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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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
FTC Advisory Opinion: Crematories Selling Urns Must Comply With Funeral Rule
The Federal Trade Commission recently made public a staff advisory opinion in response to an inquiry whether a crematory must comply with the provisions of the Funeral Rule. In the FTC staff's view, "a crematory must comply with all the requirements of the rule is it offers or sells cremation services and any funeral goods, such as caskets, alternative containers, or urns."
Under the Funeral Rule, any entity that is a "funeral provider" must comply. A funeral provider includes two elements: the offer or sale of both "funeral good" and "funeral services." The advisory opinion states that cremation is considered a "funeral service" because, among other reasons, "crematories 'care for' a body from the moment they receive it, because it has been remitted to their care, and may need to be held or refrigerated for a period of time as required by state law or the availability of the crematory's retort. Crematories must also take any necessary steps to 'prepare' the body for cremation, which may include, for example, removing the body from a shell container or rental casket, as well as the removal of pacemakers, metal implants and jewelry.”
The FTC staff further explained that since crematories are covered under the Rule, they must provide "price information by telephone upon request, give consumers a General Price List (GPL) describing the goods and services the crematory offers for sale, and the requirement that they show consumers a Casket Price List if caskets are offered but not listed in the GPL...". The staff cautions that the views expressed "have not been reviewed, approved, or adopted by the Commission, and they are not binding on the Commission or any individual Commissioner. However, they do reflect the views of FTC staff charged with enforcement of the Funeral Rule." The advisory opinion can be viewed on the FTC Web site at http://ftc.gov/bcp/conline/edcams/funerals/opinions/opinions08-1.pdf.
IRS Announces 2009 Standard Mileage Rates
The Internal Revenue Service has announced the optional mileage rates for 2009 to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. Beginning on January 1, 2009, the standard mileage will be:
- 55 cents per mile for business miles driven
- 24 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The IRS notes that the new rates are slightly lower than the rates for the second half of 2008 (58.5 cents for business and 27 cents for medical and moving) that were raised by special adjustment due to the spike in gasoline prices. However, the rate for charitable purposes is set by law and is unchanged from 2008. For more information, check the IRS Web site at www.irs.gov.
The ICCFA offices will be closed December 22-26. We wish everyone a very happy and safe holiday season!
Julie A. Burn Hired As Director of Cremation Services
ICCFA has hired Julie A. Burn, CCrE, CSE, as director of cremation services to lead the association's cremation-related program development, effective December 31.
Burn was formerly cremation services manager for Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. in Forest Park, Illinois. A frequent speaker at many industry-related meetings and conventions, she is a professor at the ICCFA University College of Cremation Services and is chairman of the ICCFA Personalization Committee, which conducts the annual Keeping It Personal (KIP) Awards program.
"The addition of a 'cremation czar' is the next logical step in the evolution of the ICCFA, which continues to lead the evolution of the industry as a whole," said ICCFA President Mark Krause, CFuE. "Whether we are cemeterians, funeral directors or cremationists, our biggest challenge is promoting tribute ceremonies and memorialization among our cremation clients. Julie Burn is an outstanding educator and is one of the most well recognized experts on cremation issues in North America. She is the right person at the right time to build on the ICCFA's current cremation programming and to ensure our members have the tools they need to meet the demands posed by cremation now and into the future."
Burn worked for Wilbert Funeral Services from 1991 to 2008. She started out as manager of funeral service communications before being promoted to a regional manager position in 1996 and to the cremation services manager position in 2000.
She has served as supplier liaison to the board of directors of the Cremation Association of North America and as a member of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association's Marketing Committee. Burn holds the designations of Certified Cremation Executive and Certified Supplier Executive from the ICCFA and the designation of Associate Certified Preplanning Consultant from the National Funeral Directors Association.
Preneed Sales Conference Just a Month Away
Register multiple staff and receive a hefty discount
The ICCFA Wide World of Sales Conference, to be held January 13-15, 2009, at the Las Vegas Hilton, offers "how to" advice developed by dozens of top sales & marketig experts.
THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRENEED SALES CONFERENCE IS JUST A MONTH AWAY! Don't miss out on specific how-to instructions and operational templates provided in the "Playbook" binder of speaker handouts, including:
You'll receive two solid days of educational seminars offering practical tools and techniques for boosting sales. Not only is the Playbook included in your registration, you'll also receive:
- Registration directory to facilitate networking with more than 400 of the best industry sales counselors and managers from around the world
- Admission to the Tuesday evening Welcome Reception
- Entry into either the Wednesday counselors-only lunch with Gary O'Sullivan or managers' networking lunch
- A chance to win cash and prizes
For complete program details, visit www.wideworldofsales.com.
