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March 17, 2009 Edition - Volume 10 - No. 7
Welcome to the ICCFA Wireless newsletter!
If you experience any problems with this HTML version, please let us know. Call 1.800.645.7700.
ICCFA Wireless is a bi-weekly electronic newsletter bringing members of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association the latest government and legal, industry and association news. It is available to all ICCFA members current on their dues. Comments, questions and "hot news tips" are welcome. Write to: email@example.com.
If You Ship Remains by Air, Register NOW as a "Known Shipper"—6-8 Week Backlog Currently for July 1 Deadline
Following up on the February 3 edition of ICCFA Wireless, any funeral establishment that ships human remains by air in the United States will NOT be allowed to ship after July 1, 2009, if it has not registered as a "Known Shipper." Registration can be made directly with each airline and shippers must register with each and every airline that may be used in the future. There is no requirement to use the airline and each airline has its own format and fees. Most importantly, there is currently at least a six week backlog of Known Shipper applications waiting to be processed and the backlog is expected to grow longer as the July 1 deadline nears. These regulations are mandatory and enforced by the Transportation Safety Administration.
The bottom line: no funeral home will be permitted to ship human remains by air as of July 1 and thereafter if it has not registered as a Known Shipper with the particular airline it wants to use. There are other registration methods available, but ICCFA has been advised that registering directly with each airline intended to be used in the future is the simplest approach. For more information, contact ICCFA general counsel Bob Fells at 1.800.645.7700.
Employee Free Choice Act Introduced in House and Senate
ICCFA Members Urged to Contact 'Swing Vote' Senators
The long-expected "Employee Free Choice Act" (EFCA) has been introduced into both the House (H.R. 1409) and the Senate (S.560). A heavily partisan bill that restricts employee voting rights among other things, virtually all Democrats are expected to vote for it and virtually all Republicans are expected to vote against it. The legislation is expected to pass the House very easily. However, there are a number of "swing vote" Democratic senators who may vote against EFCA and we are asking all ICCFA members who are constituents of these particular senators to contact them immediately with a basic message:
Please vote NO to the Employee Free Choice Act.
Rather than provide members with a "form letter," which are notoriously ineffective, member contacts will be more effective if they mention a few points in their own words either verbally by phone or through e-mail:
- The mislabeled Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA) would deprive workers of the right to vote by secret ballot to decide whether or not they want a union.
- EFCA would impose mandatory arbitration where an arbitrator could decide on the terms of a first contract, even over the objections of both management and labor.
- EFCA would substantially increase fines on employers and have a disproportionate impact on small businesses.
Also, try to give a personal example of how you would be affected by EFCA.
To view the list of "swing vote" senators and their office phone numbers please click here.
FTC Staff Advisory Opinion Confirms: Basic Services Fee Can Not Be Discounted under Funeral Rule
Federal Trade Commission staff published an advisory opinion, dated February 17, 2009, confirming an earlier opinion (97-3) that the basic services fee charged by funeral homes may not be discounted under the Funeral Rule. According to the staff opinion, "We have considered the arguments of the National Funeral Directors Association ('NFDA') challenging this staff opinion, and find no reason to alter this longstanding interpretation of the Funeral Rule... ."
The FTC closed its Funeral Rule review in March 2008 stating that by "retaining the Rule, the Commission simply preserved the status quo, and did nothing to alter prior Rule interpretations. In fact, the Commission not only cited, but expressly approved Opinion 97-3, noting that 'funeral homes may encourage consumers to purchase a casket from their organization by offering discounts on services or items except for a non-declinable Basic Services Fee'." The four-page staff opinion concludes, "To comply with the Funeral Rule, a funeral provider must include its full basic services fee in the price of any discount funeral package offered, and discount only the prices itemized in its GPL (general price list) for the goods and services that are included in the package." The full text of the staff advisory opinion may be viewed on the FTC Web site at http://ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/funerals/opinions/opinion09-1.pdf.
House and Senate Bills to Codify Irrevocable Funeral and Burial Funds as Excludable Resources
Something of a perennial issue in each Congress, bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate to codify current regulations of the Social Security Administration that exclude the value of funds set aside in irrevocable trusts for funeral and burial arrangements. These funds cannot be counted as resources of individuals seeking eligibility for government assistance. The House bill, H.R. 1352, was introduced by Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-ND) and currently has three co-sponsors. The legislation has been referred to the Ways and Means Committee. The Senate companion bill, S. 427, was introduced by Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and currently has three co-sponsors. This legislation has been referred to the Finance Committee.
