1 Issue 2 The Undertakings June/July 2013 Alabama Funeral Directors Association Alabama Funeral Directors Association Installs Board of Directors at the 127th Annual Mid-Summer Convention ALABAMA FUNERAL DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION The Undertakings (L-R) Carrell Ann Spears, Sec-Treasurer, Doug Williams, Vice President, Don Daniels, CFSP, President, Geoff Halbrooks, President-Elect, Mark Dryden, Immediate Past President In this edition President s message..page 2 FTC Uncovers.Page 11 Opp FH Makes History Page 4 FTA Trust Report.. Page 15 Meet the Mentors..Page 5 Associate members..page17 NFDA new PR campaign. Page6 AFDA Committees..Page 19 In Memorial.. Page 6 AFDA Calendar..Page 24
2 Message from the President Sitting here at my desk on this HOT June morning, just reminiscing about the past 39 years of being involved with AFDA has a lot of memories. Starting off with our marriage on June 13 th 39 years ago on Thursday before the convention then being back at Mack Funeral Home by noon on Sunday the day the convention started. Then attending the convention that evening with the greeting of the one and only BUCKY. What a man he was. Having our meal on Julep Point and it was good and hot. Fellowship was great with everyone having a good time and remembering many stories that were created during the years at the Grand. I will not go into the stories I gave in my acceptance speech. I am sure that all have stories that would make us all laugh. We look forward to having many more good times at the Grand. Even with the possibility of sponsorships floundering away, perhaps not as strong as in the past, I still see that we have opportunities to continue to be the strong AFDA that we are today and growing even stronger. Fellow members, we are going to find ways to continue. We thought that options that have come along in our industry would cause great financial issues. We are still surviving. In thinking of the convention and along the lines of the possibility of less income from sponsorships, we have to be creative like we do when it comes to having less income. Some changes that I have experienced in the past 39 years are: Answering services never in my wildest imagination did I ever think I would accept this. It was drilled into me that you answer the telephone and not let it ring over three times. Alarm systems when I got in the business, someone spent the night in the funeral home. The alarm systems helped changed that. And by the way, we did not close until 10 and then vacuumed and empty ash trays before turning in for the evening. Watching embalming with no gloves. Glad the gloves are here to stay now. Suits and ties were expected in a lot of places. Some of the smaller homes you did not, but did have the coat and tie ready when the call came in to make a removal. Internet how much we use the internet in our business is simply amazing. For one instance, the printing off of forms that we all use is good. Pagers what a blessing. You could at least go to a movie, go out to eat, watch the local football games and many other activities. The noose had been removed from our neck. Pre-need the arguments that we have seen at the Grand. Made you wonder who was getting ready to face off with whom. As a member of AFDA we have a vast amount of resources to keep our wonderful association progressing forward as we do have one of the strongest in the nation. Unity among us is one way to see that we can help get some very important legislation passed. Our own, Honorable Koven Brown, CFSP, has spent many hours in helping AFDA to grow stronger in the area of getting some legislation to help us as well as to protect the consumer. Koven wants AFDA to support the bill that was defeated in the last session as well for it to be re-introduced and we, as members, need to show our support for him and the betterment of AFDA. We have many who have volunteered to help on various committees. I hope that we can see the importance of these committees as they go forward in their duties. It is not to make sure that we have all we desire, but to be in unity with what the committee brings forth to the association. Our SMORT Doug Williams, our commander, has dedicated many hours to get our program to where it is today. He has traveled miles and put many requests in for the millions of dollars of equipment that we have today to help in a time of disaster. He needs your help. Please volunteer. It is not IF a disaster happens it is when one happens. AFDA has a scholarship program that is available to those who apply. Go to AFDA s website and follow the prompts for the questionnaire and where to send it to. The Alabama Trust is another one of the benefits of being a member of AFDA. We have this to help funeral homes comply with the requirements of ALDOI. Denise is doing a great job as our Executive Director. She has a lot to do and does it well. She is there to help our AFDA grow stronger. Our website is a good resource for the membership of the AFDA. It has valuable information for us all. I would also like to see our Associate Members have their own group association that could be better informed and also give AFDA suggestions to consider. Dr. Bill Counce has a wealth of resources to see that our educational opportunities at our various meetings are attracting for AFDA to be better informed. Page 2 THE UNDERTAKINGS
