of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association
Great Employees An Evaluation Guide
NCBVA BULLETIN National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. P.O. Box 917525 Longwood, Florida 32791 http://www.ncbva.org (800) 538-1423 Fax: (407) 774-6751 President Stephen Hatfield Hicks Industries, Inc. Mulberry, FL President-Elect Hubert McQuestion Lakeshore Burial Vault Co. Brookfield, WI Secretary/Treasurer Wendy Bott Brown Mark H. Bott Co. Ogden, UT Immediate Past President Todd Swihart Saginaw Wilbert Vault Corp. Saginaw, MI Directors Michael Crummitt Crummitt & Son Vault Co. Martins Ferry, OH Linda Darby-Sempsrott Trigard Vaults / Greenwood Plastics Danville, IL Doug Evans Carolina Doric, Inc. Florence, SC Steve Handley Handley Precast Systems, Inc. Glendale, AZ Dave Long Northeastern Eagle, Inc. Joliet, IL
TABLE OF CONTENTS A Message from the President................................ 3 Time for Spring Cleaning?
Great Employees.......................... 4 An Evaluation Guide By David Brugger, P. E. NCBVA Plant Certification Representative
Illegal Cemetery Practices–– Counsel’s Response..................... 6 By J. Scott Calkins NCBVA Legal Counsel
8 Reasons to Feel Good About the Economy...................... 8 By Kevin Stirtz
A Mother-Daughter Success Team ........................... 10 Neher Burial Vaults By Sylvia Heidemann NCBVA Staff Writer
Industry News ’N Notes.............. 13 NCBVA Certified Plants.............. 15
Tony Colson Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. Forest Park, IL Jerry Russell Southern Ohio Vault Co. Portsmouth, OH Dennis Schultz Doric Vault of Western N.Y., Inc. Buffalo, NY Steve Vincent Vincent & Son, Inc. Galena, IL Executive Director Thomas A. Monahan, CAE Certified Association Management Co. Longwood, FL Legal Counsel J. Scott Calkins, Esq.
Our Advertisers American Cemetery Supplies, Inc...... 7 Axis Corporation............................... 18 CemenTech...................................... 19 Crescent Bronze Powder Co............... 3 D & C Supply Co., Inc......................... 3 Doric, Inc........................................... 13 Edgmont Metallic Pigment Co............ 6 Holland Supply Inc.............................. 9 Long Machine Co.............................. 17 RoMix Chemical & Brush................... 4 Rostine Manufacturing & Supply...... 13 Trigard.............................................. 11
A Message From the President By Stephen Hatfield
Time for Spring Cleaning?
ell, spring has finally sprung. Although some of you may still be having winter weather issues, at my house it’s time to start the annual task of what my wife calls “spring cleaning.” Ah, yes, it’s a big production: cleaning all the cracks and crevasses, walls and ceilings, taking a toothbrush to the tile grout, and going through closets and drawers to throw out anything we haven’t used or worn in the past year. It’s a simply glorious experience, but when it’s done and everything is spit-polished and in its place, there’s a calming effect on our household (well, actually, on my wife Melissa--but that’s a good thing). In case you’re wondering where I’m going with this, there’s a direct correlation of spring cleaning at home to spring cleaning (and, more importantly, routine cleaning and organization) at your plant. Early in March I had the privilege of seeing NCBVA Plant Certification Representative Dave Brugger’s presentation on burial vault quality to a group of Doric licensees. One thing really stood out through his entire presentation––the importance of cleanliness. From your concrete vault forms to your floors to your equipment, the quality of your product, your business and your customer’s percep-
tion of your company can all be tied to this simple yet often overlooked action. OK, I’m “preaching to the choir.” But I know from experience that we can become complacent (Dan has had to pop me upside the head a few times about this). So, if by reading this, you’re not quite sure this very minute on the state of your plant’s cleanliness, take a quick look around. If a potential or current customer just happened to drop by and wanted to take an on-the-spot tour of your manufacturing area, would you ask him to come back or would you be pleased to take him/her right through and show why you are a manufacturer of a quality product? Speaking of quality, let me introduce the expert––Dave Brugger. Dave’s article, “Guide to Being a Great Employee,” in this issue of The Bulletin (page 4) presents an evaluation system you may want to consider using with your employees. It’s a very enlightening 12-point system, brief and to the point, and yes, it covers the area of cleanliness and organization in the plant. Using it or some similar evaluation tool will help you share with employees the responsibility for keeping a clean shop.
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mployees generally want feedback on how they are doing on the job, and smart managers know they should conduct periodic reviews—whether they choose to do this on an annual basis or more frequently. Many managers face the evaluation process with trepidation. Finding the “right fit” of an evaluation tool for use in your business, especially an evaluation form tailored for our industry, can be tough. Over the years I spent as a burial vault plant manager, I devised the following feedback system that I’d like to share with you. It uses a personal tone that should help your employees be more involved with the evaluation process. Identifying 12 key performance areas and letting an employee know how he/she rates in each area provides an overall message you can give your workers that sets the standards by which they work. The scores are weighted according to importance. You can create your own score sheets for employee evaluation and ranking.