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR LARGEST EXPO EVER!
Mandalay Bay Will Honor Discount Room Rate Until Sold Out
This year's ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo, April 20-23 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be our largest ever, with 295 booths already pre-sold. Visit our Expo page to find out which companies will be on hand.
The ICCFA Exposition is known as the friendliest and most productive in the industry, with no competing activities during Expo hours and free food and drink throughout the show.
Be sure to visit every booth during the Expo hours:
- Monday, April 20 from 5:30 to 8 p.m.
- Tuesday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m.
- Wednesday, April 22, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
ICCFA will be starting our Surprise Party early by giving away $200 cash prizes to 20 expo attendees. Complete the entry form in your registration packet and enter the raffle by attending the expo on Tuesday, April 21, from 5 to 7 p.m. The drawings will start at 5:15 p.m. and continue throughout the evening. You MUST be in attendance to win.
THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!
Batesville Casket Company
Biondan North America
Carrier Mausoleums Construction, Inc.
Cold Spring Granite
Daniels Family Funeral Services
Forethought Financial Group
Matthews International Corporation
Milne Construction Company
Nomis Publications, Inc.
Riviera Tailors Ltd.
Service Corporation International
Stewart Enterprises, Inc.
StoneMor Partners LP
United Memorial Products
Vista Memorial Gardens
Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc.
Click here to add your
company's name to this list.
SUPPLIERS: IT'S NOT TOO LATE!
Be part of one of the largest expositions in the industry and be seen by thousands of cemetery, cremation and funeral professionals.
ICCFA's hotel room block at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino is oversold. However, Mandalay Bay has agreed to continue to honor our discounted room rate of $149 per night until the hotel sells out. A very limited number of rooms are left during the convention dates. Act now to take advantage of this rare opportunity!
If you haven't registered yet for the Convention, do so now. Register now.
IF YOU ATTEND ONE CONVENTION THIS YEAR,
MAKE SURE IT'S THIS ONE!
ICCFA University: Providing Plenty of Take-Home Tools
The ICCFA University, July 17-22 at the Mid-South Convention Center in Tunica, Mississippi, offers five days of intensive educational programming in six colleges and two graduate programs:
- College of 21st Century Services
- College of Administration and Management
- College of Cremation Services
- College of Funeral Home Management
- College of Land Management & Grounds Operations
- College of Sales & Marketing
- Master's program
- CEO program
CUTTING EDGE CURRICULUM—PLENTY OF TAKE HOME TOOLS!:
OSHA and Gravesite Safety (College of Land Management & Grounds Operations)
Mary Malotke and Shannon DeCamp
OSHA has regulations for digging in a narrow but deep space such as a grave. This session covers backhoes, ladders, setting vaults, adjacent grave and monument issues and witnessing liabilities. We'll also examine the requirements for soil assessment, trench protection and air-quality issues that can become critical during opening and closing. Students will receive a DVD on Gravesite Safety, which you can take back to train your entire maintenance staff to help fulfill your OSHA training requirements. The DVD comes with a user's guide, instructor notes, student handouts, a quiz and completion certificates.
Refinishing Bronze (College of Land Management & Grounds Operations)
In this workshop, we'll refinish an actual bronze memorial from start to finish, demonstrating the proper materials and techniques used. You'll take home a free "how-to" DVD on the process compliments of Matthews Bronze.
Crematory Operator Curriculum (College of Cremation Services)
Tony Lombardi and Ron Salvatore (presented by Matthews Cremation Division)
You will receive an extensive Operations Manual and training on:
- professional terminology
- incinerator terminology
- principles of combustion
- cremation and the environment
- incinerator criteria and design
- basics of operating cremation equipment
- general maintenance and trouble shooting
- forms and record keeping
- handling and exposure control
Total Quality Management (College of Funeral Home Management)
Students will receive the Deming Manual, a Quality Assurance Manual and several additional instruction manuals, as well as Todd Van Beck's 318 ides to improve service to families.
ALSO, NEW THIS YEAR:
- New Location: Come experience ICCFAU's new venue, The Mid-South Convention Center and The Veranda Hotel, at the Harrah's Tunica Resort. The state-of-the-art venue is just 35 miles from Memphis International Airport, and the ICCFA has arranged for FREE shuttle transportation during our students' peak travel times! Learn more about the resort here.
- Alumni Discount: If you are an ICCFA University graduate, you will receive a special $100 discount off your registration fee! See the "Alumni Discount" line on the registration form to take advantage of this special offer.