3 Alabama Funeral Directors Association PMB 380, 7956 Vaughn Road Montgomery, Alabama Fax: AFDA Staff: Denise Edmisten Executive Director Physical Address is different from mail address: Street address: 7 Clayton Street Suite 200 Montgomery, AL Portions of this newsletter are taken from other sources and may not represent all available date or be complete statements. An attorney or accountant should be consulted on any legal or tax matter. Views expressed are not necessarily those of AFDA and by no means reflect any guarantees that material facts are accurate or true Board of Directors Executive Officers President Don Daniels, CFSP Dunklin-Daniels Funeral Homes Greenville, AL President-Elect Geoff Halbrooks Peck Funeral Home Hartselle, AL Vice President Geoff Halbrooks Doug Williams Cullman, AL Secretary-Treasurer Carrel Ann Spears Wyatt Funeral Home Opp, AL Immediate Past President Mark Dryden Dryden Funeral Home Heflin, AL Directors District 1 Heath Bowen John s Ridout Funeral Home Birmingham, AL District 2 Mike Perry Usrey Funeral Home Talladega, AL District 3 Jimmy O Bryant, Jr. CFSP O Bryant Funeral Chapel Thomasville, AL District 4 (2014) Coley Trant Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home Opelika, AL NFDA Policy Board Rep Don Daniels, CFSP Dunklin & Daniels FH Greenville, AL AFDA is strong and we would certainly not be without everyone s help. I want to personally thank each and every one of you for your commitment. It is like one of our former presidents told me we are strong and have to stay strong and get stronger. We are at a stage where we are being heard in Montgomery and we need to continue on and have even a stronger voice. NFDA there are many positive things I could say about NFDA. The best source is for you to go to NFDA.org and look at the many reasons for being a member. Just the FREE FORMS that would probably cost us many a dollar through legal means are a very cost-saving method for us. I was amazed at the different forms that are available for us when I first visited the website for the NFDA. The music fee is another good example of why NFDA is good. I could go on. Last but certainly not least, I thank God for my dear wife Deborah and her commitment to me and helping others when they have a need in their life. This is also true of my sons, Damon and Derek, Damon s wife Brandy and two wonderful grandsons Braxton and Dalton. There is a lot to be said for service. Service is our business. Well, 39 years and moving forward can you imagine what we will see just in the next 5 years. Until. Don Daniels HELLO p.s. As a side note, I personally want to thank each of you who visited and made a call during the time of my father s passing during the convention. My heart s desire is that the convention continued to have a great time and that nothing detracted from that. ISSUE 2 THE UNDERTAKINGS Page 3
4 Opp funeral Director Makes History Jay Thomas The Opp News Wyatt Funeral Home can now add another distinction to its long list of accolades, it has made history. Carrell Ann Wyatt Spears was recently elected as the first woman ever elected to an office in the Alabama Funeral Directors Association. At the recent AFDA convention held in Point Clear, she was elected secretary/treasurer of the organization which puts her on track to head the organization in a few years. I will basically move up the ladder each year: vice president, president-elect, president and immediate past president,: she said. She will be the second Wyatt to climb this ladder in the organization, My Daddy, Carrel Wyatt, was president of the AFDA in , she said. As for her father, he said he and his wife, Mary Charles, could not be prouder than they are of Carrel Ann. It is very fulfilling after spending my career in the funeral home business, to have one of my children following in my footsteps in the business and the AFDA, he said. Spears said she knew being a funeral director was her calling at an early age. I have spent my entire life in the funeral home and always knew this was wht I wanted to do, she said. When I was a little girl, I always told Daddy that I wanted to work at the funeral home and he actually tried to discourage it because he didn t want me to have to work the long hours. She said she went off to college and worked as a teller at SouthTrust Bank in the loan department. She said the didn t change her mind. I came bank to him a couple of year later and told him that I still wanted to work in the funeral business, so he told me to turn in my