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Selected Independent Funeral Homes Declares New Officers, Board Members

April 28, 2014

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Selected Independent Funeral Homes Declares New Officers, Board Members

New leadership eager to steer organization to new heights


DEERFIELD, Ill. — April 28, 2013 —Selected Independent Funeral Homes has announced the election of new Officers and the appointment of new Board Members to lead the world’s largest and oldest association of independently owned funeral homes. Selected’s Board Member Appointment Committee chose the new Directors who, together with the newly-elected Officers, will be installed later this year at the 96th Annual Meeting, Sept. 17-20 at the Hyatt Regency Philadelphia at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia, Pa..
Speaks Elected as President and Busch Named Secretary-Treasurer for 2014
    Brad Speaks has been elected to serve as Selected’s next President. He represents Selected’s Group 4 (Mid-North America) and is President and CEO of Speaks Family Legacy Chapels, a family owned firm, located in Independence, Mo. Speaks is humbled to be elected as Selected’s President and steers his focus toward developing new ways to help members be more successful in the profession’s changing environment.
    “I’ve really enjoyed the chance to give back to the association,” said Speaks. “Our family feels that Selected has been an important part of our success—as individuals, as a business, and most importantly, as we take care of people in our community who have lost somebody that they love.”
    Jim Busch has been chosen as Selected’s next Secretary-Treasurer. He represents Group 2 (Mid-Eastern North America) and is President of Busch Funeral and Crematory Services in Cleveland, Ohio. He is the son of John M. Busch and grandson of J. Milton Busch, who both served on Selected’s Board as Secretary-Treasurer. Busch’s plans for the year include following through on all strategic initiatives that are underway and seeing them come to fruition.
    “These past two years have been enlightening learning more about the inner workings of the association,” Busch said. “We have great leadership and an outstanding staff; we are in very good hands. Selected is poised for a great future.”
New Board Representatives to Include Ciccarelli and O’Connor
    Ann Ciccarelli is Corporate Clerk/Secretary of Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Homes in Saugus, Mass. Ciccarelli will serve as the new Group 1 (North-Eastern North America) representative. She holds a high level of respect and pride for the profession and values the opportunity to give back to the organization that has given her so much.
    “My parents’ encouragement of constant education allowed me to participate in Selected meetings before I considered becoming a funeral director,” Ciccarelli said. “The meetings fostered my drive to become a funeral director and provided a stable foundation and the knowledge that I would always have support from my Selected family in whatever I tackled.”
    Ciccarelli is prepared to lead the profession to a higher standard of recognition and respect. “Through my service on the Board, I hope that I can help guide the profession in a more enhanced direction,” Ciccarelli said. “With the constant presence of the media and social media, I believe the actual profession is not being given the proper respect. It is my hope that Selected’s position in this ever-changing world can elevate that level of esteem in our society.”
    Neil P. O’Connor is President/CEO of O’Connor Mortuary, a firm founded in 1898, located in Laguna Beach, Calif. He will be the representative for Group 6 (Western North America). O’Connor plans to focus on programs that will aid members in strengthening multiple facets of their firms, including aspects of planning, marketing and communications.
    “Being a member has been pivotal in my overall experience and growth,” said O’Connor. “Because of Selected, I have great resources at my fingertips and the ability to share best practices and critical issues with the best of the best.”
    The entire 2014 Board of Directors includes President Lance C. Larkin, Salt Lake City, Utah, Group 6; Secretary-Treasurer Bruce Tannahill, Owen Sound, Ontario, Canada, Group 1; President-Elect Brad Speaks, Independence, Mo., Group 4; Secretary-Treasurer-Elect Jim Busch, Cleveland, Ohio, Group 2; Mark Higgins, Durham, N.C., Group 3; J Mitchell, Kilgore, Texas, Group 5; and Ex Officio Adam B. Robinson Jr., Pine Bluff, Ark., Group 5. New Officers and Directors will be officially installed on September 20, 2014, at Selected’s 96th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pa.
   For more information on Selected’s programs, becoming a member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes or to locate a member, visit Selected’s website at or call 1-800-323-4219.