For complete details, to view student testimonial videos and to download registration materials, visit www.iccfa.com/education-events/iccfa-university/iccfa-university.
Get Your Annual Meeting of Members Materials
Voting and awards/recognition information has been mailed out to members for the Annual Meeting of Members to take place on Tuesday, April 21, from 8 to 9 a.m. during the ICCFA Annual Convention & Exposition. If you did not receive your packet of voting materials, most of the materials may be downloaded below. You must call 1.800.645.7700 to request a replacement voting certificate.
Southeastern Memorial Gardens of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, perpetual care cemetery. Approximately 14 total acres with office, machine shop, and storage; 8+ acres developed, 8 gardens, Two mausoleums, Babylon and Beloved Pet. Room for funeral home, 70 average funerals/year, approximately 1,475 burial spaces left in developed portion and 7,000 in undeveloped acres (depending on layout). No active preneed sales program. Perpetual Care Trust Account and Merchandise Trust Account are both fully funded. Located on Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand or Business 17. Inside City limits. www.southeasternmemorialgardens.com. Please call John W. Harris III at 1.800.713.9258 or 843.385.4884; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will buy retail installment contracts weekly. 17.75% Interest, Maximum 48 Months. Must be creditworthy.
Contact: Drawer 488
Fairforest, SC 29336
Sales Manager—Historic Cemetery
Historic Woodland Cemetery & Arboretum in Dayton, OH, has a fantastic opportunity for a results-oriented individual with a proven track record of success in sales/marketing management. If you are looking for a long-term relationship with an organization that is open to ideas and willing to allocate the resources to support them, this is it! Responsibilities:
• Recruit, hire, train, motivate sales counselors
• Build and execute creative marketing strategies
• Develop strong community partnerships
• Manage substantial sales and marketing budget to strong ROI
• Understands role and value of Historic Cemetery including necessity for restoration, preservation and community education
• Verifiable record of success increasing sales in an urban setting
• Strong written and verbal communication skills
• Public speaking experience and ability to sell yourself to community forums regularly
• Bachelors Degree or Certified Cemetery Executive
• Strong sales organization, administration, and financial competencies
• Brings proven community relations programs, commitment to professional development, and unblemished reputation for ethical sales programs
• Lives in Montgomery County, Ohio relocation support negotiable
• Strong compensation level with tremendous opportunity for growth—no cap
• Excellent health Insurance benefits
• Potential for profit sharing program
To be considered for this position, e-mail your resume with cover letter to email@example.com.
Memorial Garden Cemetery For Sale
Price lowered, owner must retire! GREEN HILL MEMORIAL GARDENS in Hopkinsville, KY (area pop. 78,000) is located on Highway 68 (recent 4-lane expansion for growing area). 4500 owner families, 9 Gardens, 18 acres developed, 32 acres reserved, and 110 annual burials (25% of County). $500,000 in Perpetual Care Trust. Mausoleum development recently renovated (250 crypts complete). Private Family Mausoleum.
The only memorial park in the County. Bronze memorial, Lawn Crypt, and Mausoleum sales programs. On-site office buildings and large shops with all burial and maintenance equipment. Staff are experienced in all phases of operations. Strong industrial base. Located on the west side of town on a major highway, towards Lakes area. Ft. Campbell military base is 15 minutes away.
Please call Milton Marshall at 270-887-3549 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Photos available.
Advanced Planning Funeral Director
Earn up to a $25,000+ sign on bonus if you are a top notch Advanced Planning Funeral Director! We will be hiring someone with a proven track record in advanced planning funeral sales. Are you that person? Woodlawn Memorial Gardens located in beautiful Norfolk, VA is a Funeral Home/Cemetery Combo facility. We are expanding our business and looking for a top notch Advance Planning Funeral Director who will be responsible for our advanced planning funeral services. Must have Life & Annuities Insurance Licensure (or the ability to obtain with in a short period of time) and currently be licensed as a Virginia Funeral Director (or the ability to be licensed as one). Must be proficient w/computer and be willing to learn new software. Must be comfortable speaking in front of groups. This is a full-time position that offers competitive pay, excellent benefits including 401k, profit sharing and vacation. For consideration, please e-mail your resume with salary history to email@example.com. (Confidential Inquiries). EOE.
Family Service Counselor
Earn up to a $25,000+ sign on bonus if you are a top notch salesperson with proven cemetery sales experience.
