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PDF - The Bulletin
March-April 2016
Achieving
Success
with Combo
Operations
PAGES 1-12
Photo: Cored, upright granite monuments in
Horan & McConaty’s Cremation Gardens
at Rocky Mountain Memorial Park in Denver, CO
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE
Spring Management Summit
Promises “Learning
Without Limitations” 13-15
Selected Launches New
FTC Funeral Rule Mystery
Shopper Program 17
Preferred Partner
Program Continues
to Grow 20
Board of Directors
Mark T. Higgins, President
Durham, NC, Group 3
919-688-6387
[email protected]
J Mitchell, Secretary-Treasurer
March-April 2016
selectedbulletin.org
Kilgore, TX, Group 5
903-984-2525
[email protected]
Achieving Success with Combo Operations
3
2
Selected Brings Combo Firms Together
3
Larkin Mortuary Leverages Diversity and Creativity
6
The Buchanan Group: Service Through Partnerships
9
Horan & McConaty’s Unqiue Cremation Gardens
12
Shackelford Funeral Directors Utilizes Social Media
in a Competitive Market
6
9
12
13
14
15
23
13
David Speaks Chosen as 2016 NextGen
Professional of the Year
13
Spring Management Summit Promises
“Learning Without Limitations”
14
2016 Summit Preview: Sharing Financial Data
Builds Staff Awareness
15
2016 Summit Preview: Community Events are
Great Opportunities for Brand Building
16
Board Nomination Period for Groups 3 and 5 Closing Soon
17
Sarah Pojanowski: Selected Launches Funeral Rule
Mystery Shopper Program
18
Selected Study Group Enrollment Opens March 1st
20
Preferred Partner Network Continues to Grow
21
National Media Launch for Have the Talk of a Lifetime®
22
Selected Educational Trust News
Our Members
23
Member Spotlight: Steven Mailloux
24
Remembering Our Colleagues, Educational Trust
Contributors, News from Our Members
Saugus, MA, Group 1
781-233-0300
[email protected]
Neil P. O’Connor
Laguna Hills, CA, Group 6
949-581-4300
[email protected]
Lisa Baue
St. Charles, MO, Group 4
636-940-1000
[email protected]
Charles M. “Chip” Billow
Akron, OH, Group 2
330-867-4141
[email protected]
R. Bradley Speaks, Ex Officio
Independence, MO, Group 4
816-252-7900
[email protected]
Executive Director and CEO
Robert J. Paterkiewicz
Deerfield, IL
800-323-4219
[email protected]
The Bulletin
Volume 99, Number 2
selected-bulletin.org
The Bulletin (ISSN 1533-7197)
is published bimonthly by
Selected Independent Funeral Homes
500 Lake Cook Rd., Suite 205
Deerfield, IL 60015
Periodical postage paid at Deerfield, IL
Toll-Free: 800-323-4219
Local: 847-236-9401
Fax: 847-236-9968
Our Preferred Partners
16
Federated Insurance
22
C & J Financial, LLC
Connect With Us!
25
Kelco Supply Company
Facebook
/SelectedFH
LinkedIn
/company/
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©2016 Selected Independent Funeral Homes
Ann Ciccarelli
Twitter
@SelectedFH
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:
The Bulletin, Selected Independent Funeral
Homes, 500 Lake Cook Rd.,
Suite 205, Deerfield, IL 60015.
Contributions relative to the funeral service
profession and to the activities of the
members of this organization are solicited.
Address all correspondence
to the above address or to
[email protected]
SELECTED VIEWS
Membership Campaign Gains Momentum
By Mark Cuddy, Membership Development Director
We had a very educational start last year to our
600 by 2020 by 1 membership growth campaign, and a
lot of exciting things happened. We refined our process
for targeting and evaluating quality, potential
member firms—using four states in our initial
outreach: Colorado, Louisiana, New York
and North Carolina. As we had hoped, our
campaign created worldwide enthusiasm
for Selected membership and great
recommendations. The combined efforts
resulted in 22 outstanding additions to the
Selected family.
This year, we are targeting six more states: California,
Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Oklahoma. And
we expect that additional memberships will result
in the states from last year’s outreach. I also have the
opportunity this year to work closely with President
Mark Higgins. Mark has a broad knowledge of
members and non-members across North
America and around the world. With his
insight, we plan to connect with many
more quality firms and share the
Selected message.
Another key change that happened in 2015 was
adding Patty Neuswanger as our Marketing and
Communications Manager. She has been integral in
organizing our marketing campaign which now gives
us more focus and connection to potential members.
So I anticipate the 600 by 2020 by 1
campaign will make a big push forward
in 2016. Our data gathering is very good, our
marketing strategy and materials are top-notch, and
we are grateful that our members are stepping up with
good, qualified recommendations. It’s a great place
to start, and I look forward to long-term growth in
Selected membership.
Believe it or not, many people still are not familiar
with Selected. Some know the old NSM name, but we
need better name recognition. Our marketing materials
that go out to prospective firms are designed to create
a better understanding of what Selected is and what it
provides for its members.
Retention also is an important part of membership
health. We are fortunate that Selected has a great
retention rate, but we don’t want to lose any firm.
What can you do? Reach out and touch base with
your fellow members; check in and see what you can
do for each other.
I’ve always felt that for this kind of membership
campaign to gain traction, our current membership
needs to work closely alongside the Board and
Headquarters Staff in developing new prospects.
Member recommendations remains the key component
of long-term growth in our membership. Who do you
want sitting next to you at the next Selected gathering?
When I talk to people about the Selected Leadership
Academy, NextGen, Selected Study Groups and even
our latest effort to connect and support firms operating
both funeral homes and cemeteries (as explored in
this issue of The Bulletin), people take notice. Who
wouldn’t want to be part of an organization that shares
the latest ideas and facilitates like-minded professional
relationships? The key is getting them to take action
and seek membership.
But I want to emphasize that there is a difference
between a recommendation and a lead or referral.
The latter is an unquantified or cold prospect. But
a firm recommendation—based on your knowledge,
interaction and conversation about Selected—is a hot
prospect. You may know that the firm is active in its
community, excels in a particular area or that the
next generation is preparing to assume leadership.
A true recommendation has a much better chance of
resulting in a new invitation to membership.
In the blue bar at the very top of every members’
page on Selected’s website, beginning with
selectedfuneralhomes.org/members, there is a link,
Recommend a Firm for Membership. Be sure to use this
link. It’s easy to fill out the online form and send it
to us, or call me at 800-323-4219, so we can keep the
momentum going! s
1
COMBO OPERATIONS
Inspiration Fountain at Larkin Mortuary’s Sunset Gardens
Selected Brings Together Firms Operating
Both Funeral Homes and Cemeteries
Many Selected member firms have
diversified their operations into
areas related to funeral service
such as flowers, monuments and
pet care. Through a recent survey,
the Selected Board of Directors and
Headquarters Staff identified that
members operating funeral home/
cemetery combinations are very
interested in support from
the association.
“There was overwhelming
response by these members
regarding the need for helpful
information, resources and
networking,” said Assistant
Executive Director Denise Zoephel.
“So we began to explore ideas for
how Selected could connect this
segment of the membership and be
of service to them.
“One of the first results of this
effort was a discussion among
combo members during the
2
Conversation Café at the 2015
Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
These folks were really engaged and
had a lot to talk about, and there are
a number of things we are planning
to further support this group.”
Among the plans being
developed are more opportunities
at this year’s Annual Meeting in
Orlando, a regularly updated roster
of Selected combo operators and
a special electronic discussion
group in The Forum at Selected,
selectedfuneralhomes.org/forum.
“This is exactly what makes
our organization unique,” said
Rob Paterkiewicz, Executive
Director and CEO. “People ask me
all the time, What makes Selected
different? Well, what sets us apart
is that our members are hungry
for ideas and information to help
improve their service to families.
They want to know about the
successes and failures of their peers
and are completely comfortable
sharing within this group.
“We’ve had our NextGen
program, which successfully caters
to the needs of younger members,
for many years. Our Spring
Management Summits are focused
on helping business managers.
Our Selected Leadership Academy
helps individuals at all levels within
member firms develop personal
and professional strengths. And, in
July, we’ll have our first Women’s
Roundtable that will be hosted by
Group 4. These and our efforts to
support combo operators are great
examples of Selected bringing
people with similar needs together
for sharing, support and growth.”
On the following pages, members
and consultants share some of
their unique perspectives on the
successful operation of funeral
home/cemetery combinations. s
COMBO OPERATIONS
Larkin Mortuary Leverages Diversity and Creativity
to Better Serve Families and Fuel Success
Larkin Mortuary of Salt Lake City,
UT, operates four funeral home
locations and two cemeteries.
Sunset Lawn has12 acres, an
indoor mausoleum and a new
cremation garden. Sunset Gardens
covers 76 acres in the southern
Salt Lake valley. CEO and President,
Lance C. Larkin, and CFO and
Secretary-Treasurer, Steven D. Kehl,
recently spoke to The Bulletin
about the firm’s many operations.
Rocky Mountain Monument &
Vault, owns the Doric franchise
for Utah, Idaho and Wyoming,
and manufactures burial vaults,
crypts and niches. It also
produces thousands of headstones
each year, from flats to large estate
stones. We also own a full-service
florist with locations at each of our
facilities. This makes us uniquely
able to serve all of our client
families’ needs.”
What do you feel most
contributes to the success
of your businesses?
Does this diversity give you
greater quality control?
Kehl: “Part of it has to do
with our strategy to diversify our
cemetery grounds specifically for
cremation dispositions. This has had
a very positive impact on revenue, as
our cremation rate doubled during
the last eight years.
“Our cemeteries not only offer
traditional ground burial but also
indoor and outdoor mausoleums,
niche fronts and niche walls. And
we have the ability to customize
those granite fronts through our
own headstone company.
