Our Cremation & Funeral Arrangement Team: Steven

Steven

Community Relations Manager

To say that Steven's role at Basic Funerals is important would be an understatement. As the community relations manager, Steven is the face of Basic, the first person that many of our clients meet. His caring nature, kind personality, and infectious energy make him the ideal person to help guide people through some of the most difficult moments of their lives.
No single day has been the same - I've met a menagerie of people and engaged in their stories, been places I never thought I'd be, and although I've spent years working with marginalized populations, I can say I've stretched my zones - and where the perception of the subject matter may sound down, I can say that I smile inside and out each day just by engaging with the community

Tell Us About Yourself

I came to work in palliative care following my mother's death in 2008. Up to that point, I'd been a busy, successful, fast-tracking media strategist. Some events in life that are framed in sadness can end up surprising you. In caring for my mother, I found a calling. I worked, took multiple post-grad certifications, and moved to field where I find fulfillment in my day. The pace of the rest of my life is fast. I have a husband, 3 children (ages 10, 9, and 7), volunteer work, schlepping everyone to and from some form of class, group, sport, or playdate. The gift I've carved out for myself is working where I know I'm doing good. Where I feel grounded and where I've learned the most about compassion, non-judgment, being mindful, and having gratitude for every moment. I read (a lot), I meditate (not enough), and I am hopelessly addicted to true crime shows and the worst of reality TV (600lb Life, Intervention.) I swim rigorously 5 times a week, I eat cough drops like they're candy, and I've never met a french fry that I didn't like.

What Is Your Role At Basic Funerals?

I'm the community relations manager.

How Did You End Up In This Position?

I like to think it was a natural connect-the-dots. Working in end of life care with a mix of clients and at the same time being a key lead for business development and client acquisition, this role connects the best parts of each role into one. I'd been looking to move from media to something more in line with my interest in end of life care and I'd looked at a role with Park Lawn earlier. Someone remembered me, introduced me to Basic Funerals, and here I am.

What is an average day for you?

That's the awesome part - everyday is something new, that there hasn't been 'average day' yet. I do say that if I am around the office, it means I'm really not doing what I should be doing. Successful community relations really has been reinforced by being present in the community. Every day I engage with a variety of diverse and places. From hospitals, hospices, group homes, service agencies, palliative care volunteer groups, nursing homes, homeless shelters- any and all of the moving pieces that offer the opportunity to develop business while creating positive, compassionate parterships.

What Is Your Favourite Part About Your Job?

