New York State Funeral Directors Association

Billvillanova portrait

Dear NYSFDA Members,

I am excited to share this month’s Presidents Message with you. Similar to communities throughout the state, our Association is focused on responsibly resuming normal operations. Our March Board Meetings were hybrid, allowing some members to attend virtually. With widespread vaccine distributions and limited COVID cases, I remain optimistic about our future. It is my expectation that we will continue with in-person board meetings and once again invite everyone to our NYSFDA Convention in Saratoga.

I wish to acknowledge our Director of Finance & Administration Kim McGuiness for her excellent financial reporting. The NYSFDA, FDSS and PAC reports were accepted by the Boards without any concerns.

Executive Director Mike Lanotte provided a comprehensive update on our Chapter Model Pilot Program. Thank you to the representatives from the local associations who are dedicating their time to ensure this program is successful. The progress that has been made is truly a testament to these Funeral Directors and their willingness to serve for the betterment of our Association and Funeral Service.

Our Association will continue to monitor the COVID pandemic and quickly share information that may impact our profession, our communities and the families we serve.

Our Constitution and By-Law Committee met and proposed meaningful changes. The recommended changes include modifications to our Regions to support the Chapter Model, Board Meeting Attendance and Membership Categories. Our full membership will have the ability to vote on these proposed changes.

Members of the Alcohol in the Funeral Home and Paraprofessionals Task Forces have dedicated countless hours and deliberated on what they feel promotes the highest standards in Funeral Service. The next step in the process for both Task Force recommendations is to share a survey so our membership can also participate in the process. Our Board discussions surrounding these topics were very dynamic and in the end I trust that our members will see the value and potential in their efforts. As always, I encourage everyone to keep an open mind when reviewing the proposals. Even though you may not personally see a benefit for your funeral home, there are many funeral homes and colleagues throughout our State that could depend on these options.

Our Government Affairs Committee shared their efforts and progress with our Legislative Agenda. The NYSFDA supports legislation that enhances Residencies and supports bills for Electronic Signatures, Final Disposition and Refrigeration in Long Term Care Facilities. I sincerely appreciate the focus and drive that it takes to create and pass a Legislative Agenda.

I wish everyone continued success and health throughout 2021.

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

Respectfully I remain,

William J. Villanova, President