Have you always wanted to live and work close to the beach? Well, it's time to make that dream a reality. Woodlawn Memorial Gardens is located in beautiful Norfolk, Virginia, just minutes from the Virginia Beach Oceanfront. Woodlawn is expanding our sales team by adding more top notch talent. Sales experience must be proven and demonstrated. This is a full-time commissioned opportunity with benefits and high earnings potential. Must have a valid driver's license, be able to obtain a Virginia cemetery sales license, have excellent computer skills, closing skills and the desire to write your own paycheck. For further consideration, please e-mail your resume, with salary history included to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Confidential Inquiries). EOE.
Cemetery For Sale
Greenlawn Memorial Gardens of Lafayette, Inc, Lafayette Louisiana, family owned, owner deceased, widow wants to divest of business and adjoining property, approximately 39 total acres with house, office, and storage building, 9+ acres developed, 6 gardens, 6 mausoleums and Babyland, room for funeral home with highway frontage, 77 avg funerals/yr, 30 single and 24 double depth mausoleum inventory and approx. 2270 burial spaces available if double interred, no active pre-need sales program, 300,000 in trust and 20+ acres to develop, Parish population of 208,000 and the fastest growing city in La. is 10 minutes away. Please call Albert Leger @ 1-888-774-6420 or e-mail email@example.com for more information.
Forest Lawn Cemetery, a beautiful, 30+ acre, family-owned, perpetual care cemetery in Houston, Texas, is seeking a working GROUNDS MANAGER whose primary responsibilities are to supervise, manage, personally perform all grounds & facilities tasks including but not limited to:
• Locating, opening & closing, setting up for, interments, entombments, inurnments;
• Enforcing corporation's policies, procedures;
• Accurately installing, recording, maintaining markers;
• Hiring, termination, training, supervision, evaluation, coaching staff of 5;
• Grooming, maintenance, safety & security of park & facilities;
• Procuring, inventorying equipment, tools, office equipment, their maintenance & repair;
• Obtaining bids, keeping records, overseeing grounds projects
Reports to: Cemetery Manager
• Honest, caring, organized, resourceful, reliable, responsible, professional;
• Competent locating, digging graves, mapping skills;
• Basic electrical work, plumbing, carpentry, simple construction;
• Gardening—planting, tree & shrub health, lawn care;
• Proficient operating backhoe, tractor, electrical tools, lawn equipment;
• Knows proper methods of hedging, weed eating, mowing;
• Team leader, strong work ethic;
• 10 years' grounds experience, 5 in cemeteries;
• Proven supervisor;
• Able to lift 100 pounds, climb ladders;
• Preferences: bilingual (Spanish & English) / computer skills
Current Certifications: OSHA; First Aid
Compensation: $38K-$45K; full benefits including health insurance, 401K; Flexible Spending Account; holidays; vacation
To Apply: Send resume, letter of application: firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
New Hire Department, Forest Lawn Cemetery, 8701 Almeda-Genoa Rd., Houston, TX 77075
Job or company information: Call Mary at 713-991-7252.
Want a permanent job in which you collaborate directly with the president to make good things happen? Forest Lawn Cemetery, a family-owned, perpetual care cemetery in Houston, Texas seeks a special person to lead our cemetery team.
We invite applications for a general manager who will dedicate him/herself to the values, mission and strategic plan of this corporation; implement board policies; skillfully employ "best practices" in all aspects of operations including but not limited to burials, finances, sales, customer service, marketing, personnel, and grounds care; maintain accurate, complete records that comply with State regulations; produce timely, accurate financial reports; assemble a sales team adept at 'relationship building' sales strategies; assist in developing new products & new practices designed to maximize revenue.
The GM collaborates with and reports directly to the president.
Skills, Traits Desired: Scrupulously honest, hard working, tactful, flexible, empathetic, well spoken, dependable, organized, detail-oriented; comfortable with change; a collaborative leader; a resourceful, creative and tenacious problem solver; positive attitude about life and self; strong interpersonal and communication skills; sensitive to cultural, racial and religious needs of families; a model of professionalism and accountability; team builder; strong customer service skills; able to analyze financial reports; able to set, achieve or exceed financial goals; able to move the company forward technologically; able to handle pressure well; to think on his feet, and to smile even at the end of the day. Bilingual (Spanish/English) skills are a plus.
• Minimum of 5 years experience in the funeral industry;
• 2 years or equivalent of cemetery management required, 3-5 yrs preferred
• Prefer college degree in business or related area with concentrations in marketing or management or equivalent experience and training;
• Some coursework or training in at least three of the following: sales management, personnel management, human resources, consumer behavior, marketing management, strategic planning, marketing strategy, promotion, accounting, finance.
