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Wireless - March 3, 2009

      
Date Published: 
March 3, 2009
Original Publication: 
ICCFA Wireless

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ICCFA Wireless ... News You Can Use

March 3, 2009 Edition - Volume 10 - No. 5

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: hq@iccfa.com.


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INDUSTRY NEWS
 

eye on congressNew COBRA Requirements in Stimulus Package Enacted Into Law

The new economic stimulus package, signed into law on January 17 and officially known as The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, adds new requirements for continued health care coverage under COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985). Under existing law, employees and their dependents who lose their group health insurance coverage due to termination or other qualifying events may elect to continue such coverage up to 18 months by paying the full cost of the insurance premiums, plus an administrative fee. The new Stimulus law creates a federal subsidy to cover 65 percent of the COBRA premium charged to "assistance eligible individuals" ("AEIs") for up to nine months, between September 1, 2008, and December 31, 2009. An AEI is defined as a person affected by an involuntary termination.

The new law also creates a "special election period" for AEIs who were offered but did not elect the COBRA coverage. The law requires an employer to pay the subsidized 65 percent of the premium and receive reimbursement for that amount from the federal government as a tax credit against its wage withholdings and FICA payroll taxes. Employers will receive a tax refund to the extent that their payment of COBRA premiums exceeds their liability for payroll taxes. COBRA does not apply to businesses with fewer than 20 employees. ICCFA labor law counsel Michael Pepperman has provided a concise overview of the new requirements that can be viewed by clicking here.

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FTC Asked to Extend Funeral Rule to Cemeteries

Selected Independent Funeral Homes (SIFH), an industry trade association, announced that it has contacted the Federal Trade Commission to request an FTC staff advisory opinion that would include cemeteries under the Funeral Rule. The SIFH letter, dated February 17, 2009, claims that since an earlier FTC staff advisory opinion held that crematories selling urns would be covered under the Rule, cemeteries should likewise be included. The crematory advisory opinion was reported in the December 16, 2008, edition of ICCFA Wireless and may be viewed here. The SIFH announcement and letter to the FTC maybe viewed on the SIFH Web site.

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ICCFA NEWS
 
annualconvention
SPOTLIGHT ON OUR LARGEST CONVENTION EVER!
Hotel Room Block Oversold;
Mandalay Bay Will Honor Discount Room Rate Until March 17

This year's ICCFA Annual Convention & Expo, April 20-23 at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, will be our largest ever, and is the least expensive and most worthwhile industry Convention you'll ever experience.

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 our cutoff date of March 17. Act now to take advantage of this rare opportunity!

If you haven't registered yet for the Convention, do so by March 13 to receive the early bird registration rate as low as $410. Register now.

The ICCFA Expo will also be our largest ever. 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. Already a record number of booths have been presold—more than 275 booths representing more than 200 companies. Click here to find out which companies will be on hand to show you the latest products and services available to our industry.

IF YOU ATTEND ONE CONVENTION THIS YEAR, MAKE SURE IT'S THIS ONE!

Come experience THE INDUSTRY'S BEST VALUE! You may find the registration form here. Register now to secure this special rate.

 

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THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS!

  • Batesville Casket Company
  • Biondan North America
  • Carrier Mausoleums Construction, Inc.
  • Cold Spring Granite
  • Forethought Financial Group
  • Johnson Consulting
  • Matthews International Corporation
  • Milne Construction Company
  • Nomis Publications, Inc.
  • Service Corporation International
  • Stewart Enterprises, Inc.
  • StoneMor Partners LLC
  • The Daniels Company LLC
  • Trigard/Greenwood Plastics
  • 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.

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ICCFA University Program, Registration Materials Online

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

NEW THIS YEAR:

  • 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.
  • NEW LOCATION: Come experience ICCFAU's new venue, The Mid-South Convention Center and 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.
  • Two new College of Land Management & Grounds Operations courses.
    • Class Project: Develop This! (Jeff Kidwiler, CCE): Students will break into small groups for this hands-on project in which you'll develop a new cemetery section. You'll obtain first-hand experience in master planning, land use and design, product selection, ROI projections and more.
    • The Smitty and Fife Show! (Tom Smith and Tom Pfeifer): This high-energy presentation will be packed with practical "how-to" advice on cemetery maintenance and operational issues, by two of the industry's most well known experts. Smitty and Fife are best known for their popular "From the Grounds Up" column in ICCFA Magazine, where they share real-world maintenance management ideas that can be applied at any location, with any size budget.

