DEERFIELD, Ill. — Selected Independent Funeral Homes has announced the election of new officers to lead the world’s oldest association of independently-owned funeral homes. Selected’s Board of Directors elected the new officers who will be officially installed on September 13 during the 99th Annual Meeting at the Radisson Blu Aqua in Chicago.
Charles “Chip” Billow, a fifth-generation funeral professional, has been elected to serve as Selected’s next president. Billow is president/CEO of Billow Funeral Homes and Crematory, located in Akron, Ohio. He is the representative for Group 2 and his firm has been a member of Selected since 1932. Billow has a long history in funeral service leadership; his great-great-grandfather was one of the founding members of the National Funeral Directors’ Association in 1892, according to Selected.
“This is a milestone moment in my life. To be elected president of Selected is a tremendous personal honor, but the thing that is most important is just being a member,” Billow said. “The importance of membership is unbelievable and has been the focal point of my professional life.”
According to Billow, assuming this leadership role in Selected’s 100th year is especially significant because it is a time to reflect on the rich history of the association but also look to the future ahead.
“Being a member of Selected is both timely, focusing on today and the timeless present, while also looking to the future to ensure success and sustainability for our members,” said Billow.
Lisa Baue, a third-generation funeral professional, has been elected as Selected’s next secretary-treasurer. She represents Group 4 and is president/CEO of Baue Funeral Homes, Crematory and Cemetery in St. Charles, Missouri.
“I am excited about the added focus Selected has placed on the future of firms operating both a funeral home and a cemetery. The combo operations program held at last year’s annual meeting, along with the future programs planned and new resources are helping the needs of our members, myself included,” said Baue. “Last year we held a very successful meeting for women in the funeral profession focusing on how to raise a family, run a business and become better leaders.”
Baue’s vision for the future is that Selected will continue to help members become more innovative in their business practices and find ways to fulfill the changing needs of the consumer.
“As funeral professionals, we must continue to find ways to demonstrate the value in what we offer and provide to families and Selected is here to help members succeed,” said Baue. “A critical factor that sets Selected apart from other associations is that we believe in a high quality of caring for our members during good times and bad. You have friends here and can pick up the phone and someone is always there to help.”
Selected’s Board of Directors includes President Neil O’Connor, Laguna Hills, Calif., Group 6; Secretary-Treasurer Ann Ciccarelli, Saugus, Mass., Group 1; President-Elect Charles “Chip” Billow, Akron, Oh., Group 2; Secretary-Treasurer-Elect Lisa Baue, St. Charles, Mo., Group 4; Kim Farris-Luke, Abingdon, Va., Group 3; Joe Jackson Jr., Laredo, Texas, Group 5; and Ex Officio Mark T. Higgins, Durham, N.C., Group 4.
For more information on Selected’s programs, becoming a member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes or to locate a member, visit Selected’s website at selectedfuneralhomes.org or call 800-323-4219.
Charles “Chip” Billow and Lisa Baue