Innovative Personal Product Award Winners
Parting Stone: Memorialized Stones • Santa Fe, New Mexico
Parting Stone provides a service that offers a solid alternative to cremated remains. Families now have the option of receiving either “ashes” or “stones” following cremation. The shape, color, size, and texture of the solidified remains is 100% natural and varies depending on each unique batch of remains provided to their lab. Parting Stone’s solidification technology introduces a new form of human and animal remains and creates an entirely new category in death care. “Folks want permanent memorialization of their loss but, sometimes, just don’t know what to do with a box of ashes,” says Larry Stuart Jr., CEO of Cremation Strategies & Consulting. “The idea that remains can be offered as stones is monumental.” Click here to watch Parting Stone’s video.
TribuCast™: Interactive Touchpoints • Wilton, Connecticut
The TribuCast™ Remote Attendance System™ creates a private online environment that closely matches the in-person experience of attending a funeral. Using TribuCast™ helps all loved ones grieve more effectively by including those who can’t be there in person and by creating a highly personalized enduring tribute to the life that was lost. Through its easy-to-use live stream technology and interactive touchpoints, TribuCast™ helps share family history and fond memories and put the life that was lost into greater context for both in-person and remote attendees. There are six interactive touchpoints that surround the livestream of the funeral providing photos, videos, and more to create a life-affirming narrative about the deceased that adds to and amplifies the message of the funeral service to the loved ones watching from afar.
The Domani Group: Domanicare • Orem, Utah
Most aftercare programs are personalized and time-consuming, or efficient and impersonal. Because of the lack of time funeral home staff may have, The Domani Group developed Domanicare. Domanicare is a text message-based aftercare program that sends custom, personalized text messages that check in on the recently served families during their grieving. If the families respond, a highly-trained and compassionate staff responds, who continues this conversation with support. If the family has questions, the conversation is escalated and sent right away to the funeral home. All of the conversations are compiled and sent to the funeral home in a monthly report so they can see what families are saying about their services.
UPD Urns: TOLAD (Totem Of Life And Death) • Manassas, Virginia
Heaven’s Maid: Graveside Cleaning Online Platform • Hazel Park, Michigan
Heaven’s Maid is an online platform that helps families order flowers and grave cleaning services to any cemetery nationwide. Whether the family lives out-of-state or are unable to make regular visits to the cemetery, they can use Heaven’s Maid to deliver fresh or silk flowers and schedule a cleaning service that consists of trimming grass, scrubbing off debris, and removal of weeds. After each scheduled maintenance, a confirmation photo is sent to the family.
Memorial Reefs International, LLC: Reef Balls • Hamilton Parrish, Bermuda
PlotBox: PlotBox multi-sided platform • Portglenone, Antrim
PlotBox is a multi-sided platform which allows all records for a deceased person to be in one place, linking to the accurate location of their memorial. Cemeteries and crematories are able to use this platform to manage daily operations online and in real-time. The other side of the platform can be used for families and members of the public in search of records and maps, showing their loved one’s memorial and virtually visiting the grave.
WebCemeteries.com: Timeline of a Lifetime • Virginville, Pennsylvania
Timeline of a Lifetime is a collaborative digital platform that allows friends and family to submit memories, photos, videos and other content through one simple form that automatically builds this content into a timeline of their loved one’s life. The platform combines the ease of social media interaction with the need to tell the larger story of who they were, are and what defined them. The Timeline page will also provide a satellite image and GPS navigation to the location of that loved one. While cemeteries and funeral homes pay for this service, it is provided as a free service to the families.
Cemetery360: Virtual Reality Experience • Sacramento, California
Cemetery360 offers a unique way for consumers to engage with cemetery properties if they are not on the premises. Their Virtual Reality experience gives them a personalized experience using any type of smartphone placed in virtual reality goggles. Users are immersed in the cemetery environment, allowing them to navigate the cemetery as if they were physically there.
Answering Service for Directors: Web Chat Connect • Media, Pennsylvania
ASD developed their Web Chat ConnectTM to help connect families and funeral directors. It offers a way for people to communicate in a way that makes them feel less overwhelmed and not pressured to make a decision in a real time atmosphere. Funeral directors are involved via a 3-way chat system so that they can offer immediate assistance and provide a higher level of service to their customers.
Frazer Consultants: Tribute e-Guest • Middleton, Wisconsin
Tribute eGuest is the first stylus-based digital registry for the funeral profession. Funeral guests are able to handwrite their information on a tablet. Afterwards, the handwritten data is collected and converted to a digital form so that the information can be used for thank you cards and address labels. The list of guests can also be placed in a photo keepsake book that can be personalized with photos of the deceased as well as condolences received from the funeral home’s website.
