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In This Issue
Spring Golf News
Paul Elvig Student Convention Scholarship
Time to renew membership
How to finance a funeral or cemetery project
Bulletin Board
Click to read the latest news on Washington state death
care legislation 

Vol. I, Issue II

Spring Logo







It's only two weeks until this year's College of Cemetery, Cremation & Funeral Studies - sign up today!


We have another terrific program lined up for you, including two general sessions and nine breakouts, a few return speakers and several new ones.



  • Legislative Processes and Updates (with J.C. Barr and T.K. Bentler
  • Change We Must and Can Affect (with Joe Matthews)



  • How to Survive (and Even Thrive!) in an Obsolete Industry (Greg Simard)
  • What to Watch Out For in a DOL Inspection of Your Prep Room and Funeral Home (Mike Baxter)
  • Surviving a WISHA or OSHA Inspection at Your Cemetery (George Nemeth,Jr., Dave Ittner)
  • Turf Fertility and Pesticides (Tim Magney)
  • How - and Why - to Work With a Celebrant (Linda Haddon)
  • Boffo Cremation Memorialization Features (Hank Kerns)
  • WOW Cremation Placement Setups (Dennis Boser, Jr.)
  • The Future of Our Profession and the Next Generation (Jack Norvell)
  • Military Veterans: Benefits, Changes, WDVA Cemetery and the Missing In America Project (Richard Cesler)

It all starts at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday March 14, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lynnwood, Wash. Coffee, tea and pastries will be available. Pick up your nametag and program, look over the suppliers' brochure table and get caught up with your friends. At 8:30 we'll have brief announcements, then the programs will begin. The morning coffee break will be sponsored by Quiring Monuments. NOTE: There are still sponsorships available!

PCM 1/2 page 

The first breakout sessions begin at 8:45, followed at 9:45 by the Legislative Processes and Updates Workshop. A quick one-hour buffet lunch, co-sponsored by SCI Washington Services, will follow. Breakouts will resume at 12:45 and 1:45. The Change general session begins at 2:45 and the conference will wrap up at 3:30.


Funeral directors and embalmers can earn continuing education credits. Be sure to sign up at the registration table to ensure you receive credit for the sessions you attend.


It's a lot to absorb in one day, and you can't be three places at once, so we encourage you to bring as many of your staff or colleagues as you can.




Click here for a registration form! 

Click here for a special mortuary school student discount registration!


WCCFA is not sponsoring a Spring tournament this year.



We are holding an informal tournament on Tuesday,
March 13 at the Echo Falls Golf Club.Batesville Life Stories 1/4 page


Blind draw - 2 person - best ball format


Contact Kirk Duffy  to RSVP

NO LATER than March 6.


Players are responsible for their own greens fees, carts, etc.






WCCFA offers The PAUL ELVIG Student

Convention Scholarship 

for current mortuary college students


For the last three years, the board of the WCCFA has presentedElvig an all-expenses-paid scholarship to our annual convention to a WCCFA member who has not attended one.


At its November 2011 meeting, the board voted to rename the scholarship The Paul Elvig Student Convention Scholarship in honor of the man who has had such huge impact on so many people in our profession from here in Washington state to Washington, D.C. 


The scholarship will henceforth be awarded based on entries submitted by those who are current mortuary college students and have never attended a WCCFA convention.


Students can click here for the scholarship application.





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. 





RenewalsIn case you have misplaced your membership renewal form, you can find it here:  





Cemetery or Funeral Home Voting Member


Combination Cemetery/Funeral Home


Supplier Member


Municipal Member


Associate Member


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. hereYou'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. 






How to get financing
for a funeral or cemetery project
It's not as easy as "A, B, C" but it is possible to get a loan to help you make that expansion, remodeling or other project a reality. As with anything involving numbers, you need to do your homework.
Puzzled by bank consolidations and changes in the lending environment? Wondering why getting a loan approved seems so difficult today despite the fact that just a couple years ago financing was readily available?
The reasons are many, but when lenders are unable to balance their loan portfolio (i.e., their assets) with the deposits and capital sections of their balance sheets, it doesn't matter how strong your loan application is, you are not going to get financing. Additionally, many banks are now caught up in mergers and reorganizations (downsizing). FDIC examinations, new government oversight/regulations, loan losses (which reduce capital) and new credit restrictions.
What's the best way to ensure success in establishing and maintaining relationships with lenders who won't derail your loan objectives? By carefully selecting lenders who have demonstrated an understanding of your business and who have recently approved and closed loans similar to the one you are seeking.
Wilbert Jewelry 1/2 page
The first step
In order to be in a position to find the right lender for your financing needs, you must first become familiar with the current lending parameters that make sense in today's economy.
If you are seeking a construction loan, are relatively new to the death care management industry or are expanding beyond your historical geographic or operating environment, the chances are excellent that lenders will be talking to you about one of the government-assisted (the 504 program) or guaranteed (7a) loan programs offered through the U.S. Small Business Administration.
These program provide financial enhancements to lenders to make loans for start-up businesses, expansions, refinancings and acquisitions or for industries where the risks associated with the particular industry may not be acceptable to a traditional community bank lender.
The criteria for eligibility under these programs are ideally suited to the funeral service profession, so when you are evaluating financing alternatives, include SBA financing options.

