What is the process? Funeral director’s are asked to vote for their choice of the top professionals in the industry. They could vote for up to three funeral directors in each category, homes with yearly burials of 0-200; 200 – 500; and 500 and up. The nomination form asked them to cast a vote bearing in mind the following question: which National funeral directors would you trust with the care of a loved one?
We teamed up with a research agency that validated and tallied the votes. We presented the tallied list to an anonymous panel of esteemed directors. The panel and Director’s Insight staff reviewed the tallied results and decided the finalists based on the number of votes in each category. Once the list was finalized, Director’s Insight confirmed each funeral director’s license status.
Do funeral directors have to pay or have a specific relationship to be on the list? No, a funeral director cannot pay to be on the list or have a specific relationship. After the editorial staff finalizes the list, it is given to our sales department, which invites funeral directors to have profiles. These profiles appear elsewhere in the magazine, labeled as advertising. But whether the funeral directors advertise has no bearing on this list. The editorial department does not know who has a profile until the magazine is in the final stages of production.
How does the panel process work? A panel of esteemed directors reviews the list. The panel is anonymous to encourage open discussion regarding the funeral directors on the list. If the panel says that a funeral director with a lot of votes is nonetheless not worthy of this recognition because of poor performance or any other reason, we investigate the funeral director’s disciplinary history further. If a funeral director who is a leader in his field did not receive enough votes, the panel can recommend the funeral director be added to the list. Final decisions are deferred to the editorial staff of Director’s Insight.
How do you prevent cheating? Our online ballot records each voter’s IP address. If we notice a suspicious pattern—a bloc of votes all coming from the same IP address, for instance, or a high number of votes cast in a short time frame—we investigate. There have been instances where funeral directors were taken off the list because of ballot stuffing either by the funeral director himself or by a funeral director’s home.
Does Director’s Insight check the funeral directors on the list? A Director’s Insight fact checker calls each funeral director to verify specialty and correct spelling of his or her name. Funeral directors are removed from the list if we learn that they have moved out of the National area or have stopped seeing families.
Selection will be limited to the top 25% of funeral homes receiving votes.