Vol. I, Issue I
|Dear WCCFA Members and Friends: |
Welcome to the new Insider! As of January 2012, the printed version of our newsletter is gone. The Insider has gone all-electronic. I hope you find our new version interesting and easy to read.
Converting to this medium will enable us to get news and bulletins to you in the wink of an eye, and will save the WCCFA $$ thousands in production and mailing costs.
You'll find our suppliers' ads sprinkled throughout. You can click on any ad and be instantly taken to that supplier's web site. Please continue to support them - they sure do support the WCCFA!
Happy reading! I welcome your contributions, whether they are about your own cemetery or funeral home, people or ideas; or just an interesting news story. Your opinion or observation pieces are also very welcome. And please, no matter what the submission, include pictures!
This is a work in progress. If you notice something that doesn't work as it ought, or have suggestions for improvement, let me know. Just click here
and drop me a line.
Please forward this newsletter to anyone who might be interested.
Happy New Year!
Message from the President
Hawthorne Memorial Park & Funeral Home
Stanwood Cemetery Assn. & Gilbertson's
Happy 2012. I hope that your new year has started with success as you care for your community. For those I don't know, I am Kirk Duffy, and I am proud to serve as your president of the Washington Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association. We are fortunate to have such an all-emcompassing state association that looks after all cemeterires, crematories and funeral homes.
We are already having a very busy and interesting 2012. The legislative committee has already been involved in Olympia with our lobbist T.K. Bentler; we are in the process of discussing plans for a new association in conjunction with the Washington State Funeral Directors Association; we are planning our Spring Conference March 14 in Lynnwood; and our second consecutive joint convention with the WSFDA August 8-11 in Coeur d'Alene.
I can guarantee all members that our legislative committee is on top of anything going on in Olympia that's related to our cemeteries, crematories and funeral homes. (See update links here) I encourage all cemetery and funeral professionals to take an active role with questions and even making trips to Olympia for hearings. A lot of the time we can carpool. We have already had a successful hearing with HR 2185 modernizing the trust funding methods to match our prudent man rule as we do for the endowment care funds. This will be a very welcome law to all cemetery operations. As of this writing the Senate version, SB 6000, is in committee (see the bill documents and progress here).
In regards to the proposed new association: the committee members are myself, Dennis Boser, Cameron Smock, Russ Weeks and David Jones. We have had many meetings to date covering: outcome from the 2011 joint convention panel discussion, operating model, governance model, bylaws and dues structure. In the months to come we will be finalizing these steps and making a presentation to each board. Our timeline continues through December 2012. My personal thoughts are that our state needs to have one strong cohesive association that operates very efficiently, with a conservative dues structure and offers a great value to all death care professionals in our state. Remember the public views us all the same. I am open to any questions or concerns. Please call me at my office (360-424-1154) or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The beautiful Coeur d'Alene Resort will be the site of our 2012 convention. It's a perennial favorite with members and a wonderful hotel to work with from our association staff's point of view. After last year's convention there was no doubt that we want the same success but also build on our experience. Attendees' comments gave us a great direction on the need to provide continuing education on what we ned to do to make ourselves even more successful in future.
Again, I am very honored to serve as your president. I look forward to working with our officers and our board to make our association a trememdous value to our members.
Updates from the Governmental and Legal Affairs Committee
Jan. 27, 2012
(link here for notes from the committee's conference call).
The Department of Licensing Funeral and Cemetery Board has posted two new policy links. Links are below:
STARTING SOON: PAY ONLINE USING INTUIT PAYMENT NETWORK!
In our ongoing quest to cut costs to the association we have joined the Intuit Payment Network to make it even easier and more secure to pay dues, registrations or other invoices from the WCCFA. The service is extremely secure, everything is encrypted, and it's free! No more having to call me with your credit card number and waiting for me to send you a receipt.
Click, sign up and pay by e-check. Your payment will be deducted from your bank account and deposited in ours. That's it! Payment links will be included in all emailed invoices. If you have a hard-copy form, just type the URL into your browser. (Note, the forms that were mailed in December do not include the link.)
