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December 2018

MAGAZINE
CEMETERY CREMATION FUNERAL

West Laurel Hill’s Pet


Center offers families
complete pet services
• The economic argument
for offering pet services
• A final jeep ride & fitting
service for a 4-legged vet
• A special memorial for a
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• Communication basics

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December 2018

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Promoting consumer choices, prearrangement and open competition

Providing exceptional education, networking and legislative guidance and support


to progressive cemetery, funeral and cremation professionals worldwide

10 PET SERVICES
The Laurels offers families one-stop service for their pets
Why offer pet services to your families? For West Laurel Hill,
doing so was a matter of responding to community interest. People
Glenda Glassman and Spartacus at the were asking for their help with memorializing their beloved pets, and
grand opening of The Laurels Pet Center
West Laurel Hill didn’t want to keep turning them away.
at West Laurel Hill Cemetery & Funeral
Home. David and Glenda Glassman’s interview of Deborah Cassidy by Susan Loving
previous Spanish water dog, Maximus,
was the first pet interred at The Laurels 20 PET SERVICES
Pet Cemetery. The economic argument for adding pet services
Should you add pet-loss services to your business?
8 President’s Letter From a purely economic standpoint, it makes sense, especially
Fall conference offered us help with
our daily management challenges
as the cremation rate continues to rise.
Christine Toson Hentges, CCE by John McQueen, CFSP
9 Washington Report
24 2017 KIP AWARD FIRST PL ACE WINNER: PETS
Seeing 2019 with 2020 vision
by Robert M. Fells, Esq. Clock’s arranged a final jeep ride and fitting service for a 4-legged
34 Supply Line vet Veterans deserve a send-off that honors their service. Clock
36 Update
Timeless Pets helped a former Marine arrange a fitting farewell
38 Former association President for a fellow veteran, a dog that had served three combat tours.
‘Hap’ Bledsoe started a cemetery, Clock Timeless Pets, Muskegon, Michigan
championed veterans, traveled
the world 28 2017 KIP AWARD HONORABLE MENTION: PETS
39 Colleagues rmember ‘Happy’ Timberland Urns helped veteran honor beloved dog
Bledsoe, an industry icon
A Marine Corps veteran wanted a special memorial for his beloved
40 Help available with
explaining funerals to children
Labrador retriever.
46 Calendar, Classifieds, Ad Index
Timberland Urns, Eagon, Minnesota

ICCFA officers Cremation and Funeral Association. Subscription


December 2018 rates: In the United States, $39.95; in Canada,
Christine Toson Hentges, CCE,
VOLUME 78/NUMBER 10 $45.95; overseas: $75.95. One subscription is
president
Jay D. Dodds, CFSP, president-elect included in annual membership dues. POST-
Andrés Aguilar, vice president MASTER: Send address changes to ICCFA
Paul Goldstein, vice president Magazine, 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100,
Katherine Devins, communications manager; Daniel Osorio, subscription coordinator
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
Gary M. Freytag, CCFE, 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
nadira@iccfa.com ; 1.800.645.7700, ext. 1225 100, Sterling, VA 20164-4468; 703.391.8400;
Magazine staff
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 2018 by the International Cemetery,
1.800.645.7700, ext. 1214

4 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ICCFA news
42 ICCFA 2019 Annual Convention 30 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
aims to get you on the right track The 2 1/2-minute manager The communication basics
• Keynote speakers Mindy Corporon, by Todd W. Van Beck
Drew Dudley & Jon Acuff
• Educational Foundation Reception 32 MANAGEMENT
to honor Ernie Heffner, CFuE Cemetery Impossible: Starting a cemetery with no experience has
• Convention sponsorships not gone well Heritage is an important asset when you’re selling
April 2-6, 2019 cemetery property, so starting a new cemetery is a challenge, one you
44 DEAD Talks might not be up to if you have no experience in the field.
Don’t miss the DEAD Talks by Daniel M. Isard, MSFS
at Wide World of Sales 2019
January 23-25, 2019
45 ICCFA online ICCFA calendar
go to www.iccfa.com for program, registration & scholarship information
cremation certifications
training
December 11-12 2018 Cremation Certification Training
ICCFA Cremation Program Coordinator Poul Lemasters, Esq.
45 Membership benefit spotlight: December 11 & 12, Live stream: Cremation Arranger & Operator
Savings on products at Best Buy Training, The Wilbert Group, Broadview, Illinois
45 2019 music licensing available
through ICCFA for $276
Deadline for discount is January 31, 2019 2019 ICCFA Wide World of Sales
45 Apply for a 2019 ICCFAU scholarship January 23-25, Bally’s Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada
to attend 2019 session, July 19-24 Co-chairs Tim Fish and Delana Pratt
scholarship applications
due February 18, 2019
2019 ICCFA Convention & Expo
April 2-6, Charlotte Convention Center &
The Westin Charlotte, Charlotte, North Carolina
Co-chairs Mathew Forastiere and John Gouch Jr.

2019 ICCFA University


July 19-24, Fogelman Conference Center, University of Memphis,
Memphis, Tennessee,
Chancellor: Jeff Kidwiler, CCE, CSE
Catch the WIRELESS newsletter in your
inbox for industry news, stories about colleagues
making headlines and updates on ICCFA Plan to arrive at the
educational events & conferences ICCFA 2019 convention
in Charlotte, North Carolina,
Follow the ICCFA’s LinkedIn in time for a special reception.
page to read breaking news about
colleagues, the profession and the 6:30 p.m. at the NASCAR
association Tuesday, April 2 Hall of Fame
http://bit.ly/2du252P

Follow the ICCFA on Twitter


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association’s educational events
& conferences
http://twitter.com/iccfa

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to read up-to-date news on the
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including the pit crew challenge and racing simulators.
headlines and ICCFA events & Tickets $20 (order when you fill in your convention registration form)
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6 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
President’s Letter
by ICCFA
2018-2019 Fall conference offered us help with
President Christine
our daily management challenges
C
Toson Hentges, CCE
oming off the high of our Fall Manage-
ment Conference, I write this at the mid-
term of my presidency. The fall meeting
was a fantastic way to celebrate this milestone,
which seems to have arrived quickly. The
program was chaired by my talented and dear
friends Lauren Blevins and Andrés Aguilar, who
did an excellent job of bringing us a solid and
thought-invoking session.
One of our speakers, Bruce Tulgan, spoke for an
entire day, which may sound risky when it comes to
keeping everyone’s attention, but his content about Fall Management Conference attendees enjoy a
reception at Manalapan, Florida. The 2019 con-
employee engagement, hiring/retaining talent and
ference is in Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico.
christieh@tributeinc.com continuously striving to be the best managers we can
be was intriguing and kept the audience’s attention professionals stay relevant and progressive. Besides
➤Hentges is president and
the entire time. offering a wealth of excellent programming, the Fall
CEO of The Tribute Compa-
nies, Hartland, Wisconsin. One of the highlights of the program was hearing Management Conference was held in a beautiful
our members’ questions about real-time challenges, location in Florida. In 2019, the conference will be
answered in ways everyone could learn from. Being September 25-27 at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya in
humble and recognizing we are all confronted daily Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico. Once again, it’s
with issues that can wear on our time and energy are sure to impress, so mark your calendar now.
at the heart of getting the most from these sessions.
Bruce effectively conveyed realistic approaches for Up next: DEAD Talks
handling daily managerial issues. The next ICCFA meeting will be the annual Wide
The second day began with our excellent World of Sales at Bally’s in Las Vegas, January
government and legal affairs panel members, who 23-25, 2019. This is the perfect meeting for your
gave us an updated “state of the association” talk “boots on the ground” sales counselors, sales
about what the ICCFA is doing for its members. managers, general managers, as well as suppliers
Government and legal issues are a huge deal for and vendors who want to learn more about the sales
Above, Fall Conference Co- all of us, but unfortunately too many people adopt process. This conference has always been based on
chairs Lauren Blevins, CCFE,
an “it won’t affect me” attitude. The fact is, if your giving attendees useful information in an intriguing
and
operation hasn’t been affected yet, it will be at some and fast-paced format. This year’s new format,
Andrés
point. What we learn through these government and “DEAD Talks,” will mimic the well-known “TED
Aguilar.
legal affairs updates (available twice a year, at the Talks.” This is sure to be another excellent learning
fall conference and at our convention in the spring) experience for everyone.
Right,
as well as the work our Government & Legal Affairs Did you know there are scholarships available
speaker
Bruce Committee does year-round to keep us informed for this meeting, as well as for ICCFA University
Tulgan. about what’s happening in this arena are crucial to all (July 19-24, 2019)? The deadline to apply for a
of our operations. scholarship for the 2019 WWS has passed, but you
Below, The conference also included a session featuring can still apply for a scholarship for ICCFAU. The
Les colleagues from within our profession discussing ICCFA Educational Foundation is making a total
Schnei- what ecommerce looks like now and how it should of 100 scholarships available for these two premier
der, be structured to be the most effective going forward. educational opportunities, so be sure to bookmark
ICCFA’s They made it evident that right now, our ecommerce https://iccfa.com/scholarships/.
tax is targeting price shoppers. Are we doing this Whew! So much energy is coming from the
counsel, intentionally or unintentionally, since this is the ICCFA! Don’t miss a beat; stay on top of everything
speak- simplest approach? Are we forgetting the person happening by following the ICCFA on Facebook,
ing at the
who cannot get to our facility—or chooses not to do Twitter and LinkedIn.
Govern-
ment & so—but would see the value in higher-end options if I continue to enjoy serving as your president
Legal we presented them online? and doing everything I can to promote ICCFA
Affairs Staying informed and ahead of the game is membership and to help all of our members benefit
Breakfast. critical for all of us. The ICCFA continues to offer from everything the association has to offer them and
the best information to help funeral and cemetery their organizations. r

8 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
Washington Report
Seeing 2019 with 2020 vision by ICCFA General

G
Counsel Robert
iven the necessary time lag between charges against him were a little sketchy. M. Fells, Esq.
magazine writing and publication, Today we have calls for the impeach- robertfells@iccfa.com
by the time you read this column ment of the president, and again the 1.800.645.7700,
you will know something that I do not. charges are sketchy. The original cause ext. 1212
Namely, you will know the outcome of the de’celebre of Russian collusion doesn’t direct line: 703.391.8401
national midterm elections of November 6. seem to be panning out, and where there
I am limited to repeating the predictions and appears to be the possibility of misconduct
wishful thinking of political stakeholders by somebody, the culprit is not the ➤Fells is ICCFA general counsel, re-
who hope that by announcing how they president. Not since Ronald Reagan’s sponsible for maintaining and improv-
want the election to turn out, it will. fabled “Teflon coating” have we seen a ing relationships with federal and state
Historically, the party in the White House president elude his critics. government agencies, the news media and
for a four-year term will experience a sort These observations are only background consumer organizations.
of buyer’s remorse by the voters at the two- to get to the real issue of what can we ➤ Fells has worked on behalf of the ceme-
year mark when the stunning promises of the expect from our federal government in tery and funeral service profession on legal
campaign trail fade in the cold light of elected 2019. Tax reform has become a Hobson’s and legislative issues since 1975 and joined
office. In other words, our political leaders Choice, i.e., no choice at all, of either the ICCFA staff in 1983. He is retired from
his position as the association’s executive
win by their promises, then placate the voters making permanent the tax cuts of the recent
director, which he held for six years.
with excuses. Hence, the opposing party will tax law or repealing those tax cuts and
almost certainly make gains, and possibly raising taxes. ➤ He has published
win the majority, in the House or Senate. Immigration reform presents a choice a number of books.
His latest, “The Curse
For this election, the Democrats are between sealing our southern border or
of the Tomb,” brings
given good chances to assume the majority legalizing all the “undocumented workers”
back Maj. Alexander
in the House of Representatives, although who call the USA their home now. This Armstrong, who featured
it is said to be less likely in the Senate. so-called amnesty policy seems to have in two previous books.
But as the 2016 election proved, the been inspired by the rule in baseball about The discoveries of
experts sometimes are very wrong in their stealing bases. If you arrive before being the royal tomb of King
predictions. tagged out, then you’re safe. In both cases, Tutankhamen creates a
Everybody knows that the Democrats tax and immigration reforms, it is easy to huge black market in forgeries of antiquities
dislike President Trump because he’s a understand why Congress keeps kicking where the stakes include murder, and the
Republican. Less well known is that the the can down the road. No matter what they British government seeks assistance from
Republicans also dislike the president for might agree on doing, too many voters will the Americans.
the same reason. Mr. Trump is a political hate it. Hence, they do nothing.
gatecrasher. This doesn’t mean that the government
Nobody in either party wanted him will do nothing. The term “deep state”
to run for president, but the time-tested means different things to different people,
control over candidates, i.e., funding, did but for our purposes it means the work-a-
not apply to Donald Trump, who stunningly day bureaucracy cranking out more laws
is wealthy enough to pay the staggering and regulations with frightening efficiency.
campaign expenses. How can either party Just today I checked on what’s new:
or even both parties working jointly control today the federal agencies enacted 126 new
such an individual? The simple answer is regulations. In the last seven days, they issued
that they can’t. 470 new regs; in the last 15 days there were
By coincidence, I have been reading a 964; in the last 30 days there were 1,862 new
recent biography on Napoleon (by Andrew regs. In the last 90 days there have been 5,703
Roberts). I don’t see President Trump as new regs. I could go on, but I don’t want to
Emperor Napoleon, but there are some be accused of inflicting cruel and unusual
astonishing similarities about the times they pain on our members.
both lived in. To conclude, no matter which party
Now as then, there is the troubling aspect has triumphed on this year’s Election Day,
of “guilt by accusation” when the burden the promises made will dim, but the key
is shifted onto the accused to prove his or question will continue to be: What role do
her innocence. In the 1790s it was called Americans want the federal government to
the Reign of Terror; today it’s called “the play in their lives? The nation is seriously
resistance.” Back then the calls to dethrone split on this issue, so it should not be
the king finally succeeded, though the surprising that Congress is, too. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 9


