and they’ve all 50 Get ready for a boom in Hispanic funeral and cemetery services
been met. I am hones tly look - 50 Learn to set SMART goals
ing forward to attending next
50 Define your ‘why?’
year’s convention.
50 Survey your employees often
52 Consider a paradigm change to stay relevant—and to survive
Michael Lewis
EmberLast Inc., 52 Look for ways to promote organ donation and recognize donors
Durango, Colorado 54 Women in Leadership panelists discuss how to get ahead in the funeral
It’s been amazing for us . We’re and cemetery business
here on alearning expedition;
we wanted to talk to people, 58 PET SERVICES
and it’s been really amazing 58 Study generational theory and use it to shape your marketing
how open people have been to
58 Pay attention to non-verbal communication, and ask questions
giving us ins ights about what we’re look ing
to do in this indus try. It’s been fantas tic. 59 Be aware of changes grief causes

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

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President’s Letter
Are we equipped to serve?
Jay D. Dodds, CFSP
am amazed at all the great things the ICCFA us make sure the ICCFA remains the choice of
is doing for and providing to our membership. associations for the progressive professional.
As the association’s new president, I am Research has proven time and time again that
truly humbled and honored to serve such a great what we offer as professionals not only provides
organization of cemetery, cremation and funeral peace of mind when prearranged by individuals
providers. but also is essential for those left behind after a
My year in office will focus on three main loss. What we do helps immensely to begin the
goals. Growth of membership is important to all family’s healing process and provide a foundation
associations and will be a focus for me. Our new for continual healing. The ICCFA provides
membership committee, chaired by Lori Salberg, members the tools professionals can use to assist
will surely do some great things. Shawna de la grieving families on their grief journeys. At the
Cruz is our vice president for marketing and end of the day, our profession is people serving
membership, so she will be working with Lori people, and the more skilled we are, the better we
and the committee toward the goal of having will serve.
10,000 members. Educational opportunities offered by the
My second goal will tie into the first, as we ICCFA for growth and skill advancement are
jdodds@parklawncorp.com work to continue building a better portfolio of unparalleled within our profession. Mitch Rose,
benefits for our members. Staff member Connie our vice president for education, works hard
➤Dodds is COO of Park Tash, the benefits coordinator, has been working to support our great staff with executing our
Lawn Corp., and is based in
hard in obtained more and better benefits, as well educational events throughout the year. The
Houston, Texas.
as in refining how we present existing ones to the ICCFA Annual Convention, which will return to
membership. Please take advantage of the many San Antonio, Texas, next year, offers many hours
benefits the association offers you; they can help of networking and high quality education.
your business be more successful. Some conventions just scratch the service
The third goal for my year in office is a very with education opportunities, but the ICCFA
personal one for me, as I believe it addresses a convention blends thought-provoking
major issue in our profession. Please join me presentations with how-to-do-it instruction,
in creating an environment in which permanent taught by professionals who actually apply what
placement of cremated remains is the norm rather they preach. And, of course, our vendor partners
than the exception. This will take a lot of work bring their expertise to the mix, letting us know
and repeated education of our communities. about all the advances in products and services
that can help us better do our jobs. There’s
Professional development nothing like being there in person to experience
I’d like to point out some of the educational the idea-generation that happens when all these
and other benefits the ICCFA offers that I hope professionals are gathered together.
you’ll take advantage of this year. By seizing This month, ICCFA University, led by
these opportunities and helping the association Chancellor Jeff Kidwiler and his eight great
achieve the goals I outlined above, you can help deans, offers a five-day, in-depth, one-of-a-kind

ICCFA officers rates: In the United States, $39.95; in Canada,

July 2019 $45.95; overseas: $75.95. One subscription is
Jay D. Dodds, CFSP, president
VOLUME 79/NUMBER 6 included in annual membership dues. POST-
Gary M. Freytag, CCFE, president-elect
Andrés Aguilar, vice president MASTER: Send address changes to ICCFA
Shawna de la Cruz, vice president Magazine, 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100,
Lee Longino, vice president Sterling, VA 20164-4468. Individual written
kd@iccfa.com; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1224 (habla español)
Mitch Rose, CCFE, CCrE, vice president contributions, commentary and advertisements
danielo@iccfa.com; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1215
Chris Keller, treasurer Jason Brown, communications assistant appearing in ICCFA Magazine do not necessarily
Robbie L. Pape, secretary jason@iccfa.com; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1218 reflect either the opinion or the endorsement
ICCFA Magazine (ISSN 1936-2099) is published
Nadira Baddeliyanage, executive director of the International Cemetery, Cremation and
Nadira Baddeliyanage, executive director by the International Cemetery, Cremation and
Robert M. Fells, Esq., general counsel Funeral Association®.
& publisher Funeral Association® 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite

Magazine staff nadira@iccfa.com ; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1225 100, Sterling, VA 20164-4468; 703.391.8400;
Susan Loving, managing editor Robert M. Fells, Esq., general counsel FAX 703.391.8416; www.iccfa.com. Published
sloving@iccfa.com robertfells@iccfa.com 10 times per year, with combined issues in
March-April and August-September. Periodicals
Rick Platter, supplier relations manager Brenda Clough, office administrator postage paid at Sterling, VA, and other offices.
rplatter@iccfa.com; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1213 & association liaison; bclough@iccfa.com; Copyright 2019 by the International Cemetery,
1.800.645.7700, ext. 1214
Katherine Devins, communications manager; Cremation and Funeral Association. Subscription
Daniel Osorio, subscription coordinator

12 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
learning deep dive that teaches skills and
builds relationships for a lifetime. One
characteristic that sets the university apart
from other learning opportunities is that

the courses don’t simply “cover a topic,”
they teach proficiency in a skill. These
classes are intense, and the expectation is
that each student elevates their game after

their week in Memphis. When speaking to
an ICCFA University attendee or graduate,
one always gets a feeling of “Wow!
That person knows what they are talking
The Executive Leadership Summit
(formerly the Fall Management
Conference) is always a highly-charged
learning experience for those already in
leadership and management—or aiming
to be. It features speakers with incredible
pedigrees who make presentations
covering the topics and skills necessary
if you want to shape your organization’s Time is tight during funeral
strategies for the long term. This is a no-
arrangements, but you can’t be
miss event for anyone who wants to be
relevant in the future in meeting the needs tight with information families
of their business and their customers. need to know. Wilbert’s simpliFi™
Learning also can be incredibly fun program can help with
and rewarding. The Sales and Marketing both challenges.
Committee’s Wide World of Sales
Conference, held each year in January, In just under 4 minutes,
is a great example. This year the fast- simpliFi informs families
paced “Dead Talks” educated attendees
on outer burial container
about dozens of topics in a quick and fun
atmosphere. Each speaker addressed a key choices, including how
subject with authority, sharing their secrets they can be used to create
to success. This format, which will be used a treasured tribute to their
again in 2020, makes the two-day program loved one.
go by at an incredible pace, and there’s
nothing like being surrounded by 300 Simple time savings with
sales leaders to get you excited about our smart results.
profession and what we’re accomplishing.
Take these opportunities to learn and
become a more skilled professional as you
serve people who truly need your help.
If you need some financial assistance to
attend, look to the ICCFA Educational
Foundation, which now offers more than
100 scholarships.
We as cemetery, cremation and funeral
professionals will be a major part of end- Call your Wilbert provider or attend a webinar:
of-life experiences in the future only if wilbert.com/simplifi/webinars
we can articulate the value we provide.
Our organizations are only as strong as
the people who work in them and who
represent us to our customers. Strengthen
your organization by taking advantage of
the opportunities the ICCFA offers. Our
future is up to us. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 13

Washington Report
by ICCFA General Counsel
Robert M. Fells, Esq.
Capitol Hill visits: ICCFA members
robertfells@iccfa.com meet old friends & make new ones

n May 8 and 9, 2019, members of online price posting requirement. Our group
ext. 1212
the ICCFA Government and Legal also discussed three other critical issues that
direct line: 703.391.8401
Affairs Committee gathered in affect our members’ businesses. First, the
➤Fells is ICCFA general Washington, D.C., for our annual series of pending H.R. 1835 that seeks to regulate the
counsel, responsible for Capitol Hill meetings. These also included trafficking in non-transplant body parts and
maintaining and improv- a meeting with high-level FTC staff to tissue/organs. This growing industry is largely
ing relationships with discuss the upcoming Funeral Rule review unregulated at the state and federal levels.
federal and state govern-
and related issues. This annual event began Abuses have already occurred and there is an
ment agencies, the news
in February 2006 when the group narrowly ongoing FBI investigation over allegations
media and consumer organizations.
missed a snowstorm that hit the city only two of deceptive practices. The ICCFA supports
➤ Fells has worked on behalf of the ceme- days before our arrival. Washington weather the passage of this legislation and our
tery and funeral service profession on legal
is notorious for its changes, not unlike its Government and Legal Affairs Committee
and legislative issues since 1975 and joined
politics, and by the time our members arrived feels strongly that the association should help
the ICCFA staff in 1983. He is retired from
his position as the association’s executive on that first visit temperatures were in the 60s. spearhead efforts to enact such legislation.
director, which he held for six years. This year we were joined for the third Our Capitol Hill “gang” also met with
time by Barbara Kemmis, CANA executive many key members such as Sen. John
➤ He has published
director, and also by Jerry Desmond Jr., Barrasso (R-WY), Rep. Peter King (D-NY),
a number of books.
His latest, “The Curse executive director of the Cemetery and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA), Rep. Kenny
of the Tomb,” brings Mortuary Association of California. Our Marchant (R-TX), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV),
back Maj. Alexander ambitious 28 meetings were carefully divided Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) and Rep. Cathy
Armstrong, who featured among our 20 attendees and included a McMorris Rogers (R-WA).
in two previous books. meeting with the House chaplain, Father We discussed a second critical issue
The discoveries of Conroy. For sheer numbers, our meetings and regarding consumer data privacy legislation
the royal tomb of King participants this year are an all-time record. that is developing in Congress. Consumer
Tutankhamen creates a Another first for this year, we had to split groups are increasingly demanding the right
huge black market in forgeries of antiquities our numbers between the FTC meeting and to remove personal data businesses have
where the stakes include murder, and the
a House Energy Committee hearing on FTC about their customers. However, this goal
British government seeks assistance from
Oversight scheduled at the same time. may conflict with existing laws requiring
the Americans.
Let me share my personal impressions businesses, such as cemeteries and funeral
of the meetings with the understanding homes, to maintain consumer data into the
that other participants may have different future. We expect that federal legislation on
perspectives. Our first stop at the Federal this issue will be proposed soon.
Trade Commission indicated that staff are A third critical issue is the loss of the
keeping an “open mind” on the concept of deduction for investment advisory fees by
requiring the mandatory posting of the GPL trusts. This deduction was abolished by last
online as part of amending the Funeral Rule. year’s tax reform act and there is universal
At least one consumer advocacy group is agreement that the repeal was “an unintended
urging the FTC to require mandatory online consequence” of the rush to enact the new
posting of funeral prices. law. Our group met with tax counsel in both
FTC staff told us that an announcement the House and Senate Finance committees.
on the rulemaking would likely be made by There is support for a “corrections” type
the end of this year, and that the deadline for of bill down the road to restore certain lost
public comments by interested parties would deductions, but the consensus we heard
be during early 2020. We inquired whether on the Hill is that such a bill will not be
the FTC currently requires any industry introduced until 2020.
or profession to post its prices online. We Thanks are due to Mary Beth McGowan
were told that while there is no price posting and her colleagues at Dykema, our lobbying
requirement, written disclosures in other trade firm, for their work in preparing us for
regulations, such as the Used Car Rule, now these meetings and coordinating the many
must be made online. appointments. Finally, everyone in our group
Our meetings with congressional wants to thank Mike and Jinny Doherty for
members and their staffs went well, and once again hosting their annual dinner for our
they shared our concerns with a mandatory Capitol Hill “gang.” r

14 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
Welcome Reception
A special welcome reception at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, right around the corner from the
convention center, got everyone revved up for the 2019 ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo.

Above left, ICCFA 2018-2019 President Christie Toson Hentges, CCE, welcomes attendees. Above right, attendees mingle and
enjoy hors d’oeuvres at stations placed throughout the building. Below right, some of the drivers’ uniforms on display.

Above, one of the interactive driving exhibits.

Right, the moonshine tasting hosted by NGL.

Above, an attendee photo-

graphs an exhibit. Far left, the
pit crew challenge brought
out some attendees’ competi-
tive spirit. Left, an attendee
searches for his free souvenir
photo (example also pictured
at left), courtesy of National
Guardian Life Insurance Co.

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 15


1 Convention Chairs J ohn
Gouch J r. and Mathew
Foras tiere are all s miles .
2 ICCFA 2 0 1 8 -2 0 1 9 Pres i-
dent Chris tine Tos on
Hentges , CCE, gets ready to
rais e the flag that will open
the 2 0 1 9 ICCFA Expo Hall
for bus ines s . 3 The annual
Firs t-Timers Reception.
4 Maj. Gen. J ames T. J ack s on,
U.S. Army(retired), s pok e to
convention attendees about
the Vietnam War Commemo-
ration effort, which aims to
thank Vietnam veterans and
their families for their s ervice
and s acrifice. His appearance
at the convention was part of
the work being done bythe
ICCFA Veterans Committee,
which is urging ICCFA mem-
bers to become commemora-
tive partners .
3 4 www.vietnamwar50th.com

5 6 7
Signing book s for old and new fans after their pres entations , s peak ers : 5 Allis on Gilbert, 6 J on Acuff and 7 Drew Dudley.

Convention numbers • Final purchasing authority: 53 percent Attendee s atis faction

• Total cemetery, funeral home, crematory and • Making purchasing recommendations: 40 percent Attendees rated the event highly, with 73 percent
allied business representatives: 902 • 25 percent representing stand-alone cemeteries indicating their overall convention experience
• First-time attendees: 383 • 41 percent representing funeral homes was “excellent” or “very good” and 92 percent in-
• Supplier booths: 504 icatin the e nite o p o a i atten
• 3 percent representing pet loss providers
next ea ’s convention a ch pi
• Attendee percentages • 11 percent representing crematory operations
at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center
• Owners: 39 percent • 20 percent “other,” including insurance agents,
mortuary school faculty, representatives of and Grand Hyatt, San Antonio, Texas. r
• Managers: 46 percent
• Staff: 15 percent industry associations

16 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
ICCFA 2 0 1 8 -2 0 1 9 What did you
Pres ident Chris tine think of your
Tos on Hentges , CCE,
accepts gifts from first ICCFA
international repre- convention?
s entatives 8 Wang
J is heng (China)
and 9 J uan Pablo
Donetch Odriozola
(ALPAR, the Latin
American cemetery
and funeral as s ocia-
tion). Look ing on is
ICCFA Vice Pres ident
Marlan Gary
and ALPAR member
Marlan Gary
Andrés Aguilar. 9 Funeral Home,
Columbus, Ohio
It was my firs t
8 one, but defi-
nitely not my las t
one. I met a lot
of great people,
a lot of great
s eminars , the
exhibit floor
was great.
A wonderful
1 1 People s ocialize at the ICCFA Educational Foundation Reception.

1 0 The amount of campaigning
for ICCFA board s eats varies . Ros e Marie
Veteran AndyLopez’s blank et/ 13 Toves
billboard dis played in the Expo Our Lady of
1 3 The high-tops at the Peace Funeral
Hall: “Vote for Andyto be on Clos ing Reception fea-
the ICCFA Board or you don’t Home, Barrigada,
tured planters that fit in
love America.” (He won.) 12 with the NASCAR theme.
I lik e it; it’s been
interes ting.

