AGEG News


Be Aware of Email Scams 

Please be aware of emails claiming to be from the AGEG Office or AGEG Board of Directors. We do NOT use Zelle or Pay Pal and do NOT use third party companies to solicit hotels rooms for our Clinic. 

If you receive an email of this nature, we recommend the following actions:

  • Do not click on any links or reply to the email
  • Report or mark the email as spam 
  • Delete the email from your email system and your trash folder
Remember, CONTACT US if you have any questions or if we can be of assistance.

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REGISTRATION IS OPEN

Pre-registration closes February 29

Visit HERE for Attendee & Exhibitor Registration Packages.

Sponsorship opportunities are available & include great marketing benefits before, during and after our event; exhibit space & representative attendance; banquet tickets, & more.




Renew your dues or join AGEG
2024 Members receive discounted Clinic pricing

AGEG is the only association in Georgia that focuses on Embalmers! Our members are a great pool of information for embalmers across the state and the southeast. We offer specific training for your profession and opportunities to earn your required Continuing Education Hours for your licensing needs. AGEG members receive discounted event pricing and AGEG News directly in the email inbox.  
  • For Membership FAQ visit HERE.
  • Attending our 2024 Clinic? Visit HERE for our registration packages which include a membership form. 
  • Unable to attend our 2024 Clinic? Visit HERE for a membership form. 


AGEG NOMINATING COMMITTEE REPORT

The AGEG Nominating Committee Members are Past President Richard Jenkins, Immediate Past President Darren W. Ford, and current President Lee Mack Pierce. This Committee nominated Vivian Pierce as the incoming Board Member/Chaplain. The AGEG Board approved this nomination and our full slate of nominees may be viewed HERE.  The AGEG 2024-2025 Nominations and Election will be held during the AGEG Business Meeting, Tuesday, March 12, 2024, at the Edgar H. Wilson Convention Center. 

Vivian Dianne Pierce is a 2015 graduate of Ogeechee Technical College with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Funeral Science Education. She passed the State Board for Embalming in May 2015 becoming the first Licensed Female Embalmer in Washington County, Georgia. Vivian passed the State Board for Funeral Director in June 2015 becoming a Licensed Funeral Director. She is a full-time Licensed Funeral Director & Licensed Embalmer at L.M. Pierce Funeral Home in Sandersville, GA and part-time at Dorchester Funeral Home in Midway, GA. Vivian is a Licensed Member of the Academy of Graduate Embalmers of Georgia, Inc. and has served as an AGEG Sergeant at Arms since 2019. She has also served many roles throughout the community to include: President of the Women’s Auxiliary of the Second Washington Missionary Baptist Association, President of the Women’s Ministry of Robin Spring Baptist Church, District Worthy Matron of the Louisville Masonic District # 22, and as a Board Member of the Washington County Hospital Authority. Vivian has two children, Kasheena and Arnisha, and one grandson, Evan. She resides in Sandersville with her husband Lee Mack Pierce, Jr. 

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Vivian D. Pierce

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Troy V. Chaney was born in Atlanta, Georgia and lived in Newnan until he was seven when his family moved to Thomaston, where he is proud to call home. Troy began his career in funeral service at age 16 and began work with Fletcher-Day Funeral Home. “I worked every Monday and my job was to make sure all of the vehicles were clean and ready, to pull tents, and it evolved from there to other tasks and responsibilities.” He continued, “My dream of working in funeral service had become a reality.”

When asked how he chose funeral service as his profession, Troy answered “I’ve always believed that in life, each and every person has a calling placed upon his or her life. Funeral service is a calling, and I believe that calling has been bestowed upon me. I take great pride in knowing I get up every day doing what God would have me to do. Tragedy struck my family when my cousin was killed in a car accident when he and I both were nine years old. This was my first experience with a death and a funeral service. I did not know what to expect, but I knew what was going on. I always was very mature for my age and began asking questions that mother just couldn’t answer. I owe everything I am today to my mother because she always believed in me, even when her nine-year-old wanted to be a funeral director. I was 12 years old when I became acquainted with Robert Harris, a gentleman who worked night visitations for Pasley-Fletcher Funeral Home, now Fletcher-Day, and he began to share with me about some of the steps needed to fulfill my dream. Then I was introduced to Darren Day, and after talking with him, I knew exactly where I needed to work, and the rest is history.”

