2019 In Review | 2020 Direction

January 24, 2020 - In this newsletter: plant certifications, recap of 2019 legal articles, upcoming legal topic, membership info, 2020 goals and more.

Coming soon! Employee Handbooks ARTICLE & Con Call

Be on the lookout for the next legal article on The Pros and Cons of Having an Employee Handbook - Plus 10 Key Items You Should Include in your Employee Manual.

  • Have your eyes already glazed over? Employee handbooks are far from exciting - but they are a crucial part of any business. Do you have one?

  • If you don’t have one - should you? Do you know that an out of date handbook can be be as much of a liability as not having one at all? Do you have the key elements of an employee manual?

  • Let’s ask the really ground breaking question - When is the last time you read and reviewed your employee handbook?

If you need any answers to these questions - then this next article and Q&A conference call are for you. Get ready for the 10 key elements of any employee handbook - along with the reasons you should have one in the first place! Register now for the Q&A call on Tuesday, March 10 at 2pm ET.

Plant Certification Program

Are you interested in having a concrete specialist come into your plant and evaluate your mix design? Want to know how to make your concrete stronger? Can your manufacturing processes be more effective and at the same time, cost and time conscious? What about a benchmark assessment about how you are performing in key areas compared to other burial vault manufacturers?

The NCBVA plant certification program sends a concrete specialist to your manufacturing plant. Once onsite, the concrete specialist will take samples. Concrete samples are sent to a third-party testing facility where the compressive strength of the sample is tested and recorded at different increments (7-day, 14-day, and 28-day). A final 28-day report is then emailed, and a certificate is mailed to all that meet the certification standards (valid for 5 years).

On the website, we have also added certification dates so everyone can see dates that a plant was last certified by an NCBVA concrete specialist. View the directory.

Interested in a certification in 2020? Get on the schedule.

Congrats to these plants!

Congratulations to these 23 plants that were certified or re-certified in 2019.
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Meet our newest CONCRETE SPECIALIST, Patrick Lewandowski

NCBVA welcomes Patrick Lewandowski as a concrete specialist. Patrick has 31 years of Industry experience and education in civil engineering construction materials working directly in the cement, ready-mix, governmental specification, mining, tunneling, precast, and macro-synthetic fiber industries.

For the last 16 years, he has been the North American Director of BarChip Inc. based in Charlotte, NC -- manufacturers of Barchip Macro Synthetic fibers.

Patrick joined us in October and completed 9 certifications in the last two months of the year.

In the field with Craig Anderson

Craig Anderson has been involved in the concrete industry for almost 50 years and working with the NCBVA for decades. As a matter of fact, Craig worked alongside Brutsche Concrete's Earle Brutsche, the man that developed the certification program and was president of the NCBVA in 1963.

Craig started in the physical end of the industry at a young age and decided to learn more about the concrete manufacturing process. He worked for the largest producer of Redi-Mix concrete in Flint, MI and passed his certification for level I and level ll for the design and control of concrete. From 1989 to 2019, Craig worked in the chemical mixture business.

In the accompanying photo, Craig is shown at the left. He is pictured with Mike Westphal of Fond du Lac Wilbert.


This year, NCBVA consolidated the concrete testing component of the plant certification process and began using standardized kits and one testing facility for all plant certifications. This means everyone is measured by the same testing facility and one that is independent and not connected to any of the plants that are being evaluated. We feel this adds strength to our program and adds transparency and consistency.

Concrete testing results are measured upon receipt of the shipment and them measured in several increments -- 7 day, 14 day and 28 day. Your PSI reports are emailed directly to people specified during the certification visit.

Doric plant?

If you are a Doric plant, Doric HQ will cover the cost of your certification once every 5 years. You must be an active member of NCBVA to participate and they will also reimburse you for 50% of your membership cost.

Ready to have a concrete specialist visit your plant? Request to be added to the schedule now or simply email us for membership information or to learn more about the certification program.