To properly evaluate whether a particular lender will be a good fit for your needs and to  make sure the bank can consider your request in a timely manner, be prepared to present a brief business plan to the lender containing the following prequalification information:
  • Describe your business (new or existing) and the market area, including present and proposed competition and the neighborhood/community demographics.
  • Discuss present revenue breakdown and anticipate future revenues and trends. For example, if you are a funeral home owner, identify revenues from direct cremation, cremation with service, merchandise sales, traditional service with burial, etc.
  • Provide a detailed list of how you would use the loan funds, including refinancing of existing loans, any renovation work you are planning, working capital needs, purchase price details (if you are buying/expanding), etc.
  • Describe who is in the ownership group. Include:
    • detailed (autobiography-type) resumes
    • personal financial statements on all borrowers
    • three years of federal tax returns for each borrower and for each outside business that might be considered controlled by each partner
    • credit reports (obtain online)
    • a description of exactly who is currently managing the business and, if appropriate, who will be managing the new business.
  • Include historical federal tax returns for three years and year-to-date financial statements on the existing business and on any business you plan to purchase with the loan.
  • Include a debt schedule. Include a list of all loans you have on your business, indicating original loan amount, current balance, monthly payment amount, original use of proceeds and the date when each loan will be paid in full or the date the loan balloons, if applicable.

The foregoing information will enable a lender to quickly determine your qualification for available financing and significantly shorten the time between the initial indication of interest and a decision to move forward.

Premier 2-29-2012 

Tips for selecting a lender


Now that you have a prequalification package of information ready for a lender to look over, where do you start in determining the best alternative for getting your project financed in the shortest time frame with the least amount of aggravation?


In interviewing prospective lenders:

  • Ask about their funeral service credit policy. First, do they have one? If not, it's likely that your loan will be put into the category of "just like other real estate loans we finance," which might impact your ability to receive a timely or favorable response to your loan request.
  • Ask whether any similar loans funded were for start-ups or existing businesses. Determine what kind of experience the applicants were required to have in order to meet the lender's management requirements and the terms of the loan and any loan covenants.
  • Ask about their loan-to-value, equity, reserve and cash deposit requirements in terms of getting a loan approved.
  • Ask about the loan size criteria so you can determine if your project size fits. Obtain a good understanding of the paperwork process. Who does what, who makes the loan decision, who closes the loan and most important, who will service the loan after closing.
  • Ask how long it takes for approval.
  • Ask whether the lender has the ability to portfolio the loan or whether participant lenders will be needed, since that affects the number of underwriting approvals your loan will undergo.
  • Ask about outside requirements such as minimum monthly deposits and compensating balance requirements.

    What can you expect on an SBA loan and why should you consider one?


    Because SBA loans are underwritten, guaranteed and administered in accordance with standards designed to make lending to small businesses easier and less cumbersome to originate and administer, the paperwork and administration associated with these loans is significantly less than under conventional banking standards.


    SBA loans have the following characteristics, which are generally more borrower-friendly, less cumbersome and less expensive, and often represent terms frequently unavailable in the conventional lending market.


    • Up to 100% financing for refinancing, acquisitions and expansions
    • Competitive rates for both fixed and variable financing
    • Loan amounts up to $5 million
    • Loan terms for up to 25 years and no balloon payments
    • Prepayment penalties only for the first three years of loan term
    • No loan covenants such as debt service coverage, maximum owner cash withdrawals and compensating balances
    • Loan approvals in as little as a week
    • Closings and funding in as little as 30 days
    1. Local, regional and community banks are still lending to funeral service professionals.
    2. Government assistance programs (SBA Loans) are a viable, attractive alternative.
    3. It's prudent to carefully consider your borrowing options and interview available lenders.
    4. Be persistent and flexible.

    Article by Kay Anderson, CPA for the February 2012 ICCFA Magazine reprinted in its entirety with permission. Kay Anderson is a senior loan officer for Live Oak Bank, Wilmington, North Carolina.

    newsLEGISLATIVE UPDATES 3/1/2012 - News on HB 2360 & HB 2801

    HB 2360 Concerning deposit and investment provisions for the prearrangement trust funds of cemetery authorities and funeral establishments passed the Senate Thursday 3/1/12 morning by a vote of 40-0-0-1.

    The House Ways & Means Committee held a hearing on HB 2801, the budget tax bill, Thursday morning and will be seeking passage of it soon...likely tomorrow. It contains items such as these, i.e. Giving local city and county governments more authority to raise taxes, such as a sales tax, restaurant tax or utility tax. The proposal allows the state's seven largest counties to impose a 0.1 percent sales tax without voter approval. Small counties could to raises taxes by 0.2 percent.


    You may want to be in touch with your Representative concerning this legislation. Legislative Hotline 1-800-562-6000



    matthews 3-1-12
    Bulletin Board

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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.


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