Our 2019 District Meetings - We Enjoyed Seeing You!
We enjoyed traveling across North and South Georgia for our District Meetings. It was great to see so many friends and colleagues. Our District Chairs did a great job and we appreciate their support and commitment to GFDA. Emmett R. Highland's program addressed the Opioid Epidemic this nation is facing and we thank him for traveling with us.
Thank you to our District Meeting Sponsors for their support and participation. As their representatives visit your funeral homes, we encourage to you to thank them as well.
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Important Notice From The Federal Trade Commission Regarding Complying With The Funeral Rule
The FTC Southeast Regional Office has requested our assistance in notifying GFDA members of this information. Review it carefully and be aware they are making visits to funeral homes across the state.
Please review the letter and copy of the Federal Trade Commission's guide "Complying with the Funeral Rule". The information is provided to assist funeral providers in complying with the Rule. Please share the information with all funeral directors and staff in your funeral home. Failure to comply with the Rule may result in civil penalties, which have recently increased at the direction of Congress to $40,654 per violation effective January 24, 2017.
If you have any questions, please contact the Federal Trade Commission's Southeast Regional Office at FTCFuneralRule-SER@ftc.gov.
GFDA sends funeral service related Obituary Notices via a GFDA Alerts.
Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your address book to ensure receipt of these notices.
To ensure timely notification of our members, send funeral-service-related death notices to email@example.com. If it is outside of normal business hours, please call the GFDA office after emailing the obituary.
FIND GFDA ON FACEBOOK
Our Facebook page is public and we post about our events, association news, obituary notices, regulatory reminders, and more. We encourage you to like our page. Remember, you can tag GFDA by using @GeorgiaFuneralDirectorsAssociation.
The GFDA Job Board is provided as a service to members. It has helped place a number of professionals around the state. Listings can be "open" with full detail and contact information, or "closed" with information forwarded. The service also provides information, if requested, on individuals seeking positions. Send your job board post or resume to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Savannah, GA is accepting applications for the following positions:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors has been serving families of Savannah since 1882. Family owned and operated, our multi-location firm is the area's leading funeral service provider, also featuring both human and pet crematories.
Our benefits include competitive salary based on experience, paid time off, excellent medical/dental/vision plan, 401(k) and profit sharing.
If you would like to be considered for a position with Fox & Weeks, please email your resume to email@example.com.
Funeral Director Apprentice Position - Central East Georgia
Established Georgia funeral service firm is seeking a candidate wishing to make funeral service a career. Necessary qualifications are a high school diploma, 1 – 1 ½ years of funeral service experience, working knowledge of computer processing with a proficiency in Microsoft Office. Some experience in crematory operations is highly recommended. Candidates must have a friendly demeanor and the ability to work well with others. Duties include but are not limited to assisting with daily funeral service tasks, making removals from hospitals and other facilities, assisting with the preparation process for family viewing as well as with funeral service ceremonies, greeting friends and family attending services, and interacting with family members to meet specific needs. Excellent benefits package is provided incorporated with an attractive health insurance plan and a salary proportionate with funeral service experience.
Resumes should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject as "Funeral Director Apprentice Position - Central East Georgia".
Funeral Director/Embalmer - Suburban Metro Atlanta
Progressive, family owned Metro Atlanta funeral home looking for licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer. Our firm provides a fun, fast-paced work environment for an individual with stellar people skills to thrive. Emotional intelligence is more important than years of experience. Benefits include company paid health insurance (100% of premiums), paid vacation, company funded retirement, payment of professional dues, and more. Computer/technology proficiency is required. Frisbee and basketball skills are not required but will come in handy on company’s disc golf course and basketball goal.
North Georgia Funeral Home Seeking Transport Specialist
A progressive north Georgia firm is seeking a Transport Specialist. We are looking for an additional team member to help with the transfer of those who have passed away by bringing them into our care. This is a full-time position that would entail being on call from home most days. If you are looking for some flexibility in your job and the freedom to work from home most of the time, this position may be for you. All equipment and training required to do the job would be provided.
The ideal candidate would possess a caring, empathetic, and positive attitude, attention to detail, the ability and desire to follow policies and procedures, high level of integrity, the ability to lift 75 lbs., willing to work nights and weekends, track record for being on time, and committed. Must have a valid drivers’ license.