Larkin: “Absolutely. It forms a
synergy and takes our ability to
customize and be creative to the
next level, as one area influences
and supports the others. It also gives
our arrangers and sales people a
wider range of options to offer.”
Kehl: “Something that has
helped us create this diversity is
having the mindset of never being
content. The market is continually
changing, so we can’t rest on
our laurels.”
Lance Larkin
Steven Kehl
Larkin: “For example, through
our floral company, we have
created a beautiful courtyard
garden at our big cemetery with
gorgeous flowers, gazebos and
fountains. We also have state-ofthe-art, working greenhouses; and
we’ve turned this area into a unique
reception center called Le Jardin,
lejardinweddings.com. We do more
than 200 weddings, receptions,
memorial services, luncheons and
civic events each year. This not only
provides an additional revenue
stream but also generates a lot of
great publicity for us.”
Kehl: “Demand is definitely
increasing. We employ two
Continues on page 4
The gazebo at Larkin’s
Le Jardin reception center
Larkin: “That’s another part of
our success. During the last
30 years, we have worked hard to
vertically integrate our company
to benefit customers, so they don’t
need to go anywhere else.
“Our parent company, Larkin
Mortuary, is 130 years old and
operates the funeral homes.
Larkin Memorial Corporation
owns the cemeteries and
mausoleums. Our subsidiary,
3
Larkin Mortuary, from page 3
wedding planners, and they already
have some 80 weddings booked for
2016. So we’re working on ideas
for how to keep up as well as for
taking this to the next level.”
Larkin: “Everything has to look
superb and exceed expectations,
because the consumer knows we
are the ones doing everything. It
can be challenging; but it also is
a distinct competitive advantage,
because we’re on top of our quality
from the very beginning to the very
end. Do we always hit a home run?
No. Sometimes there are mistakes,
but we are able to rebound and
correct those mistakes more
quickly than our competitors.”
Where do you look for
inspiration in developing
your operations?
Kehl: “One of the things
that benefited us from Lance’s
leadership in Selected and his year
as its president is greater exposure
to the operations of fellow members
and to the European market.
Through this, we’ve seen ideas
we hadn’t thought of in regard to
cemetery products.”
Larkin: “I’m very intrigued with
how the European and Pacific
members are handling a 90%
cremation rate and still managing
to sell graves in which to bury the
ashes, marked with really nice
stones. We need that to catch on
here! I’d like to take an acre at one of
our cemeteries and develop it into a
cremation section where the graves
are smaller, like they do in Europe,
Australia and New Zealand.”
due diligence when developing
a new garden. That directly
impacts pricing and our return on
investment. Within our gardens,
we want options for single-space
interment, companion estates,
bench estates and private family
estates. Again, diversity—even
within the garden itself—has
definitely helped us advance to the
next plateau.”
Kehl: “Years ago, when we bought
these cemeteries, they were what
were called memorial parks with only
flat markers. People would ask why
they couldn’t have an above-ground
headstone. So about nine years ago,
we took four acres and developed
a new garden for above-ground
estates. Demand was greater than
we anticipated. We sold them so
quickly that we had to retool and
expand that section!”
solid. In the summer, we can burn
up. Water is at a premium when
you live in a desert climate.”
Kehl: “We have annual Memorial
Day remembrance programs at our
cemeteries where as many as 400
people come to honor their loved
ones. We get our Governor, Senator
and Congressman to speak, and we
have military and bagpipe bands.
“Getting the grounds prepared
for that can be a real challenge. But
we have youth groups come onto
our cemeteries three days before
and walk the grounds in a planned
fashion—sweeping headstones,
picking up any trash and placing
a flag at each veteran’s headstone.
We’ve done this the last four years,
and it has been very well received
by the community—even becoming
a bit of a media event.”
What do you consider your
biggest challenge?
What advice do you have
for Selected members about
operating a cemetery?
Larkin: “Well, it’s tough to
always keep everyone happy.
People expect a cemetery to be
absolutely picture perfect all of
the time. We try very hard, but
sometimes, it’s just out of our
control. Right now, we’re frozen
Kehl: “For most Selected
members, a cemetery is a private
operation, and this brings a higher
level of customer expectation
in terms of maintenance
and presentation.
Concludes on next page
What is your approach
to developing new
cemetery gardens?
Larkin: “It is very, very
important to us to perform proper
4
An outdoor mausoleum and traditional cemetery grounds at Larkin’s Sunset Gardens
Larkin Mortuary, from page 4
“A Selected member should
take the same quality standards
that apply to their funeral
home and mirror them in their
cemetery operations. I know in
our marketplace, this is a distinct
competitive advantage that we have
over municipal facilities and other
private cemeteries.”
Larkin: “Our higher level of
care is, or course, reflected in our
pricing, but I often explain it to
people by comparing a municipal
golf course to a country club.
That’s how we want people to feel
when they step onto our grounds—
like they’ve entered an exclusive
country club.
“I was out at the cemetery
recently on a funeral, and one
of our guys was up on a ladder
trimming a tree in preparation for
Spring. You just don’t see that at
municipal cemeteries.”
How do you instill this kind
of attitude in your team?
Larkin: “Steve and I meet
semimonthly with the cemetery,
vault and headstone crews and
their managers. These teams are
viable parts of our business, so we
have to pay attention to them, just
like our funeral home employees.”
Kehl: “It’s up to us to paint the
vision of what we are working to
accomplish. Due to the vertical
structure of our companies,
we have to provide constant
reminders that we are all working
together. Yes, we may work in
different divisions, but we all are
part of a larger whole. We can’t
afford for anyone on the team
to drop the baton. When the
funeral director has established a
relationship with a client family
and exceeded their expectations,
then details like the tent, signs and
Larkin’s Le Jardin reception center
bottled water set up properly at
the cemetery are an extension of
our care.”
Kehl: “This kind of attitude and
synergy doesn’t just happen. It’s
something we work on constantly
to cultivate and maintain.
“For example, sales for our
cemeteries are handled by what
we call our preplanning/aftercare
counselors, and they work closely
with our funeral directors during
the at-need arrangement process.
After the director and the counselor
have an initial conversation with
the family, the counselor will step
away as the director helps the
family make arrangements. When
the time comes to choose cemetery
property and a marker, the
counselor returns to handle those
needs. There’s a smooth transition
between funeral director and ‘sales
person’ through the entire process.”
Larkin: “And since a relationship
with the family is established at
the beginning, it’s easy for the
counselor to then discuss the
benefits of prearrangement. It
just flows into this new topic
after arrangements are made,
and this approach has been very
successful for us. In fact, we are
the highest producing firm selling
Homesteader’s preneed insurance.
There are agencies bigger than
us, but as a single funeral
establishment, we’re the leader
in sales. I think that’s because we
sell everything, from flowers to
headstones to preneed. And one
thing naturally leads to the other.”
Do your cemeteries offer an
opportunity for future funeral
home business?
Larkin: “Absolutely. We don’t
do all the burials in our cemeteries.
Our competitors come in all the
time. So our cemetery and aftercare
teams have a great opportunity to
impress those families by going
above and beyond expectations.
There have been many times when
cemetery families, as we call them,
are so impressed with our care,
they tell us they plan to use our
funeral home next time.”
Kehl: “Another example is the
Le Jardin reception center. Our
competitors are now sending their
families to have memorial services
and receptions with us! It’s so
nice to serve families for whom
we didn’t provide a funeral this
particular time.”
Larkin: “We’re in a service
profession, so providing the very
best customer service is the key to
success—on the funeral side as well
as the cemetery side.” s
5
COMBO OPERATIONS
The Buchanan Group, Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers:
Serving Families Through Partnerships
Buchanan Group, Inc., is a management services firm
operating 16 funeral centers of which six are located
on cemetery grounds. It has operated combination
locations since 1990, and it also manages eight
cemeteries for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Sister
company and Selected member firm Flanner and
Buchanan Funeral Centers performed approximately
2,500 services in 2015. About 1,000 of those occurred
at their combos. Bruce W. Buchanan, Owner and CEO
of Buchanan Group and Flanner and Buchanan, and
Tony Lloyd, President and COO, spoke to
The Bulletin about their company’s approach to
combo operations.
Can you give us an overview of your
operations in addition to funeral homes
and cemeteries?
Lloyd: “We also have a casket distribution business
concentrated primarily east of the Mississippi.
We operate from Montréal to Puerto Rico and
are continuing to expand. We also have a granite
manufacturing company in southern Indiana that
delivered 4.7 million pounds of granite last year.
“Our Community Life Center hosted about
240 events in 2015, with around 60 of those being
wedding-oriented. That aspect of our company has now
expanded to handle all of the food and beverage needs
throughout our locations. And we have a new event
center location that also provides funerals.
“We have probably the largest community mausoleum
inventory in the Midwest, outside of Chicago, with more
than 100 four to eight-story buildings. Our organization
has about 200 full-time staff and about 300 part-time
workers and seasonal ground staff.”
How do you keep these people and
businesses working together?
Buchanan: “First of all, everything from the smallest
task to the grandest memorial has to focus on serving
families and celebrating life. Secondly, when you are
this diverse, it’s important to have control over your
vertical supply chain, to be successful these days.
“We try to
look at what’s
happening in
our markets and
be prepared for
changes. Instead
of being reactive,
we’ve always tried Bruce Buchanan
Tony Lloyd
to be proactive. In
each generation of our company, we’ve been fortunate
to have leadership that includes a funeral director and
a businessperson from outside the profession. That has
given us a broader perspective when looking at how to
best serve our client families.”
Lloyd: “We have a lot of physical assets, but it’s really
about the people. If we don’t have the right people to
provide the right types of services that families want
and need, it doesn’t matter how many buildings we
have or how nice they look. But when you have great
people all rowing in the same direction, there really is
nothing you can’t accomplish.”
