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October/November 2018 Reporter

October/November 2018

Dear Members,


Marine Corps Funeral Honors

You can now request Marine Corps Funeral Honors directly from the website at https://www.hqmc.marines.mil/Agencies/Casualty-MFPC/Funeral-Honors/. Please follow the instructions provided. Once your request for honors is received, a Marine Corps Funeral Honors Clerk will call you to verify the date and time of service, input the SSN of the Deceased Marine, and verify proof of honorable service. Verification of honorable service (DD214, Honorable Discharge Certificate, or Dept of Veterans Affairs Letter) should be sent directly to the Funeral Honors inbox at funeral.honors@usmc.mil. Please include the Last Name of the Marine and date of service in the subject line of the email.

Please allow 72 hours to process your request. Due to high volume of funeral honor requests, HQMC Funeral Honors processes all requests in order of the date of service.

HQMC Funeral Honors requests this form to be submitted at a minimum of 7 days prior to the date of service. However, if Funeral Honors are being requested within 24 hours or after normal business hours, please contact HQMC directly at 1-866-826-3628

If you have any questions please contact Marine Corps Funeral Honors at HQMC Funeral Honors, Building 2008, Rm 147, Quantico Va., 22134, Phone: 1-866-826-3628, Fax: 703-432-9248 or email: funeral.honors@usmc.mil.

Airline Shipping

If your Funeral Home has not shipped a body in 6 months or more, you will need to reapply to be a "known shipper." It is suggested by the airlines that you reapply every six months as a precaution. Funeral homes are required to register as a "known shipper" with each airline they use to ship bodies.

NFDA 2018 Winners for Excellence in Service to Families and Communities

The following PFDA members will be recognized during the 2018 NFDA International Convention and Expo, October 14-17 in Utah.

Best of the Best Award Recipient:
Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, East Pittsburgh

Hall of Excellence Inductee:
Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, Philadelphia

Pursuit of Excellence Award Recipients:

E. Blake Collins Funeral Home, Wilkes Barre
Emmanuel Johnson Funeral Home, Philadelphia
Molden Funeral Chapel & Cremation Services, Bristol
Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, East Pittsburgh

Congratulations to all of the PFDA members being honored this year.

New NFDA Discount Advantage Secret Shopper Program

NFDA has extended its Discount Advantage Program to include 360 Intel, a premier secret shopper service.

With this program, NFDA members will be given negotiated discount and they won't be required to commit to a certain amount of calls or have to participate for a specific period of time. Funeral homes can customize the type of shop calls they want – in person or on the phone. Secret shoppers, by visiting or calling a funeral home, can provide owners with detailed information on which employees need what training.

For those funeral homes that partner with 360 Intel, NFDA will offer them a 50 percent discount off of the online learning course, Mastering the Art Funeral Home Phone Etiquette presented by Lacy Robinson,

Funeral home owners who want to learn more about how 360 Intel and what they offer, can visit the NFDA Discount Advantage page, www.nfda.org/discountadvantage.

Source: NFDA Bulletin, October 1, 2018


Integrated Preneed Funeral Home Marketing

If you were around back in the 70's, you should remember the classic TV campaign for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The commercials involved a series of situations in which two people, one eating peanut butter and one eating chocolate, collided. One person would exclaim, "You got your peanut butter on my chocolate!" and the other would exclaim, "You got your chocolate on my peanut butter!" They would then both sample the mixture and remark on the great taste, tying in with the slogan "Two great tastes that taste great together." I often use this TV campaign with funeral directors to underscore the importance of blending traditional preneed funeral home marketing (ex. print, broadcast, billboard, direct mail, etc.) with new media (video, website, social networks, paid boosts, etc.) into an integrated marketing plan. When done properly, they can work very effectively together and increase the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts. Read more at http://bit.ly/PreneedMarketing.

Source: Jeff Stewart, VP and Chief Marketing Officer, Funeral Directors Life


When Disaster Strikes

The devastating results of the 2018 hurricanes and wildfires are still vivid in many of our minds. Disasters present themselves in many forms. A business's ability to handle these disasters is critical not only to its future and success, but also to the success of the community. How will your business react to the challenges presented by a disaster?

If you and your employees are prepared for a disaster, the feeling of panic, confusion, and loss will not consume you if one strikes. Based on your Open for Business-EZĀ® game plan, a focused effort for restoring your business using the human and physical resources that you have available, will help get your business back up and running. Using the program's 13-piece continuity plan, you will be able to identify and recover the essential functions of your business, sustain your revenue, and inform employees of their responsibilities.

Federated InsuranceĀ®, has partnered with the Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) to reduce commercial and residential property losses associated with extreme weather events and natural disasters. Through IBHS www.disastersafety.org, Federated is making available many valuable resources related to disaster and recovery planning for you, your business, and your employees. These tools are being offered at no cost to association members as another benefit.