CUTTING EDGE CURRICULUM RETURNING:

College of 21st Century Services
Deliver meaningful, memorable services for families who say they don't want a "traditional" funeral or burial. Includes:

  • Celebrant training and certification—now an essential component of your service offerings.
  • "Creating exceptional experiences for today's customer" with Dr. Alan Wolfelt (sponsored by Batesville Casket Company).
  • Learn how to help families go "above and beyond."
  • Five days of intensive learning and interaction with the industry's most progressive funeral professionals.

College of Cremation Services
Cremation is the largest growth market in our industry. Get a competitive edge by experiencing the most comprehensive cremation education program in the world:

  • Cremation Arranger Certification: Create meaningful tributes and communicate these options to families.
  • Cremation Administrator Certification: Understand the business and liability aspects of cremation and learn industry best practices.
  • Cremation Operator Certification: Provided in concert with Matthews Cremation Division; includes a 12-chapter Operations Manual.

For complete details, to view student testimonial videos and to download registration materials, visit www.iccfa.com/education-events/iccfa-university.

HURRY—ICCFAU Scholarship Deadline Right Around the Corner!
Apply for the Central States Cemetery Association scholarship award to the ICCFA University. To be eligible, applicants must work in one of the central states of Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma or Wisconsin, and be employed by a cemetery for a minimum of two years. Applicants must be able to attend the 2009 ICCFA University, held July 17-22, and may not assign the scholarship award to another person. All decisions of the Central States Cemetery Association Scholarship Committee and the ICCFA Educational Foundation are final. To print out an application, go to www.iccfa.com/certifications-awards/scholarship/scholarships. Deadline for submission: March 15, 2009.

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A Simple Phrase That Will Increase Sales

Want to learn how three sentences can answer the vague objection, "We're not interested"? Want to see how face-to-face sales worked in the late 1970s? Maybe you just want laugh at the big moustaches and super-wide ties ICCFA members sported back in the day?

"Back to Basics: Approach," a 37-minute role-play led by Dave Wharmby, CCE, in 1979, is one of more than two dozen vintage and modern training videos currently available at the ICCFA Screening Room at www.iccfa.com/screeningroom.

Additional videos are being added each week. The next batch will include sessions of ICCFA Conventions from earlier in this decade.

One of the highlights of the Screening Room is "Our Industry's Public Image," a panel discussion from 1980 featuring industry giants Dave Daly, CCFE; Frank Stewart Jr.; Harold Brown; and Herschel Auerbach discussing the results of a video survey regarding public opinion of the cemetery business. This entertaining, insightful and thought-provoking video was recently discovered in the ICCFA archives and has not been widely viewed.

ICCFA members who are current on their dues have access to the full version of all videos. Simply visit the ICCFA Screening Room and click on one of the "Watch Complete Videos" links at the top right-hand side of the page.

Not yet registered as an ICCFA member on the site? Go to the home page at www.iccfa.com and select a user name and password. The site administrator will confirm your membership and enable you to access all member content.

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Get Your Annual Meeting of Members Materials

Voting and awards/recognition information was mailed out to members last week 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.

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New OSHA Training Modules Available
The ICCFA is offering three new OSHA compliance videos to help business owners satisfy safety requirements and document training efforts, available in both CD and DVD formats:

Outdoor Work Safety
This program is an overview of the hazards of outdoor work to cemetery personnel including important safety information on hazards such as:

  • Heat Stress
  • Rodents, Snakes and Insects
  • Pesticides
  • Electrical Safety
  • Working in Cold Weather

Confined Work Space
A confined space is a work area that is not designed for continuous occupancy and has restricted entry or exit. This module offers an overview of the risks of working in confined spaces and the precautions that must be taken.

  • The hazards of confined work spaces
  • What OSHA regulations apply
  • Procedures and controls for ensuring safety
  • Understanding regulations pertaining to permit-required confined work spaces

Lockout/Tagout
If any equipment maintenance is performed at your facility, you must have a lockout/tagout program to protect your employees, and your employees must understand their role in it. This training program informs your employees about critical information, including:

  • What lockout/tagout is and why it is necessary
  • The steps involved in lockout/tagout procedures
  • Requirements for locking/tagging devices
  • The various roles employees have in lockout/tagout

Modules include an audio-visual presentation, a user's guide, instructor notes, student handouts, a quiz and completion certificates. Cost per module: $80 for ICCFA members; $95 for non-members. To order, call 1.800.645.7700.

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CLASSIFIED ADS
Reach Thousands with an ICCFA Classifieds Ad

For Sale
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: jharris@southern-coast.com.

