BROADVIEW, IL, MARCH 19, 2015 – Pierce Mortuary Colleges (PMC) is pleased to announce two key additions to its management team.
Donald G. Madelung has been appointed Vice President and will provide support to the overall administration of the colleges and work primarily with the Admissions and Financial Aid Departments. Madelung has served on the PMC Board of Directors since 2012 and has a deep background in postsecondary education leadership and consulting. He is resigning from the board so as to focus on his new responsibilities. Most recently, Madelung has spearheaded several projects to help improve the colleges’ student intake procedures and financial aid processes.
Over his thirty-eight years in postsecondary education, Madelung has served as president of Madison and Minneapolis Media Institutes and Rockford Career College (2012-2014); president of Herzing University, Milwaukee, WI (1989-2010); COO of CenCor Career Colleges, Kansas City, MO; district coordinator for Student Financial Aid at the Kansas City Metropolitan Community College District; and director of Admission, Financial Aid and Veterans Coordination at Avila College, Kansas City, MO. In addition, he has served on various boards of directors and workforce development boards spanning education, business, civic and non-profit institutions. Presently, he is serving on the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and the Higher Education Approval Board in Wisconsin.
Michael Bogacki has been appointed as Chief Financial Officer for Pierce Mortuary Colleges. Bogacki is responsible for operating budgets, financial statements, overseeing the annual audit, and training staff on utilization of financial tools. He will also assist in various organizational facets and strategic planning.
Bogacki also serves as Vice President, Corporate Development for Wilbert Funeral Services Inc. (WFSI) and will continue in this role. He has been with WFSI since 2009, where he has held several key positions with emphasis in operations and financial management. Prior to joining WFSI, Bogacki has held financial positions in a range of industries including apparel, textile, steel, auto, construction, entertainment, and private equity and investment banking.
For more information on Pierce Mortuary Colleges, visit www.pierce.edu.
BROADVIEW, IL, March 13, 2015 – Twenty-two Wilbert Licensees were recognized with awards for their sales accomplishments in 2014 at the Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc (WFSI) Annual Sales Meeting.
Whited Cemetery Services, Menifee, CA, was honored with the Special Achievement Award for their outstanding success in gaining new Wilbert burial vault business among the funeral establishments they serve throughout southern California.
Two awards for sales growth in lined burial vaults were presented. Norwalk Wilbert Vault Company, Bridgeport, CT, received the award for the greatest growth in the number of lined burial vaults interred in 2014 over 2013. Evans Eagle Burial Vault, Inc., Enola, PA, earned the award for the greatest percentage increase in lined burial vaults.
Cremation product sales growth was also recognized with the award for the greatest growth in units presented to Keating Wilbert Vault Company, Wilbraham, MA, while the greatest percentage growth in cremation products was earned by Alabama Wilbert Inc., Albertville, AL. Also in the cremation category was the WilbertDirect award acknowledging Norwalk Wilbert Vault Company, Bridgeport, CT, for the highest sales increase in cremation products sold through WilbertDirect.com, WFSI’s ecommerce website.
Sixteen Wilbert Licensees received the Wilbert 110% Club award, recognizing those whose 2014 burial vault sales were at least 110% of those in 2013. Recipients were:
McNeill, Inc., Andalusia, AL
Gulf Coast Wilbert, Inc., Crestview, FL
Sexton Wilbert Corporation, Sullivan, IN
Terre Haute Wilbert Burial Vault Co., Inc., Terre Haute, IN
Wilbert Funeral Services, Manhattan, KS
Baton Rouge Wilbert Burial Vault Co., Baton Rouge, LA
Brown-Wilbert, Inc., Morris, MN
Evans Eagle Burial Vault, Inc., Enola, PA
Wilbert of Pittsburgh, Inc., Pittsburgh, PA
Charleston Wilbert Vault Co., Summerville, SC
Chattanooga Wilbert Vault Company, Chattanooga, TN
Bolton Concrete Products, Johnson City, TN
Wilbert Burial Vaults, Inc., Knoxville, TN
Ott Wilbert Vault Co., Galveston, TX
Brown-Wilbert, Inc., Hurley, WI
Brown-Wilbert, Inc., Superior, WI
“We congratulate all of these Wilbert Licensees for their excellent sales accomplishments,” said Mark Klingenberger, Vice-President Sales & Marketing, WFSI. “While Wilbert products are known for quality, it is the Wilbert Licensees who make it all happen and are responsible for delivering that consistent high quality in service and products. We congratulate those who went even more above and beyond in 2014 as recognized with these achievement awards.”
To learn more about Wilbert Funeral Services or to find a local Wilbert Licensee, visit WFSI’s Funeral Professional website at www.wilbert.com/funeral-professionals.