Craig Zitterman
Glen Eden
Memorial Park,
Livonia, Michigan
14 It’s wonderful.
Very entertaining
1 2 Attendees s ocialize between break out s es s ions .1 4 The PLPA Reception drew a large crowd. and educational.

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 17

I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N
A WA R D S , R E C O G N I T I O N S & E L E C T I O N S

ICCFA 2 0 1 8 -2 0 1 9 Pres ident Chris tine Tos on Hentges , CCE, s peak s at the annual bus ines s meeting, where attendees elect
new members to the ICCFA Board of Directors . Lis tening are as s ociation officers , from left, Pres ident-elect J ay Dodds , CFSP;
Vice Pres ident Lee Longino; Vice Pres ident Mitch Ros e, CCFE, CCrE; Treas urer Gary Freytag, CCFE; Vice Pres ident Andrés
Aguilar; and Secretary Robbie Pape.

New members elected, named to ICCFA board

he International Cemetery, Cremation • Stephen Bassett, Elmwood Memorial
and Funeral Association elected new Park & Funeral Home, Abilene, Texas;
leadership during its 2019 Annual • Shawna de la Cruz, Forest Lawn
Convention & Exposition, April 2–6, in Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries, Glendale,
Charlotte, North Carolina. California;
ICCFA officers for 2019-2020: • Buddy Ewing, Tharp-Sontheimer Tharp
• President—Jay Dodds, CFSP, Park Funeral Home, Metairie, Louisiana;
Lawn Corp., Houston, Texas; • Robert Gordon Jr., CCE, Cypress Lawn,
• President-Elect—Gary M. Freytag, Colma, California,
CCFE, Spring Grove Cemetery & • Caressa Hughes, Service Corporation
Arboretum, Cincinnati, Ohio; International, Houston, Texas;
• Vice President, Education—Mitch Rose, • Andy Lopez, StoneMor Partners LP,
CCFE, CCrE, Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, Trevose, Pennsylvania; and
New York; • Jennifer Olvera, CCE, Green Hills
• Vice President, Membership & Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes,
Marketing—Shawna de la Cruz, Forest Lawn ICCFA 2 0 1 8 -2 0 1 9 Pres ident Chris tine California.
Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries, Glendale, Tos on Hentges , CCE, and 2 0 1 9 -2 0 2 0 Past presidents elected to serve a one-year
Pres ident J ay D. Dodds , CFSP, at the
California; term on the board:
Convention Clos ing Dinner.
• Vice President, Internal Affairs—Andrés • Kenneth Varner, CCFE, CCE, Cypress
Aguilar, Los Parques, Guatemala City, Cremations, Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Lawn, Colma, California; and
Guatemala; • Secretary—Robbie L. Pape, Service • Bill Wright, CCE, Greenwood Funeral
• Vice President, External Affairs—Lee Corporation International, Houston, Texas. Homes & Cremation, Fort Worth, Texas.
Longino, Service Corporation International, Members elected to serve three-year terms The International Memorialization Supply
Houston, Texas; on the ICCFA Board of Directors: Association appointment to the board is
• Treasurer—Christopher Keller, Sunset • Stacy Adams, Memorial Park Funeral Jordan Yearsley, Ensure-A-Seal, Brooklyn,
Memorial Park & French Funerals and Home and Cemetery, St. Petersburg, Florida; New York.
➤to page 19
18 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N
A WA R D S , R E C O G N I T I O N S & E L E C T I O N S

➤from page 18
The presidential appointments to represent Professional certifications
the ICCFA on the Cemetery Consumer The ICCFA’s
Service Council are: certification
• Thomas P. Daly, CCE, CHS Consulting program recog-
nizes individu-
Group, Westwood, Massachusetts; and
als who have
• Stephen Burrill, CCE, CCrE, Mount demons trated
Hope Cemetery, Bangor, Maine. a high degree
Members of the 2019-2020 Executive of competence
Committee are as follows: and a high
• ICCFA President Jay Dodds, CFSP, Park level of
Lawn Corp., Houston, Texas; cemetery,
• ICCFA President-Elect Gary M. cremation
Freytag, CCFE, Spring Grove Cemetery & or funeral
Arboretum, Cincinnati, Ohio;
or s upplier
• ICCFA Immediate Past President experience
Christine Toson Hentges, CCE, The Tribute and s k ills . The
Companies Inc., Hartland, Wisconsin; Certified CemeteryExecutive, Certified Funeral Executive, Certified CemeteryFuneral
• Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE, Blackstone Executive, Certified Cremation Executive and Certified Supplier Executive titles are the
Cemetery Development, Santa Ana, k eys tones of the as s ociation’s recognition of excellence and achievement. From left,
California (president’s appointment); and J eff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE, head of the certification committee, at the 2 0 1 9 convention
• Frederick Lappin, CCE, Knollwood pres ented certificates to Nick Timpe, CSE, webCemeteries .com, Virginville, Penns yl-
Cemetery Corp., Canton, Massachu setts (past vana; Angela Byrum, CCE, Williams burg Memorial Park , Lightfoot, Virginia; and
Chad Ayles tock , CCE, FairfaxMemorial Park & Funeral Home, Fairfax, Virginia.
presidents’ appointment). r

Quarter Century Club

From left, ICCFA 2 0 1 8 -1 9 Pres ident Chris tine Tos on Hentges ,
CCE, with new Quarter Century Club members , ICCFA Vice
Pres ident Mitch Ros e, CCFE, CCrE, The Woodlawn Cemetery,
The Bronx, New York ; Craig Zitterman, Glen Eden Memorial
Park , Livonia, Michigan; and Gwen Mooney, CCFE, Cave Hill
Cemetery, Louis ville, Kentuck y. They were inducted into the
club, mark ing 2 5 years in the profes s ion, at the 2 0 1 9 ICCFA
Convention & Expo. Not pictured are Quarter Century Club
inductees Steve Douk as , Greek Orthodox Memorial Park
and Greenlawn Memorial Park , Colma, California; J os eph P.
Dis penza, the Fores t Lawn Cemetery & Crematory Group,
Buffalo, New York ; and Deborah Santangelo, George Was h-
ington Memorial Park , Paramus , New J ers ey.

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 19

I C C FA 2 0 1 8 C O N V E N T I O N

The Educational Foundation Reception was pack ed to s ee Ernie Heffner, CFuE, receive the Las ting Impact Award.

Ernie Heffner accepts Lasting Impact Award

rnie Heffner, CFuE, received the 15 years ago,” Price said, “where Ernie was
Lasting Impact Award at the ICCFA advocating the celebrant movement. I said,
Educational Foundation Reception ‘We have some funeral directors capable of
during the 2019 ICCFA Convention. “There’s stepping up and being a celebrant, but we
not a single person who has been more active have some I don’t think can.’ His comment
in mentoring, coaching, veterans’ recognition, back to me was, ‘But it will make them better
developing cremation standards, advancing funeral directors.’ So I lost that argument,
celebrant services, in our profession than among many others over the years.” All of
Ernie Heffner,” said foundation President Jim Heffner’s funeral directors are required to be
Price, CCFE, CCrE. Certified Celebrants.
The award was created to recognize indi- Heffner has operated funeral homes in
viduals who have made significant contri- Pennsylvania and New York for more than 30 Laura and Ernie Heffner with s ons Philip
butions to furthering profes sional develop- years. Since 1989, he has offered families a and Paul.
ment and lifelong learning in the funeral, written 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
cemetery and cremation profession. He chaired the ICCFA Hospice Commit- a hill of beans without execution by a team
“I recall having a conversation, probably tee and an association convention. He was of open-minded, quality associates and
founding dean of the College of Cremation dedicated leadership. John’s leadership and
Services at ICCFA University, and served as support has enabled us to implement new
ICCFAU chancellor. concepts and enhance our service for our
“I guess this means all these people won’t customers and for me to subsequently go out
be at my funeral,” Heffner joked as he looked and share those results with other people.”
out over the crowded room. “We’ve been He praised each of the previous award
hearing about living funerals the last few recipients in detail, listing their accomplish-
years, and I kind of feel like I just lived one.” ments. “Today, I’m humbled to be in the
He is a second-generation funeral director, shadow of the towering, high-caliber people
and is often asked if his sons have followed who have received the Lasting Impact Award
him into the business, Heffner said. Though in the past. This truly is an honor for me.
both put in some time at the funeral home, “In 2014, I remember seeing Gary
one served in the U.S. Army and is now a O’Sullivan and Todd Van Beck on stage
military contractor, while the other was a receiving the Lasting Impact Award and
Marine and now serves in the regional police. thinking about the incredible number of lives
Heffner thanked his wife, Laura, and his they have touched. You see, I’ve always
Ernie Heffner, CFuE, accepts the Las t- colleague John Katora, crediting him with believed that we are in the business of
ing Impact Award from J im Price, CCFE, being a key factor in his company’s success. touching hearts and making a positive impact
CCrE. “All the ideas in the world don’t amount to on the lives of others.” r

20 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
I C C FA 2 0 1 8 C O N V E N T I O N

Kim Medici Shelquis t s igns for Home-

s teaders as WandaSizemore gets ready
to s ay afew words .

ICCFA Educational Foundation Pres ident J im Price s igns a“check ” repres enting a
$ 5 0 ,0 0 0 donation on behalf of Corey Gaffney of The Gaffney Group.

J im Price, CCFE, CCrE, welcomes Sich

Nick i Price Adams of The Roos evelt Group s igns for the company’s $ 6 0 ,0 0 0 dona-
Cas k et’s Sirius Chan to the s tage.
tion. Above right, ICCFA Educational Foundation Pres ident J im Price, CCFE, CCrE,
lis tens as Dan Reaof Colds pring talk s about the company’s commitment to profes -
s ional education.

ICCFA Educational Foundation

recognizes donors of $385,000
he ICCFA Educational Foundation • Homesteaders Life, $75,000,
accepted donations totalling $385,000 • Roosevelt Investments, $60,000,
at the ICCFA 2019 Convention. • Coldspring, $50,000,
Representatives of the seven industry • Northstar, $50,000,
organizations were on hand to sign oversized • Sich Caskets, $50,000,
“checks” signaling their substantial donations • The Gaffney Group, $50,000, and
to the foundation. • The Memorial Golf Classic, $50,000.
Educational Foundation President Jim Such major donations have made it
Price, CCFE, CCrE, thanked them for their possible for the foundation to dramatically
contributions to professional education increase the number of scholarships it awards
and noted that 150 scholarships have been to help people further their professional Kim Price of the Memorial Golf Clas s ic
awarded recently. educations by attending ICCFA programs. and Bob Ek ins of J ohns on Cons ulting
Donations recognized were: The Memorial Golf Classic tournament s ign for the golf tournament’s donation.

22 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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s igning a $ 5 0 ,0 0 0 donation “check .”

has donated a substantial amount to the

foundation over the years, Price noted.
“You are our future,” said Sich Casket’s
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“The Roosevelt Investment Group and
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are so honored to donate $60,000 to the
foundation,” said Nicki Price Adams. “I also
just want to say ‘thank you’ to Mr. Jim Price,
who I am lucky enough to call my father, for
all of the hard work you’ve put in the last
few years to grow the foundation and the
number of scholarships it’s able to give. It St. Stephen’s Cemetery – Cremation Garden
was only a few years ago that they gave four Hamilton, OH www.columbariumbydesign.com
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Scholarship applications for the 2020
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foundation, visit iccfa.education or call Gerardo G. Garcia - Direct 505-660-7819 -g.garcia@columbariumbydesign.com
1.800.645.7700. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 23

I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

he o o in pa es inc u e in o ation eane o p esentations a e at the onvention ou’ i e

to hear more from a particular speaker, you can order recordings of many conference sessions at www.iccfa.com.
And mark your calendar now for the ICCFA 2020 Convention & Expo in San Antonio, Texas, March 30-April 2, 2020.

r Plan for who will be the calm And then, when I started eating, the only
in the chaos when tragedy s trik es thing I felt like I could eat was Snickers bars
s omeone in your organization and Coca Cola. So that’s what I ate for about
Mindy Corporon three days. Total survival mode. And then the
On April 13, 2014, I lost my father and my next thing I remember is my friends sitting
son. I was the last person who saw them me down at a table and feeding me a piece
alive in my home. I sent my dad and my of peanut butter sandwich or grilled shrimp.
14-year-old son to a singing audition. It They would ask, “What do you want?” But I
was at the Jewish Community Center. In didn’t want anything.
the parking lot, there was a man waiting, a So ask about food. Ask if they’re eating
white supremacist, and he ambushed them. healthy. Because if they’re an eater, they’re
Tragedy can be a one-time event—a very not eating healthy either. They’re eating pizza
significant one-time event—or it can be a and McDonald’s and Taco Bell.
long-term process. And with tragedy comes Let’s talk about “believe.” This may
trauma. I like to define trauma as grief, and seem like a silly comment, and you may
grief affects our heart, grief affects how we think, “Of course I’m going to believe
heal and shows us that sadness is really there. my employee.” If you say that and then
But trauma affects our brain. Our brains are they come in and say, “Last night, I was
very sensitive when tragedy happens. dreaming and I think I saw an angel,” you
As a manager, when your employee who need to believe them right then and there.
suffered a tragedy is walking in that door I don’t know how many of you have
the first time, it should not be the first time experienced tragedy and trauma, but
that you’re thinking about them. You know weird things start happening. Has anyone
there was a death, and you would have had doors slam, doors open, music come
been all over that. I know you helped with on? The afterlife is crazy. So when your
whatever you could for the funeral, but as employee comes in and needs to talk to you
they’re walking in the door, you need to about something completely nuts, you just
have done some preplanning. need to believe them.
You need to be the calm in the chaos. Something that will be easier: If they say
If you’re the owner, the CEO, the person We didn’t have dis as ter planning in this they need a few more days off work, believe
running the business, you need to be the calm way. We had dis as ter planning for if a them. If they say they need to come to work
in the chaos. If the tragedy happens to you, tornado happened, or aflood, or if our for a few hours, believe them.
then the next person down, or outside people, electricity went out. We had adis as ter What I mean by encourage is, at some
need to come in and be the calm in the chaos. plan for if I died, or my bus ines s partner point in time—and it may take some time,
What I recommend is that before a tragedy died. What we didn’t think of was , “Mindy maybe a week, maybe two weeks, maybe
happens in your location, if something hasn’t had two family members murdered on two months—but at some point, pretty soon,
Palm Sunday.”—Mindy Corporon
already happened, have this conversation: encourage the person who’s hurting to try
Who’s going to be the calm in the chaos? ask things like, “Are you eating healthy? to think about channeling their grief, their
I want you to think about an acronym, Are your finances OK? How is your brain anger, whatever they have, into a passion
ABLE. In order to be the calm in the chaos, today? What capacity are you at for the for helping other people in a particular way.
you need to be ABLE. You need to ask, you next hour?” A person after a tragedy cannot I want you, as an employer, to help find
need to believe, you need to listen and then think long-term. Our brains are back on the something, if they’re not finding something
you need to encourage. tragedy. Our brains are still focused on what on their own.
What you’re doing as an owner is asking happened, and we keep trying to change it. Did the person affected die from
the person who’s affected questions. What It takes a long time for us to stop trying to diabetes? Let’s use that as an example.
do I want you to ask them? It depends on change what happened. Encourage your employee to get engaged
how quickly you’re having a conversation What I don’t want you to ask is, “How with diabetes, but don’t stop there—engage
with them, of course. If you’re engaging are you?” Because they’re really sh**ty—so your team. There are walks all over
with someone within hours, you’re just don’t ask. I know it’s difficult, but really America, fundraisers. Walks and runs are
going to say, “I’m sorry; how can I help think through what you’re going to ask, write great because they’re a physical opportunity
immediately? What’s going on now?” It’s out notes. Ask if they’re eating. When stress to get out of the house, and the more
an emergency, all hands on deck. happens, we’re either starvers or eaters. physical things you do, the healthier you
But if you’re past that, I want you to I was a starver. I did not eat for four days. will be, mentally and physically. r

