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President's Message - Hit the Ground Running And Didn't Look Back!

By: Kenneth A. Cahall, OFDA President

It seems that it was only yesterday that I became the President of OFDA at the 125th annual convention, but a year has come and gone. It has been a year full of work and pleasure. The planning meeting was held the week after convention and the executive committee gathered our thoughts and set the direction for OFDA for the coming year. It has been a very active time. After convention we hit the ground running and never turned back - a lot has been accomplished. The OFDA Master Trust has been revamped and has become one of the state of the art pre-need funeral trusts in the country. A bank managed account with a minimum crediting rate of four per cent plus, it has again become a premier service from OFDA. For those of you who have not used the trust in recent years, you need to check into what you may be missing. We have also added a pre-need insurance product, FDLIC (Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company) which offers a commission, compound interest rate growth, sales support and marketing materials. Another issue is House bill 426, the right of disposition bill. OFDA has been working with the Ohio State Bar Association and Rep. Matt Dolan to draft legislation that will help reduce the number of disputes that occur concerning the final disposition of a deceased. The bill was introduced in November, I gave testimony on behalf of OFDA and it passed the Ohio house in February. This bill is currently pending in the Senate Judiciary-Civil Justice Committee. We will be giving proponent testimony in the Senate very soon. Other changes will come before the membership at the annual convention in May 2006: there will be three constitutional changes requested. 1. to have all district presidents assume their offices at the same time (at convention, the same as regional directors and state officers) to maintain continuity.

2. the regional director nominees will be interviewed by the OFDA state nominating committee prior to their election. 3. the regional meetings will be replaced by district meetings. This has been embraced by the membership with overwhelming support. These are just a few of the issues we have worked with this year. There have been many others and we have faced them head on.

I have learned a lot and grown in this past year thanks to you. In my first newsletter I said that with your continuing support, my fellow officers and I would serve OFDA and you to the best of our abilities. We would strive to make a difference! I believe we have done that and more. OFDA is THE premier state association in the USA. I would like to thank my fellow officers, the OFDA staff, the Board of Directors, the committees, the past presidents and each and every one of you for your support and friendship. Everyone that we have met over the past few years has made my wife and me feel very special. Thank you for allowing me to be the president of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association.
I will always be proud to say that I am a member of this fine group. I have tried to represent OFDA well and have embraced the following philosophy that has helped me throughout my life and I would like to share it with you:
The Value of a Smile
by Leslie Gibson

A smile costs nothing, but gives much. It enriches those who give it. It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, and none is so poor but that he cannot be made rich by it. A smile creates happiness in the home, promotes good will in business and is the cornerstone of friendship. It can perk up the weary, bring cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and is nature's best antidote for trouble. Yet, it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen, for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. When people are too tired to give you a smile, give them one of yours. No one needs a smile so much as he who has none to give.

My wife, Jennifer, and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for allowing us to represent you. May God bless you!

Kenneth A. Cahall, CFSP

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