ICCFA General Counsel Robert M. Fells Retires
STERLING, VA – With deep gratitude for his leadership and vision, the board and staff of the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) announce the upcoming retirement of General Counsel, Robert M. “Bob” Fells, Esq. Fells will be retiring as ICCFA general counsel effective July 1, 2019. Fells’ retirement and the appointment of Poul Lemasters, Esq. to general counsel was approved by the ICCFA incoming and outgoing Executive Committees on April 3, during the association’s 2019 Annual Convention & Exposition in Charlotte, NC.
Fells has worked on behalf of the cemetery and funeral service profession on legal and legislative issues since 1975 and joined the ICCFA staff as general counsel in 1983, and in 2011 was named executive director. As the association’s point person for government, media and public relations for more than 35 years, Fells made his accomplished career with ICCFA his life’s work. With a keen interest and understanding of the funeral profession, government regulations and legislation, Fells was the association’s voice on Capitol Hill. He was a driving force behind the ICCFA Government and Legal Affairs Committee, wrote a “Washington Report” column for ICCFA Magazine and was contributing editor to ICCFA Wireless, a bi-weekly electronic newsletter that alerts members to legal, regulatory and industry news affecting their businesses.
In addition, Fells served as president and general counsel of the ICCFA Service Bureau, a for-profit subsidiary of the association which administered the Credit Exchange Plan and served as secretary of the ICCFA Educational Foundation, a tax-exempt charitable organization. Following his retirement, Fells has volunteered to continue serving as Foundation Secretary. In 2011, Fells was inducted into the ICCFA Hall of Fame for his contributions to the cemetery, cremation and funeral service profession.
Poul Lemasters, Esq., attorney, funeral director and embalmer, has been affiliated with ICCFA since 2010. Lemasters uses his unique background in deathcare and law to provide resources and counsel to other deathcare professionals regarding daily operational conflicts, form and contract reviews, valuations, regulatory matters, and assistance in risk management. Lemasters serves as cremation coordinator, trainer and advisor for ICCFA’s cremation education program, special cremation legal counsel, co-chair of the Government & Legal Affairs Committee, writes a legal column for ICCFA Magazine and speaks at numerous ICCFA educational conferences.
“We cannot thank Bob enough for all his years of service dedicated to the ICCFA,” said ICCFA President Jay Dodds. “Beyond the work for our association, his contribution to the funeral and cemetery profession is immeasurable and we truly thank him and wish him the best of luck. We are also excited for Poul to take the reins of our government and legislative work as well as the general counsel duties for the association.”
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.