Sharing Our Bryan College Station Success Story with NFDA in Florida

Last week, I was invited to St. Petersburg, Florida, to present “A Funeral Home Facelift for Today’s Family,” at the 2018 National Funeral Directors Association Cremation Conference.
As one of seven speakers from Massachusetts, Utah, Ohio, Texas, and Wisconsin, I spoke with pride about our Bryan-College Station location, with others in small- to mid-sized firms. We discussed design changes that can be made outside, as well what mastering modern-day technology can mean to business growth.

After travelling the country, studying the most attractive buildings that made efficient use of space and created a comfortable feeling, I brought back home what I’d seen. Chelsea and I enjoyed the hundreds of hours we considered, discussed, dreamed, and invested to create our center.

As we were building our funeral and cremation center, our BCS families were key to our success. You supported and encouraged our growth. When I described changes made inside the building, conference attendees were active in asking questions and sharing inspirations, for a great discussion session.

Everyone can make positive changes, no matter the size of their funeral home, or budget. That fact empowered everyone to envision future operations today, expect and welcome changes in business, preserve the trust they’d earned over the years, and how independent and family-owned businesses can continue to thrive in their communities.

I think NFDA members valued most our “old-fashioned” way of doing business, where you’re only as good as your word. The truth is always the best code of ethics. And, you build respect and regard in your community based on personal referrals from clients you’ve comforted and treated with regard and respect.

I wish my father and grandfather could have attended the conference. They were first to show me how the NFDA is important to our profession, and how the best gift you can give is your time and talents, when invited.

What a great gathering we had in St. Petersburg, Florida. The NFDA is the largest funeral association in the world, with over 19,000 members. These individual members represent more than 10,000 funeral homes in the United States and 49 countries. The most important element to belonging to this organization is their code of ethics they practice and hold strong to.

We value, as they do, the importance of continuing education in our field. Technology exists as a helper to funeral directors, rather than an impediment. Because I personally love the benefits that technology offers, I explore all the ways in which technology helps our business. Our primary goal remains to give individuals and families the best knowledge we have and the best options for their loved ones.

The weather, I must say, was only perfect in St. Petersburg. Sharing the NFDA photos here, this is the view prior to the Friday evening gathering arrival.

I was one of eight faculty members for the Cremation Conference. Here’s our group photo, courtesy of NFDA media.

In part of my presentation, I described with pride how our Callaway-Jones team was the “face” of our business, and that if you’ve never met a group of funeral directors before, you can forget the concept of all of us dressing in dark suits and looking somber.

Looking at our faculty group here, I think you’ll see that we’re your neighbors and friends in each of our respective hometowns.

I believe you’ll recognize Lacy Robinson (2nd from left, above) as the NFDA member who led the NFDA Funeral Arranger Training program here at Callaway-Jones Funeral and Cremation Centers in August, 2017. It was a great opportunity to be a host site for professional training, right here in Bryan, Texas!

To assure we don’t maintain status quo and stay stagnant in knowing what we already know, the value of roundtable discussions is unsurpassed. Meeting colleagues from all over the country, we can each share valuable and helpful ideas that benefit all of us. The benefit flows back to our families as we find new and interesting ways to improve all of our offerings for your funeral visitations and cremation services.

I really enjoyed giving my presentation on “A Funeral Home Facelift for Today’s Modern Family,” and the feedback on the presentation was very heartwarming.

No matter what city you’re in, no matter what your constraints are in budgets, there are always ways that you can improve the look and feel of your funeral home. Naturally, I’m proud of what we’ve been able to do in our community, thanks to our local friends of longstanding, who share our investment in our hometown.

It’s good to travel, but it’s also great to be back home again, too. I’ll have more news to share soon. Thanks for reading!

Cody D. Jones ‘02
Owner & Community Member