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July Reporter

July 2017

Dear Members,


New Sales and Use Tax Guidance Issued

The PA Department of Revenue has retracted the April 6, 2017 letter responding to numerous sales and use tax questions conveyed by PFDA, and has provided new guidance in response to PFDA's original request related to sales and use tax. It is critical that you review this letter as there are major changes from the original opinion.

To access the new guidance on sales and use tax issued by the PA Department of Revenue, please go to www.pfda.org and click the link in the Breaking News section on the home page.

Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese

Over the next 5 years, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh will undergo a restructuring that will shut down many church buildings, downsize parishes, and merge and shift territories with neighboring communities.

Even though schools and churches will shut down, 100 Western PA Catholic cemeteries will remain in their current locations. Catholic cemeteries are considered holy grounds; therefore, they need to be cared for.

Currently 78 parishes are overseeing 116 cemeteries in the Pittsburgh diocese. To alleviate parishes of cemetery upkeep, by the end of the year, the management of the cemeteries will be taken over by Catholic Parish Cemeteries Association (CPCA). With these transitions, the parishes will still own the cemeteries but, CPCA will take care of the upkeep, funding and operation. CPCA is managing 20 cemeteries in Green and Washington counties and they are working on taking over the care of 33 cemeteries in Butler, Lawrence and Beaver counties. The goal is for them to manage the remaining 63 Allegheny County parish-run cemeteries by January. However, the Diocese of Greensburg, which has 82 cemeteries and 78 parishes, has no plans of changing the way their cemeteries are currently managed.

Source: TRIBLIVE, June 2, 2017


NFDA Needs Your Help!

NFDA has secured a Senate Democrat to introduce companion Senate legislation to H.R. 1212., but now a Republican Senator is needed to co-lead the bill. NFDA needs you to contact your Republican Senator(s) to see if they would be a co-lead to co-introduce this important VA legislation. Contact Lesley Witter, MPA, CAE, Senior Vice President of Advocacy at NFDA, 800-228-6332 with your Senator(s) contact information.

H.R. 1212 – The Brave Act of 2017: Burial Rights for American's Veterans' Efforts Act 2017 proposes changes to important funeral and burial benefits for Veterans. More information on the bill can be found on www.pfda.org under Breaking News.

NFDA to Host Certified Celebrant Training Workshops

To help members meet the needs of families that are not affiliated with a particular church or religion, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) will partner with InSight Institute to host two Certified Celebrant Training seminars in 2017. The Certified Celebrant Training seminars hosted by NFDA will be conducted by InSight Institute's Glenda Stansbury MA, CFSP, and Doug Manning.

The seminars will be held: July 13-15 at NFDA headquarters in Brookfield, WI and October 27-29 in Boston, MA., as a 2017 NFDA International Convention & Expo pre-convention seminar. For more information or to register for an NFDA-hosted Certified Celebrant Training seminar, visit www.nfda.org/celebrant or call 800-228-6332.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, May 22, 2017

Funeral Directors Beware When Handling Opioid and Drug Overdose Cases!

Recently there have been several cases of first responders having to receive Narcan to counteract the deadly effects of Fentanyl. In one case, a police officer had brushed white powder off of his uniform with his bare hand, and the powder was fentanyl that absorbed through his skin. It took three doses of Narcan to save him. Traces of dangerous opioids can linger at the scene or even on the victim. It only takes a few grams and you can overdose.

Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene is warning people that Fentanyl is 100 time more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. However, carfentanil is even worse. According to the Kent County Health Department, carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 time more potent than fentanyl.

Funeral Directors can protect themselves from similar situations by making sure they and their staff members are wearing gloves and masks to protect against opioids.

OSHA Revised Walking-Working Surfaces Update

OSHA has updated its general industry regulations as they relate to slip, trip and fall hazards. Funeral homes fall under the general industry category. The changes that impact funeral homes are: Employers must inspect walking-working surfaces regularly and correct, repair or guard against hazardous conditions; and Funeral homes with any fixed ladders higher than 24 feet must have fall protection and anyone on a ladder must have three-point contact at all times. More information on the update can be found at https://www.osha.gov/walking-working-surfaces.
Source: ICCFA Magazine, June 2017

Department of Labor New Fiduciary Rule

The Department of Labor has issued a new rule that is effective June 9, 2017 but will not be "actively enforced" until after January 1, 2018. Pre-need sales persons must comply if you recommend that a consumer withdraw or dispose of funds from an IRA or 401K or you give financial advice. Funeral Directors' Life Insurance Company has issued a precautionary explanation for all insurance agents. See PFDA's website under "Breaking News" for details on the new rule.


Passare Announces Integration with Frazer Consultants

PassareĀ®, Inc. is pleased to announce an integration with Frazer Consultants, a web design company that offers cutting-edge personalization and technology products to funeral professionals.

"Frazer Consultants has worked closely with us at Passare to develop a one-of-a-kind integration that is helping our mutual clients save time and gain efficiency by eliminating redundant data entry," said Chris Baber, Vice President and Chief Product Officer for Passare.

Passare offers the only collaboration software in the funeral profession, which allows for real-time communication between funeral directors and family members. Passare's cloud-based platform is accessible anytime, anywhere, from any Internet-connected device. With Passare's integration with Frazer Consultants, funeral directors can send the data gathered on a case such as the obituary, vital statistics, friends & family, and much more straight to the funeral home's Frazer website and Tribute Center with just the click of a button.

