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February 17, 2016

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, February 17, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, February 17, 2016
A Message From Your Region 1 Director
Tools for Success
As business people we are bombarded with organizations trying to sell us an idea or tool to improve our business. They say, "Just read my book," or "attend my seminar and you will have the key to success." Some of these ideas and concepts are very worthwhile, but nowhere is there a magic one size fits all solution. Any concept needs to be adjusted and molded to the individual business environment. Implementation is hard work. We still must develop budgets, monitor cash flow, meet with customers, pay bills, decide on supplier partners and train staff.

I encourage you take time to return to basic business tools. We are at the beginning of the year.  Do you have a real budget?  Did you bid out insurance? Equipment?  Accounting services?  Advertising?  Do you adhere to a strict formal payment policy?  Have you set aside time for staff training?  Do you have a strategy in place to attract new clients?  Everyone talks about the home runs, the slam dunks and the long touchdown passes, but usually the games are decided by the basics.  Our business must rely on solid basic business tools. Our success is built on the basics of budgeting, training and quality service.  I encourage you to spend time working on these basic business skills.  There is much discussion about how funeral service has changed.  Yes it has changed as has every business.  Talk to a dentist, doctor, lawyer or banker about change. Every business struggles with change.  Customer’s needs and wants are evolving. Those who have solid business skills and tools will survive.  Funeral service is evolving not ending.  Be at the forefront of the evolution.  Push to make funeral service everything it can and should be.  Make sure we are thought of as caring professionals helping our communities cope with loss.

A huge tool that is often overlooked and certainly underutilized is our funeral service associations. The local, state and national associations are a great resource. They keep us informed about changes in laws and regulations and provide training. They are a platform for the exchange of ideas and continuing education.  By selecting dedicated funeral service partners, they enable us to develop those basic skills that are the necessary building blocks for success. Utilize the knowledge base that has been built up in these organizations. Most of the time they have the solution to our problems or know someone who does.

Finally these organizations are dependent on its members for their success. Don’t just be a member, be an active member. Let your voice be heard. Consider service on a board or committee. Utilize meetings for their real value, that of networking and the exchange of ideas. Last year IFDA developed a new website.  Unfortunately however, there are hundreds of members that have not yet visited the site. Visit, sign-on and utilize the site. Be proactive, be involved. Do not wait until there is a licensing problem or law passed or change to educational requirements. Be involved.  The associations need your input. They need your support and active participation.

Robert J. Smith, Jr.
Region 1 Director
2016-2017 Board Nominations  

We invite all IFDA members to run for IFDA office!

It's election time again! Every year IFDA elects several new members to our Board of Directors. We are looking for board members who believe in our mission and are willing to be active in their governance roles. Board service is a chance to grow personally and professionally, to develop skills, gain unique experience and make lasting connections with a team of other passionate and motivated professionals. We believe that this work has never been more important than it is today. The first step in the election process is to complete the nomination application.

Get an IFDA Board Member Nomination Application by clicking HERE
OR by visiting the IFDA website at

Positions Available:

President Elect ~ One-Year Term ~ June 2016- June 2017 (automatically ascends to presidency in 2017.)
Vice President ~ One-Year Term ~ June 2016 - June 2017
Secretary/Treasurer ~ One-Year Term ~ June 2016 - June 2017
Region One Director ~ 1 Two-Year Term ~ June 2016 - June 2018
Region Two Director ~ 1 Two-Year Term ~ June 2016 - June 2018
Region Three Director ~ 1 Two-Year Term ~ June 2016 - June 2018

Position Requirements:

President Elect, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer:
IFDA member in good standing, licensed funeral director or licensed funeral director and embalmer in the State of Illinois and a member of NFDA. These officers serve a one-year term.

Regional Director:
IFDA member in good standing, licensed funeral director or licensed funeral director and embalmer in the State of Illinois, a member of NFDA, and shall be a firm or individual resident of the region in which they are seeking office. These officers serve two-year terms and are eligible to succeed themselves for an additional term.

The commitment of those who win office on the IFDA Board of Directors will normally include meetings in March, September and December, as well as attendance at the IFDA Annual Convention, other IFDA seminars and district meetings in their area. Phone conferences are held routinely and may also be called on special occasions. Service on at least one IFDA committee is normal and expected. Other meetings may also be called as necessary throughout the year.

