New York State Funeral Directors Association

Billvillanova portrait

Dear NYSFDA Members,

By the time you read this letter our NYSFDA Staff has already emailed a link to a survey based on the hard work of our two Task Force Teams. Thank you again to the members who dedicated their time and experience over the past few months. It is my hope that a majority of the members who received the survey took the time to review the questions and respond. It is also my expectation that everyone who did make the effort to respond fully understood how these potential changes would make a positive impact on the lives and businesses for many of our colleagues throughout the State. We all look forward to receiving your responses and identifying what actions or next steps are needed or suggested.

Last month Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, died. Like many of you, I read about the preparations for his funeral and then spent the better part of a Saturday morning watching it live with my family. His funeral reminds us about the importance and significance of ceremony. Whether simple or elaborate, a funeral service should be one of dignity, honor, and respect. We, as a society, as a community and as Funeral Directors, must never forget our responsibility to honor each life lived with a meaningful and appropriate ceremony.

As a profession we should continue to hold our grandfather’s traditions in high regard. We must also embrace much needed changes so we, as Funeral Directors and as a profession, remain relevant and responsive to our client families and our communities. Make no mistake, I believe we should always honor customs, traditions, and rituals. I also know that the days of “that’s the way we’ve done it, so that’s the way we’ll do it” are long gone. It is with this understanding that I know our profession will continue to respond appropriately while balancing tradition and technology as we create and provide the most magnificent contemporary funeral services for all families throughout the great State of New York and beyond.

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