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September 2018 Reporter

September 2018

Dear Members,


NFDA 2018 Cremation and Burial Report

NFDA recently released the findings from the 2018 Cremation and Burial Report. It is projected that the cremation rate will increase by almost 30% over the next 18 years. For the last three years, cremation has outpaced the rate of burial and is expected to reach close to 80% by 2035. According to the report, Pennsylvania is projected to be at a cremation rate of 53% in 2019 and 79.2% by 2035.

The full report is available to NFDA members at:

Source: Memorial Business Journal, July 12, 2018

NFDA Elections

Chuck Bowman was elected to lead NFDA as the 2018-19 president, and the following individuals were elected to serve as officers on the 2018-19 Board of Directors: President-elect R. Bryant Hightower Jr., CFSP; Treasurer Randall "Randy" P. Anderson, CFSP, CCO; and Secretary John "Jack" O. Mitchell, IV, CFSP, CCO, CCSP.

The Policy Board elected Christopher P. Robinson of South Carolina and John W. Wenig of
Wisconsin to serve as at-large representatives on the NFDA's Board of Directors. They will begin their two-year terms after the 2018 Convention.

Source: NFDA News Release, August 15, 2018

NFDA Proposed Bylaws Changes and Limited Membership Passed

The NFDA membership voted to accept two technical changes to the Bylaws and they also voted to adopt the addition of a new, limited membership category of "Associate Member" for companies with an established track record of supporting NFDA.

Source: NFDA News Release, August 15, 2018

Department of Veterans Affairs Supports the BRAVE Act Before the U.S. Senate

On August 1st, the US Senate Committee of Veterans' Affairs held a hearing on pending legislation. During the hearing, the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) announced their support for the BRAVE Act (S. 1596).

Paul R. Lawrence, Ph.D, Under Secretary for Benefits, Veterans Benefits Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs testified that the "VA supports S. 1596 provided Congress finds corresponding funding offsets." He went on to state, "The proposal will allow VA to offer a more valuable reimbursement for the costs of a veteran's funeral during a very difficult and vulnerable period of transition for the survivor."

NFDA strongly supports this important legislation that ensures non-service connected veteran deaths are treated equally, regardless of where a veteran dies.

There was also testimony supporting the bill by national veteran's organizations like:
Vietnam Veterans of America; Disabled American Veterans (DAV); and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).

Source: NFDA Special Bulletin, August 1, 2018


Funeral Home Death Certificate Application

Recently the Bureau of Health Statistics and Registries announced the launch of a "Funeral Home Application for a Death Certificate" (HD02085F Rev. 6/18). The application meets specific requirements for funeral homes to collect key information needed for the Bureau to process applications and issue certificates quicker.

The new form must be used when applying for death certificates at a vital records office and for certificates for U.S. armed forces members that meet the fee waiver.

More information about this new form and the form can be found on the PFDA website:


Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services Named Simply The Best

Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Inc. has been honored as the 2018 Simply the Best Funeral Home by Harrisburg Magazine. This is the thirteenth year that the Parthemore Funeral Home has been honored. Every year, the readers of Harrisburg Magazine vote for their favorites businesses in categories including: restaurants, service providers, destinations and many others.

"We are proud that our family tradition of caring has been recognized as Simply the Best for all these years," said Gilbert J. Parthemore, Supervisor. "We would like to sincerely thank the community for the honor and promise that we will continue to dedicate ourselves to understanding their unique needs and providing the outstanding service that the community has come to expect."


Is Your Casket Guarantee All It Appears to Be?

"Smoke and mirrors." Have you ever given any thought to the origin of that phrase? It's based on an old trick from the 1700s when an image was projected off a mirror and onto the smoke, making it appear as if a person or object was floating in thin air-—as if "something" was created from "nothing." In today's vernacular, the phrase "smoke and mirrors" refers to a proposal that, when examined closely, appears to be an illusion. So, does a casket guarantee program really make sense for your business, or does it simply offer the illusion of security? To discern whether a casket price guarantee program is right for your business, we need to take a closer look and ask some important questions.

Read More at http://www.pfda.org/_files/live/Is_Your_Casket.pdf.

Source: Todd Carlson, EVP and Chief Sales Officer, Funeral Directors Life


Funeral Directors Life Named One of the 2018 Best Workplaces for Millennials

Great Place to Work and FORTUNE have honored Funeral Directors Life as one of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials for 2018 for the second consecutive year. Great Place to Work, a research and consulting firm, evaluated more than 434,000 employee surveys across 50 elements of team members' experience on the job. These included employee pride in the organization's community impact, belief that their work makes a difference, and feeling their work has special meaning.

Source: Funeral Directors Life News Release, June 28, 2018

Federated Life Company named to 2018 Ward's 50® Top Performers

Ward Group®, a Cincinnati-based consulting firm specializing in the insurance industry, recently named Federated Mutual to the top 50 U.S.-based property and casualty companies and Federated Life to the top 50 U.S.-based life insurance companies.

Ward Group annually recognizes 50 property and casualty, and 50 life-health companies that have excelled at balancing financial safety, consistency, and performance during the past five years. They conducted separate analyses on nearly 3,000 property and casualty companies and 700 life-health companies.