Attitude (Score 1-10) A positive, cooperative attitude is the most important factor in any company’s success. It sets the stage for everything else. Employees with great attitudes do everything else better and are happier and more pleasant for everyone to work with.
Work Quality (Score 1-10) After attitude, work quality is very important. Our customers are very sensitive to quality. Every detail is important. The shape and dimensions have to be perfect, the details have to be clean and true; final preparation, painting and delivery must be flawless. The graveside equipment must be clean, attractive and set properly. The vehicles must be clean and tidy and should reflect the pride you have in your work. Delivering on time is part of quality.
Organized Work Habits (Score 1-5) Your work areas should be organized with no unnecessary clutter or debris. Your tools should be nearby, well cared for, marked properly and organized. Being organized means you don’t have to waste time looking for or repairing your tools.
Honesty (Score 1-5) Everyone makes mistakes; everyone is tempted to do wrong. If you never take what isn’t yours, never cheat on your timecard, etc., the company will run on trust, which is better than suspicion. If you admit your mistakes, then we know how mistakes happen and we can work together to solve problems.
Loyalty (Score 1-5) Loyalty is very important because when you have it, everyone is working together to help everyone else to be successful. It makes it easier to give that extra measure of performance, and makes other people and the company loyal to you in return. Everyone benefits from loyalty.
Safe Working Habits (Score 1-5) At all times, you must keep yourself, and your fellow workers safe from injury. You must wear your safety glasses, respiratory protection, gloves, and proper clothing. You must not take safety risks, such as allowing electrical hazards, tripping and falling hazards, or back injury hazards to exist. You must communicate at once with your managers, fellow workers, and others when you see a hazard.
Attendance (Score 1-5) You can’t work if you aren’t here. Many of our tasks require you to be parts of teams. The teams can’t function well unless they are a certain size. One missing employee can start a snowball effect that can harm an entire day’s production quota. We need you here, on time and eager to work.
Able to Work Unsupervised (Score 1-5) Our supervisors have to cover a lot of bases. If they have to watch you all the time, they can’t be anywhere else. In the most extreme case of inability to work without supervision, we would need a supervisor for every worker. You know that wouldn’t work. You need to take responsibility for your work, and be accountable for the results of your work.
Skills (Score 1-5) No one can have too many skills. They are an important part of your value to the company. If you are doing some task, and you are not sure how to do it right, ask your supervisor, or get permission to work with an experienced employee. Every step in the production process requires some special skills. The easier it is to assign you to different jobs, when it is necessary to meet production, the safer your job is because you have increased your value to the company.
Energy/Speed (Score 1-5) When we estimate the price of a job, we use the amount of labor time as a part of the cost. Each employee costs an average of 50 cents a minute. (That is about what it costs per person to pay wages, benefits, taxes, insurance and provide the tools, equipment and factory.) If you do the math further, that means each worker costs about $30 per hour whether he/she is producing anything or not. Once you have punched in and are on the clock, the company has that cost. The company must get its money’s worth or it will go out of business. If 12 people take 25 minutes of scheduled, paid rest breaks per day, it costs the company $150/day, $750/week, $3,300/month or $39,600/year. That is just for scheduled breaks. Every minute counts. Unnecessary bathroom breaks, conversations that slow you down or stop you from working, taking too long to get somewhere, or just not producing as much as you could is very expensive.
About David J. Brugger David Brugger, who has served as NCBVA’s Plant Certification Representative since April 2008, has more than 40 years’ experience in funeral service and burial vault manufacturing (including other precast concrete products). Although his family had owned and operated a funeral home business in Erie, PA since the 1880s, David had originally planned to be an electrical engineer. After one year of that, he entered the family business, and six years later purchased Horton-Wilbert Vault. From 1975 to 2007 he directed Horton-Wilbert’s operations, budgeting, finance, production, product development and personnel management, restoring that company as a market leader. David managed a staff of 41 at two factory production sites.
Trainability (Score 1-5) We should not need to teach you the same skills over and over again. You should be eager to learn, pay attention, practice the new skill, and focus on improving the new skill with time.
Versatile (Score 1-5) You might need to step into different jobs at different times of the day. You should do it with enthusiasm and ability. This is a fast-paced business and our needs can change a lot because of a phone call from a customer or a discovery that something is going wrong. We all need to be versatile.
