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News on what’s happening at ClearPoint, in the deathcare industry, and in the banking & finance industries. 

Annual Grantor Letter Mailing – 2018 Tax Year

The Annual Grantor Letters have been mailed. These annual tax forms are mailed to the grantors of the preneed trusts that have not elected QFT (Qualified Funeral Trust) status.

If you have questions regarding the Grantor Letters, please contact Customer Service at 800-763-0234 or customer.service@clearpointfederal.com.

ClearPoint Hires Jodi Clock as Business Development Director

 

ClearPoint Federal Bank & Trust (“ClearPoint”), a leading provider of preneed trust and recordkeeping solutions, announced the addition of Jodi Clock to the key position of Business Development Director. “We are excited to welcome Jodi to the ClearPoint team.  Her experience, extensive understanding of the industry, and her passion for service excellence will be great assets as we continue to grow our business, and deliver valuable preneed and financial solutions to funeral and cemetery professionals nationwide,” remarked ClearPoint President and CEO, David de Gorter.

Ms. Clock has worked in the ‘end-of-life planning’ industry since 1988. Her experience includes working for family and corporately owned funeral homes, advance planning companies, and casket manufacturers. Most recently, Jodi was president, owner and founder of Clock Timeless Pets, a pet loss center in Western Michigan. She was also a partner of Clock Funeral Home, a Selected Independent funeral home serving over 420 families each year. 

Having a passion for eldercare and end-of-life planning, Jodi wrote and published the book “Navigating the Elder Care Journey…Without Going Broke”.  As an international speaker, she has educated industry professionals at numerous events, and is also a two time ICCFA KIP Award Winner.  Focused on development and learning, Jodi has her Master’s degree in Organizational Development from Spring Arbor University, and holds many certifications; including Celebrant, Life Insurance License, and Grief Companioning.

“I am thrilled to be a part of the ClearPoint team.  Having spent the first half of my 30 year career on the consulting and vendor side of deathcare, then the last 15 years owning and operating a multi-property funeral home, pet loss center, and crematory operation, I feel strongly that I can relate to my fellow colleagues with a full circle approach. I look forward to combining my experience with ClearPoint’s value added solutions to help funeral and cemetery professionals thrive financially and professionally,” shared Ms. Clock.

Jodi will play an important role in driving the company’s business by identifying and developing new opportunities, and expanding the presence of the company and brand.  As an industry expert and leader, Jodi will use her experience, skills and knowledge to help customers achieve their preneed goals through education and incorporating the innovative ClearPoint products and services into their business.

 

 

ClearPoint Holiday Schedule

Our office will observe the following holidays in 2019. Please feel free to contact our Customer Service team if you have any questions at 800-763-0234 or email us at customer.service@clearpointfederal.com.

State Annual Reports

State Annual Reports

One of our roles as your trustee and record keeper is to provide data to help you complete your state annual reports.  We stay in contact with the states about annual report changes to ensure we are up to date on the state requirements and deadlines, and administer our annual report processes accordingly.

Based on the state annual reporting table below, in the next few months we will provide you with your specific data to complete your annual reports.  Our goal is to ensure you have the necessary information at hand to help you save time and simplify your process.  Our commitment to you is to send the information at least 28 days prior to the state filing deadlines.

Your feedback and insight is always appreciated.  If you are aware of any changes to your state reports that you want to ensure we have addressed, or if you have questions, please call ClearPoint Customer Service at 800-763-0234.

ClearPoint Pledges to Donate $25,000 to the Funeral Service Foundation

On Monday, October 15, 2018, our team was honored to participate in the Funeral Service Foundation Donor Reception in Salt Lake City, UT.  ClearPoint has pledged to donate $25,000 to the Funeral Service Foundation over the next five years.

Funeral Service Foundation is the charitable arm of the National Funeral Directors Association. Founded in 1945, the Foundation’s mission is to support funeral service in building meaningful relationships with the families and communities it serves. Their vision “improved end-of-life experiences for families and their loved ones,” aligns with ClearPoint.

“There are two key reasons we selected the Funeral Service Foundation,” said David de Gorter, ClearPoint CEO and President. “The first is our shared passion and commitment to the advancement and success of funeral service professionals. The second reason is our desire to support an organization that is creating change and having an impact.”

“The Foundation is grateful for ClearPoint’s major gift, which increases our capacity to elevate education, outreach and initiatives that have a measurable impact on funeral service,” said Funeral Service Foundation Executive Director, Danelle O’Neill. “ClearPoint is a longtime Foundation supporter, and its recent major gift underscores the company’s commitment to the funeral service profession.”

As a company solely focused on providing products and services to the death care industry, ClearPoint values organizations that are devoted to the future success of the profession and its leaders. Supporting an organization whose purpose is to educate families about the importance of memorialization and provides direction and support for our industry leaders makes this a very meaningful donation for ClearPoint.

