Gabriel Ngo

December 19, 2022

Legal Check: Understanding The Funeral Rule

Scenario: Laura Laney is a third-generation owner-operator of Laney Funeral Home & Crematory in mid-Eastern Texas. Her family’s business has seen its share of trials and tribulations but has weathered them all and continues to thrive and grow. Laura’s business is just close enough to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to benefit from the bustling growth yet far enough away to have experienced a comparatively slower rise in cremation rates – which has allowed Laura (and her father, Lynn, before her) to educate the community and families she serves on the value and importance of services and gatherings being no different than burial when families select cremation as an option. Throughout COVID, Laney Funeral Home & Crematory found legal ways around restrictions in order to provide full burial and cremation services to appreciative families as often as they could. Over the […]
July 24, 2022

Leading with Emotional Intelligence

EI, the biggest workplace performance predictor and strongest driver of leadership and personal excellence, begins with you. “Let us all be the leaders we wish we had.”– Simon Sinek, Author and Inspirational Speaker While there is no “I” in TEAM, the winning team you build (or currently have) must start somewhere, and that somewhere begins with you, Mr./Ms. Owner-Operator. By default, and regardless of whether you wanted to be a leader or not, your team looks to you to be captain of your ship. Throughout my career, I have worked for others and found myself wishing that this leader was more “this way” and that leader more “that way.” However, none of us is ever complete and perfect. I have always found myself learning what I should do under past managers and leaders, but just as importantly, I have learned […]
July 24, 2022

Should You Be the Amazon of Deathcare?

E-commerce Is What Families Are Expecting Serve future customers. Is that not what all businesses set out to do? Substitute “customers” with “families” and replace “stores” with “funeral homes” and the quote below from the CEO of Walmart could have easily come from Tom Ryan (SCI), Mel Payne (Carriage), Brad Green (Park Lawn), or any other CEO for companies in the funeral, cemetery, and cremation profession. Or replace “customers” with “patients” and “stores” with “hospitals” and this quote can easily apply to hospitals/healthcare as well (and make no mistake about it folks, hospitals are businesses, with the majority of them being for profit). However, the part of the quote that I would like to focus on is “e-commerce” (before tying it all back to the rest of the quote and what it all means to you). So, what is e-commerce? […]
June 26, 2022

Legal Check: Who Is Entitled to Preneed Growth?

Scenario: Rico Funeral Home & Cremations has been successfully growing market share since it first started serving the community in southern Ohio over six years ago. Owner/operator Bernardo (“Bernie”) Rico had primarily focused on serving at-need calls because of his operational growth strategy and because of its immediate impact on cash flow. However, Bernie’s families had been inquiring more and more about preplanning and preneed, so Bernie partnered with a third-party preneed insurance provider a little less than two years ago. Bernie’s strategy was to actively sell preneed to areas of town or zip codes where his business was not already drawing at-need business and more passively to parts of the community where the at-need business was already coming from. Results have been pretty good, with Rico Funeral Home & Cremations building up a solid backlog of its preneed book […]
December 21, 2021

Legal Check: Funeral Home Negligence

Scenario: Ibanez Family Funerals & Cremations has been a successful family-owned funeral home business in Texas for the past 17 years. Due to the continued rising cremation rates in his market, Richard Ibanez decided to build out and expand his prep room space along with having a cremation area and retort installed about three years ago. Along with being licensed funeral directors, Richard’s two sons, Bill and Ricky, are also responsible for managing the prep room and the crematory, respectively. The Ibanez family has continued to serve their community extremely well with both their funeral and cremation service offerings. Unfortunately, Ibanez Family Funerals & Cremations has been dealing with two very angry families who might threaten to bring lawsuits against them. Both families have the last name of Smith. Adam Smith was a 28-year-old male who died in the line […]
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