Registration materials are available for download below:
HOTEL ROOM BLOCK SELLING QUICKLY
If you are planning to attend, the ICCFA urges you to make your hotel reservations now as our room block is selling quickly. The Hilton Las Vegas is offering ICCFA attendees the discounted room rate of $125 for single/double occupancy. To make your reservation, please call 1.800.635.7711 or book your hotel room online. Be sure to say that you are attending the ICCFA Wide World of Sales Conference.
The ICCFA is offering 2009 music licensing with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC for only $248 per property.With no additional fees or membership requirements, this is the LOWEST PRICE available in the industry!
Companies that currently hold their licenses through the ICCFA should receive invoices for 2009 in the mail within the next couple of weeks.
All companies that did not have a music license in 2008 and wish to purchase the 2009 license can do so by downloading the form or by calling the ICCFA at 1.800.645.7700.
The 2009 price is a direct pass-through of the combined annual price increases from ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. Licensing directly with the agencies this year would cost nearly $600 per location, so this price is still the lowest available to the industry.
Music licensing is the law, and failure to obtain a license where one is required can be costly: Copyright law provides for damages similar to fines of up to $30,000 for each song that is infringed. If your company, regardless of size, hosts performances of copyrighted music—whether the music is performed live or played from recordings—music copyright owners say you are legally required to pay an annual licensing fee.
Spotlight on the Going Green Symposium
The world's most insightful branding & marketing experts and entertaining speakers will present keynote addresses at the 2009 ICCFA Convention & Expo, April 20-23 at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.
At the 2008 Convention, you learned about the latest trends in green burial and environmentally conscious practices. In this year's two-hour breakout session, you'll learn how to introduce these techniques at your cemetery, crematory or funeral home. Among the topics to be covered:
why sound and sustainable does not mean unprofitable
natural and environmentally friendly alternatives for burials and cremations
how to perform green burials, including techniques, pitfalls and pricing considerations
integrated pest management
xeriscaping through effective planting, irrigation and water management choices
marketing and promotion
The panel will provide plenty of time for Q&A, so bring your questions!
JUST ANNOUNCED: "GREEN OPPORTUNITY" SEMINAR—APRIL 20
This all day seminar will take place on April 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Manadalay Bay Resort & Casino. The program will have four segments. Glenn Gould will begin with a program on consumer attitudes toward green funeral and natural burial with information derived from research studies conducted by MKJ Marketing. Gould will demonstrate how much of the support for green services is derived from people that presently prefer cremation. As such, developing the green market is a net gain for funeral homes and vendors as consumers will purchase more in merchandise and services then the cremation consumer presently does.
Joe Sehee will follow with a program that builds on the presentations he has been making nationally at state conventions. He will focus on what being green and natural entails, and how to accomplish it.
Marilyn Gould will discuss how our clients have benefited from the public relations derived from becoming a certified green funeral home.
Please plan to Join the Evolution, a convention with a value proposition like none other. You will learn not only what works, but also how to see the lay of the land so you can properly orient and re-position your company. Check out full sponsorship, exhibiting and session information at www.iccfaconvention.com.
YOU MAY REGISTER NOW! Download the registration form and return it by March 13 to receive the early bird discount.
SPONSORSHIPS SELLING QUICKLY
Secure Your Sponsorship Now
Sponsorship details are now posted on the Convention Web site. Become a sponsor and receive prominent recognition at what promises to be our largest annual convention & expo ever. Some opportunities include:
- Welcome Reception
- Closing Reception
- Closing Dinner
- Closing Dinner Entertainment
- Tuesday Lunch at the Expo
- Wednesday Lunch at the Expo
- Keynote Speaker Jackie Huba
- Keynote Speaker John Moore
- Keynote Speaker Scott Ginsberg
- Keynote Speaker Dean Lindsay
- Keynote Speaker Brad Dawson
- Speaker Robert Taylor
- General Session Coffee Breaks
- Prayer Breakfast
- Awards Reception
- Women’s Forum Luncheon
- State Association Luncheon
- General Session Staging
KIP Award Update
THANK YOU to all ICCFA members who submitted their KIP Award entries!
We received a strong selection of 20+ entries from a diverse pool of companies this year and look forward to going through each and every one of them! All contestants will be contacted after the holidays with status and information with regard to their entry(ies).
Questions? Please send an e-mail to email@example.com.
