Ellis, Remkus Receive ICCFA Pet Loss Pioneer Awards

April 27, 2015
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STERLING, VA (April 27, 2015)—The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association Educational Foundation presented Coleen Ellis, CPLP, and Bill Remkus, CPLP, with Pet Loss Pioneer Award during the ICCFA 2015 Convention & Exposition, April 8-11 at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio, Texas.

The purpose of the awards is to recognize the achievements of those paving the way in the relatively new pet loss profession. ICCFA president Fred Lappin, CCE, said that Ellis and Remkus are the natural choices to receive the inaugural awards.

“Coleen and Bill created the PLPA and they are the experts in the field of pet loss. They literally blazed a trail to develop standards, best practices and guidelines in the pet loss profession, where there was no oversight previously,” Lappin said.

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Coleen Ellis, CPLP, is chief marketing officer/managing partner of The Pet Loss Center in Euless, Texas, and founder of Two Hearts Pet Loss Center founder in Greenwood, Indiana. She is also co-founder and co-chair of the Pet Loss Professionals Alliance. In 2007, she founded Pet Angel Memorial Center, the first stand-alone pet funeral home in the U.S. Prior to founding Pet Angel, Ellis spent nearly her entire professional career in the human death-care industry, specializing in preneed sales.

Her experience includes: vice president of sales & marketing for Newcomer Funeral Service Group, national sales manager of Cornerstone Preneed, and 11 years at Forethought Financial Services, Inc., wrapping up her career there as a national account executive where she was widely recognized as one of the top preneed sales professionals in the nation, complete with receiving the company’s top President’s Club Award.

Bill Remkus is the owner of Hinsdale Animal Cemetery & Crematory in Willowbrook, Illinois, and is a co-founder and co-chair of the PLPA. He was instrumental in the creation of Illinois’ Companion Animal Cremation Act. Bill is third generation owner at the cemetery, with experience in the business since 1971. He has always been a passionate advocate of ethical after death care for pets, continuously striving to raise the level of integrity in the industry.

Remkus was a volunteer fireman for more than 20 years in the Clarendon Heights Fire Protection District, reaching the rank of assistant chief. He has served on the Willowbrook parks and recreation board and the planning commission for more than 10 years. He also volunteers a lot in the community.

Founded in 1887, the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association is the only international trade association representing all segments of the cemetery, cremation, funeral and memorialization profession. Its membership is composed of more than 9,100 rooftop locations and 20,000 professionals in the cemetery, funeral home and crematory industries, as well as supplier and related businesses worldwide.

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