New York State Funeral Directors Association

Billvillanova portraitDear NYSFDA Members,

We are now one month into 2021 and the activity and energy surrounding our Association is at an all-time high. Our Executive Director, Mike Lanotte, and our professional staff are supporting our members as they navigate the process to ensure funeral directors and colleagues throughout the State receive the COVID-19 Vaccine. While we are aware that some colleagues were met with a few obstacles along the way, an overwhelming majority of funeral directors have received their vaccine without issue. As always, I urge all members to use our Association Offices as a trusted resource when you are in need of assistance.

As expected, our Task Force meetings began in January. One Task Force is focused on discussing opportunities to enhance the Food and Beverage Law while the other is discussing opportunities surrounding a Certified Funeral Assistant. The members charged with these responsibilities are using all available resources throughout our state and beyond to ensure they provide the best possible recommendations to our Boards during the NYSFDA March Meetings. I am thankful for the members who agreed to take on this added responsibility and acknowledge the level of detail and respectful debate that runs through each meeting. Their efforts will continue to shape the future of funeral service throughout our state and position our profession to respond to changing needs of our communities.

Over the past few months I have had the pleasure to meet and collaborate with the members of the Bridge Commission. Like many of the activities of our boards and commissions, the activities of the Bridge Commission were also impacted by pandemic restrictions. This did not deter them from preparing for 2021. I look forward to sharing their activities in the upcoming months. For those who are unaware, the commission is comprised of members who have graduated from the NYSFDA Leadership Academy and are willing to dedicate their time and use what they have learned while in the Academy. I encourage all prior Leadership Academy Graduates to become a member of the Bridge Commission.

#NYSFDA strong is not just a hashtag, it is, who we are.


Respectfully I remain,

William J. Villanova, President