BROADVIEW, IL, FEBRUARY 11, 2015 – Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc., (WFSI) is pleased to announce the addition of Steve Hawkins as Marketing Specialist. Steve will support strategic WFSI marketing initiatives including Wilbert’s advertising, online presence and media relations. He also assumes management of trade shows and other special events for WFSI.
Steve has over 25 years of experience in marketing, public relations, branding, special events and as a publications editor. Prior to WFSI, Steve worked at the American Society of Home Inspectors, the First Division Museum at Cantigny, InterVarsity Press and Crossway Books.
Highlights of Steve’s career include working with Fox News, CNN and NBC News. He also once gave a tour of his museum to the Pakistani Foreign Minister (the equivalent to the U.S. Secretary of State) while surrounded by 11 Secret Service agents. But one accomplishment he is especially proud of is his part in gathering 500 World War II vets for a ceremony commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Nearly 100 of the WWII vets attending served at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944.
“We believe Steve Hawkins will be a great asset to Wilbert Funeral Services, “said Mark Klingenberger, Vice President, Sales & Marketing. “His vast background as a writer, editor and marketing specialist will benefit the team and as well as the company.”
Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. through its Licensee network is the leading single-source supplier of burial vaults and cremation-related products and services to North American funeral establishments. For more information, call 888.WILBERT or visit www.wilbert.com.
Integrated business management solution solves challenges faced by today’s funeral professionals
BATESVILLE, IN., Feb. 11, 2015 – Batesville, the leading provider of technology solutions to the death care industry, is making it easier for funeral homes to gain efficiencies and improve their operations with MIS Professional, a comprehensive business management solution that seamlessly ties everything together – case management, arranger planning, product selection, and more. Built by experts with a deep understanding of funeral home operations and a vision for where the industry is going, Batesville is bringing a new generation of technology to the market.
In a competitive environment, technology is an important asset that can help increase revenues and lower costs, but the rapid pace of change makes it difficult for business owners, including funeral homes, to keep up. Yet the status quo is not acceptable.
“Many funeral homes owners find themselves working with a web of disparate solutions that were never designed to work together,” explains Mike Bryan, general manager of Technology Solutions for Batesville. “Even when connected, these applications lack the performance advantages and efficiencies that are possible today.” MIS Professional is powerful enough to replace the tangled web of stand-alone systems, yet designed for ease of use.
Batesville has undertaken a careful and intentional path in the development of new technology solutions for independent funeral homes. Bryan points out that this journey was never about the software itself – it was about creating an end-to-end business solution that can help funeral homes manage their business more effectively.
Designed with purpose
The company started with an extensive discovery process, looking closely at the challenges funeral homes face and how the systems used today are either meeting – or NOT meeting those needs. Batesville’s research revealed some surprising statistics that validated the need for a better, more intelligent solution.
For example, while 80% of funeral professionals believe technology is critical to their success, only 50% report actually using it to run their business. Even more alarming, just 15% rated their current system as ‘good’ or better. Some of the key deficiencies noted include:
- Complexity of the system and user interface
- The inability to detect errors or missing information
- Not being able to use with families in the arrangement process
- Lack of real-time business metrics, scheduling and operations data
- Disconnected systems
“When we talked to funeral professionals about what they really want and need, two things rose to the top: a desire to manage their businesses more effectively, and to be more profitable,” said Bryan. “By defining the gap up front, we were able to focus our development in the areas that had the most impact.”
Focused on results
MIS Professional uses the latest technological advances to help solve the common challenges of managing a funeral home. Designed to support a wide range of funeral home requirements right out of the box, there is no need for expensive customization or a dedicated team of professionals to get the system up and running. This allows funeral homes to reap the benefits of the new system right away. Although it is a new offering, MIS Professional is built on a proven foundation that has been used by some of the most complex organizations in the industry over the past two decades.
Key features include:
• An intuitive, easy-to-use web interface that provides secure access to business and customer data from anywhere, on any device, allowing staff and systems to operate at peak efficiency, regardless of location.
• A single database that integrates case management, planning, product selection, obituaries, memorial stationery, and more.
• The ability for users to enter data once and seamlessly move it through the system, minimizing the risk of errors, avoiding time-consuming duplication and ensuring consistency.
• Access to real-time data, schedules and a history of activities, giving managers the insights they need to make adjustments in their business.
• An online dashboard that makes it easy to monitor the status of day-to-day tasks, and detailed reports that provide a snapshot of performance and productivity.
In addition, MIS Professional affords funeral homes the advantages of a hosted, web-based solution. There is no additional hardware required, and new versions and updates of the software are included with ongoing maintenance, avoiding the expenses associates with the purchase of equipment.
