Winter 2022 | Volume 27 | Issue 1 Annual Conference: Join us in Indy! P.8 P.28 P.22 P.20 Personalization Why have flowers? Scholarship expansion

The Independent® is a benefit of membership in the International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), a not-for-profit organization tax-exempt under Section 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code, Federal ID No. 431828432. Founded in 1928, OGR is comprised of independently owned and operated funeral homes located throughout North America and overseas. Published quarterly, The Independent® is mailed the first month of each new quarter. Non-member subscriptions (USD): One year: $40; two years: $60; single copy: $11.50. Send address changes to OGR, Attn: Mailing List, 3502 Woodview Trace, Ste. 300 Indianapolis, IN 46268. ©2021 International Order of the Golden Rule. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission is prohibited. Advertisers Index Access Financial Group ..................................................................... 27 Chris Chigas, (800) 487-8220, ext. 8233 cc@afinancial.com | www.afinancial.com American Macular Degeneration Foundation ........................................ 24 Chip Goehring, (888) 622-8527 amdf@macular.org | www.macular.org Answering Service for Directors .......................................................... 17 Kevin Czachor, (800) 868-9950 sales@myasd.com | www.myasd.com Carrier Mausoleums Construction, Inc. .................................................. 7 Liubov Ovsyannikova, (514) 832-3733, ext. 216 ovsyannikova.l@cmc-carrier.com | cmc-carrier.com The Dodge Company ........................................................................... 31 Timothy Collison, (800) 443-6343 tcollison@dodgeco.com | www.dodgeco.com The Foresight Companies ................................................................... 15 Chris Cruger, (602) 274-6464 chriscruger@theforesightcompanies.com | www.theforesightcompanies.com Johnson Consulting Group ................................................................... 12 Jake Johnson, (480) 556-8500 info@johnsonconsulting.com | www.johnsonconsulting.com Matthews Aurora™ Funeral Solutions ................................................. 34 Marty Strohofer, (812) 926-5673 mstrohofer@matw.com | www.matw.com Nomis Publications ............................................................................ 32 Peggy Rouzzo, (800) 321-7473 peggy@nomispublications.com | www.nomispublications.com The Red Book .................................................................................... 26 Linda Pallai, (440) 247-3561 linda@funeral-dir.com | www.redbookfuneraldirectory.com Skyways Media .................................................................................. 39 Garry Wayne, (289) 290-4409 garry@skyways-media.com | www.skyways-media.com Starmark Cremation Products ............................................................. 19 Arie Elder, (765) 966-7676 sales@starmarkcp.com | www.starmarkcp.com Thumbies .......................................................................................... 41 Jennifer Myers, (877) 848-6243 jmyers@doughertyenterprises.com | www.thumbies.com Veterans Funeral Care ........................................................................ 42 Jim Rudolph, (727) 524-9202 jimrudolph99@me.com | www.veteransfuneralcare.com/provider-network 2 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 — BOARD of DIRECTORS — President President-elect Secretary-Treasurer Immediate Past President Directors Evan J. Strong Paul A. Hummel, III Chris B. Miller Mary F. Steele Kim R. Hunter Raffy S. Jose Arianna Rule Peter A. Urban, Jr. Jamie L. Wieting — STAFF — Executive Director/CEO Member Resources Director Education & Events Director Communications Director Meetings & Mem. Coord. Communications Coord. Member Services Coord. Wendy King Nancy Weil Emilie Perkins, CAE, CMP Evan Hoffmeyer Alyssa Castille Catalina Gallegos Elly Wertz Advertising is accepted at the discretion of the publisher. The advertisement of any product or service in The Independent® does not represent an endorsement of such product or service by OGR. Call the communications department to reserve space or to request a rate card and mechanical specifications. OGR does not accept ads that discriminate on the basis of race, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability or any other federally protected class. Editorial material and letters of opinion are invited. Published articles reflect the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Association. OGR reserves the right to edit all submitted materials and does not assume responsibility for unsolicited materials. For author guidelines, contact the publisher or visit www.OGR.org. Publisher International Order of the Golden Rule 3502 Woodview Trace, Ste. 300 Indianapolis, IN 46268 phone: (800) 637-8030 fax: (512) 334-5514 email: info@ogr.org website: www.ogr.org The Independent® | Winter 2022 | Volume 27 | Issue 1

The Independent® | Winter 2022 | Volume 27 | Issue 1 Table of Contents 4 | 5 | 6 | 8 | 22 8 10 | 13 | 16 | 20 | 21 | President’s Message 2022 Education Focus Free Content for Your Website 2022 Annual Conference Key Member Benefits Member Spotlight: Clifford-Shoemaker YP Spotlight: Alexandra J. Caselli Scholarship Program Expansion 2021 Foundation Donor Wall 22 | Why Have Flowers At All? 28 | 33 | Personalization Above & Beyond 35 | Member News 38 | 40 | Supplier News In Memoriam 43 | Milestone Anniversaries www.ogr.org | The Independent® 3

Lessons of the season President’s Message D o you ever notice that during the Christmas season, we always hear the comment “Christmas comes so quickly, it's over before you know”? Indeed, it seems this way. We anticipate the season – Christmas dinner, presents, (although in a COVID world, our gatherings have changed depending on where we live) and hopefully having a day or two of rest before we resume serving families and our communities. It is like the world goes back to normal after Christmas. The holidays can often be a period of both excitement and wonder, as well one of stress and anxiety. We look forward to the time, deal with the highs and lows, and look forward to getting back to normal. I think in many ways the Christmas season is not unlike our role as funeral professionals. We enjoy helping families through challenging times, being active members in our communities and maintaining relationships that help build our firm's reputation. At the same time, we deal with the stress of getting families through these difficult times wishing we could do more. We scramble with multiple roles at once while trying to maintain an image of calm and professionalism. Then somewhere in all the deadlines, long hours and emotions that our profession brings, we find time for our own family and friends. It is important that we appreciate the holiday season and do our best to enjoy our time with family and friends. We know the season will pass and we will look back and say, “Where did it go?” It is not unlike our time in this profession. We help families, create relationships and will look back on our careers and wonder why it went by so fast, and where did the time go! During the holiday season - and any time of celebration - I encourage all of you to take the time as you can to be 4 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 President’s Message with your family and friends. Enjoy what time you can have to rest and relax, and enjoy! Appreciate your staff, the families you serve and the community that supports you. Take some time to reflect and have a good thought for those who struggle with the Christmas season, those who cannot be with family and, if you can, perform an act of kindness for someone during this time. What we do for others is what defines us. family gatherings Please have a thought and prayer for those affected by the tornadoes in Kentucky and the southern states. If you can, reach out to our members in those affected areas and see how they are doing. A phone call can mean so much. The strength of OGR is in our members and relationships, and we need to be together and supportive now more than ever. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season and I wish you the best as we move into the new year. Enjoy your time with family and friends, be thankful, be safe and keep serving your families as you always have done. In service, Evan J. Strong OGR President, 2021-22