Regional Map:
Not sure what Region you belong to? You can refer to this map - CLICK HERE - to determine what region you belong to. (On the members side of the website.)

Applications for nomination must be completed and returned to the IFDA office by March 1, 2016.

For further information on the IFDA Board of Directors and Elections refer to the Constitution link listed on the Governance subheading under the About IFDA page on the IFDA website.
Update to HB4120

2016 is well underway as is HB4120. Now that it is "officially" enacted it is known as a Public act, Public act 099-0262 to be exact.  The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is currently in the rule making process for Public act 099-0262. It was initially suggested that IDPH would utilize the emergency rule making process to have a self issuing permit available Jan 1, 2016 when this act became law.  IDPH legal counsel subsequently decided that the emergency rule making process was not applicable for this issue.  IDPH has up to 2 years to implement this rule.  IFDA has been in constant negotiations with IDPH to speed up the process. In the meantime, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) has advised that all licensed Funeral Directors abide by the existing rule until the new rule is adopted.  IFDA will continue to meet with IDFPR and IDPH to move this process along as expeditiously as possible.

California Medical Association Embraces End of Life Option Act

The California Medical Association issued a 15-page document that aims to answer physician and patient questions about the recently passed End of Life Option Act.

Following the passage of legislation that allows for physicians to aid in the death of the terminally ill in California, the state’s medical group released new guidance to assist its members and the public.   FULL STORY

 New Member

Please welcome our newest member.

Michael Kerry-Orrico
Kerry Funeral Home
Palos Heights, IL

 NFDA Meet the Mentors Announced

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) announced the names of the 50 young funeral professionals who will attend the association's eighth Meet the Mentors event. Illinois will be represented by two lucky funeral directors!

  • Stephanie M. Brown, Lawrence Funeral Home, Chicago, Illinois
  • Scott Swanner, Muzyka & Son Funeral Home, Chicago, Illinois

During Meet the Mentors, 50 licensed funeral directors and embalmers under the age of 40 will meet, learn from, and talk with three innovative and successful funeral professionals.  Meet the Mentors is held in cooperation with the Funeral Service Foundation.

New Documents Added to the Site

The following document has been added to the Forms Library.

Private Transportation Vehicle - This document allows for a designated representative of the deceased to transport the deceased releasing the funeral home of liability.

The following documents were added to the Futura listing on the Preferred Partner page on the Members side of the website.

Transfer Instructions and Documents
Guaranteed Fillable Contract
Non-Guaranteed Fillable Contract
Provider-Licensee Firm Servicing Information
Client Copy Master Trust Agreement (Legal Size)
Funeral Director Master Trust Agreement (Letter Size)

Convention Time Is Coming Fast!
Save the Date!
June 27-29, 2016
Tinley Park, IL
Tinley Park Convention Center

Before you know it we will be heading to Tinley Park for the Annual Convention, but before we start packing our bags we have a couple of questions for you.  We would like to know what type of exhibits you would like to see at the show.  Who's missing?  What do you need to get more info on?  Is there a particular vendor you would like to see at the show.  Let us know and we will do what we can to get them there.
Talk of a Lifetime® Campaign Launches....Are You Ready?

The national launch of the Funeral and Memorial Information Council's (FAMIC) Have the Talk of a Lifetime® advertising campaign is here! The national advertising and public relations effort just launched! Now is the time to take advantage of this is exciting opportunity to help people in your community better honor the lives of their loved ones.

You can access campaign materials on the FAMIC member website.
Go to
In the lower left corner you will be prompted to log in:
Username: famic
Password: campaign (all lowercase)
Click on the link under the Have the Talk logo that says, "Learn more about this exciting new consumer education program".
You will be directed to a page that describes the campaign and background information about it. Click on the link that says, "Download the Have the Talk of a Lifetime materials here" in green text; there you can view and download available campaign tools, past informational webinars and guides.

Please contact FAMIC,, if you have any questions about the materials or how to get involved in the Have the Talk of a Lifetime campaign.