24 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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given a ton of thought to who they want to

be. We all went through an education system
that taught us “You should pay closest
attention to the things on which you’re
going to be tested.” And we are never tested
on “What are your values?” We are never
tested on “Who do you want to be?” We are
always tested on “What do you want to do?”
We are very rarely tested on the criteria
we are going to use to make the biggest
decisions of our lives. And because we’re
never tested on it when we’re young, we
become our own worst subjects.

r Prioritize character goals

We set goals for our businesses, we set goals
for our careers and we set goals for our
financial life. My argument is that a personal
culture of leadership comes from spending
The greates t impact you will have on this world, the great legacy you will leave be- just as much time, and just as much attention
hind on your bus ines s , your community and your family, very often will have nothing and just as many resources, setting and
to do with your plans . It will almos t always be the res ult of the unintended cons e- chasing goals for your daily character and
quences of your everyday actions .—Drew Dudley behavior as you do for your organization,
r Learn to recognize and mortgage. I’m going to get my kids off your career and your financial life.
demons trate everyday leaders hip to college.” And until then, we just keep Here is the challenge: I’ve found that
Drew Dudley rationalizing this temporary gap between individuals who have not taken the time
There is nothing wrong with celebrating the person we want to be and how we’re to define the things they want to define
successful people. The challenge is when we actually behaving. them—and I’ve asked a lot of people this
only use giants as our examples of leaders. It I don’t know the secret to happiness. who by every objective measure are wildly
causes most of us to devalue the leadership But one of the keys to unhappiness is when successful, millionaires, famous people—if
we demonstrate every day, and we start to let a gap forms between who you want to be they had to define what it is they want to
moments of leadership pass us by. and how you’re behaving, and you become define them, they have a really hard time
I’m going to tell you honestly, there is aware of that gap. answering what I think is an essential
no shortage of leadership on this planet. I argue that personal leadership, the type question: “Why do you matter?”
We are, however, systematically ignoring of leadership to which we all can and should Do you know why it’s so hard to answer?
a huge portion of the leadership that aspire, comes from recognizing that gap Because we hope to matter. We hope to lead.
surrounds us every day, in our businesses, exists, recognizing it’s your responsibility, We hope to make a difference in this world.
in our communities and in our own lives. and then coming up with a plan every day to And hope is a wildly powerful force.
What we’ve done is create this world try to close that gap. Hope, however, is a terrible strategy.
where a vast majority of leadership on It will never be fully closed, so don’t beat If you want to matter, you want to lead
the planet comes from people who do not yourself up when that happens. But if you’re and you want to make a difference, you have
think that they’re leaders. I want to talk doing something every day to close the gap to plan to matter, plan to lead and plan to
about how we can widen our definition between the man or woman you want to be make a difference every single day.
of leadership for ourselves so we better and how you’re behaving, that is leadership. Imagine, if every night before you go to
recognize it and better celebrate it. When I realized that gap existed in my bed, you had to prove you deserve another
One of the key things to start with is life, I tried to adopt a different philosophy day on this planet. You had to prove you
to recognize a truth: The phrase “I’m the on decision-making. I decided I’d settle on deserve a tomorrow by how you behaved
type of person who …” is almost always this, and it’s such a powerful philosophy today. You know how you prove it? You
followed by a lie. and it drives my life in so many ways that pass a test. But the cool thing is, you get the
There is almost always a gap between I actually have it tattooed on the inside of questions to the test in the morning.
the person we want to be and how we are my left arm: When you don’t know what If that were reality, those questions
actually behaving. The thing is, we often to do in a situation, ask yourself, “What would be non-negotiable in your life;
deny that gap exists or, more frequently, we would the person I want to be do in this they would be a priority in your life. They
rationalize the gap between the person we situation?” Then do that. would be prioritized above email, above
want to be and how we’re actually behaving. It’s a simple philosophy, and incredibly meetings, above errands. We could choose
We say, “It’s only temporary. Eventually hard to follow. Because what I’ve found, in to do that, but we don’t. We’ve chosen to
I’m going to do it. I’m going to pay off 15 years of working on personal leadership make our to-do list to be more important
my student loans. I’m going to pay off my development, is that most people haven’t than our to-be list. r

26 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

What did you think of your first ICCFA convention?

Daniel Oles ins k i Tabitha Vick ers
Allegheny Cemetery, Sparrow and Ivy,
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Atlanta, Georgia
It’s been a great experi- It was very eye-opening.
ence, meeting a lot of As a pers on who wants
friendly people. I’ve been in information about the
the indus try for a long time, indus try, I feel lik e I walk ed
but this is my firs t time to away with a lot of k now-
this event and it’s been great to come ledge that I can tak e back and s hare
out and s ee all the vendors . with my peers .

Starting s omething
new is fun, but the
future belongs to
finis hers .—Jon Acuff
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dropout we saw was day two, because it got
really challenging. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 27

I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

r Unders tand why communication This works on employees, too. They’re

break downs can lead to laws uits stressed, and they’re making arrangements.
Poul Lemasters, Esq. Families are tough. They want them to make
Assumptions are everywhere. We think the simpler choice. So it’s a full circle thing.
communication is so easy, and it’s not.
Every day when you meet a family, one of r Record proper data on a proper
the biggest assumptions you make is that form for ID of the deceas ed
everything you explain, they understand, they Let’s start getting into your form for
get it, they sign off, they leave and you’re not identification. What I’m talking about is how
ever going to have a problem. I’m going to we know that we have the right person.
tell you, that is not how it works. I’m going to guess this is typical, and it
Every story about a lawsuit you see in may be on your form: Name: good. Date
the news goes back to communication. of birth: this helps. Date of death: makes
Somewhere, somebody said, “They never sense. Social Security number: Never
told me that.” “That’s not what I read.” quite understood this. It’s on almost every
“That’s not what I believed.” authorization form. If anybody can help me
I think the authorization form is the understand at what point in time you’ve
biggest way to fix some of this, but we’re What do you think the # 1 concern or fear looked at a body and said, “Oh, my gosh,
is of a family after cremation has tak en 654-32-8111, that looks like him.” I don’t
going to talk first about communication.
place? “Are thos e my mother’s as hes ?” know how that helps.
The first problem we have in How many of you actually talk to the fam-
communication is that you absolutely know That’s the typical information when we’re
ily about that? You implement this by not
what you’re saying. You assume families ignoring the fear. It’s als o how you s ell it;
trying to do identification of the deceased.
understand what you’re telling them, and it’s communication.—Poul Lemasters It’s far from enough. For a professional form,
they don’t, not all the time. You’ve got to help consider this:
them, you’ve got push them along. r Don’t offer only two choices Name: Collect the whole name of the
That’s why things like pictures and written If somebody is in a stressful situation and you deceased. Date of birth, date of death. Age:
communication can help, and you can’t rely say, “Do you want X or Y?” they are going to Put the age down so nobody has to do math.
on one without the other. pick the easier choice 80 percent of the time, Is everybody a math wizard where you work?
Let me tell you two quick facts about even if they wanted the other one. I don’t Sex, race, height, weight, color of eyes,
miscommunication: First of all, the #1 know why all of death care doesn’t know color of hair. Lets put down some objective
complaint that regulators get about death care this. To me it’s the most amazing fact about physical data.
involve communication issues. “The funeral the mind that you could know. Let me explain why this is so important.
home didn’t respond to this.” “The cemetery Why is it important? Family shows up; If the authorization form includes sex,
never called us back.” Mom just died. Stressful situation? Probably. race, height, weight, color of eyes, color of
Here is the ultimate problem, and why They’re going to meet and talk to you about hair, identification becomes easier for the
communication is so important: Trust. some sort of funeral, cemetery/cremation crematory. I would love to tell you that most
They trust you less and less the worse the arrangements. They’re going to have to talk wrongful cremations are because they had
communication is. about money with people they don’t know. a 65-year-old lady and a 64-year old lady
Why is that a problem? Because after the They have to be with their family. Would who looked identical, same date of birth,
fact, when something goes wrong, or they you agree that we have the ultimate stressful everything. But those aren’t the wrongful
believe something went wrong, they turn situation? Now you ask simple questions like, cremations that make headlines. The ones that
around and say, “You know, I didn’t trust “Would you like to have a full service funeral happen involve a man versus a woman, black
them. I knew there was something going on.” or a simple cremation?” “Cremation.” versus white, old versus young. r

What did you think of your first ICCFA convention?

Lauren Temple Ruff Steven Bruk en Katherine Capilongo
Fayetteville Tech Commu- Forest Lawn Funeral Home, Carewell Cremations,
nity College, Department of Memorial Park and Crema- Washington, D.C.
Funeral Service Education, tory, Omaha, Nebraska There’s a lot of really
Huntersville, North Carolina Very impres s ed with the good information to help
I’m really enjoying it. I’ve exhibits . A lot of differ- us moving forward with
been blown away by the ent vendors here, a lot of s tarting in this indus try
s peak ers . It’s been re- people to talk to and a lot as young women. We’ve
ally affirming to me about going back of res ources to pull from. The break out als o learned a lot about what needs to
to s chool and s tudying funeral s ervice s es s ions I’ve been to have been good. change in the indus try from being here.
after a long time and another career. I’ve I’m look ing forward to a few more this The world is changing, and we in the
met wonderful people and am excited to afternoon and s eeing if I can learn s ome funeral indus try have to jump on that
hopefully go again next year. more. and lead with it.

28 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

Social media is great for r Incorporate meets consumer

brand awarenes s , building technology expectations and
your connections and for to create the allows for the
pre-need, mores o than at- experience experience that the
need. If you’re look ing for cons umers consumer desires?
at-need, you want to mak e expect today
s ure your webs ite rank s Rob Shane The take-away
high, mak e s ure you have From the consumer is that the funeral
Google ad words .
perspective, the industry lags.
—Rob Heppell
#1 dissatisfier is Consumers are
r Us e Facebook s trategically to the arrangement ahead of us; we need
k eep friends from unfriending you conference. It’s not that consumers don’t to go where the consumers are, meet their
Rob Heppell value it. Two-thirds of consumers found expectations. They are expecting technology
Something I do to prevent friends from extreme value in the face-to-face in the to be part of the process, so continue to look
unfriending me is break up my social media arrangement conference. for digital and mobile tools that allow you to
time. I do personal updates, like wishing They still value that support, that consul- connect with today’s consumer.
someone a happy birthday. I go through my tation. But the activities that are happening Consumers expect information to be
feed, like comments, share congratulations, in the arrangement conference are not value- available online, to use digital resources to
express sympathy. added. They don’t value the data-collection help accelerate and seamlessly facilitate the
Then I use a bit of time to share helpful aspects. What they value is honoring the process.
information. One example: When it’s close to life, making it personal, making it a situation When I buy a car, the first thing I do isn’t
Halloween or Easter—especially if you have where they can really celebrate that life. go out to a dealership. I go online. I look at
a pet service—let people know that with the The bottom line is, provide families what manufacturer I want, the options, the
amount of chocolate that’s going to be around with the resources to prepare for the model ranges. Then I research what dealer. I
in the next week or so, they need to keep it arrangement meeting on their time, at do all of that before I get in my vehicle and
away from the dogs. That’s something you can their pace and in a private manner. How drive somewhere. I still want the face-to-face.
share twice a year, every year. can you leverage technology in a way that I still want to see the product. I want to talk
Finally, I use 20-25 percent of my time you’re bringing those two worlds—face-to- and engage, but before I do that, I’ve done
to offer some form of indirect business face and technology—together that really my research. r
promotion. For you, it doesn’t have to be
“pre-arrange with me now.” It can be, “We’ve
updated our funeral planning guide, here’s r Mak e s ure the pers on handling why video content is so
a link to it.” Or, “We’ve just set up for our your Facebook page is qualified important. That’s why
holiday memorial service in our chapel, here’s Andy Lopez having good photos is so
a picture of all the poinsettias set up.” Or Do you have someone who manages important. That’s why it’s
maybe it’s springtime and you’re taking photos your Facebook pages? Did you hire that important to have your
of the blooming flowers. person specifically for that job after doing events somewhere where
research on how successful they were at it? they’re easily found, not
r Us e Facebook obituary-s haring Or did you just hand someone your with seven tabs just to figure
to drive traffic to your webs ite reputation because they know how to use out what you’re doing for
This one strategy will probably give you Facebook? You would not hand someone Memorial Day, because
more activity on your website than every thing tools and say, “Go in the prep room and people will leave and go to
else: Get the family to share their loved one’s figure it out. Oh, I know you never went to the next person who actually
obituary on their Facebook page. school for it; just YouTube it.” paid to advertise their
Lots of people are going to end up at your Memorial Day event.
website, to leave condolences, or, even better, r Know your bounce rate
to order some flowers. Clients of mine who When you have a 63 percent bounce rate, that r Create videos
have implemented this strategy have more means someone landed on your page and left of your bus ines s
than 50 percent of their website traffic coming without doing anything else. (Does everyone I can’t stress enough
from mobile Facebook, most of it going to know their bounce rate for their pages?) how important video
obituaries. This tells me that you have an unhealthy production is. Video production is the
Doing it manually takes less than 20 page, if you’re in the 60s; if it’s 70, it’s simplest, most inexpensive way for you
seconds. You copy the link, you go to broken. In the 70s, you’ve got to fix it, to catapult your business and your brand
Facebook, you put it in. You can select the because it’s bad. In the 60s, we can work with and what you represent to the community
picture and maybe tag some other family small tweaks. You want to see that bounce you’re trying to target, better than getting
members. That will then go into all those rate lower than 50, around 30s. 20 different ads in the newspaper, because
people’s feeds, which will get way more We’re not a $100 bill; we’re not here a video humanizes you. It’s important that
exposure, because the obituary is appearing in for everyone. But they’ll stay if you have people know what you look like and what
profiles, not on a business page. r content that makes them click more. That’s you’re doing for the community. r