Buchanan: “And by ‘great people’ we mean the right
personalities with the right education and training.
The profession has plenty warm, caring people; but we
also need them to be skilled in reliably carrying out a
family’s wishes without fail.”
What is the key to finding
and retaining these kinds of employees?
Lloyd: “Fortunately, we have a very stable workforce
with no more than 7% annual turnover. So when we get
good people, we tend to keep them.
One of the things we like to do during the interview
process is have coworkers involved as much as
possible. We like a candidate to shadow an employee
in a similar position before we make an offer. If they’ll
make the commitment to come and live in our world
for a day, we can really learn a lot about them and make
a smarter hiring decision.
“For example, we just made a sales hire about four
months ago using this process. It was for a location
Continues on next page
6
Buchanan Group, from page 6
where the service staff has been with the company
more than 10 years each. As a result, they have a
certain rhythm to their workflow. But they helped
with the hiring, and now they’re helping train their
new coworker who technically is taking away income
from them. However, they know the location can’t
be successful with fewer people, so they work as a
team. We have this happen on a fairly regular basis,
particularly in the sales organization.”
Buchanan: “Hiring is extremely difficult; I would
almost say painful sometimes, because it’s hard to
find the right fit. But we would rather have a position
go vacant until we find the right person rather than
arbitrarily jump to fill it.”
Lloyd: “We don’t want our managers spending
80% of their time dealing with a hiring mistake. So a
big initiative for us now is growing our own; we are
investing heavily in interns. When we have a vacancy,
we try to wait for an intern who has grown within the
organization to blossom. We like to hire for attitude
and train for the skill.”
How do you get your funeral home and
cemetery staffs to work smoothly together?
Buchanan: “We’ve been very patient evolving our
company toward excellence—especially with our
licensed staff. You can’t just flip a switch and have
everything work immediately. We use the three T’s:
tolerate, train or terminate. There have been some
people we’ve tolerated longer than necessary, because
we are a caring organization.”
Lloyd: “We have to understand that the personality
of a sales person is very different than that of a caregiver.
A sales person, by definition, is motivated by converting
an ever-increasing number of customers. That can seem
overbearing by a funeral director whose main concern
is caring for families. We’ve come a long way toward
balancing the two. I’ve been with the company more than
17 years, and I remember when we used to not be able to
get the two groups to sit down together in the same room.
“Now, we focus on jointly serving the needs of
families and paving the way toward sales opportunities.
We try to bridge the personality gaps and come to
mutual understandings. We do a lot of joint meetings
and discussion, and we do debriefings about family
arrangement conferences. At the end of the day, the
client gives us feedback on how we did. We freely share
the information—both positive and negative—with staff,
in an effort to learn from it and continue to mature.”
Buchanan: “It’s actually a fine art we’ve developed
over the years to encourage the service staff to sell and
the sales staff to be more service-oriented. Some of that
is done through compensation and through scheduling.
We also do team building activities and, of course, have
created vision and mission statements that try to align
the two forces.
“Tony talked about having staff involved in
hiring. Well, we do the same thing with adversarial
departments and situations to get people on the same
page mission-wise. When a customer comes into a
combo operation, they don’t see two companies; they
see one entity. But if they discover that territories exist
or are told, ‘No, you’ll need to call this person for that
thing.’— it completely undermines success, and you
have to shut that down. You must make it seamless for
the family, and that’s not easy.”
How is cremation impacting your sales?
Lloyd: “It’s affecting our burial rate more than dollar
value. We’re down from our peak of nearly 10%, but
it changes annually. One of the measurements we try
to focus on is how our burial rate compares with our
cremation rate. We’ve set targets, and we’re gradually
achieving them, but we have to be creative. When we
develop land, we look at inventory and unique options.
Continues on page 8
Bridge at Buchanan Group’s Washington Park East
7
Buchanan Group, from page 7
“We’re also focused on retention. Instead of a family
simply taking cremated remains home and not having
any idea what they’re going to do with them, we are
offering them memorialization at one of our cemeteries.
We track retention numbers closely. We have to keep
them above a certain level, or it will spell trouble.
“Of course, having a complete range of products
and services to offer families
has its advantages. One of
the unique options we’ve
developed is using native
Indiana rocks and coring
them for placement of
cremains. These are not
prefabricated stones, and the
size determines how many
cores we can put in it for a family. The stones can be
taken home, but we try to make one of our memorial
parks the final destination.
Buchanan: “When we have an arrangement
conference, the goal of the first half hour is to find out as
much about the deceased as possible—their interests and
hobbies. Then, when it comes time to present options, we
know something about the individual and can present
what is appropriate. If we learn they were a member of
the Sierra Club, we would present our Cumberland Trails
Cremation Garden that looks very rustic. The family often
has no idea something like that exists.”
Lloyd: “This means that staff needs to be trained to
ask the right questions and look for opportunities to
present meaningful options. We call that the warm up
in the arrangement conference.”
Where do you find new ideas and support in
operating combination locations?
Lloyd: “A number of years ago, we made field trips
to Arbor Memorial in Toronto, and we gained a lot from
that experience. The Canadians can teach us much,
because of their high cremation rate and particularly
their retention of cremation. Up north, the culture is
that you don’t take the cremated remains home.
“I suggest having your team visit other operations
and talk with their front-line staff, not just the managers
and VPs. I like to look behind the curtain and talk to the
people who are meeting with families every day.
“We’ve spent time learning and sharing with
Selected member firms like Larkin’s in Salt Lake
City, Horan & McConaty in Denver, French’s in
8
Buchanan Group’s Wellness Team is composed of funeral directors,
family service advisors, ground’s crew, and administrative staff.
Managers learn about green burial at an off-site retreat by wrapping
Tony Lloyd in a shroud.
Albuquerque and Baue’s near St. Louis. We took field
trips to see what they were doing, confirmed some
things we wanted to do and discovered some ideas that
might be interesting to try in our market. Networking
with fellow Selected members is one of our best tools.”
Buchanan: “For combinations, you also can learn
from other types of businesses that serve multiple
functions—like car dealerships that sell new and used
cars and do repairs. You can look at hospitals that have
surgery, emergency and physical therapy departments
to see how they coordinate and handle their patients.
“Do they have multiple entrances? Do they have
a single receptionist or multiple ones? How do they
brand their companies? There’s a lot to learn from other
companies that already have tackled synchronizing
multiple operations.”
Is there a philosophy that has guided
your company’s growth and success?
Lloyd: “Basketball coach Jim Valvano once said,
Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up! That’s a great quote
which really applies to fusing cemetery and funeral
cultures. You have to stick with it. If it’s not working,
you have to try something different. You never reach
a destination, particularly as client expectations and
Concludes on page 11
COMBO OPERATIONS
Horan & McConaty’s Cremation Gardens
Offer Unique Alternatives to Traditional Cemeteries
Horan & McConaty Funeral
Service/Cremation of Aurora, CO,
has two cremation gardens under
its Rocky Mountain Memorial Park
banner. Considered among the
most beautiful cemeteries in the
world, they have been designated
official wildlife habitats. President
and CEO, John J. Horan, and
Vice President of Advance
Planning, Thomas M. Folkert,
shared thoughts about creating
and operating the gardens.
What was your goal
in creating these gardens?
Horan: “First and foremost, the
intent was to provide something
to our client families that was
previously unavailable. With a
few notable exceptions, there’s an
alarming lack of memorialization
options in North America that
reflect the desires of the people
who are choosing cremation today.
Our goal was to create something
that was compelling to those
customers in ways that reflect the
uniqueness of our Rocky Mountain
region: streams, natural granite
boulders and features, meandering
crushed granite paths, sculpture
that reflects our brand and our
state. And we accomplished all of
this at our original location in an
area of less than one acre—what
some call a pocket cemetery.
Folkert: “Our competitors have
become more attentive to providing
cremation options, but those
options tend
to be product
driven rather
than creating
an environment
where people
want to visit. One
company does
have a cremation
garden, but you
have to drive
through a large
cemetery to get
to it. The beauty
of ours is that
it’s small, unique
and stands on its
own. It feels like a
park rather than
a cemetery.”
John Horan
Tom Folkert
Horan: “When you walk through
our cremation gardens, you find
there are very few straight lines.
We use natural materials and avoid
having any concrete visible. We
want to give visitors a feeling of
being in a sacred space like they
might find along a hiking trail in
the Colorado mountains.”
Is the natural aspect
a big part of the success?
Horan: “Without a doubt.
There are many families who want
cremation but don’t have a clear
plan for the cremated remains.
The key is getting them to actually
come into our gardens, hear the
waterfalls, see the koi ponds, walk
the meandering trails, enjoy the
birds and butterflies. Then they
begin to envision this as a place
they’ll want to visit for years to
come when remembering their
loved one.”
Folkert: “It’s interesting that the
locations people seem to love the
most are near the water. Maybe it’s
the calming effect or the sounds of
water, but this is a definite trend.”
Continues on page 10
Tranquil water
features in the
cremation gardens
9
Outdoor chapel within the cremation gardens
Seven Tips for Finding
Good Funeral/Cemetery
Sales People
By Thomas Folkert
1. Look for qualified people
who will be able to sell. Having
lost a spouse or other loved
one doesn’t necessarily qualify
them. I use a personality
assessment to gauge ability to
be successful. There are several
of these assessments available.
2. Look for people who are
honest. If there is a red flag in
the person’s past, be careful.
Past behavior is the best
indicator of future behavior. Be
sure to ask for and speak to
references on everyone.
Horan & McConaty, from page 9
Horan: “Both of our locations
now have garden chapels—outdoor
gathering areas where people can
have not only committal services
but also other ceremonies and
receptions. They have opened up a
whole new range of services we can
provide to families.”
