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July 13, 2016

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Updated: Thursday, July 14, 2016
 A Message from Your Immediate Past President
Tinley Park, Illinois once again proved a great location to welcome IFDA’s 2016-2017 President, Mr. Drew Edwards, Sunset Funeral Home in Danville, IL. There were great continuing education programs, an engaging floor of exhibitors, plenty of fun and entertainment, and most of all comradery between colleagues.
Many thanks to the sponsors who helped the IFDA insure that this year’s convention was great! Your commitment to IFDA does not go unnoticed.

On Thursday, following the convention, the board of directors conducted a follow-up meeting where discussion was plentiful on all aspects of the convention. One concept in particular has had me thinking since it was mentioned by Region 1 Director, Joe Russo. Please consider his observation:

On Tuesday afternoon, after the conclusion of a well-attended continuing education program presented by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, officers and board members lined up outside the meeting room, preparing for the Professional Session and Service of Remembrance. In case you were not in attendance, this is the program where new officers are inducted and retiring officers and board members are acknowledged for their contributions to the association, where we remember our fellow professionals who have died this past year and where officers give the annual reports for the association.

Joe described the experience as one of mass exodus of attendees prior to the beginning of the program. The result was a meeting room which remained about 25% full, and 75% empty. Joe’s observation raises a question of overall respect for our fellow funeral directors who have chosen to volunteer their time and talents to making this association survive, continue and even thrive again. Not to mention the few minutes it takes to remember our fellow funeral directors during the Service of Remembrance. Why should we be surprised when the families we serve are not interested in memorialization, apparently many of us aren’t either.

It was also interesting to me that Joe is a new member of the Board of Directors and until he said it I must say it is something I have almost began to accept. Years ago when I was a young funeral director, I remember attending the IFDA convention, and thinking of how much respect those funeral directors had from their fellow peers. Last week, a fellow mortuary school classmate of mine even said to me “Why would you donate time to this association?” My response to him was, “It is genuinely something I believe in and want to see continue. What if we didn’t have this association, where would we be then?”

The meaning in all of this is simple, perhaps we should examine ourselves in order to fully understand what it is we believe in. Is an hour of time dedicated to our association really to much to ask for?

The past several years on this board have honestly been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life, and I wouldn’t choose it any other way. I welcome your comments on ways to engage our membership, we are actually interested.

Stephanie A. Deiters
Immediate Past President

 IFDA and NFDA members – NFDA Election Reminder/Update
  If you are an IFDA AND NFDA member be sure to check out the changes to the NFDA governance structure that now allow you to elect officers to the Board of Directors.  The first election under the new process is just weeks away.  Exercise your right to vote!
NFDA Elections – Candidates for Board of Directors
The new NFDA governance structure, adopted during the 2015 NFDA International Convention & Expo, brought exciting, historic changes to NFDA, including a revitalized process for electing the men and women who serve on the Board of Directors.
Under the new structure, NFDA members have a say in the governance of the association and will be responsible for electing the officers on the Board of Directors – president-elect, treasurer and secretary. The Policy Board will continue to elect at-large representatives.  CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL ARTICLE

2016 IFDA Convention is a Wrap!
  It was a whirlwind three days filled with golf, networking, education and fun!  The Tinley Park Convention Center was the perfect backdrop for the 2016 Convention.
L to R-Bert Haskell, Doug Skinner,
Nic Skinner, Tom Flynn

L to R- Greg Henderson, Stephanie Deiters, Kyle Grimes, Abel Salazar
L to R - John Humes, III, Leonard Zielinski, Mark Sherfy
L to R- Jay Markwell, Todd Apple, Ralph Bowles, Dave TeBrake
L to R-Homer O'Field and Randy Earl
  Silver Lake Country Club provided a beautiful setting for the golf outing.  It was a very warm day and competition was fierce!  In the end John Humes, III, Leonard Zielinski, Mark Sherfy and Cassie Vandenberg were the winning foursome.  Longest Drive winner was Justin Levinston.  Congratulations to all the winners!
  Early Arrival Meet & Greet
The Early Arrival Meet & Greet was the perfect opportunity to relax after a day of golf and travel.

  Installation of Officers 
Top row, l to r- Robert J. Smith, Jr., Region 1; Gerald J. Hopgood, Region 2; Ralph Gent Bowles, Region 3;  Bob Arrington, CCO, NFDA President; Matthew R. Kendall, Region 2; Joseph A. Russo, Region 1;  Jay M. Markwell, Past President; Seated Row- Linda Allan, NFDA Policy Board Representative; Gregory L. Henderson, CFSP, Secretary-Treasurer; Stephanie Deiters, Immediate Past President; Drew Edward, President; Karl Kann, President-Elect; Mark Sherfy, Vice President
Education Programs
The planning committee worked hard to pull together a comprehensive program presented by top-notch presenters - it payed with off with standing room only education sessions. 

  Ribbon Cutting and Trade Show
Drew and his crew opened the trade show to a crowd of eager attendees. In addition to our traditional favorites we welcomed 13 new vendors this year. 17 Associate Members showed their support and exhibited as well. Thank you to everyone who participated.


  President's Party
It wasn't all about learning and networking!  There was some fun thrown in too!  The President's Party was a blast from the past with the totally rad Breakfast Club.  Special thanks to Trigard and CFL for providing a great evening for everyone.

The following companies made the 2016 Annual Convention possible and we thank you! 
Please support those who support you.
Thank you to our 2016 Convention Committee for pulling together an outstanding Annual Convention!
Drew Edwards, Chair
Timothy P. Bramley
Linda L. Allan
Brent M. Davis, CPC
Janice Earl
Troy R. Hambly, CFSP
Brian Murphy

CE Evaluations For Sessions Attended at the Convention are Out-Be Sure to Complete Yours Today!
  Evaluations for CE credit have been sent out.  If you did not receive yours, please contact the IFDA office at to verify your email.
 Start Your Pursuit of Excellence Entry Today – Entries Due July 15
  If families trust you and your staff to exceed expectations before, during and after the funeral, you may already qualify for the Pursuit of Excellence Award. It’s easy to organize and submit your entry (online or by mail … it’s up to you!) by the July 15 deadline.  Click HERE for more info.
 State: No Unemployment Benefits Without Posting Resume
  People filing for unemployment insurance in Illinois will no longer be able to receive benefits unless they post a resume to the state's job search site.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced it is stepping up enforcement of an existing legal requirement that individuals actively seek employment to be eligible for unemployment benefits.

Job seekers who file unemployment claims on or after Sunday must upload or create at least one resume to before they can receive payment. People already receiving benefits don't have to register again.  MORE
Apple & Donate Life America bring national organ donor registration to iPhone
  Apple and Donate Life America announced today that, for the first time ever, iPhone users will be able to sign up to be an organ, eye and tissue donor right from the Health app with the release of iOS 10. Through a simple sign up process, iPhone users can learn more and take action with just a few taps. All registrations submitted from iPhone are sent directly to the National Donate Life Registry managed by Donate Life America. The ability to quickly and easily become a nationally-registered donor enables people to carry their decision with them wherever they go.  MORE
 New Members
  Please welcome our newest member.
  Chicagoland Cremation Options
Douglas Klein
Chicago, IL

 District News
  District 9A & 10 - July 20, 2016

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