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(267) 535 - 1490 or (267) 348 - 5059
46 West Ferry Street, New Hope, PA
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I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

r Cons ider hiring more veterans From

Moderator Gino Merendino with left,
panelists Abbie Brammer Quiocho, Meren-
Jake Hutchings, Brett Comerford dino,
and Jack Lechner
Merendino: As part of the ICCFA Veterans ings ,
Committee, I’d like to ask you, on behalf of Comer-
the ICCFA, to make a commitment, as an ford and
employer, to at least interview one veteran Lechner.
for an open position this year. If you at least
interview one veteran, I guarantee you’ll be
very impressed.
Comerford: With low unemployment, The hurdle for them is kind of slowing community does as well as the military
any veteran is going to have multiple job down and integrating with everyone else. community is what we call after-action
offers, so move fast. The faster you can get They have that mission focus and they reviews. After every single operation, we’re
them in the door and let them know about want to put their nose to the grindstone and going to talk about how it went and how
opportunities, the more successful you’re get everything done. could it have gone better.
going to be. Ten years ago, it would have Hutchings: Veterans are going to Quiocho: My husband was a medevac
been a way different story. accomplish the mission—and we’re going crew member, helicopter ambulance. He
Lechner: I have three military members to plan to accomplish the mission. I’m not did sales at a funeral home for us, and did a
right now in the mortuary college. They’re saying our civilian peers don’t experience great job until he actually had a funeral. It
excellent, and it’s because it’s a structured the same thing in everyday life, but it’s brought back a lot of memories for him, and
environment. Generally, they’re 4.0 students. how you focus that intense planning, flashbacks, and he decided he couldn’t really
They don’t have a financial problem going to execution and leadership. fulfill the role anymore. So that’s the greatest
school because of the 9/11 GI bill. One thing I don’t believe the civilian risk when working with veterans. r

r Be on the look out for bullying r Get creative to deal with the powerful than dollars: Praise
Stephanie Ramsey talent s hortage & find good people and commendation from the
Do you think bullying just happens in Mark Jorgensen immediate manager, attention
junior high and high school? It happens We have a looming shortage in talent that is from organizational leaders
in the workplace. There’s going to create acute problems, particularly and the opportunity to lead
currently no legislation on the licensed funeral director side. projects and task forces.
at the federal level that There are many reasons. In visiting and Praise and commendation
addresses workplace working with some of the mortuary schools, is more than an “attaboy,”
bullying, but it’s something I hear admissions are down, enrollment is or some patronizing comment. It’s genuine
being discussed. down, graduation is down and the national dialogue about work well done. It’s genuine,
Be aware of bullying board pass rate is not good. Those who exit heartfelt and very, very powerful.
in your workplace; don’t the profession before ever beginning an It has to be used with some discretion. If
allow it to take place, because it can apprenticeship are increasing because they it’s used all the time, that’s when it becomes
escalate to the next level. We’re seeing don’t understand what they got into. sort of patronizing. “Yeh, yeh, he says that all
all this violence in the workplace, and it So as we look at that shortage today, I the time, about everything.”
comes back, many times, to workplace suggest that it’s worsening. By 2030, many Attention from leaders—is that the same
bullying. of the boomers will have left the profession, thing? No, leaders up the hierarchy. Maybe
and we’ll have a millennial workforce by it’s the owner or a cemetery board member or
r Inves tigate every complaint and large in funeral service. What do we do the general manager. Attention from leaders is
Investigate every single complaint, today to attract the best employees for the critical. Leaders who want to know what you
even if you don’t believe it’s true. The long term and retain those folks? think, what you think could be improved.
moment you don’t investigate one and We often get ourselves in a box where we What about opportunity to lead projects
you investigate others, you have set think it’s all about salary. Does money matter or task forces? You say, “I’ve got a young
yourself up for losing if you ever have in the employment equation? Yes and no. In millennial who hasn’t even learned what
a lawsuit, because the first thing that’s one of the more recent surveys, if you look to do here yet. How could they lead a task
going to happen in a lawsuit is they’re at the factors ranked by the respondents, we force?”
going to ask you “Have you ever decided don’t see money in the top three: appreciation What could they lead a task force on?
not to investigate a complaint?” And you for your work, good relationships with Technology, social media. How empowering
say, “yes,” and there you go. You already colleagues and good work-life balance. All is that for a new employee who’s on the right
made a decision about whether or not that the way down at #8 is attractive fixed salary. track to say, “I get to lead a training on social
complaint was true. r Non-financial measures can be more media for the staff.” r

32 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

Change is cons tant—you

change or you die. That
applies to ins titutions as
well. There have been
many religions , ideologies
and ins titutions that have
not been able to adjus t to
changes in time and place
and circums tance.
—Rabbi Morton Kaplan

r Accept that change is inevitable

Rabbi Morton Kaplan
The Jewish community in the United States
is undergoing a great deal of change. I’ve The J ewis h Funeral Directors of America s peak er pres entation is open to all ICCFA
been a rabbi for more than 50 years, and the Convention attendees , and a number took advantage of the opportunity.
community looks very, very different today was a young rabbi, we would decry that sort roles. If you ask your grandchildren, I
than it did in 1967 when I was ordained. of thing as being ridiculous. But that’s the bet they’re not running out to join the
Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman is very nature of the world we live in, where local synagogue, yet they readily identify
indicative of something interesting, the our young people, certainly, pick and choose. themselves as Jews. Furthermore, if you ask
question of identity. You may have run They have many options, so they choose an most Jews—and others, as well—if they
across this already. When people come into identity. In fact, their identity could and will believe in God, they say they do. But if you
a funeral home, do you ask if their mother change over their lifetimes. say to them, “Why not go to the synagogue
was Jewish? I don’t think so. Why do I bring My grandchildren could easily live to see tonight and pray?” they will look at you kind
that up? Because according to traditional law, the 22nd century, and they’re going to live in of funny, because prayer is not something that
one is Jewish if one’s mother is. Edelman’s a really, really different world than we do. comes easily to younger people, though some
father is Jewish but his mother is not. Up until What it’s going to look like is impossible to of the more spiritual ones might go to a forest
relatively recently, he seemed to have very ascertain. We often imagine that what is today or some other beautiful place in nature and
little interest in his Jewish identity, but now is always has been, and of course that’s simply find a great deal of spirituality.
identifying as Jewish in a very outward way. not the case. If an Abraham or an Isaac And I would think in regards to your
That tells us a lot about where we’re looked at the Judaism of 1,000 years later, he industry, it might very well be that Jews look
going. Demographers will tell you that there would have no idea what they were talking elsewhere when a member of the family
are probably about five and a half million about. It’s not only beliefs but identity that passes away. They might choose not to have
Jews in the United States today, but actually would have changed. any kind of ceremony. They certainly are
the number of self-identified Jews might be If you look at the various ways in which choosing cremation to a much greater extent.
closer to six and a half or seven million. Judaism is identified today, we find that If you ask me what the future looks
Like so much else in American society, it’s synagogues are having difficulty maintaining like, whatever I tell you, it’s going to look
a question of choice. We used to talk about membership because the younger generations different. If you ask me if I think a Jewish
smorgasbord Judaism, people who pick and don’t like to join anything. They don’t like to people will still exist in the future, I would
choose from a variety of options. When I be hamstrung by institutions or institutional say, definitely yes. r

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The bigges t mis tak e I s ee r Learn what appeals Be sincere when you’re selling to me.
funeral homes mak e in their to Generation X Provide me options that are personal, that
Google bus ines s lis ting is Justin Baxley I feel are created for me. Don’t give me
putting their hours of opera- Here’s what you need to reasons why you think you’re the best that,
tion ins tead of “2 4 /7 .” When
know about Generation X. frankly, I can see right through. Provide
families look them up after
hours , they s ee them as be- It’s a smaller generation than me information I can use to make a good
ing clos ed, and thos e calls the baby boomers and the decision.
are jus t los t.—Welton Hong millennials. In terms of the And remember, I have a buying trigger.
adult population, GenXers represent about 25 If you can tie what you’re selling to the
r Even if you aren’t actively doing percent, but they represent more than a third idea that it’s going to benefit my personal
s ocial media, do s ocial lis tening of the spending power. well-being or the well-being of my family,
Welton Hong When you have the spending power, you you’ve got a strong chance of selling me.
This is critical: All of you should be doing influence buying decisions. They influence I’m not saying we’re selling a lot to Gen
social listening, which is monitoring and buying decisions for their parents. So it’s Xers on the pre-need side, but I will tell you
responding to comments. You have to assign important that we know how GenX feels that they influence the buying decision.
somebody on your team—if we’re looking at about buying decisions. GenX is very In instances where you can’t overcome
a large company, they would have somebody focused on sincerity and authenticity. This the objection of “I’ve got to talk to my
dedicated, all they’re doing is social listening. information comes from Centro Marketing, a kids,” it may even be a situation where you
Big companies like Nike have full-time people very generation-based research company. say, “Let me be a part of that conversation,
monitoring and responding. I want to focus on these words: “sincere, I think I can help educate them on this
For small businesses, you also have to personal, unbiased and well-being.” decision.” r
dedicate somebody on your team—typically
it will be a millennial; they’re on this device
(phone) all day long. Have them designated to The most important take-away is for that
be the manager, to moderate your social media 80 percent of the time, for every dollar that
presence. When somebody leaves a positive we earn doing the job we’re supposed to do,
comment, they should be responding to it. If we can earn nine times as much when we
it’s a negative one, of course, you’ve got to be create those remarkable experiences.
doing damage control right away. We want to share some steps for how you
Even if you’re not doing social media, can develop a strategy for a great customer
you’ve got to be doing social listening. experience program. First, you need to make
sure that you’re committed to this. It doesn’t
r Tak e a cue from AARP about have to be manager/owner/president of the
what to pos t on s ocial media company that drives it. You just need to make
What to post? Who is your demographic? It’s sure that at least one person is appointed in
typically going to be the AARP crowd. So the organization to be the cheerleader for it,
study what AARP is doing. They know their
Only one of 2 6 unhappy cus tomers will to own it.
demographics very, very well. actually tell you that they’re unhappy. There are plenty of organizations where
The mistake for funeral homes is to You have to k now how they actually felt you can actually send people to get certified
constantly remind people about death. I’m not about the experience, s o you have to get as customer experience leaders. It’s so much
going to follow a funeral home if all you’re their feedback , by s urvey, by s ocial lis - ingrained in business these days, that it really
constantly reminding me is that I’m dying. tening—you go to all thos e s ocial media
is a focus, and large companies are hiring not
You want to add value. You really do care s ites , you can interview people, you can
do focus groups .—Lori Salberg
only CFOs and CEOs but CXOs.
about people; you want to replicate that online.
If you look at what AARP does, it’s targeting Johnson: What does it
people 55+. What do they enjoy seeing on a r Focus on cus tomer experience mean if you kept a customer,
regular basis? Healthy living tips. Jake Johnson and Lori Salberg or you got a new one—or
To many of you, that’s very far away from Customer experience is the #1 competitive you lost one? Let’s say
what a funeral home should be posting, but advantage you have as a business today. you broke it down and got
who is your demographic? What do they Why? Because our customers’ experience to a cash flow contributed
enjoy seeing? Healthy living. Retirement life. will dictate whether or not they’re going to number and applied a
Personal finance tips for retirees. Traveling. talk about it on social media. multiple and came to about
Entertainment. In the book “Power Moments,” they talk $20,000 for a customer, more or less.
So layer these in on top of your other about how 80 percent of the time, we are If you had an arranger who stole $20,000,
content. It’s different, and most funeral homes just doing the minimum to make sure that what would you do? Probably have them
we work with still don’t find this comfortable, nothing goes wrong. That means 20 percent arrested. We don’t look at it that way when
but we educate them. If you’re just constantly of the time—and probably a little bit more in there’s a bad customer experience, but if that
reminding people about death, they’re gone, our profession—we are actually working for customer’s not coming back, that arranger
I guarantee. r those peak moments. has basically stolen $20,000, more or less. r

38 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

r Us e your webs ite r Tak e care in We will never try to plan an event on Veterans
to tell people how to s cheduling events Day. It does not work with our community—
s ave money on a funeral Jill Lazar there are already too many events going on.
Ellery Bowker Scheduling events can be a So we do a veterans’ event a couple of
There are a couple of ways you problem. I like to think of us days later. I have veterans coming up to me
can remove fear and angst for as part of our community, but and saying, “Thanks for not doing this on
your families. One, I know this not in competition with our Veterans Day. Our Veterans Day is crazy; we
is blasphemy, is to tell families community. We always like go from one event to the next.” People are
how to save money on a funeral. to make sure when we’re hosting an event, thanking me and really loving this event.
If you have a page on your website about we’re not in competition with something The other thing about scheduling is that
how to save money on a funeral, you know that’s going on in town. we never know when we’re going to be busy
what that will do to your Google search Why? We don’t want to be drawing until we’re busy. We plan an event, and then
ranking? It will make it go up, because Google people away from our friends’ events, and we all of a sudden all craziness happens and our
is a matchmaker. It’s not a search engine, certainly don’t want to put a lot of money out staff members are running in every direction.
it’s an answer engine, and that’s one of the for an event and have the public go to some How do you get around that? First of
most searched terms out there with relation other event in town. all, get on the calendar. I don’t know how
to funeral service: “How to save money on a A good example of this in the little town many times I have heard, “Jill, I didn’t
funeral.” of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, we have the Army even know you were having an event
So what Google does is say, “Here’s the War College, and a very high number of tomorrow.” So it goes on the electronic
query; let’s scan the web and see who answers veterans retiring to our area. The first year I calendar, it gets written in every single
that question.” So if he types in, “How can I was working with Hoffman Funeral Home, I arrangement room, and I get a little note
save money on a funeral?” and she has a page said, “Let’s do a Veterans Day event.” I had a for every director’s desk.
on her website, in his geographical region, that great bus trip planned. But bringing them into the event
says, “How to save money on a funeral,” you The first two veterans I spoke with said, in a meaningful way is what gets their
know what Google does? They make a match. “Can’t make it; they’re doing a memorial attention. If I’m hosting a veteran event,
This goes back to why having FAQs is so dedication down at the square for Vietnam I look for the staff members who are
important on a website. You can get so much vets; I’ve got to be there. The second one veterans. They’re welcome to attend as
free traffic by helping Google. said, “My granddaughter’s school is hosting a guests, but how nice is it when they’re
veterans program where they’re honoring me working with other veterans as employees?
r Pos t your prices online and local veterans.” It shows that your business is veteran-
What does a family expect if they come to We immediately switched gears and said: friendly and employs veterans. r
your website looking for funeral pricing? The
price. How many don’t show the price? I know
why you don’t show your price, but I can r Get a CRM tool, a webs ite chat There’s nobody there, more
promise you, the customer does not. box and live inventory data online often than not, so you need
I bought my last car through text messag- Neil Sherrin a bot, a little message thing
ing. I literally didn’t speak to anyone till I went You can’t and shouldn’t do everything at that just pops up. They’re off-
to pick the car up. I took my family to Disney once. It’s impossible and overwhelming. But the-shelf, easy to buy, cheap,
World last year; I didn’t speak to a human depending on where you are on you journey, anybody can do it, and if you
being until they came to try to put the ears on there are probably three things you can do. can’t do it, somebody you
my head. First of all, you have to digitize your know can.
I couldn’t have bought that car, I couldn’t leads and your sales process, ideally with a As a minimum, what we need to be asking
have gone to Disney World, without knowing cemetery-specific CRM. We can’t emphasize is, “leave us your email address and a short
how much the price was. This is going to be that enough. It’s critical to your return on message, indicate what you want from us,
one of the things legislators are going to make investment, it gives you visibility of what’s and when the office reopens in the morning,
you do, but you should do it on your own. working marketing-wise, and when you close we’ll come back to you with what you need.”
You think your competitor is going to use revenue, you’re able to see if that contact Otherwise, you’re letting that traffic come
your GPL against you—trust me, they are came from any kind of marketing activity or to your website and leave, and it’s a wasted
using it against you. The only people you’re is it just purely the work of sales, or a walk- investment.
hurting is the consumers you’re trying to sell in. That gives you good information as to Finally, at the back end, enable your sales
your product to. where to spend in the future. teams with digital live inventory data, so
Here’s the real danger: You might be Second, chat box. Let’s say we do all whether they’re in a home, in their office
the better value proposition. But if your this paid advertising, then the cemetery at the cemetery or on the grounds at the
competitor shows their price and you don’t, office closes at 5 or 6 o’clock in the evening. cemetery, you’ve removed friction from the
people may go there because people don’t like Everybody finishes work at the same time, sales process. Don’t have salespeople saying,
not being able to find out how much it’s going goes home , has dinner and then is on their “Let me check if that’s still available.” With
to cost. They don’t need to know right down to phone while watching TV. They find their live inventory data, your salespeople can
the penny—they want ranges. r way onto your website. close more quickly. r

40 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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r Help children grieve and heal From left,

