JoAnn Baldwin Honored for Outstanding Contributions to Funeral Service, Receives NFDA?s 2010 Initiative Award

April 14, 2010
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imageJoAnn Baldwin, consultant to Aurora Casket Company in Aurora, Ind., has been recognized with the National Funeral Directors Association?s (NFDA) 2010 Initiative Award. Presented on an annual basis during NFDA?s Professional Women?s Conference, held April 9-11, in Savannah, Ga., the NFDA Initiative Award honors an exceptional woman who has made noteworthy professional contributions to funeral service or a related field. Only 13 women have received this prestigious recognition, placing Baldwin among an elite group of forward-thinking professionals.

?JoAnn?s passion for enriching the funeral experience for both funeral professionals and families who have lost a loved one truly embodies the spirit behind NFDA?s Initiative Award,? said Connie Smith, senior vice president of NFDA?s Professional Development Division. ?She inspires funeral directors to go beyond the expectations of those they serve, providing unforgettable services to grieving families, which is essential to the healing process.?

Baldwin?s commitment to creating meaningful funeral experiences began more than 20 years ago when she became the first female funeral director for Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service in Columbus, Ohio; she then went on to serve as marketing director for Doric Products, Inc. In 2003, Baldwin joined Aurora Casket Company as manager of professional development.

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Baldwin?s ability to connect with grieving families and provide healing experiences quickly evolved during her tenure with Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Service. Realizing the significance of losing a loved one and the difficult time that follows, Baldwin took the initiative to reach out to families with compassion, discover their needs, and create unique and thoughtful funeral or memorial services. In addition to writing and illustrating a coloring book for children that explains death and funerals, Baldwin helped establish what is now the funeral home?s annual holiday candlelight memorial service.

As marketing director for Doric Products, Inc., Baldwin developed and received patents for a variety of products, including an infant casket/vault combination, known as the ?Daisy Chrisom.? Providing a meaningful tribute to families who suffer the loss of an infant, those who purchase the ?Daisy Chrisom? also receive Baldwin?s published poem, The Legend of the Daisy, and memorial seed packets.

In her previous position as manager of professional development at Aurora Casket Company, Baldwin pursued the value of a meaningful funeral by developing and presenting continuing education programs for funeral service professionals. To strengthen the relationship between funeral directors and the families they serve, Baldwin co-developed and facilitated Aurora?s signature program: Lifetimes ? A Balanced Funeral Arrangement. Helping to ensure a successful funeral for both funeral directors and families, Lifetimes is a training tool that provides funeral arrangers with the necessary skills to create a funeral that honors the life of a loved one and helps families transition through the grieving process. Baldwin has also authored and illustrated the book, Lifetimes ? Making Connections, Building Trust, a valuable resource to help funeral service professionals build lasting relationships with every family they serve.

Baldwin?s educational programs have been presented nationwide and abroad; in 2007, Baldwin devoted an entire week to educating Filipino funeral directors on ways to build relationships with families. She also speaks to civic organizations on the importance of participating in a funeral service as a way of acknowledging the reality of death and celebrating the life of a loved one.

A certified funeral celebrant and children?s bereavement facilitator, Baldwin is committed to her profession on a local and national level. Baldwin is currently a certified member of the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice, a member of the American Society of Training and Development, and an advisory board member of the Association of Women Funeral Directors. She is also a certified Wilson Learning facilitator and an instructor for the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association.

For more information on NFDA?s Professional Women?s Conference and Initiative Award, visit www.nfda.org/professionalwomensconference.

CDFuneralNews

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