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OGR installs new officers, board at awards ceremony

INDIANAPOLIS (April 30, 2021) – The International Order of the Golden Rule (OGR), the world’s leading professional
association dedicated to making independent funeral homes exceptional, installed Evan J. Strong of Evan J. Strong Funeral Services in Calgary, Alberta as its president for 2021-22 at its inaugural online awards ceremony Thursday, April 29.

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Shining a light on 'last responders'

Doctors, nurses, and other frontline health care workers are deservedly hailed as heroes for their dedication and courage in treating patients with COVID-19. But behind the scenes, another set of professionals is addressing the toll of the pandemic in an equally important but unacknowledged way. These “last responders” are the workers who ensure that people who die from the novel coronavirus are laid to rest with dignity.

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President's Message: Looking to the future, learning from the past

OGR is built on a strong foundation of over 93 years serving the Independent Funeral Home. With a dedicated board, outstanding staff and members who are there to support one another, we're ready to write the next chapter of OGR’s story. We have begun to implement a three-year strategic plan that was developed by the board, our staff and the leadership at our management company Raybourn Group International.

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Pens Down, Eyes Up: Nonverbal communication with families

How we behave in our silence can sometimes have an even greater impact on the families we serve than the words we say to them.

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When families say, 'We'll have a service later'

How you can be the hero who makes it happen.

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One of many projects that helped me earn the OGR Community Service Award

Earning the OGR Community Service Award is an honor our funeral has earned twice, once in 2015 and again in 2019.

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Finding your way through

We are built for empathy, connection and love. That's why loneliness hurts so much.

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Between good and great

By now, everyone has been put to the test with the ever-changing rules, regulations and restrictions that the COVID pandemic has imposed, not only on the funeral profession as a whole but on each individual who serves families who have lost a loved one. We have had to adapt and pivot to ensure that families receive the level of excellence in service our OGR firms are known by.

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'The day's not over yet!'

Many of us at some point in our lives have heard the phrase, "The day’s not over yet!" My great-uncle introduced me to it. I asked him one day why he always said it and he told me that when he landed with the Third Canadian Division at Juno Beach on D-Day, they achieved their objective and were regrouping and congratulating themselves when their commanding officer came by and said, "The day’s not over lads. There is still work to be done!” It was something that stuck with my great-uncle, and he often said it for the rest of his life.

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Applications now being accepted for OGR Foundation scholarships

The Order of the Golden Rule Foundation is now accepting applications for its 2021 Awards of Excellence Scholarship Program.

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Member Spotlight: Hoffen Funeral Home – Millstadt, Illinois

Elle Heiligenstein is the owner of OGR member Hoffen Funeral Home, LLC in Millstadt, Illinois, and also serves as funeral director and embalmer. She shared her experiences with running a successful funeral home for the past six years.

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Ignore at your own risk

When was the last time you took a look at your Google reviews? Have you ever taken a look? Have you even claimed your business so that you can respond to reviews as they are made? What about asking happy clients to post a review for your funeral home or cemetery? Based on what I have seen, most funeral homes and cemeteries are not making Google reviews a part of their business plan.

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Young Professional Spotlight: Eric Cahill

Eric S. Cahill is a 40-year-old licensed funeral director and embalmer at Veterans Funeral Care in Clearwater, Florida.

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Waking up to gratitude

I’ve become a fan of sunrises.

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Top challenges and solutions for managing your business on social media

It’s part of our daily lives. We check what our friends and family are up to, keep up to date on news or entertainment, and yes, even check in on our favorite companies. What started as a virtual social gathering space has evolved into an advertising tool for businesses to grow and engage with their customers. But it’s not always the easiest marketing tool to navigate, especially for small businesses, and especially in the funeral industry.

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10-minute Talks: A new way to reach out to caregivers

The pandemic has been especially challenging for professionals working in healthcare. Nursing homes, hospices and hospitals have all had the stress of handling the unknown while trying to maintain their own health and wellness.

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Professional development from OGR: At your pace, on your schedule

2020 brought new challenges and course corrections we had not anticipated. As we start 2021, OGR is committed to providing you with the professional development opportunities that address the challenges that independently owned funeral homes face and prepare you for the next stages of funeral service. After all, we have had over 90 years of experience serving professionals just like you.

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OGR member recognized as Funeral Director of the Year by 'American Funeral Director' magazine

Geri Oliverie, manager and owner of Oliverie Funeral Home in Manchester Township, New Jersey, has been selected as "American Funeral Director" magazine's 2020 Funeral Director of the Year.

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Meet OGR's new executive director

Last fall I had the privilege of joining the International Order of the Golden Rule as your new Executive Director/CEO. A lifetime of association and non-profit work has prepared me for this role, but I also know I have the advantage of having the Big 4 (family, staff, volunteers and members) by my side as OGR enters 2021.

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President's Message: Forging a new path

2020 was a year of change, in more ways than one. OGR transitioned to a new management team led by Raybourn Group International in Indianapolis; funeral homes adapted to serve their families without traditional connection and service opportunities; and associations like ours – across all sectors – have learned they can’t rely on their annual conference as their primary means of networking and growth.

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