Youth and Funerals Panel moderator Mat Youth and
Forastiere, with panelists Vicki Jay, Joe Funerals
Primo and Brad Speaks panel-
is ts Brad
Primo: At Good Grief, we serve over 1,000
Speak s ,
kids a year after the death of a parent or Vick y Jay
sibling. I hear so many stories about amazing and Joe
funeral directors who empowered these kids Primo, and
to give a eulogy, to sing at the age of 6 in moderator
front of 800 people, to be a pallbearer, to Mat Foras -
make memory boards, to be engaged. To be tiere.
at the arrangement and tell the story of mom
and dad and what they’re going to miss, the
story of what made grandpa so awesome.
I also hear stories about kids who showed Jay: The National Alliance for Grieving about funerals. It’s a great way to start
up at the funeral home, nobody told them Children has great connections across the a conversation with a child and answer
they could participate and they just moved U.S. with different people who provide their questions. A lot of funeral homes are
through the ritual without any tools or support. On our website, for instance, you see personalizing these and then sending them
resources to put them on a path that was all of the programs in North Carolina. Most out to families that have kids.
going to help them to be more healthy and of those services are offered at no charge. Speaks: Kids can make a music playlist—
to deal with not only this adversity but also It’s important for you to be able to give they are so adept at technology. Ask the
future adversities. the family a resource they can use without children in the arrangement conference, or
Something I’ve learned in my 15 years of compromising their financials. You look ask the parents or grandparents: “Is there a
working with kids—and I hope this releases good because you’ve provided them with 16-year-old or so who can make a playlist
the pressure on you a little bit: You can’t take something that perhaps you’re not able to for the visitation?” You don’t have to worry
away the pain. What we’re asking you to do give within your own service team. Send that it’s going to have inappropriate hip-hop
with the Youth and Funerals initiative is not them to the experts. The NAGC has a website lyrics; the kids will do the right thing.
to make the messy, the unimaginable, the that is really for you. There’s a listing state- You can select pictures, help them make
traumatic, the devastating, better. You can’t by-state. You click on your state, then on the a poster board. They can tell a story or
make it better; you can’t fix it. But you can city and then you find the list. sing a song at the funeral. They can place
create the environment that promotes healing And we have an activity book for you boutonnieres on the casket. Be on the lookout
and resilience. to use. One of my favorite pages is all for ways to help kids. r

r Mak e embalming a priority r Plan a community memory bas h meet other people who desire
Jeffrey Chancellor Allison Gilbert to do the same thing, to make
One of the things companies I began raising my kids without their sure their loved one’s memory
that do a lot of embalming maternal grandparents. My daughter never endures—and it’s social.
have in common is workspace met either my mother or my father, and In this particular example,
design. It’s inter esting to me my son was only 18 months when my in Phoenix, Arizona, I bought
when I go to a funeral home to second parent, my father, passed away. This these very cheap frames from
see a brand new funeral coach scenario shows up time and time again in the an art supply store, and we
and then a 1937 porcelain funeral home or cemetery setting: How are had kids come in to decorate a very basic
table and a 1967 embalming machine in the we going to help our grandkids remember frame. Why? Because if a kid decorates
embalming room. the family members, the grandparents, a frame, if they have agency, making
Workspace design is extremely important: they’ve known too short a time? something, the picture that goes in it of a
Cushioned flooring, air ventilation, proper I created this idea called a memory bash, loved one will hold more meaning, because
equipment. And SOPs. a memory party. It’s an excuse to invite they’ve created it for grandma, to celebrate
Another thing the leaders do is invest in members of the community you have already grandma, grandpa, mom, dad.
continuous professional development. It’s served and also to put ads in the paper to It’s an event that fills people with
not getting their eight hours so that they’ve invite people to a party. You have food, of joy, because they’re sharing memories
got their state license, it’s developing their course, and you have drinks for toasting. together. That feel-good feeling about your
skills to the point where people become super The goal of a memory bash is to bring organization comes back, because what
confident, super valuable. families together for one purpose: to brought us together? This cemetery, this
And all of those firms have amazing remember and honor and celebrate loved funeral home; this is a really lovely way
policies on how they communicate to the ones together. That’s the headline. they brought us together to remember.
consumer what they’re going to do to care for The reason they will want to come is they What happens after the point of sale to
their loved one. r don’t want to remember alone. They want to keep the memories going? r

42 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
Years of dedicated
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From the expo to I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

the hospital, with

a good outcome
by Marty Czachor Jr.

I t was pouring rain on the last

day of the convention expo, so
we had to run across the street to
stay dry. Unfortunately, I could
only walk about 150 feet before
I was completely out of breath; I
MKJ Mark eting Cemetery3 6 0 and webCemeteries .com
needed to stop for a minute or so.
By the time I got to the
convention hall, I was quite wet and felt like
something was sitting my chest. At first, I just
wanted to ignore it and hope it would go away
on its own, assuming it was just allergies to a
new geographic area I wasn’t used to. After all,
I live a very active lifestyle, and just the night
before we were all out on the town bowling.
Thankfully, my sister, Kathy, was there with
me and wisely convinced me to go over to the
first aid station at the convention hall. They
ran some simple tests, including an EKG, and Axiom US Chemical ShivaShade
everything looked normal.
The only thing the first aid station could
recommend was that I visit the hospital. I
considered waiting to visit my local hospital
later that night, after flying home to Philadelphia.
However, since I couldn’t walk without serious
breathing troubles, I decided to just visit the local
hospital, Charlotte Medical Center.
An ambulance brought me to the CMC
Emergency Room. The doctors and nurses were
very efficient and polite. They ran numerous
tests looking for the problem, and I passed
those tests without any issues. Tuk ios : Winner, bes t in-line booth
They decided to run a full physical stress test
on my heart. Initially, I was pretty convinced
I had passed the stress test, as well, with
flying colors, but it turns out I had 90 percent
blockage in two arteries, including a blockage
in the artery called “the widow maker!” Double
bypass surgery followed.
While this may sound like a travel cautionary
tale, in reality I was very blessed that this occur-
red while the ASD team and I were in Charlotte.
Clearpoint Federal Bank & Trus t Leap Tie
I was able to have my surgery performed
endoscopically by Dr. Joseph McGinn, the
renowned doctor who actually created this less
invasive version of bypass surgery.
I feel truly grateful to be in good health as
I recover from the procedure. I hope my story
helps others remember to listen to their body
and pay attention to those warning signs. I am
so glad that I did!
Czachor is vice president and family member-
owner of ASD, Answering Service for Directors. funeralOne: Winner, bes t is land booth

44 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

Nicole Zamora r Tak e care when you grow quick ly mowing crew working together, the busier we
Catholic Funeral & Gino Merendino got with interments, the worse the grounds
Cemetery Services, You can’t scale up quickly would look. So we separated the mowing
Sacramento, California without having some from the interments.
I’m having an amazing time
challenges. The first thing The second thing we did was look at
meeting lots of new people
who do what we do. I’m I would say is look at your the interments themselves. When you have
the director of community infrastructure. 850 interments a year, there are scheduling
outreach, s o I’m learning how to engage We’re gardeners, so the first conflicts. You could have 12-14 funerals
people more in different things . I jus t thing we looked at is the mowing. One of the in a day and you may not be ready for that.
came out of the cremation authorization things that cemeteries typically do is combine The risk of burying somebody in the wrong
forms s es s ion, which does n’t reallyhave the mower operators and the trimmers and location is hideous.
much to do with mypos ition, but that’s gardeners with the interment crew. We created an audit process before each
what I love about this conference, the fact The challenge is that as we were scaling burial took place, to make sure everybody
that you can help colleagues who didn’t
the cemetery up from 65 to 850 burials a was placed the right grave. Create an audit
get to come, s o I took copious notes .
year, when we had the interment crew and the process. Have your people check your map. r

Tek eavias Byrd

Celebrations of Life Funerals r Promote your trees and spend longer there.
& Cremations Services Inc., as community as s ets Things like urban heat islands are a real
Sanford, Florida Josh Behounek problem. Lots of people die every year of
It has been educational. There are two types of trees: heat-related illnesses, and trees can help
Great s peak ers , wonder-
There are assets and there alleviate that.
ful connections . I love the
education—my motto is , are liabilities. When you talk We’ve really laid the foundation for the
“I’m more than a funeral home,” s o this about trees as an asset there benefits of our trees, and cemeteries are in a
is a great convention. are these innate things we really good position to help that even further.
know trees do for us: oxygen, Here’s an example of the tree inventory at
shade, beauty. Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum in St.
Alejandra Hernandez Arias We can actually tell you how much Louis, Missouri—they have about $320,000
Montelena Complejo Funer- carbon your trees are uptaking and storing, a year in environmental benefits they’re
ario, La Libertad, El Salvador
how much stormwater they’re intercepting providing to the St. Louis community.
I love this convention
becaus e we can learn more and preventing from going into the city’s Bellefontaine puts “arboretum” right out
about the indus try, the stormwater system. there. When you come into the city, you can
trends . I lik e s eeing all the In Louisville, Kentucky, they’re working see billboards, “Come see our arboretum;
new things from the s pon- on a project called the Green Heart Project. come see our grounds.”
s ors in the exhibit hall, new models of They’re looking at how nature benefits This is a movement we’re really seeing in
urns , things we can do to grow our bus i- humans, particularly their cardiovascular the cemetery world, becoming an arboretum.
nes s . The break out s es s ions are nice health, at how much nature to prescribe. Bellefontaine is using it as a sales tool. They
becaus e you can learn more about other There’s a professor doing a lot of do tree tours, and they tell me that every time
people in the indus try. I’m from El Salva-
research around the economics of trees, they do a tree tour, somebody always asks to
dor, and I can trans mit to my cowork ers
what other countries are doing. People how if businesses have trees, people shop speak to the sales department. r
here are very nice, k ind—Charlotte is a
nice city.
r Look everywhere for revenue can print out. We’re now investing in a
Paul Williams 3D camera—we already have the printer.
Kellen Stros nider
Miami Dade College W.L. We don’t have a lot of We’ll actually be able to print out a 3D
Philbrick School of Funeral electricity in our 35 acres, model of your family’s monument—it’s
Service Education, Pompano so we purchased solar light really cool. People can pay to take home a
Beach, Florida posts. They’re kind of little replica of their family monument.
It’s definitely one of the Victorian in feel. They put I knew harvesting honey from our hives
bes t funeral indus try out just enough ambient was probably going to be popular, so I did
conventions I’ve been to light to make the cemetery a little test with our contact list and asked
thus far. I loved the expo hall. There kind of sexy and interesting at night. We for volunteers to pay to do it. It sold out
were s o many vendors there, way more
get the lamps wholesale, sell sponsorships within a few minutes—25 people gave
than I’ve ever s een. The break out s es -
s ions s peak ers have been great s o far. and put a little brass plaque on them. It’s us $25 apiece to help harvest the honey.
And tons of network ing opportunities ! profitable and it’s kind of enhancing our We’ve done it for six or seven years. They
It’s been awes ome to put faces to the cemetery, as well. tour the hives, get a little education about
names of s ome people I’ve been com- We’ve gotten into 3D printed monu- honey, help harvest and get a jar of “Rest
municating with online, on Link edIn. ments. There are a lot online that you in Bees” honey to take home. r

46 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 47

I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

Elizabeth Kubler Ros s r Remember that funerals today that. If an experience is a great one, we
wis ely s aid children are are experiences don’t always remember the cost.
forgotten mourners , and I Linda Stuart I remember it was expensive. But I
would add that people with The way we buy gifts for honestly right now could not tell you
cognitive dis abilities are
people has really changed. how much it cost. But if it had been a
ignored mourners .
We used to buy things. Now bad experience, you can bet that I would
—Marc Markell
we buy experiences. Hot air remember to the penny.
balloon rides. Here’s your As long as they can still afford to eat and
r Help families find ways to include
favorite car for the weekend. pay the rent, as long as they have a good
people with dis abilities in the funeral
And funerals are really no different. experience, people will spend money.
Marc Markell
A few years ago, my husband and I had
Many people with cognitive disabilities are
not involved in the funeral process. The more
the opportunity to go to Switzerland for r Learn the difference between
significant the disability, the more likely that is
vacation, and I’ve always wanted to go, ceremonies and rituals
it’s always been on my bucket list. He said Ceremony is defined as the formal act or
to happen.
“We need to do something really special event that is part of a social or religious
Some people with moderate to severe
when we’re there; we need to do something occasion. It can be secular, it can be non-
cognitive disabilities don’t attend funeral
really special to mark it. Let’s jump off a secular. It can be happy, it can be sad.
rituals. Why? Two things care providers said is
mountain.” Ceremony and ritual are not the same
they might act out, which is a possibility, and
And I said, “Are you crazy? I’m not thing. Ceremony is like a container, and it
they might not understand death.
jumping off a mountain.” holds all kinds of elements, including rituals.
Often when people say, “They probably
He was talking about paragliding, not What I see that’s missing in a lot of modern
wouldn’t understand what’s going on,” my
really jumping off a mountain. He had to do a celebration of life party-type occasions where
response, as nicely as I can say it is, “Who
lot of convincing, but I finally agreed. there’s an open mike and people are invited to
understands death?”
I’m so glad he talked me into that. I felt come up and talk—that’s not a ceremony, by
If the family and the community are
alive, I felt young. I wasn’t scared; it was the way—is rituals.
gathered for funeral activities, a person with
like floating on a cloud. I’ll never forget I think rituals help us do something within
a disability should be involved if that is their
how I felt. a ceremony rather than just speak. Sometimes
wish. And if a person is unable to commu-
But this is what I did forget: I forgot words are not enough; as human beings we
nicate whether they want to be involved or not,
how much it cost. Quality is remembered need to do something. Sometimes there are
I would always err on the side of inclusion.
long after price is forgotten. Gucchi said no words to express how we’re feeling. r
One of the things that I often ask is, “What
would you like to do to contribute to the
service?” Some people say they don’t want to
contribute anything, and that is their right. r In choos ing trus t or ins urance, Theising: When you are
It could also be that they need some cons ider what’s important to you considering a trust product,
suggestions. Some of the people I work with Elizabeth Kmiec and Ashlee Theising some important aspects to
have designed the memorial cards. One young Kmiec: A couple of key understand are whether they
man whose grandpa had died wanted to bring considerations related to can provide you a little bit
the train his grandpa had made him to the insurance-funded contracts: more flexibility in terms of
funeral. We talked to the parents, they put a First is choosing the right the payments. Trust contracts
blanket on the casket and put the train on it. provider. It is a partnership, don’t lapse like insurance
The question I think should be how do we so you want to make sure that contracts if they don’t get paid.
include people in rituals and not how do we the provider you’re choosing The age of the consumer isn’t as
exclude anyone. has the services that are most important, necessarily, with a trust product
It could be that the person may have some important to you. Do you need marketing as opposed to an insurance product. They
severe behaviors, so how might we include support? Would you like casket protection? don’t require additional licensing to sell
the person in funeral rituals? Let’s say they Choose the right mix of the product. and they give you more control over the
suspect that somebody might act out. Having Often the trade-off is commissions versus investment of the funds.
something to do might be helpful. crediting rate. It’s a balancing act of which is Some things that trusts don’t offer that
If a behavior is so severe that it’s going to more important: Is current cash flow to pay insurance does: When you sell a trust
disrupt the service, it could be that the person commissions to fund the current activities the product, you could potentially get retainage,
comes beforehand, or after, or for a visitation focus of your business, so you’re willing to but not all states allow you to do that. So
as people are leaving. Or the person could trade off some of your future earnings? Or if you need or want the current cash flow
participate in a crying room. are you happy to cover all of those sales costs but you’re in a state where you can’t do
They might need a lot of support, two or and try to get as much of an earning for a that with a trust product, then an insurance
three people who are there to support them future payout that you can? product might be a better option for you.
and answer questions, to help them so they can If you choose the right partner that can Also, you can have a different type of
behave in a way that’s not disruptive. r really work with you, they should help you investment risk when you’re using a trust
find the best fit for your business. product. r