interview by ICCFA Magazine
Managing Editor Susan Loving
sloving@iccfa.com PET SERVICES
ICCFA Magazine spotlight Why offer pet services to your families? For West Laurel Hill,
DCassidy@
WestLaurelHill. doing so was a matter of responding to community interest.
com People were asking for their help with memorializing their beloved
➤Deborah
Cassidy has pets, and West Laurel Hill didn’t want to keep turning them away.
been director of
sales, market-
ing and family
services at West
Laurel Hill Cem-
etery & Funeral
Home since
2001.
www.west
laurelhill.com
➤West Laurel
Hill Cemetery
& Funeral Home, Bala Cynwyd, is a 187-
acre non-profit cemetery founded in 1869.
Laurel Hill Cemetery, West’s sister ceme-
tery, had been founded in 1836, with West
Laurel Hill started nearby when growth of
the original cemetery was stymied. The
organization acquired Bringhurst Funeral
Home in 1996 and a new building was
constructed on cemetery grounds. In 2016,
Bringhurst was rebranded to bring it under
the West Laurel Hill name. There is also a At the Yappy Hour grand opening in June 2018 of The Laurels Pet Center, from left,
crematory on the cemetery grounds. Wilson Smith, West Laurel Hill board member; Deborah Cassidy, West Laurel Hill
director, sales, marketing and family services; West Laurel Hill President and CEO
Nancy Goldenberg; and Chris Conti, West Laurel Hill capital projects manager.

The Laurels offers families


one-stop service for their pets
W
est Laurel Hill Cemetery and service. They can inter their beloved pet
Funeral Home is both historic at The Laurels Pet Cemetery. Or, they can
and progressive. The cemetery arrange for aquamation (which at this point
was founded in the 19th century. In the Pennsylvania allows for pets, though not
21st century, the company has looked to for humans). If they have the cremated
the future, adding green burial services remains of pets at home, they can bring
and committing itself to a sustainability them to the pet cemetery’s scattering
initiative designed to reduce its carbon garden. Yes, West Laurel Hills has gone
footprint company-wide. from offering no pet services to offering
In the 20th century, cremation and complete pet services.
funeral services were added, making West ICCFA Magazine talked to Deborah
Laurel Hill a one-stop destination for Cassidy, director of sales, marketing and
death-care services—with one exception. family services at West Laurel Hill,
When people asked for help saying Why did West Laurel Hill decide to add
goodbye to their pets, West Laurel Hill had pet services? Were you looking for a new
nothing to offer, at least not until this year. revenue stream, or hoping people who
West Laurel Hill is now a full- use your pet services would later use your
service combination operation, covering human services?
How West Laurel Hill’s pet services’ humans and pets. Pet owners can make
home page shows up on a cell We’ve been looking into pet services for
arrangements at The Laurels Pet Center,
phone. quite some time, but more because we
where they can hold a visitation or small

10 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
Above, the historic
house, formerly used
by a cemetery care-
taker, that was reno-
vated for use as The
Laurels Pet Center.

Left, some of the


attendees at the
Yappy Hour grand
opening/cocktail
reception for The
Laurels Pet Center.

Above, the aquamation processor from


Bio-Response Solutions.

Left, the sign for The Laurels Pet Ceme-


tery, across the street from The Laurels
Pet Center.

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 11


PET SERVICES

We know that pets are people to their owners—we know that from talking to the families we’ve met.
And obviously our hope is that if we’ve done a wonderful job on one side, they’ll choose us for the other.

Above, an aerial view of The Laurels Pet


Center. Right, the arrangements area.
he na en n the h t
building were uncovered and restored.

Above, the product display cabinet. More


products can be viewed on computer
monitors. Right, the visitation/living
room area features comfortable seating,
a ht a ette an a a fi e a e
in one corner. Below, the kitchen.

wanted to be able to help families. When it Laurels Pet Cemetery is a completely When you say behind, is the aquamation
comes to death in any category, we wanted designated area; it has a beautiful entrance. unit in a separate building?
to be able to offer our services. While it is on our grounds, it’s completely Yes, it is in a separate building. We were
We have traditional burial, cremation separate from West Laurel Hill Cemetery. attempting to put it on the back of the pet
options, funeral services, green services. It is right across the street from our funeral home, but the building is a historic
A lot of families were asking if we bury pet center, which is where we do our home. After doing a lot of research, we
pets, and we had to say no, we couldn’t arrangements, where we can do visitations. decided to use one of our buildings that’s
serve them. So we did a lot of research and We didn’t want the center to look like a behind the pet center.
discussed what we wanted to offer. veterinarian’s office. We wanted it to look The location is perfect and our capital
Yes, it took us a little longer than like a funeral home—a pet funeral home. projects manager, Chris Conti, did a
someone who might just decide to take a Right behind The Laurels Pet Center is our fantastic job of renovating the whole area
portion of their property and say, “Here’s aquamation center. and putting all the equipment in. It’s quite
our pet section.” So all our pet services are located in the a sight—the first water-based cremation
That is not what we have here. The same area. site for pets in Pennsylvania.
➤to page 14
12 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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PET SERVICES

Above left, the building behind The Laurels Pet Center that houses the aquamation center and the entrance to the aquamation
center with The Laurels branded rug. Above right, the aquamation equipment and cold storage units inside the aquamation center.

➤from page 12 Why do you call your facility the The


Y’all have held a pet event for years Laurels Pet Center, rather than The
before adding pet services. Laurels Pet Funeral Home?
We’ve done the Woof, Wag and Walk The building is a bit historic. Also, we’re
twice a year, in the spring and the fall. It’s not embalming in that building, so it’s
a fundraiser for a local group—the SPCA, not really a funeral home. It really is
Pals for Life or another non-profit. They a “center,” where we do arrangements
do such a great job, especially the no-kill and you can have a visitation. The more
shelters. technical aspects—the placing of the pet in
This year we didn’t do the spring Woof, a casket and into the aquamation unit, are
Wag and Walk because we were having the done in a separate building.
opening of the pet center, but we did one Some participants in a Woof, Wag and The center is strictly for meeting
Walk event at West Laurel Hill, which families, finding out what they’re
in the fall to benefit Pals for Life. holds the event twice a year to bring
In June, we held a “Yappy Hour” to interested in in the way of arrangements
pet parents to the cemetery and raise
celebrate the opening of The Laurels, even and, if they’d like, holding a visitation.
money for local nonprofit pet groups.
though technically we had already done six How many rooms do you have in the
pet burials by the time we held our official What exactly are you hoping that adding center? Do you have a product display?
opening. Sixty or 70 people came and we pet services will bring to your business?
We have a kitchen area, the arrangement
got coverage in the Philadelphia Enquirer, Number one, we want to make sure we area and what I would call the visitation/
the Metro, the Jewish Expo and Philly. can serve families—I never want to turn a living room area downstairs. Upstairs there
com. family away. I also always want to be ahead are two offices and a large conference
How long did it take you to bring the pet of a trend, and we’re behind this trend. area. There are restrooms downstairs and
center from idea to grand opening? We know that pets are people to their upstairs. We’re not using the upstairs
owners—we know that from talking to right now, because we just don’t have the
It took about three years, and that was the families we’ve met. And obviously
because we had to work with the township volume of business yet, but it is there for
our hope is that if we’ve done a wonderful us when we need it.
because of the location of the pet area. job on one side, they’ll choose us for the
They are doing a lot of enhancements and In the arrangement room, we have a
other. If we’ve met them for the first time display cabinet with products, including
construction is happening nearby—new by offering pet services, the hope is that
apartment complexes and things like that. caskets. It’s a rather large room and also
they’ll know we’ll treat their human family houses the technology—the computers and
They wanted to change things such as members just as well as we’ve treated their
lights and crosswalks on the roads by our monitors where we can order a memorial
pets. stone. We didn’t want to overwhelm
pet area.

14 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 15


PET SERVICES

I think pet services are similar to green burial services. You’re not going to suddenly
have 200 burials in a month. But it is a trend, and I think there will be steady growth.

The entrance to The Laurels Pet Cemetery, which is across the street from The Laurels Pet Center, as seen in the photo below.
The 3-acre cemetery has its own entrance and includes a walking trail for people and their pets.
people with products, so there are more I think pet services are similar to
available to look at online. green burial services. You’re not going
Do you pick up the deceased pets and take to suddenly have 200 burials in a month.
them to the aquamation center if there’s But it is a trend, and I think there will be
not going to be a visitation? steady growth.
Yes. Even if there is going to be visitation, Do you have any expectations for the
the pets still go to the aquamation center, aquamation facility, or projections for
which is where they are placed into a casket how many aquamations per year you’re
and then transferred to the pet center. expecting?
If the family doesn’t want their pet in a I think we were talking about 30 in the first
casket for the visitation, Chris has come up year. It’s so new and different, and we’re
with a bedding area. want to overburden a family by having to trying to educate families. It’s more about
choose this and then this and then this. the relationship we’re building with our
With a kitchen available, I guess you can If people want to upgrade anything or
serve light refreshments. local veterinarians.
change something, of course we’re going We’ve met with about 15 of them so far,
Exactly, yes. There’s a refrigerator and a to do that. But if it’s just easier for them and we’re planning a private reception and
sink, but not a stove. If someone wanted to to choose a package, we want to offer the tour for the veterinarians and their staffs so
bring in a caterer, they could set up in the family that alternative. they can understand the process and feel
kitchen. How many burials have you done at this comfortable using our services.
I saw that you offer a pet service package, point? I think a lot of our local veterinarians
which includes a graveside service. Are Eight. The amazing part is, we thought that use an out-of-state company from New
you offering the package because you the aquamation rate was going to be higher Jersey to pick up their pets. We’re offering
found that on the people side, people like than the burial rate, but at this point (six a local alternative.
packages, so you thought you’d offer One of the main reasons we went with
weeks after opening), we have had only
them on the pet side? aquamation is our sustainability initiative,
three aquamations. One of those was a pet
Yes; it’s just easier for people. You don’t alligator, Sheldon. which we started several years ago. We’re

16 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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PET SERVICES

always thinking about how we can do things that there are a lot of families who want
that are more local, that cut down on our euthanization at a certain point, and we
carbon footprint. didn’t want to have to tell them that we
We have a brochure that explains can’t refer them to anyone.
aquamation that we give the veterinarians Lap of Love has such a good reputation,
and also families. we believe they’ll provide families with
A constant complaint we hear from the same level of care that we give.
attendees at the pet sessions at the ICCFA A lot of families do take their pets to
convention is that it’s really, really hard their own veterinarian, which is fine, also.
to get business from veterinarians—or You also have a partnership with two
even to simply get in to talk to them. Some organizations to offer grief support.
companies choose to market directly The memorial for Maximus, a Spanish
We refer people to Queenies Pets and
to pet owners, but it sounds like West water dog who was the first pet interred
at The Laurels Pet Cemetery. The family Deborah Massey, LCSW, a psychotherapist
Laurel Hill is interested in working with who offers pet grief counseling. I think it’s
held a service officiated by a rabbi for
veterinarians, as well. their beloved pet. important to offer families the information
Right. We’re still meeting with and build- about where they can get counseling after
ing relationships with the veterinarians, We have had training from Bio- losing a pet, whether they end up using the
but I keep going back to the fact that when Response Solutions, the company that service or not.
a person is in our care, they’re in our care provided the aquamation unit. There have They offer group grief sessions and
from start to finish—they never leave our been three or four training sessions for have someone available on-call to talk to
care. our grounds crew, who are certified in our people.
And it’s the same with our pets. When flame-based cremation and now have been
trained by Bio-Response in aquamation. Have any of the burials you’ve handled
we pick up the pet, the family doesn’t have been burials of cremated remains that
to worry that they’re being taken to a third They’re the people taking care of the pets.
Chris, our capital projects manager, is people had been storing at home?
party. Their pet is being taken to the same
overseeing the entire operation. The eight burials that I mentioned were
place people trust with their loved ones.
So you might be adding people in the full traditional burials, but there was also a
Do you know how long it will take to pay burial of cremated remains, and yes, it was
back the investment that you’ve made future?
a pet who had died some time ago. They
in renovating the buildings, adding the Yes, depending on how the business had a quiet graveside service and burial.
aquamation unit and developing the pet grows. I’m thinking we’ll have at least two We do have a scattering garden, as
cemetery? individuals for that business, I’m hoping well, so people can also scatter their pet’s
Our hope is that the investment is paid within the next year. remains in that area.
back in five years, and I don’t think we’re What exactly does your concierge veteri- Do you plan on marketing your burial
being too aggressive, either. narian take care of for you, and how did area and scattering garden to families
I read in one of the articles about your you choose him? who have pet urns at home, urging them
facility that there are some other pet Lap of Love is an organization with to move the remains to your cemetery?
services offered in the area. an unbelievable reputation for helping We certainly want to do that, but it’s a very
They’re not like ours. There are cemeteries families with end-of-life care for their pets. sensitive topic, just as it is on the human
that have basically taken a portion of their We met with Dr. Brad about five years ago. side. It’s difficult to market.
property and said, “OK, this is going to be He was interested, number one, because he As you know, there are so many
the pet section.” There’s no landscaping, has seen our human operation, and realized cremated remains that are found after
no separate entrance, no lighting. that we’re a company he would be able to someone has passed away, either in the
Believe me, we looked at many of refer families to. attic, in a closet, in the garage or basement.
them. The majority of them pretty much We talked at length about how it would I don’t know how you market to those
opened up a field and said, “This is going work. Basically, families call us to let us individuals. I don’t want to use the term
to be for pets.” And they don’t offer the know that a pet is passing away. If they “market to.” Maybe “educate,” let people
range of service that we do. Our facility is want to arrange for euthanization, we know through word-of-mouth.
top-notch. contact Dr. Brad, who then will talk with A lot of individuals end up burying
the family, schedule a time at their home Fluffy in their back yard. They’re not
What hiring of staff, or retraining of
or the pet center. That’s one of the reasons supposed to, but they do.
existing staff, has been involved in adding
we have the visitation center, so that it can
pet services? Your cemetery has three acres available
be done there as well. Lap of Love then
We haven’t added any new staff, because transfers the pet into our care. in the pet cemetery. That’s a pretty
we don’t need to at this point. Our existing substantial commitment.
What made you realize that you would
family service representatives are the ones Yes. A little less than one acre has been
need or want someone like this?
who meet with families, just as they would developed. There are 400-500 full-body
for a human arrangement. When we surveyed people, we learned burial spaces, and an area for interment of

