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April 2018 Reporter

April 2018

Dear Members,


Notice of the PFDA Annual Meeting

We invite you to attend PFDA's 2018 Annual Meeting and House of Delegates Meeting, which will be held at the annual convention on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, beginning at 9 a.m. at Kalahari Resorts & Conventions, Pocono Manor, PA. This meeting is for PFDA members.

At the meeting, members will vote on the following matters: the election of officers for 2018-2019 and the election of candidates nominated by their Local Associations for the position of District Governor. If you have any questions, please call the PFDA office at 800-692-6068.

(1) Election of the following slate of officers for 2018-2019:

For the Position of President:
Stephanie Doriguzzi, Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home

For the Position of President-Elect:
David V. Peake, Jr., Craft Funeral Home, Inc.

For the Position of Secretary/Treasurer:
Frank Kapr, Frank Kapr Funeral Home, Inc.

(2) Election of candidates nominated by their Local Association District Governor:

District 3
P. David Newhouse, P. David Newhouse Funeral Home

District 5

2018 Convention and Expo

The 2018 PFDA Annual Convention and Expo will be held June 3-6, 2018 at Kalahari Resorts, Pocono Manor, PA. To book hotel reservations visit: https://book.kalahariresorts.com/poconos/groups.asp and use group ID: 498 or call 877-525-2427. Five and a half (5½) credits will be offered.

Local Association Presidents and Secretaries and PFDA members are asked to submit names of deceased members and immediate family members to be honored at the Service of Remembrance during the PFDA Annual Convention. The service will be held on Tuesday, June 5th at 10:15am.

The annual Service Awards Ceremony will take place during the PFDA Annual
Convention on Tuesday, June 5th at 9:30am.

Forms for the events listed above are enclosed.


PFDA's Annual District Meetings will be held during the weeks of September 10-13 and September 17-20, 2018. The continuing education seminars will be: Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse, presented by various speakers, for 2 CEU's and How Boomers Are Changing the Funeral Profession, presented by Josh McQueen, Passare, for 1 CEU.


NFDA Announces List of Qualified Candidates for 2018 Elections

NFDA is pleased to announce the 2018 NFDA Leadership Development Committee's list of qualified candidates for open positions on the NFDA Board of Directors.

NFDA members can vote August 1-14, 2018. Officers serve a one-year term that commences following the 2018 NFDA Convention. The individual elected to the office of president-elect will automatically become president following the 2019 NFDA Convention.

During their meeting in July, the Policy Board will elect two individuals to serve two-year terms (2018-20) that commence following the 2018 NFDA International Convention & Expo. Visit www.nfda.org/vote to view the list of candidates and detailed information on each of them.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, March 5, 2018

Bill Updates Memorial Eligibility for Spouses and Children

A bill that would update eligibility requirements for memorial headstones and markers provided for the families of certain military veterans has passed the Senate.

Under current law, there is a lack of consistency when it comes to the eligibility of spouses and dependent children who die but whose remains are not available for interment. This bill extends this benefit to all eligible beneficiaries who died on or after November 11, 1998.

To learn more about this bill, which is on its way to President Donald Trump for his signature, follow this link:

Source: NFDA Bulletin, March 12, 2018

Support Group Facilitator Training (After a Substance-Use Death)

The NYS Tribute Foundation has extended an invite to PFDA members to a two-day training they are hosting. The seminar will train participants how to facilitate support groups for those bereaved by the death of a loved one from substance-abuse, and make attendees aware of the impact of substance-abuse deaths. The training will be held at the New York State Funeral Directors Association Headquarters in Albany, NY on June 13-14, 2018. For more information on the training go to my.nysfda.org/TributeGriefSupport, and to register contact Kelly Deitz at 518-452-8230 or kelly@nysfda.org.

Funeral Service Foundation Announces Expanded Scholarship Program

The Funeral Service Foundation Board of Trustees recently agreed to offer additional academic scholarships, increase award amounts, and expand the program into Canada, to make education more accessible and affordable for the profession's next generation of leaders, thinkers and doers. Students enrolled in ABFSE-accredited institutions or accredited Canadian schools may apply online through March 30, and from September 1 – November 30.

Awarded twice a year, the Funeral Service Foundation now offers up to 18 total scholarships, ranging from $1,000-$5,000. New this year, the Foundation will offer two Steve Lang Scholarships in honor of Homesteaders' former CEO and Foundation Trustee Emeritus Steve Lang.
Scholarships are available to full- and part-time students pursuing a degree in mortuary science from ABFSE-accredited schools or, new this year, accredited Canadian schools.

Source: NFDA, The Bulletin, March 12, 2018

Two National Groups Advocating for GPL Pricing to be on Funeral Home Websites

Both Funeral Consumers' Alliance and the Consumer Federation of America are encouraging the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to amend the "Funeral Rule" so that funeral homes are required to post their General Price Lists (GPLs) on their websites. Both parties are basing the request on results from their joint study they conducted, which showed only 16% of funeral homes with websites posted pricing on their websites. Currently, California is the only state that requires funeral homes to post their GPLs on their website, and no other business or profession is required by Federal Law to post prices on their website.

