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December 2014

Dear Members,

The PFDA Board of Governors & Staff would like to wish all of our members and their families a Happy and Safe Holiday Season and a Prosperous New Year!

NFDA Cremation and Burial Report "According to the NFDA Cremation and Burial Report, 2014 represents the year in which burials will cling to a slightly higher percentage over cremation – 47.3 percent for burial and 46.7 percent for cremation. From this point forward, NFDA projects burials to steadily decline." By the end of 2015, "NFDA data suggest that cremation will account for 48.2 percent of all dispositions vs. 45.8 percent for burial. The numbers become starker, with cremation holding an advantage of 55.8 percent to 38.1 percent in 2020, and 70.6 percent to 23.2 percent in 2030." Further, even with the expected increase in deaths, "the shifting preference for cremation will result in the number of burials declining from 1.31 million in 2011 to 1.20 million in 2015, then to 1.06 million in 2020 and down to 745,000 in 2030.

The report also stated that the number of cremations is expected to rise from 1.07 million (2011) to 1.26 million (2015), then to 1.54 million in 2020 and 2.27 million in 2030.
Reprinted with permission from the NFDA Memorial Business Journal, October 30, 2014 Edition.

Human Remains Shipping Expansion- Harrisburg International Airport -- U.S. Airways and American Airlines Cargo are now integrated as part of the merger between the two airlines. With the integration, there is now an expanded Human Remains Flight schedule. Human Remains can now be accommodated on three non-stop flights to/from Charlotte (CLT), per day and on two non-stop flights to/from Chicago O'Hare (ORD), Monday-Friday. Flights depart HIA at 6:40am, 9:00am and 3:20pm for CLT and 7:10am and 12:10pm for ORD; and arrive into HIA at 2:43pm, 9:11pm and 11:55pm from CLT and 11:35am and 11:35pm from ORD. Contact the American Airlines TLC desk at 800-852-3333 or Cargo Contact Center at 888-300-0099 for all human remains reservations.

Maryland Transport Regulations The Maryland Board of Morticians & Funeral Directors extended enforcement of the mortuary transport regulations until after Nov. 15, 2014
to allow extra time for training and compliance. The transport vehicle regulations are posted on the Maryland Board website along with a Log Sheet for transport vehicles at http://dhmh.maryland.gov/bom/SitePages/Home.aspx. Roll down under "Announcements" to #5 and click on highlighted "Log for Mortuary Transport Vehicles" to download the sheet for printing. The Log Sheet must be kept "...in the glove compartment of the removal vehicle and be updated for each removal." Board inspectors are currently inspecting mortuary transport vehicles. The dates and inspections each month is posted on the Board's website-http://dhmh.maryland.gov/bom/SitePages/Home.aspx.

New Power of Attorney Required Forms Funeral Directors should be aware that for Power of Attorney's completed on or after January 1, 2015, they must be accompanied by a new revised Acknowledgement and Power of Attorney Notice. Both documents need to be completed and signed, and the Notice must be notarized. The documents can be obtained on the PFDA website at http://www.pfda.org/power-of-attorney.

American Cancer Society Office Closure The American Cancer Society office that was located at 1420 N. Susquehanna Trail, Selinsgrove has closed. All memorials should be sent to 1948 East 3rd Street, Williamsport, PA 17701. The office phone number is 570-326-4149.

ASD's Tips to Strengthen Funeral Home Communication Effective communication by funeral directors is imperative when dealing with grieving families, the community and employees, and as the times change, funeral directors need to know where and how to reach their different audiences. Here are some tips to help open up the communications lines: Embrace Transparency; Research Your Community's Demographics; Recognize Generational Differences; Take Back Control of the Conversation; Learn about Different Religious and Ethic Customs; Leverage the Strengths of Each Generation Working in the Funeral Home; Find Interesting Stories to Share; Build Relationships with Leaders in Diverse Communities; Identify Points of Friction At Their Core; Raise the Ethnical Expectations of Your Community; Offer Diversity Training to Staff; and Become a Mentor. For more information go to: http://connectingdirectors.com/articles/45147-12-tips-from-nfda-convention-seminars-to-strengthen-funeral-home-communications.