2009 ICCFAU Scholarship Applications Now Available
The ICCFA Educational Foundation has announced its second annual Scholarship Award to the 2009 ICCFA University. The scholarship is in the amount of $1,500.00 and can be used to pay the registration fee, lodging and travel expenses related to attending the University program. The Foundation is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charity that supports the association's educational programs. Applicants for the scholarship must be ICCFA members in good standing and employed in the cemetery, cremation and funeral profession for a minimum of two years. For more information and to download a copy of the scholarship application, visit the ICCFA web site at www.iccfa.com/pdf/ICCFAEFapp2009.pdf. Deadline for submission: February 28, 2009.
Since 2000, the ICCFA Women's Forum has given more than a dozen women access to a first-class, 21st-century educational experience at ICCFA University. You could be next! This scholarship covers all registration fees as well as housing and meals for ICCFAU 2009. For more information and to download a copy of the scholarship application, visit the ICCFA web site at www.iccfa.com/pdf/wforum09_application.pdf. Deadline for submission: February 16, 2009.
Licensed Funeral Director/Front Desk Receptionist/First Call Driver
We are looking for top-quality people to join the largest, most successful independent mortuary in Los Angeles. The ideal candidates must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, a desire to provide the highest quality service to families, have flexible schedules and be bilingual in Spanish.
We offer a competitive salary, healthcare benefits, 401K, paid vacation and life insurance. If you are interested please submit your resume to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advanced Planning Funeral Director
Earn up to a $10,000+ 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.
If you are reading this ad you are either looking for a more fulfilling career, are fed up with your current situation, or are unemployed.
Do you enjoy an environment where your efforts have a positive and meaningful impact for your customers? Are you well organized? Do you enjoy training, motivating, and cultivating employee's talents? Is truly helping others an important part of why you go to work every day? If so, then this opportunity may be what you have been looking for.
We are seeking individuals with leadership skills who have past experience in direct sales. Founded in 1910, Stewart Enterprises, Inc. is the 2nd largest provider of products and services in the death care industry. We currently have Sales Director openings in our Midwestern Region markets for a highly motivated individual who has the skills to lead and manage a team of professionals to serve families in our community. The responsibilities of this unique opportunity include, but are not limited to the following:
- Implement and supervise the sales program in such a manner as to achieve and exceed sales goals within established budgets
- Recruit, hire, and train new sales representatives
- Supervise activities of sales representatives to maximize individual and team performance
- Conduct daily meetings with staff to motivate, inform, and educate
- Control and manage the activities and results associated with company generated leads and prospects
- Report weekly and monthly on sales representatives' activities and results and actions to improve performance as needed
- Audit sales proficiency of representatives through regular monitoring of their presentations and sales metrics
- Work with other management personnel in the development of strategies, marketing plans, and budgets as requested
- Produce personal sales as needed for market to achieve sales goals
We offer the following benefits:
- Paid Training
- Health, Vision, and Dental Insurance
- Stock Purchase Plan
- Bonus Programs
- Recognition Programs
- Advancement opportunities
If you believe that you are who we are seeking then forward your resume to: Doug Farrow (firstname.lastname@example.org) or contact me at 816-353-4936 (office), 816-804-2853 (mobile) or fax resume to 816-353-4059.
When was the last time you enjoyed coming to work? NorthStar Memorial Group is looking for a highly motivated individual with a desire to learn, who loves to work hard and have fun in the process.
This is your opportunity to become an essential member of an organization with exceptionally talented personnel committed to people and personalized service that sets us apart from our competition.
The Funeral Director will:
- Provide professional services to client families before, during and after the loss of a loved one.
- Retain heritage and grow market share through active involvement with community, religious, and other organizations.
- Adhere to all professional, municipal, state, and federal licensing regulations and rules applicable to the funeral service industry.
The successful candidate will:
- Be passionate about their work
- Possess a high level of integrity
- Be a licensed Funeral Director with an Associate Arts Degree of Mortuary Science
- Be detail oriented and solution minded
- Possess outstanding organization and time management skills
- Work well independently and as part of a team
- Have superior communication skills
If you have what it takes to be on our team, submit your resume to email@example.com. Subject: FDP.