notice and get enrolled in the funeral service program; so that s what I did, she said. She began working at the funeral home in She graduated from mortuary school in 2003 after completing the Jefferson State College Funeral Service Education program. She said she has never regretted the decision. I love my job, she said. There are a lot of times that it s hard, but it is always rewarding. You really feel like you have a bond with the families. She said it can be really tough working at the family funeral home in her hometown. I ve had to bury classmates, friends, family members, children of friends, and that is always tough and friends spouses, :she said. Again, it s tough but rewarding. She said her job also has a huge benefit not many other can enjoy. I get to work with my daddy everyday and I really like that, she said. We get along great and make a great team, along with Daron and Brad who work with us. She said she cannot imagine doing anything else in her life. My husband has asked me before if I could do anything I wanted to do what would it be? I told him I could honestly say that there is nothing else I would choose, she said. That I am where I m supposed to be. Yes, it can get very stressful at times, but I am where I want to be. I just hope I can one day be half of what my daddy has been to this community and profession. It is an honor to have him as my daddy. As part of her duties with the AFDA, she will attend various conventions, meetings, legislation sessions and leadership conferences. She will also work closely with the National Funeral Directors Association. She said she also needs to thank Don Daniels, who was installed as President of the AFDA. Don is the one who brought me on the board under his wing, she said. Daniels owns funeral homes in Greenville, Camden and Calera. (continued next page) Page 4 THE UNDERTAKINGS
5 Spears is married to Ferrell Spears and they have three children; Cale, 16, Graceanne, 11 and Carreline, 5. She said she looks forward to this new chapter in her career, but also assures the community she serves that she remains committed as every to serving them in their time of need. A Heavenly Gift Arrives at the Luker Edward and Elizabeth Kirk-Luker are proud to announce the birth of their son, David Perry Luker, who was born on July 11, 2013 at the Druid City Hospital Northport Medical Center Women s Pavilion. He is proudly named after his maternal great uncle, Mr. David Clarence Ryan of Guntersville, Alabama, and his maternal great grandfather, the late Mr. Perry Neeland Cirk. He is welcomed by his big brother, who will be four in August, Neeland Ryan Luker; maternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Sherrill Neeland Kirk (Linda Ryan Kirk); and paternal grandmother, Mrs. Peggy Batson Luker and the late Mr. Harold luker. Feeling God s blessings everyday for this precious miracle that we have receive to God, AL- WAYS be the glory! - Elizabeth Kirk-Luker, Kirk Funeral Homes. Have news to share? We re not The Enquirer, but we want to know! Share your news, weddings, births, graduations, life s victories with your fellow AFDA members. Send to NFDA Presents Meet the Mentors Two AFDA members selected among 50 It s a professional opportunity unlike anything else you ve experienced. Fifty NFDA members who are licensed funeral professionals under the age of 40 were randomly selected the week of January 14 from a pool of entries received to learn from and talk with three of the profession s leading funeral directors. The 50 individuals selected to attend will have access to three fantastic mentors. Of the 50 individuals chosen to attend, two are AFDA members: * Amber Gilbert, Otts Funeral Home, Sulligent, Alabama * Benjamin Faulkenberry, Dunklin & Daniels Funeral Home, Greenville, Alabama Congratulations! Meet the Mentors Program Planned for March 2014 NFDA has announced that its next Meet the Mentors event would take place in March 2014 at the Emory Conference Center Hotel in Atlanta, Ga. Information about that program, including details on how young funeral professionals can enter for an opportunity to attend, will be posted on the NFDA website, ISSUE 2 THE UNDERTAKINGS Page 5
6 NFDA Update Funeral and Memorial Information council Launches Have the Talk of a Lifetime Public Relations Campaign The Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC) has recently started the Have the Talk of a Lifetime public relations campaign. Getting involved in the Have a Talk of a Lifetime campaign is easy? The FAMIC website has a lot of materials to help people in your community better understand the importance of memorializing a life well lived. The How to guide will help you determine the best way to share these materials with your community. To enter the website, you need this login info: Username famic Password: campaign Once you have logged in you will see everything is ready for you to personalize for your website. Facebook page, and to place articles or ads in your local media. Take a look and get involved. In Memoriam Sara Foreman Hobson Eason Andrews Betty Ruth Brock Jackie Valinda Brown Bert Daniels Steve Dyar Eloise Harrison Gene Johnson Kelli Minyard Mary Olive Frank Turner Dorothy Wright Memorials may be sent to the Scholarship Fund AFDA Please indicate to whom an acknowledgement should be sent. PMB 380, 7956 Vaughn Road Montgomery, AL Congressman Robert Aderholt, 4th Congressional District at the 2013 Annual Convention. He spoke of the effects of sequestration and the economic outlook for the near future. Page 6
