What could be more scintillating than a re-write of our Constitution? Well, here it is. You, the members, must approve these changes. Most are simply wording changes; i.e., take out the word “undertaker” and substitute “funeral director,” etc. I think an important change is the introduction of term limits for officers. The Board of Trustees is recommending a term limit of 3 years so that we will always be looking for new blood, new faces and fresh ideas.
This past year has been busy and exciting for the Board. We hired a management consultant, Janus Small and Associates, to help us move into the 21st century. The Board defined this Society’s most important issues as:
- Developing a Mission Statement
- Board development
- Member development
- Communications development
- Marketing and Visibility
We have adopted the Funeral Consumers Alliance’s (FCA) motto of “Funeral Information You Can Trust” to distinguish ourselves from for-profit organization such as eFuneral.com. We are the ONLY group in this area that is not selling something to people who need funeral information. We urge folks to plan ahead, but do not tell them what they should buy (although we do tell them not to pre-pay).
We have hired a communications specialist to help re-draft our brochure, which you can pick up at the Annual Meeting. We have hired a website specialist to revamp our website. When that job is completed, new members will be able to join our Society over the Internet, without paper forms and snail mail. The website will also contain more information, testimonials and links to other information websites.
To reach our goal of increasing membership, we are modernizing our Speakers Bureau. We now have a visual presentation to augment our speeches.
Usually, when a person joins an organization, there is enthusiasm about getting friends to join. But belonging to the Memorial Society is different. When members finally collect the benefits, we have fewer members. Our best way of expanding is to tell our neighbors and friends about the Cleveland Memorial Society now.
If you know of a group that is looking for a speaker, please recommend us and call the office at (216) 751-5515 to let us know whom we should contact. The service is free, and the group is under no obligation at all. We just want others to know that we give Funeral Information You Can Trust.
We also have other projects in the works and a firm plan for moving forward in the future. If you would like to join us on the Board, please volunteer! We even have pizza at some of our meetings!
This will be my last letter to you as President. It has been my privilege and pleasure to serve this organization. I hope to remain on the Board as all our exciting plans move into action.
Linda M. Betzer