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NEED MONEY?
Will buy retail installment contracts weekly. 17.75% Interest, Maximum 48 Months. Must be credit worthy.
Contact: Drawer 488
Fairforest, SC 29336
E-mail: cemcem45@msn.com

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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

Requirements:

  • 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

Package:

  • Strong compensation level with tremendous opportunity for growth—no cap
  • Excellent health Insurance benefits
  • 403b
  • Potential for profit sharing program

To be considered for this position, e-mail your resume with cover letter to mhays@lifestepslive.com.

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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 mnmarsh@mindspring.com for more information. Photos available.

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Sales Manager—Illinois
We currently have an opportunity available for a Sales Manager at the largest stand alone cemetery in the Chicago, Illinois market. Interment volume is 850 per year. Incumbent will also be responsible for coordinating pre-arranged funeral sales for 2 locations which collectively provide funeral services for 900 families per year.

As Sales Manager, you’ll manage leads and be responsible for coaching our Sales Staff – acting as their primary reference regarding customer service and satisfaction, prospecting, product knowledge, sales presentations, closing skills, prices, terms, paperwork, and sales guideline interpretation. In return, we’ll provide career advancement opportunities, excellent earning potential, and a respectful and professional work environment.

Responsibilities:

  • Develop a well trained sales staff that meets or exceeds established sales quotas, while maintaining the highest ethical standards.
  • Provide sales staff with proper training regarding sales techniques, legal requirements, and company products, policies, and procedures.
  • Motivate and encourage sales success by generating enthusiasm and excitement and instill a competitive spirit to achieve their personal goals.
  • Review and evaluate sales staff performance.
  • Hands on, interactive association with all sales counselors in the field and location.

If you qualify, the position offers:

  • Outstanding Compensation and Bonus Potential
  • Full Benefit Package
  • Advancement Opportunities

Job Requirements/Qualifications:

  • Two years successful cemetery sales management experience
  • High energy, results oriented and money motivated

Equal Opportunity Employer, M/F/D/V. Qualified candidates please submit resumes to Jay Crawley at jay.crawley@sci-us.com or contact at 816-228-1190.

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General Manager; Licensed Funeral Director
If you are seeking an outstanding opportunity to take charge of a premier funeral operation that offers a great opportunity to personally grow and develop a committed staff, then this is the opportunity you've been searching for.

We are looking for an experienced manager (5 to 7 years experience) to manage this African-American, single location, 375 call funeral home in Akron, OH. This firm enjoys over 50% market share, a strong reputation and solid business foundation. The candidate should possess strong leadership qualities and a passion for customer satisfaction.

We offer a competitive salary, healthcare benefits, 401K, paid vacation and Life Insurance. Compensation also includes a healthy incentive plan tied to customer satisfaction and business results.

Please send your resume along with salary history to Lisa at ldstreiff@comcast.net.

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Assistant Manager—Sales
Memorial Park Cemetery and Funeral Home (1000+calls Memphis TN), one of the most prestigious combinations in the Mid South, is seeking an experienced sales professional for a key leadership position. This position is easily expected to be a 6 figure income opportunity.

We require recent and verifiable "in field" experience in both Family Service and/or Community Service.
As part of the NorthStar Group, we are a progressive sales company, offering excellent compensation programs and a complete benefits package. We use traditional as well as cutting edge lead development programs to support our sales teams.

If you are a "lead from the front" style of manager with a strong work ethic we should speak. E-mail resume to: rick.ainslie@nsmg.com or phone me at 901-767-8930 ext #1145. All responses will be kept confidential.

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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 debbiebatliner@woodlawngroup.com. (Confidential Inquiries). EOE.

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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 email your resume, with salary history included to miguelquinones@woodlawngroup.com. (Confidential Inquiries). EOE.

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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 babineauxl@bellsouth.net for more information.

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Place your classified advertisement with ICCFA today!

  • ICCFA Wireless classified ads cost $80 and must be prepaid.
  • Ads run in two consecutive issues, and include free placement on the ICCFA Web site for four weeks.
  • Ads include a link to the company Web site and/or e-mail at no charge.
  • Ads with a box number for confidential reply are available for an additional $15.
  • Ads must be no longer than 250 words.
  • ICCFA reserves the right to limit the number of ads per issue on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • All advertising is subject to the publisher's approval; advertisers assume liability for all content of advertisements printed and for any claims arising therefrom against the publisher.

    For more information or to place an ad, contact Bryan Spry at bspry@iccfa.com or call 1.800.645.7700. See more classified ads at www.iccfa.com/classifieds.

member benefits

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.

Music Licensing
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.

Tax-Related Questions
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.

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CONTACT US

International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association
107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100
Sterling, VA 20164
1.800.645.7700
703.391.8400
Fax: 703.391.8416
www.iccfa.com

Copyright 2009, International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association

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