Education Education 2022 education focus: Financial fitness & organizational agility By Emilie Perkins, CAE, CMP, Education & Events Director O GR is committed to providing you with the professional development opportunities that address the challenges independently owned funeral homes face, and prepare you for the next stages of funeral service. After all, we have over 90 years of experience serving professionals just like you. Now more than ever we need to connect – not just as funeral service professionals but as a community. OGR has designed a year’s worth of professional development and connection specifically with this in mind. We know you have a choice when it comes to where you spend your time and money, and as your partner in excellence we want to be your go-to for the latest in innovation. In 2022 our promise to you is: WebEd Webinar Series: Financial Fitness & Organizational Agility According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of U.S. small businesses fail within the first year, and two-thirds in the first decade. As we continue to emerge from a global pandemic, these statistics don’t begin to shed a light on the burnout both personally and professionally that is taking a toll on our industry. The health and wellbeing of both you and your business is one of the keys to a successful 2022. wb e ed WEBINAR SERIES Over this sevenpart series, we will cover topics ranging from your personal and professional financial health, to the strength of your workforce and marketing efforts. We know your time is at a premium, so we want to allow for the flexibility to access content either live or on-demand. With that in mind, these will all be available in our Learning Library after their original broadcast. • Jan. 25: 2022 Life Plan for Your Business with Brian Ruh, Action Financial Strategies, LLC • Feb. 22: Emotional Decision Makers with Jennifer Bailey, Story Collaborative • March 29: TBD with Dominick Astorino, Worsham College of Mortuary Science • April 19: Upgrading Your Workforce Toolkit with Cara Silletto of Magnet Culture • Aug. 30: The Innovation Challenge - So, Now What? with Maria Meschi, DORIS Research • Nov. 15: TBD topic • Dec. 13: Set-up Your Business to Succeed in 2023 2022 Conference & Golden Circle Celebration (May 15-17) The 2022 OGR Conference is an investment in your company’s future – gaining you access to thought leaders, and allowing you to energize, collaborate on Brian Fox, Skip Urban and Evan Strong at OGR's 2019 Annual Conference in Williamsburg, Va. (OGR photo) www.ogr.org | The Independent® 5

Education Education best practices and develop leadership innovations. This year’s conference will feature a full schedule of professional speakers and opportunities for attendees, speakers and sponsors to connect and engage with one another, as well as the 2022 Golden Circle Celebration Dinner. Topics will address common issues and challenges facing today’s funeral professional. YP Summit (May 17) OGR will bring together members who are not yet in primary decision-making roles at their funeral homes, regardless of age, for an afternoon of professional development and connection. YPs who register for Conference will get a discount on Summit registration. Learning Library We know your time is valuable and you can’t always participate live for webinars. The Learning Library allows you to access top-rated content from the Annual Conference and past webinars. Emilie joined OGR as Education & Events Director in 2020. With more than 22 years’ experience with strategic meeting management, marketing and design, she has extensive strength in collaboration, fiscal accountability, strategic planning and communication. She passionately believes in continual professional development as evidenced by her designations as a Certified Meeting Professional (CMP), Certified Association Executive (CAE), Project Management Professional (PMP), Certified Event Designer (CED) and Certificate in Meetings Management (CMM). Have a professional development session you want to offer for your fellow OGR members? Fill out the form at OGR.org/Education or email Emilie at EPerkins@OGR.org. New, free content for your funeral home's website OGR has created five short grief support videos you can post on the Grief Support Resources page of your funeral home's website: • Communicating Your Needs • Guilt be Gone • The Myths of Mourning • Tools for Tough Times • Thanks for the Memories If you are looking for longer content, our 30-minute Humor in Hard Times video is also available to post on your page. 6 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 Created by OGR’s grief specialist, Nancy Weil, these videos will add value to your current grief support page and are available to you free of charge. There is also an option to have your funeral home’s information placed at the beginning or end of each video for a small fee. These videos are just a part of the full grief support programs OGR provides to our members. For more information, contact Nancy Weil at NWeil@OGR.org or (512) 334-5504, ext. 304.

Over 35 years of experience and understanding at your service. We now offer a wide variety of high quality urns and religious products, exclusive to CMC. Competitive pricing and the best service in the industry! All urns and religious products are kept in-stock for fast and convenient delivery. Contact us for more information 1 866 881-7391 info@cmc-carrier.com cmc-carrier.com www.ogr.org | The Independent® 7

INDIANAPOLIS Conference22 MAY 15 - 17 Grow. Together. PRESENTED BY Registration OPEN NOW OGR.org/2022

Continuing Education Earn up to 8 CEs (pending approval) outside a Zoom box while reconnecting with friends and colleagues you haven't seen in-person since the pandemic started. Awards & Recognition Celebrate your fellow members' accomplishments from the past year at the Golden Circle Celebration Dinner. Silent Auction OGR's return to in-person events also means the return of our Silent Auction benefitting the Foundation's scholarship fund. Do you have something to donate? As a registered charity, all donations are taxdeductible. Email WKing@OGR.org to sign up or get more information! Health & Safety We will adhere to all mandates provided by the CDC and the Indiana Department of Health. Check OGR.org/2022 for the latest information on the measures put in place by our staff as well as our host hotel to make sure all attendees have a safe conference experience. Interested in sponsoring? We have more than a dozen opportunities ranging from $750 to $2,500. Learn more about each opportunity at OGR.org/2022 www.ogr.org | The Independent® 9

Get more from oGr: key member benefits BUSINESS ONE DEVELOPMENT free resources & proprietary programs Member Benefits TWO PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT grow your greatest resource: your people NETWORKING THREE connection & problem solving As families ask for more specialized services from you as funeral directors, we are offering more targeted services for you as your trade association. We are here to give you the resources you need to make it easier for you to keep your focus where it ought to be - on the famililes you serve every day. Is there something we don't currently offer but would be of help to you? Reach out to Member Resources Director Nancy Weil at NWeil@OGR.org or (512) 334-5514, ext. 304. 10 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022

Annual Conference learn from some of the country's top presenters and network with colleagues from around the world Marketing Resources grow your business with online, social media and community outreach tools Virtual Grief Support Group available to the families you serve, hosted by a certified Grief Management Specialist - at no cost to you Veterans specialized, in-depth training, tools and strategies that help you better serve veterans Online Education live webinars, on-demand professional development & virtual roundtables Learn more about all of these opportunities at OGR.org/Resources and OGR.org/Education www.ogr.org | The Independent® 11 Supplier Network more than 50 companies, many offering member-only discounts on products & services you're already paying for Family Contact Program gather feedback from the families you serve

Would you trust your accountant to fix that crown? Then why would you trust him to sell your business? Selling your business is a complex, often painful process, that can expose you to tremendous risk. That’s why you should leave it to the experts at Johnson Consulting. We’ve brokered the sale of thousands of funeral home and cemetery businesses. We’ll help you take the emotion out of the process, negotiate the best possible terms, and make sure you’re not taken advantage of. Don’t leave your future and legacy in the hands of anyone else. Download our Pain-Free Guide to Selling Your Business at johnsonconsulting.com/pain-free 12 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 If you’re looking to sell, reach out to the experts at Johnson Consulting, the largest business broker in the industry. info@johnsonconsulting.com 480-556-8500