18 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
PET SERVICES

100 cremated remains.


That’s a lot of space for full-body burials, Grow Your Business
Naturally
but I can see that in your average
suburban neighborhood, as opposed to
out in the country, if someone started
digging a grave in the back yard,
neighbors would be asking questions.
I would think so. But also, the whole
mindset about pets has changed. When
we were growing up, we loved our pets,
but we wouldn’t think about actually
purchasing burial property for them.
Now, they are really part of the family.
And there are people who have decided
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I think that’s another reason why
individuals are now thinking more along
the lines of actually burying their pet in
a place they can visit even after they sell
their house, rather than in their back yard.
How did you choose the area where you
placed the pet cemetery? Is it contiguous
to any human burial sections?
The way our cemetery is laid out, we have
one large parcel, and then you go across
the street and there’s another section. The 6-Point Bamboo Coffin
pet section is separated from the human $495 Flat-Packed
Packed
burial areas by property and a roadway. It’s
across the street from the pet center.
The pet center used to be a caretaker’s Seagrass Casket
home. We have three houses on the ceme- $799
tery grounds that were used by people who
worked there. This one is located by an
entrance, the back gate.
People can get to the pet center either
by driving through the human cemetery or
by going through this other entrance. So
the pet center and cemetery are part of our
property but also sort of separate, a distinct
area.
We don’t want families who aren’t real
thrilled about pets to think that we’ll be
burying pets right next to their mother or
Suitable for Burial or Cremation
father. Caskets and Coffins Nested Sets and Volume
What sort of feedback have you gotten include Standard Ground Shipping Discounts Available
from families about adding pet services?
Wonderful feedback. It’s like with
everything else, it’s all about them being
aware of what you offer. But yes, those
who have heard and talked to us are really
thrilled that we’re doing this.
Have you gotten any negative comments
about adding a pet area to a very historic,
well-known cemetery?
No, I can honestly say, not one. Not one. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 19


by John McQueen, CFSP
ICCFA Magazine spotlight PET SERVICES
john.mcqueen@
andersonmcqueen. Should you add pet-loss services to your business?
com
From a purely economic standpoint, it makes sense,
➤ McQueen is the
managing director especially as the cremation rate continues to rise.
of innovation

The economic argument


and professional
development
for Foundation

for adding pet services


Partners Group and
the former owner of

T
Anderson-McQueen
Funeral Homes in St. Petersburg, Florida.
A second-generation funeral director he 1996 romantic comedy “Jerry dropped during the recession (December
and embalmer, he has been active Maguire,” starring Tom Cruise and 2007–June 2009), spending on pet food
in numerous funeral organizations Renee Zellweger, included these stayed constant.”3
and is considered a leading innovator famous five words: “You had me at ‘hello.’” So what does all this mean to the funeral
within the funeral industry. He is a It’s a sentiment common to every pet parent. industry? Well, the answer is simple:
recognized speaker both nationally and
Is it the cold nose, the sloppy kisses or the opportunity. As with all things loved in
internationally as well as an author.
sound of the kitten’s purr? Whatever it is, our life, there comes a time when we all must
➤ Foundation Partners Group is a pets capture our hearts and quickly become a say goodbye. Who better to help a grieving
private company which serves more than part of the family. family cope with the loss of a loved one–
23,500 families annually at 78 funeral
Pet ownership has taken the United furry or not—than a funeral professional,
homes and nine cemeteries in 17 states.
States by storm, with 56 percent of all U.S. someone who understands the needs of the
www.foundationpartners.com households owning at least one pet and most grief-stricken?
owning multiple pets. Dogs top the scales at Sure, there are some in our profession
36.5 percent, followed by cats at 30.4 percent, today who still say “I didn’t go to mortuary
birds at 3.1 percent and horses at 1.5 percent. school to handle dead pets,” and that’s their
That’s 200,487,000 pets, or 2.36 pets per right. But for those who truly care about
household at any given time.1 helping a family along the grief journey with
Assuming the average life expectancy of a the goal of finding peace, there is no greater
pet is 7-10 years, a family could easily own a joy than caring for all in our communities. At
dozen pets in a lifetime. Anderson-McQueen, we are the place “where
In addition to the cost of acquiring these the healing begins,” which means we are here
little bundles of joy, your new “fur-ever” to help those in need, whether they be two-
friend will require food, medical care, legged or four-legged.
lodging, pet-sitting services and ancillary Grief is real, and for most pet parents,
products. So much so that, according to the grief is very pronounced, especially in
American Pet Products Association, in 2015 the early stages after the death. As funeral
total pet industry expenditures reached $60.59 professionals, this provides us with a great
billion, up from $58.04 billion in 2014.2 opportunity to serve our community in a
In fact, our spending habits on our pets positive and impactful way. We not only can
appear to be recession-proof. Even during help people deal with the loss of their beloved
the not-so-distant difficult economic times in pet, but also, and more importantly, we can
the U.S. that put many families out of work, educate them on the value of the funeral
spending on pets declined only one-tenth of and the benefits of acknowledging loss in a
one percent while still representing 1 percent positive way.
of all spending in the U.S. Everyone in funeral service today
“In 2011, households spent more on their recognizes that our industry is changing—
pets annually than they spent on alcohol in many cases at a rapid pace. The
($456), residential landline phone bills ($381) biggest change confronting many funeral
or clothing for men and boys ($404). Average professionals is the shift in disposition from
household spending on pet food alone was burial to cremation. This shift has impacted
$183 in 2011. This was more than the amount the way we do business, from the services we
spent on candy ($87), bread ($107), chicken offer to the profits we generate.
($124), cereal ($175) or reading materials Why has it affected our profits so greatly?
($115). Even when spending at restaurants When your funeral’s “guest of honor” is

20 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 21
PET SERVICES

Pet service also allows you to “touch” families in the 25-55 age bracket
who are not interested in talking about pre-need planning for themselves but
will have an impact on funeral decisions for their aging parents or grandparents.

optional, the competitive playing field watch the pennies, the dollars take care of individual’s personal wishes for death care
becomes larger and more diverse. Our themselves.” Those two statements always as opposed to their pet ownership status.
competition is no longer just the corporate or seemed contradictory, but I can see now In other words, those families interested
independent funeral home but rather the local that they were addressing strategic and non- in cremation for themselves saw no prob-
country club, fine hotel, beachfront setting strategic expenses, respectively. lem with the funeral provider offering pet
and, in many cases, our local hospices. cremation services as well, whereas the
Historically, funeral homes were How pet services can traditional burial-oriented families did have
marketed with a “top of mind awareness” add to your bottom line a potential issue with pet cremation being
campaign focused on building trust within Creation of a pet-loss busines is not only offered by their funeral home.
the community. We wanted to be viewed a strategic expense, but also an immediate Of course, given the rise in cremation
more as a friend in the community than as a generator of revenue. It creates new revenue rates and its continued climb for the
business. from both new and existing customers. forseeable future, I’d place my bet on the
As such, funeral homes would spend tens Better yet, it does so for both your pet and cremation consumer for the future of my
of thousands of dollars on various campaigns, human businesses. business.
from charitable efforts to community events As a marketing tool, it allows you to Beyond the research, from a practical
such as holiday season programs, grief care “touch” families more often. Remember, the standpoint, our funeral home has seen
seminars and community-minded campaigns average family has 2.36 pets at any given an increase in call volume since adding
(“Don’t Drink & Drive,” “Cancer Awareness” time, each with a 7-10-year life expectancy. pet cremations to our menu of available
or “Don’t Text & Drive”). We focused on They will be experiencing the loss of a services. In 2016-2017, we would have on
advertising our importance to the community, pet more often than the loss of a parent average six to eight families a month tell
as opposed to our goods and services. or grandparent. Therefore, you’ll have us the reason they chose our funeral home
We also worked hard to get free publicity, multiple opportunities to serve this family for their loved one was because we had
which is considered more powerful than and build a strong and loyal following so cremated their pet.
paid advertising but is much harder to that your name is “top of mind” when the In fact, the typical comment was, “If you
obtain. Though these kinds of efforts are next loved one dies. would do all that for our dog, wow, what
commendable, they are expensive and often Pet service also allows you to “touch” would you do for our mom?” By treating
minimally effective. Don’t even get me families in the 25-55 age bracket who are these pet parents and their deceased pets
started on radio and television advertising. not interested in talking about pre-need with the same dignity as any of our other
It’s a popular push by marketing companies, planning for themselves but will have an client families, we were able to show them
but results are not easily measured, it’s very impact on funeral decisions for their aging the value in what we do and the positive
expensive and television ads are being seen parents or grandparents. impact it had on them.
by fewer and fewer people. Pet service also gives you the chance to This positive experience in turn provided
However, there is hope for success in “touch” families outside of your traditional them with greater perceived value in what
funeral service today. One way is through market, as well as families previously our funeral home could do for their loved
the implementation of an effective pet-loss served by your competitors. It will build ones and made them willing to forgo the
business. It’s a way to achieve top-of-mind brand loyalty, not only with funeral clients low-cost providers to pay a higher premium
awareness and build trust in the community you’ve served in the past but also—and for peace of mind.
while making money rather than spending more importantly—with clients you’ve yet Furthermore, if you provide a positive
it. Sure, it will cost you money to start a to serve. experience for pet parents, they are willing
pet-loss business, but if operated properly, it If you’re not already providing pet to “go the extra mile” to deal with you. In
will make you money. services, you’re probably teetering on the fact, I can recall one family who drove from
As Bob Fifer states in his book, “Double edge, wondering, “Should I get involved in Palm Harbor to St. Petersburg to use our
Your Profits in 6 Months or Less,” there pet-loss services or not?” More importantly, funeral home for a simple cremation for
are two types of expenses: strategic and you’re probably wondering, “Are my client their mother.
non-strategic. Strategic expenses are those families going to be comfortable coming Keep in mind that Palm Harbor is
which create new revenue from new or to a funeral home that also offers pet about 30 miles away from our downtown
existing customers. Non-strategic expenses cremation services?” location, and it takes almost an hour—on
are everything else (i.e. rent, office supplies, Several years ago, Homesteaders a good day—to make the drive. Even
administrative costs, etc.). surveyed more than 500 consumers (age more importantly, the husband and wife
When I read his book, some of the things 50+) and found it to be a rather polarizing drove past approximately 40 other funeral
my parents used to say became clearer. issue in that there was no “middle ground.” homes, many of which are considerably less
They would say, “You have to spend What was interesting, though, is that this expensive.
money to make money,” and also, “If you polarization was more connected to the They had been so impressed with our

