eNews June 2021


Any Personnel Changes for the Directory or eNews Subscription?

Kindly report any changes in your Licensee information to Kelly Kubicz at kkubicz@wilbert.com or call Kelly at 708-865-1600 at your first opportunity when changes occur.  Thank you!


Mother And Daughter Keep Family's Enterprises Safe And Doing Business As Usual

The Mark Minnick family's group of local businesses, ranging from death-care supply to precast concrete manufacturing, was deemed essential by the CDC throughout the pandemic.

In order to keep all operations safe for employees and smoothly doing business as usual, mother and daughter, Alice and Grace, increased their hours and workloads dramatically over a year ago and continue to run at that pace.

For a look at just what this entailed and how everyone has fared, WBOI's Julia Meek invited the pair into the studio to discuss the experience.

Here is the WBOI article about the Mother and daughter duo.


Xtra Magazine Article

In the April eNews there was an announcement about Wilbert now offering same sex couple options for the Together Again Companion urn.

The back story, which culminated in the design of a new version of the urn, mentioned the plight of a gay couple from Victoria, Canada who searched for an urn to commemorate their 35 years together.  After continued rejection from funeral homes and suppliers, they turned to Wilbert who subsequently was able to create a meaningful alternative for the couple.

The couple’s story was subsequently picked up by Xtra Magazine which is one of the world’s leading LGBTQ2S+ online publications.

Here is the Xtra article.

The “Together Forever” urn mentioned in the article is actually the “Together Again” companion urn made by Mabrey Products.*




WilbertEDU™ Updates

WilbertEDU continues to be a huge success! Thanks to all of you and your outreach to funeral professionals, we continue to see our webinar attendance rise each session. We had some awesome presenters in May. 
On May 6th, Mark Panciera, fellow funeral professional as well as CEO and partner of the Pacific Institute, presented “Mindset Matters; The Performance Mindset for Funeral Professionals (by a Funeral Professional).” His presentation provided insight to learning how our mindset impacts the client-families we serve, both positively and negatively. Mark delivered information on how to uncover ‘blind spots’ that may be holding you back and a way to fix them so you can provide the best service and more. Attendees learned how applying Mark’s personal formulas for professional success could be a tremendous help. 
Mark is enormously proud of his funeral service tradition as the owner of Boyd-Panciera Family Funeral Homes, led by his wife, Tiffany, and son, Mark Anthony, who is the fourth-generation caregiver in the business. His webinar delivered a powerful message that was well-received by those in attendance. 
On May 20th David Hicks returned, by popular demand, with the embalming course, “Post Embalming Technique.” David discussed the many procedures and techniques that are completed after the embalming machine has been turned off. A listing of 90 separate tasks and procedures made for an interesting session for all who joined the webinar. From feature building to casketing and many others between, the topic sparked discussion and best practices among the attendees. 


Upcoming WilbertEDU™ Sessions

June 3rd,  Mark Bartel, Chaplain and Manager of Spiritual Care at the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, will address “Grief Work of Children” and guide us through a discussion about the emotional reconciliation needs of a grieving child. This session will focus on the initial nurturing around the funeral phase by discussing six needs that can be helped along with a good funeral process.

June 17th, Lance Ray will address the topic of ethics, with his presentation “Good People, Unethical Choices.” In this WilbertEDU session, Lance will review why ethics are so important to the funeral profession, the three parts of bad choices, and why we all must work to keep ethics high in our business. The discussion will share situations and ethical choices funeral professionals have had to make or have heard of others making in and out of the prep room.

July 1st, Jon O’Hara of Great Lakes Partnership will be back to present “Video and Photos, Tell Your Story Your Way.” Your website is now your front door, and everything seems to be migrating from paper to digital, and more specifically, to video. Your kids and grandkids do not watch Saturday morning cartoons. They watch YouTube on phones, tablets, or whatever they can get their hands on. As much time and energy that you have dedicated to ensuring your curb appeal is pristine, it is equally as important to have your digital yard looking great. High-quality, well-produced video is an easy way to immediately change the experience of your modern-day funeral home visitor. This session will explore many options on how to incorporate meaningful/value-based videography/photography into your funeral home and why it is more important than ever. Humanize your staff and tell your story in your own words...do not let digital visitors guess.  

On July 15th, Barbara Kemmis, Executive Director of CANA, will be sharing “The Answers are in the Numbers.” This presentation reviews the 2020 CANA cremation statistics with emphasis on current trends and market fluctuations. Using straightforward exercises, she will use the statistics and investigate how they impact an existing business. This interactive session will identify strategies to remain profitable in today's market.

Rounding out July, on the 29th David Kessler visits us to share “When a Child Dies.” No parent expects to bury their child. The natural order of things is for children to outlive their parents. One expects to watch a child grow up, marry, and have children of their own. The death of a child takes away all the dreams and hopes a parent had for that child. No matter the age, a child’s death is an immensely difficult loss and carries with it profound emotions. David will speak to us about many of these feelings along with finding meaning in death.

Watch this corner for additional WilbertEDU webinars, and take advantage of the WilbertEDU Licensee Resources page (www.wilbert.com/wilbertedu-resources) where you can find past presentations and other useful material for promoting WilbertEDU to your customers.


