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May/June 2017

Dear Members,


NFDA Work/Life Resource Program (EAP)

NFDA has introduced a program to help member funeral directors find balance between work and life outside the funeral home. The program is a free hotline that can provide members with expert resources and support to help them better manage their lives outside the funeral home. The Work/Life Resource Program (EAP) is free to members and their immediate family members. More information can be found at www.nfda.org/worklife.

Funeral Service Foundation Scholarship

Martha Swanson, a PFDA member and a licensed funeral director at Kuzo & Grieco Funeral Home Inc, Kennett Square, received one of 11 scholarships to attend the 2017 NFDA Professional Women's Conference. Swanson was selected based on her answers to questions about her profession and career. The event was held April 8-9 in Tennessee.

VA Providing Online Daily Burial Schedules for its National Cemeteries

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recently announced a new online Daily Burial Schedule (DBS) for all VA national cemeteries. It will allow families to retrieve time and location information for those being interred in a National Cemetery, via its National Cemetery Administration (NCA) website. Schedules of interments are posted online and updated hourly at: www.cem.va.gov/dailyburialschedule. The public can search by the name of the national cemetery or the decedent's last name.

Qualified NFDA Members Make Your Vote Count

In August of 2017, NFDA members in good standing will have the opportunity to elect the association's officers, vote on proposed changes to the NFDA Bylaws, and help select the Innovation Award winner. For more information on the candidates, bylaw changes and the innovation award go to http://www.nfda.org/news/in-the-news/nfda-news/id/2151/nfda-members-to-elect-officers-and-vote-on-bylaws-changes-in-2017.

Hosts Needed for International Funeral Service Exchange Program

FIAT-IFTA, the United Nations of funeral service, is launching an International Funeral Exchange Program, designed to help mortuary science students and funeral professionals experience what it's like to work in a country other than their own and learn about customs and traditions around the world. As FIAT-IFTA's representative organization from the United States, NFDA is looking for funeral homes willing to host a funeral student or professional from another country. For more information go to http://www.nfda.org/news/in-the-news/nfda-news/id/2273/hosts-needed-for-international-funeral-service-exchange-program.
Source: NFDA Bulletin, May 8, 2017


PIMS Approved to Participate in SARA

The Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS) has been approved to participate in the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement (SARA) initiative. This initiative is an agreement among member states, districts and territories that establishes similar national standards for interstate offerings of postsecondary distance education courses and programs. SARA makes it easier for students to take online courses from out-of-state postsecondary institutions. By being a part of this program, PIMS' online program will be held to higher standards. More information about SARA can be found at www.nc-sara.org.
Source: Memorial Business Journal, April 6, 2017


ACFDA Honorary Life Members

Allegheny County Funeral Directors Association is looking for Honorary Life Member candidates. To qualify the candidate(s) must be a licensed funeral director, a past officer of ACFDA, rendered distinguished service to the profession for over forty years, and has been an ACFDA member for a minimum of twenty years.

All qualified candidates should contact Judy at 412-678-3434 or acfda@aol.com.


What Can a Risk Management Culture Save You?

With the economy leaving little room for error, trimming unnecessary expenses is the
logical first step toward keeping more profit. Unfortunately, risk management is sometimes looked upon as one of those unnecessary expenses. No company, no business owner is immune to the possibility of losses. Identifying risks ahead of time and then dedicating resources and effort to avoid them through aggressive risk management can help keep a business ahead of the game.
Investing in risk management can have advantages:

  • First, by managing risk, your company could experience fewer insurance claims.
  • Second, fewer claims means you also help reduce the "after effects"
  • Last, worker's compensation claims often result in a higher work comp mod.

Business owners who take risk management seriously understand its positive effect on their operations and see immediate value in being proactive.

Attending a Federated Insurance Risk Management AcademySM seminar can be an effective way to start or grow your risk management program. Upcoming one and two and a half day sessions are posted at federatedinsurance.com, or contact your local Federated representative for more information.
Source: Federated Insurance

Funeral Directors Life Names Hillary Madeline Director of Sales Development

Funeral Directors Life is proud to announce the addition of Hillary Madeline as Director of Sales Development (DSD) for Western Pennsylvania.

Hillary has nearly 20 years of experience in the funeral profession. She is a licensed funeral director and embalmer and holds state insurance licenses in Ohio and Pennsylvania. For the last six years, Hillary has worked with Funeral Directors Life as an employed sales professional in Ohio.
Source: FDLIC, News Release, May 3, 2017


Reporting a Death to a Social Media Site

Below is information to report a death to several of the most popular social media sites.

