We recently participated in our first visit to the International Cemetery Cremation and Funeral Association (ICCFA) expo, which was held in Las Vegas. We were introduced to a different audience to those who attend some of the other conferences. We captured a lot of attention, because there is nothing else like LifeArt in the market.
As we are now actively distributing into the US, the level of engagement was heightened as we are rightly viewed as a serious player in the market.
The ICCFA expo was a great opportunity to start conversations with a range of owners who may have a single location to those operating three or four sites and a crematoria as well as major distributors who have access to larger numbers of funeral homes. We are looking forward to following up on the discussions we started with so many people.
Our next event was the Asia Funeral Expo, where Executive Chairman and CEO Mike Grehan was also doubling as an Ambassador. Among his duties was chairing a keynote forum ‘The Green Summit’. While the world has engaged in a debate about climate change, despite some green options, the funeral industry has largely avoided making any changes to its practices to lessen environmental impacts.
The summit featured an impressive group of speakers; Peter Tynan, Andy Chui Bing Sun and John Knox. Each brought a very different perspective to the debate, which received lots of very positive feedback.
Peter Tynan is a Managing Director at Global Environment Fund (GEF) based in Washington, DC. GEF is a global private equity firm focused on investing in clean energy, energy efficiency, environmental services and timberlands in emerging markets and North America. GEF has provided equity capital to growth-oriented companies in these sectors since 1990, and has approximately $1 billion in assets under management.
Andy Chui Bing Sun is the Executive Chairman of Sage International Group Limited a major player in China’s funeral industry. Their operations include a funeral undertaking shop, cemeteries, funeral homes and crematoria. Andy was previously with Sagamore Hill Capital Management in New York, which was a multi-billion dollar multi-strategy global hedge fund, where he managed a USD 1 billion portfolio and orchestrated a brand new convertible arbitrage strategy that was later included by Harvard Business School’s MBA case studies.
John Knox is Head of Ground Operations Hong Kong for Jetstar. He has over 30 years of experience in the aviation industry for United Airlines, Qantas, Jetstar and Rex. Having lived and or worked in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Hong Kong John has a unique background in delivering sustainable work and customer experiences that comply with the various environmental and legislative regimes that impact everyday travellers.
The combined experiences of the four participants in the Summit provided the industry with a unique perspective on what they can and should be doing to limit their impact on the environment. LifeArt is viewed as a leader in this space, because with all the range offers to families and funeral directors, it is incredibly eco-friendly from manufacturing through to its final use.
Generally, AFE provided LifeArt with a great opportunity to meet with many of the key distributors. It has created some new opportunities for us to extend our market reach.