News/Press Releases


Biotech Inc. Announces Distribution Agreement with Dodge to Tackle Deadly Prions

Please click here to find a press release from Brio Dodge


Public Comment period from the Virginia Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. 

Attached you will find a Notice of Intended Regulatory Action (NOIRA) for the promulgation of regulations by the Board of Funeral Directors & Embalmers regarding clarification of permission to embalm and refrigeration of human remains 

The Public Comment period will begin on May 15, 2017, and end on June 14, 2017. 

Once the comment period opens, please provide any comment directly through the Virginia Regulatory Townhall or to Corie Tillman Wolf, Executive Director, at or to Elaine Yeatts, Senior Policy Analyst, at


Press Releases

Federated Insurance Press Release


Click here to get a discount to attend the 21st Annual Symposium on Childhood Grief.


Contact: Christopher West (804) 698-1228

House Republican Caucus unanimously elects Speaker-Designee, leadership team

~ Cox to be next House Speaker; Gilbert, Hugo & Miller to serve as House Republican leadership ~

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) announced Wednesday that the House Republican Caucus unanimously elected its next leadership team. Delegate Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights) was elected as Speaker-Designee and will be the 55th Speaker of the House of Delegates when the House convenes again in 2018.  Delegate Todd Gilbert (R-Shenandoah) was elected as Majority Leader-Designee. Majority Caucus Chairman Tim Hugo (R-Fairfax) and Majority Whip Jackson Miller (R-Manassas) were each also re-elected unanimously.   Commenting on the leadership elections, Speaker Howell said, “I want to congratulate Speaker-Designee Cox, Majority Leader-Designee Gilbert, Republican Caucus Chairman Hugo, and Republican Whip Miller on their elections. The House Republican Caucus is strong and united behind this leadership team heading into the 2017 election cycle and the 2018 session. Our Republican Majority will continue to govern and lead our Commonwealth, offering positive ideas and a clear vision based on conservative principles. I have full confidence in this team.”   “I am humbled and honored by the trust my colleagues have placed in me, and I hope to earn the support of the entire House of Delegates when we convene for the 2018 session,” said Speaker-Designee Cox. “I take this responsibility seriously and I pledge to serve with the judiciousness, honor and integrity that the public expects and demands. Speaker Howell leaves behind a legacy as an institutional leader that I will strive to live up to every day. I know this House of Delegates can continue to be a beacon for transparent, and responsive self-governance can.”   Cox added, “Our caucus heads into the 2017 election cycle strong and united, demonstrated by the unanimous election of our leadership team. We look forward to taking our record of conservative leadership and our vision for the Commonwealth to the voters this fall. We will return in 2018 with a strong majority committed to leading and governing.”   “I appreciate the support of my colleagues and look forward to serving as Majority Leader,” said Majority Leader-Designee Gilbert. “The Republican Majority in the House of Delegates has consistently led on the issues that matter most to Virginians. We will continue to govern and offer innovative ideas to the challenges facing the future of the Commonwealth. I look forward to working with the Speaker, Chairman Hugo, Majority Whip Miller and our entire caucus to build on our strong Republican majority this fall.”   “It is a great honor to be part of the House Republican Caucus leadership team and to serve with such a remarkable group of leaders in the House of Delegates,” said Republican Caucus Chairman Hugo. “Thank you to my colleagues for their confidence in me to lead our caucus. We are united and ready to continue working on behalf of our citizens throughout the Commonwealth.”   “I am very grateful to for the support and confidence of my colleagues,” said Republican Whip Miller. “Our caucus will continue to advance a positive governing vision and will continue to stand up for conservative principles and values. I am excited about the opportunities we have this year and beyond.”   The caucus opened its meeting with a standing ovation for Speaker William J. Howell’s service.


Larry Joines – President 2016-17 Press Release Announcing the 2016-17 VFDA Board of Directors


Speaker Howell announced that he will not seek re-election.
Contact: Christopher West (804) 698-1228