What advice can you give
to fellow members who are
considering this concept?
Horan: “The first thing is to talk
with a planner who specializes in
developing cremation gardens—
one who understands your vision.
They should be able to provide
design ideas, help identify a range
of products and even assist with
merchandising and pricing.
“We met with several large
cremation memorial providers and
rejected them because their focus
was more on filling the gardens
with their products rather than
reflecting our unique vision. It took
some shopping around and asking
a lot of questions but, in the end, we
found a planner who didn’t have a
personal agenda and understood the
importance of an integrated project.”
“I would encourage people to
not overbuild in the beginning
but have a number of phases to
be developed. In our experience,
subsequent phases are always
modified based on what we have
learned from the previous.
“A good designer should provide
a plan for future expansion that
isn’t obvious to the public. For
example, we have areas that are
meant for future expansion, but
right now they look just like part of
the grounds. They have grassy areas,
trees, flowers and wildlife. The land
doesn’t jump out as something that
is not yet completed.”
Folkert: “We have significant
plans for expansion at our second
location that will include family
estates, above-ground niche banks
and memorial walls. The property
overlooks a beautiful golf course,
with the Rocky Mountains in the
background. We want to be careful
not to make anything look like a
cemetery but rather a place where
people can remember their loved
one and enjoy the beauty of nature.”
“Something members may
want to consider are the benefits of
Concludes on page 11
10
3. Look for people who are
trainable. I find it preferable
to hire people who don’t have
preconceived ideas of what a
sales program should look like
and, rather, are willing to learn
to do things “our way”.
4. Look for people who
practice good habits. Good
habits are indicators of what
their work will be like. If they
are late for the interview, have
the time wrong or come in
smelling of cigarette smoke,
take them off your list.
5. Look for people who
are connected. People with
community connections will
be better able to cultivate
their own leads and help build
your business. I am interested
in people who have a faith
connection or are active in
veterans’ groups, civic clubs
and other organizations.
6. Look for people who
are ready to work. To put it
bluntly, look for people who
are hungry. People who desire
to make money are much
more willing to get after it,
work nights and weekends, do
their prospecting, spend time
on the phone and be willing to
ask for the sale.
7. Look for happy people. If
people aren’t happy before
you hire them, they won’t be
happy afterward. A positive
attitude mean a lot.
Buchanan Group, from page 8
needs continue to evolve. If you think you’ve arrived,
you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
“At the senior levels within organizations, I think
you must have an absolutely unwavering commitment
to do whatever it takes to gain success. If that means
the owner must roll up their sleeves and get involved in
things they don’t really want to, then that’s what they
must do to make progress.”
Buchanan: “And other times, they need to step back.
Often, particularly with smaller businesses, the owner
wants to control everything; and that can inhibit growth.
“Something we did a few years ago when we were
specifically focused on improving our combinations,
was to bring in a time management consultant. He
taught us some simple skills about listening and
putting a work team together—how to let the voices of
the different opinions work out the direction for certain
issues. That was very helpful.
“The funeral director personality can sometimes be
passive-aggressive. You can have a meeting and think
everything is fine, but then there’s no progress. You
have to encourage honest discussion in a work team
environment to work out the issues. It may take time,
but if you can start by agreeing on the little things, then
tackling bigger issues becomes easier.”
Lloyd: “People tend to hear less than half of
what others say, and they filter it in a way they can
understand. We try to slow down and really listen to
Horan & McConaty, from page 10
creating a memorial garden within
a 501(c)(13) not-for-profit cemetery
corporation, like we have done.
CPA John Schmitz, who has spoken
at Annual Meetings and consults
with Selected on the Management
Comparative Program and Selected
Study Groups, recommended this
approach to us, and it has had
tremendous tax advantages for our
funeral home when donating both
land and management supervision.”
“I traveled across North America
from Toronto to Vancouver,
Newport Beach to Phoenix, visiting
cremation gardens. That effort
really helped me form my vision
not only what other people are saying but what they
mean—not just what we are hearing. It’s called reflective
listening, and it’s how you affect change at the front lines.
“You can’t have silent disbelief. Meaning, if a group
of us has a meeting, and a person doesn’t agree with
what’s being discussed; they might be tempted to never
offer any concern or countering opinion. That ends up
torpedoing all efforts to built a consensus and direction.
“If you set up a work team environment correctly and
build confidence within the staff, they’ll freely share their
thoughts. It’s not about someone winning or losing; it’s
about being honest and getting all perspectives, because
you’re trying to improve the organization.”
Buchanan: “Admittedly, our company was out of
track on this years ago. People were afraid they were
going to be criticized for being honest and offering
an opinion. We knew we had to change that. It took
some time, but now everything is measured in terms
of serving families through partnerships. We now work
together in striving for excellence.
“There’s a great book called Forces for Good:
The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits by
Leslie Crutchfield and Heather Grant. Even though it’s
written for nonprofits, I think it offers one of the best
definitions of a successful organization—that it focuses
on its own mission, regardless of what its competitors
are doing; and it constantly looks to partner with
like-minded organizations.” s
for ours. And we are happy to have
Selected members come visit us in
Denver and see what we are doing.”
How did you guide staff
toward selling new cremation
memorialization options?
Folkert: “This was well underway
by the time I joined the team, but
I understand there were some
challenges at the beginning.
Increasing sales and making a new
venture financially viable is always
difficult. There are many moving
parts: planning, pricing, scheduling,
maintenance, etc. But as the positive
benefits started becoming apparent
to families, and as we refined our
processes, the gardens became a
natural extension of our services.
“There are guidelines I use to
hire the right kinds of people for
our sales staff. These have helped us
build a successful team. [See Seven
Tips for Finding Good Funeral/Cemetery
Sales People on facing page.]
“The value of the various
locations within a cremation garden
needs to be watched carefully.
Looking back, we found that our
pricing was out of balance for some
locations. So it became important
for us to monitor customer
preferences as a guide for future
development.” s
11
COMBO OPERATIONS
Shackelford’s Utilizes Social Media
to Reach New Customers in a Competitive Market
Shackelford Funeral Directors operates six funeral
homes in southwestern Tennessee. Its parent
company, The Shackelford Corporation, also owns
three cemeteries. Vice President Lisa Shackelford
Thomas spoke to The Bulletin about her company’s
efforts to overcome stiff competition.
What is your competitive situation?
“Most of the families we serve have lived here for
generations. Often they already have an attachment to
one of the many rural cemeteries,
because that’s where their ancestors
are buried. We, of course, present our
cemeteries as an option, particularly
to people who are new to our area.
But we have a few things working
against us. Our cemeteries require
load-bearing, outer containers, which
Lisa S. Thomas
the rural cemeteries do not. Also,
families can have almost any type of monument at the
rural cemeteries, whereas we are limited to flat bronze
and granite markers.
“On the plus side, we do offer more in terms of
perpetual care. If a monument is ever damaged, we
will replace it at no cost to the family. And we keep our
grounds looking well maintained. We feel these are
sacred grounds, and their appearance needs to
reflect that.
“The cemeteries are a viable part of our business
and turn a profit each year. But they have less overhead
than other cemeteries, because our funeral directors
and staff are the ones who sell plots and monuments.
They’re paid a commission, but they’re also on the
clock with the funeral home, so that’s where the bulk
of their compensation comes from. Of course, at-need
funeral work has to take priority over monument sales.
It would be wonderful to have a dedicated salesperson,
but we are not yet in a position to take that step.”
How are you working
to overcome these challenges?
“We continue to be totally committed to serving
families and doing what’s best for them, whether their
12
decision includes burial in our cemeteries or not.
But we also have to look at how we are educating the
public, so they can make an informed decision about
their purchases—whether it’s funeral services, a casket,
a burial plot or monument. They need to know the
greater value of what we offer and why, for example, an
outer burial container is needed.
“In the past, we have relied on newspaper and
radio advertising. Those are still good for reaching the
older generations; but in today’s world, we need to
also be connecting with a younger audience. Through
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and our Shackelford
Funeral Blog, we are able to reach the people who will
be making decisions in the years to come and directly
affecting the success of our operations. We can offer
the kind of information that’s harder to communicate
in other media, and we can put a personal touch in it
which resonates with younger consumers.”
Do you feel you are headed
in the right direction?
“I really think we are. We have a very active website.
In fact, we are amazed at the traffic. Our Facebook
page also is very active, with thousands of followers.
We’re thrilled with the reach this gives us—not just in
southern Tennessee but literally around the world. I
have hope that this outreach will pay off in the long
run, as people remember all that we offer on both the
funeral home side and cemetery side.
“We also try to be very involved face-to-face in our
community. We have been in Savannah since 1926, so
most folks know of us, but we still have to get out and
remind people who we are. There is a special bond
that occurs when we genuinely connect with people,
talk about their concerns, show that we care and earn
their trust.
“I feel that each of our employees really cares
about what they are doing. That, in turn, means they
care about the families they are serving. We truly are
ministering to them during a very difficult time in their
lives; and, in the end, I feel that is the best foundation
for our business.” s
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
David Speaks Chosen as
2016 NextGen Professional
of the Year
At the recent NextGen Seminar in St. Croix,
David Speaks, Vice President & Director of Community
Relations at
Speaks Family
Legacy Chapels,
Independence,
MO, received the
2016 NextGen
Professional of the
Year Award.
“What a
complete honor
this is,” said
David Speaks (L) receives NextGen
Speaks. “To be
Professional of the Year Award from
Selected President Mark Higgins.
recognized with
this award by those I consider the best and brightest in
my profession is very humbling.”
For more information about David’s career and the
award visit selectedfuneralhomes.org/nextgen-pro.