Troy was a 2019 honors graduate of Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service and was the Salutatorian of his class, elected to serve as Student Council President, and Senior Artist of Pi Sigma Eta. He was also the recipient of the Bill Pierce Award, which many consider the most prestigious award in funeral service, as the recipient is selected by his fellow classmates and colleagues on who most embodies the values of funeral service. Troy stated he “misses his time at Gupton-Jones, the instructors and fellow classmates, but he has made many lifelong friendships that I cherish.”

Troy joined AGEG in 2019 after graduating from mortuary college. “I am very thankful for the academy because the main focus is on the embalmer. I appreciate the various trainings they provide with this ever-changing world. I also am very fond of the time spent meeting new colleagues, and I enjoy seeing friends from years past.”

When asked what changes do you see coming in the future of funeral service, Troy responded “Funeral service is changing. Everything is changing. The wants and desires of the families have changed. The biggest change in our sacred profession is the desire for a traditional funeral has started going away, but as funeral service professionals, it’s our job to educate our communities on the value of traditional service. I’m not saying we should reinvent the wheel, but we have to be willing to adapt and overcome change while holding on to the traditional aspects and values of funeral service. It’s our duty to provide caring and compassionate service to every family we are privileged to serve.”


AGEG Survey Results & Legislation Update

After review of our latest survey results regarding the proposed legislation by Senator Williams, the AGEG Board of Directors found it to be clear the majority of those responding do not support this legislation.  As an update, Senator Williams has filed Senate Bill 486. The AGEG Board of Directors do not support this legislation based on the responses received. 

Reach out to your legislator to share your thoughts on this legislation.  You can use the links below to find their contact information. 

  • House of Represenatives - HERE
  • Senators - HERE
  • Find Your Legislator - HERE

Senate Bill 486: To amend Article 1 of Chapter 18 of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to funeral directors and establishments, embalmers, and crematories, so as to remove the requirement that funeral directors be licensed embalmers; to revise definitions; to revise provisions concerning the unlicensed practice of funeral directing and embalming; to revise the powers and duties of the State Board of Funeral Services; to revise membership and terms of the board; to change certain provisions concerning the education requirements for funeral directors and embalmers; to provide separate examination requirements for funeral directors and embalmers; to change certain provisions relating to the apprenticeship requirements of funeral directors and embalmers; to revise provisions concerning the licensure of funeral directors and embalmers by reciprocity; to make the provisions concerning the reinstatement of licenses applicable to embalmers; to revise provisions concerning funeral establishments; to require that a funeral director in full and continuous charge of a funeral establishment be licensed as both a funeral director and an embalmer; to provide for responsibility of all funeral services offered at funeral establishments and crematories; to change certain provisions concerning the disposition of cremated remains; to provide for conforming cross-references and terminology; to provide for related matters; to repeal conflicting laws; and for other purposes.

Sponsors

  1. Rick Williams - 25th District - CONTACT
  2. Derek Mallow - 2nd District - CONTACT
  3. Randy Robertson - 29th District - CONTACT
  4. Larry Walker, III - 20th District - CONTACT
  5. Jason Esteves - 6th District - CONTACT

Status: 02/13/2024Senate Read and Referred

Senate Committee: Regulated Industries and Utilities 

SB 486



Industry News & Announcements

ALL FUNERAL PROFESSIONALS DAY

February 27, 2024

Coverdell Legislative Office Building, Room 514

1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Senator Williams (25th) with the assistance of Rep. Stinson (150th) would like to announce and invite you to celebrate: All Funeral Professionals Day 2024.  In recognition of those who do the work in the cemetery and funeral home industry, we will celebrate All Funeral Professionals Day, February 27, 2024. This will be an opportunity to raise awareness among the general public about issues related to tasks or efforts of all Funeral Professionals around the state, and to recognize and honor their work. In 2020, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the importance of the Cemetery and Funeral Home Industry was highlighted, as was the valuable work carried out by the professionals who work in it, so we invite you to stop by to acknowledge the funeral service professionals who may have assisted you during your time of loss, or may have to in the future.