48 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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In our culture, we embrace r Learn to s et SMART goals I decide before I started losing weight how
death. We don’t want it to Jodie Dupree much weight I needed to lose.
happen, but when it hap- If you weigh 300 pounds It’s not enough to just say “I want to lose
pens , it’s OK. We celebrate and say you’re going to lose weight” or “I want to make more money.”
it. You can s ee it in the dif-
weight and you lose one How much more money do you want to
ferent events we have.
—Gerardo Garcia pound, technically speaking, make? How much weight do you want to
you succeeded. Is that going lose? What job do you want have? What
to make any type of a realistic house do you want to buy?
r Get ready for a boom in His panic
funeral and cemetery s ervices change in your life? What specifically do you want to
Gerardo Garcia So we talk about smart goals. Everyone accomplish as part of your goal-setting?
There are 72 million baby boom ers. In 30 has probably seen the acronym for smart That is the first thing you have to do to
years, how many Hispanics are projected goals. Usually “s” is “specific.” A smart goal be successful. Successful people are very
to be in the U.S.? Double that. That’s the has to be specific. If I’m going to lose weight, specific about their needs. r
market we have to start getting ready for. It’s
30 years down the road, but that’s where pre- The actual company licensed personnel to provide those services.”
need business comes into play. We have to be values , as oppos ed to the That doesn’t sound bad, but what’s the
ready; we have to be proactive. nice-s ounding values , are compelling reason if I’m questioning whether
What is it we have to do? s hown by who gets re- I even want to use a funeral home or have
How about a true Spanish-speaking warded, hired, promoted or
a funeral? It’s lacking; I never started with
employee, not someone speaking Spanglish. let go.—Tyler Anderson
“why?” Why does a funeral matter? Why
In your communities, I’m sure you can find r Define your ‘why?’ would you even need this?
many well-educated, true Spanish-speaking Tyler Anderson Because it provides a platform and a
persons. According to DeLoitte, 73 percent of socially acceptable place to fall apart, to be
Hold services quickly. The anglo makes employees who say they work for a purpose- supported, and to take a meaningful step
an appointment for arrangements, and then driven company are engaged. If they define toward healing in the journey that’s to come.
they’re going to wait for somebody to fly in their organization as a non-purpose-driven If you’re able to articulate that in whatever
from Chicago. They can take a long time to one, 23 percent of them are engaged. So how way it means something to your business,
actually hold the services. do you create a purpose-driven workplace? that’s a much more compelling reason for a
Hispanics, no—it’s got to be soon. But The first thing we do is define it, and we family to come to you than “what” you do
we’re going to take our time during the start with “why.” I grew up in a funeral home. and “how” you do it.
visitation, so be ready for that. Be accom- The what: “We provide personalized services, I promise you whomever you’re
modating. Don’t think, “I need my chapel; burial or cremation, for families in our competing with in your market is very good
I need you out of here.” Charge them for it; community who have recently experienced a at describing what they do and how they do
make money on it—they will pay. loss. We have top-notch facilities that we’re it. They’re probably not as good at describing
Allow them to bring their own food and always investing in, we have highly trained, why it matters. r
drinks. Sometimes it’s not that appealing
because they can bring gorditos and tacitos
and it’s a little smelly, but maybe you can r Survey your employees often questions: Are you happy with your job? Do
have a chapel on the side, or theme out a Tim Bridgers you feel that I spend enough time with you,
location as Hispanic, if you have multiple I want you to think about do you feel valued?
locations. “How can I be better for my Include quantitative and qualitative
Have products for them. Even some U.S. people?” components. How valued do you feel at
suppliers are starting to bring in Latino- Measure. This is one of the work? Why do you feel that way? Try to get
Hispanic-themed products. harder things to do, because it them to elaborate.
Does everybody know what Dia de los takes a lot of creativity and it Measure often; send surveys to employees
Muertos is? The actual date? November 2. takes consistency, and that’s twice a year, at a minimum, mixed with one-
Don’t confuse it with Halloween. This is one thing we have little time to do because on-one communication.
folkloric, reverent. Latinos will bring in food, we’re in such a competitive business. This stuff is probably the last thing you
have feasts around the graves, bring flowers. Measure participation. Take note of who’s want to think about. You’re probably trying
Some other cultures think that it’s giving feedback, ideas at meetings. You to plan adding an event center right now, and
irreverent, so one of the things we’re doing might identify your next leader. a third crematory, thinking about adding a pet
with my firm is helping clients create micro- Conduct surveys. This is hard to do. A lot crematory, trying to decide between alkaline
cemeteries: Sections themed for Hispanics, of times I get one-on-one with employees and hydrolysis and a retort, things that in your
Muslims, Quakers, Jews. Anybody can go ask them pointed questions. But sometimes mind drive direct income to the bottom line.
anywhere, but in this micro-cemetery, you it’s important to do an anonymous survey, But your people are driving direct
can make people feel at home, welcome. In because some of your employees might be income to your bottom line, because they’re
each section, you allow each culture to be scared to give you direct feedback. representing you in the community, and with
themselves. r Do an anonymous survey, one to two every family who comes in the door. r

50 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

Clos ure is a word that We seem to be hard-wired to work We think this is abs o-
cemeterians and fu- through losses and get through life. This lutely critical for funer-
neral directors s hould is significant to us as funeral directors al home profes s ionals
eradicate from our vo- and cemeterians. They call it coping ugly, as well, becaus e it has
cabulary. We don’t want to do with the de-
because sometimes it’s very difficult, but for
you to think that you ritualization of death
jus t come to the cem- the most part, human beings, according to and the trend toward
etery to dis pos e of your the science, are able to move on with life. no s ervices , both for
dead, you get clos ure So the question becomes one of funeral homes and for
and you never come qualitative ness, how can we help someone cemeteries . So it has
back . That’s not healthy qualitatively process this loss better? financial implications
at all. Social s cience They look at the integration of the loss for both funeral homes
now s upports this . in your life. This is very significant and and cemeteries .
When you experience important. I love that the science says, —Jason Troyer
a s ignificant los s , your
instead of cutting ties and getting closure How can we—and can we—actually
life is forever changed.
—C. Lynn Gibson and moving on, it’s better to continue the facilitate meaningful connection?
bonds with those we love. This is a picture from our cemetery,
r Cons ider a paradigm change We think this is very significant to the The Garden of Prayer. We are solidly in the
to s tay relevant—and to s urvive programming that we want to start doing Bible belt, in east Tennessee. But we don’t
Jayson Troyer, PhD, and at our cemetery. Jason and I came up with have a lot of folks walking into our office
C. Lynn Gibson, PhD three universal human needs we’re trying to saying, “I’ve got to be buried close to the
Gibson: We decided, before we created anchor our programs in: Every human being Garden of Prayer.” I’m sure there are a few
any new programs at the cemetery, we’d needs comfort, meaning and hope. This is a folks in our community it’s important to,
stop and think. We looked at the area of universal truth. but it is not the plan of the future; it is not
bereavement psychology and were amazed drawing new people, and that’s a significant
at how much that discipline has grown and Troyer: We’re really worried about the problem.
changed in the last 50 years. state of cemeteries in our communities. We So I think our answer is we need to
When you experience a significant loss, happen to be in a community with a growing include some non-religious yet very
psychologists no longer suggest that the population, and yet the number of calls, the meaningful features.
smart thing is to cut the ties. That used to be ways we’re serving families, has flatlined, You might have heard of something
the approach: “You need to cut the ties with and I think that’s the appropriate metaphor. called “the phone in the wind.” The first
your loved one and reinvest that energy We feel we’re fighting for relevance. one is in Japan, where someone created a
somewhere else.” Now they say, “No, this is We argue that cemeteries cannot simply reflection booth. He actually has a phone in
terrible. There’s no such thing as ‘closure.’” make a few adjustments to our current set it, to “connect” with the deceased.
We’ve learned a lot in recent years about of operating procedures. We think that these We don’t know if we’re going to put in a
human resilience. This has been a big wake- cultural factors that we’ve been describing phone, but what about a private place within
up call for me, because the psychologists are so powerful, that it’s going to require a the cemetery?
are saying that regardless of what you do pretty significant paradigm change. We happen to have a great view of
in terms of memorialization, regardless Because there is not an inherent tie from the Smoky Mountains at the back of our
of what kind of casket you pick out, what folks in our communities to our cemeteries cemetery. What if there’s a nonreligious
kind of vault, what kind of funeral or anymore, we’re going to have to go that place where people can take their coffee
memorial service you have, regardless of extra step to promote that meaningful and their journal or their devotions and sit
what cemetery you go to, human beings are connection to the cemetery and what it and be with their grief, think about the big
surprisingly resilient. represents. questions of life, in the cemetery? r

I’ve heard it s aid that over r Look for ways to during August. This is an underserved
5 0 percent of the indepen- promote organ donation population. In North Carolina, the majority of
dent funeral homes in the and recognize donors people waiting for a transplant are waiting for
United States will change Dorman Caudle kidneys, and over 50 percent of those who are
hands in the next 1 0 years . Have a ceremony during the waiting are African-American.
You can either look at that
month of April for donor Provide an opportunity to register as a
as “it’s time for me to get
out” or “it’s time for me to
families, recognized nationally donor at your funeral home. Most people go
get in.” If you’re going to as the Donate Life month, through the DMV. But I’m thinking there are
s tay in it, you have to be willing to inves t with many ceremonies and more funeral homes than DMVs.
in things that mak e your operation better. remembrance programs by organ procure- Include information about organ donation
When you talk about inves ting in the cur- ment organizations. Consider a remembrance on your social media platform, even if it’s
rent bus ines s , one of the places we can celebration at your funeral home. nothing more than a link to an organ procure-
inves t is in our people.—Doug Gober Recognize minority donor awareness ment organization. r

52 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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Women in Leadership panelists discuss how to

get ahead in the funeral and cemetery business
Women in Leadership Panel, I think it’s critical that you be them to be on the same floor at a hotel.” Those
moderator Jennifer Olvera, a positive consensus-builder, aren’t solutions. You can’t use a legalistic
CCE, with Shawna de la and I feel communication is approach to something like this.
Cruz; Gwen Mooney, CCFE; absolutely key, whether you’re What advice do I have for women? I’ll stop
Lori Salberg; and Poul communicating with a female there; I don’t have advice for women. I have
Lemasters, Esq. or male in your workplace. advice for everyone, because I don’t ever want
What is the biggest obstacle facing women in Really get to know your co- to think that I can tell you what you should do.
the funeral profession today, and what is your workers, your employees, get to know them at But what I will say as a whole is that everyone
advice for overcoming it? a level where you build trust. should become more vocal about the issue.
Your actions and everything you do You need to be willing to say something.
Salberg: The biggest obstacle facing women
speak so much louder than words. People Talk about the issue; I think one of the
in this profession today is time. It’s a matter of
are watching everything you do, especially if problems is that a lot of companies don’t even
time until this profession catches up with the
you’re female, or new in the industry. Prove want to talk about it. “It will never happen
rest of the world. There is still a little bit of an
yourself. here.” It happens everywhere, and if you
old guard mentality. There are people running
Be the strongest, most ethical person who haven’t had training, or at least a meeting to
businesses and corporations who feel women
people can come to and talk. Set that tone, talk about the issues, you’ve got a problem.
don’t belong in leadership positions.
because all eyes are on you, and people are so Overall, just be more respectful.
But there’s a massive
perceptive of what’s happening. What has helped you to get where you are in
disruption of this industry as
a whole that’s being defined In light of the #metoo movement, what is your firm, and what advice would you have
by our customers and the way your advice to women in our profession? Do for others who want to set off in a similar
they want to be treated. We are you feel this is an issue in our profession? direction?
at a huge advantage because Lemasters: Do I think it’s an issue in our de la Cruz: I would say, in any position
women have the ability to be profession? It is, sadly. It’s a very serious you’re in: hard work, show up on time, be
more empathetic and compassionate. (I know issue, and it’s probably more dominant in our consistent. For me, it was raising my hand for
that sounds a little bit stereotypical.) profession than in many others. I think we responsibility, asking a lot of
Women are coming into the industry in would not be true to ourselves if we didn’t questions. I was not afraid of
droves and getting in position to serve more address the fact that this used to be, and in failure; I made a lot of mistakes
families. The only people who matter are the some areas still is, a very male along my way.
families; they’re going to ultimately define dominated profession. I also made sure I went to
who emerges as leaders. So it will just be a We struggle because we my boss, or my boss’s boss, to
matter of time. don’t really take it seriously, we ask where they thought they
If you’re not fitting into an organization still try to find humor in it, and saw me, what opportunities were out there.
because you can see there’s not a place I don’t think we can right now. When I meet students or new employees
for women to be promoted or respected or What was acceptable beha vior who are interested in becoming VPs or
appreciated, then you shouldn’t be there. 20 years ago, two years ago, is not anymore. supervisors, one of the things they’ll ask me
Find the organizations that are the most The other side of this is that there’s is, “What do I have to do to get ahead?” And I
forward-thinking. A place where you fit—and confusion of what to do, and you see people say, “Just keep asking that question.” Walk in,
that goes for anybody. who go almost to an extreme now. I always ask for more responsibility.
What is your advice to any woman who love it when people say, “Poul, you’re going to I also meet with a lot of people who walk
wants to further her career, move up in her love what we do; this is great.” Typically, this into my office and say, “Why didn’t I get that
company? How do you motivate employees? means it’s horrible, such as: position?” Did you apply for it? Did you put
“We will not allow men and women to go yourself out there? Did you tell anybody that
Mooney: Looking at the death care industry,
on trips together anymore. We do not allow you wanted it? r

What did you think of your first ICCFA convention? Keyna Chiles
First Family Funeral &
Erik a Frank el I’ve es pecially enjoyed this women in Cremation Service,
Miami Dade College W.L. funeral s ervice s es s ion, becaus e that’s Charlotte, North Carolina
Philbrick School of Funeral s omething I have s o much trepidation I enjoyed it—it was great, a
Services, Miami, Florida about: How am I going to be perceived very good experience, and
I’m enjoying it a lot and as a younger woman in the indus try? I plan on going to wherever
learning a lot, es pecially in I’ve heard horror s tories , but this panel it is next year. San Antonio?
thes e break out s es s ions . addres s ed all of my concerns . That’ll be great!

