Complete Story


President's Message: Every Voice Is Important

By Jon Deitloff, CFSP, OFDA President

I have no musical talent at all. I can't read a note of music, I play no instrument and I sing flatly and off key. In fact when I was in a fraternity in college I was told by my "brothers" that when we went to serenade the sororities that I was to stand in the back of the group and lip sync the songs, but under no circumstances was I to sing. I believe it was my enthusiastic pantomime that made our serenades so special and well received. In the bigger picture I felt flattered because my friends knew my limitations and yet they still wanted me along.

Our association is comprised of all sizes of funeral homes. Some serve just a few families a month. Some serve more than a thousand annually. Most members fall somewhere in the middle of those extremes. All of the firms represented have a voice in the direction that funeral service takes. Your association values your opinions and listens to all comments. Virtually every program that OFDA offers to its members today is in place as the result of a member request.

There are many avenues for you to offer your opinions. Your comments are always welcome at the OFDA office. Executive Director Steve Gehlert and Assistant Executive Director Melissa Sullivan are both accessible and in fact spend a sizable portion of each day speaking to members. All of the officers are receptive to input and would be glad to speak to you. You also have a statewide voice through the president of your local district. Each district sends a local officer to attend four OFDA Board of Directors meetings per year. They come to Columbus to represent your specific local interests and report back any information received there. We truly want to hear from the membership when making any decision concerning funeral service.

OFDA represents Ohio interests when attending national funeral service events. Your elected officers attend three meetings a year and are present for discussions concerning funeral service coast to coast. OFDA Past President Mike Krill is Ohio's voice at these meetings. Mike listens to all debates and then actively seeks our input before casting his vote. Ohio has historically been well represented at these meetings and has always been a leader on the national level.

Nowhere is your voice more important than in the political arena. OFDA sponsors a legislative reception every spring in Columbus where our members have the opportunity to meet their elected state officials. This unique forum allows you direct access to the people setting the policies that affect you every day. If you can't attend this reception please consider donating to the OFDA-PAC. Political Action Committees provide financial support to candidates and in return they are granted greater access to the candidate. Your support in this area helps the association to convey our message directly to the legislators.

Regardless of your opinion speak up.
We want to hear from you.

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