Member Spotlight Member Spotlight Spotlight on Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home & Crematory – Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio Marlene "Marty" Shoemaker is the co-owner & operator of Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home & Crematory in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. She shared her experiences with running a successful funeral home that has been around since 1905. How was your funeral home founded, and how does it operate today? The history of the Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home is one of caring, dedication, respect, integrity, honesty and fair dealings. It all began in 1905 when Mr. and Mrs. H.L. Weller came to Cuyahoga Falls to start their own funeral business. In 1958 the Weller Funeral Home was purchased by Mr. & Mrs. William Clifford and renamed the Clifford Funeral Home. In 1979 Ken & Marlene Shoemaker, Clifford’s son-in-law and daughter, joined the business. In 1989 the name was changed to Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home. Today our funeral home continues to be family-owned and -operated under the direction of Ken & Marlene’s son, Steve Shoemaker, carrying on as a third generation family business. Why do you believe funeral service is important? Funeral service allows us to honor the deceased with dignity and respect. We as funeral directors are also able to relieve the family of many of the overwhelming tasks people experience with the loss of a loved one. We feel honored that people trust us to care for their most beloved family members at such a delicate time. What is the most rewarding part of working in funeral service? The gratitude and appreciation we receive after serving a family. What makes your funeral home unique? Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home & Crematory is deeply rooted in the Cuyahoga Falls area, and we love being a part of this community. While we serve families from all over the Summit County (and beyond) area, our single location firm has been a fixture in the local area. Clifford’s Mini Antique Car Museum also sets our firm apart from others. We love that we can connect with the community in a unique way with the classic cars. Oldsmobile display at Clifford's Mini Antique Car Museum in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (provided photo) www.ogr.org | The Independent® 13

Member Spotlight Member Spotlight increased. In 2012, we saw the need and added an on-site crematory. Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home & Crematory in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio (photo provided) What does your funeral home do in order to create a strong community presence? Do you believe that this is important? For many years, our annual calendar has featured classic cars. During the pandemic, the theme for the calendar was switched to historic Cuyahoga Falls photos, with many of the photos having classic cars in the photos. These calendars, along with the museum, have blessed us to create a strong community presence as we often drive the cars in the annual Memorial Day parade. We also reach out to the community to provide us photos of their classic cars or take photos of their car for our annual calendar. The museum is open to the public for tours throughout the year, and on the evenings of the car shows in our local community. Our friendly staff enjoys sitting out in front of the museum ready to “shoot the breeze” about nostalgic moments, or even cars! In what ways do you use technology to further the services you offer? With the arrival of pandemic protocols, we were tasked with brushing up on our technology skills. We offer families the option of recording the services and placing it on our website for those not able to attend. What growing trends have you noticed in the funeral service profession? How do you keep up with these changes? Over the years, the cremation rate has certainly 14 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 (from left) Clifford-Shoemaker staff members Jan Bethel, Floyd Wimer, Kristen Carbary, Steve, Marty & Ken Shoemaker (provided photo) We have a wonderful and close-knit staff. Jan Bethel, Kristen Carbary and Floyd Wimer are our full-timers. The entire staff are dedicated professionals offering all families the same high-quality level of caring, professional service as they have over our 100+ years. What do you value most about OGR? Why did you become a member? The bronze OGR plaque that has been affixed to the outside of our funeral home building since 1959 means something to us here at Clifford-Shoemaker Funeral Home. Our staff truly cares about the families we serve, and we try to carry out our daily operations with the mindset of treating others how we would like to be treated. OGR also has many great professional resources. Is there anything in particular that you do at work to keep your spirits high or the spirits of your staff high?

Your solution partners for business growth and succession planning. At The Foresight Companies, our mission is to provide our clients with customized financial and operational solutions. We deliver results through our passion for the profession and the communities they serve. TheForesightCompanies.com | 800.426.0165

YP Spotlight YP Spotlight Young Professional Spotlight: Alexandra J. Caselli Alexandra "Allie" J. Caselli is a 24-year-old licensed funeral director & embalmer at Leete-Stevens Family Funeral Homes and Crematory in Enfield, Connecticut. How long have you worked in funeral service? I began shadowing local funeral directors when I was a freshman in high school to get an idea of the job, but it was not until college that I started my first official job interning at a local funeral home. In 2017, after graduating and passing the National Board Exams, I began my apprenticeship with Leete-Stevens and received my funeral director and embalmer license later that year. I have worked at Leete-Stevens since that time. Why did you begin working in funeral service? I knew from an early age that funeral service was what I wanted to do. Growing up, my parents instilled the values of community service and compassion for others in our everyday lives. It made me realize that in life I was meant to do something that would genuinely help others. In my opinion, there is no greater time in life when someone could use guidance and support from others than when experiencing the loss of a loved one. It is an absolute honor to help each family I serve and guide them through these decisions and difficult times. I genuinely want them each to know that I am here for them, no matter the time of day, from the initial call through the time leading up to the services and then throughout the time that follows. What is the most rewarding part of your occupation? Properly honoring someone's life in a way in which they would be proud. I love when families personalize their services to honor the person's life in the way in which they'd want to be remembered, whether that be through something like their favorite music or personalized 16 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 Alexandra "Allie" J. Caselli, CFSP, is a licensed funeral director and embalmer at OGR member firm Leete-Stevens Family Funeral Homes & Crematory in Enfield, Conn. (photo provided) mementos. Each and every person is so different from another that I believe it is important to include aspects of that person's life rather than just following a structured procedure in which the traditional funeral would typically be run. When family members get involved in making a meaningful service to honor their loved one, then I know they are able to come together to share ideas and memories, ultimately providing them with some sort of closure or the beginning steps to finding closure, and I think it is really special that I can aide them in that process. What are your professional goals? Of course, one day I wish I could own, or part-own, my own funeral home. Realistically, though, I do think it would be a goal to one day dive into the other side of the spectrum and teach prospective students in college. On a more minor scale, my professional goal I have for each day is to work hard to make sure each family I meet is satisfied.

YP Spotlight YP Spotlight How do you spend your time outside of work? Is there anything in particular that you enjoy doing? Outside of work I enjoy hiking and exploring new places with my Newfoundland puppy, Philip, and traveling to see my favorite band with my best friend. I also really enjoy tie-dying and reading. What are three of your personal goals? 1. Learn to accept my limits. 2. Start each day on a positive note or with a good outlook. Allie poses with her Newfoundland puppy, Philip (photo provided) What are you proud of that you have achieved so far during your career in funeral service? I'm really proud of how far I have come since the time I started. In my career so far I feel I have made a lot of great connections with other funeral directors and I have worked hard to increase my knowledge and be able to problem-solve on my own. Looking back to when I started my apprenticeship, I remember I had questions on virtually everything, but now there is a sense of accomplishment in knowing I can do it myself and even be part of training for new apprentices coming in. I have also been able to put on some wonderful end-of-the-year memorials and tributes that I am proud of because the families enjoy coming to the service each year to remember and honor their loved ones they've lost that year. What are some important/notable trends you have noticed in funeral service? Families are beginning to move away from traditional services and leaning more toward celebrations of life at the funeral home. Obviously cremation is becoming more and more popular, but I also see more people stepping away from church services as well and opting to do something more personal at outside locations. Another thing I have noticed is a lot of people inquiring about green burial/biodegradable urns. 3. Stay persistent and reliable at work and to my friends and family despite outside obstacles. Who or what inspires you? I absolutely admire both of my grandmothers. They are both such strong, intelligent and selfless women who always put their families first and support us endlessly www.ogr.org | The Independent® 17