54 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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Above left, Bob J enk ins provides the mus ical accompaniment for the annual pet memorial s ervice, always a moving cer-
emony. Above center, Bill Remk us pres ents the Golden Paw Award to Ros s DeJ ohn in honor of Magic DeJ ohn, his recently
deceas ed grief therapy dog. Above right, Annette J enk ins , Les lie Reid and Bob J enk ins at the PLPA booth in the Expo Hall.

r Study generational theory and Thes e are the Subaru They mature into risk-averse, conformist
us e it to s hape your mark eting “doggie drivers .” adults, they produce indecisive midlife
Subaru is fixated leaders, they maintain influence in
Chris Burke
on mark eting to the elderhood but they’re a lot less respected.
The 1991 book “Generations: The History protected and protec-
of America’s Future, 1584 to 2069,” by tive generations of the In our time, we’ve seen two generational
William Strauss and Neil Howe, brings boomers and millenni- cycles. The one we saw end was called the
forth the hypothesis that about every als . It’s all about s afety
great power cycle. The idealists of those
four generations, every 80 years, four and s ecurity, and Suba- times were called the missionary generation.
generational personalities repeat in fixed ru k nows what the pet The reactives of that time were called the lost
order, over time. A generation is about 20 adoption rates in thos e generation. The GI generation were the civics
years. You know the names: the boomers, generations look s lik e. of that generation, and the silent generation
It is off the chart.—Chris Burke
the GIs, the silent generation, the XGens. were the adaptives of that time.
words “secular crisis,” that typically means
The theory is that the generational The millennial cycle: The boomers are
a big war.
personalities archetypes repeat in a fixed the idealists of this time; the peer generation
The reactives grow up as underprotected,
pattern. Strauss and Howe aren’t marketing for them was the missionary. The Xers are
criticized youths. They mature into risk-
people; they’re historians, data analysts. the reactive generation. The millennials are
taking, alienated adults, mellow into midlife
There are four personality patterns the civics; their peer persons are the GIs.
pragmatic leaders who lead during the
associated with the generations. The first And the last generation, which wasn’t even
secular crisis. They tend to be respected but
one is called idealist: dominant, inner- born in 1991, are Gen Z or Next Gen, a
sort of reclusive elders.
fixated, increasingly indulged as youths, huge generation, the adaptives.
The civic personality pattern: They grow
they come of age inspiring a spiritual up as increasingly protected youths. They The millennial cycle began in 2009. We
awakening. They fragment into narcissistic come of age overcoming the secular crisis. are in the same alignment of personalities as
rising adults. They unite into a cadre of adults that are the late 1920s-mid ’30s, with the feel of the
They cultivate, ironically, moralistic very powerful; they are powerful midlifers country and the things happening now. We
principles as they enter mid-life. They and very busy elders. had the Great Depression in the late ’20s;
emerge as visionary elders guiding the The last is the adaptives: They grow up we had the great recession in 2008.
next secular crisis. When you hear the as overprotected and suffocated youths. The generational coherts seem to be

r Pay attention to non-verbal sets up some distance.

communication, and as k ques tions So when you’re
John Meyer and Carolyn Shadle speaking with one of your
Meyer: When people come into your office, pet parents, find a way
what it smells like—that’s a nonverbal you can sit down if they’re
communication, and it could be a turn-off sitting down, or stand if
or not. The distance you hold from other they’re standing up.
people communicates. Encouraging questions:
The movement you use, including facial Think of questions that
expressions. Winks of the eye, how you found is that if you’re sitting at the same don’t have a yes or no answer, open-ended
shake hands, how you move forward, have level with someone else, you’ve got more questions: “What are you here for?” “What
an effect on your customers. Eye contact is of a peer conversation, whereas if you’re would you like to get out of our visit?”
a very important. either above them or if there’s a table or a “What are you thinking about today?”
Shadle: One of the things that we’ve desk or examining table between you, that “What questions do you have?” r

58 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

repeating and unfolding in paths predicted Our s ociety is an

by the theories of the book. There are a immens ely los s -
bunch of you in the room going “so what?” res is tant s ociety. We
The what is, since the mid-1990s, big don’t talk about death
or dying very much,
companies have believed there’s something
and I think that’s really
to generational constellation theory that s ad, becaus e it leaves
gives them, as marketers, some things to us without tools when
think about in terms of an edge. the time comes .
You’re all still mostly B2B2C—business —Jehanne Gheith
to business to consumer; you’ve got to
move through the vet channel to get where r Be aware of changes grief caus es People often think they’re going crazy
you need to be in pet death care. Jehanne Gheith because of that, but no, it’s just going to
There are 77,000 veterinarians What are some physical changes you’ve happen for a while. They get very relieved
practicing in the U.S.; it’s growing at an 18 seen happen to people in grief? Loss of when you say that.
percent compounded growth rate. Sixty- energy, that tremendous lethargy. Grief Behavioral changes: Maybe you always
eight percent are women. The number research shows that’s so for most people, used to exercise and now you cannot get
of DVM degrees to women significantly and I think it’s because in the back of your yourself to the gym. Or you find yourself
outnumbered men, by a long shot, over the brain, you are trying to make sense of this with a very short fuse and you get irritated
last 10 years. thing that makes no sense—it’s exhausting. all the time—that’s something that happens
Your veterinarian is a millennial woman. Connected with that, people often have with a lot of people.
And millennials, more than any other sleep problems—they sleep all the time, Spiritually, there are big existential
generation, ask for advice from their vets. or they can’t sleep. Appetite, same thing. questions that can come up.
So, the question is, is your marketing to Either they eat Fritos all the time, or they It’s really important to realize that this
the vet channel positioned for millennial can’t eat at all. happens to people who have lost their
women? Is the brochure you’re dropping off Mental changes? One of the most animals as well as those who have lost their
to the vets targeted to millennials? r common things is lack of concentration. people. r





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Matthews Granite offers a wide variety of from table to table and casketing. The ceiling-
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Matthews Legacy Estates expert will visit a education program, “Providing Valuable
READERS: o n the p o ucts an customer’s cemetery to help close a sale with Funeral Services,” approved by the Acad-
se vices ou nee on ine o to a qualified family. emy of Professional Funeral Service Practice.
www.iccfa.com o the upp 1.800.223.4964; www.matw.com This one-hour CEU course explores how
in ea ch n ine the astest
n Qeepr has rebranded itself as KEEP- funeral providers can improve their competi-
a to n the p o ucts an
se vices ou nee at ou une a ho e
ER, Montreal, Quebec. The company tive position in an evolving market with shift-
ce ete o c e ato is working with the U.S. Department of ing consumer preferences, expectations for
Veterans Affairs Veterans Legacy Memorial, value and desire for personalized experiences.
SUPPLIERS: en ou p ess e eases
an interactive online memorial. Keeper is 1.866.419.3010;
a out ou ne p o ucts an se vices
an a out a a s pe sonne chan es
developing new features and improvements www.sauderfuneralproducts.com
an othe ne s to s loving@iccfa.com o for the project which will be available to n HOMESTEADERS, Des Moines,
inc usion in upp ine other customers, including a military section Iowa, has had its A-1 (excellent) financial
on memorial pages and an advanced search strength rating with a stable outlook af-
to find a loved one or perform historical firmed by A.M. Best Co. 1.800.477.3633;
research. 514.886.7900; www.mykeeper.com www.homesteaderslife.com

62 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”

n DIG, parent company of n Christine Toson Hent- ship with EVERDAYS, Detroit, Michi-
FUNERAL DIRECTORS ges, CCE, president of gan. The collaboration gives Passare cli-
LIFE INSURANCE CO., THE TRIBUTE COMPA- ents the ability to offer their client families
Abilene, Texas, has named NIES, Hartland, Wisconsin, automatically created memorial announce-
funeral home owner Pat has received Wisconsin’s ments on the Everdays platform, reaching
Patton to its board of direc- Women-Owned Business everyone they need to.
tors. Patton is owner and fu- Certification. Wisconsin www.everdays.com
neral director at Patton-Schad supports the growth and www.passare.com
Patton Funeral & Cremation Services Hentges success of woman-owned
in the Sauk Centre area of Minnesota. businesses by providing certification that
www.funeraldirectorslife.com validates a minimum of 51 percent female
n THE CENTER FOR LOSS AND LIFE ownership, management and control of the
TRANSITION, Fort Collins, Colorado, company. The program was established
has two upcoming training sessions for to facilitate contracting capabilities for
caregivers on parental bereavement. The women with both the public and private
four-day trainings, “Companioning Bereaved sector. Hentges is immediate past president
Parents,” will be May 4-7, 2020, and January of the ICCFA. Wilbert’s simpliFI system for explain-
11-14, 2021, in Scottsdale, Arizona, and will www.tributeinc.com ing outer burial containers to families
be facilitated by Dr. Alan Wolfelt. Included in n PASSARE, San Francisco, California, consists of a short video and a table
the training materials are “The Handbook for has added an electronic check payment graphic.
Companioning the Mourner” and “Healing a feature. Clients can now run electronic
Parent’s Grieving Heart,” both by Dr. Wolfelt. check payments through Passare’s case n WILBERT FUNERAL SERVICES,
970.226.6050; www.centerforloss.com management sofware, which allows for in- Broadview, Illinois, has introduced a
n NEW MEMORIALS DIRECT, Gig stant ACH transactions anytime, anywhere, program called simpliFI, designed to
Harbor, Washington is now offering funeral using any device. Checks are processed take the confusion and complication out
home partners customized printed materi- through Passare’s integration with WePay. of the outer burial container to families.
als, including seasonal marketing images and “Traditionally, a funeral home may accept There is no cost to funeral professionals.
trifolds. NMD is printing all of its market- a check and deposit it a few days later,” The only tools used are a table graphic and
ing materials in-house. A free acrylic stand said Passare CEOJay Thomas. “Not only a short video. The program aims to present
for the trifolds is included with purchase. does this manual process take up time, information, including personalization
1.877.995.8767; there is also always the chance that the options, to families who may be time-
service@newmemorialsdirect.com; check may bounce. With this feature, crunched and distracted. The presentation
www.newmemorialsdirect.com funeral directors can process a check pay- takes an average of four minutes. Wilbert
ment immediately via ACH transaction. has scheduled webinars to teach funeral
n Darrell Hill, founder and CEO of That means that you will know right then professionals about the new program. The
ETERNITY GARDENS.COM, Chicago, and there if the payment is good or if the schedule is available at
Illinois, has been named to the Green family needs to find an alternative method i ert com sim ifi e inars.
Burial Council Board of Directors. of payment.” 1.888.WILBERT; www.wilbert.com r
www.eternitygardens.com Passare also has launched a partner-

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 63

Update Send in news about your cemetery, funeral home, crematory or association to sloving@iccfa.com. If you publis h anews letter,
pleas e email acopyto s loving@iccfa.com or mail to: Sus an Loving, ICCFA, 1 0 7 Carpenter Drive, Suite 1 0 0 , Sterling, VA 2 0 1 6 4 .

Civil War veterans lead the 1 9 1 8 Memorial People gather for the Memorial Day s er- The 1 9 5 9 Memorial Day parade at Alle-
DayParade into AlleghenyCemetery. vices at Allegheny Cemetery in 1 9 5 9 . gheny Cemetery.

Allegheny observes its 150th Memorial Day

T he very first Decoration Day (later
renamed Memorial Day) observed
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was a small
gathering held on the evening of Sunday,
May 31, 1868, at the First Presbyterian
Church and was organized by members of the
Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.).
The G.A.R. was a Union veterans
organization that was extremely active in
the decades following the Civil War both in
politics and civic affairs. It was decided that,
beginning the next year, the G.A.R. would
instead march to Allegheny Cemetery for the
specific purpose of decorating the graves of
their fallen comrades who gave their lives
that the Union might live.
Thus, the first Decoration Day Parade
and Service in the city took place Saturday,
May 29, 1869, with an 11 a.m. procession
marching downtown from the present day
Mon Wharf. The procession was massive Above, Allegheny Cemetery Pres ident
and descriptions in that Monday’s newspaper David J . Michener addres s es aMemorial
paint a humbling picture. At the head of Day crowd at the 1 9 3 7 Soldier’s Memo-
the procession were 50 city policemen rial overlook ing the Civil War National
marching in four ranks following in step with Cemetery s ection. Left, gues ts enjoy
a complete military band. The policemen at picnic on the Allegheny Cemetery
were followed by several fire companies in grounds during arecent Memorial Day
obs ervance.
horse-drawn hose carriages, carriages filled
with disabled soldiers, soldiers’ orphans, grounds, progress was momentarily delayed
war widows and, of course, the veterans due to the “immense throng” of people
themselves, with officers taking the lead. who had come to attend the solemn scene,
The Second Division broke away from the including over 100 carriages and nearly 1,000
main and marched three and a half miles to nearby church bells. citizens bearing flowers and wreaths.
enter Allegheny Cemetery. When the Second Post Offices were closed, as were nearly The central location at that time was
Division passed the Allegheny Arsenal, all businesses. Homes all along the route the monument of Gen. Alexander Hays, a
where more than six dozen young women were decorated with bouquets, wreaths and notoriously fierce leader, who was killed in
and girls died in a 1862 explosion while flags, and were often draped in black to action at the battle of the Wilderness on May
manufacturing munitions for the war, the signify a nation still deeply mourning the loss 5, 1864. An ornate monument was erected by
parade came to a complete halt and a salute of of so many of her sons. When the procession his men to honor him and, later in the year
37 guns was fired, followed by the tolling of entered Allegheny Cemetery’s hallowed 1869, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant visited the grave

64 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”

citizens and veterans alike dispersed

throughout the grounds to decorate every
marked grave with flowers before gathering
at the Butler Street entranceway for a closing
Since this very first example of what today
we call Memorial Day, Allegheny Cemetery
has continued this time-honored tradition
and did do so for the 150th time on May 27,
2019. Present-day ceremonies take place
at the Soldier’s Memorial overlooking the
Civil War National Cemetery. Over the years,
this has been the scene of Memorial Day
exercises through the Spanish American War,
both World Wars, the Korean War, Vietnam
and the 21st century War on Terror.
Eight Civil War generals rest at Allegheny
Cemetery, as do more than 130 United States A World War II veteran releases a dove
Colored Troops who fought for the Union for peace.
A photo from the (long defunct) Pitts- in their first moments of freedom following 11 a.m. The service included a gun volley,
burgh Sun Telegraph of veterans of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than wreath laying, dove release, military flyover
three wars meeting at Allegheny Cem- 15,000 veterans from every American conflict
etery’s 1937 Memorial Day service. From
and remarks about the meaning of the
are buried here, including three known Medal day. Following the service, the Allegheny
left, veterans of the Spanish-American
War, Civil War and World War I. of Honor Recipients. Cemetery Historical Association hosted a free
This year’s service began at 10 a.m. with community picnic in the park that included
of his personal friend, sat on an inverted a parade marching from 36th and Butler food trucks, music, face painting, classic car
cannon, and wept. From the Hays monument, Streets to enter Allegheny Cemetery around show and historical reenactors. r

In memoriam n PARK LAWN CORP., Toronto, Ontario, Civil War stories, panels of local veterans tell-
is acquiring Horan & McConaty Funeral ing their stories and a reenactor of President
Davig G. Reichle Services and The Baue Funeral Home Co. Abraham Lincoln.
David G. Reichle, 45, Chi- for an aggregate total purchase price of ap- n Pierce Mortuary Colleges
cago, Illinois, died May 6, proximately $101.5 million in cash. Horan & has hired Hope Iglehart
2019. He was president of McConaty, Denver, Colorado, owned by John as president of GUPTON-
American Wilbert Vault Horan, traces its roots to 1890, and today op- JONES COLLEGE OF
Corp., representing the erates two cemeteries and 11 funeral homes. FUNERAL SERVICE,
third generation of the family business. Baue, established in 1935 and owned by Lisa Decatur, Georgia. Iglehart has
He earned a degree in business Baue, operates a large cemetery and four fu- extensive experience in both
administration from Emory University neral homes in the Greater St. Charles County higher education and funeral
in Atlanta, Georgia, and an MBA from area of Missouri. Both Horan and Baue will Iglehart service. She is a fourth-gener-
DePaul University in Chicago. remain active in their respective businesses ation licensed funeral director and embalmer,
Survivors include his wife, Amy M. following the close of the acquisition. Park as well as a certified crematory operator and
Reichle; three children; his parents; three Lawn and its subsidiaries own and operate cremation arranger. She has an MBA degree
sisters and two brothers. businesses including cemeteries, crematoria, from Piedmont College, a bachelor’s degree
Visitation was held at Friedrich-Jones funeral homes, chapels, planning offices and in English from Bennett College for Women
Funeral Home & Cremation Services, a transfer service. The firm has operations in and an associate’s degree from Gupton-Jones.
Naperville, Illinois. A Mass of Christian five Canadian provinces and 13 U.S. states. During her 18 years in academia, she served
Burial was celebrated at Immaculate n FOREST LAWN, Glendale, California, in numerous rules, most recently as cam-
Conception Catholic Church, Chicago, expanded its Memorial Day remembrance pus academic dean at Gupton-Jones, where
and interment was at St. Adalbert this year with Glendale Sunrise Rotary’s she also was student support coordinator,
Cemetery, Niles, Illinois. Field of Honor, a week-long series of free, instructor and program chair. Prior to joining
Memorial donations can be made to family-friendly educational events. Events GJCFS, Iglehart held various positions at
Immaculate Conception Catholic School, began with the dedication of a field of honor Athens Technical College and the University
7263 W. Talcott Ave., Chicago, IL with 1,000 American flags on the lawn of Georgia, including learning specialist, aca-
60631. r adjacent to Forest Lawn-Glendale’s entrance. demic advisement, registration and recruit-
Additional events included reenactments of ment and faculty. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 65