9 Scholarships are Waiting Scholarships from the Alabama Funeral Directors Association are available for those seeking a profession in the death care industry. Check out the information on the Alabama Funeral Directors website, or contact Denise Edmisten if you need more information Page 9 THE UNDERTAKINGS
10 This is just one of the many benefits of NFDA MEMBERSHIP. Check it out! Page 10 THE UNDERTAKINGS
11 FTC Conducts Undercover Inspections of Funeral Homes in Eight States to Press Funeral Homes to Comply with Consumer Protection Law FTC s Funeral Rule Requires Funeral Homes to Provide Price Lists to Consumers Investigators working undercover in eight states detected significant violations of Federal Trade Commission consumer protection requirements in 23 of 127 funeral homes they visited during The FTC conducts undercover inspections every year to make sure that funeral homes are complying with the agency s Funeral Rule. The Rule, issued in 1984, gives consumers important rights when making funeral arrangements. Key provisions of the Rule require funeral homes to provide consumers with an itemized price list at the start of an in-person discussion of funeral arrangements, as well as a casket price list before consumers view any caskets. The Rule also prohibits funeral homes from requiring consumers to buy any item, such as a casket, as a condition of obtaining any other funeral good or service. By requiring itemized prices, thefuneral Rule enables consumers to compare prices and buy only the goods and services they want. Funeral homes with significant violations can enter a training program designed to increase compliance with the Funeral Rule. The three-year program is known as the Funeral Rule Offenders Program (FROP), and is an alternative to an FTC lawsuit that could lead to a federal court order and civil penalties of up to $16,000 per violation. It is run by the National Funeral Directors Association and provides participants with a legal review of the price disclosures required by the Funeral Rule, and on-going training, testing and monitoring for compliance with the Rule. In addition, funeral homes that participate in the program make a voluntary payment to the U.S. Treasury in place of a civil penalty, and pay annual administrative fees to the Association. FTC inspections during 2012 encountered varying levels of compliance: In Everett, Washington, 4 of the 11 funeral homes inspected had significant violations; In Baltimore, Maryland, 1 of the 9 funeral homes inspected had significant violations; In Kansas City, Kansas/Missouri, 1 of 21 funeral homes inspected had significant violations. In Bayonne and Jersey City, New Jersey, 3 of 26 funeral homes inspected had significant violations. In Montgomery and Opelika, Alabama, 2 of 10 funeral homes inspected had significant violations. In the McAllen, Texas area, 4 of 18 funeral homes inspected had significant violations. In Brownsville and Harlingen, Texas, 8 of 21 funeral homes inspected had significant violations. In Denver, Colorado, 1 of 11 funeral homes inspected had significant violations. All but one of the funeral homes with significant violations have entered the NFDA s FROP program, and the one that has not remains under investigation. The names of homes that have entered FROP are not released under the terms of the FROP program, and the FTC does not identify businesses under investigation. In addition, the FTC identified 43 funeral homes, within the eight states, with only minor compliance deficiencies. In such cases, the FTC contacts the funeral home and requires it to provide evidence that it has corrected the problems. Since the FROP program began in 1996, the FTC has inspected nearly 2,700 funeral homes, 427 of which have agreed to enter the compliance program. The FTC educates consumers in English and Spanish about their rights under the Funeral Rule, and provides guidance to businesses in how to comply. For more information read Shopping for Funeral Services and Complying with the Funeral Rule. The Board of Funeral Services will help you avoid FTC violations by reviewing your procedures Contact Charles Perine, Page 11 THE UNDERTAKINGS
13 Photos from the 2013 Annual Convention Grand Hotel Didn t make the convention this year? Here s some of what and who you missed. Go ahead and make plans for June 2014 Fun in the sun!