YP Spotlight YP Spotlight that I think they know mostly everything about me already. I remember when I first started working they were really surprised to find out I had 10 pet bunnies that were all house trained and taken for walks outside on their leashes. What is one thing that you think is just “golden,” wonderful or exciting? Hearing the opening notes to your favorite song, especially when it is being played live. What do you value most about OGR? The thing that I value most about OGR is that it stands to remind others of the rule that most people were taught from a young age. Treating others as you would want to be treated is something that is so instilled in every person from the time they are in primary school. I know by being a member of OGR it shows the families we serve that we would treat them as we would our own Allie at an adoption event at her local animal shelter (photo provided) to do what makes us happy and be ourselves. Both of them were extremely supportive of me when I went to college and encouraged me to stay driven, work hard and be the best I can be. I know they are always there if I need someone to talk to and they always have the perfect advice no matter the situation. My grandmothers are both so compassionate to others and nonjudgmental, and I aspire to be half the person they are. What is your favorite phone app? The only thing I really like my phone for is to stay in touch with my friends and family because I relocated quite a distance away from them all when I started to work with Leete-Stevens. But I think my favorite work-related app is a PDF scanner. It comes in handy a lot. What is one thing your peers would be surprised to know about you? I really don't know what my peers would be surprised to know about me. We are with one another so much 18 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 family. Since becoming licensed, I've experienced the loss of both of my grandfathers and I told my family I wished to care for both of them because no one would treat them the way that I would as their granddaughter, but it was during that time I realized that this is the moral that should be upheld for every family I work with. They should know their loved one is in good hands and will be respected and cared for just as I would respect and care for my own family members. I value that OGR implements this level of practice and code of ethics for the funeral homes that are involved with their organization. The organization as a whole tries to ‘follow the Golden Rule.’ What other words do you try to live by? The two "mantras" I try to live my life by are 'In everything you do, do it with a grateful heart' and 'You are never given more than you can handle.'

OGRJAN2022 Where your cremation program should begin. $475.00 CHERRY MAHOGANY CREPE INTERIOR E h, Delived Insert sold sep ely . C w as $87 . EXPERIENCE THE CHAISE BED VIEWER ONLINE Chaise Bed Viewer® Intuitively designed for ID Viewings, the Chaise Bed Viewer along with a single use inser t , provides cremation families an economical option for final goodby es. Call (888) 366-7335 to order Visit starmarkcp . com to view additional produc ts. .org | The Independent

OGR Foundation OGR Foundation OGR Foundation expands scholarship program, now accepting applications By Evan Hoffmeyer, Communications Director The Order of the Golden Rule Foundation is excited to announce it has significantly expanded its Awards of Excellence scholarship program. For 11 of the past 12 years, the Foundation has given away $5,500 split between two students. Thanks to the generosity of OGR's members over the past year, the Foundation is prepared to give nine qualified mortuary science students a total of $10,000 in scholarships in 2022. "The OGR scholarship helped me complete my mortuary school career by aiding in my final semester tuition. Without it, I may not have finished school and continued moving forward with my rewarding career as a director," said Ashley Baldauf-Kreil. She attended Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science and received the 2014 Gold Award of Excellence Scholarship. It was through those conversations that I began to tailor my ideals on what kind of director I wanted to be and the values I wanted to find in a firm that met my own personal beliefs." Applicants must meet the following criteria: • be currently enrolled in a mortuary science degree program at an ABFSE-accredited mortuary school; • be scheduled to graduate in the 2022 calendar year; • have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher; • be involved in community service activities and school activities; • demonstrate excellence in the pursuit of knowledge in mortuary science; and • commit to working for an independently owned funeral home. Ashley Baldauf-Kreil (2014) This year, the Foundation will award: • 1 Gold Award of Excellence: $3,500 plus complimentary registration to OGR's Annual Conference May 15 - 17 in Indianapolis, including travel and up to 3 nights of accommodations (up to $1,700 additional value) • 1 Silver Award of Excellence: $2,000 • 2 Bronze Awards of Excellence: $1,000 each • 5 OGR Awards of Excellence: $500 each When Ashley attended OGR's conference as part of receiving her scholarship, she said she was able to "get some sage advice from other independently run firms... 20 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 All applicants must also submit an essay describing their commitment to serving grieving families with compassion, fairness and dignity. Submissions are accepted through the OGR website at OGR.org/Scholarship. All application materials are due by 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. After working as a local journalist for 12 years, Evan joined the team at OGR in June 2020. He is excited to bring his expertise in media and government relations, public policy, and content marketing to his work in this new arena.

2021 DONOR TRIBUTE WALL GOLD LEVEL PLATINUM LEVEL ($5,000 or more) ($1,000 - $4,999) Mike & Marie Butler John & Kicki Butler Livingston-Butler-Volland Funeral & Cremation Center Hastings, Nebraska SILVER LEVEL ($500 - $999) Tom Hemmerle Barnett-Strother Funeral Home Madisonville, Kentucky Wendy King OGR in memory of Katherine King Evan Strong Evan J. Strong Funeral Services Calgary, Alberta Skip, Dolores & Peter Urban Anton B. Urban Funeral Home Ambler, Pennsylvania in honor of Doris Slack Don Byles Byles-MacDougall Funeral Service New London, Connecticut Sara J. Cross in memory of Leland B. Cross, Jr. Evan Hoffmeyer OGR Raffy Jose Arlington Memorial Chapels & Crematory, Inc. Manila, Philippines David Komoroski Tabone Komoroski Funeral Home Solon, Ohio in memory of Florian & Regina Komoroski Bill & Linda Brock Vander Plaat Funeral Home Wyckoff, New Jersey in memory of Clarice Dansen Anita M. Greene in memory of Cliff Greene Paul Hummel, III Humel Funeral Homes Akron, Ohio Kim Hunter Humphrey Funeral Home Toronto, Ontario in recognition of Mary Steele's leadership Mary Kopchak Strunk Funeral Homes & Crematory Florida Chris Miller Thomas Miller Mortuary Corona, California in honor of "my essential staff for 2020" Pollock-Randall Funeral Home Port Huron, Michigan Jay & Mary Steele Arnett & Steele Funeral Home Pineville, Kentucky Make your tax-deductible donation at OGR.org/Foundation BRONZE LEVEL (up to $499) Michael S. Lewis Lewis Funeral Home Milton, Florida Emilie Perkins OGR Jim Rudolph Veterans Funeral Care Clearwater, Florida Chris Stewart Stewart Family Funeral Home Tyler, Texas in memory of Johnnie M. Stewart Cathie Tattrie Smith Funeral Home & Memorial Services Warren, Rhode Island Ben Underwood Schoppenhorst, Underwood & Brooks Funeral Home Shepherdsville, Kentucky Nancy Weil OGR Jamie Wieting Wieting Family Funeral Home Chilton, Wisconsin

Why have flowers at all? By Sarah-Eva Marchese, Floracracy I n 2013, scientists shared a discovery they’d made at a burial site of Natufians, the earliest prehistoric people believed to systematically bury their dead. In these graves, found on Mount Carmel in Israel and dating from between 13,700 and 11,700 BC, scientists found that a number of the dead had been buried on a literal bed of flowers. This discovery answered a longstanding question of when humans started connecting flowers with the ritual of burial: Turns out, we’ve been doing it from the beginning. In recent years, the idea of having flowers at funerals has shifted. Indeed, we even now use the phrase “in lieu of flowers.” But before we move away from this method of honoring someone’s passing, perhaps we should stop and ask why we include flowers in the first place? In losing the flowers, are we losing something more? Why do we include flowers at times of funeral? Are they really needed? Over the last 20 years, new research has shown that perhaps flowers are more than something people have always done (and perhaps shouldn’t do anymore). Rather, it’s possible they play a unique and important role in how we grieve and heal. Flowers help us heal faster According to a study done by Seong-Hyun Park and Richard H. Mattson from the Department of Horticulture, Recreation and Forestry at Kansas State University, people recovering from surgery healed faster and better when in the presence of flowering plants. Those with plants had better physiological responses, less anxiety and fatigue, and overall better recoveries. Of those who had flowering plants in their rooms, 93% said it was the most positive part of their room. Of those who didn’t, 91% said it was the television. The trauma of losing someone involves many of the same experiences as a surgical loss or change. This research indicates that the presence of flowering plants can provide a way to pull individuals from isolation into an interactive and healing experience. Flowers help with isolation and loneliness In a study out of Rutgers, researchers found that flowers gifted to the elderly elicited positive mood improvements and even improved episodic memory. When gifted once, depression and loneliness improved in 50% of the cases. When gifted twice or more, this went up by 80%. www.ogr.org | The Independent® 23