Candidates with these traits are invited to email resumes to email@example.com.
SouthCare Cremation & Funeral Society is seeking a Funeral Director/Embalmer
While we are a full-service firm, cremation is on the rise and if you have embraced this concept this may be the job for you.
Knowledge, Skills & Abilities:
Specific Responsibilities Include:
Southwest Georgia Funeral Home is seeking a Licensed Funeral Director / Embalmer
Family owned Funeral Home in Southwest Georgia is seeking a licensed Funeral Director/Embalmer, who has at least 18 months experience with the day to day operations of the Funeral Profession. We are looking for someone who is willing to become a part of our team and community as we serve them. Duties will include removals, embalming, arrangements with families and following through with the details of the funeral. Insurance license is a plus but not required, we also operate a crematory and cemetery and knowledge in these areas will be a plus. Benefits will be based on experience and health insurance will be included, as well as paid vacation, and other times off. Owner is nearing retirement and wanting to have some time off.
Resumes should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject as "Southwest Georgia Funeral Home is seeking a Licensed Funeral Director / Embalmer".
Charlie Watts, GFDA Lobbyist, closely monitors all legislative matters and provides continual legislative updates.
Our legislative updates are posted weekly in this section and sent via GFDA Alert.
Charlie Watts served in the Georgia House of Representatives for 14 years.During his term of service, Charlie had an unparalleled rise to a position of leadership in the House of Representatives, serving as Chairman of the Banks and Banking Committee, and as a member of the rules committee and the Appropriations Committee. Charlie has earned the trust and respect of his fellow legislators, on both sides of the aisle, and of state department heads.
The Georgia State Board of Funeral Service administers the Funeral Service Law for the purpose of better protection of life and health, preventing the spread of contagious, communicable, and infectious diseases, and regulating the practice of embalming and funeral directing and the care and disposition of dead human bodies.
The Board consists of 7 members appointed by the Governor, six of whom are licensed and practicing funeral directors and embalmers, with one member serving as a consumer representative who has no connection with the funeral service industry. The Board is authorized to prescribe a standard of proficiency as to the qualifications and fitness of embalmers and funeral directors, to revoke or suspend licenses for any violation of this law, to adopt rules and regulations and to set standards of sanitation to be observed in the embalming or cremation of dead human bodies.
Board meetings are monthly (view Meeting Schedule for dates) and are open to the public. Persons wishing to bring matters for Board consideration must submit a written request to the Professional Licensing Board office in Macon.
Click HERE to visit the Georgia State Board of Funeral Service website.
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The Professional Licensing Boards Division of the Georgia Secretary of State serves as administrative support to the 41 licensing boards housed with our agency. In addition to staffing the board meetings, our agency assists the boards with processing applications for licensure, license renewals and complaints.
Although the Professional Licensing Boards Division of the Secretary of State’s Office provides administrative and clerical support to assist the boards in carrying out their licensing responsibilities, the agency does not directly oversee or direct the actions and decisions of the boards. Determinations regarding licensing qualifications and complaints rest solely with the individual boards. Accordingly, our office does not have the ability to review, modify, or overturn a decision which has been made by any board.
Board members are appointed by the Governor.
RESPONSIBILITIES OF A LICENSE HOLDER
What are my responsibilities as a license holder?
Certain personal responsibilities come with becoming a professional license holder in the state of Georgia. Those responsibilities include the following:
1. Renew your license prior to the expiration date of your license. While the Secretary of State’s office sends courtesy reminders via email to license holders, it is ultimately the license holder’s responsibility to know the expiration date of his/her license and to renew that license in a timely manner. Renewing the license includes submitting an online renewal application and answering each renewal application question truthfully, submitting any supporting documentation that may be required, completing any continuing education requirements that may be required, and paying the renewal application fee. The period for renewing your license usually begins within 60-90 days prior to the expiration date of your license. License holders may renew their licenses online via the Board’s website at: Renewal Portal After you submit your renewal application, it is your responsibility to check the status of your renewal online through the My Verification Page . Failure to complete and submit your renewal application by the license expiration date will result in a lapsed license. To reinstate a lapsed license you will have to file a reinstatement application, meet all reinstatement requirements for your profession which may mean additional training and/or testing, and pay the reinstatement fee. Please keep in mind that reinstatement of a license is at the discretion of the Board.