As soon as we're live we will be putting the link to Intuit Payment Network on our membership renewal forms (links to the forms are below) and very soon on membership application forms (here below).
Time to renew your membership!
Thank you for continuing to support your association. I know we have all faced considerable challenges in the last couple years, and that your membership could be considered a discretionary expense-but you've chosen to see it as an essential and valuable part of your business, and for that we're grateful (but not surprised).
We want to ensure this e-news gets to all of your staff, so when you complete your renewal form please include email addresses for ALL your staff, please, so they can be better informed about our profession. There won't any longer be a printed newsletter to leave in the lunch room, so this is a super easy way to include everyone in our news pipeline.
In case you have misplaced your membership renewal form, you can find it here:
Cemetery or Funeral Home Voting Member
Combination Cemetery/Funeral Home
When you print them out you will note there is a membership directory form included. Please be sure to complete and return it with your renewal form.
One of our goals for 2012 is to recruit new members, and invite lapsed members to rejoin. Your help with this will be essential. You'll find links to all membership application forms here:
Associate Member Application
Cemetery Member Application
Combination Cemetery-Funeral Home Member Application
Funeral Home Member Application
Non-Voting Municipal Member Application
Supplier Member Application
So just print them out, go visit your competitors and tell them what a great association the WCCFA is. Don't forget vendors!
We are partnering again this year with the ICCFA's Music License Coalition. Information is here:
ICCFA Music License Agreement
Same low cost for the fourth straight year-just $248! Applications received by the ICCFA after 1/25/2012 will cost $255.
Introducing DAVE SALOVE
New WCCFA Director
At our annual meeting in August, we elected two new board members to three-year terms.
It's about time we got to know them, yes?
We asked Dave Salove to tell us a bit about himself...
Dave, how did you get into the death care profession, and when?
I had been interested in funeral service from the time I was in high school. The summer following graduation, a beloved aunt of mine died suddenly before my eyes. I watched closely as the funeral home came to take her into their care and was subsequently a part of the funeral as a pallbearer. After the funeral I approached our family funeral director, John Alsip, owner of Alsip Funeral Chapel in Nampa, Idaho, and asked him for a job. He told me to 'stay home on the farm' and that there was 'a lot more to a funeral home than the fancy cars'. He would not hire me. A few weeks later I met a fellow who was a funeral director and was married to a friend of our family. He gave me an introduction to A. Dale McMurtrey, owner of Summers Funeral Home in Boise. I was hired on September 21, 1973 and have been in the business since.
What was your first position? What is it now?
I was first hired as an apprentice mortician in Idaho where I'm from originally. I am currently General Manager of the Dignity Memorial West Seattle Group, overseeing operations at 2 funeral homes and 2 cemeteries.
What keeps you in the profession?
I have tried to leave the profession on two occasions. Each time it wasn't very long before I realized I missed it greatly and that no work I was doing came close to the satisfaction and the feeling of importance that funeral service held.
Any particular experiences that stand out in your mind?
In more than 38 years, there are so many it is difficult to separate any one as they all have their own story. I do recall however, a tragedy of the death of an entire family, parents and 3 children, in a plane crash. We were called to fly in to the crash site in the mountains on National Guard choppers to collect the remains. The scene was like nothing I had ever seen but we set about our work collecting the family from the hillside for return to their waiting families. I remember every detail of that day.
Any special traditions at your cemetery or funeral home?
We have a number of annual activities each year but one we began 3 years ago was recognition of our Seattle Police Department each May during National Police Week. We created a ceremony to honor police officers of our city who had lost their lives in the line of duty.
What are your professional goals?
My professional goal is to leave this profession a little better than I found it in whatever capacity that may be for the benefit of the families we are called to serve.
How do you reach out to the community?
I am personally active in a variety of local groups and organizations including 3 chambers of commerce, board chair of a non-profit foundation for a continuing care retirement center, community member on the SPD Southwest Precinct Advisory Council, sponsor of our local food bank, of community arts, and of our local senior center, to name a few.
What would you tell someone who was thinking about joining death care?
I would tell them to think carefully about it -- that the level of commitment is great but the reward is greater.