Funeral Service No one is entirely sure why this happens. The author writes: “Flowers have immediate and long-term effects on emotional reactions, mood, social behaviors and even memory for both males and females. There is little existing theory in any discipline that explains these findings. We suggest that cultivated flowers are rewarding because they have evolved to rapidly induce positive emotion in humans, just as other plants have evolved to induce varying behavioral responses in a wide variety of species leading to the dispersal or propagation of the plants.” When you think about the grief cycle and the many ways it can revert into debilitating depression and loneliness, you begin to see that throughout human history, flowers may have played an important role in how we live, love and face losing those we love. Flowers make us smile (which helps with grief) In that same study out of Rutgers, the researchers discovered something else: that when gifted as a surprise, an enormous number of recipients (100% of individuals identifying as women) gave the Duchenne smile. Researchers know this smile as the most authentic smile, the smile of pure joy. We know it as the smile given by babies to their moms. Why is this important? Floracracy surveyed Americans’ beliefs and preferences about flowers and letters at times of grief. We found that what they want to hear most, in almost every age category, is funny stories about those who had passed. People want to laugh. This cognitive dissonance of laughter at a time of grief is beneficial for healing, even when shared through writing, such as a personal letter. Indeed, in research conducted by trauma expert George Bonanno, “those who exhibited genuine smiles and laughs while grieving, displayed less grief over time and evoked positive emotions in others.” The impact of funny, positive stories can change how some experience grief. Further, positive psychology researcher Sarah Francois-Poncet explains in her capstone research project "When Words Matter Most," that “sharing positive words at times of pain triggers the positive behavior as seen in positive psychology: action over inaction, meaning over despair, resilience over hopelessness.” Based on this research, gifts that combine writing with flowers might just well be one of the most powerful things you can do for someone at a time of grief. Rethinking the role of flowers For some, flowers at funerals may be a bit of a “thing you do” and not something people genuinely want. But does it have to be? And more importantly, when considering the above, should it be? Perhaps there is a way within this tradition to better help serve families in their journey through grief. Wrap up a few flowers to take home Most floral arrangements are not designed to live outside a funeral home. They face forward or are set on wires. They are large. Most are not intended to last more than a few hours. Unfortunately, those hours are not a time when the grieving family can sit with them and feel their benefits. Consider adding a service where you wrap up a few of the stems in tissue paper with a letter from your team and give it to the family at the end of the service. Better yet, when you can, deliver it a day or two later to the home. This does two things. First, the gesture will allow them to experience the healing impact of the flowers in their own space and time. Second, your actions will provide support at a time of difficult transition. It will set up the process for an after-care support program. 24 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022

Funeral Service 2. The family could create virtual floral experiences shared with everyone, especially those who cannot attend. 3. Family & friends who are absent can send letters and flowers to the home, especially over an extended period. Share the deceased’s favorite flower In our survey on grief, we found that those who are grieving love to receive a certain kind of bouquet: ones that include the deceased’s favorite flower. Consider sharing the favorite flower and then providing a way for family and friends to send those flowers to the funeral home or else to the family after the funeral. Meaningful moments in virtual situations As individuals continue masking at times and avoiding certain group settings, funeral home leaders may be asked to find unique ways to help families honor those who have passed. Flowers can be a powerful way to connect people when they are not together. Here are some ideas: 1. Close family members who cannot attend receive meaningful arrangements, such as the deceased’s favorite flower or something that captures the person’s spirit, along with a special letter. This allows them to have something near them even when physically absent. As the funeral space moves into taking a deeply holistic approach to supporting families, rethinking flowers might be a powerful way to set apart your business and better serve your customers. The shift across all sectors to personalized services opens the door for innovation and opportunity in a truly authentic way. Even through the tears, it may inspire the most genuine of smiles. Sarah-Eva is the founder and CEO of Floracracy, the first online flower company working to redefine how consumers engage with purchasing and receiving flowers. Believing in a world where more people get to cry disbelieving tears of gratitude over a letter full of positive stories about them and those they love; the company delivers VESSELS across the US: beautifully written letters paired with uniquely styled premium floral arrangements. Floracracy is an OGR supply partner. They offer brochures & free content around floral meanings that members can share with families, with a 10% commission on any sale. Learn more at Floracracy.com/pages/loss www.ogr.org | The Independent® 25

26 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022

Personalization: Are we just whistling past the graveyard? by Karl Weisenbeck Funeral Home Gifts N ot that many years ago, coffee only came in regular and decaf, and most households had a choice between just three television channels. The world has changed tremendously. Consumers now expect everything to be readily available, delivered overnight, in any color they desire, regardless of what they are buying. Amazon and Starbucks created these expectations and now consumers desire instant gratification. If we think we can serve the needs of the 78 million Baby Boomers and their families in the same way we served their parents, then we are whistling past the graveyard. To charge a premium price for funeral services, we also must deliver a premium experience that meets – and even exceeds – these new consumer expectations. A funeral service that people will talk about. A funeral service that comes home with the family. A service that is shared. Funeral homes that don’t deliver an unforgettable 28 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 experience will have to continue to reduce their prices accordingly until they eventually close their doors. Personalization is one critical component to creating the “wow” experience consumers expect. Not just taking in some items from the home, but creating something that becomes part of the home so they remember you…part of their family. Your goal is to wow them at the service and then win space in the living room for the next decade. If you win the living room, then your funeral home becomes part of the conversation whenever a lost loved one is talked about. To optimally execute personalization and win a place in the home day-in and day-out, you must consider the 10 truths of personalization for funeral directors. Think about these 10 rules and how they relate to your service. To take your firm to the next level, your personalization must be:

1) Impressive Leave an impression. Whatever you do must wow the family and the entire service. You are trying to make an impression on hundreds of people. You can’t do this with a few photos on the table or a fishing pole. Too often I have asked funeral directors about personalization only to hear them grasp at worn-out concepts all involving the family toting trinkets back and forth from the service to their home. This is your opportunity to tell a life story in such a way that everyone at the service wants to come speak with you. How did you do this? Where did you get this? Think big. 2) Lasting If part of what you do becomes a gift to the family then shelf life is critical here and must be measured in years. Avoid trinkets or anything that will collect dust and do nothing to serve the family or your business long after the service. You must do something that stays with the family so that when the next call comes years from now, it comes to you. We all have thrown away flowers. Think long term. 3) Affordable Whatever you choose to provide must be inexpensive so you can add it to your GPL and surprise the family at the service. If they know it’s coming, it’s not going to solve rule number one. If it costs more than $100 all-in, then it’s not affordable and becomes a burden. We have enough expenses; we need more revenue. 4) Reorder Think flag fight at a service. When more than one family member at the service has their heart set on www.ogr.org | The Independent® 29