Spring Management Summit
Promises “Learning
Without Limitations”
As home to the Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX,
has facilitated many successful NASA missions, and
Selected is poised to launch another successful Spring
Management Summit in this inspiring city! Designed
to broaden horizons and foster connections with fellow
Selected members, now is the time to secure your plans
to participate in the 2016 Spring Management Summit,
Upcoming Educational Opportunities
Visit selectedfuneralhomes.org/events-calendar
for the latest listings.
Mar 19-20 - European Spring Mtg., Brighton, England
Mar 29 - Group 3 Roundtable, Mt. Pleasant, SC
Apr 14 - Group 3 Roundtable, Waynesville, NC
Apr 27-29 - Spring Mgmnt. Summit, Houston, TX
May 5 - Group 3 Roundtable, Fort Pierce, FL
May 12-15 - Pacific Group Meeting
Albury, New South Wales, Australia
May 17 - Group 2 Roundtable, Carlisle, PA
May 18 - Group 4 Roundtable, De Pere, WI
Jun 10 - Group 6 Roundtable, Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 15 - Group 1 Roundtable, Putnam, CT
Jun 15 - Group 3 Roundtable, Roanoke, VA
Jun 15 - Group 5 Roundtable, Corpus Christi, TX
Jun 22 - Group 4 Roundtable, Des Moines, IA
Jul 2-5 - 60th European Conf., Cheltenham, England
Jul 19-20 - Women’s Roundtable, St. Charles, MO
Sep 14-17 - 98th Annual Meeting, Orlando, FL
April 27-29 at The Westin Oaks Houston at the Galleria.
Selected thanks Kelco Supply Company for its generous
support of the Summit.
Interviews with two of the Summit’s speakers appear
on pages 14 and 15 of this issue. Visit selectedfuneral
homes.org/summit for full details on the agenda,
registration and hotel reservations. If you have questions,
please call Amy Hunt or Stefanie Favia at 800-323-4219. s
Participants enjoy the sunshine during the 2016 NextGen Seminar in St. Croix, January 24-28.
13
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Sharing Financial Data Builds Staff Awareness
Rob Buchanan, CPA, is Director of Accounting
Services for Federated Funeral Directors of America,
a Fiducial Company and a Selected Preferred Partner.
At the 2016 Spring Management Summit, April 27-29
in Houston, TX [See page 13.], he will present Numbers
That Matter and discuss how sharing certain financial
information with appropriate staff can positively
impact company viability and team morale.
What should the goal be
for sharing financial information?
“The primary goal is to turn employees who
just think of a firm’s finances as the source of their
paychecks into ‘partners’ who better understand the
company’s strengths and challenges.
Funeral professionals and staff have
a great deal of natural empathy. They
are accustomed to helping families
make decisions during difficult times.
We want to extend that empathy
to the funeral home itself. When
staff understands the firm’s key
Rob Buchanan
financial information, they can work
together with owners and managers to better serve
the community and capitalize on opportunities for
business success and growth.”
What is the best way to do this?
“It’s a personal decision. I’ve worked with firms that
are willing to lay out the entire financial statement.
Their staff knows exactly what the profitability is
and what the owners are taking home. But a lot of
people are not comfortable going that far. So there are
a number of ways of looking at metrics and sharing
selected financial information so employees know how
the business is performing and where to focus their
efforts to make changes.
“When Federated prepares financial statements for
our clients, we offer comparisons of similar-sized firms
and national averages. Revenue percentages are tied to
salaries, facility costs, supply expenses, etc. This helps
owners and managers determine if they are spending too
little or too much in certain areas. Selected members also
have access to the association’s excellent Management
Comparative Program which shows financial
14
information in a way that makes sense and offers a true
perspective of the firm’s position.
“Even though sharing with staff is a sound concept,
there is the possibility of information overload. Most
employees are not in a position to digest every detail.
Also, most are going to focus on the bottom line or the
owner’s salary, and that’s not the reason for sharing
financials. You want to make sure they’re looking at more
of an overview. My recommendation is to start slowly,
especially if you are not currently sharing information.
“You might share things like your average receivables
or average sales. If your sales dollars have been
slipping, then you may need to show staff how the firm
has been trending over the last few years. They need to
understand that what they recommend to families has a
direct impact on the bottom line.”
Is there data that funeral homes
often forget to look at?
“Without a doubt, it’s cash flow. Companies need
to know where their money is coming from and where
it’s going, but they often overlook this. Some people
focus on the balance sheet—looking at assets and debts.
Others jump to the bottom line on the profit statement.
If they don’t understand their cash flow, they are really
limiting their ability to make good financial decisions.
“One of the key things I hope Summit participants
take away from my presentation is a better
understanding of where to focus their attention when it
comes to evaluating and sharing financial information.
I also think they will gain some useful strategies and
best practices for sharing data effectively, so that staff
is properly informed and able to support management
decisions and goals.”
What should members be thinking about
prior to the Summit?
“It will help if they can think about what they
typically focus on in their financial reports. Which
section do they seem to concentrate on the most? Also,
how much of that information are they really sharing
with staff? If participants will take a mental inventory of
what they currently are doing, then the concepts in my
presentation will make the most sense.” s
EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES
Community Events: Great Opportunities to Build Your Brand
Laura Babcock is President
of Modern Funerals, Inc.,
Canada’s leading full-service
communications training and
marketing firm for the funeral
profession. She will speak at the
2016 Spring Management Summit
[See page 13.] about Creating
Memorable Community Events.
What is the most overlooked
aspect of event planning?
“Community events can be
extremely important to a funeral
home in terms of
building its brand,
establishing
connections
and developing
relationships.
But people tend
to forget about
setting goals. They Laura Babcock
get a good idea for an event, but they
often don’t stop to ask questions like:
What is the purpose of this event? What
value will it provide to participants?
What return on investment will the
funeral home receive?
“I see firms running the same
events year after year simply
because they’ve done them in
the past. Such efforts can lose
momentum and become less of
a good reflection of the firm, if
those goal-setting questions are not
answered. People need to feel you
are doing it because you truly care
about them. In some cases, it may
be time to change things a bit or try
something completely new.
“And it’s always good to try to
involve more of the community as
partners in an event. Many funeral
homes are stakeholders in their
communities, not just providers of
a service. They often have been in
business for a long time and support
many other organizations. There
are a lot of partners that would love
to work with the funeral home on
interesting, creative projects.
“We recently worked with a
funeral home celebrating its 75th
anniversary. The owners wanted
to mark the milestone, but did not
want it to be too self-serving. Maybe
there was a way to use this to bring
the community together. We began
discussing the firm’s role in the
town’s history and discovered it was
one of the original stakeholders.
So we did a focus group with other
stakeholders and came up with a
plan to create a history book of the
town, looking back over the past
75 years.
“We started a contest for
people to contribute essays and
photographs to the local newspaper.
The funeral home then had a
big celebration where winning
contributions were displayed and
prizes awarded. And a book was
produced that commemorates the
town’s history. It was a very big
success, and the funeral home got a
lot of positive publicity from it. But
it was never focused exclusively on
the firm but rather on how much it
values its community.
“When the funeral home
engages other partners and works
to give something back to the
community, everyone wins. This a
great opportunity for community
building as well as funeral home
brand building.”
Are community events
one of the better forms
of marketing?
“Events are a very important
part of a firm’s marketing mix.
Advertising, web presence and
social media all have their place; but
when you run an event, you’re out
meeting people and helping them
experience your brand.
“For a funeral home celebrating
its 100th anniversary, we suggested
it throw a party and bring people
into its newly renovated facility to
showcase local food, artists and
florists. It was very successful, and
people got to experience what a
reception at the funeral home is like.
You can run a big newspaper ad
announcing 100 years of service,
but you also can give people the
opportunity to experience your
level of service.”
What do you hope Summit
participants take away?
“I hope they come away knowing
that events, if done strategically,
can be a great way to build
connections in the community and
market their firm. There’s also a
great sense of team building when
you run a successful event.
“I’d like Summit participants
to be thinking about the events
they’ve run or attended in the past.
Which ones really worked and
resonated with them? What kinds
of events have they been thinking
about doing but weren’t quite sure
how to go about it? Bring your
questions, and I can help provide
some insight and strategy.” s
15
Nomination Period Closes February 29th
for Selected Board Positions from Groups 3 and 5
Serving on the Board of Directors of Selected
Independent Funeral Homes is one of the greatest
honors and growth opportunities a member can
achieve. The innovative and productive work of the
Board has solidified our standing as the preeminent
organization representing the very best and brightest in
funeral service.
Would you consider serving as a Board
Member, or do you know a member you would
recommend? If you answered yes, we urge you to
take action now to nominate yourself or submit the
name of a member in your Group for this important
leadership role. Any Selected member in good
standing may submit a nomination to Headquarters
by February 29th, 2016, for positions that will become
available as the terms of Mark Higgins, Group 3, and
J Mitchell, Group 5, conclude.
In an effort to provide new Board Members ample
time to acclimate and prepare for their important
leadership role, the nomination and selection process
begins now, and the new Directors will be chosen
and announced in April. These individuals will be
included in Board discussions and will participate in an
orientation session in July in order to be ready to serve
when they are installed in September at the 2016 Annual
Meeting in Orlando, FL. The official terms for these new
Directors will end at the 2019 Annual Meeting.
The names of all members interested in serving
will be collected, kept confidential and forwarded to
a committee composed of the three most recent Past
Presidents of Selected who will interview the candidates
and ultimately select the two new Board Members.
Serving on the Selected Board is an exciting and
rewarding opportunity that requires a commitment of
time, focus and attention. The association will officially
launch its 100th anniversary year at the 2017 Annual
Meeting in Chicago. Please consider contributing your
leadership as a Board Director or nominating a worthy
member to serve during this historic time.