It's diverse, for sure. I've started a hot summer day handing out water to homeless people as a way to engage with a partner in care, I've been in places that sometimes I couldn't imagine - like being present in an active safe injection site. But the people are the best motivation each day. I've met characters galore that have such rich experiences, made some new friendships, listened to some of the gripes of over-worked, under-staffed health care workers, and really felt like I am working with partners toward a common goal-providing every person a place of help and peace at the end of life, without judgement.
'Client Centered' is often cited as a core principle in managing care today but at Basic Funerals, I can confidently say it's part of our DNA. No one is turned away and that we are a team of professionals who are drawn together by a common focus. Each person, family, or care giving circle is always kept top of mind while in our care with empathy, compassion, and never with judgement
Robin was awesome to deal with and answered all of my questions. I only wished I know of basic funerals when I was pre arranging my mother's. I was told all sorts of lies by a funeral home.read more
joann guenette
20:04 06 Sep 18
Robin was very professional, knowledgeable, organized and helpful. Great customer service! Thank you.
Louise Viersen
20:40 20 Aug 18
We decided that we wanted to make our pre-planned funeral arrangements and had the pleasure of speaking to Robin. She sat down with us, and clearly outlined all of our options. She reviewed earlier cemetery arrangements with regard to our family plot and what we still required. We are both pleased and relieved that everything is in order and that the Executor of our estate will only have to call one number..read more
Soosy Q
19:29 24 Jul 18
Excellent customer service! Excellent prices! Convenient payment plans. Could not ask for more!
Jaden Winfree
20:08 21 Jun 18
I prearranged my own funeral all on line including payment etc..no muss no fuss....a great experience
John O'Hearn
19:38 24 Apr 18
Robin was very helpful!!! I feel very happy knowing my arrangements are done as per my wishes. This will be so helpful to my family when my time comes to depart this earth!read more
Sandra Stubbs
12:49 09 Apr 18
I contacted Basic Funerals & Cremation to pre-arrange services for my mother. I initially reached out for an appointment by email and received a very prompt reply. I set up the appointment via an email exchange and met with Robin at Basic F&C the following week. It was a very straightforward process and Robin went to great lengths to to explain and simplify the various options. I highly recommend Basic F&C for the ease of contact, arrangement and follow-up.read more
Rick Pringle
17:09 28 Mar 18
Very happy with their professional service. Quick to respond with any questions or concerns. Would highly recommend this company to anyone needing their service .read more
Gail Adamson
20:34 07 Feb 18
Convenient and respectful. This is the second time my family has used Basic Funerals and Cremations Choices. The first was 5 years ago when my father passed away and this time was for my brother. I didn't deal with Basic with my father's arrangements but my step-mother did and recommended them and honestly, I don't think I'd use anyone else moving forward. When we had word on my brother's terminal illness, I called 3 places to get quotes on the cremation he wanted. Let me preface this by saying that my brother said a Celebration of Life was acceptable but he didn't want a viewing or funeral so a cremation is what I was researching.Since this was my first time arranging such services, I had no idea what to expect. The first place (a local funeral home) quoted me $4000, so now I had a starting point. The second place (a local cremation facility) quoted me $1000 (wth? talk about a price difference!) but then stated I had to involve a separate "funeral home of my choice" for transfer services (huh?) and lastly I called Basic.Unlike the other two places I had called, Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices took the time to explain everything to me and offered to email me a quotation that contained all of the details. They offered me various packages to choose from depending on my needs and told me there was no pressure to decide now-I could decide when the time came. The three packages were Budget, Basic and Priority (I chose Priority and would recommend it for the slight price difference). They also confirmed that there would be no additional charges beyond what I was quoted (and there wasn't!).Unfortunately, it was a very short time after this call when their service was needed. I made the call to Basic and they took care of everything. They were incredibly professional the whole way through. From the initial phone call, to the follow-up call when my brother passed, to the young gentleman that came to deliver my brother's ashes and even follow-up calls, these people are top-notch.Basic Funerals and Cremations Choices took the worry out of making the arrangements. I have started recommending their service to friends and family and told my husband this is what I him to do want when my time comes.I'd like to end my review with a sincere thank you to Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices.read more
Connie P.
14:15 05 Feb 18
I was in need of immediate service and Basic Funerals were very helpful and right there tending to my request. The staff were very helpful and attentive to our needs. I would definitely recommend this service for anyone, thank you.read more
Don Mascarin
01:51 12 Jan 18
Our family lost a member who lived in Ontario while most of us are in Newfoundland. This could have caused a lot of confusion and extra expense that we did not need at this difficult time. Basic Funerals was amazing to deal with. Fast, clear, informative, inexpensive, and respectful of our wishes. We got the cremains in plenty of time for the funeral, as well as everything else we expected. I HIGHLY recommend Basic Funerals for anyone during this difficult time.read more
Communication was exemplary...clear, quick response times, helpful. I also appreciated the professional yet senstitive approach each person I spoke with had during our difficult time. One thing I very much appreciated was NO attempt to upsell whatsoever. Any tiny suggestion to get more money I would have not used their services and they never once did...very impressed by that.I was helped by David, Natasha and Kamilah and I was very happy with their customer service...I would highly recommend Basic Funerals.read more
Evangelina Coleman
19:47 12 Nov 17
My Mom had a prearranged plan with Basic Funerals at my recommendation. I found them on the internet and my Mom prearranged everything back in 2011. When my Mom passed we contacted Robin who was her Prearrangement Specialist and was extremely helpful from start to finish. I highly recommend Basic Funerals. Thank you so much Robin and staff for all your help at this difficult time!!!read more
Sandy J-Lee
18:13 12 Nov 17
Very helpful. Compassionate.
Nadine Kyle
13:59 12 Oct 17
Representatives on the phone and in person were so courteous, efficient and straight forward. It was a very difficult time for my elderly parents, and they made it so much easier and in ways enjoyable. Thank you Robin ans Stephanie for such professionalism ! The price is very affordable, no frills and up-selling. Highly recommended.read more
Dragana Skokovic-Sunjic
02:02 11 Oct 17
Prompt response. They understand and listened to your needs. Robin was extremely professionnal, caring and understood what I wanted in regards of my dad's pre-arrangements. It feels good to be understood. Robin was great and went above and beyond to provide me with a great service and no surprise in regards of the pricing.GREAT PROFESSIONAL PEOPLE.I would recommend highly BASIC FUNERALS.read more
Johanne Coshall
15:20 09 Oct 17
Basic Funeral and Cremation Choices was the right choice for my mother's cremation. I contacted Jessica a few days before the time and she provided a quotation after a few minutes on the phone. The quotation was exactly what we were looking for. The price was reasonable. Jessica was on site for the cremation and everything went as planned. I would highly recommend Jessica and her firm.read more
Ravi Aggarwal
16:13 05 Oct 17
Jessica, was wonderful She took her time walking my family through our options. The detailed information she provided was priceless. Guiding us through a very difficult time. This was the second time using her services. I'd definitely use Basic Funerals and Cremations again. Also considering prearrangement of my own aftercare services. Offering my family peace of mind that my wishes were already thought out and paid for!Louise Kruegerread more
Louise Munro
02:36 05 Oct 17
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