Personalization keeping something personal that you provided, you are automatically gifted the golden opportunity to step in and say… “That is not a problem, I can get one for each of you.” How wonderful is that? Whatever you choose to impress your families, make sure you can get more, fast and inexpensively. 5) Timely If you can’t have it for the service, or the first viewing for that matter, it doesn’t count. You want to wow hundreds of people at once, and it must be part of your celebration of life. 6) Genuine This is your contribution to the service. Make it real, not paper that looks like a painting or plastic that looks like wood. You want families to rave about what you do, not be accepting of it. If it can be stored on a shelf weeks prior to the service and snapped into place, it is not genuine. 7) Easy than a soft pillow or touch of a blanket when we want to feel comforted. 9) Quality It matters. Whatever you do, it should enhance your brand. How does it feel? How long will it last? Is it top-of-the-line? Think Mercedes not Hyundai. 10) Healing Personalization is It must be easy. As we all know how crazy things get as the service approaches, ease of ordering is essential. Whatever you choose must be simple to order, create, build, whatever; and it must come overnight or it doesn't matter. We have but a sliver of time to prepare for the service. We can’t run around town putting something together. Time is our most precious commodity. 8) Useful It needs to be useful so it will stay with the family. This is the tricky part. It has to be able to go home and become part of their lives and more importantly, a conversation piece with their friends. A good rule of thumb: your personalization idea should spark a response, such as “I think about your funeral home every time I use the (fill in the blank).” Funeral blankets and pillows are excellent choices as well as useful items. It is easier to put a pillow on a couch than to hang a picture on a wall. The added benefit is that there is nothing more comforting 30 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 one critical component to creating the "wow" experience consumers expect. Does it help with the bereavement process after the service? We all know how to help families for the first few days, but the home run is helping them for the first few years. Think about something that also helps with aftercare, something that helps them heal. In the old days, everyone had quilting parties after a funeral and the quilt would tell the story of someone's life. The quilts would hang on the wall, sit on the couch and come to picnics and family reunions. Gone are the days of quilting after a funeral but there are several close options that fit the bill. It’s time to take a good, hard look at the products and services you offer. What do you do today that would have been impossible 10 years ago? How does your funeral service compare to Starbucks or Amazon? Are you creating a wow experience for your families? Does the personalization you provide serve the needs of the family? Will they come back because they want to or because you are local? My company weaves tapestry blankets and has the benefit and insight of working across multiple industries. In addition to funeral items, we serve the home decor, photography, gift, wedding and collegiate markets. I have witnessed first-hand the implosion of the photography industry as digital cameras came online, yet I have photography customers who thrive because they changed. I know gift stores that survived the onslaught from Walmart by changing the way they serve their consumers. Acknowledging and adjusting to customers' ever-evolving expectations and needs is paramount to sustaining your business and growing your client base.

www.ogr.org | The Independent® 31

Personalization The funeral industry is fantastically stable as we have predictable volume coming from the markets we serve. Our competition is not necessarily the firm down the street, it is more often the unique, memorable service that can be created by the loved one’s family in their own backyard. We must make sure our families understand we can work along with them to create a one-ofa-kind, unforgettable experience, and that we are well able to change with the times. Businesses that don't adapt fail every day. There are more than 78 million shopping-savvy Baby Boomer consumers, all looking to us to meet their needs. Roughly 2,600 funeral homes have closed since 2000. If your service looks like it did 10 years ago, then you are behind the times and at great risk of becoming obsolete. Being noticed is great; being memorable is what will sustain your business, and to do this you must win a place in the living room. Karl Weisenbeck is president of Funeral Home Gifts, the premier supplier of heirloom quality woven and printed Tribute Blankets, beautiful custom cap panels, keepsake pillows, photo urns and personalization products to funeral homes throughout North America. It is a division of Pure Country Weavers, a world leader in woven wall tapestries, college stadium blankets, photo gift blankets and corporate logo blankets. Visit our website at www.funeralhomegifts.com. Funeral Home Gifts is an OGR supply partner. For a free sample to try at your next service, contact Karl at KarlW@FuneralHomeGifts.com or (800) 233-0439. They also offer one free Tribute Blanket for the family of any first responder or veteran killed in the line of duty. www.nomispublications.com 32 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 10 Truths of Personalization Impressive Lasting Affordable Reorder Timely Genuine Easy Useful Quality Healing Your Real Source. Anywhere. Anytime. Find exactly what you’re looking for!

Above & Beyond Above & Beyond These select Above & Beyond comments are about members who have received outstanding comments on Family Contact surveys for providing exemplary service and going above & beyond expected service levels. These members are now eligible for the Exemplary Service Award. Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home Covington, Georgia The greeters at the front door and throughout the beautiful building, everyone you meet has a heart of gold and a helping hand. You can feel the love. At the most stressful time in my life, I had the greatest experience of professionalism, kindness and support. From my very first phone call to Judson Caldwell, I knew I was in great hands. I wouldn’t have done anything differently; everything was just as we wanted. Farmer & Son Funeral Home, Inc. Geneva, Nebraska The funeral home staff was very professional, and the services were TOP NOTCH. The service went above and beyond expectations. Farmer & Son is the BEST! All around, very accommodating and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Brunswick Memorial Home East Brunswick, New Jersey From the moment we called and spoke to the receptionist, we were catered to as if it was their own family member being brought in. Details were followed through by everyone who assisted our family. The funeral director was EXCELLENT. His compassion and attention to detail was over the top! The ceremony was very accommodating to our family, relatives and friends. So many who attended expressed how they loved the service. I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Proko Funeral Home Kenosha, Wisconsin Shannon was helpful and very attentive to our needs and special details. Rachel was great with the visitation and making sure things went smoothly. The funeral director (Shannon) was very organized and knowledgeable. Good wit and empathy, she made FAMILY CONTACT THE GOLDEN RULE Above & Beyond this experience more of a memorial and celebration than a concern of sadness. The funeral service overall did a great job attending to our needs, being available and helping with the whole process. We appreciated the technology as they showed a slideshow of pictures. We appreciated all that the staff did to make this a great night. EXCELLENT, wish we would have used Proko for prior services. Thomas Funeral Home, PA Cambridge, Maryland Everyone showed compassion and accommodated our needs during this difficult time. Brian, the funeral director, went above and beyond to make sure my mother was happy with everything, and that means more than you will ever know. Words cannot describe how wonderful the whole ceremony turned out. It was a beautiful sendoff for my father. Janowiak Funeral Home, Inc. Ypsilanti, Michigan The staff was very polite, friendly and courteous. I called several times and they were always friendly, helpful and relayed the message if needed. Chris Janowiak, the funeral director, was the BEST. He worked with us and explained everything. He went above and beyond his job; he was friendly with a great personality – very helpful and courteous. I would recommend Janowiak to anyone. I’m very grateful; everything was what we wanted. It turned out to be a beautiful funeral! The Family Contact Program is a FREE member benefit that is simple to use and offers valuable information on your funeral home’s operations, services and staff through surveying families you’ve served. Enroll in the program today and you could be one of next year’s Exemplary Service Award winners. For more information or to OGR.org/family-contact-program or contact us by email at FamilyContact@OGR.org or (800) 637-8030. www.ogr.org | The Independent® 33 sign up, visit

IF you want simple solutions to engage with families both in-person and online. What is the Matthews Aurora Difference? As families’ needs evolve, funeral technology needs to evolve with them. That’s why Matthews Aurora is focused on creating solutions that make it easy for you to serve families in today’s digital world. Our Family Connections technology enables your firm to help families make arrangements from anywhere. Our Arranger software offers a simple presentation system to educate families about all your service and merchandise options. And our Solution Center is your onestop-shop for quick and easy online ordering, product customization, digital merchandising and much more. Contact us today for a demo and learn how our technology solutions can help you grow your business. Discover Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions. 34 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 Please contact us at 1.800.457.1111 to be connected with your Matthews Aurora Funeral Service Consultant. MAFS-8719-2021 © 2021 Matthews International Corporation, all rights reserved. MATTHEWS® and MATTHEWS INTERNATIONAL® are registered trademarks of Matthews International Corporation.