Illegal Cemetery Practices–– Counsel’s Response By J. Scott Calkins, Esq. NCBVA Legal Counsel
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Discriminatory and illegal cemetery practices against the concrete burial vault industry never seem to go away entirely. In recent months I have been rather busy with respect to answering questions or providing information about such practices. I want to share with you a recent opinion and recommendations that I made to a major concrete vault firm, which, in this instance, was being charged an excessive inspection fee. The same response is also applicable in the following situations: (1) to vault firms that attempt to install their products in a cemetery that prohibits concrete burial vaults; and (2) when there is a road tax or fee charged to a vault company that is not also charged in the same amount to vaults supplied by the cemetery. Charging an excessive inspection fee against a third-party vault firm and not charging the same fee against vaults supplied by the cemetery is invalid. The main purpose of this practice is to influence the lot owner-consumer against purchasing his/her vault from a competitive outside vault manufacturer as opposed to purchasing a vault from the cemetery. In most instances like this, the cemetery does not charge such fees or charges a reduced version. Such practice is attempting to do indirectly what the cemetery is not allowed to do directly––that is, to deter or prohibit the purchase of thirdparty vaults. The courts have uniformly held that such attempts to indirectly prohibit sales are void due to restraint of trade. Keep in mind that the basic principle involved is the denial and violation by the cemetery to apply such inspection fees (or any other fees or costs associated with the family-selected vault) uniformly and equally in operation of all lots. That means they are prohibited from charging one lot owner a fee that is not also charged to all lot owners. In a number of cemeteries, another recent practice attempts to deny any concrete burial vaults from being installed. There is an example in Georgia where only steel vaults are allowed. In a Catholic cemetery in a New England state, only plastic vaults are permitted. The cemeteries that try to prescribe these practices are in violation of federal restraint of trade and anti-trust statutes and regulations. There are states that have dealt with such specific prohibitions against concrete vaults. The first one that I recall was decided decades ago in Pennsylvania, where the court held that the family has the right to select the vault for interment of their loved one. Also, a settlement approved by a federal court in an Oregon Continued on page 8
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Illegal Practices Continued from page 6
consent decree by the then-counsel for the American Cemetery Association specifically lists several areas of cemetery practices that are void and invalid because they attempt to prohibit competitive vaults from being used in such cemeteries. The referenced practices in this column are classical violations of the decisions in state and federal courts dealing with antitrust, restraint of trade and the denial of family-selected competitive vaults from being used in such cemeteries. Let’s restate a number of court-ordered restrictions and requirements made throughout the U.S. to which cemeteries must adhere: • Cemetery policies regarding third- party vendors must be reasonable; • Policies must be made in good faith; • Most importantly, policies must apply uniformly and be equal in operation to all lots and lot owners; • Cemetery practices regarding outside vendors must be in compliance with state and federal laws and various court decisions pertaining to cemetery policies. Here is a recommendation to NCBVA members who are adversely affected financially by cemetery practices: If you haven’t done so already, start keeping a comprehensive record of your total income lost by illegal cemetery practices.
In Memoriam Thomas R. Shank
NCBVA Past President, Thomas R. Shank, 78, passed away January 7, 2009. Shank was a veteran of the U. S. Air Force. He retired as president of Spoerr Precast Concrete, Sandusky, OH, in October of 2004. He served as President of NCBVA in 1981. From 1990-1992 he served as president of Doric, Inc. He was presented the Robert E. Yoakum Award of Merit in the National Precast Concrete Association and was also a member of the Gideons. Tom is survived by his wife Joan L. (Spoerr) Shank, to whom he was married 56 years; daughter Barbara Schuley Seymour; sons, William “Bill” Shank, and Robert “Bob” Shank, both of Sandusky.
8The Economy Reasons
to Feel Good About