A Whole New World with new horizons to pursue at PLPA College

oin the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance for by anonymous telephone shoppers calling
the premier event in the pet loss industry. organizations offering pet loss services. Learn
This year’s PLPA College, A Whole New how to assess your team’s telephone etiquette,
World, will be on July 17-19 at the Holiday and how you can be confident that they really
Inn University of Memphis, in Memphis, “have the caller at hello.”
Tennessee. Here are some of the sessions at this
year’s PLPA College: Can History Predict the Future?
Coleen Ellis, CPLP
Thursday, July 18 If you’re a history buff, you can’t help but think when you
Risk Management in the Pet Loss Profession read or hear the morning news that you’ve “seen this movie
Jim Starks, CFuE, CCRE before.” What if you have? What if the rhythms of how four
Find out some of the risks that can affect a pet loss business. We different generational archetypes repeat and align over time
will start off with what could happen in the work environment actually helps forecast future behavior? Many of the most
such as theft and accidents. We’ll then discuss the different sophisticated marketers believe this is the case, and have been
OSHA standards that your pet loss business needs to be aware blending generational marketing theory with segmentation and
of and what measures are needed to address each standard. cohort modeling for nearly 30 years to instruct their marketing
Finishing up, we’ll touch on standard operating procedures and influence product design. You’ve likely never heard of this
that should be followed, from making the removal to returning before, but this presentation will have you raising an eyebrow
the cremated pet remains to the pet owners. Failure to properly and murmuring, “So that’s why they do what they do!” The
manage the risks of providing pet loss services and/or operating marketing insights of this presentation are fascinating and might
a pet crematory is an invitation for disaster. just help you develop the competitive advantage necessary to
enjoy how this movie ends.
Standard Operating Procedures
Kevin Woronchak & Mark Meinholz, CPLP Friday, July 19
Do you want to be considered “THE” place to go in your area Is Your Virtual Employee Performing at Their Best?
for pet deathcare needs? Is your business operating ethically, Holly Snyder
morally and within the PLPA Standard Operating Procedures? Your virtual employee is that extra person who is always there
Learn about the new PLPA SOPs, how to implement them and but always forgotten: your website and social media presence.
who will be checking for compliance. Is your website relevant for today’s pet parent? Is it attracting
business, educating your customers and monetizing correctly?
Working Lunch: The Importance of Pet Trusts When was the last time you did a content evaluation? Are you
Peggy Hoyt, CPLP using social media effectively? Learn how to make sure your
For most of us, there isn’t a week that goes by without us being virtual employee is performing at their best.
asked to help re-home a pet, especially in case where a pet
parent has entered hospice or died. During lunch, Hoyt will Legal Issues Pet Deathcare Providers are Facing
discuss best practices that you can share with families, so they Poul Lemasters, Esq.
can be proactive vs. reactive, ensuring their pet’s life does not What legal trends should you be aware of? As the pet death
have to end because their owner can no longer care for them. care profession continues to grow, so does the opportunity for
risk exposure. In this session, Poul Lemasters from Lemasters
What’s Your First Impression? Consulting will highlight four trends, each in a 15-minute speed-
Nicole “Nicki” Wiedeman, CSE learning format. This session will help you protect your growing
A phone call is often the first impression that families and business.
veterinarians have of your business. Is the impression you are
giving one of professionalism and caring? In this session, Nicki For more information on PLPA College, visit
Wiedeman will share what she has learned from data collected www.myplpa.org. q

Membership benefit spotlight: eHealth Medicare plans

rovided by eHealth, ICCFA members have access to free quotes on Medicare plans.
These plans include Medicare Advantage, Medicare supplement insurance and
prescription drug plans, all in one convenient location. EHealth offers plans from
numerous health insurance companies, including BlueCross BlueShield, Humana and more.
You can even explore options with one of their licensed agents to find plans to match your needs and budget.
For more information on eHealth and to see more membership benefits and services, visit www.iccfa.com, log in with your
username and password, and then click on Programs & Benefits. q

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

Thank you to
our 2019 Annual
• Academy of Professional • Global Atlantic Financial Group
Funeral Service Practice • Global Recruiters Cincinnati
• ADDvantage Casket Co. • Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuary
• Answering Service for Directors (ASD) • Hillside Memorial Park & Mortuary
• Argent Trust • Homesteaders Life Co.
• Assurant • Inglewood Park Cemetery
• Batesville • Johnson Consulting Group
• Blackstone Cemetery Development • Legacy.com
• C&J Financial • Lending USA
• Cairn Partners • LoveUrns LLC
• Carriage Services • Madelyn Co.
• Carrier Mausoleums Constructions Inc. • Matthews Memorialization
• Cemetery360 • Merendino Cemetery Care
• Cherokee Casket Co. • National Guardian Life Insurance Co.
• Chosen Payments • NOMIS Publications Inc.
• ClearPoint Federal Bank & Trust • NorthStar Memorial Group
• Coldspring • Park Lawn Corp.
• Creedy & Co. • PlotBox
• Cypress Lawn • Precoa
• Disrupt Media • Service Corporation International
• Eckco Products • Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum
• Everdays • The Gardens at Gethsemane
• Express Funeral Funding • The Tribute Companies
• Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks & Mortuaries • The Woodlawn Cemetery
• Foundation Partners Group • UPD Urns
• Funeral Directors Life Insurance • webCemeteries.com
• Gaffney Group • Wilbert Funeral Services

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 67


Start every day at the ICCFA Café at www.iccfa.com July 2019 68

I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

McCles k ey Maus oleums Sinos ource International

Vital ICE Expres s Funeral Funding

Tile Artis ans Digital Imaging Global Atlantic Financial Group Catholic Extens ion

Acuff, Jon (p. 27), acuff.me Gibson, Dr. Lynn (p. 52), Smith Funeral & mamarkell@stcloudstate.edu
Anderson, Tyler (p. 50), Precoa, Portland, Cremation Services, Maryville, Tennessee, Merendino, Gino (pp. 32, 46), Merendino
Oregon, tanderson@precoa.com Lynn@smithlifeagency Cemetery Care, Linden, New Jersey,
Baxley, Justin (p. 38), Foundation Partners Gober, Doug (p. 52), The Foresight Compa- 1776gino@gmail.com
Group, Orlando, Florida, nies, Phoenix, Arizona, Mooney, Gwen (p. 54), Cave Hill
jbaxley@foundationpartners.com doug@theforesightcompanies.com Cemetery, Louisville, Kentucky,
Behounek, Josh (p. 46), Davey Heppell, Robin (p. 30), Funeral Gurus, Vic- Gwen@cavehillcemetery.com
Resource Group, Kent, Ohio, toria, British Columbia, Olvera, Jennifer (p. 54), Green Hills Memo-
josh.behounek@davey.com robin@funeralresults.com rial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes, California,
Bowker, Ellery (p. 40), Aftercare.com, Clin- Hong, Welton (p. 38), Ring Ring Marketing, jolvera@ghmp.com
ston, North Carolina, ellery@aftercare.com Las Vegas, Nevada, Primo, Joe (p. 42), Good Grief, New York
Bridgers, Tim (p. 50), Live Oak Bank, welton@ringringmarketing.com City, New York, joseph@good-grief.org
Wilmington, North Carolina, Hutchings, Jake (p. 32), Bradley-Morris Inc. Quiocho, Abbie Brammer (p. 32), Indie As-
tim.bridgers@liveoakbank.com and Recruit Military, Chesapeake, Virginia, set Partners, Indianapolis, Indiana,
Burke, Chris (p. 58), AGIA Affinity, Carpin- jhutchings@bradley-morris.com aquiocho@indieasset.com
teria, California, CBurke@AGIA.com Jay, Vicki (p. 42), National Alliance for Ramsey, Stephanie (p. 32), The Foresight
Caudle, Dorman (p. 52), Carolina Donor Grieving Children, Lubbock, Texas, Companies, Phoenix, Arizona,
Services, Advance, North Carolina, Vicki.Jay@ChildrenGrieve.org stephanie@theforesightcompanies.com
DCaudle@carolinadonorservices.org Johnson, Jake (p. 38), Johnson Consulting Salberg, Lori (pp. 38, 54), Johnson
Chancellor, Jeffrey (p. 42), Group, Scottsdale, Arizona, Consulting Group, Scottsdale, Arizona,
HS Eckels & Co., Guelph, Ontario, jjohnson@johnsonconsulting.com lsalberg@johnsonconsulting.com
jchancellor@eckelsandcompany.com Jorgensen, Mark (p. 38), Global Shadle, Carolyn, & Meyer, John (p. 58),
Corporon, Mindy (p. 24), Recruiters of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio, Interpersonal Communication Services,
www.mindycorporon.com mjorgensen@gmcincinnati.com La Jolla, California, cshadle@mac.com
Comerford, Brett (p. 32), Recruit Military, Kaplan, Rabbi Morton (p. 33), Shane, Rob (p. 30), Batesville, Batesville,
Virginia Beach, Virginia, Temple Beth El, Charlotte, North Carolina, Indiana, robert.shane@batesville.com
brett.comerford@recruitmilitary.com templebethel.org Sherrin, Neil (p. 40), Plotbox, Ballymena,
Dudley, Drew (p. 26), www.drewdudley.com Kmiec, Beth (p. 48), Clearpoint Federal Northern Ireland, neil.sherrin@plotbox.io
Dupree, Jodie (p. 50), SCI North Carolina, Bank & Trust, Batesville, Indiana, Speaks, Brad (p. 42), Speaks Family Legacy
jodie.dupree@sci-us.com elizabeth.kmiec@clearpointfederal.com Chapels, Independence, Missouri,
de la Cruz, Shawna (p. 54), Forest Lawn Lazar, Jill (p. 40), Hoffman Funeral Home brad.speaks@speakschapel.com
Memorial-Parks, Hollywood Hills, Califor- & Crematory, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, Stuart, Linda (p. 48), Toronto, Ontario,
nia, sdelacruz@forestlawn.com jill@hoffmanfh.com linda@linda-stuart.ca
Forastiere, Mat (p. 42), Park Lawn Corp., Leechner, Jack (p. 32), CCMS, Theising, Ashlee (p. 48), Clearpoint
Houstin, Texas, mforastiere@siggrp.net jlechner@ccms.edu Federal Bank & Trust, Batesville, Indiana,
Garcia, Gerardo (p. 50), Columbarium Lemasters, Poul (pp. 30, 54), Lemasters ashlee.theising@clearpointfederal.com
by Design, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Consulting, Cincinnati, Ohio, Troyer, Jason (p. 52), Mount Hope
g.garcia@columbariumbydesign.com poul@lemastersconsulting.com Grief Services, Maryville, Tennessee,
Gheith, Jehanne (p. 59), Duke University, Lopez, Andy (p. 30), Stonemor, Trevose, drjasontroyer@gmail.com
Durham, North Carolina, gheith@duke.edu Pennsylvania, alope@stonemor.com Williams, Paul (p. 46), Congressional Cem-
Gilbert, Allison (p. 42), Markell, Marc (p. 48), St. Cloud State etery, Washington, D.C.,
allison@allisongilbert.com University & University of Minnesota, pwilliams@congressionalcemetery.org r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com July 2019 69

I C C FA 2 0 1 9 C O N V E N T I O N

Blackstone Cemetery Development J. Stuart Todd Inc. Crystal Remembrance Roberts & Downey Chapel Equipment


Calendar 63 A.C. Furniture

11 Aftercare.com
➤E-mail calendar listings to sloving@iccfa.com and bclough@iccfa.com
31 American Cemetery/Mortuary Consultants
19 American Funeral & Cemetery Trust Services
July 16: ICCFA Crematory Operator Training, Dallas Institute of 59 American Memory Craft
Funeral Service, Dallas, Texas. www.iccfa.com
35 ASD—Answering Service for Directors
July 17-19: Alabama Funeral Directors Assn. 133rd Annual
Convention, Point Clear. www.alabamafda.org
7 C&J Financial
41 Carrier Mausoleums Construction
July 17-19: PLPA College, Holiday Inn, University of Mem-
phis, Tennessee. www.iccfa.com/plpa-college 3 Coldspring
July 19-24: ICCFA University, Fogelman Executive Center,
23 Columbarium by Design LLC
University of Memphis, Tennessee. www.iccfa.com 29 Continental Computer Corp.
July 25-27: Florida Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Assn. 53 Custom Air Trays
Conf., Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel & Marina. 45 Eagle’s Wings Air
www.thefccfa.com 47 Eickhof Columbaria Inc.
July 31-August 1: Cremation ssn o o th e ica’s st 33 Ensure-A-Seal
Annual Cremation Innovation Convention, Louisville, Ken- 35 Flowers for Cemeteries
tucky. www.cremationassociation.org 31 Funeral Call Answering Service
August 5: Ohio Cemetery Assn. Annual Convention & Trade 49 Funeral Services Inc.
ho i ton a en nn ia is u isp a s o an e 72 funeralOne
day at Calvary Cemetery, Dayton.
www.ohiocemeteryassociation.com 43 Grever & Ward
August 12-14: West Virginia Cemetery & Funeral Assn. An-
39 Heritage Flower Co.
nual Conf., Fayetteville. www.wvcfa.org 57 Holland Supply
August 18: New York State Funeral Directors Assn. Annual 39 Holy Land Stone
Convention & Expo, Saratoga. www.nysfda.org 71 IMSA
August 18-21: Tri-State (Alabama, Mississippi & Louisana 47 Inman Shipping Worldwide
Cemetery Assns.) Convention, Grand Marriott Hotel Point 57 Kryprotek
Clear, Alabama. 601.910.7305 9 LoveUrns LLC
August 27: Batesville Casket webinar, “Simple strategies to 27 Madelyn Co.
elevate your brand and create value for consumers.” 4 Matthews Cemetery Products
www.Batesville.com/Webinars 59 Mausoleum Supply
September 8-10: Two Hearts Pet Loss Center Grief Compan- 43 McLean, Koehler, Sparks & Hammond
ionin e ti cation ass oston assachusetts
twoheartspetlosscenter.com r 2 Merendino Cemetery Care
25 National Guardian Life Insurance Co.
39 National Mortuary Shipping & Cremation

Classifieds o p ace a c assi e contact

55 National Museum of Funeral History
Rick Platter, rplatter@iccfa.com 35 Nomis Publications
31 Northeast Mausoleum
31 Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel
5 Paradise Pictures
45 Regions Funeral & Cemetery Trust Services
53 River Valley Bank & Incredible Bank
43 Security National Life Insurance Co.
23 SEP Technologies
27 Supply Link
55 Triple H Co.
21 U.S. Metalcraft
13 Wilbert Funeral Services
35 WithumSmith + Brown
51 Zontec Ozone r

70 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”