An electronic version of the nomination form is
available at selectedfuneralhomes.org/board. s
Please
make it
home
safe
today.
We believe you deserve more than just insurance.
You deserve valuable risk management tools—like the “What is
Important to You” distracted driving prevention program—designed to
help you and your employees make it home safe today.
Federated provides clients with access to services offered through wholly independent
third parties. Neither Federated nor its employees provide legal advice.
16
Federated Mutual Insurance Company
Federated Service Insurance Company*
Federated Life Insurance Company
Owatonna, Minnesota 55060
507.455.5200 | www.federatedinsurance.com
16.08 Ed Date. 11/15 *Not licensed in the states of NH, NJ, and VT. © 2016 Federated Insurance
LEGAL PERSPECTIVE
Selected Launches New FTC Funeral Rule
Mystery Shopper Program
By Sarah Pojanowski
Selected’s General Counsel
For many years, the Federal Trade
Commission (FTC) has enforced
the Funeral Rule through a series
of funeral home sweeps where
agency staff visit firms to determine
whether they are handing out price
lists that are in compliance with the
Funeral Rule. To remain compliant,
your funeral home needs to perform
appropriately with every consumer
who walks through your door.
One way to ensure your staff is
adequately prepared is to conduct
a mystery shop. There are a wide
range of mystery shopping services
that provide feedback about
customer service and marketing.
What they typically do not provide
is feedback about FTC compliance.
Most of these services conduct
interviews over the phone, and
the phone is simply not a good
medium to test FTC compliance.
The main duty funeral homes
have under the Funeral Rule is
to disclose prices on the phone.
A savvy funeral director will not
forget to do this while using the
opportunity to explain the value of
services, connect with the consumer
and obtain information about the
family. But price is only one aspect
and a small part of such a call.
With this in mind, Selected
pondered how best to provide
members with a tool that would
enable them to evaluate and
build the strength of their firms
in regard to FTC compliance.
After consulting with a committee
of members, we decided to
create a mystery shopper tool to
specifically address the issue of
Funeral Rule compliance. It will
soon be annouced in The Link
weekly member email and will be
available on Selected’s website.
The tool was created in simple
language and consists of a checklist
to evaluate whether your firm is
handing out price lists at the right
time. We suggest you ask a friend
or local business person to serve as
a shopper, complete the evaluation
and provide you with the feedback
in order to help you and your staff
determine strengths and areas that
may need improvement.
Concludes on page 19
How Do I Choose a Mystery Shopper?
You may want to choose a friend who is a businessperson
and understands the importance of customer service. You
could consider someone with experience within the funeral
profession or an “outsider” with fewer preconceived ideas.
Either way, you’ll want someone who will be quick on their
feet and confident about the experience.
Should I Compensate This Person?
This is your choice. You might consider taking the mystery
shopper out to a nice dinner, giving them a gift card or
exchanging a similar favor.
How Does the Selected Program Work?
The program packet consists of two documents: an
information guide and a checklist for the mystery shopper
to complete. You’ll want to read everything, be very familiar
with the program and have a good idea of what you want the
shopper to do and how they should approach your firm.
You’ll want to meet with the shopper and develop a plan of
action and time frame. Weekend afternoons are a common
time for shops. But they can, of course, occur at any time, so
your staff should always be prepared to perform at their best.
How Do I Access the Packet?
It will be available soon for download from the Membership
Support & Tools section of Selected’s website.
There Are Two Versions. Which Do I Need?
Some firms use a combined General Price List that includes
casket and outer burial container price lists. Others break
these into separate documents. To avoid confusion, there is a
program packet for each approach. Use the one that applies
to your firm. If you need a custom form, please contact
Sarah Pojanowski at [email protected] or
800-323-4219.
17
MEMBER BENEFITS
Selected Study Groups Offer Support, Growth, Inspiration
Program Enrollment to Open March 1
It’s lonely at the top.
“Given how vitally important it is for the CEO to be
getting the best possible counsel, it’s concerning that
so many of them are going it alone,” says
Stephen Miles, CEO of The Miles Group. “Even the
best-of-the-best CEOs have their blind spots and
can dramatically improve their performance with an
outside perspective weighing in.”
Professional isolation is a known phenomenon, yet
many don’t expect the increasing seclusion that can
accompany the rise to a leadership position. Whether
staff members are afraid to “challenge the boss,” or the
added responsibility leaves less time for collaborative
discussion, managers and executives may lack a
trusted colleague who can talk them through important
decisions openly and honestly.
Selected Study Groups give owners and officers
a unique opportunity for like-minded peers to
collaboratively work on business and life challenges in a
non-competitive, small group environment. By joining a
Selected Study Group, you gain authentic interactions
with other members, shared learning, peer teaching,
and the exchange of best practices. Fellow funeral
service experts who understand your challenges and
can help you with crucial decisions are just a phone call
or email away.
“The Group has quickly become a significant part of
my leadership journey. Whenever I have a challenging
issue, they’re there to lift me up and provide
encouragement, support and positive suggestions.
I feel like I’m a stronger leader because of them.”
—Kim Farris-Luke, Abingdon, VA
As a Selected Study Groups member, you also gain
access to exclusive financial tools, reports and resource
materials. You and your Group will meet two or three
Concludes on next page
Current Selected Study Group Participants
Mark Anthony, Rochester, NY
Al Asta, Phoenix, AZ
Ray Bailey, Yorkton, SK
Jennifer Bauer Eroh, Kittanning, PA
Kelly Becker, Struthers, OH
Scott Beinhauer, McMurray, PA
Chris Branson, Mooresville, IN
Kevin Brown, New Castle, IN
Greg Cannon, McDonough, GA
Tripp Carter, Houston, TX
Jeff Casey, Sun City, AZ
Peggy Cirocco, McMurray, PA
Dale Clock, Muskegon, MI
Dave Cox, Muncie, IN
Roger Cunningham, New Castle, PA
Helen Loring Dear, San Antonio, TX
Chris Dickerson, Louisville, KY
Jed Dolan, Boston, MA
Kurt Edenbach, Newport, RI
Art Erickson, Hamden, CT
18
Add your name to this impressive list!
Ashlee Etzweiler, York, PA
Kim Farris-Luke, Abingdon, VA
Paul Foster, Fulton, NY
Tiffany Gorman-Dean, Wheatland, WY
John Greco, Weirton, WV
Michael Hall, Waldoboro, ME
Mike Hanner, Atlanta, TX
Rick Harris, Rochester, NY
Tiffany Hofer, Miller, SD
Jason Horner, Cookeville, TN
Patrick Hurley, Pleasanton, TX
Joe Jackson, Laredo, TX
Jeff Jacoby, Rawlins, WY
Darrin Jones, Winchester, VA
Matt Jones, Savanna, IL
Nancy Keil, Scottsdale, AZ
Luke Keyser, Kingston, NY
Brad King, Hart, MI
Spencer Larkin, Salt Lake City, UT
Jon Leavitt, Parkersburg, WV
John McAfee, Greenville, SC
Howard McComas, Abingdon, MD
Britt McLane, Valdosta, GA
Allen McMullen, Columbus, GA
J Mitchell, Kilgore, TX
Ernie Morgan, Niagara Falls, ON
Michael Newman, Hanover, PA
Jim O’Donnell, Lowell, MA
Michael O’Halloran, St. Paul, MN
Dave Perotto, Rochester, NY
Robert Pickle, Amory, MS
Steve Pierce, Kansas City, MO
Michael Pierson, Calgary, AB
Scott Robinson, Pine Bluff, AR
Joe Schinkten, DePere, WI
Frank Smith, Lancaster, OH
Evans St. Fort, North Miami Beach, FL
Paul St. Pierre, Indianapolis, IN
Robb Waid, Meadville, PA
Jason Winters, Okmulgee, OK
Alan Wood, Carlsbad, NM
Welcome Newest Members of Selected Transfer Services
Since February 5, 2015
Bentzen Moss Funeral Home
Moss, Norway
Hope & Sons Ltd.
Dunedin, New Zealand
Porter Loring Mortuary
San Antonio, TX
Bustard’s Funeral Home & Crematory
Casper, WY
Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home
& Crematory, Council Bluffs, IA
Reger Funeral Home & Cremation
Services, Huntington, WV
R.D. Copeland Ltd. Funeral Service
Coraopolis, PA
Jordan-Fernald Funeral Home
Mount Desert, ME
Rozelle-Johnson Funeral Service
Anderson, IN
Dingmann Funeral Care Burial &
Cremation Services, Annandale, MN
Linnemann Family
Funeral Home and Cremation
Center, Erlanger, KY
Steurnol & McLaren Funeral Homes, Inc.
West Branch, MI
Dirsa-Morin Funeral Homes, Inc.
Worcester, MA
Franzen-Davis Funeral Home and
Crematory, Livingston, MT
The Groffs Family Funeral & Cremation Services, Lancaster, PA
Hooper Huddleston & Horner
Funeral Home, Cookeville, TN
Mystery Shopper, from page 17
We also have included some
marketing questions. While a
mystery shopper is at your firm,
we thought it would be a good
opportunity to also get their
impressions of your firm. These
questions are not as detailed as a
marketing-focused shop would be,
but we hope you will be able to
gather core information about their
experience with your funeral home.
It is our hope that this tool will
help you discover how effectively
your training programs are
working. The program is designed
to identify positives in your staff’s
Marsden House Funeral
Directors, Nelson, New Zealand
Mortons Funeral Directors
Birmingham, England
Olson-Schwartz Funeral Home &
Cremation Service, Bemidji, MN
Walter C. Parson, Ltd.
Plymouth, United Kingdom
Stith Funeral Home
Danville, KY
Svanholm Funeral Home
Trondheim, Norway
Taastrup Bedemandsforretning
Taastrup, Denmark
A.S. Turner & Sons, Inc.