Keeping customers at the center
“Throughout the development process, we constantly challenged ourselves by asking how each feature or function will benefit a funeral home,” explains Bryan. By keeping its customers in mind, Batesville delivered a solution that supports financial growth, time savings and enhanced family satisfaction.
For more information on MIS Professional or other Batesville technology offerings, contact a Technology Consultant at 877.287.8661 or visit www.BatesvilleTechnology.com. Or you can stop by and visit with Batesville at the 2015 ICCFA Annual Convention and Exposition, April 8 – 10, in San Antonio for a demonstration.
Batesville (www.Batesville.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Hillenbrand, Inc. (NYSE:HI), is the leader in the North American death care industry, offering a comprehensive portfolio of Burial Solutions, Cremation Options, Memorial Solutions and Technology Solutions. For more than 125 years, Batesville has been dedicated to helping families honor the lives of those they love.® Batesville’s innovation has changed the face of funeral service, from advancements in manufacturing and quality to patented features and memorialization offerings, technology and web-based solutions, and profit-enhancing merchandising systems. Our history of manufacturing excellence, product innovation, superior customer service, and reliable delivery has helped Batesville become – and remain – a market leader.
BROADVIEW, IL, January 13, 2015 – The families of 114 fallen first responders were served in 2014 by Commemorating First Responders, a philanthropic program of Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. (WFSI) and its Licensees. The program donates burial vaults and urns and a graveside service to first responders who have died in the line of duty.
Families of firefighters, law enforcement officers, and emergency medical personnel receive, at no charge, a Wilbert Stainless Steel Triune® burial vault when traditional burial is chosen. If cremation is chosen, Wilbert offers families a choice from four high-quality urns; if the cremains are to be buried, a Stainless Steel Triune urn vault is also provided. Each vault comes with a Wilbert Legacy Custom® personalized carapace, donated by Legacy Prints, one of WFSI’s vendor partners.
The nearly 200-strong network of Wilbert Licensees shares in the contribution of the vault and urn, but also provide, where permitted, a WilbertWay™ graveside setup. The display of the personalized carapace on the vault cover at the graveside adds to the commemoration of the fallen hero. The final sealing and lowering of the vault is also part of the WilbertWay service.
In 2014, the program served a diverse range of fallen first responders across North America. The summary of service organizations and fallen heroes are as follows:
Law Enforcement 65
The Funeral Professionals who provide the service to the families also play a vital role in the success of the Commemorating First Responders program. WFSI invites funeral professionals and others to contact a Wilbert licensee or visit www.wilbert.hmsbox.com/responders to learn how to participate in this program commemorating heroic lives, sacrificed in valiant service to local communities.
Wilbert Funeral Service Incorporated is a licensor of Wilbert burial vaults and cremation urns, and is the industry leader with a network of nearly 200 Licensees serving funeral homes and cemeteries throughout North America. Visit www.wilbert.com and the Commemorating First Responders Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/WilbertFuneralServices for more information.
New Child Abuse Requirement will be presented
Gene Ogrodnik, President & CEO of Pittsburgh Institute of Mortuary Science is pleased to announce its Spring
Continuing Education Event entitled 2015-PIMS Best Practices 101. This all day seminar sponsored by PIMS will
feature Dariusz Wolman, Ph.D., James Loeffler, CPA, CFE and Joseph Marsaglia, Ed.D . This multidimensional
program will feature the following topics:
• Emerging Microbial Hazards: What Embalmers/Funeral Directors Need to Know- Dr. Wolman
• Occupational Fraud: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You- Mr. Loeffler
• Succession Planning: A Roadmap for Organizational Stability and Continuity of Service- Mr. Loeffler
• Child Abuse: Recognition & Reporting: Dr. Marsaglia
This 6 hour day-long program will not disappoint the embalmers and directors with discussions on both clinical and
business issues. Effective January 1, 2015, licensed funeral directors in Pennsylvania will have to comply with a new
renewal requirement to include child abuse content in continuing education courses.
Mark your calendars!
Where: PIMS Special Events Center
When: Friday, March 13, 2015
8:45 A.M. to 4:15 P.M.
Cost: $120 (received before February 27)
$135 (received Feb. 28 -Mar. 12)
$150 onsite registration
Program: 6 Continuing Education Hours
Application for approval for 6 continuing education units has been made to Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland,
New York and the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice. Breakfast, Lunch, and all course materials will be
included for attendees.
On November 12th and 13th, Aurora hosted two funeral service marketing seminars in Charlotte and Chicago featuring marketing experts including Quinn Eagan from PFP, Greg Grabowski and Luisa Kcomt from Seasons Hospice Foundation, Ryan Thogmartin from Connecting Directors and Disrupt Media, Joe Joachim from funeralOne, and Marty Strohofer from Aurora. About 160 funeral professionals packed the locations.