Choices and Consequences… There are times when things just don’t seem to go right. Whether by accident or intention, the fact remains that Every Choice has a Consequence. That is true and became painfully clear last week at the Funeral Divas Conference in Chicago…or rather what was to be the conference.
Our firm had a representative there who called asking “Well what do I do now?” I must admit I thought that an odd question as there was still another day left. My response, “Well, network I guess!”
“No, you don’t understand! The head Diva was just taken out of the conference in handcuffs by the police!”
“What?” Honestly I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
The challenge with all of this news is what impact does this create to an organization? I am confident that no organization wishes to have this kind of publicity, especially one that works with families at times when they are most vulnerable. The funeral profession is one that focuses on trust and publicity like this does not create trust. At times the best one can do is spin the reality as best as one can and hope for the best. Although, it is somewhat doubtful that a recovery will be easy when such public doubt is created by the founder of the organization.
To be fair, the following was released sharing a clearer picture of what took place.
Dear Members and Supporters,
On November 7th while Funeral Divas, Inc.’s first Continuing Education Conference was taking place the founder of Funeral Divas was detained by police because the hotel contract was unpaid. According to the Aloft Chicago O’Hare Hotel the contract was supposed to be paid on November 9, 2012. The conference rooms were being held with a board members credit card but unfortunately, half way through the conference the board member chose to ask police to remove her card from reserving the conference rooms. This resulted in the detainment of the founder of Funeral Divas, Inc. and as a result the conference was cancelled. The founder was released on her own recognizance.
We have temporarily unpublished our Facebook page and Twitter account to prevent further damage to our reputation. The best we can do now is clear up the rumors. First of all, the conference was not a scam. All courses were approved by the funeral boards of Illinois and Indiana. The founder was not charged with a crime. Funeral Divas, Inc. has not lost any money and there was no check fraud or any kind of fraud. The hotel has been paid.
We hope that after everything is settled and major reconstruction of the organization has taken place; we can resume our status as the largest association of Women Funeral Professionals. For now the Funeral Divas new product line, burial relief fund for Children, Educational Conferences, local events, and newsletters are postponed.
As you know, Muneerah Warner founded Funeral Divas, Inc. to encourage and support women. This organization has achieved more than we could ever dream or imagine. We have found dozens of jobs, given support to families, provided camaraderie for women and so much more.
We apologize if this matter has offended members, women in the funeral industry or industry professionals. In the near future we hope to establish a new relationship with our members and the community. Your membership is appreciated and honored. If it was not for your support the organization would not exist.
A Funeral Diva is a Distinguished Woman who Contributes to the creation of a Funeral Ceremony!
Funeral Divas, Inc.
Is it possible that Funeral Divas, Inc. can survive and garner the support needed by female funeral directors? Is it possible that suppliers will be willing to support Funeral Divas, Inc. in potential future meetings? What motivated a board member to ask to have his/her credit card removed from the hotel guarantee? Is there more to this story than is being disclosed?
One thing is for sure…to survive there is the need for transparency and I’m not sure that we’ve seen that yet. I am proud to be a part of this profession and truly wish this organization a healthy recovery. Meanwhile, whether they survive or not will largely be a function of their choices moving forward…because – Every choice has a Consequence! The choice we make today create the future we live tomorrow and the days following. Hopefully, Muneerah will make those choices wisely!
YOUR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME!