Information for Firms Interested in PFDI Membership
What is the focus of PFDI? (Preferred Funeral Directors International)
A Study Group
Members are very serious about their businesses and are willing and able to share confidential information. The members will share confidential information with yo with the expectation that this information will not be shared with anyone else. You will be assured the same confidentiality with your comments.
A Professional Program
Members will meet at the annual conference to learn from experts and from each other. At each annual meeting we share ideas in the Advertising Fair and other discussions on a variety of topics. PFDI members have taken the Executive Level Course at the Kellogg School of Business, Northwestern University, High Point University as well as Owen School of Business at Vanderbilt University. We continue our learning by attending visits to member firms, called Fly-Ins. These are short duration meetings 24 to 48 hours where we visit and tour other firms. This not only affords us on the spot learning, but also makes us more familiar with our member's operations.
A Marketing Focused International Association
PFDI members have a keen interest in marketing. Having celebrated our 75th anniversary in 2012, we were founded as the Advertising Funeral Directors of America at a time when few firms advertised. PFDI members continue a tradition of innovation in all aspects of their businesses including pricing, facilities, services and advertising. PFDI’s current members bring a broad spectrum of experience to funeral service and related businesses.
PFDI members are often in other accountability groups and associations. We have a vast cross section of the profession including past presidents of ICCFA, SIFH and NFDA as well as other trade organizations. Yet, members feel that PFDI is the one group they can share personal and business challenges with the confidence that the members are there to celebrate their successes and help them with difficulties. Competitors are present and firms who are publicly traded are prohibited from membership. Many members connect at other conventions or by phone to help one another with issues in their business. PFDI website – pfdi.org is brand new and redesigned to be easy to use and useful to all members. PFDI also operates an on-line forum so you can poll questions or make statements to the membership whenever it is needed. We also have started a pilot program for staff sharing.
It would not be unusual for you to recognize many of our current member’s names and accomplishments. They are generally progressive advanced operators in the funeral service profession. Our current Board of Directors are: Lisa Baue, President; Michael Perotto, Vice President; Charles Anderson, Sec-Tres; Tom Starks, Imm. Past President; Mike Leavitt, Gus Antonopoulos, Doug McComb, John Kepner and Fred Cook. Our Executive Director is Marilyn Gould of MKJ Marketing and is assisted by Erica Heuer.
Becoming a Member
Membership Application Process
Prospective members are recommended to the Membership Committee of PFDI. The committee first determines if thee is any competitive conflicts. Generally the neatest member firm is consulted. After a simple process and with the recommendation of a current member, the prospective member is asked to complete a detailed and comprehensive application that is kept confidential to the Membership Committee, Board of Directors and the Executive Director and staff. Once the complete for is received by the Membership Committee it will be reviewed and voted on, going to the Board of Directors as a motion to approve. PFDI will publish the request for membership with basic information to its current members and allow 15 days for comments. After the 15 day period, taking into account the comments of the membership, the Board of Directors will vote to accept or decline the applicant.
The current annual membership fees are $1750.00 per year.
Membership is for the Firm
The membership fee is for your funeral home. Any owner in senior level management may attend a conference. If you decide that several of you want to attend or you want to alternate family members you can do that without additional cost of membership other than the normal registration fees.
We obviously want you to attend as much as possible to receive all of the value available through this “invitation only” membership. In fact, if you fail to attend a meeting for forty eight consecutive months your membership will become inactive and your competitive area no longer protected. Termination may be required unless the Board of Directors excuses for good and sufficient causes.
PFDI has an annual conference every year in the fall. We do our best to schedule around the other conferences and conventions taking place. We try to alternate between the East and West Coast as much as possible. With a smaller membership we are able to use many more venues that are desirable than the larger organizations. We also offer FlyIns which go to individual member locations for tours and other learning experiences. For instance, this past year we visited Guerra & Gutierrez Mortuary and Forrest Lawn in East Los Angeles, California and soon we will be visiting Bartolomeo & Perotto Funeral Home in Rochester, New York.
Questions should be directed to Marilyn Gould or Erica Heuer at MKJ Marketing, 888-655-1566. You can also speak with your sponsoring member or with of the Executive or Membership Committee members.