Montana Funeral Directors Association

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  • 15 Nov 2017 8:30 AM | Terri James (Administrator)


    As your new President of the Montana Funeral Directors Association, I would like to introduce myself.  I’m Kyle Zimmerman, manager of the Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Crematory in Anaconda.  I have been a licensed Funeral Director for 38 years and I have had my Montana license for 26 years now.  I previously served as the President of the South Dakota Funeral Director’s Association, where I had the honor of writing these lovely newsletters in the past.  I’m a member of DMORT (Department Mortuary Operation Response Team) where I worked in New York City during 9-11 in 2001 for two and a half weeks, and I worked in the New Orleans area during Hurricane Katrina aftermath for four and a half months in 2005.   

     

    This past April I traveled to Washington, D.C. for the NFDA Advocacy Summit with our Executive Director, Jim Brown.  We visited with the staff of Senator John Tester and Senator Steve Daines to talk about the issues NFDA is endorsing.  One issue is H.R. 1212: THE BRAVE ACT, which seeks to increase the burial benefit for eligible veterans.  This bill received bipartisan support and is still being looked at.  H.R. 2022: THE LATTS ACT OF 2017 clearly defines the difference between donor and agent, and this is still being looked at.  You can read more on these articles in the July edition of The Director.  There were a lot of great sites to see and it was interesting visiting with Jim on his years of working in Washington, D.C. as an aide.

     

    Now on to a review of a great convention in Bozeman, held June 9-11.  I would like to thank our Past President Niles Nelson for doing an outstanding job this past year in leading the MFDA.  To Bobbie, (wife of Niles Nelson) for helping at the registration table.  To Jim Brown and Laura Welker of the MFDA for lining up excellent speakers and providing such a great venue in Bozeman.  It was an excellent location with great food and professional service.  A big THANK YOU to the convention sponsors and to the vendors for their support. Without you, this convention would not be possible. 

     

    I would also like to thank Anderson Stevenson Wilke Funeral Home out of Helena for putting together the memorial video for the Service of Remembrance Program and the candles that were given to each of the families.  To Niles Nelson for conducting the program, and for the Past Presidents, Officers and District Officers for reading of the obituaries for our fellow funeral directors and family members.  To Laura Welker for the very fine background harp music.

     

    To the Montana Honor Guard for the personnel they had there assisting with the folding of the flags.  The demonstration of flag folding they provided during the social hour was excellent, and I can’t thank the funeral homes that brought flags for this purpose enough. 

     

    I would like to see some changes for the next convention in honoring licensees for their number of years of service by presenting them with plaques for 25 years, 30 years, 35 years, 40 years etc.  I would like to have a Past President reception during the convention, as well.  Maybe this has been tried or done in the past, but it might increase the attendance.  If anyone has any ideas for the convention to increase our attendance or to try something new, or speakers to be brought in, as we are going to start on next year’s convention soon, please pass them on to myself or to Jim Brown.

     

    The convention will be held in Great Falls next year and we will be having it on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday format in early June again.  In visiting with vendors and directors, it seemed they were in favor of this format. 

     

    Until the next edition,

    Kyle Zimmerman

    2017-2018 MFDA President

     

     


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