2. If your name changes, please notify the Board. Please be sure to include your name, license number, social security number, your new name, and a copy of the legal documentation granting the name change.
3. Submitting address and/or email address changes. Please be sure to submit your address and email address changes via the online link found here: address change . Failure to keep your address and email address current will result in our inability to send you notifications from the Board. Facility license holders may not submit facility address changes online; please review specific Board requirements regarding changes in facility addresses.
4. Keep current with Georgia laws and Board rules. Georgia laws and Board rules are made available on the Board’s website for your convenience. The General Provisions in Title 43-1 apply to all professional licensing boards and they are available here: General Provisions
According to the sworn statement your initial application and/or renewal application, you agree to become familiar and follow the state laws and board rules governing your profession. Failure on your part to abide by the state laws and board rules may result in disciplinary action being taken against you by the licensing board governing your profession. You may register with the Interested Parties List if you would like to receive email notifications of changes to the board rules governing your profession: Interested Parties Registration.
5. O.C.G.A. § 43-1-27 requires any licensee who is convicted of a felony to notify the appropriate licensing authority of the conviction within ten (10) days of the conviction. Failure to notify the Board of any such conviction shall be considered grounds for revocation of his/ her license, permit, registration, or certification.
ORDER VERIFICATION OF LICENSURE ONLINE
Do you need to order verification of your Georgia professional license to reciprocate or endorse your license to another state? You may now order your verification online at Order Verification. Enter your User ID and Password to begin the process. If you do not have a User ID and Password, you may create one following the prompts.
Congratulations to Bryant Hightower
Bryant Hightower is a GFDA Past President and was installed as NFDA's 2019-2020 President. We congratulate him on his accomplishments and look forward to his serving in this role with NFDA.
2020 NFDA International Convention & Expo
October 18-21 | New Orleans, Louisiana
More Information Coming Soon!
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June 11, 2018
Typically, when a funeral home has been shopped by an undercover enforcement agent twice and found to be in violation of the Funeral Rule on both occasions, it receives a letter from the FTC stating when they were shopped and the nature of the alleged violations with which they are being charged. The letter also details their options: chiefly face a lawsuit in federal court or enroll in the remedial three-year Funeral Rule Offender Program.
Historically, these letters have not included – nor has the FTC been willing to disclose – the name(s) of the employee(s) who dealt with the undercover shoppers.
NFDA has now learned that the FTC will, upon request, disclose the names of employee(s) who dealt with the undercover shoppers.
NFDA members who have questions may contact NFDA’s General Counsel Scott Gilligan, 800-228-6332.
Did you know that as a member of NFDA, you have a new, exclusive option for health insurance coverage? You do – NFDA Health Insurance Options offers exclusive savings only for NFDA members!
For employers, finding a health insurance plan for employees that offers good coverage, is affordable and complies with the Affordable Care Act can be exceptionally challenging. The task is particularly tough for small employers.
Through NFDA Health Insurance Options, employers of any size can work with a dedicated customer service representative to explore alternatives to coverage they may currently offer to employees. With options for small groups, members could experience exclusive annual premium savings of five to 15 percent.
NFDA Health Insurance Options not only offers savings available only to NFDA members but also has dedicated experts who will help you understand your best options.
If an employer chooses to adopt a new health insurance plan, a personal customer service representative will assist with making a smooth transition for everyone.
Health insurance plans and offerings vary by state, so it is important that you look at options available in your state.
More information about the NFDA Health Insurance Options program is available online, www.nfda.org/endorsedproviders. There, interested owners or managers can reach out to their personal customer service representative and get a complimentary comparison of their current health insurance plan with the options available in their state.
Over the past two years, NFDA has issued warnings to funeral homes regarding the operations of Heritage Cremation Providers, an internet middleman that holds itself out to the public as a locally-owned and trusted funeral home providing low-cost cremation services. In fact, Heritage Cremation Providers is an unlicensed seller of funeral and cremation services with a long track record of consumer fraud and abuse. State Funeral Boards in Colorado, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, Oregon and Tennessee have all taken action against Heritage Cremation Providers; however, because Heritage Cremation Providers can hide behind the internet, it is virtually impossible for a state board to be able to shut it down. Despite efforts of state regulators, they continue to peddle low-cost cremation services to the public through its website.
