March 2023

Page B4 march 2023 FUNERAL HOME & CEMETERY NEWS Se c t i on B Homesteaders Announces Growth Rate Increase Prominent Aging in Place Executive Dr. Amy Schiffman Joins Sympathy Brands Dr. Amy Schiffman MIAMI,FL— The Sympathy Brands Family of Brands, including,, Cemetery. com, Jewish Funeral Group, and others, is excited to announce Dr. Amy Schiffman, a nationally recognized expert in aging in place has joined the company. Dr. Schiffman will work closely with the team to broaden Sympathy Brands’ educational support, seminars, training, and resources for families and the deathcare industry. Dr. Schiffman brings extensive experience and knowledge to the company as she leads the curriculum development surrounding aging in place and provides guidance on supporting resources. She is currently the Chief Medical Officer at a Jewish Human Services Agency where she manages all aging in place services including hospice, private duty/homecare, care coordination, and the Holocaust Survivor Program. Prior to her most recent role, Dr. Schiffman served as an Emergency Physician, started a Medicare home-based primary care practice, and served as a medical director at two hospices. She is both a board-certified Emergency Medicine physician with a medical degree from George Washington University School of Medicine and a certified Hospice Medical Director as well as having a graduate degree in public health from the Bloomberg Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, along with an undergraduate degree from University of Pennsylvania. “We are thrilled and honored to have Amy leading such an important area of the company. Her expertise and experience will be invaluable as we continue to expand our offerings and support for both families and the deathcare industry,” said Michael Schimmel, CEO of Sympathy Brands. Dr. Schiffman will guide the team on the development and implementation of programs and initiatives. The primary areas of focus include adding educational seminars focused on aging in place, Medicare, and aging Jewishly, creating a library for end-of-life planning resources, including training materials and support for the deathcare industry, along with family-focused tools such as guides, checklists, and other resources. Through,, and Sympathy Brands, Dr. Schiffman will be sharing and helping implement best practice guidance for families and professionals. “I am excited to be a part of Sympathy Brands and to bring new and innovative resources to educate on aging,” said Dr. Schiffman. “Aging in place is a confusing and challenging topic, and it is exciting that Sympathy Brands is furthering the connection between families and the deathcare industry with this new curriculum.” Another Multigenerational Funeral Director Joins Sympathy Brands Team Jonathan Craciun MIAMI,FL— Sympathy Brands Company, dedicated to providing support to those navigating end-oflife matters, welcomes industry veteran Jonathan Craciun as a Client Success Manager. “We are delighted Jonathan has joined the Sympathy Brands team. His deep industry knowledge, dedication to families, and strong appreciation for personal care are incredibly valuable assets for our funeral home and cemetery partners and the families they serve,” said Michael Schimmel, CEO of Sympathy Brands. Craciun’s focus at Sympathy Brands, parent company of,,, and others, will be to support funeral homes and cemetery partners from onboarding through ongoing training and support of Sympathy Brands family-focused integrated products and services including Viewneral®, premium streaming services, automated aftercare, seminar services, service folders, and prayer cards. Additionally, Craciun will transition his deep-seated experience to continue to expand Sympathy Brands’ educational seminars and articles. “I am excited to join a team focused on helping the deathcare industry continue to enhance family care. The overlap of industry services and strong consumer brands like and is a unique approach to help meet families where they are,” said Craciun. The addition of Craciun further expands and strengthens the Client Success team, led by Brad Hainer, and supported by Arianna Rule, another experienced funeral director and Client Success Manager at Sympathy Brands. Craciun served as both a location manager and funeral director for over seven years at Craciun Funeral Homes in the Greater Cleveland Area prior to moving into a sales role for several years. Craciun earned his Bachelor of Arts from Bowling Green State University. Sympathy Brands is the parent company for,,,, and others. The company mission is to support families and industry experts through all stages of end-of-life matters™ with its trusted marketplace, leading technology and highly curated network of strategic partners. To learn more, visit Steve Shaffer WEST DES MOINES,IA— Homesteaders Life Company has announced an upcoming growth rate increase of an average 30 basis points for all new business. “We’re pleased to be able to offer this growth rate increase for the benefit of our funeral home customers, who rely on Homesteaders to provide safe, secure funding for advance funeral plans,” said Steve Shaffer, Homesteaders president, CEO and board chair. “Based upon strategic investment decisions made over the last several years, and in conjunction with the increasing interest rate environment, we are thrilled to now offer higher growth rates on our new policies and remain in a strong position to continue to be longterm partners to our funeral home customers, agents and policy holders.” “Homesteaders has a disciplined approach to our financial planning, and we carefully assess how our decisions will impact not just our company but also the customers we serve, in both the long and short term” said Homesteaders senior vice president of chief actuary Tom Doruska. “This move allows us to enhance our already competitive offerings while maintaining focus on our company’s continued long-term financial strength.” In addition to an ongoing commitment to reliable funding and products that meet funeral home customers’ needs, Homesteaders has made several key investments in recent years in new technology and value-added services to help funeral home owners and managers proactively meet the changing needs of client families and more effectively share the benefits of advance funeral planning with their communities. “As a loyal partner and leader in the profession, we’re committed to continuing our innovative technology, exclusive loyalty programs and groundbreaking services and systems that introduce new opportunities for our customers,” said Shaffer. “We’re very proud to have earned the trust of so many funeral professionals across the country and will continue to improve solutions that empower them to help more families design a better farewell. Being able to access new, effective tools in conjunction with such a significant growth increase and our very valuable casket protection (in this time of higher inflation) and other programs is a win for funeral homes.” The new growth rates will take effect on all new business issued beginning March 15, 2023. Homesteaders Life Company, a mutual company owned by its policy holders, is a national leader providing products and services to help people design a better farewell. Visit to learn more. (800) 4-HEARSE Lease a New 2023 Hearse and get a FREE Funeral Caddy Memorial Carrier Buy a complete Funeral Van or Convert your own Vehicle Who's Buyin? 2006 Superior Cadillac Statesman Hearse 2023 K2 Chevrolet Traverse CT Hearse 2015 Platinum Cadillac Pheonix Hearse 2009 Superior Cadillac Premier Hearse