Frederick W. Miller, CCE, CSE, is president of Memorial Business Systems in Brentwood, Tennessee. He graduated from Penn State University with a bachelor’s degree, and then earned his Ph.D. from Rice University, both in chemical engineering. He pursued that profession for 19 years with the DuPont Co., leaving to become CEO of Pensacola Memorial Gardens, a family business.
Miller joined the American Cemetery Association in 1982 and soon became active in the organization. ACA president John Llewellyn, CCE, asked him to organize and run a strategic planning committee for the ACA since he had experience with strategic planning gained at DuPont. The committee applied a corporate strategy to revitalize the association. He stayed with the strategic planning group as chairman, co-chairman, facilitator or member until 2002. The group provided guidance and major innovations throughout the organization during those years.
In 1994-95, as president of the ACA, Miller helped manage the project that would enable the incoming Board of Directors and the general membership to vote on the resolution to open the membership to a wide range of death care professionals: funeral directors, cremationists and monument builders across the entire profession. This entailed the revision of the strategic plan, mission statement and code of ethics. On the last day of his term, a vote was taken and, by a near unanimous vote of the membership, the ICFA was born.
Working with Dan Majestic, Miller helped create the International Memorialization Supply Association to coordinate the activities, goals and objectives of the suppliers and the ICFA. Miller, Majestic and Fernando Aguilar developed a relationship with ALPAR, the Latin American equivalent to the ICFA. Miller went to Guatemala in 1995 and then Panama in 1996 as the ICFA representative to those conventions.
Miller served as chairman of the ICCFA Memorialization Committee that helped disseminate the positive “Celebration of Life” approach to funerals and burials, trying to minimize the negative connotation of “deathcare.” The Memorialization Committee morphed into the Personalization Committee that brought together cemeterians and suppliers to promote a new and broader look at personalized products and services to stimulate interest in memorialization. The Personalization Committee created the ICCFA Keeping It Personal (KIP) Awards.
He also assisted with outreach efforts to AARP, hospice and organ donor organizations to establish our standing as a public service association. The ICCFA worked with the National Kidney Foundation to partake in its “Taking Time to Talk” program, similar to FAMIC’s current “Have the Talk of a Lifetime” campaign.
In 1982-83, Miller developed software products for his cemetery and began making them broadly available to other cemeteries, forming Memorial Business Systems to do so. Now in its 32nd year, MBS is highly regarded in the industry. Watch a video of the ICCFA Hall of Fame presentation.