22 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
PET SERVICES

services for their dog that price and distance needed to wow pet parents. parents, spouse’s parents, spouse and
were no longer an issue. What mattered to Secondly, you must implement processes him or herself. That’s at least six more
them was the experience they would receive and drive the culture in such a fashion so funerals – not including recommendations
and the trust and connection they already as not to create second class citizens. In that might be made to others, extended
felt with our firm from having used us for other words, whether you are serving a pet family members and friends who might be
their beloved pet. family or a human family, you must serve influenced to come to you during his or her
both with the same professional standards lifetime (and even beyond).
What you need to consider and with dignity. If you don’t, the venture At an average funeral price, in today’s
By now, you can see the advantages of will fail. You’ll end up negatively impacting dollars, of $6,800, that’s a lifetime value of
integrating pet loss into your funeral home both your pet and people businesses. $42,200 ($40,800 in funerals plus $1,400
offerings. However, there are a few things Finally, let’s talk about the lifetime value in pet cremations) generated from that pet
you need to consider before you “em-bark” of a new customer. What can a successful parent you “wowed” with your excellent
on this new adventure. interaction with a family suffering the loss service.
How will you brand your pet loss of a pet have on your bottom line? As an Let’s assume you’re effective at making
business? Will it be a part of your funeral example, a 48-year-old individual has an this conversion from middle-aged grieving
home or will it be separate? Everyone has 80-pound dog who dies, and you generate pet parent to advocate of your funeral home
an idea about what strategy is better, but about $200 for the pet cremation. That will only 20 times a year. From those 20 people,
if you look at the pet business as a way of not have, admittedly, a huge impact on your you could see a lifetime value of $844,000.
increasing funeral home market share and bottom line today. So, let me leave you with these two
as an extension of your funeral home’s His or her life expectancy is probably questions:
marketing, then tying the two together another 30 years. Conservatively, what • How much you would be willing to
makes the most sense. are the number of future sales you may spend in marketing/lead generation dollars
You also will need to consider the impact experience from this one interaction? Future to obtain another $844,000 in revenues?-
of staff culture and staffing requirements. pet losses at a rate of 2.36 pets per family • Would it be worth an initial investment
Who will help these grieving families? with an average life expectancy of 7-10 of time, energy and money to have custo-
What if your funeral directors do not years means that individual may experience mers who will pay you to convert them into
embrace pet services? Is it better to use non- seven pet deaths or more over the next 30 future business, as opposed to you spending
licensed staff? Do those individuals helping years. Let’s call it another $1,400 in pet money trying to secure potential leads?
your pet families need to be pet parents cremation revenue.
themselves? You’ll have to answer these I know what you’re thinking—it’s still 1. www.avma.org/KB/Resources/Statistics/
questions and many others as you plan your not a lot of money. However, let’s look at Pages/Market-research-statistics-US-pet-
voyage. the human side of the business. First of ownership.aspx
Regardless of the decisions you make, it all, if you provided excellent service, this 2. www.learnvest.com/2016/02/americas-
is imperative that you do two things. First, individual becomes an advocate not only of pets-by-the-numbers-how-much-we-spend-
you’ll need to “lead from the top.” You’ll your pet division but of your funeral home, on-our-animal-friends
need to be the champion of pet loss services which is co-branded with the pet division. 3. www.learnvest.com/2016/02/americas-
if you want your staff to buy in to the Conservatively, you could expect to pets-by-the-numbers-how-much-we-spend-
concept and in turn create the experiences handle the funerals for this individual’s on-our-animal-friends r

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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 23


K I P A WA R D S 2 0 1 7 : P E T S E R V I C E O R M E M O R I A L

Veterans deserve a send-off that honors their service.


Clock Timeless Pets helped a former Marine arrange a fitting farewell
for a fellow veteran, a dog that had served three combat tours.
➤First Place:
Clock Timeless Pets,
Muskegon, Michigan

WHAT THE JUDGES SAID


n A wonderful, loving, sensi-
tive farewell to honor a military
dog hero.
n This memorial is a tribute
to all military service dogs and
their service and sacrifice.
n The fact that the service
was organized to take place
on a naval ship is amaz-
ing. I can’t think of any way
this could have been better:
The convoy, the dress blues,
the veterans on hand to pay
tribute.

Cena in his dress blues, no longer able to walk but still able to appreciate some attention.

Clock’s arranged a final jeep ride


and fitting service for a 4-legged vet
M
aking sure funerals for U.S. military hospice to arrange for euthanasia to be conducted
veterans honor them for their service on the USS LST 393, a landing ship built for the
is important to people in the funeral U.S. Navy during World War II and now being
and memorialization profession. That includes used as a museum ship in Muskegon.
veterans who happen to have four feet, as Clock DeYoung wanted Cena’s final ride to be in a
Timeless Pets, Muskegon, Michigan, showed top-down jeep. A convoy that included hundreds
when organizing a service for Cena. of vets riding their motorcycles, flags flying,
Cena, whose nickname was “Chicken,” was turned out to escort Cena to the ship museum.
a 10-year-old black Labrador who served as a Hundreds of veterans, other community
bomb-sniffing dog with the U.S. Marines for members and service dogs came together to
three tours, retiring in 2014. honor Cena.
He was then adopted by his first handler, DeYoung and Cena were both dressed in
Jodi Clock, president and Marine veteran Lance Cpl. Jeffrey DeYoung of
owner of Clock Timeless Pets full military blues. Cena was carried onto the
Muskegon. The two had worked together on a LSP and into the War Dog Memorial, where
with her husband, Dale, and
their dog, Sam. combat tour in Afghanistan. the veterinarian, Dr. Laurie, was waiting. Two
In 2017, Cena developed a fatal form of veterans stood guard outside the area, holding
bone cancer. When the end was near, DeYoung U.S. and Marine flags.
reached out to Clock Timeless Pets to help After the euthanization, Dr. Laurie and Jodi
orchestrate a proper military war hero send-off Clock, owner and president of Clock Timeless
for Cena, who was no longer able to walk. Pets, draped a flag over Cena. DeYoung carried
Clock collaborated with Heaven at Home pet Cena off the LST to the removal vehicle as

24 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
KIP: PET SERVICE OR MEMORIAL

Cena in the jeep,


taking his final ride
next to his handler,
Marine veteran
Lance Cpl. Jeffrey
DeYoung. They
were accompanied
by a convoy of hun-
dreds of veterans
and others from the
community.

“Taps” was played. sion to create a memorial for Cena on the Memorial, a national dog cemetery in
Among those present to honor Cena LST, so an additional set of paw prints was South Lyons, Michigan, known as the
was his second handler. Clocks made created. “Arlington of dogs,” to Cena’s interment.
sure that paw prints, digital prints and a Cena was cremated privately. Several At the interment, the Detroit Free
fur clipping were given to both handlers. weeks later, a convoy of jeeps filled with Press reported that a half dozen German
DeYoung had also given Clock’s permis- veterans drove to the Michigan War Dog shepherds, part of the K-9 Salute Team,

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KIP: PET SERVICE OR MEMORIAL

Above left, Lance Cpl. Jeffrey DeYoung


carries Cena to the landing ship now
used as a museum. Following them is
another of Cena’s handlers, Jon North.

Above right, Lance Cpl. Jeffrey DeYoung


carries Cena to Clock’s transport vehicle.

Right, the personalized memorial for mili-


rary working dog Cena at the grave do-
nated by South Lyons War Dog Memorial
Cemetery. It notes that Cena served three
combat tours in Afghanistan. “Friend,
warrior, hero, guardian ... The lives you
saved owe a debt we can never replay.
Rest easy my brother. Until Valhalla.”

Below, Clock’s Timeless Pets created a


memorial at the LST museum in Cena’s
honor with the help of Terrybear.

gave Cena a final salute, kneeling


and howling on command.
Cena’s dress blues, paw prints
and copies of important documents
related to his service are on display
on the LST museum.
The story made national news,
including television coverage
by Lester Holt on NBC News,
“The Today Show” and “Sunday
Morning,” and was covered by
many newspapers.
Clock’s Timeless Pets, Heaven
at Home, the LST museum,
South Lyons War Dog Memorial
Cemetery, Terrybear and the car
dealership that provided the jeep
for Cena’s last ride all donated
their time and services. r

26 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
• CEMETERIES • CREMATORIES • FUNERAL HOMES
• SUPPLIERS • PET LOSS PROFESSIONALS

Submit your news to ICCFA Magazine


Have you held a groundbreaking or grand opening for a new facility? Hired or pro-
moted someone? Is your company offering a new or updated product to cemeter-
ies and/or funeral homes? Have you recently held an unusual service or a suc-
cessful seminar at your location? Added a grief therapy dog to your staff? Share
your news with colleagues all over the world—send it in to ICCFA Magazine! It’s a
simple way to receive some well-deserved publicity for you and your staff and to
share ideas with peers. Here’s how to get your news in ICCFA Magazine:

n Write it down. It doesn’t have to be written perfectly (that’s why we have editors)
—it just needs to include the facts. Remember the basics: Who, What, Where,
When & How (and sometimes Why).

n Send it in:
➤ Email your Word document as an attachment to sloving@iccfa.com, or
write your release in the body of your email. Please include your full name
and title and the company’s name and location in the body of your email.
➤ Photos—high-resolution jpgs—can be emailed or Dropboxed. Remember,
you must have your digital camera set to take high-resolution images before
taking the photos! (If you’re scanning in glossies, they must be scanned in
at a minimum of 300 dpi at the size they are to be printed.)

Questions? Need some guidance?


Email ICCFA Magazine Managing Editor Susan Loving at sloving@iccfa.com.
WHAT THE
JUDGES SAID
n Sensitive approach K I P A WA R D S 2 0 1 7 :
to offering a continued PET SERVICE OR MEMORIAL
connection to a family
member who happens A Marine Corps veteran wanted a special
to have been a pet.
memorial for his beloved Labrador retriever.
n Good story.
n Nice touch to be ➤Honorable mention:
able to add the actual Timberland Urns,
dog tag for this service Eagon, Minnesota
dog.

Above, Timberland Urns President Val Grishpun


with his dog Hunter, whose predecessor was
named Timber. Right, the memorial urn the com-
pany personalized for the veteran who contacted
them directly.

Timberland Urns helped


veteran honor beloved dog
I
n July 2017, a USMC veteran them that his dog had just passed
Another
view of the named Chad P. contacted away. He asked if they would still
type of urn Timberland Urns. He said he honor the discount. They said
the veteran had found the company online and it “absolutely.”
chose for might have a perfect memorial for his He chose a Labrador retriever
his Labra- ailing service Labrador retriever. bust walnut photo urn. By his
dor. Normally, Timberland sells only request, they personalized the urn
wholesale to industry professionals, with a name plaque and inserted
but thought they had to help this a “jump ring” into the Lab bust
young Marine. They told him if sculpture collar so the customer
he ever decided to follow up with could attach his existing nametag.
his order, they would provide an Chad was kind enough to
urn for his beloved companion at a send the company a picture of his
discounted price. memorial with the words: “It looks
In October, Chad contacted amazing! Thank you again for your
Timberland again and informed help and support.” r

28 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 29


by ICCFA Magazine
columnist
Todd W. Van Beck, CFuE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
vanbeck@
guptoncollege. Communication is written and talked about all the time,
edu;
and yet miscommunication abounds everywhere.
toddvanbeck@
gmail.com
ICCFA The 2 1/2-minute manager
Magazine
The communication basics
A
spotlight
➤Van Beck is
h, the fragile world of communication. is a short list of failures to communicate in our
one of the most
sought-after
There are actually human beings out in profession:
speakers and educators in funeral ser- the big wide world who have become • A decedent was almost cremated by mis-
vice. He is the director of continuing multi-millionaires by presenting seminars take after a mix-up on the spelling of his name.
education for John A. Gupton College, on communication, writing on the subject, • A funeral home buried a deceased person
Nashville, Tennessee. posting YouTube videos about the subject. I a day before the wake due to an office mix-
www.guptoncollege.edu just Googled the word “communication” and up caused by two decedents with similar last
I received 583,000,000 hits in 0.52 seconds. names (such as Smith and Smyth). When the
➤Van Beck is dean of ICCFA Uni-
versity’s College of Funeral Home
So, what—you might be thinking—am I doing Smith family arrived for the wake, they noticed
Management and received the ICCFA launching a series on communication? The the person in the casket was not their loved one.
Educational Foundation’s first ever answer is very simple: People misunderstand • A grave was dug in the wrong spot because
Lasting Impact Award in 2014. each other constantly, even with easy access to of interoffice miscommunication. In this case,
583,000,000 articles about communication. a staff member decided to trip up the grave-
More about this subject James Madison, the father of the United digging staff by intentionally providing wrong
➤Previous articles in this series can States Constitution, reminded everyone who information.
be read online by members in good would listen that “men are not angels.” What In this series of articles, I plan to provide
standing. Go to www.iccfa.com under he meant, in my opinion, is that people trip some short, quick lessons about some of
ICCFA Magazine. up other people intentionally, people omit the ways to tighten up and improve human
More from this author items of importance in their communication communication. No system is perfect, but we
knowing that the result will be bad and people’s can try to improve by exploring these ideas.
➤In Van Beck’s book lack of good communication has consistently,
“Exploring the Heart of
throughout history, resulted in wars where Safe assumptions
Funeral Service,” he
explores topics pertinent
millions upon millions of people have been about communication
to funeral communica- killed. 1. Communications skills are acquired
tions and funeral service Human communication can take the indirectly more than they are inborn.
counseling. experience of living to the heights of nobility Great communications are not born, they are
and grandeur. Human communication, or created. Most babies communicate directly, no
➤Van Beck’s book the lack thereof, also can have catastrophic question. When they are hungry, when they are
“Reverence for the consequences. I would suggest that this upset, they scream and cry. (Adults sometimes
Dead: The Unavoid- captures the critical importance of effective attempt this approach to communication, but
able Link,” addresses communication, and explains why there it rarely works.) People are born crying, not
in detail the ethical is so much information about it available speaking. Every bit of every adult’s ability to
standards of caring for at our fingertips (or keystrokes). Even so, communicate—or his or her lack thereof—was
the dead and the ethi- communication blunders endure. learned.
cal consequences of In the introduction to this series, I harkened People learn to speak by imitating others,
not doing so. back to the movie “Cool Hand Luke” and the but simply speaking does not necessarily
➤Van Beck’s book scene where Luke, played by Paul Newman, amount to effectively communicating. There
“The Genius of Frank has just been returned to the labor camp after are hundreds of politicians who never stop
E. Campbell,” is the first another unsuccessful attempt to escape. The speaking but never say anything worth listening
biography of the famed camp warden, clearly angered, looks at Luke, to. A safe assumption: Learning how to
funeral director, prob- who is handcuffed and lying on the ground, communicate never ends.
ably the most famous and utters one of the most memorable lines in 2. Most human conversation is actually
and familiar name in the movie history: “What we’ve got here is failure human babbling. Because of this, it is safe to
history of the funeral
to communicate.” assume that the message you will send or try to
profession. All books available from
In the funeral and cemetery profession, send will be misunderstood. This is a valuable
www.amazon.com.
at some point every day, a manager or staff insight to possess. People tend to think they
member could easily say, “What we’ve got here express themselves perfectly, but usually they
is failure to communicate.” For instance, here are wrong. Our world seems addicted to faster

