March 2023

Page A19 march 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on A Phone: 877-770-TIES (8437) Fax: 276-466-3474 E-mail: STYLISH MATCHING TIES FOR PROFESSIONALS Any Size Group or Organization Funeral Supply Store 1-800-392-2936 • FREE COT COVER! Magnum Mortuary Cot $1,59500 1,000 lb. Capacity Dressing Table $99500 Elite Mortuary Cot $1,29500 Scale Included Scissor Lift $6,39500 Junkin Mortuary Cot 650 lb. Capacity $2,34300 FREE COT COVER & FREE SLIDER BOARD From A Book Club to Much More: The Deathcare Collective is Making its Mark The members of the Death Care Collective are passionate about connecting and lending support to each other. By Thomas A. Parmalee What started as a simple book club has grown into a whole lot more thanks to nine women who saw the opportunity to support each other – and others like them – in a much more meaningful way. Erin Creger, chief sales officer of Envision Strategic Partners, a preneed marketing firm, started connecting with other women online during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Most of us in this industry are social creatures – we thrive on helping families,” she said, noting that it was a struggle when everyone was isolated. She ended up chatting with Olga Piehler, vice president of customer care at OpusXenta, a technology provider that serves funeral homes, who formerly worked at the funeral division at Eterneva. The two met for a virtual coffee, which turned into a virtual happy hour with other women in the profession. Soon, a couple dozen women were meeting regularly, and they represented the entire profession: funeral homes, preneed insurance companies, funeral home marketers, monument companies and more. They all had one thing in common: A desire to support other women in the profession as well as a zest for professional development – and they started the Women in Funeral Service Book Club. The read and talked about books like: Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown; Being Mortal by Atul Gawande; Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski; Wolfpack by Abby Wambach; and Bittersweet by Susan Cain. At the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association’s Annual Convention and Expo in March 2022, some of the women met in person at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. That ICCFA event where the women met for breakfast changed everything, Creger said. “Some of these women I met for the first time in person,” she said. When she raised the idea of perhaps making the looseknit group something a bit more official – and perhaps even something with a larger purpose, she felt “a little vulnerable,” she said. “They could have said no – that it is weird to need more friends.” Continued on page A22 Your Rea l Source . Anywhere . Any t ime . @Nomis.Publications Like News Funeral Home & C eme t e ry onl ine