Decatur, GA
interaction with the mystery
shopper and also will help you
address any potential weaknesses
in both compliance and the
shopping experience itself—
before they become liabilities for
your firm and staff. The goal is
both FTC compliance and
continuous improvement.
Making sure your firm is
complaint benefits not only
your firm but also consumers.
By addressing these issues, we
hope your firm will be able to
understand and implement
effective training programs long
before the FTC ever identifies a
potential weakness. At the same
Selected Study Groups, from page 18
times a year and will gather prior to Selected’s Annual
Meeting for an all-Groups luncheon which includes a
guest speaker and a best practices exchange.
“I was always looking for ways to improve
personally and to improve the way I serve my
community. Now that I’ve joined a Selected Study
Group, it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done
professionally, and the guys I’m with—what a great
combination!” –John Greco, Weirton, WV
time, it ensures that consumers
are obtaining the information they
need to make informed decisions.
Additional Resources.
Selected is developing additional
resources to support the Funeral
Rule Mystery Shopping Program.
Plans include a video and online
materials to help supplement
your staff training efforts on
FTC compliance.
If you have questions, please
call 800-323-4219, or email me at
[email protected]
I will be happy to help! s
response this year. Informational materials will be
mailed to members in late February. Sign-up begins
March 1 and closes May 31. Orientation for new
participants will take place this Fall at Selected’s
Annual Study Groups Day prior to the Annual
Meeting in Orlando.
For more information, visit selectedfuneralhomes.
org/studygroups or contact Denise Zoephel, Assistant
Executive Director, at 800-323-4219 or
[email protected] s
More than 60 Selected members are currently
participating, and we anticipate another strong
19
PREFERRED PARTNERS
Partner Network Continues to Grow and Support Members
Selected’s Preferred Partner
Program offers a growing network
of professional consultants and
vendors offering trusted insight,
preferred services and product
discounts to Selected members.
But it’s much more than a group of
companies
wanting to
do business
with your
PREFERRED PARTNER
funeral home.
Selected Preferred Partners
are carefully chosen based on
recommendations by fellow
members and their support of
the goals and culture of Selected
Independent Funeral Homes.
“Partners are invited into our
program in much the same way
as funeral homes are invited
into Selected membership,”
said Rob Paterkiewicz,
Executive Director and CEO.
“Recommendations by members
and their reports of favorable
relationships weigh very heavily
when considering to enter into a
partnership agreement.
“We’ve had a number of partners
with us for several years. And
we are pleased that the program
continues to grow with trusted
companies. Among our most recent
additions are Answering Service for
Directors, Funeral Decisions and
Leap Tie. Our Premier Preferred
Partners extend an additional level
of support and commitment to the
association and our members.
“I encourage members to visit
selectedfuneralhomes.org/partners
to learn more about how this vital
program can help their businesses
grow and prosper. s
20
Premier Preferred Partners
Answering Service for Directors
Kevin Czachor, 800-868-9950
Live Oak Bank
Tim Bridgers, 910-685-7446
Federated InsuranceTM
Jack West, 800-533-0472
Matthews® Aurora
Funeral Solutions
Marty Strohofer, 800-457-1111
Kelco Supply Company
Alicia Carr, 763-493-1260 x1266
Mike Berner, 763-493-1260 x1273
Preferred Partners
Bass-Mollett
Kim Bingham, 800-851-4046 x119
Johnson Consulting Group
Jake Johnson, 888-250-7747
C&J Financial, LLC
Jamie Meredith, 800-785-0003
Konica Minolta Business
Solutions, USA, Inc.
Antonette Tobin
847-725-7921
Directory Concepts
Karen Dewey, 800-454-6977
The Dodge Company
Debbie Dodge, 800-443-6343
Leap Tie
Michele Fagan, 800-461-4780
Eagle’s Wings Air
Jennifer White, 866-550-1392
Meadow Hill Corporation
Adrienne Kalmes
1-877-848-6243
Federated Funeral Directors
of America
Shannen Mayfield, 800-877-3332
Messenger LLC
Bob Hoaglund, 800-827-5151
Funeral Decisions
Michael Regina, 201-743-8116
Funeral Innovations
Greg Young, 800-641-0173
Pet Passages
Rick Harris, 585-544-2041
RGL Consultants
Rich Lehr, 708-301-6425
Grief Connect, Inc.
Dr. Bill Hoy, 254-292-9900
ScentAir
Catarina Richardson
281-904-4458
HES Management Consultants
Donna Boone Parsons
828-242-0903
Southland
Medical Corporation
Jennifer Hall, 800-959-9160
Hospice Analytics
Cordt Kassner, 719-209-1237
SpartaCraft
Maggie Nunns, 800-282-8044
International Mortuary Shipping
Gale and Carson Sprow
800-604-9576
SRS Computing
Kimberly Simons
800-797-4861
Internet Ad Pros
Murray Levine, 516-756-0138
Jay Cooper, 813-787-5946
Tukios
Curtis Funk, 801-682-4391
National Media Launch for Have the Talk of a Lifetime®
Set for February 15. Is Your Firm Ready?
You’ve been hearing a lot about the Have the Talk of a
Lifetime® campaign, and you’re going to be hearing a
whole lot more. February 15 marks the national media
launch for the campaign, and the Funeral and Memorial
Information Council (FAMIC) and all the supporting
organizations have been working hard to get us
thinking and talking about this initiative.
Why is this campaign so important and why should
you get involved? Creating a positive momentum
toward reversing the trend of less memorialization
is the key objective of the Have the Talk of a Lifetime
consumer education campaign.
As a funeral professional, the community looks
to you as a source of information on death care and
through your participation in the Have the Talk of a
Lifetime campaign, you have the ability to help people
in your community discover the unique life stories of
the people who matter most to them. These discussions
can help families and friends make important decisions
about how they wish to remember, honor the lives of
their loved ones through meaningful memorialization
and understand the important role that funeral
professionals play in the process.
“It is critical that funeral homes and suppliers
get involved in this campaign. It is your
involvement that will help us begin to
change consumer opinions and attitudes
toward memorialization. For years, people
in funeral service, myself included, have
been asking for a national campaign to
educate the public about the value of
memorialization. Have the Talk of a Lifetime
is that campaign. I ask for your help in
making this campaign a huge success.”
—Jim Kepner, Past President of FAMIC
and Past Secretary-Treasurer of Selected
Where to start. There are lots of ways to get
involved. Here are five suggestions to help you begin
leveraging this national campaign for your firm’s
benefit locally. These resources can be accessed on
famic.org following the previous instructions.
1. Watch the three-minute video entitled Preneed at
youtu.be/p-RJFKd-NSc which provides perspectives
from funeral professionals on how they have
integrated the campaign into their business.
2. View the 2016 Campaign Launch webinar for an
overview of the new tools and resources.
Have the Talk of a Lifetime began as a grassroots
campaign. That means local funeral homes and suppliers
throughout the country—funeral professionals like
you—joined together with one voice to share campaign
materials with funeral consumers in their community.
Resources. FAMIC has created a website that
contains the resources you need to become part of this
national initiative and position your firm as the place
to start to Have the Talk of a Lifetime. Go to famic.org. In
the lower left corner, you will be prompted to log in with
username famic and password campaign (all lowercase).
Click on the Learn more about this exciting new
consumer education program link to be directed to a
page providing background information. The Download
materials link provides access to all the available
materials, past webinars and guides.
3. Be included in the search tool by adding the Find
a Funeral Professional widget to your website so
consumers can have you assist them have the talk.
A webinar shows how to install the logo and code.
4. Purchase branded brochures and workbooks with
your firm’s logo. Ordering is simple and inexpensive.
5. Give people a new perspective by hosting an
event and showing the ready-to-use Community
Presentation PowerPoint® tool—a conversation about
sharing life stories.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of this.
Collectively, we can speak in one voice about the value
of memorialization; together we can Have the Talk of a
Lifetime. Please contact [email protected]
if you have questions about the materials or how to get
involved in the Have the Talk of a Lifetime campaign. s
21
SELECTED EDUCATIONAL TRUST
Improve Cash Flow by Managing
Receivables, Expenses and Debt
Apply Now for Paid Tuition to the
Spring Management Summit
On Thursday, March 3, at 2:00pm Eastern time, you’ll
be given three practical ways to better manage your
cash flow during the second webinar in Live Oak
Bank’s three-part series of financial tips for independent
funeral home owners and employees, exclusively
offered through the Selected Educational Trust.
The Trust is again offering two Spring Management
Summit registration scholarships to deserving Selected
member-firm employees. Each scholarship covers full
registration fees for this year’s Summit in Houston, TX,
April 27-29, and will be awarded no later than April
1st.
Business owners want and need ways to improve
their bottom line. Are there ways to cut expenses? How
can you better serve your families while also improving
profits? If you’ve asked these questions, then you may
be looking for opportunities to improve your cash flow.
All scholarship dollars are paid
directly to Selected on behalf of
the applicant for full registration.
Other expenses to attend and
participate, including travel, lodging and food are the
responsibility of the applicant. Tiffany Gorman-Dean,
a full-tuition-paid participant in the 2015 Summit, said,
“All the topics related to both big and small funeral
homes. Every speaker was very good and informative.”
The first financial webinar, held this past November,
provided an overview on cash flow as a critical metric.
The second in our series will drill down and provide
tangible solutions you can use. The session will be
interactive, so you can ask questions from the comfort of
your desk. For more information and to register for the
second in this series, go to selectedtrust.org. The cost to
members is $15, and it will be money well spent.