30 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

and faster communication, but the fact is, sending messages, you are sending messages, good wishes were genuine, simply based on
our brains simply cannot take in and make and, just as importantly, the other person is how they were acting.
sense of information at this breakneck speed. receiving them. You cannot not communicate 8. The final safe assumption, to get us
Our society is already seeing the negative when you are with other people. on the track for this series: Communi-
consequences of such endless shallow 7. Ah, the human eye. A whopping 87 cation is a complex, ongoing, dynamic,
communication. percent of information stored in people’s changing and challenging process. Commu-
Solid communication requires thought. minds enter through their eyes, not their nication is not the simple exchange of words
Solid communication requires that you, the ears. You’ve heard the old saying that from one person to another. Most of us truly
speaker, are actually respectfully interested in “Actions speak louder than words.” Well, believe we are very good at communicating
the other person’s feedback. Here is another it’s true. When your words conflict with with others, and this is not necessarily true.
safe assumption: You should first examine your actions, your listener will believe your More can go wrong in human communica-
yourself whenever you don’t get your desired actions. I was hired as the manager of a tion than can go right, and I have found that it
result from communication. funeral home years ago. When the owner keeps falling apart if you don’t keep fixing it,
3. There is a difference between introduced me to the staff, their behavior and which takes a ton of work.
clearly communicating and being clearly body language was cordial and believable— These are our assumptions as we move
understood. Ask yourself this question: until the owner announced that I would be forward to examine this subject. The next
“How can I send my message in such a way the new manager. All the staff members article will address ideas on how to learn
that I will not be misunderstood?” I will have congratulated me, but I did not believe their more about yourself as a communicator. r
more to say on this subject later on in our
series, but for the time being, play it safe and
assume you will be misunderstood.
4. Dictionaries contain definitions of LED Lighting Solutions
words. The meaning of a word cannot be for Memorial Products
found in a dictionary. The definitions of
words are found in dictionaries. The meaning
E N E R G Y S AV E R
of a word is found in people, and there is a
world of difference between the two.
LED light bulb for Crypt
People do not transmit meaning; we
transmit messages through words and
& Niche Fronts
behaviors that represent and elicit meaning in Warm color for Bronzes
our listeners’ minds. Take the example of the
E A SY TO
T O I N S TA L L
word “frog.” In the dictionary, the word frog
is defined first as a tailless amphibian with a www.septechnologies.com
short squat body, moist smooth skin and very 1 877 515-4672
long hind legs for leaping. That definition is
the one with which most people are familiar.
If a person says, “I ran over a frog today,”
the listener will think that a tailless amphibian
with a short squat body with moist smooth  
skin and very long hind legs for leaping got
squashed on the highway.
However, there is another meaning of
the word frog. In the world of railroads, a
coupling is referred to as a frog, and people
frequently run over them with their cars.
5. This is an easy one. The meaning
people get from you comes less from what
you say than from how you say it. We all
know this is true. A person’s tone of voice,
body language and nonverbal communication  
account for over 90 percent of the meaning
received. (Hence the numerous misunder-  
     
standings generated by emails and text    

messages.
6. When two people are together, it is
utterly and humanly impossible for the 
two not to communicate.  
 
Even when you don’t think you are

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 31


by Daniel M. Isard, MSFS
1.800.426.0165 MANAGEMENT
danisard@theforesight
companies.com
Heritage is an important asset when you’re selling cemetery
ICCFA
Magazine property, so starting a new cemetery is a challenge,
spotlight one you might not be up to if you have no experience in the field.
➤Isard is president of
The Foresight Compa-
nies LLC, a Phoenix-
based business and Starting a cemetery with no
management consulting firm specializing
in mergers and acquisitions, valuations,
accounting, financing and customer
experience has not gone well
surveys. Dear Dan,
➤He is the author of several books, About 20 years ago my wife and decided
and frequently speaks at industry conven- to start a cemetery with two other couples.
tions. We knew nothing about the cemetery
More from this author business before this venture began. We
found land and a landscape architect. We who can perform the sales. It takes time to
➤Educational information, including
copies of this article, can be found at hired companies to build some above- motivate consumers.
www.theforesightcompanies.com ground crypts and niches. We invested At my company, we believe that 80
some of our cash and borrowed heavily percent of all cemetery sales are made
➤You can follow Isard on Twitter at from a local bank. because of the heritage factor. People
@f4sight, LinkedIn and “like” The Fore- We invested $2 million in 50 acres of tend to buy interment rights in cemeteries
sight Companies on Facebook. land, but due to local ordinances, we can where their family and friends are interred.
Editor’s note only develop half of our total space. We An AARP study I saw recently showed
The Cemetery Impossible column is have 25 acres of land for cemetery use that 54 percent of people they interviewed
written by the staff of The Foresight and 25 acres that must be left in its natural bought due to the heritage of the business.
Companies. If you have a question condition. Regardless of whether it is 54 percent or
you want to be featured in this From the beginning of this business 80 percent, a majority of new sales occur
column, please send it to danisard@ venture, we have been losing money and because of the decisions of friends and
theforesightcompanies.com. Dan sleep. We have not been cash-flow positive families in the past.
Isard or a member of his staff will call in any year. Unfortunately, a new cemetery doesn’t
you to get more information and a Now, all six of us are retiring and we have this going for it. It could take 40 to
recommendation will be provided via this 60 years to have enough sales so that a
don’t want the hemorrhaging of cash we
column, helping not only you but also
are spending to keep this business afloat. cemetery can achieve this momentum of
others who are facing similar challenges.
We want to sell but have been told by a new sales based on past ones. You don’t
well-known cemetery broker we will never have that kind of time.
get our money out of it. We are probably Even if you had some of the time, I
going to lose $1 million or more if it is cannot do an assessment of the cash it will
sold. What can we do? take to get you to be positive cash flow.
Help! Too often new cemetery owners act from a
Dear Help, landscape mindset rather than a cemeterian
I am so sorry to hear your story. In a mindset.
capitalist society, anyone can become the Too much inventory is a huge problem.
richest man in the US (google the name Jeff For example, if you pre-vaulted 500
Bezos) and any wealthy person can become graves, this might be more than 10 years
penniless due to bad decisions. The drive of inventory. A cemetery is like any other
of entrepreneurism often leads to blind business in that it has inventory. Too much
ambition. I am sorry for your outcome. inventory is money wasted and therefore
Turning this business around will take creates an interest expense which can be
cash and time. While I don’t know what more than the business can afford.
financial resources you have, I can see that You acquire a cemetery by either
if all of you are retiring, you don’t have buying one or starting one. If you buy
time. Unfortunately, in a turn-around, time one and overpay you will be behind the
may be the more important commodity. eight-ball forever. If you start one and
It takes time to get a sales program up overspend, the problem is just as bad.
and running. It takes time to train the staff Buyers frequently overspend on the

32 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
MANAGEMENT

The trouble with cemeteries is the lenders are almost always going to require a personal guarantee.
Therefore, if you cannot meet the creditors’ needs via the business bankruptcy, you will be forced to
use your personal assets to make up any difference. For people who have assets, this is a real threat.
land. For example, in your situation, you lose the right to operate the cemetery, as business bankruptcy, you will be forced to
spent $2 million for essentially 25 acres. state regulators can take it from you. If the use your personal assets to make up any
That is $80,000 per acre. At 6 percent, the state takes the cemetery from you, you will difference. For people who have assets,
interest expense alone is about $120,000 still owe the bank their money, as I assume this is a real threat, because they won’t be
per year. You will need about $1.2 million you have given a personal guarantee. able to avoid the guarantees they provided
to $1.5 million in annual sales to generate So, if you review the options, the first on the business debts.
enough operating profit just to pay the option is to do nothing and continue to A key difficulty in using our bankruptcy
interest expense. operate at a loss. This is not a good option. courts is these courts have their own
An investment of $80,000 per acre has Bankruptcy offers a business or an rules, language, words and techniques.
a land cost of about $80 per grave. That is individual (or both) the chance to start Frequently, only lawyers with specialized
before adding the cost for roads, fencing, fresh under certain conditions. It can educations work in the bankruptcy system.
utilities and buildings. It is one thing if alleviate debts that cannot be paid while In some towns there are not enough of
you paid cash for the land, but there is no offering creditors the chance to recover them. In some towns, there are not enough
turnaround that will get you to positive from the assets that are unsecured. bankruptcy attorneys due to conflicts of
cash flow in less than five years. Often the business and individual must interest.
declare bankruptcy because the two are We often see banks with improper
The options intertwined, with the individual providing recorded liens. The bank may have put a
So what is the answer? It is not something a guarantee on business debts. lien on the property, but once it becomes
I have proposed often, but in your case the The bankruptcy option offers two a cemetery, it is no longer property.
only option might be bankruptcy. possible directions. You can go into The grass is the top of a grave, which is
Why do I say, “might be?” Because I bankruptcy with the effort of discharging inventory. In many states, banks can have
don’t know what state you are operating in liabilities and “come out” with a fresh collateral that is the business entity, but not
and what your loan collateral provides. I start. That is called a reorganization. the underlying assets.
assume you gave a personal guarantee on The other direction is to go into Unfortunately, you and your friends
top of the land as collateral? bankruptcy and be forced to liquidate all are in a bad place. You chose to come into
In general, I don’t know whether your of your assets, with the money going to a business you knew nothing about. You
land can be taken out of its cemetery creditors. Often a business will go into learned much over 20 years but not enough
identity. I don’t know where you allowed bankruptcy in hopes of reorganization, but to be profitable.
burial on the property. I hope the burials after trying various schemes, the business Now you want to get rid of the cemetery,
are clustered rather than spread out. Now, has no option but to liquidate. and one thing you didn’t learn about was
with that disclaimer, let me present you the The trouble with cemeteries is the your exit strategy. You will be spending the
possible solution. lenders are almost always going to require next few years learning all about that.
Right now you own the business and a personal guarantee. Therefore, if you I wish you luck. And I wish you’d
have to support it. Fail to do so and you will cannot meet the creditors’ needs via the talked to me 21 years ago. r

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Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 33


Supply Line
n AMERICAN MEMORY CRAFT, n INMAN SHIPPING
Grants Pass, Oregon, is celebrating its 10th WORLDWIDE, Cleveland,
anniversary by launching a new website. Ohio, has hired Monica
The website not only serves as a catalog, Torres, LFD, LE, as national
it also explains how an urn is made, tells account manager. She was
the history of hand-blown glass made into previously with NXT Genera-
cremation urns and offers a view of some of tion Mortuary Support and
the company’s people. Families may view is a reconstructive specialist
the company’s products, but prices are not Torres and Desairologist. She will
included online, as the urns are sold only be available to offer advanced continuing
through funeral homes. The company started accredited education credits in embalming
with customers mostly in Oregon and North- and innovative training techniques to Inman’s
ern California, selling three urn designs in a service providers. 1.800.321.0566;
One of American Memory Craft’s hand- variety of colors. The three original designs www.inmanshippingworldwide.com
blown glass cremation urns. are still offered, but the company’s selection n FUNERAL DIRECTORS
has expanded, and also includes solid glass LIFE INSURANCE CO.,
keepsakes. Abilene, Texas, has hired
www.americanmemorycraft.com Laura Augustine and Jason
n PASSARE, San Francisco, California, Mosier. Augustine is direc-
has launched a team calendar feature tor of sales development for
and digital whiteboards. The calendar Pennsylvania. She has more
feature offers a view of all funeral home and than 20 years of experience in
staff-related events and can be viewed from Augustine sales, marketing, training, and
any device. It automatically pulls data from expanding operations and market share in the
cases to create a calendar of events which business sector. In 2012, she began working
can be viewed by day, week and month, as with funeral homes to expand their pre-need
well as a list view. Staff-related evetns such businesses and train top-performing pre-need
as vacations, on-call staff, appointments and sales professionals. She has also specialized
Above, Passare’s digital whiteboard team meetings can be added. The digital in creating and developing funeral home
and, below, its digital calendar. whiteboards are designed to replace the marketing programs. She has an associate’s
funeral home’s need for a daily schedule degree in marketing and management and
to be posted on a physical whiteboard, and isa licensed life insurance agent and Certified
enable staff to view the day’s schedule on Preplanning Consultant.
any device. Funeral home owners can create Mosier is market center
custom dashboard views for each team, from manager for Tennessee. He
administrators to funeral directors to prep has an extensive background
room staff. 925.968.9495; www.passare.com in insurance sales, funeral
n THE ROOSEVELT INVESTMENT home management and sales
GROUP INC., New York, New York, has management. In 2006, he
aquired Value Architects Asset Manag- established his own success-
ment LLC and its affiliate, Blueprint Fi- ful funeral and cremation
READERS: To find the products and Mosier business.
services you need online, go to nancial Planning LLC, both of Hoboken,
New Jersey. The founders of both firms are www.funeraldirectorslife.com
www.iccfa.com for the Supply
Link Search Engine, the fastest joining Roosevelt. n Chad Adams has been
way to find the products and www.rooseveltinvestments.com named president of GOLD-
services you need at your funeral home, n LEGACY.COM, Evanston, Illinois, has EN CONSIDERATIONS,
cemetery or crematory.
launched the Legacy Advisor Network, Dallastown, Pennsylvania. He
SUPPLIERS: Send your press releases which will match Legacy’s demographically had been senior vice president.
about your new products and services, ideal consumers interested in funeral planning Robert S. Rae, founder and
and about awards, personnel changes with local funeral homes. Funeral homes that long-time leader, will remain
and other news to sloving@iccfa.com for
participate in the Legacy Advisor Network CEO. Adams started with
inclusion in Supply Line. Rae the company 20 years ago
will receive realtime contact information
of nearby consumers requesting funeral as a district manager, was promoted to vice
planning information through Legacy.com. president and then senior vice president. He
Participating homes will also receive a full- helped grow the business from a $10 million
featured, customizable profile page within to $130 million company. 1.800.405.4232;
Legacy’s directory. www.legacy.com www.goldenconsiderations.com