• Proven track record for revenue generation and leadership,
• Minimum $50,000 salary negtiable dependent upon candidate's skills and experience.
• Benefits: 80% of employee's medical insurance paid; 401K; Flexible Spending Account; workers' compensation & professional liability insurance; 5 paid holidays; 2 week vacation after one year; other incentives including profit sharing as negotiated with employee.
Address questions or requests for additional information about the job or the corporation to:
Mary Anne Speck, President (address below) or e-mail her at email@example.com.
To apply: E-mail resume and letter of application to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to
Elsie Biron, Chairperson of Hiring Committee
Forest Lawn Cemetery
8701 Almeda-Genoa Road
Houston, TX 77075
Place your classified advertisement with ICCFA today!
ICCFA Supply Link Allows Easy Buyer's Guide Searching
The ICCFA Supply Link, an online buyer's guide members can use to easily search for products and services from the convenience of their computers, can be accessed directly from the ICCFA home page. The Supply Link offers a "Search" function whereby members can search according to product type or company name and can be limited to a state or to a certain radius distance from a specified city or ZIP code. Users also can narrow their search to include only ICCFA-member companies. Suppliers that are ICCFA members and exhibitors are identified as such in their listings.
ICCFA News Page
The ICCFA News Page takes you to sources throughout the world for industry news and updates. It brings you the most comprehensive selection of funeral service and cemetery news available anywhere, along with frequently updated general news items related to national and world events. The News Page reports the news before anyone else and is one of the most visited page on the ICCFA Web site. Stop in each day and you'll see why.
The 2009 Music Licenses are available for just $248 per property, no additional fees. Covers ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Any U.S. funeral home, cemetery or related business is eligible for membership as a Music License Member. Licensing directly with the agencies this year would cost nearly $600 per location, so this price—which requires no additional membership fee—is still the lowest available to the industry.
ICCFA members now also have access to an attorney for tax-related questions regarding trust earnings, care fund allocations, capital gains, investments and more. The ICCFA has retained Leslie Schneider, CPA, a tax attorney with Ivins, Phillips & Barker in Washington, DC, for telephone consultations for up to 20 minutes with no obligation. To take advantage of this member benefit, call Schneider at 202.393.7600.
ICCFA Insurance Program
Administered by Alliant Insurance Services, this program allows members to purchase commercial property and casualty insurance -- including general liability, commercial property, automobile liability and physical damage, umbrella liability, professional liability, workers compensation, employee benefits and more -- at rates they probably would not be able to afford on their own. For details, call 1.800.390.9099.
Fraud Prevention & Detection Consultation Service
ICCFA has retained the services of veteran fraud investigator Robert A. Garvey Jr., CPA, CFE, CrFA, CVA, to serve as a consultative resource for members' employee theft and fraud concerns. The new member benefit, the "Fraud Investigation and Deterrence Consultation Service" or FIDCS, will allow members to discuss by telephone any issues or concerns related to suspected fraudulent activity or a desire to put systems and controls in place at their locations to deter such activity. There is no cost to ICCFA members in good standing to utilize this benefit. The number to call is 1.866.649.1902.
Legal Advice on Cremation Concerns
Courtesy of the ICCFA Government and Legal Fund, ICCFA members now have access to pre-paid legal advice on cremation-related issues. Through this exclusive member benefit, the association has retained Poul H. Lemasters, Esq., of Rosenacker & Associates, Ltd., Cincinnati, Ohio. Poul is an attorney and licensed funeral director, and members in good standing may call him at 1.800.221.2889 to discuss cremation concerns for up to 20 minutes at no charge.
FTC 'Red Flag' Compliance Program
ICCFA now offers members a sample compliance program concerning new Federal Trade Commission rules to fight identity theft. To have the program template sent to you, please contact us at 1.800.645.7700.
GPL Compliance Check
Members whose businesses must follow the FTC Funeral Rule's General Price List (GPL) requirements can have their lists reviewed for compliance by attorney Poul H. Lemasters, Esq., without charge. Contact Lemasters at 1.800.221.2889.
ICCFA Credit Card Processing Program
The ICCFA and Applied Merchant Systems of Chicago, Illinois, currently offer members a Credit Card Processing Program with a special low discount rate. This benefit makes it less expensive for cemeteries, funeral homes, memorial designers and related businesses to accommodate customers who wish to pay via credit card. For more information, call 1.800.675.6573.
International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association
107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100
Sterling, VA 20164
Copyright 2009, International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association