Member News Member News News from Golden Rule Funeral Homes OGR welcomes 2 members, Humphrey Funeral Home 2 students & educator Welcome to Beau "Lac" Funeral Home & Crematorium! Co-owners Marianne Turcotte and Mark Muir have three primary locations in the Saskatchewan, Canada area: Prince Albert, Shellbrook & Spiritwood. McGriff & Triplett Funeral Homes joined Nov. 8 with three locations in Illinois: Louisville, Kinmundy & Flora. Referrals from existing members are our best avenue to growing the association. Beau Lac was referred by Mark Matthews of Matthews Funeral Home in Saskatchewan, and McGriff & Triplett was referred by Elle Heiligenstein of Hoffen Funeral Home in Millstadt, Illinois (Elle attended Southern Illinois University - Carbondale's mortuary science program with Tyler McGriff, and they've been friends ever since). If you know any independently owned and operated funeral homes you would like to see join OGR, contact Nancy Weil at NWeil@OGR.org. We always like to celebrate the next generation of funeral directors, so be sure to welcome Ruth Pegeron of the Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service and Kaelee Howard of Ogeechee Technical College as OGR's newest student members. Jack Norvell, funeral service education instructor at Ogeechee, joined Nov. 12 as an Educator member. Watts publishes book Kevin Watts of Allen-Beyer Funeral Home in Key Largo, Florida, published "Dead Serious: My Life as a Funeral Director." The book of memoirs is "filled with stories to make the reader experience a vast array of emotions - some sad, some funny and some, quite frankly, people might not believe, but I am dead serious." It's available for purchase on Amazon, or for free via Kindle Unlimited. joins #FeatherProject The Toronto, Ontario-based funeral home operation marked the first National Day for Truth & Reconciliation by commissioning a metal sculpture to place in each of their funeral homes. The #FeatherProject raises awareness of and shows support for the lost children and survivors of Canada's residential schools, their families and communities. Humphrey Funeral Home in Toronto, Ontario commissioned metal sculptures like this to appear in each of their locations as part of Canada's #FeatherProject. (photo provided) www.ogr.org | The Independent® 35

News from Golden Rule Funeral Homes Member News Awards & recognition Congratulations to Whitley’s Funeral Home in Kannapolis, North Carolina, for being voted Best Funeral Home by the Independent Tribune. They have won this honor multiple times over the years. The Town of Pulaski, Virginia, issued a Resolution recognizing Stevens Funeral Home for their years of service to the community. The funeral home was founded in 1890 and has been family-owned and -operated for four generations. Welcome, Baby Hemmerle! Congratulations to OGR member Joey Hemmerle and his wife Halie on the birth of their daughter, Rowan Drew. Reid is now a big brother, and grandparents Tom & Natalie are overjoyed to welcome grandchild #5. Flinn Funeral Home passes to 2nd generation Best wishes on their retirement to Gordon and Diane Flinn from Flinn Funeral Services in Rocky Mountain Top, Alberta. They have passed along the leadership of the funeral home to the next generation, daughters Laurie Wade and Nancy Kirstein, and son John Flinn. OGR wishes them much success in the years ahead as they continue the legacy of caring started by their parents. Operation: Toy Soldier This proprietary program run by Veterans Funeral Care, one of OGR's Endorsed Suppliers, collects toys and distributes them to area veterans and active-duty military in participating funeral homes' areas. This year, seven OGR members took part: • Cooper Funeral Home - Tecumseh, OK • Heartland Cremation & Burial Society - Raytown, MO • Huff-Guthrie Funeral Home - Franklin, PA • Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home - Hamburg, NY • Martin Funeral Home, Cremation & Tribute Services - Mt. Morris, MI • Michigan Cremation - Grand Rapids, MI • Veterans Funeral Care - Clearwater, FL Thorson-Popp marks 50 Reid Hemmerle, son and grandson of OGR members Joey & Tom Hemmerle, respectively, holds his new baby sister, Rowan Drew. (photo provided) 36 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 years One of OGR's newest members, Thorson-Popp just joined in August when it changed ownership. New owner Dr. Nathan Popp, LFD, plans on scheduling quarterly community events to celebrate the funeral home's 50 years of service to its community. Member News

Member News Member News News from Golden Rule Funeral Homes Green serves as Potentate Donald Green of George Irvin Green Funeral Home in Munhall, Pennsylvania, was selected to serve as the Illustrious Potentate of his local Shriner’s International temple last year. In this position, he spent the year raising awareness of the work they do, including the Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Community events Montgomery & Steward Funeral Directors in Pueblo, Colorado, sponsored the 30th Annual Musical Community Productions Christmas Show of Irving Berlin's White Christmas: The Musical. This was their 12th year sponsoring this show and just one of the ways they support their community. They are big supporters of the arts in their town. They also won Best of Pueblo for funeral homes three times in a row. Weymouth Funeral Home in Newport News, Virginia, sponsored Symphony Under the Stars to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Christopher Newport University. They also participated in the National Night Out for Crossroads Boys and Girls Club. C.P.J. Field & Co. in West Sussex, U.K., supported Carers Rights Day, The Salvation Army’s Christmas Present Appeal, East & North Hertfordshire Hospital’s Sunshine Appeal, Hailsham Food Bank, Royal National Institute of Blind People’s Christmas Stamp Appeal and Music for the Mind fundraiser for Tourettes Action and In Aid of Mind. Donald & Debra Green (photo provided)  Get new ideas for your funeral home, grow as a funeral director and expand your professional network by joining an OGR Study Group! We’re growing with two new groups - East Coast and West Coast - plus our existing North America and Global study groups. Learn more and register at OGR.org/Study www.ogr.org | The Independent® 37