Source: Passare News Release, May 30, 2017


Congratulations to Our New President

Deron K. Youse, was installed as the 2017-2018 PFDA President, at the Board of Governors Installation Dinner on April 26, 2017. He is a life-long resident of Kutztown, PA, graduated from Kutztown Area High School in 1984. Deron is a graduate of Northampton Community College, Bethlehem, PA, where he received an Associate Degree in Funeral Service Education. Prior to entering funeral service, he served as a former paramedic and police officer, Deron has had a lifetime of service to others. He is a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Kutztown, PA, a member, currently serving as Treasurer and former Secretary of Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie #839, Kutztown, PA. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Topton Community Ambulance, Topton, PA; is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association, Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association, where he formerly served on the Board of Directors as District 6 Governor, Berks County Funeral Directors Association, where he currently serves as Treasurer, and Eastern Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association. He resides in Kutztown with his wife Wendy. Deron is the Supervisor of the Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., facility in Kutztown, PA, and has been a part of the Ludwick Funeral Home staff since 1989.

Congratulation to Our New Officers

Stephanie Doriguzzi was installed as the 2017-2018 President-Elect for PFDA and David Peake, Jr. was installed as the 2017-2018 Secretary-Treasurer for PFDA, at the Board of Governors Installation Dinner on April 26, 2017.

Stephanie Doriguzzi, a 2006 graduate of the Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science, where she received the William J. Musmanno award for excellence in embalming and the Mu Sigma Alpha Award in outstanding academic efficiency. She is also a 2007 graduate of Point Park University where she received her bachelors' degree in Funeral Management. She became a licensed funeral director in 2008, and is currently the supervisor at the Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home & Crematory, Inc., Turtle Creek, PA. She has been a Certified Celebrant since 2006 and has been a PA Licensed Insurance professional since 2010. In 2011 Stephanie was elected to sit on the Allegheny County Board of Trustees, and served as their President in 2014. In 2011 Stephanie was selected to serve on the Pursuit of Excellence Committee for the National Funeral Directors Association which was a three-year term. Also, Stephanie was one of two funeral directors in Pennsylvania selected to attend the NFDA Meet the Mentors program at Harvard University in August of 2011. In June of 2012, Stephanie, was sworn in as the District II Governor, serving Allegheny County, on the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Board of Governors. In 2012 Stephanie married her husband, Dustin Despot, and they have since had a daughter, Caleesi.

David V. Peake Jr., is a 1998 graduate of Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science (PIMS). He also attended Springfield Township High School and Kutztown University prior to going to PIMS. After mortuary school, he served his apprenticeship with the Givinsh Family Funeral Homes. After which he went to work at Robert L. Mannal Funeral Home, in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia, where he continues to work. In 2012 Mannal acquired Craft Funeral Home of Erdenheim, and David is the current Supervisor for that Funeral Home. He has served the Philadelphia Local Funeral Directors Association as a Board Member (2010-2013), Vice President (2013- 2015), and President (2015-2017). Over the last three years David represented the Philadelphia Funeral Directors Association as their District Governor for District 8. He lives with his wife Abbey and their two children Greyson and Olivia in Flourtown. David is very active in many local associations in the five county Philadelphia region.

Congratulations to PFDA's New District Governors
The new District Governors to the PFDA Board are: Jenna Buechele (District 1) and T.J. Fluehr (District 8).

PFDA's 136th Convention & Expo

The 2017 Annual Convention and Expo was held in April at Kalahari Resorts in Pocono Manor, PA. For the first time in a long time, all the exhibitors were in one room. We had a record number of exhibit booths and all the companies were extremely happy with the new venue and space. The board members, local associations, past presidents and exhibitors' generous donations to the Silent Auction, helped us to raise more than $5,300 for the PFDA Funeral Service Action Fund and Building Fund. Winner of the cash prize drawing was Chris Calvey. The golf classic benefit held on April 24th had 64 players and raised over $7,900 for the Highmark Caring Place, which will be matched dollar for dollar by Highmark Blue Cross.

PFDA Welcomes New Members

Join PFDA in welcoming our newest members: Fiore Funeral Home, Bangor; Good Funeral Home & Cremation Centre, Inc., Reamstown; R.J. Slater IV Funeral & Cremation Service, New Kensington; Thomas Cremation and Funeral Service, Sayre; Thomas F. Cloherty Funeral Home, Lilly; Donald Butler Funeral Home, Minersville; Henderson Funeral Home East Hills Inc., Johnstown; Henderson-Makuchan Funeral Home, Johnstown; John Henderson Company, Inc., Johnstown; and Kesterson Rush Funeral Home, Rogersville.

PFDA Office Closure

The PFDA office will be closed on Tuesday, July 4, 2017 for the Fourth of July holiday. The office will re-open on Wednesday, July 5, 2017.

PFDA Needs Your Help!

Recently PFDA sent a letter to you, our membership, requesting your help in supporting our legislative efforts. THANK YOU to those who have donated. 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.


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. A registration form is enclosed.

2018 Annual Convention & Expo

The 2018 Convention will be held June 3-6, 2018 at Kalahari Resorts Pocono Manor, PA.


Virginia D. Ott, 89, of Irwin, died on Saturday June 3, 2017 at UPMC East Monroeville. She is survived by her son John F., a licensed funeral director and owner of the family business Ott Funeral Home, Inc., Irwin, and a daughter, Kathleen Vesco, who is also working in the family business.

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