Facebook: Go to facebook.com/help; Click on "Mange Your Account" on the left side of the page; Click "Memorialized Accounts"; A death certificate or other proof of death is required; Proof of authority like a Birth Certificate, Power of Attorney or Last Will and Testament; Submit information using online form.

Google and YouTube: Go to support.google.com/accounts/troubleshooter/6357590?hl=EN; Click on "Close the account of a deceased user"; Fill in your information and decedent's information; You will have to scan your Driver's License or government-issued ID; Scan the decedent's death certificate; Submit.

Twitter: Go to support/twitter.com/articles/87894; Click on "Use this Form" and select "I want to request the deactivation of a deceased or incapacitated user's account"; Fill out the Report Form and submit it to Twitter; Twitter will contact you once the review the report.

LinkedIn: Go to linkedin.com/help/linkedin/ask/ts-rdmlp; Fill out form with information about yourself and decedent; add link to the obituary or news article on the death; Submit the report.

Instagram: Go to help.instagram.com/264154560391256; Choose if you want to delete or memorialize the account; Provide the decedent's birth certificate, death certificate, and information showing you as the executor or administrator to the decedent's estate; Complete the online form and submit.

Source: NYSFDA Directions, May 2017


IRS Alert: W-2 Data Theft

A dangerous email scam is currently circulating nationwide and targeting employers, including tax-exempt entities, universities and schools, government and private-sector businesses. The scammer poses as an internal executive requesting employee W-2 and Social Security Number information from company payroll or human resources departments. They may even send an initial "Hi, are you in today?" message before the request.
The IRS has established a process that will allow employers and payroll service providers to quickly report any data losses related to the W-2 scam. See details at https://www.irs.gov/individuals/form-w2-ssn-data-theft-information-for-businesses-and-payroll-service-providers.
Source: NFDA, Bulletin, April 3, 2017


PFDA Needs Your Help!

Recently PFDA sent a letter to you, our membership, requesting your help in supporting our legislative efforts. As you know, it is imperative for us to have a presence in all government arenas so we can effectively represent you and funeral service. By financially supporting members of both the House and Senate, we can do this. Your contributions to the PAC fund are greatly appreciated and help protect your profession.


Cremation Certification Program

PFDA and NFDA will be hosting the Cremation Certification Program on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at Highmark Caring Place, Lemoyne, PA from 7:30am-4:00pm. Registrants can earn either the Certified Crematory Operator (CCO) or Certified Cremation Service Provider (CCSP) designation. For more information see enclosed flyer, and to register, go to http://www.nfda.org/education/cremationcertification.

2017 District Meetings

PFDA's Annual District Meetings will be held during the weeks of September 11-14 and September 18-21, 2017. We will be offering 3 continuing education credits. This year's speakers will be PFDA Past President Norm Shropshire and Curtis D. Rostad, CAE, CFSP, FACFEI, former Executive Director of the Indiana Funeral Directors Association.

Save the Date

Together the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, Department of Human Services, Department of Health, and Governor's Office of Homeland Security will host the Governor's Emergency Preparedness Summit. The Summit will be held September 30th-October 4th, 2017 at the Hershey Lodge. More information to follow.


Teresa A. Margotta, 60, of Jessup, died on April 27, 2017. She is survived by her husband, Louis M. Margotta, a licensed funeral director, who is the owner of the Louis M. Margotta Funeral Home, Jessup and associate owner of the James M. Margotta Funeral Home, Peckville. She is also survived by her son Louis, who is also a licensed funeral director working in the family business.

Lance Wayne Ulen, 73, of Harrisburg, died on April 27, 2017. He was a former funeral director at the Hooper Memorial Home, Inc.

Kim T. Morgan, 51, of Valley View, died on April 29, 2017. She is survived by her daughter, Alex D. Maher, a licensed funeral director at the James Funeral Home & Cremation Service PC, Bethlehem.

Austin C. "Audie" Wackerman, 72, died on May 1, 2017. He was a licensed funeral director and supervisor at of Wackerman Funeral Home, Philadelphia. He is survived by his two daughters, Elizabeth Bailey and Emily Whitlatch, both licensed funeral directors working in the family business.

Gaille Hoffer, 89, of Norvelt, died on May 3, 2017. She is survived by her daughter Sandra L. Hoffer, a licensed funeral director and owner of the family business, Jay A Hoffer Funeral Home, Norvelt.

J. Scott Calkins, Esquire, 90, died on May 4, 2017. Scott's law firm provided special legal and governmental services to PFDA.

M. Ray Lecemby, 87, of Meyersdale, died on May 6, 2017. Ray was a licensed funeral director and former owner of M. Ray Leckemby Funeral Home, Meyersdale.

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