Statement by Speaker William J. Howell

RICHMOND, VA – Virginia House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) announced Monday that he will not seek re-election. Howell’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below.  Since the House has returned to the Morning Hour, I ask the members to indulge me a moment while I take this opportunity to share some news.   Serving in this esteemed body which is the Virginia House of Delegates for the last 30 years has been a distinct privilege.  Likewise, serving as the Speaker of the House for 15 years now truly has been the greatest professional honor of my life.   While I obviously will miss all of you and while I will always look back with only fondness at every day I served here, I have decided that I will not be seeking re-election to the House.    Cessie and I are so grateful for the opportunity that we have had to serve.  There truly are no words to fully describe the joy and fulfillment we have received from this incredible opportunity for public service.  But, we also know there is much more joy and fulfillment to come, albeit differently and beyond Capitol Square and this body.  We are blessed to have two good sons and seven energetic grandkids.  We have our youth!  And, we cannot wait to take some time together to travel, spend more time with our family and, frankly, just to relax together.   The House of Delegates truly is an historic institution.  I love it dearly.  I believe it represents the hope, enduring strength and resiliency of our exciting and ongoing experiment in representative self-government.   If America is a shining city on a hill, then our Virginia House of Delegates is the brightest light atop the highest tower.   As a Delegate and as Speaker, I always have tried to serve in a manner worthy of that stature.   I believe the Office of Speaker rises above partisan politics.  This is an institutional role, with constitutional and other attendant obligations that transcend the fractured moments that often drive our politics.   I also always have tried to be open, accessible and, most of all, fair.   When I became Speaker in 2003, I pledged to lead this historic chamber with the honor and integrity it deserves and to faithfully uphold the dignity of this constitutional office.    Throughout my tenure, when faced with difficult decisions that go along with this Office, I have strived to reflect those enduring values.  And, in practice, I always sought to put what’s good for the whole institution, and all that it represents, ahead of any other interest.   I pray you will judge my time as Speaker on that more than anything.    When I accepted the Speaker’s gavel, I reminded myself and others that what kind of people we are, and how we treat one another, is as important as the bills we pass and the laws we make.  May we never lose sight of this worthy aspiration.   Like you, I understand that our mission is so much larger than ourselves.  Ultimately, our purpose is continuing to fulfill the four-century-old mission of Virginia – preserving human freedom and advancing opportunities for all.   So today, I hope you join me in taking pride in everything that this body – Republicans and Democrats working together more often than not – has accomplished over the last 15 years.  The House of Delegates has been a stable and consistent factor in reforming and improving state government for the past decade.  Our shared enterprises, through difficult and good times alike, has made our Commonwealth stronger and more prosperous.  And together, I believe we have enhanced the lives and livelihoods of our fellow citizens we are so privileged to represent and serve.    Now and always, I am optimistic that this House – the oldest continuous representative law-making body in the New World – will continue to inspire and fulfill the enormous potential of Virginia’s bright future.   So, I will close by saying from the bottom of my heart, thank you!   I am so grateful for the trust and faith you placed in me 15 years ago.  And, I appreciate that you have continued to maintain that trust in me.  The many friendships that have made here over almost 30 years are worth more than any bill I have ever championed or passed.  I am proud to know you all and honored to serve with each of you.   All of you are very talented individuals and highly capable leaders.  You are valuable parts of something much bigger than any one of us.  So, it is easier for me to make this announcement now and to leave next year knowing that this institution will continue to thrive.   Thank you.  May God Bless you.  May God Bless our great country and wonderful Commonwealth.  And, may God continue to Bless this historic House of Delegates.

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Please click here for an NFDA update from our NFDA Policy Board Representative


The Flagship : Honoring our shipmates: The heritage of the military funeral and burial at sea

Click here to read up about the heritage of the military funeral and burial at sea


New Rule Expands Overtime Pay to Millions of Workers

Click here to read up about the new rule that expands overtime pay to millions of workers



Please click here to read about how the OCME has a new Payment Reimbursement System

Please click here to read about how there are more women funeral home directors


The Virginia Funeral Directors Association (VFDA) is supporting The Dogwood Project initiative and mission to help children who lose a parent or primary care-giver as they go through the grieving process by giving them opportunities to talk.  We are sharing this information with you in hopes you will pass this information onto families you serve who may have children between the ages of 5-12 years old who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

The Dogwood Project will send the youngest children a teddy bear and send children between the ages of 5-12 years old a dogwood tree as a “living memorial” to plant with a trusted adult as a way for conversation to begin.  The Dogwood Project also assists in helping the child’s care-giver find a local grief counselor for the child.

This is a free service and is no cost to your funeral home.  We ask that you make this information available to families you serve with young children.  Additional information or to request assistance, please visit or contact Linda Schlapman, or 434-515-1566.


Ebola Strategy Meeting Minutes from the Virginia Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers

Ebola Virus Update

Information from the OCME regarding managing dead bodies with Ebola:

Guidance for Safe Handling Human Remains of Ebola Patients in U.S. Hospitals and Mortuaries

OCME Recommendations Ebola

Ebola FAQ

Electronic Death Registration System

US Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Survivors Assistance Brochure