GAVERS Update (02.16.2024)

Attention GAVERS Users:

On Friday, February 16th GAVERS will be updated. During the update, the number of GAVERS login attempts will be changed. After three failed login attempts, your GAVERS account will be locked. To unlock your account, please submit a ticket using the Report GAVERS Issues link.

As a reminder, GAVERS user account sharing is prohibited. GAVERS password rules are:

  • Must be at least 9 characters
  • Must contain at least 1 uppercase and lowercase letter
  • Must contain at least one special character (!#$@)
  • You will be prompted to change every 90 days
  • Do not share your password

Password Examples: SmokeyBear1@

Thank you,
State Office of Vital Records 


FTC Sends Warning Letters to Funeral Homes After First Undercover Phone Sweep

The Federal Trade Commission is sending warning letters to 39 funeral homes across the country after investigators conducted the agency’s first undercover phone sweep and discovered several violations of the Funeral Rule, including funeral homes that failed to provide accurate pricing information or failed to give out price information entirely.

The Funeral Rule gives consumers important rights when making funeral arrangements, including requiring that funeral homes must “tell persons who ask by telephone about the funeral provider’s offerings or prices any accurate information from [their] price lists…. and any other readily available information that reasonably answers the question[s].”

Throughout 2023, investigators and other staff from the FTC’s East Central Region, Northwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, Midwest Region, Western Region – Los Angeles, Western Region – San Francisco offices and the Bureau of Consumer Protection’s Division of Marketing Practices placed undercover calls to more than 250 funeral homes from across the country to try to obtain price information. Staff determined that 39 funeral homes violated the Funeral Rule on these calls.   Continue Reading HERE


Financial Scams Targeting Families

We strongly encourage you to inform the families you serve of your funeral home's policies/billing practices and remind them to not give any information to individuals contacting them for payments or refunds. Instead they should hang up and directly contact your funeral home, especially when asked for payment. We also encourage a statement on your funeral home’s website.

As previously reported AGEG has been notified of a various and continually evolving scams targeting the families served by multiple funeral homes across the state. This scam is not only impacting families in Georgia but nationwide. Reports include unauthorized individuals contacting families, stating they are from the funeral home or insurance company, and requesting immediate payment to continue with the plans made.

Examples which have been shared

  • Lost check and immediate payment is required.
  • Requesting payment by credit card or cash app.
  • Stating the family is due a refund and requesting bank or credit card information to issue the refund.
  • Asking the family to participate in a survey about the recent funeral and awarding a gift card for their participation; however, a credit card is needed to verify identity.
  • Using funeral home staff names.

Reminder: Scammers have the ability to make it appear that the calls are from your funeral home and phone number. 

Attention
  • If a family you serve has been impacted or has information about any contact of this nature, they should contact their local authorities to report the incident.
  • For funeral homes, we encourage your staff to also contact your local authorities to report the incident.
  • Additional ways to report
Visit HERE to understand more about imposter scams and information you can share with the families you serve and your staff.

Here are tips from Federal Trade Commission
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately.  Honest businesses will give you time to make a decision. Anyone who pressures you to pay or give them your personal information is a scammer.
  • Contact the funeral home directly.  Use a phone number that you know is real, not one you got from the scammer’s text, email, or phone call.  If you don’t know it, you’ll find it on the General Price List you got from the funeral home.
  • Know how scammers tell you to pay. Scammers want to get your money immediately, and in a way that makes it hard to track them down and hard for you to get your money back. Never pay someone who insists you pay with a wire transfer, cryptocurrency, or a gift card. And never deposit a check and send money back to someone.

