By Steve Palmer, AFCCA Treasurer


by Angelique Simpson, Matthews-Aurora Funeral Solutions

First up on the speaker line up, we learned that Audacious is defined as showing a willingness to be bold. Bill Clinton once said, “The price of doing the same thing is higher than the price of change”.

Angelique taught us to remember: Change always happens; we should anticipate change; we need to monitor change; we need to adapt to change; and finally learn to enjoy change instead of dread it.

Other ideas to increase your service levels that came from this presentation:

  • Instead of telling a family that the cremated remains are back, make an appointment to return Mom to their care.
  • WOW the private viewings with pre-asked-for memorabilia to be surrounding their special person.
  • Funeral home owners and managers need to invest in and train and reward your staff.
  • Brainstorm with your younger employees to what appeals to them and what does not.


by Allison Moravitz and Norma Thompson

“Sending My Love to Heaven” is a children’s book that was written by a young widow (with help of her best friend) as she tried to help her children cope with their father’s unexpected death. She wrote this book after she realized that there was not much out there for children to help navigate through this sad and confusing time in their life. She includes many ideas for memorials that included holding a special balloon release with messages on them, creating or buying an angel dolls so the child can speak to Daddy (or other loved ones) whenever they would like, or plant a memorial tree to grow and be nurtured. You must read this book, you will absolutely love it. A part of the proceeds from the sale of this book when purchased through the AFCCA goes to AFFCA Foundation For Children.

Email Heather Long at director@azfcca.org to place your orders for this special book you need to have in your library.

Updates from the Arizona Department of Public Health

By Toni Miller and Bianca Soto

The new DAVE system was reviewed. New improved changes and questions were answered. We all must be ready for the switch in September.

FTC Funeral Review

By Scott Gilligan, General Counsel for National Funeral Directors Association

Scott did a thorough review of current FTC issues. Many issues are still confusing event to those who have been in the industry for years. Fines can be over $40,000 for just one small violation! Scott did provide a handout to attendees that should be helpful when talking to your staff.

Some sample questions from Scott’s Presentation included:

“A couple comes to your funeral home to make funeral arrangements and your receptionist seats them in an arrangement office that has casket and vault displays. Is the receptionist required to provide the couple with a Casket Price List and a Outer Burial Container Price List?” You would know the answer if you attended.

“If you own multiple funeral home locations, must they all have the same prices? Does every item of service and merchandise which a funeral home offers for sale have to be listed on a General Price List? Is it a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to charge a family more for handling obesity cases?”

This and the updates on the funeral rule review were discussed. There is so much information to know when it comes to FTC Rules!


By Dave Hazelett, President Astral Industries

Dave gave us a different way to approach casket selection aspects when serving families in the economy we now face. The market shift to cremation has a big impact on how we deal with funeral arrangements and it will continue to shift as years go on. Dave gave us different methods to increase revenue while still helping families.  Ideas that stimulate thinking challenge the status quo.

Finally there were our wonderful and supportive vendors, numerous networking opportunities, a hot golf tournament, and a tubular 80’s trivia fundraiser. All of this and more were part of the good times held at this year’s AFCCA convention.

Join us next year June 5-7, 2018 at the Westin La Paloma in Tucson. Don’t miss out!

Visit afccaannualconvention.org for more details.