By Kevin Stirtz Despite all the bad news we hear in the media, there are good things happening in our economy. You just have to look past the popular headlines. Before I go any further, I’ll say this. I am NOT a financial or economic expert. Not even close. So, please don’t take what I’m saying as gospel. It’s not. It’s just my opinion and the opinions of a few others who happen to believe the economic sky is not falling. That said, however, I believe there are many bright spots in the economy today. And they’re getting brighter. They give us something else to focus on besides the doom and gloom everyone else is talking about. Here are eight reasons I believe we should be optimistic about our economy right now. Reason #1: The Baltic Dry Index Is Rising Fast I have recently learned about a little-known economic index that is heading up fast. It’s the Baltic Dry Index and it measures demand for shipping raw materials across the globe. It hit bottom in December 2008 and has more than doubled since then. As a leading indicator, some professionals believe this is good news for the world economy. They believe it shows economic activity is already starting to increase. Reason #2: Gold is High & Stocks Are Low Some investment pros believe gold has topped out and the stock market has hit bottom. These are important. As gold goes down, it suggests investors are willing to invest in companies again rather than the perceived safety of gold. And the stock market needs to rise for people to start feeling good about their investments and it provides capital to fund investment in growing parts of the economy. A rising stock market always produces optimism. Reason #3: Stimulus Plans & Alternative Energy Development Will Create More Demand Brendan Coffey, an analyst and editor of Cabot Green Investor, discusses four reasons he believes the economy is getting better. Reason one is that the U.S. government is investing a lot in stimulating the economy. He believes this will help (and I agree). Two, he believes the stock market is in a base building phase that will be the basis of a rising market. Plus, I like Coffey’s comments about George Soros and the new driver of our economy: alternative energy. This signals a massive change in the structure of our economy. This change will be healthy for everyone. Reason #4: China’s Economy Is Still Growing Many financial types are optimistic about China as a growing economy. Merrill Lynch sees much reason for optimism in its recent Survey of Fund Managers. China’s economy is still growing. To be sure, its growth has slowed, but it continues to consume more. And, with increased optimism in China and about its economy, that should help boost other economies, especially Asia Pacific and North America. Reason #5: Some Manufacturers & Distributors Are Optimistic Until now I had never heard of the PTDA (Power Transmission Distributors Association), but they seem to be more optimistic than other sectors of the economy. A recent survey showed many of their members believe they will increase revenue in 2009. Less Continued on page 19
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It’s not unusual to find burial vault manufacturing businesses that have been handed down for generations from father to son. Fewer family businesses, however, are passed from mother to daughter. With Mother’s Day right around the corner (May 10), it’s very fitting to present the business profile of a woman who is now president of the fourth-generation burial vault company that she and her mother ran together for 13 years. Neher Burial Vault Company
A Mother-Daughter Success Team
By Sylvia Heidemann NCBVA Staff Writer
oreen Pinney has a great role model in her mother, Nedra Neher Downs, who for 25 years ran Neher Burial Vault Company in Springfield, OH with her brother Jay as her partner. Although she says she was doing payroll in her mother’s company when she was 12 years old, Doreen hadn’t planned to become really involved with the family business as a career. After she graduated from high school, she studied fashion design for a couple years at Prospect Hall, a private girls’ school in Hollywood, FL. Looking back, she laughs that “It was really tough to live in a dormitory right on A1A and the beach.” Doreen met her future husband Gary in 1979. They married in 1984, and soon after, while they were living in Delaware, they got the news that Uncle Jay had had a heart attack. Nedra needed help
in running the family business. So, in 1985, Doreen and Gary packed up and moved to Springfield. Each started working in the company right away. The company grew and now has 11 employees. At a production volume of approximately 2200 units per year, it manufactures two lines of burial vaults: its own Neher line and Doric vaults. (It became a Doric licensee in 1973.) In addition, the company offers Clark steel vaults. Neher Burial Vault services 45 funeral homes in 20 counties within a 60-plus-mile radius of Springfield. Nedra retired in 1996 and Doreen became president. Another woman and family member, Doreen’s sister Denise, is the office manager, and Doreen says she simply could not do without her. Doreen’s husband Gary is vice president and manages the plant. Continued on page 12
Photo Above: Hats off to Neher Burial Vault’s fourth generation: from left to right, Doreen Downs Pinney, president; Gary W. Pinney, vice president; Denise Downs Sutherland, office manager; Roger Simonton; Jay Godfrey; Matt South; Harold Dixon; Sean Wise; and Terry Adkins. On truck bed kneeling left to right: Frank Hamilton, Sr., Bob Baugh II and Tom Knisely. Heidi May, the Pinney’s dog, crossed the rainbow bridge last August. Inset: Doreen Pinney(L) and her mother, Nedra Neher Downs (R), known for her hats! Photo Left: This aerial view of the Neher plant shows how they are mindful of being good neighbors. They made a practice of buying up neighboring properties when they became available, creating a natural barrier from residential areas.
Strength in numbers. Strength. Everyone wants it, and the security and protection it affords. But strength is in the numbers, so you have to do a little math to stand out from the crowd. And once you’ve seen the numbers behind the Aegean and Elite vaults from Trigard, we’re sure you’ll agree--nothing else really adds up.