License & Regulatory

Georgia State Board of Funeral Service

- License Renewals

The renewal period for Funeral Services (all types) is extended to April 30, 2024 with the late renewal period extended to May 31, 2024. Renewals will open around January 19, 2024.
Contact the Funeral Service Board - HERE

- Reminder about Continuing Education Hours 

As previously reported, the Georgia State Board of Funeral Service has changed its Continuing Education requirements. The hours required biennially have not changed, but the Board now requires that at least five (5) hours of the total ten (10) hours required be obtained in-person or via live webinar that is instructor led with student interaction, where student participation is monitored and verified. 


From the Professional Licensing Board - GOALS Information

The PLB is currently experiencing heavy volumes that are causing delays in processing your license. License applications and renewals are taking longer than expected and we apologize for the inconvenience. Please know that our license analysts are working diligently to expedite the issuance/renewal of your license.

PINs were created to improve security for your PLB accounts. Some users reported errors when attempting to use their PINs. This issue has now been resolved, and you can proceed with your account verification process.

  • For more information regarding GOALS (Georgia Online Application Licensing System) - HERE
  • Frequently Asked QuestionHERE
  • Contact the Professional Licensing BoardHERE


Georgia State Office of Vital Records

- March Webinars

  • Vital Records Process & Procedures Overview - Thursday, March 7, 2024 - 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    The State Office of Vital Records will offer a VR Overview of Processes and Procedures Webinar for local county registrars, funeral homes, birthing facilities, medical examiners, coroners, and their staff. If you have any questions, please contact your regional consultant. Note: This training is only open to the Georgia DPH stakeholders named above and is closed to the public.
  • Paternity Acknowledgment Update Review - Wednesday, March 13, 2024 - 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    The State Office of Vital Records will offer a Paternity Acknowledgment Review Webinar for local county registrars, birthing facilities, and their staff. Please register via the link below. If you have any questions, please contact your regional consultant. Note: This training is only open to the Georgia DPH stakeholders named above and is closed to the general public.
  • State Office Hours - Tuesday, March 19, 2024 - 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Please join us for our upcoming Office Hours session. The goal in mind when creating this series was to give local and county stakeholders the opportunity to meet regularly, discuss issues and provide updates in a virtual townhall-like setting. We will have guest panelists at every meeting to answer questions and address concerns. Please register via the link below. If you have any questions, please contact your regional consultant.
  • Death Timeliness Report - Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    The State Office of Vital Records will offer a Death Registration Webinar for local county registrars, funeral homes, medical examiners, coroners, and their staff. Please register via the link below. If you have any questions, please contact your regional consultant. Note: This training is only open to the Georgia DPH stakeholders named above and is closed to the public.

Register for the Vital Records webinars - HERE               Questions? Contact your regional consultant

- GAVERS Technical Issues

If you experience issues with GAVERS, we encourage you to submit a GAVERS help desk request by clicking on the "Report GAVERS Issue(s)" link located at: https://gavers.dph.ga.gov.


REMINDERS

For discounted Clinic Member rates, 2024 membership dues must be current. For Frequently Asked Questions visit HERE.

Separate and fully completed forms are required for 2024 membership and Clinic registration. 

Dietary restrictions/needs should be sent with Clinic registration so arrangements may be made prior to the event.

Pre-registration is encouraged.  Pay attention to deadlines and payment instructions. 

AGEG Members will continue to receive emails about our clinic as part of our AGEG News system.  

DEATH NOTIFICATIONS

You may send notices of funeral professionals and their loved ones passing to the AGEG office. Please include the relation for loved ones of funeral service professionals. Notices will be shared with our members via email, posted on our public Facebook page, private Facebook group, included in our annual Memorial Service, and posted HERE

CONTINUING EDUCATION CERTIFICATES

It is your responsibility as an attendee to maintain your certificates after attending or participating in our events. 

AGEG submits attendance certification documentation to the AL, FL, NC, SC, and TN Funeral Service Boards per their requirements. GA does not require we notify them of your attendance. 

Replacement requests must be in writing and include your name, license number, mailing address, and email address. Replacements certificates are dependent on AGEG staff being able to verify your attendance on our CE Certificate sign-in sheets.  Allow for 10 business days for processing of your request.


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