Illinois Funeral Directors Association-Are they gone? Your Funeral Guy

8 Oct

thumbnail (6)The Illinois Funeral Directors Association appears not do be doing so well. They have are searching for a new trustee, for their Scandal ridden trust fund, The IFDA Preneed Trust. They have not been updating their member website. (latest info has been from June 2009 ) After Losing and stealing up to 100 million dollars of  preneed trust funds(according to Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes and reports in the State Journal Register) one would think that would be the least they could do.

Instead The Executive Director Duane Marsh has been busy conducting tours of the Museum of Funeral Customs. directed by the embattled National Funeral Directors Association Executive Secretary Randall L Earl.( yes he is still listed as the Director of the Museum pf Funeral Customs at The NFDA website)

The press seems to have forgotten about the Illinois Funeral Directors Association and their great preneed insurance  swindle in the State of Illinois

Funeral industry| Funeral Blog by Your Funeral Guy.

The IFDA has received an important resignation, yours truly.

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One Response to “Illinois Funeral Directors Association-Are they gone? Your Funeral Guy”

  1. marsellusm710 October 8, 2009 at 10:05 pm #

    Dear Funeral Guy,
    It has been along time since we’ve had a chat. With all of the “special events” going on here in the Land of Lincoln, IFDA Trust, NPS, Burr Oaks, Mr. Hynes running for Governor, (the man can’t run his own office and wants the run the entire State, what a hoot!), I have been busy taking care of families and trying to enjoy my own, that I just haven’t had time to talk.

    After reading today’s blog, I need to take issue with you on a few matters regarding IFDA. While IFDA may not be at the top of its game and an embarrassment to the funeral service community, there have been some important changes to the IFDA Board. There are some fresh faces and along with those come some minds to change things and set a course that hopes to rebuild the integrity of the Association for it’s membership and those in the funeral service community and the public that its members serve. If one is paying attention you will notice in comparing the past Board members names to those recently installed this past summer and the fact that most of them have no prior connection to the IFDA you have “fresh” people on board. The holdovers, are in the minority and the majority of them from what I am told is working with the newcomers to make positive changes. I am told that good things will be coming from this group.

    Secondly, I have been extremely critical of the IFDA Trust mess. While it is true that a new Trustee is being sought, it will be difficult to find any entity to take over until the smoke clears and the dust settles on the lawsuits to see if there is recoupment of monies or not, if so what percent of recovery, etc. One can almost be assured that Merrill-Lynch(ed) as I like to call them, has been eager to dump this prior to merging with Bank of America. As I have said before hopefully the Courts will hold the investment arm of Merrill-Lynch accountable along with their commission earning poster child Mr. Schainker, et.al., in the recoupment of Trust monies. The regulators are learning it is wise for them to keep their noses out the matter in making back-room deals with ML while matters are in litigation.

    Number three, you need to lay off the new Executive Director of IFDA, Mr. Duane Marsh. He is NOT the one you need to be slamming here. There are a few out there that you could slap around if you like. Mr. Marsh is reaching out to our membership to build relationships and regain the trust of individuals to rebuild IFDA. You have to remember that this man walked into a firestorm of problems some which occurred after he came on as the result of the actions of his predecessors. With all of the problems going on I don’t think the man has had a chance to focus on his job for having to deal with all of the little fires around him.

    I would be very careful about accusing IFDA of “stealing” millions of dollars. You should probably direct that to the Merrill-Lynch financial advisory team and those at involved on the IFDA Board(s) in the know at the time. Have you checked out the Wexler-Wallace website lately? One can find out a lot at that website.

    Fourth, The press hasn’t forgotten about anything. There simply isn’t anything to report right now. Word has it that depositions are ongoing and Schainker & Co. have a date with the Secretary of State’s Office soon in regards to his securities license. Sources say that too will settled and resolved to the States satisfaction through negotiations as happened with the Illinois Dept. of Insurance recently.

    While it may seem that I have grown soft on IFDA I do see an effort to change the association or at least give it a chance to. While IFDA has some health issues, it ain’t dead yet. It has a way to go to become the healthy and honorable institution it once was, the new guys are making an effort to reach out and communicate and listen to the members.

    It has been a year now since the hatchet dropped on us with the write-down of the Trust accounts. To sit and read the ledger sheets of how each account was taken for 25% of its value, and an unknown 9% coming at the end of October, was gut-wrenching at best. Most of us just want to get on with life, we are dealing with the loss on accounts as they come. Some are trying to figure how to retire without losing too much and some will never see retirement and will work until they die or are forced to retire.

    It took time for the problems at IFDA to come out. The obstructionists and charter members of the “secret society” as I have called the former Board(s), are gone for the most part. I predict that with careful planning and membership electing key people to Board seats, IFDA will emerge as an honorable and shining star for funeral service.

    There are two lawsuits before IFDA that could be the death of the Association, should they lose.

    I am still watching carefully as best I can what is happening and going on at IFDA. It belongs to us members. Even if it would collapse due to judgement in Court I feel it would simply reorganize and thrive.

    Respectfully,
    MarsellusM710

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