1 tongue & groove cover with strong tape seal
14,000 pounds-worth of protection– the weight of a backhoe
40 years of experience since Trigard entered the industry in 1969
13 years of performance since unveiling the Aegean in 1996
layers of protection–metal, polymer liner, concrete, and polymer exterior
handcrafted metal linings and caps–steel, copper and bronze
6 decorative finishes of simulated stone and wood
1/3 total mass located in the cover– the strongest in the industry
Continued from page 10
Industry Challenge; High Overhead In Recent Economy In a traditionally male-dominated industry, Doreen and Nedra have managed very well. As Nedra did before her, Doreen excels in leadership and believes strongly in professionalism and the power of associations. Each woman has been an officer in the Ohio Burial Vault Association (Nedra served as president and Doreen served as vice president), and the company has been a member of the NCBVA since the 1940s. When asked her opinion about challenges facing the industry today, Doreen says, “Many people in our industry would answer that with no hesitation and say cremation, but in our particular area, I don’t think cremation is the chief problem. The area we service is located between Dayton and Columbus. There are a lot of small towns and farming communities in a 60-mile radius around our town of Springfield. Traditional funerals and burials are still popular. I like to believe that everything goes in cycles and that cremation has probably peaked––at least in our area.” “Now, as far as challenges,” Doreen continues, “this past year has been the toughest one I’ve had in the 13 years since my mother retired and I’ve been running the business. Gasoline has been $4 and more per gallon. The price of natural gas has skyrocketed, too. How can anyone possibly prepare for those kind of unexpected hits? It’s always been our family’s philosophy to do whatever it takes to make a go of it, so we pared back and people had to work extra hours, but everything has finally leveled off. I’m thankful that I’ve recently been able to hire another employee.” Does “doing whatever it takes” include doing cremations? Doreen says she’s been approached by funeral home directors and encouraged to put in a crematorium. “I just said I wasn’t interested in doing that,” Doreen states. “We have to keep an eye on the cremation trend, but I don’t want to have to cope with the additional pressures of operating a cremation business.” Releasing the Pressure With 11 employees, Doreen and Gary work long and hard hours. The couple has no children, so they lavish attention on their pets– Gracie, a Yorkie-Poo, Annie, a Chih-Poo, and Rufus, their 20-lb cat. All have become seasoned travelers. When the Pinneys can escape from the pressures of business and relax for a few days, they put the dogs and the cat in the car and head north to the community of Colon, MI, where they have a vacation home. Doreen laughs that their getaway place works magic any time they can visit there, but she also gets a kick out of the fact that the small town of Colon calls itself “The Magic Capital of the World.” And for good reason. Back in 1925, world-famous magician and illusionist Harry Blackstone
Above: Doreen’s father Allan Downs, now retired, checks the new batch plant mixer. Left: The new batch plant building
owned a home there, and he and one of his friends, Percy Abbott, formed “Abbott’s Magic,” a company that is still in business supplying the tricks of the trade to would-be magicians. There’s no magic involved in the success of the Neher Burial Vault Company, however. Like Nedra’s grandfather who founded the business, each generation has kept a firm, guiding hand on the company’s course. The Nehers have continually strived to maintain quality––quality of product and quality of service in response to the support of the funeral directors and communities they serve.■
Neher Burial Vault Company 1903 St. Paris Pike, Springfield, OH 45504 Neher Burial Vault Company was founded in 1931 by Wallace Neher, Doreen Pinney’s great-grandfather. Wallace and his brothers had been entrepreneurs in a prosperous plastering business, and the burial vault business was a natural outgrowth of that venture. In 1939 the business was purchased by and incorporated by family members Millard W. Neher and A.J. Domer. The two made the decision to direct their efforts toward building and servicing the best concrete vaults possible. Over the years, other individuals gave dedicated service to the company, contributing greatly to its success: Doreen’s uncles (Nedra’s brothers)––Don A. “Dan” Neher and Adam J. “Jay” Neher, both deceased, and Doreen’s parents––Nedra Neher Downs and Allan O. “Al” Downs, now retired.
2009 Calendar April 20-23 ICCFA Annual Convention & Exposition Mandalay Resort & Casino Las Vegas, NV August 19-22 CANA Annual Convention Marriott City Center Hotel Denver, CO October 25-28 NFDA International Convention & Expo Boston Convention & Expo Center Boston, MA November 16-17 CFSA Fall Conference Crowne Plaza Indianapolis, IN
INDUSTRY NEWS ’N NOTES Doric Website Gets New Look Doric® Products has given its website–– www.doric-vaults.com––a new look. The website features a fresh new layout with easy-to-use navigation menus. One of the most important changes is the addition of the Classic Metal Vault® line of airseal products. The Product Lines button provides photos of Doric’s popular line of cremation urns and urn vaults. The Dealer Locator tab has been tremendously improved, making it easier than ever to locate a Doric Dealer. One can simply select his state and county from the drop-down menus and a full listing of contact information is provided for the Doric Dealer servicing the area. A favorite feature of the Doric website has been the “Decision Book” button that provides resource information for those who are looking for additional information before making their final plans. With “Phase One” of the website update now complete, Doric invites visitors to send comments by clicking on the “Contact Us” button.
is not only in our vaults, but in the people who build and service them. Doric has been providing funeral homes with quality lined concrete burial vaults for over 50 years. Experience, unparalled service and a dedicated nationwide dealer network make Doric the preferred choice of funeral directors around the country.
www.doric-vaults.com doric 1/4 page bw
1-888-55-DORIC 1/30/07, 10:40 AM
ICCFA Hires Julie Burn The International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association has hired Julie A. Burn, CCrE, CSE, as director of cremation services to lead the association’s cermationrelated program development. Burn was formerly cremation services manager for Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc., in Forest Park, IL. A frequent speaker at many industry-related meetings and conventions, she is chairman of the ICCFA Personalization Committee, which conducts the annual Keeping It Personal (KIP) Awareness program. Bill Approves Alaska Veterans Cemetery The Alaska State Senate has passed a bill to establish and maintain a veterans’ cemetery to serve the interior and northern Alaska. This new state facility in interior Alaska will complement the national cemeteries in Sitka and at Fort Richardson. There are approximately 11,000 veterans in the interior of the state. Continued on page 20
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❐ Please enroll me in NCBVA today! Signature indicates that you have read and agree to abide by NCBVA’s Code of Ethics and the rules that govern the National Concrete Burial Vault Association. Signature is required before this application can be processed. _________________________________________ (Signature)
CODE OF ETHICS We believe that concrete is an ideal material for the construction of burial vaults for the interment of human remains and that a properly constructed concrete burial vault is worthy of acceptance by the public. Our sales and advertising policies will be governed by standards acceptable by the public and the funeral profession and by principles advocated by the National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. We pledge fair trade practices to our competitor, whose product we will not disparage. We shall conduct our business on sound business principles, striving to build a relationship of respect and confidence for the burial vault industry with the public, with the funeral director and with the cemetery’s management. We will abide by the rules and regulations of the National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc., thereby contributing to a stronger and greater national industry.