Because of warnings issued by NFDA and state funeral associations, in addition to efforts by state funeral boards to prohibit funeral homes and crematories from providing services to Heritage Cremation Providers, many funeral homes have refused to enter into agreements with Heritage Cremation Providers to service families.
It appears that the warnings by NFDA and others have had an effect because we just learned that Heritage Cremation Providers has adopted a new subterfuge in contacting funeral homes to provide services to them. An NFDA member in New Hampshire informed NFDA that it was contacted over the last several weeks by a Colorado funeral home operating under the name of “Families First Funeral Homes.” After receiving several calls, the New Hampshire funeral home became suspicious and reviewed closely the paperwork that it had received from Families First Funeral Home. Buried in the paperwork were several written listings of “Heritage Cremation Providers.” Apparently, when Heritage Cremation Providers decided to disguise itself as Families First Funeral Home, it overlooked several references to Heritage Cremation Providers in its own paperwork.
Upon discovering the discrepancies, the member in New Hampshire notified NFDA and we have been able to confirm that Families First Funeral Home LLC is a limited liability company organized in Colorado. In addition, NFDA was able to verify that the contact agent for Families First Funeral Homes LLC listed with the Office of the Colorado Secretary of State is Anthony J. Damiano. Of course Anthony J. Damiano, also known as A.J. Damiano, is one of the owners and operators of Heritage Cremation Providers.
While NFDA members who receive calls to provide cremation services for Families First Funeral Home or Heritage Cremation Providers know to refuse those requests, it is highly probable that Heritage Cremation Providers will simply adopt a series of new aliases and fictitious trade names to disguise its actual identity. For that reason, funeral homes should always investigate when they receive a request for services from out-of-state funeral homes that they are not familiar with. If you have not previously dealt with a particular out-of-state funeral home, ask for its contact information and confirm through NFDA’s website, state board licensing listings and funeral home directories that it is an operating funeral home. Since nearly every funeral home has a website, this will be helpful in confirming who owns and operates the funeral home that is requesting you to provide cremation services.
NFDA members with questions regarding this matter may contact Scott Gilligan at 513-871-6332 or email@example.com.
by T. Scott Gilligan, NFDA general counsel
In 2016, a class action suit was filed against Stericycle claiming that the company had defrauded small-business customers by engaging in a billing scheme that automatically inflated consumer bills up to 18% biannually.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of 246,000 small businesses, which included funeral homes, dentists, veterinarians and other business owners.
Following the filing of the litigation and discovery, a settlement was reached between Stericycle and the attorneys for the class. Under the settlement, Stericycle agreed to discontinue the pricing practices that were the subject of the complaint. In addition, Stericycle agreed to a $295 million settlement.
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois approved the settlement and Stericycle began to reimburse the impacted customers the amounts they had been overbilled.
According to Scott Gilligan, NFDA general counsel, association members have received reports that funeral homes that were customers of Stericycle have begun to receive checks from Stericycle for their share of the settlement.
Brookfield,Wis. – The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) is bringing excitingchanges to its live education opportunities in 2019, from engaging, freewebinars to lower-priced CE opportunities and much more. There’s never been abetter time for funeral professionals to learn with NFDA.
Thenew NFDA Virtual Roundtables offer an exciting and interactive way to earncontinuing education hours. Featuring live video discussions with theprofession’s most insightful authorities on topics that impact funeralprofessionals and their business, NFDA Virtual Roundtables offer a more dynamiclearning experience than the traditional webinar. NFDA Virtual Roundtables alsoenable participants to ask the experts on their most pressing questions.
NFDAVirtual Roundtables, which will be one to two hours in length, come with moreaffordable pricing – $99 for NFDA members and $149 for nonmembers.
Thefirst NFDA Virtual Roundtables open for registration are:
· January24, 1-2 p.m. CT (1 CE): CoffeeHour with the Cremation Experts with Mike Nicodemus, NFDA vicepresident of cremation services; Sammy G. Oakey III, president of Oakey’s FuneralServices and Crematory; and Adam Sanden, partner at Brunner Sanden DeitrickFuneral Home & Cremation Center.