General Manager/Licensed Funeral Director
If you are seeking an outstanding opportunity to take charge of a premier multiple location funeral business that offers a great opportunity to personally grow and develop a strong employee staff, then this is the opportunity you've been searching for. We are looking for an experienced manager (5 to 7 years experience) of multiple locations to manage this multiple funeral home operation in Riverside County, CA. Candidate should possess strong leadership qualities and a focus on customer satisfaction. We offer a competitive salary, healthcare benefits, 401K, paid vacation and Life Insurance. Compensation also includes an incentive plan tied to customer satisfaction and business results. Please send your resume along with salary history to Lisa at Ldstreiff@comcast.net.
Tired of relentless e-mails and ever-changing comp plans? There is an alternative. We are looking for a sales leader to join us in beautiful Boise, Idaho. This is a unique opportunity for you to improve your quality of life, while bettering the lives of those you lead. If you have a proven sales record and are committed to being a star maker, please send resume to ray.may@Carriageservices.com.
Family Service Counselor
Earn up to a $10,000+ 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. (Confidential Inquiries). EOE.
Sales Leaders—Retire With Us!
Ever wonder why you don't see ads run often here by NorthStar? It's because talented people don't want to leave a well paying, progressive, sales centric environment. We are the smartest growing, privately held company in our industry now operating 37 of the largest locations in TN, OK, IL, FL, & OH (most with 500+ interments) with more soon on the horizon. If hardworking, ethical, motivating and a proven developer of sales talent sounds like you, we need to talk. Contact Bob March at email@example.com or call 949-413-3710 if you are not afraid to "lead from the front."
Multi-Property Funeral Home For Sale
Coachella Facility, 51990 Jackson Street, Coachella, California (3.12 acres).
ASKING PRICE: $6,000,000 (Three facilities, 5.8 +/- acres)
FEATURES: Possible sale/leaseback; Family owned and operated for approximately 50 years; Average of 750 cases per year over the past six years; Crematory on premises in Coachella; Full service funeral facilities.
DISCLAIMER: The above property will be sold "as-is, where-is, with all faults," without any representations or warranties of any kind whatsoever. Prospective purchasers are responsible for conducting their own due diligence prior to entering into a binding purchase contract which will be submitted for bankruptcy court approval only after all terms and conditions are agreed to and all due diligence is completed.
Contact Steven Speier at (949) 222-2999 X 219 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are pleased to announce that we have merged Thomashow, Brown & Paialii, LLP, a premier Los Angeles accounting firm, into Squar Milner. The merger was effective July 1, 2008 and creates one of the largest Southern California based CPA firms with over 215 professionals with offices in Los Angeles, Newport Beach and San Diego. Squar Milner has the distinction of being one of the nation's top 100 accounting and advisory firms. For more information on our services, please visit our website at www.squarmilner.com.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 NOTICE: Please be advised that, based on current IRS rules and standards, the advice above was not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. If this message is provided in any manner to another taxpayer, he or she cannot use the advice and should seek advice based on his or her own particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor.
CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.
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 Introduces New Sales Training Programs
ICCFA Introduces New Sales Training Programs by sales trainer and professional speaker Gary O'Sullivan, CCE. O'Sullivan's two latest products include a 10 DVD Series—The Power to Sell Preneed, and a training support system called the GoSell System. Both products provide sales managers with tools and training strategies that will help them to strengthen and motivate their teams. Click here to download a detailed description of each product: www.iccfa.com/docs/osullivan.doc. To place an order, call the ICCFA at 1.800.645.7700.
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 Network is an online e-mail service that offers ICCFA members an easy, free way to share questions and answers to everyday on-the-job challenges. Recent discussions have examined issues such as working with the Muslim community, distance between burial sites, direct mail marketing, the growing popularity of geocaching at cemeteries, recruiting staff and more. Ideal for smaller companies with smaller budgets. Join today!
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 Internet Expo
The ICCFA Internet Expo is the largest online exposition in the cemetery and funeral service industry. Cemetery and funeral home owners and operators will find 300+ providers in more than 100 product and service categories. Exhibit space is provided as a free, exclusive benefit to all ICCFA supplier and professional members. Check it out today!
HR Law Benefit
Through an unprecedented new benefit program, ICCFA members can now access free legal consultations regarding labor relations, human resource management and employment law. Attorney Michael Pepperman of the Labor Relations and Employment Law department at Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel LLP (ORM&H), is available to address questions on topics ranging from hiring and firing, to employee privacy and workplace violence, to wages and hours, to equal employment opportunity and wrongful discharge issues. Michael Pepperman, Esq., has spoken on labor and employment issues at several ICCFA conferences and regional industry meetings. To take advantage of this benefit, please call 215.665.3032 or visit ICCFA's HR Law Benefit for more information.
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 NEW!
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 2008, International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association