 Check Out IFDA's Facebook and LinkedIn Pages
   Be sure to check out the IFDA Facebook page and give us a "like"!
   While you're at it, check out the IFDA LinkedIn page too!
State Auto Makes 2015 Year End Dividend Announcement

State Auto Announces Profitable Property/Casualty Dividend Program

State Auto announced that IFDA members who participated in the Property/Casualty Dividend Program were able to share in a $23,140 dividend. This amount represents an 8.2% return of premium to policyholders. Dividend checks were mailed to the writing agents yesterday for delivery to their customers.

For more information about the Property/Casualty Dividend Program, contact Phil Black.

 A Message From Preferred Provider State Auto
  Covering Losses with Business Interruption Insurance

Standard property insurance covers physical damage and losses—furniture destroyed in a fire, a storm-damaged office building or stolen equipment. This coverage can help you pay the costs of rebuilding or replacing damaged property. But what about losses resulting from your business’s inability to operate because of property damage? For this type of loss, you’ll need business interruption insurance, also known as business income insurance.

Coverage to Keep Your Business Afloat
When your business is shut down due to a damaging event —a fire or windstorm, for instance—you lose revenue. In addition, your business is still obligated to pay its bills and may incur additional expenses as a result of the disruption. Fortunately, if you have business interruption coverage, many of these costs and losses can be reimbursed. Generally, business interruption insurance will cover:

• Revenue lost due to the closure.
• Fixed expenses, such as rent and utility costs.
• Expenses of operating from a temporary location.

Your policy may cover additional extra expenses associated with the disruption—for instance, advertising to announce your new temporary location.

To receive appropriate reimbursement from your business interruption coverage, there must be direct physical damage to the property resulting from an insured event.

Determining a business interruption loss involves establishing what the business would have earned had the loss not occurred. Insurance companies take into account past tax returns, profit and loss statements, projected sales and non-continuing expenses. It is crucial to keep very accurate records so that your business interruption losses can be properly projected.

Obtaining Business Interruption Coverage
Business interruption coverage is not sold as a stand-alone policy. It can be obtained as part of the following types of policies:

• Commercial Property Insurance—You can add an endorsement or rider to commercial property insurance that will extend the policy’s coverage to business interruption losses.
• Business Owners Policy (BOP)—Intended for small businesses, this type of insurance package policy includes property, liability and business interruption coverage.
• Commercial Package Policy (CPP)—CPPs are flexible policies that can be customized with a range of options, including business interruption coverage.

Other types of policies may include business interruption coverage for certain circumstances. For instance, some kidnap and ransom policies will cover business interruption loses resulting from a covered event.

Understanding the Limitations of Business Interruption Coverage
While business interruption insurance can help your business survive a disaster, there are limitations and exceptions to this type of coverage. If you obtain business interruption coverage as part of a commercial property policy, the coverage will only extend to events delineated in the core coverage. If your property insurance does not cover wind damage, you cannot receive business interruption insurance if your company is displaced because of a windstorm.

There are also time limits on business interruption coverage, so be sure to discuss limitations and exceptions with your insurer or insurance professional, and whether purchasing extended business income coverage is a good option for your business.

Courtesy of the State Auto Insurance Group (
Funeral Service Foundation to Award NFDA Professional Women’s Conference Scholarships
  Funeral Service Foundation is now accepting applications for its Professional Women’s Conference Scholarship. The Professional Women’s Conference Scholarship is designed to support career and professional development for women in funeral service by helping offset the costs associated with attending NFDA’s annual Professional Women’s Conference, which will be held April 8-10, in Cape Coral, Florida.

A minimum of five scholarships will be awarded to applicants who are verifiably employed in funeral service or a related occupation, or who are a student of funeral service enrolled in an American Board of Funeral Service Education-accredited program. The scholarships will cover the recipients’ conference registration fees, and provide up to a $1,000 travel and accommodation stipend. Those interested may apply online here. The application deadline is February 26, 2016.
Member News
   Tell us something good!  Have any member news to share?  Let us know and we will post it in next month's E-News.
District News

District 9A & 10 - February 24, 2016

District 8 - April 28, 2016

  IFDA has a plethora of advertising opportunities for you.  Check out our advertising rates and information here.

Tags:  Application for Board of Directors  California Medical Association  End of Life Option Act  HB4120  IDFPR  IDPH  Jr.  NFDA Meet the Mentors  Private Transportation Vehicle Document  Robert J. Smith  Talk of a Lifetime 

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