FrontRunner Professional: Simpler Times • Kingston, Ontario, Canada
FrontRunner Professional is the exclusive distributor of the Simpler Times program. Simpler Times is a simple, practical way for consumers interested in cremation to organize and arrange funeral services on their own without the pressure of up-selling. The arrangements made are registered with a provider and are full transferable to other Simpler Times providers.
YourDash: Life Story Generating Software • Dallas, TX
YourDash is a user-friendly platform that allows families to create, share and treasure their own stories and the stories of their loved ones, thorough the creation of their very own website. The mission at YourDash is to protect and share everyone’s life stories for generations to come. Everyone has a story to tell, which is why it’s easy and affordable for anyone to get started creating their online life story.
LifeArt International: Online Casket Designer • Hong Kong, China
LifeArt is an innovative, user-friendly online casket-designing tool that keeps families talking for years about how memorable and important the custom casket was and how LifeArt created a special feeling at the funeral event.
webcemeteries.com: GPS Living Memorials App • Virginville, PA
The GPS Living Memorials App offers any cemetery the ability to provide for their families with mobile and online memorials, printed copies for graveside service, photo galleries, public submission options and integration with social media – without having to wait until all the records and maps are in the computer. Each cemetery is able to brand their own app and publishes the memorials to their own website. Visitors can download the app for free or borrow a tablet from the cemetery to use on the grounds. The app provides real time navigation to the grave for the user. Users can also utilize the Tours component to follow pre-loaded walking tours to visit notable people, graves or landmarks with interesting histories. The app also allows visitors to contribute their own thoughts, story or memorial to individual gravesites. This app makes the visit to the graveside meaningful and interactive.
Project Repat: T-Shirt Blanket • Boston, MA
Project Repat makes it easy and affordable to preserve t-shirt and clothing memories from a deceased loved one. T-shirts are as American as apple pie – we receive one for every race we run in and every event we participate in. They are our trophies, representing our accomplishments, our culture our beliefs. Customers are able to send in these mementos from their loved one and receive a personalized blanket keepsake made from the logos and fabric of their loved one’s clothing.
Paw PODS, LLC: Paw Pods • Lake Orion, MI
Paw Pods are made from completely biodegradable and eco-friendly materials, such as bamboo and rice husk and incorporate only all-natural dyes, glues and sealers. They come in six sizes ranging from micro to large, two urn sizes and new fish and heart shaped pods. Each pod comes with a sympathy card and seeded leaf that can be planted with the pet.
EterniTrees • Gresham, Oregon
EterniTrees LLC was created by two cemeterians, Nicholas Hammerling and Helen DuBarry, in Oregon who recognized that the trend of cremation over traditional burials is hastening and also that green preferences are becoming increasingly important to families. EterniTrees urns are biodegradable yet strong enough to cradle the precious ashes of a loved one or pet. The top of the urn is a sealed bio chamber that, once buried, absorbs moisture from rain and then the mixture inside expands to cover the cremated remains neutralizing the pH, thus allowing the tree seeds of your choice to grow. Each urn is designed to hold about one-seventh of a person or a small pet. This allows multiple family members to plant their own tree that is specific to their planting zone. These urns exemplify the vision “Heal Your Heart—Heal the Planet.” www.eternitrees.com
INEX Professional Processions • Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
INEX Professional Processions provides funeral procession safety products including alead car hood cover, lead car flags and family car mirror wraps. These are all styled in a deep purple and white funeral emblem to provide high visibility to help improve the public’s ability to recognize and honor the procession and family. The products are made from machine-washable, fade resistant fabric and they are quick and easy to install or remove and will not damage paint finishes. www.professionalprocessions.com
A Simple Thank You • Merrionette Park, IL
A Simple Thank You is an iPad application where visitors to the funeral home can sign in. A Simple Thank You will then print out custom thank you cards and address the envelopes. They will also print a Memorial Guest Book for the family, which includes such as the guest registry, in memory, family record, services, pallbearer and interment details. Additionally, the family will receive a copy of the guest list via e-mail. Finally, the funeral home will also receive an Excel file that they can use for pre-need leads for those guests who have “opted-in.” www.asimplethankyou.com
Alternative Solutions USA • Spring Valley, California
Alternative Solutions USA is a non-profit program that recycles implants left after cremation and generates substantial funds for numerous U.S. charities such as The Unforgettables, which has so far received over $16,000 to assist low-income families in providing a dignified and appropriate burial for their children who have died. www.alternativesolutionsusa.net
Signature Series • Madison, Wisconsin
Signature Series provides families with limitless personalization options on memorial products. Family photos and text may be applied to personalize virtually any casket, urn or vault. Ideas that reflect their lifestyle, a passion for a favorite sports team, a religious viewpoint or a branch of service they so proudly served are a few options clients have chosen to appear on products. www.signaturecasket.com
Love Ashes • Lakewood Ranch, Florida
Love Ashes infuses cremains into beautiful pendants, earrings and framed memorials. They may be custom-designed based on the customer’s preferences and they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. www.loveashes.com
Heartsong Memory Beads • San Diego, California
Heartsong Memory Beads creates custom jewelry with cremated remains infused in glass beads. Customers say they find comfort in feeling that their loved one is always with them.