My family is predominently in Idaho but I do have a cat and she and I live in West Seattle. I like most outdoor activities as well as soccer and baseball and enjoy spending warm sunny days with a good margarita on the beach in Mexico.
Memorial Plaza Honors Women Religious in the Northwest
By Jim Falkner
At 1:00 p.m. on October 15, 2011, Bishop Blase Cupich celebrated Mass and blessed the newly-completed Memorial Plaza for Women Religious at Holy Cross Cemetery in Spokane, Wa.
The celebration was the culmination of a fascinating, meaningful project with a genesis going back about two years. I hope you will enjoy the story that I lived for the past two years.
The Memorial, a holy and natural landscape of stone, statuary, waterfalls and brick, tells the story of the Religious Sisters' heritage and service to the people living in the Northwest. It includes seven religious communities with members buried at Holy Cross Cemetery. Included are the Dominican Sisters of Spokane OP, Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration FSPA, Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia OSF, Sisters of the Good Shephard, Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary SNJM, Poor Clare Nuns OSC, Sisters of Providence SP (and Sisters of Charity of Providence FCSP).
Some of the granite work at the Sisters' Memorial provided and installed by Oregon Memorials
The Memorial story began with a request from the Holy Names Sisters for more burial space at Holy Cross Cemetery. It seems that the sisters were close to using their last burial space and they were concerned about obtaining more graves close to their existing area at Holy Cross. Eventually, discussion with the Sisters' leadership group and finance department easily resolved the issue of available space at a cost that was acceptable to the sisters and the cemetery. However, this simple business discussion prompted me to take a closer look at available space for all of the women religious communities that had burials at Holy Cross Cemetery.
Part of my curiosity and fascination revolved around my significant involvement with many of the women religious congregations in the Spokane area over a business career spanning 35 years. I wondered if it was possible to do something special and meaningful to honor the Sisters as these women have had a lasting impact on the life of the Church in the Northwest.
began to research our files and review the section maps where the sisters were buried. It appeared that an original Priest and Religious area in Section B was developed when the cemetery opened in 1931. As the years passed, it was clear that the original section was not large enough to serve the future needs of the Sisters. Another area, Section J, with ample space was designated for the women religious, primarily the larger groups of Providence, Holy Names and Dominican.
The project underway
To read entire article, link here
ABOUT THE PROJECT AND SUPPLIER/INSTALLER:
It includes three columbaria with a total of 168 niches in Maple and Mahogany granite, and three large tablets for the names of the Sisters who have passed away. On the reverse side of each tablet is the names of the Orders to which the Sisters belonged, as well as the Orders' logos. Tim Bronleewe and the staff of Oregon Memorials were proud to be awarded the project.
What's new for suppliers?
Online advertising! You'll have a lot more contact with your clients and potential clients...because this newsletter will go to a much larger audience. Another added bonus is readers will be able to link directly to your web site just by clicking on your ad!
Current advertisers - your ads are here, and they contain the links. If you'd like your ad to link somewhere else, just let me know by emailing it to me here. Questions? Same deal, just send me an email and I'll get the information you need to you right away.
Prospective advertisers - Get in on the ground floor of this new medium. We are using the same advertising rates as we have used for our printed newsletter, which will apply through May 2012.
Get the current advertising specs here.
Making the handover of cremated remains a meaningful event for family members
One day a couple of years ago, i was walking through the lobby of one of our funeral homes and a fellow came in to pick up his mother's cremated remains. there they were, in a box sitting on the corner of the reception desk. The receptionist said, "Here she is; sign this receipt."
He took the box and walked out the door like he was leaving a grocery store with a six-pack of beer or something, and I thought, "Wow."
We'd been doing it this way for years, but watching it take place, it struck me as a crude way to return the remains to the family. We put our heads together and identified special places where we could set up the urn for the family.
We purchased some fancy table runners and figured out how to fold them just right. We place the urn or box on top of the runner. When the family comes in - and we generally know ahead of time when they're going to come in - we have candles burning on the table.
Read the article from ICCFA Magazine here.
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THE WCCFA INSIDERis published by and for the members of the Washington Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Association. News articles and press releases are welcome and are published on a space-available and suitability basis.