34 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
S U P P LY L I N E

n Companion Press of n KELCO SUPPLY CO., Minneapolis,


THE CENTER FOR Minnesota, was featured on the TV series
LOSS AND LIFE “World’s Greatest!” The show highlights
TRANSITION, Fort companies, products, places and people. The
Collins, Colorado, has producer, How2Media, sent a film crew to
printed a new book, spend time at Kelco’s manufacturing facility. Above, Kelco President and CEO Alicia
“Grief Day by Day: “The loss of a loved one is one of the most Carr is interviewed on “World’s Great-
Simple Practices to Help difficult things we go through in life,” the nar- est!” Below, General Manager Joseph
Yourself Survive ... and rator says. “Thankfully, there is a company Samulenas is interviewed.
Thrive,” by Dr. Alan Wolfelt. Dr. Wolfelt that prides itself on helping families create
has often said, “When words are inadequate, a celebration of life. Come with us to Big
use ceremony.” In this new book, he provides Lake, Minnesota, and meet one of the world’s
the tools to do just that. This new resource greatest in memorials and funeral products,
provides both those experiencing grief and the Kelco Supply Co.” The crew interviewed
caregivers to those in grief with everyday General Manager Joseph Samulenas and
practices to allow grief to become authentic President and CEO Alicia Carr and showed
mourning. The book is available in both workers throughout the facility, as well as a
softcover and ebook format. wide range of the company’s products.
970.226.6050; www.centerforloss.com To watch the segment, go to YouTube and
n AFTERCARE.COM, Clinton, North search for “World’s Greatest Kelco,” then go
Carolina, has introduced an effort to en- to the 23:10 minute mark in the show.
courage families to leave online reviews for 1.800.328.7720; www.kelcosupply.com
funeral homes. Aftercare.com customers can n FUNERALWISE, Wilmette, Illinois, has
now have a card included with each survey teamed up with the Final Expense Plan-
mailed to their families that gently asks them ning Specialist Association. FEPSA advisors
to leave a review online. Understanding the can now collaborate with their clients to cre-
need to keep it simple, the family just goes ate a comprehensive end-of-life financial plan A close-up of urn engraving at Kelco’s
to a website and puts in a code and they can through a secure advisor portal on Funeral- manufacturing facility depicted on the
leave a review on Google, Yelp or Facebook wise.com. 1.866.386.9473; “World’s Greatest!” episode.
for that funeral home. www.FuneralWise.com
1.800.721.7097; www.aftercare.com n BOGATI URN CO., Sarasota, Florida,
n BASS-MOLLETT PUBLISHERS, now offers displays, individually and via
Greenville, Illinois, and PASSARE, San special packages. Four styles are available:
Francisco, California, have announced a a white linen horizontal display, a solid wood
new direct integration between Passare with microfiber horizontal display, a small
and Bass-Mollett’s Director’s Print Suite white linen necklace display and a large white
software. “Funeral directors can now sync linen necklace display.
the finalized obituary, photos, service infor- sales@bogatiurns.com; www.bogatiurns.com
mation, vital statistics and much more to their n NEW MEMORIALS DIRECT, Gig
Bass-Mollett software with just the click of a Harbor, Washington is offering limited edi- One of Bogati’s new displays.
button, eliminating the need for duplicate data tion marble urns. This short run series of
entry into two different systems,” said Pas- urns is handcrafted from natural marble with
sare Executive Vice President and CEO Jay three colors to choose from. The lids may
Thomas. www.bass-mollett.com be engraved with text and/or clip art. They
925.968.9495; www.passare.com have a cubic capacity of 108 cubic inches.
n MATTHEWS INTERNATIONAL, 1.877.995.8767;
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has purchased service@newmemorialsdirect.com;
the assets of Gasser-Olds Co. Inc., Vernon, www.newmemorialsdirect.com
California, including the patterns and de- n NATIONAL MORTUARY SHIPPING
signs required to serve its customers. Gasser- AND CREMATION, Cleveland, Ohio,
Olds ceased doing business on October 1, has developed marketing materials about
2018. Founded in 1909 and owned by the dealing with out-of-town deaths. Available
Efurd family, Gasser-Olds was a manufac- free to funeral homes, they explain to families
turer of high-quality, custom bronze plaques how the funeral home can handle all their
and memorials. www.matw.com needs in such cases. 1.800.321.0185;
New Memorial Direct’s new limited edi-
info@natlmortuaryshipping.com; tion marble urns.
www.natlmortuaryshipping.com r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 35


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

n FOREST LAWN, Glendale, California,


observed Dia de los Muertos at four of its
locations. The free events took place at For-
est Lawn-Glendale, Forest Lawn-Cypress and
Forest Lawn-Covina Hills on October 28 and
at Coachella Valley Cemetery on November
2, coinciding with All Souls Day. “Dia de
los Muertos is an important event at Forest
Lawn,” said Rodolfo Saenz, Forest Lawn’s
senior vice president, marketing. “Not only is
the beautiful celebration a favorite among the
community, it also helps realize our mission
to celebrate life while honoring and remem-
bering the past.”
For each of the events, marigolds and
brightly colored ofrendas or altars trans-
formed the memorial parks into radiant and
majestic spaces for remembrance. Aztec
dance performances, mariachi music, art,
food and refreshments and prayer set a lively
backdrop for the community to light candles, Community ofrendas, or altars, were set up at the Forest Lawn parks where Dia de
position photographs and mementos and re- los Muertos celebrations were held.
tell stories that keep the memories of genera-
tions of loved ones alive. Each of the events acres of land in the Township of Lafayette, The Island Funeral Home and Crematory
at the Forest Lawn parks featureed majestic, New Jersey. The $3 million purchase closed opened in 1981 and added its first crematory
colorful and fragrant community altars, after regulatory approvals were granted per- in 1983. Allen Richardson, who started the
which people were encouraged to adorn with mitting use of the property as a cemetery for business, and his daughter, Sheri Richardson
pictures, jewelry, pottery and other mementos the expansion of Restland. The new property Stahl, will continue with the business.
to weave the memories of loved ones into the has been named Eternal Sunset Memorial n OAK HILL CEMETERY & ARBO-
fabric of the community. Park and Cemetery. It will be operated as part RETUM, Evansville, Indiana, held its third
of Park Lawn’s CMS Mid Atlantic subsidiary, annual Twilight Tour to benefit the Adopt-
n William J. “Bill” Vil- which operates, manages and provides finan-
lanova, general manager of an-Ash Program to save 23 ash trees at the
cial services for six other cemeteries in New cemetery from the emerald ash borer. The
FRANK E. CAMPBELL - Jersey and one in New York.
THE FUNERAL CHAPEL, tour featured live reenactors who portrayed
New York City, New York, n PEOPLE’S MEMO- more than a dozen local historical figures.
has been named secretary- RIAL ASSOCIATION,
treasurer of the New York Seattle, Washington, has
State Funeral Directors As- named Nora Menkin as
Villanova sociation for 2018-2019. Vil- executive director. Menkin
lanova has previously served as an NYSFDA is the first licensed funeral
Region 7 director and currently serves on the director to serve in this role at
association’s government affairs task force PMA, the national’s oldest and
Menkin largest funeral advocacy and
on reforming funeral service education, as
well as the budget and finance committees. education nonprofit. The PMA will celebrate
He was a previous member of the NYSFDA its 80th anniversary in 2019. Since 2007,
continuing education and convention educa- Menkin had been a funeral director with
tion task force and past chair of the NYSFDA the member-owned Co-op Funeral Home,
nomination committee. He has also served as Capitol Hill. She began her career there as
past president of the Orange, Rockland and an intern and became the managing funeral
Sullivan Funeral Directors Association and is director in 2013.
a past member of the Westchester Funeral Di- n FOUNDATION PARTNERS GROUP,
rectors Association and Metropolitan Funeral Orlando, Florida, has acquired The Is-
Directors Association. land Funeral Home and Crematory and
n Restland Memorial Park Association, Cremation Simplified, Hilton Head, South
a New Jersey affiliate of PARK LAWN Carolina. The acquisition expands FPG’s
CORP., Toronto, Ontario, has purchased 78 network in South Carolina to 11 locations.
A poster for Oak Hill’s Twilight Tour.

36 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
smart phone scan Property in photo is Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, NJ, Merendino client since 2005
UPDATE: IN MEMORIAM

Former association President ‘Hap’ Bledsoe started


a cemetery, championed veterans, traveled the world
H
.D. “Hap” Bledsoe passed away of
congestive heart failure on October
11, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada,
with Cynthia, his wife of 20 years, by his
side. He was 95 years young and led a full
and active life until the very end. He was
a developer, civic leader
and philanthropist and had
a deep love for Wichita,
Kansas, his home for nearly
50 years, as well as his
homes after his retirement
in Coronado, California,
and Las Vegas.
Bledsoe was born on July 21, 1923, in
Grandfield, Oklahoma. During the Great World War II veteran and ICCFA Past President Hap Bledsoe, CCE, (seated) with the
Depression, his family migrated to San original art he commissioned from Vern Krutein to use on a poster honoring vet-
Diego, California, where he graduated erans. Standing behind Bledoe are, from left, Krutein, Cynthia Bledsoe, Rich Sells,
from Sweetwater High School with honors CCE, Scott Sells, CCFE, and Gino Merendino.
in sports. World War II was underway, and industry started. In 1954, Bledsoe Crime Commission, Wichita Chamber of
knowing the draft was imminent, he joined relocated to Wichita, Kansas, and founded Commerce, West Kiwanis Club of Wichita,
the Merchant Marines. Resthaven Memorial Gardens Cemetery Wichita West Branch YMCA, Sedgwick
On Christmas Eve of 1943, he departed and eventually Resthaven Mortuary. County Zoological Society, Masonic
for training and five months later was Beginning with an empty wheat field and Lodge and Shrine of Wichita, Wichita
deployed on a Liberty ship to the Pacific. a lot of determination, he saw Resthaven State University Barton Society, the
He sailed on many ships during his time in grow to become a landmark in the American Heart Association and Starkey
the service, but the trip that marked his life Wichita community, a special place of School.
forever was escorting the first wounded remembrance for loved ones. In 1997, Bledsoe retired and moved to
returning from Guadalcanal to San Bledsoe held a special place in his Las Vegas, where he spent six months of
Francisco. Witnessing the traumas of war heart for veterans and civil servants lost each year as his home base, spending the
first-hand planted a seed deep within him in the line of duty. Each Memorial Day, other six months in Coronado. He enjoyed
to leave society better for having lived. the cemetery hosts a special celebration to golfing, boating and a relentless pursuit of
In 1946, he returned to San Diego to the honor men and women who served the stock market investments.
begin civilian life. He quickly discovered United States. Some of his most enjoyable recreational
his talent for sales and recognized that Another of Bledoe’s hallmarks was his adventures over the years included
opportunities are always available to those strong desire to give back to the people hunting elk with Neil Armstrong, fishing
who are willing to learn and work hard. and industry that had welcomed him so around the world from the Bering Sea
Just as his new business venture warmly. He had a passion to train and to Costa Rica and collecting bronze art
was getting off the ground, Bledsoe motivate business leaders, and became a and paintings. One of his greatest joys
was diagnosed with tuberculosis, most popular speaker. For 22 years, he served was watching his grandchildren and
likely contracted while in the service. At on the board of directors of the National great-grandchildren grow up and sharing
that time there was no known cure. He Cemetery Association (later renamed with them pearls of wisdom from his
checked into a TB sanitarium as part of an the International Cemetery and Funeral experiences.
experimental program which became the Association), was elected association Bledsoe loved people and rarely met a
very program that discovered the cure for president in 1978, was a member of the stranger. He was never one to remember
TB. Toppers Club and, in 1997, was inducted names but he never forgot a joke. There
After recovering his health, he again into the ICCFA Hall of Fame. was a story or memory for every occasion.
needed a fresh start in life, and answered In addition to his work in the cemetery With that in mind, his family shares
an ad for a pre-need salesperson at industry, Bledsoe was involved in his favorite toast: “May the hinges of
Restland Memorial Park in Dallas, community service throughout his life. friendship never rust, nor the wings of love
Texas. It couldn’t have been a better fit. He founded and served with many lose a feather.”
Sales became his field of excellence, organizations over the years, including In addition to his wife, Cynthia,
and his lifetime career in the cemetery the Wichita Committee of 100, Wichita survivors include a sister, a daughter, a