Ways Funeral Directors Can Create a Good Impression Over the Phone Funeral Directors handle hundreds of calls a year, so the telephone is an fundamental part of everyday business and a way to make a lasting first impression. ASD has come up with 10 Tips to help improve you overall telephone impact with families: Listen Actively; Watch Your Tone; Establish Trust; Ask Discovery Question; Repeat Information for Accuracy; Eliminate Distractions; Avoid Using Voicemail; Back Up Your Phone Lines; Monitor Your Staff; and Record Calls. More information can be found at http://www.myasd.com/post/2417626.

Why Background Checks in Funeral Homes are Important Funeral homes exist in both small towns and larges cities and their stellar reputation is what makes them a success in their communities. To make sure you are hiring the right people to uphold the standards you have set forth and protect you and your business, background checks should be done. The most common background checks are: Criminal History, Credit Reports, Social Security Reports, Previous Employer Verification, Drug Tests, Reference Verification and Driving History.

Mark your calendar!

Are You Meeting and Exceeding Your Client's Needs?

Two timely programs you can't miss to help you achieve all of these!

2015 PFDA Mid-Winter Management Conference
February 10-12, 2015 ◊◊◊ Nemacolin Woodlands Resort ◊◊◊ Farmington, PA

◊Recharge your skills to increase your revenue stream in the cremation business.
◊Meet and exceed customer satisfaction in the cremation business.
◊Meet all of your staff members' needs by understanding the latest employees laws and ensure you are compliant.
Also receive a sample Employee Handbook and Policy Manual for Funeral Homes.

◊Enjoy the many offerings of this resort/spa with your spouse/guest during the Valentine's Day Holiday Week.

CE Credit Information – Earn 6 approved credits

Whether you are a director, manager, or owner, or from a smaller or larger firm, this conference will have something of value for you.

◊◊◊ See enclosed conference brochure for program details and registration information ◊◊◊

2015 Annual Convention and Expo The 2015 Event will be June 7-10, 2015 and will be held at the Holiday Inn Grantville.


GOAL - $200,000


The current building needs a new roof, new wallpaper, paint, flooring, and bathrooms. The last remodel was when we moved here in 1985. Connecting the new sewer system will cost $50,000 alone. We cannot do this alone and look to you our members to help us achieve our goal and brighten our surroundings.

Crowdfunding: What is it and How Can it Raise Money for Funeral Costs Crowdfunding has been around since the early 2000's and has been used to raise money for business ideas, college funds, and medical emergencies to name a few. Since a majority of people don't plan ahead for their funeral expenses and according to NFDA, the average funeral now exceeds $7000, people are now turning to crowdfunding platforms to help offset the cost of their own or a loved-one's funeral or memorial. In the month of October over 11,685 memorial campaigns were launched on these platforms for funeral support. If you have a family that is struggling with funeral expenses, refer them to: YouCaring, GoFundMe, Graceful Goodbye and Funeral Fund.
Source: CDFuneralNews, November 5, 2014

PFDA Office Closing -- The PFDA Office will be closing at 12noon on December 16th for holiday festivities. In observance of Christmas we will be closed from 12noon on Tuesday, December 24th until Monday, December 29th. In observance of the New Year's Day Holiday, the office will close at 12noon on Wednesday, December 31st and reopen on Friday, January 2nd.

In Memoriam

Wilbur D. Miller, 87, of Somerset, died on November 2, 2014. He was the founder of Wilbur D. Miller Funeral Home in Somerset. He is survived by his son Wallace and daughter-in-law Arlene; both licensed funeral directors, who continue to work in the family business.

James V. Santella, 84, of Allentown, died on November 3, 2014. He was a funeral director at Trexler Funeral Home, Allentown.

Dolores H. "Dee" Deaner, 83, Stoystown, died November 7, 2014. She is survived by her son Donald, who is Supervisor of Deaner Funeral Service Inc. in Berlin and a granddaughter Lindsey, who is Supervisor of Deaner Funeral Home Inc. in Hooversville.

John E. Lehman, 78, of White Haven, died November 17, 2014. He owned and operated the Joseph E. Lehman Funeral Home in White Haven for 25 years.

Ray C. Gilbert, 83, of West Catasauqua, died on November 18, 2014. He is survived by his son Jay, owner of Gilbert Funeral Home in Whitehall.

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