22
Visit selectedfuneralhomes.org/summit for more
information about the 2016 Spring Management
Summit. And go to selectedtrust.org today for more
information and a scholarships application. s
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Steven Mailloux and Needham-Jay Funeral Home
Steven A. Mailloux is a licensed
funeral director and owner of
Needham-Jay Funeral Home in
Petrolia, ON, Canada. The firm has
been a member of Selected since
1998, employs four people and
has an annual call volume of 115.
What is your guiding
business principle?
“I would say it’s much the same as
my life philosophy—to help everyone
I come in contact with become better
versions of themselves, whether that
be the people I serve or the people
I serve with.”
What is the best way
to stay competitive?
“Have highly motivated,
creative, caring, compassionate
and skilled people working in
your funeral home.”
What is your favorite form
of communication?
“I am still a believer in good old,
face-to-face communication. I use
all forms of communication: social
media, e-mail, phone, and I even
send letters (thank-yous mostly);
but in-person communication is
ultimately where I build the most
meaningful relationships.”
What is the best way
to spot new trends?
“Listen to your customers and
potential customers. Most people
are very willing to share what they
wish they could have, even when
they are making arrangements.”
Whom in funeral service do
you most admire and why?
“Growing up in funeral service
I have had the good fortune
of meeting many great funeral
directors. I would have to start
with my father, Roger Mailloux,
who demonstrated what it is like
to care for the people you serve. I
worked briefly for Rob McKinlay
of Chatham, ON, who showed me
and many others just how great
funeral service can be. I also spent
a year working with Turner and
Porter Funeral Directors in Toronto
who demonstrated daily the
importance of service excellence.
And, of course, all the members of
Selected who I have met over the
years. I have learned so much from
so many in this organization that
I simply can’t list everyone. I have
no formal mentor, but I have built
some great relationships within the
Selected Leadership Academy.”
the time and
energy into doing
great work in
the preparation
of the body.
Nothing gives me
more satisfaction
than having
Steven Mailloux
families—who
wanted a closed casket—change
their mind after seeing their
loved one.”
What is your biggest
professional pet peeve?
“My first would be meeting with
families who do not have good
conversations about their death
and funeral before it is too late. A
couple of others that really bother
me are families who don’t want to
take any of our professional advice
and clergy members who don’t put
time into good preparation for
the service.”
What is your proudest
professional achievement?
What is your favorite way
to relax?
“I would say, after 14 years as
a funeral director, it is buying the
family business from my father four
years ago. I had great support from
him, my staff, and the people
of my community throughout
that process.”
“I enjoy reading and relaxing
with my wife and daughters around
our pool.”
What is your favorite part
of the job?
“There are numerous things
I enjoy, the first is working with
my staff. It’s always fun to be part
of a great team. Secondly, I really
enjoy being able to help the people
of my community in their time of
need. Lastly, I do enjoy putting
What is the last book you
read that you found very
interesting?
“I just finished Who by
Geoff Smart and Brad Street. It was
recommended to me during the
Selected Leadership Academy by
John Horan. It was very helpful to
me during the recent process of
hiring a new funeral director.”
Concludes on page 25
23
REMEMBERING OUR COLLEAGUES
Visit selectedfuneralhomes.org/obituaries
for more information and to view the
Remembering Our Colleagues memorial video
from the 2015 Annual Meeting.
Dolores F. Smith, Robert J. Smith Funeral Homes
(Smith-Corcoran Funeral Homes), Chicago, IL,
died January 10. smithcorcoran.com
Bruce A. Hadley, Hadley Funeral Home, Inc.,
Windsor, MO, died December 21. hadleyfuneralhome.com
William L. “Bill” Shannon, Shannon Funeral
Service, Inc., Shelbyville, KY, died December 20.
shannonfuneralhome.com
Lela I. Kellaway, H.N. Olsen Funerals Pty. Ltd.,
Alan W. Radke, Porter Loring Mortuary, San Antonio, TX,
Sydney, Australia, died December 15.
olsensfunerals.com.au
died January 4. porterloring.com
Marian H. Guyton, Richards, Raff & Dunbar
Arnold Schneider, Binkley’s Shaunavon, Shaunavon,
SK, Canada, died January 3. fpbfssl.sasktelwebhosting.com
Memorial Home, Springfield, OH, died December 2.
richardsraffanddunbar.com
EDUCATIONAL TRUST CONTRIBUTIONS
NEWS FROM OUR MEMBERS
IN-MEMORIAM CONTRIBUTORS
Carson-Wall Funeral Home, Parsons, KS, reached
Richard Andrews, Andrews Mortuary, Wilmington,
NC, in memory of Harriet McAfee, Don Boone,
Serena Stevens, Fonda Stuhr, Roberta Bailey and
Pat Garvie-Tannahill
Michael & Kristin Newman, Panebaker Funeral
Home, Hanover, PA, in memory of Harriet McAfee.
The Ordeman Family, Fisher Funeral Home, Inc.,
Albany, OR, in memory of Serena Stevens.
Glenn and Camilla Taylor, Glenn Funeral Home,
Owensboro, KY, in memory of Jeanette McQuillen.
Selected Group 3, in memory of Richard Andrews Sr.
Discovery Study Group, in memory of
Dolores Smith.
Past Officers’ Spouses Council, in memory of
Richard Andrews Sr.
PLATINUM PATRON CONTRIBUTOR
Tom Morris, Downing & Lahey Mortuaries,
Wichita, KS.
SILVER PATRON CONTRIBUTOR
J. T. Morriss & Son, Petersburg, VA
SUSTAINING PATRON CONTRIBUTORS
Pat Epley, Marion, NC
O’Halloran & Murphy, St. Paul, MN
Reck Funeral Home, Miller, SD
Woodfin Funeral Chapels, Inc., Murfreesboro, TN
24
its 50th anniversary on January 29. Gary Wall and his
wife, Shirley, are co-owners with their children. Their
son, Ned, and son-in-law, Justin Brown, handle daily
operations. The most recent addition to the business is
the Wall Family Center which opened in late 2014 and
hosted 141 events in 2015.
Flanner and Buchanan Funeral Centers,
Indianapolis, IN, is celebrating 135 years in business,
having started in 1881. Fourth-generation owner and
CEO, Bruce Buchanan, owner and CEO, said the firm
will take a low-key approach to this anniversary, having
held a big event during its 125th year in 2006.
There will be a wellness initiative that challenges
employees to be the first person in 2016 to walk 135
miles. The company also is challenging its management
team to contribute 135 hours of community service in
2016. And employees plan to donate 135 pounds of
food to local food pantries.
Gerry and Dian Montgomery of Montgomery &
Steward Funeral Directors, Inc., Pueblo, CO, will
be inducted into the Pueblo Community College
Foundation’s Pueblo Hall of Fame on March 4th.
The Pueblo Hall of Fame was established to honor
individuals who have made extraordinary contributions
to the betterment of the community. Proceeds from the
annual event support the Pueblo Community College
Foundation and its student scholar and academic
excellence programs.
Concludes on next page
Steven Mailloux, from page 23
What famous person
would you like to have had
a conversation with?
“I would liked to have met
Walt Disney. He left us with so
many amazing things that my family
and I enjoy. I have read biographies
about him and, I have to say, he was
a visionary.”
What is your favorite Selected
program, benefit or service?
“That’s easy—the Selected
Leadership Academy. It challenged
me to improve my leadership
skills and introduced me to some
of my best friends in Selected. It
is a great program, and I strongly
recommend it to anyone in a
Selected member firm.”
What did you gain
from your last Selected
meeting or activity?
“My last meeting was the 2015
Spring Management Summit in
Denver. Like all of the Summits,
the speakers were excellent. In
particular, Darren Forbes of
Horan & McConaty shared some
great human resource secrets.” s
News from Our Members,
from page 24
Rabenhorst Funeral Homes & Crematory, the oldest
continuously-owned family business in Baton Rouge, LA,
is observing its 150th anniversary in 2016. The fourth
generation of ownership includes Alvin P. Rabenhorst
Jr., Karen Rabenhorst Kerr, David L. Rabenhorst and
G. Scott Rabenhorst, who oversee two funeral home
locations and Rabenhorst Life Insurance Company.
Rabenhorst Funeral Home & Crematory was honored
at the 2015 Annual Meeting in New Orleans for its 75
years of continuous membership in Selected. s
(L-R) David, Phil and Scott Rabenhorst and their sister,
Karen Rabenhorst Kerr, strive to honor a 150-year family tradition
of providing care with comfort to the families of Baton Rouge.
INTRODUCING
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YOU!
YOU!
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• KelcoSupply.com
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P R PE R
M EI M
E RI E R
PREFERRED
PREFERRED
PARTNER
PARTNER
25
INTEROFFICE
INTEROFFICE
ROUTING
ROUTING
INTEROFFICE
ROUTING
March-April
March-April 2016
2016
November–December 2015
What’s in your Literature Rack?
Toward
Tomorrow…
Practical Information
For Survivors
Talking To
Children
About Death
The
Experience
of Grief
A Guide
to Funeral
Planning
Understanding
Good Grief: What Is It?
Coping With Your Loss
by Maria Trozzi, M.Ed.
by Diana J. McKendree
Creating a
Meaningful Tribute
Choices for
Commemorating
a Life Lived
Cremation
Am I
the Last
One Left?
Facing Grief
in the Senior Years
by Dr. William G. Hoy
Individual
Estate Record
Why We
Gather
Healing and the Funeral
Unthinkable...
Facing Grief after a
Child’s Death
by William G. Hoy
Why
Suicide?
Support After a
Death by Suicide
Our Code
Of Good
Practice
by Janet S. McCord
For full product descriptions and to place an order, visit selectedfuneralhomes.org/shop
PHONE: 800-323-4219
ONLINESTORE:selectedfuneralhomes.org/store
FAX:847-236-9968
EMAIL:[email protected]
MAIL:500 Lake Cook Road, Suite 205, Deerfield, IL 60015