RECAP and HIGHLIGHTS of 2019 FALL CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW
The JW Marriott Hotel, Indianapolis, Indiana – November 11-12, 2019
The official business session meeting was opened on Tuesday, November 12 in due form, with President Christopher J. Boots extending a warm welcome to all in attendance, with a special recognition of our new members, including American Funeral Guide, Casket Sales, Inc., Funeral Home Gifts, and Sich Casket Co.
Board Treasurer Jeanette Hiemstra led the membership in the Tribute in Memoriam, to recognize the passing of our members who have died since last we met; including Andrée Séguin Dumont, Catherine L. Francis, Barbara (Russell) Hintz, Johnathan James “Jesse” Martin, Matthew John Russo II, Ross Owen Smith, and James Earl Stafford. A time of respect and reflection was observed by the membership body to honor the memories of these members.
President Chris Boots thanked the following sponsors, citing the terrific importance these special people and firms to the success of nor only CFSA’s events, but to the overall performance of the Association:
BEHALT CASKET COMPANY
C.J. BOOTS CASKET COMPANY
CARDINAL CASKET COMPANY
CHEROKEE CASKET COMPANY
MAC MACHINE & METAL WORKS
KEITH M. MERRICK COMPANY
PARAGON CASKET INC.
PREPAINTED METALS LLC
SAUDER FUNERAL PRODUCTS
SOUTHERN CRAFT MANUFACTURING
VICTORIAVILLE & CO.
W & M MANUFACTURING
Treasurer Jeanette Hiemstra gave the Treasurer’s Report, with Balance Sheet and Financial Statement copies available on-site to any member wishing to review same. Among the highlights she pointed out were:
- The year-to-date financial statements were reconciled, and RGI now has the accounts brought up-to-date, including the banking and investment accounts;
- Amy Cole did a great job in keeping the finances in order after the departure of the former Executive Director, making the transition to management by RGI (Raybourn Group International, CFSA’s management company) smoother and more accurate;
- RGI will be moving CFSA into Sage 100, a high-end accounting software package, offering CFSA greater financial controls and transaction transparency. RGI’s CFO, Jackie Williams, CPA, will oversee this transition over the next period.
The final report given the membership was from the Nominating Committee, Chaired by Christopher J. Boots. In this report, the Committee offered the following slate of new Officers and Directors:
Mike Mims, Cherokee Casket Company
Jeanette Hiemstra, Keith M. Merrick Company
Justin Thacker, Thacker Casket Manufacturing
Charles-Olivier Dumont, Victoriaville & Co.
Lori Eanes, C & L Containers
Nicolas Lacasse, Cercueils Magog Caskets
With these new positions and directorships, the 2019-2020 Board of Directors have been duly elected:
Mike Mims, President (Cherokee Casket Company)
Jeanette Hiemstra, Vice President (Keith M. Merrick Company)
Justin Thacker, Treasurer (Thacker Casket Manufacturing)
Christopher J. Boots, Immediate Past President (C.J. Boots Casket Co.)
Greg Beavers (Wise Products)
Charles-Olivier Dumont (Victoriaville & Co.)
Lori Eanes (C & L Containers)
Matt Hockett (Prepainted Metals, LLC)
Bill Jones (Tiedemann-Bevs Industries)
Nicolas Lacasse (Cercueils Magog Caskets)
Wayne McIntire (Dixline Corporation)
Shannon Robinson (Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions)
Jeanie Turner (Astral Industries)
With the election and installation of the officers for the ensuing year, newly-elected President Mike Mims offered his remarks on the bright future of CFSA, and graciously accepted the Gavel of the President.
OTHER BUSINESS OF THE ASSOCIATION
In a less formal and official setting the previous day, the following loyal members were recognized by President Christopher J. Boots for their contributions of time, talent, and treasure to advance CFSA over the last years:
Retiring Board Members
Scott Jones Jr. – Service Casket Company, Columbus, GA
Kim McGuire – Nomis Publications, Youngstown, OH
Craig Warner – Paragon Casket Company, Richmond, IN
Rodney Robinson, Past President – Southern Craft Manufacturing, Loretto, TN
Chris Boots then recognized the following CFSA Past Presidents in attendance:
Steve Duffy – Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions
Mike Fleming – Keith M. Merrick Company
Dave Hazlett – Astral Industries
Tina Houck – Schuylkill Haven Casket Company
Scott Jones – Service Casket Company
John Malone – Mac Machine & Metal Works
Mark Pennington – Halo International
Kevin Thompson – Dixline Corporation
Joel Verplank – Verplank Enterprises
Chris Boots then enjoyed the opportunity to recognize the recipients of the prestigious Lifetime Recognition Awards, the committee having been chaired by Betsy Verplank-Kerl:
Scott Jones of Service Casket Company, Columbus, GA
Mark Pennington of Halo International, Twinsburg, OH
The membership enjoyed an educational keynote address by Poul Lemasters, Esq. of Cincinnati, OH; an attorney who began as a licensed embalmer and funeral director. His 60-minute presentation was entitled, “The Future of Deathcare: Are We Creating the Worst Funeral Ever?”
The meeting concluded with thanks by President Mike Mims and well wishes for safe travels home.