It is an honor for ClearPoint to be associated with the Funeral Service Foundation. Community outreach efforts such as its Youth & Funerals initiative and distribution of Have the Talk of a Lifetime® Conversation Cards provide hope and comfort for our youth and direction for families.

To learn more about the Funeral Service Foundation and the opportunities, programs and scholarships they offer, visit www.funeralservicefoundation.org.

ClearPoint Federal Bank & Trust Celebrates 20th Anniversary

ClearPoint Federal Bank & Trust (“ClearPoint”), an industry leader in providing fiduciary services, investment management, and recordkeeping services to members of the death care industry, celebrates two decades of service this year, marking the company’s 20th anniversary. Originally founded as Forethought Federal Savings Bank on July 29, 1998, ClearPoint is a company that boasts a rich heritage, solid financial strength, deep roots, and a singular focus on the death care industry.

The company’s genesis can be traced to ClearPoint’s former parent, Forethought Financial Services, Inc. (“Forethought”), which was launched in 1985 to provide preneed financial products and services through its subsidiaries. The company initially provided preneed life insurance products, but later expanded its offerings to include trust products and services to meet the unserved needs of funeral and cemetery professionals nationwide.

Over the years, both companies (Forethought Life Insurance Company and Forethought Federal Savings Bank) grew significantly, and came to be recognized as leading providers of various products and services to members of the death care industry.  In 2014, Global Atlantic Financial Group acquired Forethought Financial Services and made the decision not to be involved with the funeral and cemetery trust business.  This move created a “new” company with new ownership, new energy, new independence, and a new name – ClearPoint Federal Bank & Trust.

ClearPoint started in six states with only a handful of customers, but now serves more than 2,400 funeral home and cemetery locations in 43 states and the District of Columbia. Since its inception, the ClearPoint team has grown, but it has always remained true to its original charter, and stayed dedicated solely to the funeral and cemetery industry. With more than 240 years of combined experience in death care related service, the team offers both financial expertise, and an unwavering passion for serving funeral and cemetery professionals. ClearPoint is proud to provide clients with a team of talented and proactive professionals who are always ready to serve.

“It is such a privilege to be surrounded by so many wonderful team members, customers, and industry professionals who have been an integral part of our success.  At this milestone in our history, we want to first recognize and thank our customers for their incredible dedication to serving their client families with care, compassion, and respect,” commented ClearPoint CEO and President, David deGorter.  “We are also grateful for our customers’ continued support and for the valuable feedback they have provided us over the years. Additionally, I would like to thank the ClearPoint team for their commitment, professionalism, and passion for building a world class company.  The support of our customers and the dedication of our team have shaped who we are today.”

As a forward-thinking company that anticipates its customers’ needs, ClearPoint’s vision for the future is to expand its commitment by offering other financial products and services to members of the death care industry. Today, the company offers Trust and Recordkeeping Services, Investment Management Services, as well as Regulatory and Compliance expertise. The company plans to expand its product portfolio to include additional banking and financial services that are expressly designed for members of the death care industry.

“In the future, I foresee a company that is recognized as ‘The Bank’ for funeral and cemetery businesses.  I envision a company that continues to offer an exceptional customer experience, delivers products and services designed to meet our client’s unique needs, and provides technology solutions that help our clients save time and money,” added deGorter.

Natalie (Hirt) Maret Celebrates 25 Years with ClearPoint

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

Our Focus Is On You

The team at ClearPoint is ready to help you focus on your business so you can relax and create special memories with your family and friends. We all lead busy lives; therefore, it is not easy to relax, to be patient, and to stop and smell the roses.
Do you remember 3D Stereograms (Hidden Pictures) that were popular in the 1990s? On the surface a 3D stereogram image may just look like wallpaper, but after focusing on the image you will discover an incredible 3D image.  We recently rediscovered 3D stereograms, and found that the practice of viewing 3D stereograms contains many of the most frequently recommended techniques for reducing stress and relaxing.
Be Present. Slow Down. Be Patient. Breathe Deeply.

Check out the ClearPoint 3D Stereogram Tips for Viewing 3D Stereograms  Reveal

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ICCFA Convention & Expo 2018

We are excited to be a part of the ICCFA Convention & Expo April 18 – 21 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Connect with one of our team members at the Convention & Expo to learn why we are THE CLEAR CHOICE for your trustee/compliance, investment management and recordkeeping needs.

Download the ICCFA Convention & Expo APP to find us at Booth 705.

DOWNLOAD ICCFA APP

 

2018 Legislative Session Schedule

As your trustee, we strive to keep you informed of any changes in the preneed and perpetual care state laws that may have an impact on your trust funds and contract requirements. Click on the 2018 Legislative Session Schedule button to view and download the schedule.

2018 Legislative Schedule

One of the great assets we have at ClearPoint is our network of funeral homes and cemeteries who are well connected to their associations and boards.  We really appreciate your efforts in keeping us informed. If you know of any legislation or regulations being proposed in your state that could have an impact on your business, please call us.