U A D & Sons Vault Co. Suffolk, VA Abel Vault & Monument Co. Canton, IL American Concrete Industries Veazie, ME American Vault Co. Cleveland, OH American Wilbert Vault Corp. Forest Park, IL Arnold-Wilbert Corp. Goldsboro, NC Arrow Vault Co., Inc. Lafayette, IN Atlas Concrete Products, Inc. Orlando, FL Austin Concrete Products Dover, NH Babylon Vault Co. New Windsor, MD Badger Burial Vault Co. Eau Claire, WI Bailey Monument & Vault Co. Waycross, GA Baumgardner Products Co. Akron, OH Baxter Burial Vault Cincinnati, OH Baxter Vault Co. Baxter Springs, KS Beck Vault Co. Rome, NY Bell Vault & Monument Miamisburg, OH Brewster Vaults & Monuments Millville, NJ Brown-Wilbert, Inc. Morris, MN Brown-Wilbert, Inc. St. Paul, MN Bruns Norwalk Vault Co. St. Louis, MO Brutsche Concrete Products Battle Creek, MI Brutsche Concrete Products Benton Harbor, MI Buckeye Vault Service, Inc. Mansfield, OH C & M Precast Kerrville, TX Calumet Wilbert Vault Co. Inc. Gary, IN Capital Precast, Ltd. St. Johns, NL, Canada Carolina-Doric, Inc. Florence, SC Central Burial Vaults, Inc. Marlow, OK Central Burial Vaults, Inc. Oklahoma City, OK Central Burial Vaults, Inc. Tulsa, OK
NCBVA Certified Vault Manufacturing Plants NCBVA proudly recognizes the following companies that have a current standing in the Plant Certification Program Central New York Vault Co. Cortland, NY Century Vault Co., Inc. West Barnstable, MA Charleston Wilbert Summerville, SC Cheboygan Cement Products Co. Cheboygan, MI Chesapeake Burial Vault Co. Ingleside, MD Christy Vault Co., Inc. Colma, CA Columbus-Beier Vaults Columbus, WI Cooper Wilbert Vault Co. Middletown, DE Cordeiro Vault Co., Inc. Vallejo, CA Costello & Company Vaults Smith Falls, Ontario, Canada Creter Vault Corp. Flemington, NJ Crummitt & Son Vault Corp. Martins Ferry, OH D.G. Robertson, Inc. Williston, VT Dardanelle Vault & Monument Dardanelle, AR Deihl Vault & Precast Co. Orangeville, PA Delaware Valley Vault Co. Blackwood, NJ DePue Wilbert Vault Savannah, GA Detroit Wilbert Vault Corp. Detroit, MI Doody Burial Vaults, Inc. Winchendon, MA Doric Concrete Vaults Inc. Garden City, KS Doric Concrete Vaults, Inc. Great Bend, KS Doric Concrete Vaults Inc. Osage City, KS Doric Huntingburg Vault Co. Huntingburg, IN Doric of Kansas Vault Iola, KS Doric of Nashville, Inc. Nashville, TN Doric of Northeast Arkansas Jonesboro, AR Doric of Tennessee Cowan, TN Doric Concrete Vaults Limon, CO Doric Concrete Vaults, Inc. Newton, KS Doric Manufacturing Co. Boaz, AL Doric Mississippi, Inc. Jackson, MS
Doric-South, Inc. Demopolis, AL Doric Vault of Connecticut North Haven, CT Doric Vault of Eastern NY, Inc. Hudson, NY Doric Vault of Western NY, Inc. Depew, NY Doric Vault Co. Griffin, GA Dura Vault North Bend, OH Eagle Burial Vault Co. of LA Ruston, LA Eagle Burial Vaults Perry, GA Esterly Burial Vault Co. West Reading, PA Evans Eagle Vaults, Inc. Leola, PA Everlasting Vault Co. Randallstown, MD Flagg-Palmer Precast, Inc. Oxford, MA Florida Wilbert, Inc. Jacksonville, FL Fond du Lac Wilbert Vault Fond du Lac, WI Forsyth Bros. Concrete Prod. Terre Haute, IN Forsyth Bros. Burial Vaults Fithian, IL Fort Myers Wilbert Vault Service Fort Myers, FL Gettysburg Burial Vault Co. Gettysburg, PA Golden Eagle Vault Co. Rocky Mount, VA Grable Vault Co. Logansport, IN Graffius Burial Vault Co. Sinking Springs, PA Granite State Doric Newport, NH Gross Vault Co. Thomasville, GA Hairfield Vault Co. Hickory, NC Hardy Doric, Inc. Chelmsford, MA Harn Vault Service Massillon, OH Harris Precast Laporte, IN Hicks Industries, Inc. Davie, FL Hicks Industries, Inc. Mulberry, FL Horton Precast Gerard, PA Huntingburg Vault Co.
For information on NCBVAâ€™s exclusive Plant Inspection and Certification Program, please contact NCBVA Headquarters at 1-800-538-1423 or use application form on the next page.
Huntingburg, IN Jacson, Inc. Henderson, TX Jefferson Concrete Corp. Watertown, NY Josten Wilbert Vault Co. Sioux Falls, SD Kansas City Wilbert Grandview, MO Lakeshore Burial Vault Co. Brookfield, WI Lavaca Vault Co. Lavaca, AK Lindquist Concrete Products Ogden, UT Louisell-Davis Vault Service Chattanooga, TN Lycoming Burial Vault Co. Inc. Montoursville, PA Marion Vault Works Marion, IN Mark H. Bott Co. Ogden, UT Master Grave Service Athens, GA McDowell Doric Vault Co. Fletcher, NC Memphis Burial Vault Co. Memphis, TN Mercer Vault Company Fredericksburg, VA Milan Burial Vault, Inc. Milan, MI Minchew Concrete Products Co. Waycross, GA Minnick Services Corp. Fort Wayne, IN Montgomery Vault Co. Woodsboro, MD Montgomery Vault Co. Rockville, MD Moore Wilbert Vault Co. Evans, GA Neher Burial Vault Co. Springfield, OH Nor-Don Vault Co. Inc. Strafford, MO North Central Mich. Vault Srvc. Cadillac, MI Northwest PA Burial Service Cochranton, PA Norwalk Vault Co. Johnstown, PA Odon Vault Company, Inc. Odon, IN Omaha Wilbert Vault, Inc. Omaha, NE Ostwalt Vault Co. Concord, NC Palm Vault Co. Ada, OK Patriot Vault Co. Park Hills, MO Panhandle Vaults Amarillo, TX
continued . . .
U Pennsylvania Concrete Vault Co. Greensburg, PA Perfection Vault Woodson, IL Phenix Vault Phenix City, AL Pioneer Vault, Inc. Doylestown, PA Poplar Bluff Doric Vaults, Inc. Poplar Bluff, MO Precast Concrete Products, Inc. Blissfield, MI Precision Precast Inc. Pittsfield, MA Quality Burial Vault Co. Houston, TX Rex Vault Service Newton, IL Rocky Mountain Monument/Vault Sandy, UT Roland-Wilbert Vault Co. Marion, IA Saginaw Wilbert Vault Corp. Saginaw, MI Sam Green Vault Corp. Lynchburg, VA St. Louis Wilbert Vault Co. St. Louis, MO Saline Vault Co. Sweet Springs, MO
NCBVA Certified Vault Manufacturing Plants (Continued) Santeiu Vaults Inc. Livonia, MI Sexton Wilbert Corporation Blomington, IN Sheldon Vault Co. Sheldon, IA Shore Vault & Precast Co. Exmore, VA Simerly Concrete Products, Inc. Bristol, TN Simerly Vaults, Inc. Knoxville, TN Southern Ohio Vault Co. Portsmouth, OH Southern Vault Service Blakely, GA Spoerr Precast Concrete Sandusky, OH SI Funeral Services Cedar Hill, TX SI Funeral Services Gerard, PA SI Funeral Services Parsons, KS SI Funeral Services San Antonio, TX Sunnycrest, Inc. Auburn, NY Superior Burial Vaults, Inc. Salt Lake City, UT
Superior Vault Co. Bryantown, MD Superior Vault Co. Charlestown, IN Superior Vault Co., Ltd. Mississauga, Ont., Canada Swan’s Concrete Products Westbrook, ME Turner Vault Company Toledo, OH Vanden Boomen Burial Vaults Inc. Appleton, WI Vanden Boomen Burial Vaults Inc. Wausau, WI Vincent & Son, Inc. Galena, IL Washington Wilbert Vault Works Inc. Laurel, MD Warga Concrete Products Inc. Fort Wayne, IN Watts Vault & Monument Co. Des Moines, IA Wayne Burial Vault Co., Inc. Indianapolis, IN Welte Vault Co. Danbury, IA West Plains Vault & Mfg. Co. Pomona, MO Whitman Vault Co. Whitman, MA
Wicomico Vault Co., Inc. Salisbury, MD Wieser Precast Stewartville, MN Wieser Doric Vault Co. LaCrescent, MN Wilbert Burial Vault Co. Atlanta, GA Wilbert Burial Vault Co. Waycross, GA Wilbert Burial Vault Co. Muskegon, MI Wilbert Burial Vault Co. Traverse City, MI Wilbert Services Lancaster, NY Wilbert Vaults of Houston, Inc. Houston, TX Willbee Concrete Products Jackson, MI Williams Wilbert Des Moines, IA Williams Vault Company Emporia, VA Willmar Precast Co. Willmar, MN Zeiser Wilbert Vault Co. Elmira, NY
National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. Member Application for Plant Inspection Name of Plant ___________________________________________________________________________ Plant Mailing Address______________________________________________________________________ Plant Street Address_______________________________________________________________________ Plant Telephone_________________
Owner’s Name_____________________________ Evening Phone______________________________ Plant Manager/Contact Person__________________ Evening Phone_______________________________ Types of Outer Burial Receptacles Produced ❐ Top Seals ❐ Air Domes ❐ Sectionals Other________________________________________________ Please return this application with full payment to: The National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. P.O. Box 917525 Longwood, FL 32791 (800) 538-1423 Fax (407) 774-6751
For a NCBVA member in good standing, the Plant Certification Inspection fee is $1295.