· February20, 1-2:30 p.m. CT (1.5 CE): LingeringLiability – Inside the Cemetery with Mark Evely, director of theMortuary Science Program at Wayne State University; and Tanya Marsh, professorof law at Wake Forest University School of Law.
Dates,topics and presenters for future NFDA Virtual Roundtables, which will addresstopics such as community outreach, death cafes, the FTC Funeral Rule andtechnical skills, will be announced throughout the year.
NFDAmembers have an additional opportunity to learn: free webinars. These sponsoredwebinars will feature a wide range of experts addressing topics such asmarketing, preneed and more. Dates, times, topics and speakers will beannounced on the NFDA website, www.nfda.org,in the weeks and months to come.
RefineYour Skills with Other NFDA Education Offerings
Beyondthe new NFDA Virtual Roundtables and free webinars, the association has avariety of offerings to help funeral directors raise the bar professionally andpersonally.
NFDA’scertification and training programs include the Arranger Training Program,Cremation Certification Program and Certified Preplanning Consultant Program.These programs offer an in-depth exploration of issues that funeral directorsencounter on a daily basis. The tips, tools and techniques learned during theseseminars can transform a funeral director’s approach to serving families andlead to increased client satisfaction.
NFDA Online LearningCourses enable funeral directors to learn from the best experts in funeralservice to boost their business knowledge and skills wherever and whenever theyhave Internet access. In recent months, NFDA has unveiled new courses such as:
· EmbalmingRisk Management(3 CE Hours)
· 2018Annual All-staff Training with the FTC Funeral Rule Coordinator (3 CE Hours)
· ApproachingTrauma Cases with Confidence (3 CE Hours)
· Demonstrationof Soft Tissue Repair(4 CE Hours)
· SupportingPregnancy Loss Families (3 CE Hours)
· Do-It-YourselfMemorials (with a Little Help from the Funeral Director) (2 CE hours)
· Masteringthe Art of Funeral Home Phone Etiquette (1 CE Hour)
· TheRelevance of Restorative Art (3 CE)
· RSVP:I'll See You at My Living Funeral (2 CE Hours)
· TenTools for Stress Relief (3 CE Hours)
NFDA’sconferences and events, which culminate with the annual InternationalConvention & Expo, are specially planned to help funeral professionals taketheir career and business to the next level. These events offer a chance togrow personally and professionally through unique opportunities to learn fromthe some of the best minds in the profession and network with peers.
· February22-24 – Cremation Conference – St. Pete Beach, FL – www.nfda.org/cremationconference(registration now open)
· February24-26 – Business Conference – St. Pete Beach, FL – www.nfda.org/businessconference(registration now open)
· March10-12 – Meet the Mentors – Atlanta, GA – www.nfda.org/mentors(the entry period for a chance to participate has closed)
· April3-5 – Advocacy Summit – Washington, D.C. – www.nfda.org/advocacysummit(registration opens soon)
· April12-14 – Professional Women’s Conference – Annapolis, MD – www.nfda.org/pwc (registration opens soon)
· May16-17 – Embalming & Restorative Art Seminar – Pittsburgh, PA – www.nfda.org/embalmingseminar
· July13-16 – Leadership Conference – San Diego, CA – www.nfda.org/leadership
· August15-16 – Embalming & Restorative Art Seminar – Nashville, TN – www.nfda.org/embalmingseminar
· October27-30 – NFDA International Convention & Expo – Chicago, IL – www.nfda.org/convention
Formore information about NFDA education offerings, visit the NFDA website, www.nfda.org, and click on the “Education” tabat the top of the page.
NFDAis the world's leading and largest funeral service association, serving morethan 20,000 individual members who represent nearly 11,000 funeral homes in theUnited States and 49 countries around the world. NFDA is the trusted leader,beacon for ethics and the strongest advocate for the profession. NFDA is theassociation of choice because it offers funeral professionals comprehensiveeducational resources, tools to manage successful businesses, guidance tobecome pillars in their communities and the expertise to foster futuregenerations of funeral professionals. NFDA is headquartered in Brookfield,Wis., and has an office in Washington, D.C. For more information, visit www.nfda.org.
More NFDA News may be found HERE.
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Georgia Department of Public Health - Office of Vital Records - Vital Connections Newsletter may be found HERE.