38 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
UPDATE

Colleagues remember ‘Happy’ Bledsoe, an industry icon


R
ich Sells, CCE, an ICCFA past many good times with him and intense board of directors
president, recalled Hap “Happy” Cynthia on his boat and during meeting; or at an evening
Bledsoe as “an icon in our industry. many dining experiences,” reception having fun,”
He provided support, both moral and said Sells. “He always had a Davenport said. “I will always
financial for the association and its story or joke that would keep remember him as a strong man
activities.” all of us laughing through the with a smile of friendship and
He and Ray Frew, CCFE, also an evening. He will be missed by a get-it-done attitude—truly a
association past president, as well as many.” special, one-of-a-kind friend.”
past president of the ICCFA Educational “He was a true contributor “My mother and eventual
Foundation, noted Bledsoe’s most recent to our profession and an stepfather worked for Happy
veteran-related endeavor, unveiled at the enjoyable human to be with, at Resthaven Cemetery in
2018 ICCFA Annual Convention: especially with his four Wichita,” said Bill Wright,
“Even as he was approaching his 95th different partners through the CCE, vice president of
birthday,” Frew said, “Hap continued to years,” said Frank Stewart Past President Hap cemetery operations,
explore ways in which he could touch Jr., retired as chairman of the “Happy” Bledsoe at the Greenwood & Mount Olivet,
the lives of others. Ever the patriot and former Stewart Enterprises. 2008 ICCFA Convention and former association
one of a declining number of surviving “Mr. Happy, as my young & Expo. president.
WWII combat Merchant Marines, in daughters referred to him “I first recall meeting Hap
an era which saw some dishonoring the years ago, has been an industry fixture in 1968; I was all of 6 years of age. My
American flag, Hap took on one additional in my career spanning all the way back first job of sorts in the cemetery business
goal: to recognize and honor all American to the 1970s,” said Arlie Davenport Jr., was coloring lot maps for the sales office.
veterans.” general manager and CEO of Greenwood Years later, I would make Hap laugh when
Sells explained that Bledsoe granted & Mount Olivet, Forth Worth, Texas. Like I told him that at the time, accuracy was
$50,000 to the association “to create a Bledsoe, Davenport is a former association not that important to me!
poster honoring all service branches which president and member of the ICCFA Hall “Coloring maps was the first and last
would be posted in the lobbies of member of Fame. time I did any work-related things with
funeral homes and cemeteries.” “Today I can close my eyes and see him, but as sure as I’m writing this, Happy
This was done in partnership with the images of him on a golf course in Hawaii is the reason I’m in this business today.
ICCFA Veterans Committee, Frew noted. in the heat with a wet towel on his head How fortunate I and many others are to
The result was “an exclusive piece of art topped by his golf cap; on the podium at have had the opportunity to call this man a
illustrating the honorable and brave service a national or state association convention; friend. He is an industry treasure and will
of the men and women, throughout history, stating his case in an emotionally charged, be greatly missed.” r
in all branches of the U.S. military. That
project will now continue to move forward
in Hap’s memory.”
Colleagues also shared personal
remembrances of time spent with Bledsoe.
“Hap was a good friend and we enjoyed

BLEDSOE
son, four stepdaughters and a stepson.
A memorial service to celebrate his life
was held at Resthaven Gardens of Memory
in Wichita, with memorial services
scheduled at a later date for Coronado and
Las Vegas. In lieu of flowers, memorial
contributions may be made to one of the
following organizations:
• Wichita Committee of 100
• Starkey Inc. (Starkey Boys & Girls
Club)
• Sedgwick County Zoo, Wichita,
Kansas
• American Merchant Marine Veterans
• ICCFA Educational Foundation. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 39


UPDATE

Help available with explaining funerals to children


F
uneral professionals and families Those who would like to can share the
struggling with how to include children ebook and video free of charge on their own
in funeral services—or whether to websites by going to the foundation website
allow them to attend at all—now have a ready and requesting an embed code.
resource that not only explains why including “The feedback from those who use the
children is a good idea but also offers specific tools has been overwhelmingly positive,”
advice on how to do so. said Manion. “We continually hear words like
The “Funerals & Youth” intiative launched ‘grateful,’ ‘healing,’ ‘empowering,’ ‘helpful,’
in 2018 by the Funeral Service Foundation ‘timely’ and ‘necessary’ to describe the
offers such materials, both free and avail- initiative’s impact.”
able for purchase. They are a 12-page,
customizable booklet, “Youth & Funerals: Cremation, memorialization,
Understanding the important role funerals cemeteries also addressed
and memorialization play in the lives of Though the focus is on the funeral service,
youth,” available in ebook and print form in the materials also address cremation, as
either English or Spanish, and a five-minute well as cemeteries.
video in which children and funeral and grief “The permanent placement of a loved
professionals talk about the importance of one is a natural opportunity to encourage
being allowed to say goodbye to a loved one. meaningful participation from the entire
The booklet helps adults understand The cover of the booklet available from family,” said ICCFA President-elect Jay
how participating in funeral rituals can help the Funeral Service Foundation. Dodds, CFSP, COO of Park Lawn Corp.
children, and gives numerous examples of http://www.funeralservicefoundation. and a foundation trustee and development
ways children can participate prior to the org/resources/youth-and-funerals/ committee chair. “I invite my fellow cemeter-
funeral, during the visitation and funeral and ians to share the materials on their websites
post-ceremony, including at graveside. and with their families and communities
The booklet also gives adults advice on to help promote healthy, healing memor-
how to talk to children about death, funerals, ialization experiences for those we serve.”
cremation and burial, and how to prepare To date more than 300 organizations
them for what will take place. use the materials on their websites and
The idea for developing tools to share with within their communities, including funeral
families about the importance of involving homes, hospice organizations, children’s
children in funerals came from the Funeral grief centers, educational institutions, allied
Though the materials say “Youth &
Service Foundation board, said FSF Director professionals and the medical community.
Funerals,” the booklet and video (from
of Communication Kelly Manion. which this still is taken) also address “Three years ago, in an effort to achieve
“In researching the topic, we saw that cemeteries and memorialization. our vision of an improved end-of-life
grief resources for youth contained very little experience for families and their loved ones,
information about the funeral ritual itself,” we set a strategic planning goal to position
Manion said. “This led to a partnership with the foundation as a bridge between funeral
the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. We service and other end-of-life organizations,”
gathered a task force of funeral directors said Anthony Guerra, vice president of
and grief and bereavement experts to help Guerra Gutierrez Mortuaries in Los Angeles,
create content addressing youth and funerals foundation trustee and grant committee co-
for the organization’s ‘Be There’ initiative, chair and ICCFA board member.
which helps clubs provide support to grieving “The Youth & Funerals initiative has
children and their families.” The FSF website includes a five-minute helped us foster those relationships and bring
The result was a video produced by Good video that addresses the importance of funeral service to the table in nationwide
Grief Inc., focused on how children benefit including children in funeral services. discussions about the important role funerals
“Being at my dad’s funeral was so impor-
from being included in the funeral ritual. It and memorialization play in the lives of
tant to me, because my dad was important
includes interviews with several children as to me,” one of the twins says in the video. youth. As a result, we’re seeing our vision
well as with funeral and grief professionals. “We miss our dad, but I’m glad we got to realized as the initiative gains momentum
The task force and foundation then say goodbye,” says the other. within and outside our profession.”
expanded on the video’s content and created The ebook has been viewed more than
the ebook (which can be viewed on the Funeral professionals can obtain up to 50 of 77,000 times, the video has had more than
foundation’s website) and a 12-page printed the booklets free, or can purchase more (in 33,000 views and nearly 35,000 booklets are
booklet containing the same material. English or Spanish) with their logo added. in print. r

40 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
U P D AT E

Above and left, Al Quoz Cemetery in


Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

n Dr. Joe Marsaglia, CFSP, dean and vist to Al Quoz Cemetery, where he talked visitation, services and earth burial, according
COO of PITTSBURGH INSTITUTE to their funeral agents. There are no funeral to Islamic custom. Marsaglia also visited the
OF MORTUARY SCIENCE, Pittsburgh, homes per se in Dubai. The dead are taken to world’s tallest building, and toured the Grand
Pennsylvania, recently toured Dubai, the cemetery, where there are “body wash” Mosque, which can hold 40,000 worshipers
United Arab Emirates. His trip included a rooms. The remains are prepared for brief for prayer services. r

Optimized.

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

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 41


ICCFA News

ICCFA’s 2019 Annual Convention aims to get you on the right track

S
tart your engines and get ready to race at ICCFA’s 2019 Annual Convention and Expo, April 2-6 in
Charlotte, North Carolina! Set in the heart of NASCAR country, the convention will be hosted at the
Charlotte Convention Center. With three keynote speakers, over 30 educational breakout sessions, a 500+
booth Expo Hall and plenty of networking opportunities, our exciting program is sure to get you and your business
“on the right track.”
This year, our keynote speakers will drive you to create a culture of leadership in your organization, accom-
plish your goals and effectively manage through times of crisis.
On the morning of Thursday, April 4, former CEO, now activist, Mindy Corporon will take the stage.
Corporon became an activist after her son and father were murdered in a religious hate crime. Corporon started
the Faith Always Wins Foundation and now helps companies create healthy workplace environments so healing
can occur after life’s tragedies. In her talk, she will tell her story and share how to manage through a tragedy, how
you can address fear in a comfortable setting, whom you can count on in the midst of chaos and how to engage
your team to promote healing and build resiliency.
Also on Thursday, leadership expert Drew Dudley, who was voted one of the 15 most inspirational TED Talks
speakers of all time, will focus on everyday leadership in his keynote “Creating Cultures of Leadership and the
Power of Lollipop Moments.” What if we believed that leadership wasn’t just for those in charge? What if we
embraced our ability to lead, no matter our school grades or pay-grade? The most impactful leaders focus on
“everyday leadership” and ensure that it’s fostered, acknowledged and rewarded. Dudley’s talk will inspire you to
think and reconsider the ways you evaluate leadership in your organization.
On Friday, April 5, New York Times bestselling author and speaker Jon Acuff will share easy changes you
can make to your corporate culture to make sure everyone hits their goals in his keynote, “FINISH: The Surpris-
ing Truth about Accomplishing Goals.” According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, 92 percent
of resolutions fail. That’s a staggering number, considering how important goals are to companies. What if we
could do some simple thin s to improve how often we finish what we start hat if we could complete the in-
complete projects and tasks? What if we could get more done in a world of bottomless opportunities and endless
distractions? Some of his ideas are obvious. Some are counterintuitive. Some will surprise you, but the best part
is they actually work.

