What is FAMIC?
FAMIC stands for Funeral and Memorial Information Council and is a membership, nonprofit (501(c)6), a non-charitable organization comprised of organizations in nearly all areas of the death care industry.
FAMIC was developed after the leadership groups that would eventually become the FAMIC member association had been meeting informally at large conferences or conventions. They would network and discuss ideas.
These visionaries saw the need for all the important associations in the death care and memorialization associations to form an organization that could work together, at one table, to educate the public about memorialization.
FAMIC was founded in 1991 to find ways to continually work on that goal.
FAMIC and the International Community
FAMIC works internationally through their member associations who also have international members by providing information and presentations for speakers to use at International Conferences to spread the word about Have the Talk of a Lifetime.
What is Have the Talk of a Lifetime?
Have the Talk of a Lifetime is a consumer education program developed by FAMIC that asks families to have conversations with their loved ones about their life story and the things that matter most to them. These discussions help people understand that their life is important and, lend themselves to critical conversations about end-of-life planning, including memorialization. Many resources are available for members to get the conversation started including the Conversation Cards.
NFDA (The National Funeral Directors Association) is the producer of the Have the Talk Conversation cards and has provided them in at least eight countries and the cards are sold in both English and Spanish. The Conversation Cards were also adapted in Mandarin and have been used in Singapore.
Spoiler! We will cover the story behind the Have the Talk of a Lifetime cards in a future blog.
Who Does FAMIC Specifically Serve?
FAMIC also provides many resources to the public through our consumer website: www.talkofalifetime.org. As a leading provider of memorialization information and education, it is FAMIC’s mission to share this information with the public to encourage conversation around memorialization.
Working With Other Special Interest Groups
FAMIC has worked with the National Storytelling Network. FAMIC member associations and their members have done work both nationally and in their local communities using historical, heritage, and genealogy societies as well as libraries, quilting guilds, and other special interest groups to help share the story of Have the Talk.
There are many groups that can help families and loved ones get the conversation started and begin to tell the family story. FAMIC has encouraged all its members to work collaboratively in their communities to spread the Have the Talk of a Lifetime word.
FAMIC is always open to exploring partnerships with organizations that can help expand the mission of our organization – to be a leading provider of memorialization information and education. Alignment for organizational goals that FAMIC works with is a large consideration when looking at a partnership.
FAMIC welcomes national and international trade or professional associations involved in the cemetery, cremation, floral, funeral and memorial industries including national or international suppliers to apply for membership.
To join, an organization can email FAMIC@associationexcellence.com apply for membership at https://www.famic.org/about/becoming-an-association-member/
About Kathryn Pratscher, Executive Director FAMIC
The draw to tell a compelling story about an organization to grab its community’s and donor’s attention is what attracted Kathryn to her field in non-profit. She has held roles in the marketing, fundraising and the management arenas.
She previously served the healthcare, education, religion, and arts & entertainment segments of the non-profit profession. Kathryn began telling the Have the Talk of a Lifetime story in 2014 with FAMIC and its members.
Kathryn and her husband Mike have an adult son who is a graduate of Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, where he is currently living and working in the city as a chef. In her spare time, Kathryn is an active community volunteer, caregiver, avid reader and gardener.
Kathryn, Family History and Genealogy
Kathryn’s father’s side of the family has been involved in keeping the records of the family for a few generations. They have published a book for the family and hold an annual reunion to keep the records up-to-date. Kathryn and her family attend as their schedule allows, but keep up with the correspondence.
Her mother’s side of the family is not as formal with the record keeping. They have, however, gone back to the family homestead (Anamosa, IA) and visited areas where grandparents and great-grandparents were raised and are buried.
“The first step is for us to know the stories of our loved ones.”
Most of us have experienced a death in our families, or will. Kathryn has always believed that a person is an individual and should be remembered for who they were in life. She also believes meaningful memorialization is critical. It enables us to acknowledge a loved one’s death and share stories about how that person lived their life. Memorialization allows us to share our grief with friends and family so that we might comfort one another. The very personal memorial service we plan is the beginning of the healing process.
Sharing this information in a meaningful way through Have the Talk of a Lifetime can help others benefit from a meaningful, personalized memorialization. FAMIC shares this message, Have the Talk of a Lifetime with professionals and consumers – this is what makes her passionate about her role for FAMIC.