Thinking Outside the Box

This year, the International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) is focusing its podcast series on “The Changing Consumer, exploring consumer needs in deathcare and how they have shifted in recent years. How are consumers finding and choosing their funeral homes? What services are they looking for? Which aspects of the funeral are most important to them? The 2023 season investigates questions such as these to provide insight into modern consumers. 

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Member Spotlight: Stevens Mortuary

Stevens Mortuary is located in Knoxville, Tennessee. OGR had the opportunity to learn from Mary Cantwell's experiences, who is 93-year-old and continues to work at her family funeral home. In this blog, she shares why she never retired and how she continues to find the work she does rewarding.

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Cremation Preferences and Trends

This year, the International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) is focusing its podcast series on “The Changing Consumer, exploring consumer needs in deathcare and how they have shifted in recent years. How are consumers finding and choosing their funeral homes? What services are they looking for? Which aspects of the funeral are most important to them? The 2023 season investigates questions such as these to provide insight into modern consumers.  

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Invitation to Innovation

Funeral homes are constantly looking for innovative ways to provide exceptional services and meet the evolving needs of their clients. Recently, the Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) had its inaugural “Invitation to Innovation” workshop to explore new approaches to caring for cremation clients. Led by Andrew Loos from Heartland Cremation & Burial Society, participants engaged in ideation exercises to generate implementable ideas. The event sparked creativity and highlighted the importance of viewing cremation services through the eyes of customers. Let's dive into some of the exciting ideas that emerged from this workshop.

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Is CHATGPT for me? chat.openai.com

As technology continues to shape the world, businesses across various industries are incorporating it into their operations to improve services and remain competitive. Funeral homes are no exception to this trend and can also harness the power of technology to enhance client interactions and services. One such technology is ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence program that is designed to understand and generate human-like language. The best news is that ChatGPT is FREE! 

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Member Spotlight - Heritage Mortuary, Inc.

Larnique Mickens is the executive director of Heritage Mortuary, Inc. in Las Vegas, Nevada. She shared her experiences with running a successful funeral home that recently won Best of Las Vegas by Vegas Review Journal in 2021.

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Honored To Serve Those Who Have Served: Jim Rudolph

Jim Rudolph started his career in 1980 working at local funeral home. In 2000 he founded Veterans Funeral Care (VFC) – the nation’s first branded funeral home focusing on serving veterans and their families. Through its provider network, VFC now provides services to veterans in 18 states.

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Future Leader Spotlight: Tricia Herzig-Mckinnon

OGR FUTURE LEADER SPOTLIGHT
Tricia Herzig-McKinnon is a 41-year-old licensed funeral director, embalmer and vice president of Toland-Herzig Funeral Homes & Crematory in Dover and Strasburg, Ohio.

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Scholarship Winners Announced

The Order of the Golden Rule Foundation has granted scholarships to six graduating students as part of its 2023 Awards of Excellence scholarship program. These scholarships are awarded each year to mortuary students based on strong academic performance, community involvement and an essay exemplifying a commitment to serving grieving families with compassion, fairness and dignity.

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2023 OGR Professional Service Awards

The International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) is proud to announce the winners of the Golden Rule Community Service and Exemplary Service Awards. The awards were presented on May 3, 2023, at the Golden Circle Celebration Awards Dinner held in Indianapolis. These awards honor individuals and funeral homes that have displayed exceptional dedication, innovation, and commitment to excellence in the profession.

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OGR Installs New President & Board

The International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) installed Christopher B. Miller on May 3rd as the organization’s new president. Miller is the owner of Thomas Miller Mortuary & Crematory with locations in Corona and Riverside California.

A second-generation funeral director, Miller began working in the family business as a teenager. After graduating high school, Miller left the family business to attend the California Polytechnic University of Pomona. He graduated in 1989 with a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Restaurant Management and worked in corporate management for the food service industry. Wanting to return to the family business, Miller received a Mortuary Science degree in 1992 from the Mortuary Science Program at Cypress College, also receiving the highest honor from the program, the Melvin Hilgenfeld Award.


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Raffy Jose Received Golden Light Award

The International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR) is proud to announce that Rafael (Raffy) Jose is the winner of the 2023 Golden Light Award. The award was presented on May 3, 2023, at the Golden Circle Celebration Awards Dinner held a in Indianapolis. 

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Passages Named Endorsed Supplier

OGR is proud to welcome Passages International as its newest Endorsed Supplier. Endorsed suppliers must meet exact requirements and complete an in-depth review process before an endorsement is granted by OGR. The products awarded an endorsement are identified with the OGR Endorsed Supplier logo. 

"We are so pleased that Passages has chosen to become an Endorsed Supplier with OGR. We value our members and want to give them the best possible experience with our association. In choosing to become an Endorsed Supplier, Passages has allowed us to support them in ways that bring us closer together as partners in our shared mission of making independent funeral homes exceptional,” said Wendy King, Executive Director/CEO of OGR. 

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The Top Five Reasons to Attend the 2023 Annual Conference

Get ready to mark your calendars because the event of the year is just around the corner! OGR's Annual Conference is the ultimate gathering of like-minded individuals who are passionate about the funeral profession. It's the perfect opportunity to reconnect with fellow colleagues and suppliers, and the best part is, it's happening in person! With an innovative educational program and exclusive networking opportunities, you won't want to miss out on the 2023 OGR Annual Conference. Here are five top reasons why you need to be there.

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President's Message: Professional Development as Self-Care

It feels like forever that we have been heads down, mired in the day-to-day tasks of running our business. We are all exhausted. We hear a lot about self-care, but who has the luxury to do that? And what does that mean anyway? Yoga, meditation, sleeping in? You’re probably thinking, “I don’t have time for that. I have a business to run.”

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Meet your nominees for the 2023-25 OGR Board of Directors

OGR will have three vacancies on its Board of Directors to fill this year. Voting opened in January and the winners will be inducted as part of the Golden Circle Celebration Dinner at the Annual Conference in Indianapolis this May. Below are the three employees of OGR-member funeral homes who have been nominated to fill those vacancies.

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Invitation to Innovation: Seeing cremation through your customers' eyes

What would change if you could see the cremation process through your customer’s eyes? What if you had an unlimited budget and plenty of staff? What would your cremation offerings look like if you had no limits to what you could do? Find out by attending this facilitated problem-solving event based on the IDEO Human Centered Design Thinking approach.

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State of the Association: Results from OGR's 2022 Membership Survey

Our membership community helps shape who we are and how we support independently owned funeral homes. To gain insight into how we can continue to improve service to our members, OGR commissioned Whorton Marketing & Research to conduct a survey of members and non-members in 2022. The survey had a 28% response rate with 104 participating out of 368 who were sent an invitation. This is a typical response rate percentage for associations across the board.

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International Perspective: 'Green' Funerals

How the “Green” Funeral Trend is Presenting Itself Internationally

Each year, we pose a question to OGR’s international members, asking them about how a trend in funeral service is playing out in their countries to offer our North American members a more global perspective on the profession. This year, we asked about “green”/environmentally conscious funerals. Several such practices are still banned in many U.S. municipalities - are they allowed in other countries? If so, how common are they? If not, do they see that changing anytime soon?

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2023 Education Preview

OGR is proud to offer numerous, flexible ways to learn, connect and grow in 2023. Plus many of our in-person events and webinars (both live and on-demand) will offer continuing education credits.

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