Keynote speaker Keynote speaker Keynote speaker


Mindy Corporon Drew Dudley Jon Acuff

42 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
ICCFA News

In addition to this amazing lineup of keynoters, there are plenty of chances to network! Reconnect with old friends and
make new ones by attending two of the convention’s largest receptions: the Tuesday Welcome Reception and the
Educational Foundation Reception.
Start off the ICCFA Annual Convention by revving your engines and bringing your competitive spirit to the Welcome
Reception on Tuesday, April 2. From 6:30
to 9:30 p.m., the ICCFA will take over the
NASCAR Hall of Fame, where attendees
will have an all-access pass to the exhibits,
get the chance to climb behind the wheel
on race day, try their skills as a member of
a pit crew and et a first hand loo at the
team’s nerve-center at the track. Food and
drink will be served throughout this not-to-
The NASCAR Hall of Fame.
be-missed event. Make the most out of your The NASCAR racing simulator at the Hall
of Fame.
time in Charlotte by purchasing tickets to this event for only $20.
Then on Thursday, April 4, 6-7 p.m., the ICCFA Educational Foundation will be hosting its annual reception at the Char-
lotte Convention Center, where the foundation’s Lasting Impact Award will be presented to Ernie Heffner, CFuE, presi-
dent of Heffner Funeral Chapel & Crematory in York,
Pennsylvania. This award is presented annually to an
individual who has made si nificant contri utions to our
profession in education and memorialization.
When asked about the 2019 recipient, Educational
Foundation President Jim Price, CCFE, CCrE, said,
“Mentors advise and teach others how to make the best
decisions, follow the right path and stay motivated. Ernie
Heffner’s guidance and encouragement has done this
for countless individuals in our great profession, and for
this reason we are thrilled to honor him with the Lasting Heffner speaking at an ICCFA Convention.
Ernie Heffner, CFuE Impact Award.”
Whether you accept the pit crew challenge at the Welcome Reception or refuel at the Educational Foundation Reception,
you are sure to find plenty of networ in opportunities at the Annual Convention and po
Convention sponsorship
Race to the finish line with a sponsorship that will have your company front and center with all the attendees! The ICCFA of-
fers many sponsorship opportunities, including:
• NASCAR reception food and bars: Sponsor the food and bars for our guests as they enjoy the museum.
• NASCAR cruise cart transportation: Your company will be on display on these fun golf carts as they transport
guests from the Westin Charlotte to the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
• NASCAR pit crew challenge: Sponsor this interactive pit crew station as guests test their skills as a member of the pit
crew.
There are many other sponsorships available. Contact Kelly Spann at kspann@iccfa.com for more information.
The ICCFA would like to thank the following 2019 Annual Convention sponsors:
• Batesville • Cypress Lawn • NOMIS Publications Inc.
• Blackstone Cemetery • Madelyn Company • Service Corporation
Development • Matthews Memorialization International
• C&J Financial • National Guardian Life • The Woodlawn Cemetery
• Coldspring Insurance Company
To view the full program schedule, register and book your hotel room, please visit www.iccfaconvention.com. r

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 43


ICCFA News

Don’t miss the DEAD Talks at Wide World of Sales 2019


T
here’s still time to register for we’ll explore the importance of
DEAD Talks, the ICCFA’s choosing an actual final resting
2019 Wide World of Sales place and how to help families
Conference at Bally’s Las Vegas, honor their loved ones and avoid
January 23-25. The DEAD Talks the many unintended outcomes that
program is in a TED Talks format, result from not having a plan.
with several industry professionals sharing their best actionable advice
in exhilarating 18-minute presentations. Here’s some of what you’ll Engagement: Unearth Your Customers
take away from DEAD Talks: Over the past decade, death discussion movements have sprung up
worldwide, with tens of thousands of participants flocking to these
Sales: Killing It events. They include Dying Matters Week, Death Cafés, Before I Die
TEDx and ELI Talks speaker Jamie Sarche, of Feldman Mortuary Festivals, Death Over Dinner, Death Salons and Reimagine End of
Inc., loves helping people feel more comfortable with the idea of Life Festivals. Is your funeral home or cemetery aware of these op-
mortality and treat death as just a part of life. portunities to engage with customers? In “Your
She’s working hard to convert our death-averse Customers are Discussing Death, Where Are
society into one that treats death like any other You?” the DEAD Talk by Gail Rubin of A
lifecycle event, albeit an often painful one. Good Goodbye, learn three tips to plan events at
In her DEAD Talk, “Talking About Death your facilities that will help get end-of-life plan-
Won’t Kill You,” she will talk about finding ning conversations started.
your niche and overcoming your personal head
trash so you can become more confident and The DEAD Talks program will also feature
comfortable prospecting. longer sessions from experts in their field:

Self Management: Bury the Bad Habits Sales & Marketing Committee mem- Thursday Keynote
Salespeople! They can drive managers and each ber Stuart Irwin of Biondan North You probably have a number of questions that
other to the brink of madness. How can anyone America. you like to ask during a sales call. While these
get all those strong personalities working together? During the DEAD questions may seem interesting to you, your client probably finds
Talk, “Building a Successful Sales Culture,” by Gary Freytag, them to be mind-numbing. They don’t stimulate new thinking and
CCFE, Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, you will learn some ultimately you sound like every other rep that has walked through
simple and inexpensive tricks to build teamwork, raise morale and the door. Sales training expert Tim Wackel will show how to craft
keep the whining to a minimum. Keep your team driving sales instead questions that ignite emotions, discover motivations and get families
of driving you nuts! to act in his keynote, “Stop Pitching, Start Solving.” He will help
you recognize and control the urge to pitch prematurely, share how
Cremation Opportunities: Don’t Let Them Go Up in Smoke to ask the “hard” questions in an “easy” way and help you kick your
Are you capturing calls from families seeking cremation? In the first “hopeium” habit and make it easier for prospects to tell you the truth.
30 seconds, is your staff able to anchor the caller to listen to more?
What are they saying to inspire callers to call no further? Melanie Friday Keynote
Loyd, of In It For Life LLC, has made hundreds of research calls to By developing a company culture and committing to it, you can
funeral homes and cemeteries. Having heard it all, she will equip you make a positive change within your organization. Zappos.com has
with ways to establish relationship, develop trust and nurture the seeds grown their business because of their unique culture and the service
of information, making it difficult for callers to make another call— they provide to their customers. Zappos Insights’ Speaker of The
all in her DEAD Talk, “Last Call— House Erica Javellana will share
First Impression.” We have one the Zappos core values system, their
opportunity and one goal: for their approach to customer service and
last call to become your first call. employee engagement and how this
culture of service can be incorpo-
Cremation: Heat Up Your Sales rated into your daily operations to
All too often we let families take help you build stronger connections
cremated remains home without with your clients.
helping them understand the dif-
ference between temporary and For more information on
ultimate placement. In “Taking Up registration, program schedule,
the Mantle—Choosing a Final hotel lodging and more, visit
Resting Place,” by Matt Outcalt 2018 WWS attendees at the supplier session. The 2019 www.wideworldofsales.com. r
of Global Atlantic Financial Group, conference will again feature a session specially geared
to suppliers.

44 ICCFA Magazine “Like” the ICCFA on Facebook & friend “ICCFA Staff ”
ICCFA News

ICCFA online cremation certifications training, December 11-12


J
oin us on a computer near you, December 11 and 12, 2018, as the ICCFA
and The Wilbert Group join forces to bring back the online ICCFA Cre-
mation Arranger and Crematory Operator Certification Programs.
These live, interactive courses will happen via GoToWebinar, so you or
anyone from your business can attend anywhere you have an internet connec-
tion. You also may attend this training in person at The Wilbert Group, 2913
Gardner Road, Broadview, Illinois.
Both online trainings will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with Cremation Arranger training taking place on Tuesday, December 11, and
Crematory Operator training on Wednesday, December 12.
These trainings are good for continuing education and operator certification, with up to 15 hours of CEU credit approval pending.
Continuing education must be filed with your state, and to earn your operator certification, you must take and pass an online test.
For more information on the ICCFA Cremation Certification Training Program and to register, visit www.iccfa.com/cremation-
certification. r

Membership benefit spotlight: Savings on products at Best Buy


N
eed to buy a new office computer? As an ICCFA member, you can save big on your electronic needs for
your business from products at Best Buy.
In this program with Best Buy, we have secured a discount structure through which you save on
hundreds of brand-name products. Products include computers, appliances, office furniture and more. In order
to take advantage of this program, you will need to complete their online enrollment process. To access more
information on this membership benefit, visit www.iccfa.com, log in with your username and password and click
on Programs & Benefits. r

2019 music licensing now available through the ICCFA for $276

G
et your 2019 music licensing with the ICCFA, the least expensive option in the profession.
We offer music licensing with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for only $276 per property, if pur-
chased by January 31, and $290 per property after that date. There is no additional membership
required to purchase your music license.
Music licensing is required for all copyrighted music, and failure to obtain a license can result in dam-
ages similar to fines up to $30,000 for each song infringed. Webcast licensing is also available for $48. For more information and to
purchase your 2019 music license, visit www.iccfa.com/legal/music. r

Apply for a 2019 ICCFAU scholarship to attend July 19-24, 2019


I
f you are looking to learn, network and share ideas with your industry
peers, but need financial assistance to enroll, a scholarship to the 2019
session of the ICCFA University is for you! ICCFAU is scheduled to
be held on July 19-24 at the Fogelman Executive Center in Memphis,
Tennessee. The ICCFA is able to provide scholarships to attend ICCFA educational programs through the ICCFA Educational Founda-
tion, a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity. The ICCFA Educational Foundation’s sole purpose is to make education
accessible to future leaders in the death-care profession and thereby raise the standards of professionalism
within the industry.
Applicants must be ICCFA members in good standing and employed in the cemetery, cremation or funeral
profession for a minimum of two years. The scholarship submission process is now digital, so you can submit
your scholarship application with a click of a button. The deadline to submit an online ICCFAU scholarship
application is February 18, 2019.
More information on the ICCFA Educational Foundation can be found at www.iccfa.education. For more
information on scholarships and to submit your online scholarship application, visit www.iccfa.com/scholarships. 

Visit the new and improved www.iccfa.com December 2018 45


AD INDEX

21 American Cemetery/Mortuary 48 funeralOne 31 SEP Technologies


Consultants
13 Great Western Insurance Co. 2 SRS Computing
29 ASD—Answering Service for
17 IMSA 41 Supply Link
Directors
15 Kryprotek 31 The Key Chain Urn Co.
25 C&J Financial
39 Madelyn Co. 15 THE SYSTEM
41 Cherokee Casket
37 Merendino Cemetery Care
7 Continental Computer Corp. 3 Triple H Co.
29 Nomis Publications
23 Ensure-A-Seal 47 U.S. Metalcraft
21 Northeast Mausoleum
29 Flowers for Cemeteries 29 WithumSmith + Brown
21 Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell &
5 Foundation Partners Group 3 Zontec Ozone r
Hippel
21 Funeral Call Answering Service 19 Passages International

Classifieds
➤E-mail calendar listings, additions

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


Calendar or corrections to bclough@iccfa.com
and sloving@iccfa.com.

To place a classified, contact Rick Platter, rplatter@iccfa.com December 3-5: New England Cemetery Assn. 49th Annual
Frederick R. Laffond Cemetery Mgmt. Seminar, The Publick
House Historic Inn, Sturbridge, Massachusetts.
www.newenglandcemetery.org
December 6: Maryland Cemetery, Funeral & Cremation Assn.
Holiday Gathering, Rusty Scupper Restaurant, Baltimore.
www.mcfca.org
December 11-12: ICCFA Cremation Arranger & Operator Train-
ing, live stream from The Wilbert Group, Broadview, Illinois.
www.iccfa.com
2019
January 23-25: ICCFA Wide World of Sales, Bally’s Las Vegas,
Nevada. www.iccfa.com
February 4-7: Dr. Alan Wolfelt’s training session for funeral
directors, “Creating Meaningful Funeral Ceremonies,” Scottsdale,
Arizona. www.centerforloss.com r

Statement of Ownership, 20164-4468.


11. Known bondholders, mortgagees and other security
Total nonrequested distribution—2,508; (f) Total
distribution: 7,809; (g) Copies not distributed—591;
Management & Circulation holders owning or holding 1 percent or more of (h) Total—8,400; (i) Percent paid circulation—68
1. Publication title: ICCFA Magazine. total amount of bonds, mortgages or other securi- percent. Extent and nature of circulation—Ac-
2. Publication no.: 1936-2099 ties: None. tual no. copies of single issue published nearest to
3. Filing date: September 28, 2018. 12. The purpose, function and nonprofit status of this or- filing date: (a) Total no. copies—7,800; (b) Paid
4. Issue frequency: 10 times per year. ganization and the exempt status for federal income circulation (b1) Mailed outside-county paid—4,874;
5. No. of issues published annually: 10. tax purposes has not changed during preceding 12 (b2) Mailed incounty subscriptions—0; (b3) Sales
6. Annual subscription price: $39.95. months. through dealers and carriers, street vendors and
7. Complete mailing address of known office of publica- 13. Publication name: ICCFA Magazine. counter sales and other non-USPS paid distribu-
tion: 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100, Sterling, VA 14. Issue date for circulation data below: August-Septem- tion—349; (b4) Other classes mailed—0; (c) Total
20164-4468. ber 2017. paid distribution—5,223; (d) Free or nominal rate
8. Complete mailing address of headquarters or general 15. Extent and nature of circulation—Average no. copies distribution (d1) Outside county—1,582; (d2) In-
business office of publisher: 107 Carpenter Drive, each issue during preceding 12 months: (a) Total county—0; (d3) Other classes mailed—6; (d4) Free
Suite 100, Sterling, VA 20164-4468. no. copies—8,400; (b) Paid circulation (b1) Mailed or nominal rate distribution outside the mail—258;
9. Full names and complete mailing addresses of publish- outside-county paid—4,938; (b2) Mailed in-county (e) Total nonrequested distribution—1,846; (f) Total
er, editor and managing editor: Publisher—Nadira subscriptions—4; (b3) Sales through dealers and distribution: 7,069; (g) Copies not distributed—731;
Baddeliyanage 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100, carriers, street vendors and counter sales and other (h) Total—7,800; (i) Percent paid circulation—74
Sterling, VA 20164-4468; Editor—none; Managing non-USPS paid distribution—359; (b4) Other class- percent.
editor—Susan Loving, 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite es mailed—0; (c) Total paid distribution—5,301; (d) 16. This statement of ownership will be printed in the
100, Sterling, VA 20164-4468. Free or nominal rate distribution (d1) Outside- December 2018 issue of this publication.
10. Owner: International Cemetery and Funeral Associa- county—2,206; (d2) In-county—0; (d3) Other 17. Signature and title of editor, publisher, business man-
tion, 107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100, Sterling, VA classes mailed—6; (d4) Outside the mail—296; (e) ager or owner: Susan Loving, Managing Editor.

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