Southern Illinois Wilbert Vault Co, Inc 

Dennis Sanders of Southern Illinois Wilbert Vault presents a scholarship award. A note accompanying the photo read, “This is a photo of our Egyptian Funeral Directors Assoc. scholarship recipient for this year from Southern Illinois Vault Co, Inc. Jerry Beyer, our Sales and Public Relations Consultant, presented the check to Madison Arnold at the annual banquet which took place at the Giant City Lodge in Makanda, IL. Madison is a student of Southern Illinois University Mortuary Science School in Carbondale, IL." 


Request for Custom Artwork

Occasionally a Licensee requests our marketing department to create a new point of purchase with custom artwork. To ensure all Wilbert® copyrighted materials are used appropriately, we revised our creative request form and developed a new Limited Use License Agreement that will need to be executed and returned before our design team can fulfill art requests. Below are samples of the request form and license agreement.

20210517_-_Creative_Request_Sample   Limited_Use_License_Agreement-01


ICCFA went Virtual for 2021!

The ICCFA Annual Convention and Expo went virtual this year and deathcare professionals from across the globe attended the event.  Over 200 visitors came to the virtual booth to view the video, catalogs, product pictures and several left comments of thanks for our participation.   ICCFA offered 25+ hours of educational sessions, an exhibit hall packed with new and innovative products from suppliers, and numerous networking opportunities, especially on the community dialogue board.  As the CDC relaxes COVID 19 guidelines, we may all be back to in person events both local and national very soon.


Precast for Recreation?!

Si Precast is currently involved in pouring engineered precast “rocks” for two kayak courses that are being built in Oklahoma.  The rocks are designed to create the desired currents for whitewater kayaking.  Crossland Heavy Construction requested a bid for the first course on the Arkansas River in Tulsa and subsequently requested a quote for another course on the Illinois River near the Arkansas border. Si Precast won the production of the blocks for both courses.  The blocks are being poured by Joel Hall and the amazing production crew in Springfield, MO. The first job is complete and awaiting delivery and production for the second job is underway.  After designing and receiving the molds, we contacted McLaughlin Whitewater Group, the designer of both courses and are currently in talks with them about doing more courses around the country.  McLaughlin, out of Denver Colorado, is the same company that designed the 1996 Summer Olympics kayak course on the Ocoee River in Tennessee as well as many other courses around the country. Be on the lookout for pictures of the completed projects on the website, www.siprecast.com in the coming months.


Important Notice Regarding Campbell Studios

Please Note that we have been informed that Campbell Studios, makers of our Bill Campbell Collection Viridian Sky, Amber Sunset and Midnight Star urns and mementos is closing in May.

We will no longer be able to order product.  Therefore, once any remaining inventory is sold off there will be no more products available.

We will try to find a new line of quality and attractive ceramic products for the next catalog cycle.  Thank you for your understanding.

Mike Devaney

Merchandising Manager


Beth Cooper Install

Recent installation of a custom columbarium, sold by Beth Cooper,  Cooper Vault in Barrington, NJ.  Maple with Mahogany shutters with two memorial benches.


Commemorating First Responder Sergeant Christopher Ward

Sergeant Christopher Ward, 36, of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, along with K-9 Deputy Logan Fox, was shot and killed on April 28th while responding to a call. Sgt Ward, a former police officer in Beech Mountain, had served in law enforcement for eight years.

Sergeant Ward is survived by his wife, two daughters, father, maternal grandmother, and one sister. He will also be dearly missed by his extended family of nieces, nephews, in-laws, his brothers and sisters of the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office and the larger community he served so selflessly.

Both officers received full honors together, including a procession to the Holmes Convocation Center, K-9 salute, a final 10-42 radio call by Watauga County Emergency Communications, a 21-gun salute, and the playing of Taps. Their names will be added to the nine that currently appear on a monument in front of the Sheriff’s office. Public services were conducted May 6, 2021. Private family services for Christopher Ward were held May 7th.  Austin and Barnes Funeral Home served the Ward family.

Hairfield-Wilbert Burial Vault Co. in Valdese, NC was honored to provide the family a stainless steel triune burial vault with a Treasured Tributes image.


Commemorating First Responder Police officer Anastasios Tsakos

Police officer Anastasios Tsakos, of the NYPD Highway Patrol Unit, was struck and killed by a drunk driver as he directed traffic on April 27, 2021, at the age of 43.  Officer Tsakos had served with the New York Police Department since 2007 and had a goal of flying an NYPD helicopter as he had earned a degree in Aviation Administration.

Officer Tsakos is survived by his wife, three year old son and six year old daughter.

He was honored with a public service at St. Paraskevi Greek Orthodox Shrine Church on May 4th, attended by the NYPD Commissioner, Mayor Bill DeBlasio, and hundreds of officers from across the state who gathered outside of the church due to pandemic protocol. Following, a procession escorted him to rest at Northport Rural Cemetery.  Joseph Farenga & Sons in Queens assisted the Tsakos family with the funeral planning.

Wilbert Funeral Services in Oakville, CT was honored to provide a stainless steel triune burial vault with a Legacy Custom image and a graveside service.

close (X)