Source: Federated Insurance, September 2018


What Does the Mobile Revolution Mean for Your Funeral Home?

When you searching for a restaurant, a phone number, or an address, how often do you use your smartphone versus a desktop computer? Guess what, over 50% of all Americans who access the internet, do so on their mobile devices, and mobile traffic now exceeds desktop traffic. In 2018 so far, mobile searches leaped to 64% versus desktop searches at 36%. With these statistics, if you aren't promoting your business on the internet, you aren't really promoting your business.

A study done by Pew Research breaks down smartphone device ownership and usage by age groups: Millennials- 92% own and use them regularly; Gen Xers- 85%; Baby Boomers (ages 38-53)- 67%; and Silent Generation (ages 54-72)- 30%.

You might be asking how this impacts you and your Funeral Home. At the end of 2017, 56% of all funeral and bereavement searches were done on mobile devices, and burial and cremation mobile searches grew 13% from 2016 to 2017.

What do you need to do? First and foremost, you need to make sure that your funeral home website needs to be mobile friendly. If google finds your website doesn't look good or operate well on a mobile device, your ranking on google will sink. Other online marketing tools you should consider are: click-to-call, which means from your website mobile users can click on your phone number and call you; targeted mobile ads to specific locations surrounding your funeral home; and geotargeting, which allows you to create a marketing campaign that reaches potential at-need clientele nearby your funeral home.

Source: ICCFA Magazine, August-September 2018


Pennsylvania Funeral Director Sentenced

Angeliegha "Angel" Stewart, who admitted to taking pictures of dead bodies, including selfies, before they were buried, has been sentenced. Stewart pleaded guilty to 16 counts of abuse of a corpse. A Monroe County judge sentenced Stewart to 10 years of probation, 250 hours of community service and permanently banned her from working in the funeral business.


Beware of Scam

A member funeral home recently received a fax from Mr. Ali Ahmed Bassel. Mr. Ali Bassel states he is interested in buying properties and other investments. He claims he is sick and doesn't have much time to live and he wants to move he and his 11-year old daughter to the United States.


Continuing Education Credits

There are many different opportunities over the two-year renewal period for Funeral Directors to get the required 6 continuing education credits. Please be aware if you attend a course not sponsored by or organized through PFDA, credit certificates must be acquired from the organizer of the program. PFDA is only permitted to provide certificates for programs/speakers we host and have had approved by the Pennsylvania State Board of Funeral Directors. If you have any questions, please contact Donna Centofanti, PFDA Meetings Coordinator at 717-545-7215 or donna@pfda.org.

PFDA Welcomes New Members

Join PFDA in welcoming our newest members: Wetzler Funeral Service, Inc., Bellefonte, Pa
Whiting Funeral Home, Philadelphia, Pa.
Coleman's Funeral Services, Philadelphia, Pa.

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. You don't have to be a licensed funeral director to attend this event, we encourage all funeral home staff to attend.

Five (5) Continuing Education Credits will be provided. A flyer with additional information and a registration form are enclosed. You must register by October 24, 2018.

Children's Grief Awareness Day

Children's Grief Awareness Day is held the Thursday before Thanksgiving every year. This year's date is November 15th. This day is focused on bringing to mind children all over the world who have dealt with the death of a loved one and are dealing with grief.

You can show your support to children everywhere by "Holding On To HOPE" for them through the Holding On To Hope photo campaign this year via Social Media.

For information on the campaign go to www.ChildrensGriefAwarenessDay.org/hope.

2019 Mid-Winter Conference

The 2019 Mid-Winter Conference will be held February 12-14, 2019 at Nemacolin Woodlands Resorts in Farmington, PA. There will be 7 Continuing Education Credits offered pending approval.

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.

PFDA Office Closure

The PFDA office will be closed on Monday, November 12, in observance of Veterans Day. The office will reopen Tuesday, November 13. The office will also be closed November 21 at noon, and all day the 22 & 23 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Happy Thanksgiving to our members!


John F. Glinsky, Jr., 87, of Throop, passed away on August 3, 2018. He was a PA Licensed Funeral Director and the owner of John F. Glinksy Funeral Home, Troop. He is survived by his daughters, JoAnn and Judy, both PA Licensed Funeral Directors, working in the family business, John F. Glinksy Funeral Home.

Mary Helen Reich Sheetz, 90, of Mount Joy, passed away on August 26. She was a PA Licensed Funeral Director and owner of Sheetz Funeral Home, Mount Joy. Mary is survived by her son, Jonathan, a PA Licensed Funeral Director, and her daughter, Mary, both working in the family business, Sheetz Funeral Home, Mount Joy.

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