Recent Legal ADVICE case you missed them

Social Media at Work

You know the old story. An employee posts some bad comments about his boss. Boss fires employee. Employee sues for wrongful termination. Employee wins.

Yup - you read that right. You, the employer may not be able to fire someone just because they say some negative stuff about you on social media.

  • So what can you do when it comes social media?
  • Do you have a policy?
  • Are you allowed to have a policy?
  • And forget about employees - what about consumers talking about you on social media outlets - what can you do there?

Make sure you know the ins and outs of social media and how it effects your business

Disinterment: Who is in charge?

Who is responsible? Funeral home? Cemetery? Vault company? Depending on what the disinterment authorization states - oh wait - you’ve never seen or used one of those? I can promise that if you haven’t used a release or authorization, you have never been protected.

As someone that is involved in the disinterment process, you need to know and understand the process. Such as:
  • What are the state laws for disinterment?
  • Can the cemetery allow disinterment without any family?
  • Who is responsible for the vault?

Make sure you know the risks - and more importantly - the process of how to handle disinterments.

Graveside liability

Issues happen at the graveside all the time.

  • What would you do if the tent falls?
  • What happens if someone slips into the grave?
  • How do you handle the request when someone says, “We need to open the casket one more time.” ?

This article will provide the framework to help in these accidents.

members only content

The NCBVA website has a password-protected section for members-only where additional tools can be accessed such as:

  • a social media policy template
  • a legal disinterment form
  • the playback discussions and briefings for past legal conference calls

Contact us to get access.

Annual Dues

Reminder: Annual Dues are sent in January. Membership is $450 a year for a single site or $1000/year for multi-sites. The benefits of membership include:
  • Unified voice of the industry to address industry regulations
  • 4 articles/year on a trending legal topic
  • 3 Q&A conference calls with NCBVA legal counsel
  • Ready-to-use legal templates such as the disinterment legal form & social media policy sample
  • Access to NCBVA plant certification program with a concrete specialist
  • Quarterly email updates on industry news and education

Join now!


If you are interested in promoting your products or services to the NCBVA membership, below are some options.

  • Newsletter – $500
  • Legal Issue Email – $500
  • Legal Issue Postcard Mailing - $700
  • Email/Postcard Combo - $1000

Annual Meeting

Sponsors of $1000+ can set up a table-top onsite if interested.

  • Breakfast – $1000
  • Lunch – $1000
  • Break – $500
  • Bar – $1000
  • Transportation – $750

Need more information or ready to lock a sponsorship? Want to refer us to someone who might be a fit? Contact us now.

View the Current Membership List

You can view the current membership list and submit your edits as needed.

2019 Membership

Membership increased 32% from 2018 to 2019. Thank you for your support.

We'd like to extend a warm welcome and a thank you to our newest members (September 18 - Dec 31):

  • Mono-Crete Step
  • Wilbert Greenville
  • Wilbert Vault Co, West Paducah
  • Buckeye Vault Service
  • Milan Vault
  • Turner Vault
  • Brown Wilbert
  • Mead Wilbert
  • Edgmont Metallic Pigment
  • BASF Corp

See the full directory to view all current members.

NCBVA Board of Directors

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Steve Handley, President

Phone: (602) 725-4444 - Email

Jeff Hardy, Vice President/Secretary

Phone: (978) 250-1113 - Email

Paul Cooper, Secretary/Treasurer
Phone: (302) 376-1331- Email

Mark Bates, Past President
Phone: (203) 366-5678 - Email


The NCBVA is looking for individuals to serve on the Board of Directors. Members will serve on a sub-committee and participate in conference calls and occasional meetings. Applicants must be a current NCBVA member. Interested in applying? Submit your information now.

  • 2020 open spots: 3-year term (1)
  • 2021 open spots: 3-year term (1) + 1-year term (1) with option of extending for an additional 2-3 years.


Make sure to like the new NCBVA page to get the latest information shared with all members.

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