14 We need a caption for this one! Suggestions?!> A passenger in a taxi leaned over to ask the driver a question and tapped him on the shoulder. The driver screamed, lost control of the cab, nearly hit a bus, drove up over the curb, and stopped just inches from a large plate glass window. For a few moments everything was silent in the cab, and then the still shaking drive said, I m sorry but you scared the daylights out of me. The frightened passenger apologized to the driver and said he didn t realize a mere tap on the should could frighten him so much. The driver replied, No, no, I m sorry, it s entirely my fault. Today is my first day driving a cab. I ve been driving a hearse for the last 25 years. You can t move forward if you re looking backward! Move forward with the AFDA get involved!
15 Funeral Trust of Alabama Performance Report The 770 Group of UBS Financial Services, Inc. reports that the updated returns and asset allocation for the Funeral Trust of Alabama through July 31, 2013 are as follows: Current Month: +2.94% Year to Date : +6.17% Trailing 12 Months: % Annualized Since 8/31/08 inception: +5.59% Asset Allocation by Broad Asset Class: Stocks 57.7%, Bonds 31.3%, Cash 6.0% and Other 5.0% For more information, our consultants Bill Pahl and Dave Higgins are always available and welcome your calls at David L. Higgins, CIMA, CRPS Senior Vice President - Investments Institutional Consultant, UBS Institutional Consulting Group Phone: Toll Free: ext Fax: NOTICE To order supplies please fax your order to or order online at funeraltrustofalabama.org For copies of reports and payments pertaining to FTA trust accounts please contact ASI Q/A about the FTA How to order coupon books? Ans. Contact ASI How to file a claim: Ans: Complete a fulfillment form, attach obituary or news article and fax to ASI. Where do I get copies of my reports? Ans. Contact ASI for quarterly and annual reports. Where do I get copies of forms? Ans. Contact AFDA for supplies and forms. Forms may be photocopies to keep a supply on hand. Money Move Dates: money moves fall on the 10th and 25th of each month, unless one of these days lands on a weekend. Cut offs to be include should be in the AFDA office 4 5 days prior to the money move date.