Supplier News News from OGR’s Supplier Network Green Burial Council certifies Starmark Cremation Products' 'Artisan Vista' product line - The council's certification is awarded to funeral providers that demonstrate compliance with established Council standards, designed to create sustainable practices in the funeral industry and to preserve and steward land through burial. The Artisan Series is available through nationwide Starmark distributors or directly from the Starmark factory. StarmarkCP.com | Robert 'Bob' Hoaglund inducted into Messenger's Sales Hall of Fame - Inaugurated in 2006, Messenger's Sales Hall of Fame recognizes individuals who make outstanding strides in sales achievements and leadership throughout their tenure at the company. Hoaglund's 31-year career included 17 years as Messenger's VP of Sales & Marketing. He retired in 2020. "A great leader surrounds themselves with great people and hard workers. I’ve been fortunate over the years to develop that kind of team. It’s been the best years of my life and I’ll never forget the success and the great times we’ve had,” Hoaglund said when accepting the award. MessengerStationery.com | Funeral Home Gifts offering new free benefit when working with line-of-duty deaths - Want to step up your packages when working with first responders and active duty veterans? Funeral Home Gifts will give a free Tribute Blanket you can present to the family of any first responder or active-duty veteran who dies in the line of duty. FuneralHomeGifts.com OGR welcomes 2 new supply partners LiveControl LiveControl gives funeral homes everything you need to enhance your live stream offering, affordably and easily. Start the multi-camera stream indoors, and transition outside for the graveside burial with our mobile streaming kit. Provide your funeral clients with a dedicated web-player and downloadable recordings of the service. Our clients install our 4k cameras in their funeral home, and our team of remote camera operators pan, tilt, zoom and mix the cameras to produce amazing live streaming videos... entirely remote and in the cloud. Get started with enhanced funeral live streaming for only $99/month. • equipment security deposit waived for two PTZ cameras and a digital recorder ($1,000 value) Gavin Kerr Gavin@LiveControl.io Sales@LiveControl.io 424.535.0079 (direct) 310.361.4169 (general) LiveControl.io/Funeral-Home 38 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 Reliable Funeral Supply a division of Saint Francis Cromo A family-owned and -operated business since 1973, we are the exclusive direct partner with Cromo NB studios in Milan, Italy, featuring one of the largest private and proprietary owned collection of artwork available anywhere. With the capacity of a manufacturer supplier, our designs are featured in prayer cards that have been comforting families for over 40 years and offered by many funeral homes across the country. Our designs are also featured in acknowledgement cards, urns, caskets, vaults, mosaics and many other products in the funeral industry. We pride ourselves on same-day shipping for all items we stock when ordered before noon. • 15% off regular retail pricing • special OGR promotions throughout the year Mynor Alvarez We Care Customer 818.547.1390, ext. 103 OGR@ReliableFuneralSupply.com ReliableFuneralSupply.com

WOULD YOUR FUNERAL HOME BENEFIT FROM 1000 HIGH QUALITY INFORMATION GUIDES - EVERY YEAR - AT NO COST!? CUSTOM DESIGN & TAILORED CONTENT INC. PRE-PLANNING We work very closely with you to ensure we individually design guides that perfectly represent every funeral home we work with, your values and your individual needs. INCLUDE YOUR OWN UNIQUE SERVICES, STAFF BIOS, FORMS, IMAGES, MAPS & MORE Our guides are uniquely designed for your funeral home, incorporating your logo, branding, images, location maps, key personnel photos and staff profiles/bios within each guide. USED & APPROVED BY OGR MEMBERS - AT ZERO COST! Skyways Media have successfully produced planning guides for many OGR members. These high quality, rich, full color glossy printed guides were supplied at zero cost and they have been extremely satisfied with them! PROVIDE YOUR LOCAL FAMILIES WITH THE LATEST COVID-19 INFORMATION & PROCESSES LET’S TALK! USA West: 1-702-329-6677 USA East: 1-646-810-5748 www.skyways-media.com SKYWAYS M E D I A www.ogr.org | The Independent® 39

In Memoriam Remembering Family and Friends Barbara J. Randall July 5, 1931 – December 1, 2021 retired owner of OGR Member firm Pollock-Randall Funeral Home Port Huron, MI 40 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022

Quality Matters. Caring Matters. Since 1998, our US-based Every fully-cast Thumbies®, Buddies Pet Keepsake®, and Phoenix Collection® keepsake helps your families celebrate the lives of their loved ones, in ways they’ll cherish. artisans have merged creativity and science to turn those materials into keepsakes so rich in detail, simply touching one fills the wearer with feelings of comfort and connection. It’s never been more crucial to provide comfort to the families you serve. Reach out to us today and our care team will help you provide the highest level of comfort: sales@thumbies.com or 877.848.6243. thumbies.com/why-become-a-partner www

Hey OGR Members! Do you know how to “SPEAK VETERAN?” Want to learn how tribal marketing is essential when trying to reach veterans? SIGN UP FOR OGR’S 2-PART SERIES: Become the Go-to Funeral Home for Veterans Available in the Learning Library Learn how to connect with your veteran community! The Provider Network Veterans Funeral Care takes great pride in serving our Veteran community. Veterans Funeral Care trains and certifies mortuaries and funeral home providers across the country with the highest standard in mind. For Veterans and their families 830 N. Belcher Road • Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 524-9202 VeteransFuneralCare.com 42 www.ogr.org | Winter 2022 Serving Veterans and Non Veterans Since 2001 Jim Rudolph of Veterans Funeral Care and OGR member will teach you to better understand the veteran community and their families. ©adfinity®

Celebrating Milestone Anniversaries — January, February & March — 65 years | January 1957 Hamlett-Dobson Funeral Homes Kingsport, TN 65 years | February 1957 Craig Funeral Home, Inc. St. Augustine, FL 45 years | March 1977 Kyger Funeral Homes & Crematory, Inc. Harrisonburg, VA 40 years | January 1982 Martin Funeral, Cremation & Tribute Services Mt. Morris, MI 35 years | February 1987 Fanagans Funeral Directors Dublin, Ireland 35 years | March 1987 Oliverie Funeral Home Manchester, NJ 30 years | January 1992 Evans Funeral Home Chapmanville, WV 25 years | January 1997 Chambers & Grubbs Funeral Homes, Inc. Dover, OH 20 years | February 2002 Beidelman Kunsch Funeral Homes and Crematory Naperville, IL 15 years | January 2007 Eells-Leggett-Stauffer Funeral Home Lisbon, OH ®

International Order of the Golden Rule 3502 Woodview Trace, Ste. 300 Indianapolis, IN 46268 www.ogr.org Presort Std. U.S. Postage PAID Indianapolis, IN Permit #279 2021 Awards: Call for Nominations Golden Light Award The OGR Golden Light Award, now in its 18th year, honors an individual (not a firm) who has made specific, meritorious contributions to society through his or her profession, community or field of voluntary service as career achievements. Golden Rule Community Service Award The Golden Rule Community Service Award recognizes a firm for outstanding service to the community during the 2021 calendar year. Members are encouraged to submit their own firms. To qualify, nominated firms must: • be an OGR Member Firm in good standing; • supply support materials as evidence of the activity or service, such as press clippings, letters of thanks, testimonials, photos or governmental citations; and • not have won this award in the past three years. Sumbit your nominations at OGR.org/Awards Each winner will receive an engraved award and acknowledgement at the Golden Circle Celebration Dinner at OGR’s Annual Conference in Indianapolis, in The Independent® and on OGR’s website. Submissions must be received by 11:59 p.m. EST February 28, 2022. Questions may be sent to Alyssa Castille at (800) 637-8030, ext. 131 or ACastille@OGR.org.

1 Publizr


  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5
  6. 6
  7. 7
  8. 8
  9. 9
  10. 10
  11. 11
  12. 12
  13. 13
  14. 14
  15. 15
  16. 16
  17. 17
  18. 18
  19. 19
  20. 20
  21. 21
  22. 22
  23. 23
  24. 24
  25. 25
  26. 26
  27. 27
  28. 28
  29. 29
  30. 30
  31. 31
  32. 32
  33. 33
  34. 34
  35. 35
  36. 36
  37. 37
  38. 38
  39. 39
  40. 40
  41. 41
  42. 42
  43. 43
  44. 44

You need flash player to view this online publication