President's Message - Today Is Built On Yesterday
by Bob Van Horn, CFSP, OFDA President
Our past traditions mold us into what we are today. The people who have been in our lives have taught us and guided us along the way.
My parents, Inez and Bernard taught me good work ethics in my early years. Having been raised in the funeral home, I learned early to be quiet, which was a hard lesson to be learned as a rambunctious boy. Mom and Dad were strict but taught me respect and honor. This all lead me, over the years, to learn that compassion and going the extra mile for families is what our profession is all about. Every one, especially those families we are privileged to serve, all deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
My dear uncle Myron Van Horn, who made this ascent to the presidency of OFDA before me, said to me when I decided to run for secretary, "If you want something, go for it" and to "Be yourself." All of us have learned these lessons from those in our lives. We have learned quietness, respect, honor and compassion. I feel funeral directors are all unsung heroes. We go about our profession with great detail and complete our duties with endless grace.
Tradition is very important to our profession and the families we do serve value that very much. Even the adversity in our lives makes us the funeral directors we are today. I have never regretted leaving the family business in Jackson Center, OH. It gave me the push I needed to be my own person. When we left my family's firm and moved to Toledo, David Jasin, Sr., and his wife Mary Ann took us under their wing. They welcomed us and made us part of their family and family firm. Now, I am proud to be a partner in the business with Mary Ann, David Jasin, Jr., and Roberta Jasin. I must say a huge thank you to all of the dedicated staff at the funeral home. It is because of each and every one of them that I have been able to be gone and work so closely with OFDA since I began in 1997. I am honored and proud to have been able to be a part of two family firms.
We must always remember to be thankful for those who have helped us along the way. If you are fortunate enough to have those important to you still here, thank them now; don't wait until you wished you had the chance. Let them know how important they have been to you.
Remember, what we do today creates the tradition for those starting in the profession now. Be a good example and mentor to each other. Please encourage your young funeral directors to get involved in local activities as well as with OFDA. I believe they will then carry on this valued trait called "tradition."
I plan this year to strive forward with seeking a code of ethics for OFDA. I really believe a code is necessary for the advancement of our association.
My fellow officers, Ken Cahall, Jon Deitloff, Keith Walker and immediate past president, Dan Tobias hope you enjoyed one of our association's traditions, the annual convention. We are all looking forward to a good year. Our only purpose is to represent you and work for the betterment of OFDA. If you have any problems or questions, please contact any one of us. The office is always available too. All of us officers want to thank the hard working, dedicated convention committee and great OFDA staff for all their hard work throughout the years. Their work is the reason the annual conventions run so smoothly and are such a huge success. "Thank each and every one of you!"
I am honored to be able to have been given the opportunity to serve as your president.
Finally, please remember in reflection on our heritage and many traditions today and tomorrow are built on yesterday.
Bob Van Horn, CFSP