The FTC is expected to have a periodic review (every 10 years or so), later this year or early in 2019, to review the "Funeral Rule." At that time, they will request comments on changes to the "Funeral Rule."

Source: Directions, NYS Funeral Directors Association, March 2018


Sales and Use Tax Guidance Published Online by PA Dept. of Rev.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue recently published guidance online for funeral directors who have questions about sales and use tax. The department worked on gathering the information after receiving requests for more detailed guidance on the topic. The guidance can be reviewed at: http://bit.ly/2HRd6tB.

Department of Health Announces Reopening of New Castle Vital Records Office

The Pennsylvania Department of Health announced the Vital Records Office in New Castle has reopened at its new location at 105 Nesbitt Road, New Castle, PA, and will provide same day service to Pennsylvanians applying for a copy of birth or death certificates.

The office will be open from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday. Same-day service for individuals applying by 11:30 AM will be offered beginning on April 2, 2018.

The reopening of the New Castle Vital Records Office will provide residents of Pennsylvania with six public offices where they can order a birth or death certificate. Same day service also is available at the Erie, Pittsburgh and Scranton offices for people who arrive before 11:30 AM.

Birth and death certificate copies are $20 each, and must be paid with check or money order. The offices do not accept cash or credit card. Fees are waived for members of the armed forces who served or are currently serving, and their spouses and children. Through the Governor's disaster declaration, fees are also being waived for those people with Opioid-Use Disorder who apply for a birth certificate to get into treatment.

Individuals looking to order a certificate in person should bring a valid, government-issued photo ID that verifies your name and current mailing address. Examples include a driver's license or non-driver photo ID.

Source: News Release, Department of Health, March 19, 2018


How to Help More Families Through a Consultative Sales Approach

As we move further into the 21st century, the traditional sales approaches to the consumer has become less and less effective. Why? Because funeral consumers are changing-—rapidly. Today, they are more tech savvy, more educated, and more skeptical than ever. At Funeral Directors Life, our preneed sales professionals are trained to be knowledgeable, trusted advisors who are able to provide unique solutions to consumer problems. We believe that how we sell is just as important as what we sell. We call this consultative sales...and the results speak for themselves.

Read more of this article here: bit.ly/ConsultativeSales

Source: Paul Lovelace, VP of Corporate Development, Funeral Directors Life


Funeral Directors Life Once Again Named as one of the Top 10 Best Companies to Work for in Texas for 2018

Funeral Directors Life was named as one of the top 10 medium-sized companies on the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Texas list for 2018. The company rankings were published by Texas Monthly.

The Best Companies Group statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Texas, benefiting the state's economy, workforce and businesses. The awards program is a project of Texas Monthly, the Texas Association of Business, Texas SHRM and Best Companies Group.

Source: Funeral Directors Life, March 13, 2018

Develop Talent Now for a Successful Future

While incentives such as bonuses and profit sharing are important, recognizing achievements and building self-esteem are priceless. Some business owners procrastinate or avoid communicating their succession plans because they fear how family members and employees might react. Most employees-—including family members-—will feel more secure about the future if they know what to expect and how they will fit in.

It's never too late to develop a business succession plan. Business succession actually begins with each employee's first day on the job. Think about it, whether he or she is one of your children or a high school student working part-time, that young person could someday be the head of the company.

Experts agree-—succession planning includes creating an environment that motivates employees to use their talents and skills to reach their full potential and contribute to the success of the business. As employees gain experience, they become assets to your business and their value increases.

Source: Federated Insurance, January 2018


Legislation Being Monitored by PFDA

PFDA is monitoring over 25 pieces of legislation. Issues range from prohibiting "constructive delivery" and requiring that cemeteries provide price lists to consumers, to amending the disposition law to include majority rule, allowing CE carryover, and increasing DHS burial assistance. PFDA will continue to keep you informed of key bills as they move through the legislative process.


Scammers Target Grieving Families in PA

In the October-November 2017 Reporter, we ran an article about a grieving family in Alabama being contacted by an individual claiming to be a funeral home employee needing to review their personal information again.

These same types of calls are now being made to families in Pennsylvania. This was brought to our attention by a PFDA member funeral home, because one of the families they had been serving was scammed. They instructed the family to report the situation to local police, social security and their bank.

Funeral Directors may want to warn their families that these scams are occurring and that if they receive a suspicious call, family members shouldn't provide any personal information to the caller, and they should report the call to their local police.


PFDA Welcomes Our New Members

Join PFDA in welcoming our newest member: Lewis M. Hunt-Irving Funeral Home, Inc. Chester, PA.


Wilbert L. Shannon, Sr., 83 of Wheatland, passed away on March 11, 2018 at Sharon Regional Medical Center. He was the owner of Wilbert L. Shannon Funeral Home, Wheatland, and a past chair and member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors.

Ruth D. Humbert, 101 of Confluence, passed away on March 16, 2018 at Meadow View Nursing Home Berlin. She is survived by her son Max, the owner and supervisor of the family business, Humbert Funeral Home, Confluence, and her granddaughter, Leslie, a licensed funeral director working in the family business.

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