January 2023

Page B6 January 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on B By Mike Jamar Your Source for High Quality Funeral Vehicles Mike Jamar is founder and co-owner of Advanced Integration Technology. Mike has been working with computers since the early 80s and started Advanced Integration in 1994. Advanced Integration specializes in Internet inventories designed for specialty vehicles and equipment. HearseHub was created through a collaboration between Advanced Integration and Nomis Publications, and is now in its fifth year of service. HearseHub brings together funeral vehicles from a number of dealerships that specialize in high quality funeral vehicles. HearseHub offers funeral directors a large, and easy to shop inventory, of funeral vehicles. You can reach him at Mike@AITAdvantage.com. F U N E R A L H O M E & C E M E T E R Y N E W S w w w . N o m i s P u b l i c a t i o n s . c o m Monthly Columnsonline at The Nissan LEAF is a small economic option, Tesla offers a more luxurious model, and the Mercedes eVito is both a powerful and spacious model. You might think the Mercedes version would be an option for America, but honestly the eVito hearse looks more like a van than a hearse. There is also at least one hybrid hearse offered in Europe as well. Vehicle weight is the kryptonite of electric vehicles, which is why European chassis manufacturers have an advantage over their American counterparts. The European hearses are smaller and lighter in weight. For example, the custom designed hearse used for the funeral procession of Queen Elizabeth II was recently featured in the media. It was not only smaller than a typical American hearse, the casket area was surrounded by a great deal of viewing glass, unlike the American models which mainly offer an opaque metal enclosure. Will 2023 Be the Year When an Electric Vehicle Debuts on HearseHub.com? So why do I hold out hope that there might be an electric vehicle on HearseHub in 2023? One reason: First Call Vehicles. Many manufacturers are now offering a fully electric or hybrid van model. (Yes, I accept hybrids as electric vehicles!) Over the years, I have written several columns on why electric vehicles seem to be a perfect fit for the funeral industry: short trips, and low maintenance. And every year I look for an announcement from an American coachbuilder concerning an electric vehicle, but so far nothing has been forthcoming. I will mention that I could not attend the National Funeral Directors Association convention this year, so if something was said, please let me know. I am not blaming the coachbuilders, as it is completely dependent on the chassis manufacturers. If the manufacturers don’t offer an electric chassis, there is little the coachbuilder can do. I know the manufacturers are working on various versions of an electric chassis, so maybe it is not too far off. There are electric funeral coaches available, but unfortunately, they are only offered in Europe. YORKVILLE, IL— Both DNA Memorial, the leader in DNA Collection, and ASD-Answering Service for Funeral Directors have announced a new partnership with The Commander Initiative. The partnership with DNA Memorial will allow the members of the Commander Initiative to offer DNA Memorials for their bereaved families. DNA Memorial has been serving the funeral industry for over 15 years with its groundbreaking technology. This unique process will allow the members to offer a truly personal service that is unparalleled in the industry. Whether it’s for ancestry tracking or for genetic disease testing the DNA can be taken and stored to be used now or at a later time. Ryan Lheto, CEO of DNA Memorial had this to say, “We are honored to preserve the DNA of generations past and present and especially honored to be able to offer this opportunity to the members of the Commander Initiative and the many communities they service.” The new partnership with ASD-Answering Service for Directors will allow Commander Initiative members to receive an extended free trial of ASD’s answering service. ASD–Answering Service for Directors serves more than 7,000 funeral homes and is the preferred choice among independent funeral homes and funeral home directors. With a visionary approach to business, ASD has redefined the way funeral directors serve families, combining unparalleled levels of training and advanced technology. Family owned and operated, the company has been helping funeral homes manage their calls and their businesses since 1972. The Commander Initiative’s invitation to ASD to join their program as a Vendor Member is a testament of their commitment to their members. The organization invested a great deal of time and research evaluating ASD’s services, technology and history before partnering. As part of the new partnership, ASD will offer Commander Initiative members an extended, eight-week free trial ASD’s services with all set-up fees waived. “ASD is honored to participate in the Commander Initiative’s Vendor Member Program. We are highly impressed by the level of research the group devoted to this decision,” said ASD vice president and family-member owner, Kevin Czachor. “Both ASD and the Commander Initiative are committed to supporting independent funeral professionals and helping them discover the tools they need to manage and grow their businesses.” Founded in 2018 by Eddie Pitt, CEO of Cooper Professionals, the Commander Initiative is a buying pool for independent funeral home operators. By combining the knowledge and buying power of more than 200 independent funeral homes, the Commander Initiative helps its members save time and money. The group is dedicated to leveraging the collaborative buying power of its members, giving independent funeral home owners a seat at the bargaining table. In recent months, the Commander Initiative has evolved into a community of like-minded funeral professionals who are committed to supporting one another. Learn more at www.cooperprofessionals.com. DNA Memorial and ASD partner with The Commander Initiative Ray Lheto Kevin Czachor Eddie Pitt Passages International Hires Liz Hamilton as Sales Representative for the Southwest Liz Hamilton ALBUQUERQUE,NM— Passages International is welcoming Liz Hamilton to their team as a sales representative. Hamilton will be the point of contact for wholesale customers in the Southwest region, including funeral homes, cemeteries, and more. Hamilton is a fully licensed funeral director who entered the funeral field in 2016 in order to support green funeral practices and community-led death care. She began her career in the funeral industry when she worked for a fast-paced funeral home and mortuary in Asheville, NC. During her career there, Hamilton went to mortuary school at Fayetteville Tech Community College and completed her funeral service internship. Hamilton has been trained as a home funeral guide and served on the board of the National Home Funeral Alliance from 2020 to 2022. She has given several talks on green funeral practices and home funerals. Hamilton also worked closely with the conservation burial ground in North Carolina. Hamilton moved to Albuquerque, NM in 2021 to work for French Funerals and Cremations. During her career there, she was impressed with the products and mission of Passages. Hamilton is excited to represent the company and looks forward to building relationships with funeral industry professionals in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. “I am so excited to have Liz join our team,” says Darren Crouch, president and co-founder of Passages. “She has stellar experience having worked locally at a premier funeral home, successfully using Passages products. She knows the business and products, and has a personal passion for greener, less traditional products.” Hamilton will be educating funeral homes on the Simple Bamboo Container, an ideal product to add intention and dignity to cremation, which continues to grow in popularity beyond conventional burials. Today’s families choose cremation because it offers more flexibility and freedom among many other reasons. These families still deserve better than a cardboard box cremation container, and the Simple Bamboo Container brings a warmer touch to the memorial for the family, is better for the environment, and is better for funeral homes’ bottom line. Hamilton will also be partnering with funeral homes to help them align with today’s scattering families. With almost 50 percent of families intending to scatter cremated remains, there is a huge opportunity to update stale urn selections with less traditional and biodegradable options to reflect this new normal. Passages International, Inc has been leading the green sector of the funeral industry since 1999, with the largest selection of innovative environmentally-friendly urns, scatter tubes, caskets, and various memorial products. Liz Hamilton can be reached at liz@passagesinternational.com or by phone at 505-317-7175. For more information on Passages products, visit www.passagesinternational.com. 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