Shine on Brightly • Asheville, North Carolina
Founded in 2008, Shine on Brightly is a group of 25 affiliated artists who create personalized memorial art for humans and pets in such mediums as memorial urns, jewelry, paintings, handmade books, glass objects, poetry, pottery, textiles and more.
Hainsworth USA • Glenwood, Maryland
Hainsworth USA’s line of The Natural Legacy caskets and presenters are made in the United States from British wool. They may be used for traditional vaulted burials, cremations and green burials, and are acceptable for Christian, Jewish Orthodox and Muslim burials. The caskets and presenters are available in natural or brown wool and there are options on the embroidered plates for personalization such as decorations, designs or religious symbols.
Tributes.com • Charlestown, Massachusetts
Tributes.com provides a single national resource for online obituaries and memorial tributes that allows families to easily share information about the funeral/memorial services as well as the person’s life.
First Place Winner
A Touch From Beyond • Denver, Colorado
A Touch from Beyond offers a variety of cards used in pre-arrangement planning. The cards allow the pre-planner to provide personalized expressions of love, joy and gratitude one final time after passing to help comfort and heal the family, friends and others left behind. The branding of the back of the cards can be individually customized by hospices, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, senior centers and funeral homes, making them powerful sources of referrals to the company.
Oregon Memorials • Hillsboro, Oregon
As a wholesale company, Oregon Memorials rarely works with grieving families. However, on this specific occasion, the firm extended its personal services to the bereaved parents of young Kain Phomphakdy to personalize a memorial for the deceased child. Working closely with the parents and internationally acclaimed artist Hibiki Miyazaki, Oregon Memorials produced a teardrop-shaped memorial with a custom illustration memorializing Phomphakdy with all the toys and things he held dear, including racing cars, a tiger and a dragon. The lettering on the back – a compilation of notes from the boy’s classmates – required extra detail touches.
Inevitable Exodus • Ottawa, Ontario
Comfort Cub, created by Inevitable Exodus Inc., is a teddy bear with a customizable locket/urn inside. The locket can hold photos, a lock of hair, cremated remains, flower petals, earth from a burial site and more.
Cremation Solutions • Arlington, Vermont
Cremation Solutions offers Birdhouse Memorial Urns. The wooden urns store ashes, but can be opened up with ease for those who wish to scatter the remains. The urn can then be turned into a birdhouse memorial.
Funeria LLC • Graton, California
“Offerings” by Funeria provides families with a beautiful artifact of their loved one’s hands crafted in fine silver which can be used as a scattering vessel and passed down from generation to generation.
Assurant • Atlanta, Georgia
Assurant introduced a memory booth for funeral homes called Remembrances, which allows friends and family of the deceased to record thoughts or stories of their loved one during the visitation. The video can be turned around in 24 hours to be shown at the funeral or memorial service.
Candle Perfection • Scottsdale, Arizona
Candle Perfection’s ‘Light of Life’ Candle Cremation Urn and Keepsafes features a memorial candle that rests atop the urn base and never melts or changes shape. It is a beautiful permanent candle attached to a compartment that can hold a symbolic amount of ashes or a small cherished item.
Renaissance Urn Company • San Francisco, California
Renaissance Urn has designed a silk remembrance urn package that serves as both an urn and a storage place for memories. It includes a photo frame, note cards on which to share memories, a pen/flower holder and a padded silk slipcover.
Making Everlasting Memories • Cincinnati, Ohio
A leading Internet-based memorial archive and tribute movie production company, Making Everlasting Memories provides families with a password-protected Internet site to post biographies, sign guest books and store photographs and moving images.
Integrity Burial Boxes • Roanoke, Virginia
Integrity’s publication of “The ABCs of Building and Marketing a Columbarium Wall” provides a step-by-step guide for anyone considering building a columbarium wall. The book includes designs, photographs, pre-construction and construction check lists, cost estimate forms, niche specifications, box-urn information and a free customizable marketing brochure on CD.
Celebritas! • Mill Creek, Washington
Celebritas! designs and produces Moving Lives custom remembrance documentaries. Each is based on imagery and information supplied by families and is created using documentary film techniques.
Trigard • Danville, Illinois
Trigard has created Storybook Collection engraved bronze memorials, precision engravings made from high-quality photographs and recreated in detailed 3D contour relief images telling the story of one’s life.
Zachary Douglass LLC • Orem, Utah
Zachary Douglass LLC creates customized memorial programs, archival-quality prints and glass tributes. Families select a custom setting and provide favorite photos and verses, poems or scriptures.