Licensed Funeral Preplanner
Robin, who prides herself in being “hyper-organized,” has been our established pre-arrangement specialist since 2011. She had often been told that working for a funeral home would be the perfect job for her, but she never properly considered it until the passing of her father. After relocating back to Canada after many years in the US, her search for the “not so typical” lead her to us. Robin often meets with her clients in their own homes; this allows her to get to know them and hear a few of their stories. That’s her favourite part.
Q: What would you like us to know about you?
A: This question is always hard for me! I'd say that I'm a healthy and happy 47 year old. I have a great partner, great friends, and a pretty full life. I love to work, to read, and I'm a bit of a pop culture enthusiast (read: I watch more TV than I should.) I love routine, I love to clean, and I love to be organized. I love artwork, music, and anything that makes me think.
Q: What is your role at Basic Funerals?
A: My primary role at Basic Funerals is to manage all of the pre-arrangements aspects of our business. From initial contact through to the execution of pre-need contracts I do whatever is needed to ensure that our families are being listened to and that they have what they need.
Q: What led you to this position?
A: I went and did my undergraduate degree at Brock University and then crossed the border to complete 2 post-graduate degrees at Kent State. While working on my thesis during my last semester, I decided to move to Korea to teach English for a year. Upon my return to Cleveland, I came across a job opportunity in construction sales where I remained for years.
After eventually transitioning to the moving business, I met a man named Dan who owned 3 funeral homes in the area. He often mentioned (jokingly, or so I thought) that I should work with him but I never gave it much thought as I was quite happy where I was. In 2009, my father became very ill with pancreatic cancer and I decided to go back to Canada to be with him when he died. This was my first experience with the funeral service industry and it was then that I realized that my friend Dan might have been right all along.
I began researching different kinds of funeral homes and had interviews (and subsequent offers) with some of them. Then I came across Basic Funerals online and sent a letter saying that while I didn't have any experience or funeral-related skills, my admiration and belief in what they did would make me the ideal candidate to have join their team. Luckily, they read my letter and agreed to meet me. 5 years later, I'm still here and still loving every single day.
Since being hired, I've obtained my Life Insurance license, in addition to completing Humber College's Funeral Pre-planner program, from which I graduated with honours.
Q: What does an average day look like for you?
A: For me, an average day involves a lot of paperwork. The funeral industry adheres to a strict act set forth by the Bereavement Authority of Ontario, meaning that we undergo regular audits and our paperwork is held to a very high standard.
I spend a lot of time on the phone with families who have questions or are shopping for a funeral. I also visit families in their homes to discuss our services services. No two days are the same and the time always goes by quickly as we have a very dynamic workflow and environment.
Q: What is your favourite part of the job?
A: Hands down, it's the people. I get to meet individuals and families that I might otherwise never cross paths with. I am lucky enough to sit down with them and engage in intelligent (and often humourous) conversations about death. These people share their stories, wisdom, advice, and jokes with me and I walk away a better person after each pre-arrangement. I am very lucky.
Q: What should people know if they're considering pre-planning?
A: The biggest reason to pre-plan (and pre-pay) is the fact that pricing is guaranteed. This is such a financially sound thing to do, both for yourself and for your executor or next of kin. There is never any risk to your money and as a bonus, you've done an exceptionally nice thing for your family. They might not realize it now, but they will.
I totally believe in what Basic Funerals stands for. We’re providing an amazing service for our customers and our whole team works well together and truly care about the families we touch.