Welcome to all my funeral friends! I am thrilled that you have found my blog and can only hope that you continually come back, finding it educational, inspirational and bringing you back to that little dose of reality that we can all lose sight of.
I am Danielle Thacker - a born and bred, third generation funeral gal. While officially I am the VP of Sales & Marketing for Thacker Caskets, I like to think of myself as more of a problem solver. I like to understand a problem, break it down and find the most applicable fix.
My grandparents met in the industry as my grandmother, Audrey Thacker worked for Casket Shells, Inc. and my grandfather, the late Carl Thacker, owned Thacker Caskets. A generation later, my father, CJ, was thrust into the business after an untimely death of his father. Growing up in the industry, as many of you well know, made life interesting as a kid - other kids were always very curious about the details of the report you wrote about your experience on "take your kid to work day" (and yes, one time I did go on sales calls with pops to funeral homes).
I began working for the business when I was born... okay, officially in 2007 following my graduation from Villanova University outside Philadelphia, double majoring in Marketing and also Information Technology, I knew throughout school I would be headed right to the family business. In the eight years since I have worked, I literally have learned every facet of the business from accounting to sales to logistics management to manufacturing to ERP implementation and more. I have been privileged to experience all these different areas and understand how our business runs inside and out. As my role has grown within the business, I have gotten back to my true interests in sales & marketing and now head up our team of 14 Sales Consultants.
Many who know the industry know that there is a large contingent of "non-business" funeral directors who prefer to characterize themselves as "care-givers". They want their business to continue to exist into the future, but don't want to be caught up day to day in the accounting, pencil to paper, and strategic planning part of the business... and guess what, that is okay. As long as this contingent understands that they will have to rely on a trusted, reliable, business savvy person to manage and consult the business, and also themselves have a continued interest in learning about the consumers they serve.
My goal of creating this blog is to create awareness of issues small businesses throughout the United States face today, specifically focusing on the funeral industry. There are many industry consultants out there and I don't claim to be one of them. A consultant approaches a problem from an un-biased point of view - something I don't have growing up in a family business that has been in existence for over 75 years - and one that has been engrained in me for the last 30. On the other hand, it won't be one long commercial for my family's business. I also do not claim to be a funeral director, as I am not licensed, but I am a business owner. I understand the everyday struggles of running a business,
Perspective is also important. Let's face it, a 30 year old with another 30-40 working years ahead is going to have a different perspective than perhaps someone who is 55 who is only looking to the next 10-15 years. Additionally, being a female in the industry is "the cool new thing." With over 55% of females enrolled in mortuary science programs, females will quickly become the licensee majority. I am a 30 year old female, so you can only guess that I perhaps see things from a bit different perspective than some others (all of whom who have inspired me, and I have great respect for).
I plan on blogging about critical issues that face the funeral industry today and what the landscape of the funeral industrywill look like tomorrow. I hope that all who read will walk away with a bit of education, a point of inspiration, or even that slap in the face reality that we all sometimes need. I will invite "guest" bloggers hoping to infuse the blog with multiple angles of opinion and perspective. I also invite you to post and comment, but ask that all is done in a constructive, fair and positive fashion - I will remove anything that, in my opinion, is not as such.
I hope that you all enjoy, and cheers to our time together!