Source: Federated Insurance News Release, August 2018

Resource List - Helping Families with Grief Support After an Overdose

Jessica Farran, a Public Relations Specialist with ASD, recently put together a resource list of national and local grief support groups for those impacted by an overdose. Also, there is information about New York State Funeral Directors Association's grief support facilitator training, which trains funeral directors to lead grief support classes for people impacted by a substance abuse death.

The resource list can be found at http://www.myasd.com/blog/overdose-grief-support-where-find-help.

Cybersecurity and Small Business

Federated has released some best practices and tips to help you protect your business from being exposed to cybercrimes.

Tip 1: Train Employees in Information Technology Security
Tip 2: Funds Transfers should be done in-person or over the telephone to confirm an email request
Tip 3: E-mail Authentication – this can be done by verifying where the email address came from and the domain it's associated with.
Tip 4: Change default passwords on your router and other Internet-connected devices.
Tip 5: Use a trusted VPN service when using Wi-Fi.
Tip 6: Back up your data regularly both to the cloud and to a removable device.
Tip 7: Update firmware and software regularly.
Tip 8: Provide firewall security for your Internet connection.
Tip 9: Limit employees' ability to install software and their access to only necessary information and data.
Tip 10: Require employees to update passwords every three months.

Federated Insurance has a Cyber Shield®, which is a two-part coverage program designed to help provide essential protection against many of the critical cyber and privacy exposures businesses face. Data Compromise Coverage and Cyber Coverage can help your company recover from intentional or accidental breaches.

Visit federatedinsurance.com for more information or to find your local Federated representative.

Source: Federated Insurance, July 2018


New Law - Act 69

Act 69 will allow hospice and home health workers to safely dispose of medications left behind following the death of hospice patients. Tom Kukuchka, State Board Member and PFDA member and Senator Lisa Baker (R-20) were very helpful in getting this Act passed. "Overdose fatalities are at record highs," said Wyoming County Coroner Kukuchka. "One of the ways we can help counteract this epidemic is to prevent properly prescribed drugs from falling into the wrong hands. This law helps accomplish that."

Act 69 has been signed by the Governor and will be effective on or after August 27, 2018.

Source: PA Attorney General News Release, July 27, 2018


PFDA Welcomes New Members

Join PFDA in welcoming our newest members: Ashley D. X. Nye Cremation Care and Funeral Home, Youngwood and Shawn E. Clark Funeral Home, Lansford.

Reminder – Direct Deposit Available for SecurChoice Trust Withdrawals!

With nearly 100 funeral homes already enrolled, the launch of Direct Deposit for SecurChoice has been a huge success! Direct Deposit is available to SecurChoice Trust participants withdrawing preneed monies invested in the SecurChoice Annuity or Mutual Funds.

What's Direct Deposit? Direct Deposit is the electronic transfer of your preneed funds directly into your bank account. The process is a convenient and secure way to receive preneed funds paid out after a withdrawal is submitted. Like paper records? We've got you covered – participants receive a hard-copy letter for recordkeeping.

Why sign up for Direct Deposit?

• Convenience – Receive funds directly into your checking account.
• Time – Save time by not having to go to the bank.
• Security – Eliminate the risk of lost, stolen, or misplaced checks.
• Free – Enjoy the benefits of the service at no cost.

Enroll today by contacting James Eirkson at 800-692-6068 or james@pfda.org.

Does PFDA Have Your Current Contact Information?

PFDA is asking that if any of your contact information: address, phone number, fax number and/or email address has changed, please make sure we have your correct information. We forward information to members through various modes of communication and want to make sure we have the correct information. Please send any updated information to Sue – sue@pfda.org and be sure to include your name.


PFDA Women's Conference – NEW EVENT.

PFDA will be hosting a Women's Conference on November 7th and 8th, 2018 at the Eden Resort, Lancaster, PA. Five (5) Continuing Education Credits will be provided. A flyer with additional information and a registration form are enclosed.

2018 District Meetings

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 Jocelyn Valentin-Miller, YWCA, for 2 CEU's and How Boomers Are Changing the Funeral Profession, presented by Josh McQueen, Passare, for 1 CEU. Locations and dates can be found on the PFDA website at http://www.pfda.org/2018_fall_districtmeetings/. A registration form is enclosed.

OSHA Sessions

PFDA is partnering with the Indiana Funeral Directors Association to offer three OSHA Teleconference Sessions. The dates and times are: October 5 at 10am, October 12 at 3pm, and October 19 at 3pm. You only need to attend one of the three sessions to receive 1 CEU, which has been approved in PA. For more information and to register go to http://www.pfda.org/index.php?pID=309.

Save The Date!!!!

The 2019 PFDA Annual Convention and Expo will be held June 2-5, 2019 at Kalahari Resorts and Conventions, Pocono Manor, PA. More details to follow.


Leonard Burke Hicks, 84, of McSherrystown, passed away on August 8, 2018. He was a PA Licensed Funeral Director and the previous owner of Leonard B. Hicks Funeral Home, McSherrystown, which is now Murphy Funeral Home.

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