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President's Message: Building a Legacy from Start to Finish

Updated: Jul 28, 2023

An Inaugural Message from CFDA President Sean Douglass of Douglass Family Mortuaries


Building a legacy from start to finish has been an incredible journey for my family, spanning three generations. As I reflect on my role in continuing our family business, I realize that it hasn't always been as smooth as it seemed during my upbringing.


I often compare my experience to learning how to ride a bike. As a child, I would pedal with my dad right behind me, holding the seat. But there comes a moment when you look back and realize your dad is no longer there, keeping you balanced. Nervously, you steer and pedal, determined not to lose momentum. And here I am, 30 years later, still pedaling like crazy!


While running the family business is crucial, giving back holds equal importance for me. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to a profession that has given so much to me and my family. My parents and grandparents made significant strides in giving back, and it's a challenging standard to live up to. Despite their accomplishments as presidents of the Los Angeles County Funeral Directors Association, they never reached the chair positions at the CFDA. Therefore, I am incredibly honored to be the first Douglass named president of CFDA, knowing that they would be beaming with pride.


As I begin my term as president, I extend my gratitude to our remarkable board and the firms that support them, generously giving to CFDA. Our success relies on the time and effort our board members invest, and I truly value their dedication.


Now, it is customary for the president to outline the charges they aim to accomplish during their term. Fred Nalder's vision from a few years ago suggested incorporating four-year plans, ensuring each president works toward a common goal. This approach has yielded great results in the past two years, and I anticipate its continuation.


We have achieved significant milestones in recent years, but progress must persist. Our focus will be on modernizing laws and regulations, bringing them into the 21st century. Additionally, we aim to enhance the value of membership through further education and training through the CFDA Academy.Expanding our reach across the state is another priority, offering seminars in different regions and exploring new avenues of engagement.


To the committee chairs and members, I express my gratitude in advance for the work we will be asking of you.


Finally, I want to thank each and every one of our funeral home members for the trust they have placed in me to lead this great organization. It is a truly humbling experience, and I am committed to ensuring that CFDA continues to elevate how we serve California’s funeral professionals.


Watch: the story of Sean's and the Douglass Family's legacy of service and leadership within the funeral industry.


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