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Gallagher Names Chairman and Vice Chairman of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services Board


Tami Torres or Nina Banister                                                      (850) 413-2842
TALLAHASSEE—Tom Gallagher, Florida's chief financial officer, today announced the chairman and vice chairman of the new Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services Board.  The board replaces the former boards of Funeral and Cemetery Services, and Funeral Directors and Embalmers.  Oversight of the new board falls under the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS).
Gallagher chose Greg Brudnicki of Panama City as chairman and Joseph "Jody" Brandenburg of Jacksonville as vice chairman among the nine members appointed by Governor Jeb Bush.  Under law, a state health officer must serve on the panel.  The ten-member board is scheduled to meet for the first time on Oct. 24 in Tallahassee.
"Consolidating the regulation of the industry under one state agency will give consumers access to one source for comprehensive information and assistance," Gallagher said.
The legislation creating the new board also gave Floridians more choices and more protections.  Cemetery operators are required to survey and plot new grounds, establish minimum grave sizes, and put names on vaults.  The act also creates a monument dealer inspection program and allows monument companies to join funeral homes, cemeteries and cremation service companies in the pre-need funeral services industry.
The consolidation follows the passage last year of the Florida Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services Act, sponsored by Sen. Ken Pruitt and Rep. Don Brown.  The Board of Funeral and Cemetery Services had operated under DFS, and the Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers had operated under the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.  The new law became effective October 1 of this year.
Diana Evans, who had been the chief of the Bureau of Funeral and Cemetery Services, has been named director of the Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services and will serve as the new board's executive director.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. Gallagher also serves as the State Fire Marshal.