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Continued from page 8
than 30 percent believe their sales will decline. The good news here is that they are seeing this as a time of opportunity rather than scarcity. So they’re using their resources to grow their businesses in new ways rather than hunkering down. Reason #6: New Home Builders Are Feeling Better New home sales are an important indicator of economic activity. For one thing, they show people are optimistic about their future. And they indicate other economic activity associated with the process of buying and building homes. So, if builders are optimistic, this is good news. Reason #7: Small Business Leaders Are More Hopeful From November 2008 to January 2009, the percentage of small business leaders who believe things will get better this year rose 70 per cent. They’re still cautious, but the trend toward more optimism is definitely rising. This is important, because small businesses employ 60 million Americans (depending on how you define small business). This is about 52 percent of our labor force. Any recovery depends on this group being hopeful about the economy and their situation. Reason #8: More People Are Seeing Opportunities There is a recent article about several business owners in New England who are finding ways to grow despite the economic bad news.
They are seeing opportunities rather than obstacles. This attitude shift is critical to getting the economy moving again. Fear will only make things worse. Where’s Your Focus? Influence of WYSIWYG I’m neither an economist nor a financial guru. But I know enough about how our world works to know when most of us are focused on how bad things are, that’s when things are probably close to getting better. And I know that what you focus on tends to be what you see and what you get. If, like me, you see good news about our economy, you’ll take note and you’ll act accordingly. If you see reasons to be optimistic, you’ll find ways to create opportunities for yourself and your organization. That’s the best way to respond to times like these. And it’s the best way to position yourself and your organization to be stronger and healthier in the coming years.■ About Kevin Stirtz Kevin Stirtz, the Amazing Service Guy, was one of the featured speakers at NCBVA’s 2009 Convention in Key West. A speaker and trainer, Kevin has been quoted in major business publications. For each one of the capsulized “Eight Reasons” in this column, Kevin has provided more detailed information on his website: www.amazingserviceguy.com.■
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National Concrete Burial Vault Association, Inc. P.O. Box 917525 • Longwood, FL 32791
FIRST CLASS Address Correction Service Requested
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INDUSTRY NEWS ’N NOTES Continued from page 13
FAMIC Elects 2009 Officers The Funeral and Memorialization Information Council (FAMIC) has elected its 2009 officers. Robert J. Biggins, CFSP, CPC, representing the National Funeral Directors Association, will serve as president; Kaye Starnes, representing the Casket and Funeral Supply Association of America, will serve as president-elect; Stephen Hatfield, representing the National Concrete Burial Vault Association, will serve as treasurer; and Ernest Adams, representing the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, will serve as secretary. FAMIC’s mission is to: be a catalyst in developing and sustaining cooperative relationships throughout the funeral and memorial service associations; encourage the interchange of ritualization and memorialization ideas, resources and information, using the highest ethical and legal standards with the public interest as its primary consideration; and pursue, when feasible, cooperative efforts to provide educational programming to members of FAMIC-related industries.
NFDA Co-hosts Asian Conference The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) will co-host its 2009 Asia Funeral Expo & Conference (AFE) at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre May 13-15. AFE will provide the opportunity for funeral professionals from every walk of life to share their customs, culture and information with their professional peers worldwide. In addition, AFE 2009 will offer an invaluable opportunity for suppliers to showcase their products, innovations and ideas for an international audience of funeral professionals and buyers. Nearly 160 companies on several continents will participate in NFDA’s 2009 AFE exhibition––a marked increase from the 100 companies that exhibited at AFE 2008, NFDA’s first hosted event abroad. In addition to the largest funeral product and service exhibition of its kind on the continent, NFDA’s 2009 Asia Funeral Expo and Conference will offer attendees the opportunity to share and learn from funeral professionals from around the world about their customs, culture and information through workshops, tours of funeral homes and cemeteries, as well as through social events.