Loyalty, dedication, and a passion for serving professionals in the deathcare industry is a Hirt family tradition. Natalie Maret, daughter of the late Dave Hirt, celebrates her 25th Anniversary with ClearPoint Federal Bank & Trust (ClearPoint).
Natalie’s father, Dave Hirt, well known as one of the “profession’s finest”, served as Batesville Casket Company CEO and President for 13 years, spending his entire career of 33 years with Batesville. Following in her father’s footsteps, Natalie is driven to make a difference in the industry by delivering quality products and services to funeral and cemetery professionals nationwide.
She started her career with Forethought in 1993, and joined ClearPoint in May of 2000. She has served in various areas during her career: Call Center, Successor Trust Acquisitions, Trust Operations, and Trust Administration. Natalie is currently a Trust Administrator for ClearPoint serving customers across the United States.
Today, 25 years with one company is very rare, as the average employee spends 4.2 years in a job.*
We all have something to learn from those that have dedicated their life to a singular mission. Part of what makes the deathcare industry unique are the strong family relations, and the hearts of those that have dedicated their life to serving others.
We hope our interview with Natalie will inspire you to embrace an attitude of care and compassion for others in everything you do.
How would you describe your experience growing up in Batesville, the heart of the deathcare industry?
Before I even knew what the deathcare industry was, I was being exposed to it all the time. My grandfather worked as a driver for all of the Hillenbrand companies and my grandmother worked at the Hillenbrand airport. Working at Batesville Casket was the only job I ever knew my father to have. I loved to tag along with all of them as a youngster to see many aspects of the company. I would see customers arriving and departing at the airport, visiting Jawacdah Farm, and touring the many facilities. And I could see the impact these companies had on our small town. We had a lot of extra benefits that a town the size of Batesville normally would not have.
What is your favorite career memory?
The 2014 ICCFA convention in Las Vegas is my favorite career memory. The bank’s name had just changed to ClearPoint Federal Bank & Trust so we were excited to introduce to the deathcare industry our new name, logo, and brand. It was so much fun to be a part of the ClearPoint team; greeting customers, meeting new people, and talking about the ClearPoint products and services.
What changed in the past 25 years that had the biggest impact on your career?
When I first started, we used “Interoffice Envelopes” to send messages to other employees. Someone would come through the office 2-3 times a day to pick up and deliver the envelopes. It may have taken a couple of days to get a report or a response. Today, I can contact team members using email and instant messaging, and have an answer in minutes, or even seconds. Instant messaging and email have allowed for faster response time to our customers. Technology advancements have streamlined communication for all of us in the last 25 years.
Why the deathcare industry?
Oddly enough, this was not my first choice. I always thought I wanted to work in the health care industry, but circumstances, after living abroad for two years, brought me back to Batesville. In 1993 an opportunity to begin my career in the deathcare industry presented itself. As you can see, it was a perfect fit for me to be in this very caring and compassionate industry.
Over the years, what have you found drives your passion for the deathcare industry?
I love being able to help people, and I know you can do that in many different industries; however, when I’m working with a funeral home or cemetery servicing a family that has experienced a death, it is nice to know that I have a part in helping a family through one of the most stressful and tragic times in their lives.
What did you learn from your father about the industry that has made a difference to you and the way in which you serve customers?
My dad lived every day with one motto in mind – Customers don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. He applied this philosophy to everyone he encountered. That thinking has been ingrained in me, and has helped me to build good customer relationships over the years.
What words of wisdom do you have for your teammates?
A lot of our business is conducted over the phone so I always try to answer with a smile on my face. The customer hears your smile in your voice, and it usually puts them at ease if you are smiling, making it easier to address their needs. I’ve actually had people comment that they could “hear me smile.”
*According to the 2016 Bureau of Labor Statistics www.bls.gov/news.release/tenure.nr0.htm