16 Page 16 THE UNDERTAKINGS
17 Associate Members of the AFDA Thank you for your support Members Let s support those who support us Administration Systems, Inc. * Alabama Eye Bank * Alabama Organ Center Ambulance & Coach Sales AnswerTel of Athens, Inc. * Astral Industries, Inc. * Atlantic Coast Life Insurance * Aurora Casket Company * Bass-Mollett Publishers * Batesville Casket Brown-Service Funeral Homes, Inc. * Capstone Preneed Funding Solutions Comfort Touch Transport Service Covington Casket * Deaton Kennedy * Federated Insurance * Foothills Planning Services Funeral Call Funeral Services, Inc. * Funeral Trust of Alabama* Heritage Memorial Funding* Homesteaders Life Company Jefferson State Community College * Matthews Casket Company * Music City Mortuary * National Guardian Life Ins* Perkins Financial LLC * Pierce Chemical RBC Investments RTI Donor Center Security National Life Insurance Service Casket Company * Shields Southeast Sales * The 770Group at UBS * Truitt Insurance & Bonding Company*
19 Committees Budget/ Finance Carrel Ann Spears - Chair Heath Bowen Mark Dryden Jason Maise Doug Williams Gift of Life/Donation Randy Crenshaw, CFSP Chair Tim Ellison Sammy Morgan Geoff Halbrooks Terry Sorrells Legislative John Cook Rudder, Chair Steve Ware Dr. Bill Counce Mark Craddock, CFSP Norman Hobson Howard Johnson, CFSP Earl Mitchell Mike Yates Coley Trant Randy Mathews, Advisory Membership Geoff Halbrooks President Elect Rocky Bumpers Mark Harrison Jared Stanton Carole Colvard Outstanding Service Koven Brown, CFSP-Chair (Emeritus) Jimmy Stewart Benjamin Faulkenberry Chris Thompson Luther Watts Resolutions/Constitution & By-Laws Mark Dryden, Chair Jimmy O Bryant, Jr., CFSP Kendall Glover John Purdy, CFSP Terry Sorrells Bill Trant Luther Watts Carrell Wyatt Scholarship Whit Miles, CFSP Kenny Blythe Ladon Emerson Jim Martin Mike Sartin Mike Yates Crematory Advisory Panel Ann Williams, CFSP Chair Koven Brown, CFSP, Benjie Hughes, CFSP, Dr. Dudley Miller, Mike Morrison, CFSP Sammy Morgan Pre-Need/DOI Regulations Koven Brown, CFSP Mike Perry Eddie Seal Jimmy Tindol Carrel Wyatt SMORT- Emergency & Disaster Doug Williams, Chair Don Daniels, CFSP Geoff Halbrooks Gary Smith Joe Jeffcoat Heath Bowen Bill Trant Ladon Emerson
20 Committees continued, Strategic Planning & Long Range Don Daniels, CFSP, Chair Mark Dryden Geoff Halbrooks Randy Anderson, Facilitator District Representative: Term expiring 2014 District 1: Whit Miles, CFSP District 2: Chris McCord, CFSP District 3: Benjie Hughes, CFSP District 4: Terry Sorrells District Representative: Term expiring 2015 District 1: Kenny Blythe District 2: John Purdy, CFSP District 3: Tony McCluskey District 4: Carrel Ann Spears Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. - Sir Winston hurchill Old Time Gospel Hour. What a Group! See what Kim Anderson saw crossing the hotel parking lot at the Leadership Conference in Utah. Momma Moose and Little One! Have it Your Way? A Pennsylvania man who died at age 88 was buried on a Saturday but not before a stop at Burger King on the way to the cemetery for a Whopper, Jr. It was reported that David S. Kime, Jr. of West York loved those burgers so much his family and friends followed the hearse through the drive-through window at the Manchester Burger King. The manager said 40 Whopper Jr. burgers were prepared, including one for Kime, of course. Page 20 NEWSLETTER TITLE
21 ISSUE 2 THE UNDERTAKINGS Page 21
22 Ann Williams, Owner, Cullman Heritage and Southside Funeral Homes, receives her CFSP pin from President Don Daniels, CFSP Page 22 NEWSLETTER TITLE
23 Kim Anderson saw Moose and I saw this at the Salt Lake. I climbed air getting away from this lady and her friends. District Meetings Coming In November Details comings SOON! Plan ahead Noah didn t know it was going to rain when he started building the ark! ISSUE 2 THE UNDERTAKINGS Page 23
24 Alabama Funeral Directors Asn PMB 380, 7956 Vaughn Road Montgomery, Alabama Calendar of Events September 2, 2013 AFDA Office Closed October 7, 2013 Board of Funeral Services 9 a.m. testing 10 a.m. Board of Funeral Service Meeting October 14, 2013 AFDA Office Closed October 20-23, 2013 NFDA Convention, Austin,TX November 11, 2013 AFDA Office Closed November Thanksgiving Holidays November 2013, AFDA District Meetings December 24 27, 13 Christmas Holidays ISSUE 2 THE UNDERTAKINGS Page 24