This post originally appeared in eFuneral’s Funeral Director Blog.
In full disclosure, my background is likely a bit different than yours if you’re a funeral professional. I went to business school – not mortuary school. I learned from some of Ohio’s top technology entrepreneurs – I did not apprentice any Funeral Directors. I’ve given back to my community by serving as my hometown’s official Entrepreneur-in-Residence – not by taking care of my grieving neighbors (at least not the way that you do).
ASD – Answering Service for Directors is pleased to introduce ASD Mobile 2.0, a state-of-the-art iPhone application that brings unparalleled control and convenience to funeral professionals.
Last December, ASD launched the first version of this sophisticated app and over 2,000 clients regularly utilize one of its features to manger their ASD account. Now, with the launch of ASD Mobile 2.0, funeral directors will have additional options and can access new mobile tools to conduct business away from the office.
Article By: Lajos Szabo of FuneralOne
Five years into the future? I’m lucky if I can predict what I am doing next week!! That being said, enjoy these prognostications! My first one is that many of you will wonder if I had to look up that 5 syllable word!
In no particular order, here is what I’m predicting the funeral profession will look like in 5 years:
Eagan Avenatti, LLP, a nationally recognized law firm, together with well known South Florida Attorney Edward M. Ricci, filed a Class Action Lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Palm Beach County, Florida today alleging morally despicable, illegal and unlawful business practices at Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery in North Lauderdale, Florida. The Complaint names Service Corporation International (“SCI”) and SCI’s subsidiary SCI Funeral Services of Florida, Inc., amongst others, as Defendants. Zinn et al. v. Service Corporation International, Inc. et al., Case No. 2012CA006532.
The Complaint alleges that SCI and Star of David have engaged in a pervasive, multi-year practice of losing human remains, burying individuals in the wrong grave space, crushing burial containers, secretly digging up human remains and moving them without notification to the families, and improperly disposing of burial containers and other burial effects in a lake located at the edge of the cemetery.
Stewart Enterprises Inc. will lay-off 60 employees in the next two to four months as part of an organizational restructuring plan, the Metairie company announced Wednesday.
The cuts will come from several of the company’s offices, said Martin de Laureal, the firm’s senior vice president. He would not say how many positions will be eliminated in the New Orleans area.
Stewart Enterprises is the second-largest provider of funeral and cemetery products and services in the nation. The Jefferson Parish company operates 218 funeral homes and 141 cemeteries in 24 states and Puerto Rico and employs about 5,000 people.
Earlier this week I said that that the 2012 ICCFA convention was the most productive convention I have ever attended, and part of the reason is for the great conversations I had with others in the profession. One of the most intriguing conversations I had was with a newbie to the profession and to the ICCFA convention. Seth Heine is the President and CEO of Refinext, a company the provides responsible end-of-life services for the destruction and reclamation of electronics, medical devices and related materials. Basically the conversation I had with Seth was about the process of breaking down and recycling toxic medical devices like pacemakers. Honestly, I never knew there was an issue here, and I have since learned that neither do most funeral directors.
After a length conversation with Seth I felt strongly about the importance of bringing this issue to light in the profession. Seth recently put together a short blog article centered around one conversation he had with a funeral professional at the ICCFA convention last month. With Seth’s permission the article is posted below. I would love to hear your thoughts on this issue.
Last week I had the opportunity to spend the day in Cleveland, Ohio with new funeral industry startup eFuneral. The industry new comer debuted in March at the ICCFA Convention and officially launched in the Cleveland, Ohio market 2 weeks ago. eFuneral helps undecided families connect with funeral homes who offer the type of service the family is looking for.
This isn’t the first time I have worked with a new technology/online based company, remember EternalSpace, the virtual cemetery that spent $5.5 million on development, only to fold just 30 days after launching at the 2009 ICCFA convention. Not to worry, eFuneral isfar from blowing $5 million.
Over the last 5 years I have been to and exhibited at NFDA 4times, ICCFA 3 times, and the Ohio FDA Convention 5 times. After each show I generally walk away with the same conclusion; good conversation, got to meet a few more people, but was the productiveness of the show enough to offset the expenses.
I battle with feeling like I need to be there to continue to build my brand, if I am not there people are going to think something is wrong? Is being there as an exhibitor paying off? Would I get the same results if I just walked the floor and didn’t exhibit?
The ICCFA convention this year was different. I left this year’s show completely exhausted; I was physically and mentally drained. I didn’t feel like my month or my brain got the chance to shutdown at all during the 3-day exhibit. It was the best feeling I have ever had leaving a convention.
Dealing with the grief of Pet-loss is difficult and sometimes as hard as losing a human friend because there are three types of grief that can impact pet lovers.
The grief of Pet-loss is real, important and shared by pet lovers everywhere. The human-pet bond is very strong. It cuts across time, language and culture. Since grief is the strong stress reaction to any catastrophic loss in our lives, losing a pet companion can rival and sometimes even surpass the levels of grief experienced when losing a human friend.
“The Dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty and we must rise to the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and we shall save our country.” –Abraham Lincoln, Message to Congress 1862
We are held captive to our own dogma: “The only good funeral is a ‘traditional’ funeral.’” (Except, we no longer know what a traditional funeral is.) ”Healing can only occur when the body is present.” is yet another. We hold so tightly to these truths that we consider them to be self-authenticating and sustaining. If people would just accept these things as we know them they would see the error of their ways. While Our dogma may, in fact, be true and accurate it is “now inadequate to our stormy present.”