““We have all the ingredients so that the FIAT-IFTA meeting at Funermostra is a real success””

Teresa Saavedra has just been appointed chair of the FIAT-IFTA, the World Funeral Sector Organization. This Bolivian lady knows the funeral sector like few others, as her entire professional life has been devoted to it. . As manager and shareholder of “"Parque de las Memorias"” in the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, She held various management positions. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Latin American Association of Cemeteries and Funeral ServicesTsavedrarios, ALPAR, and was elected as President of the Association in 2009, Teresa Saavedra visited Funermostra during its last edition, in 2015. Now she prepares her next visit to Funermostra because, within the framework of the fair, the next FIAT-IFTA International Management Board meeting will be held. It will be in Valencia, from 24 nd to 26 th May 2017 and Saavedra gives for granted that it is going to be ‘a real success’.

-As the FIAT-IFTA President, which are the goals you want to achieve??

My main objective is to generate a closer bond between all associates coming from all over the world, transcending cultural boundaries and facilitate knowledge exchange at the pace required by today's world, which is increasingly globalized and has highly distinctive characteristics. Occupy all appropriate areas so that companies , and organizations, may have access to this exchange will enable individual and joint actions for the general strengthening of the Sector. . We want the new Constitution and Statutes to help our executive structure accompany the previous goals. Likewise, we want to continue strengthening our relationships with UNESCO and United Nations/ ECOSOC..

I am already working in a range of specific projects, such as the gender project – how this organization has a complementary approach, which specific features do we bring to the sector…- as well as the Project for the Funeral Heritage – our effective contribution to the community through the identification, , study and/or safeguard of the tangible and intangible heritage,, the virtual library of the sector-..

Achieving these goals is both a challenge and responsibility..

-After a long professional record in the funeral sector, What strengths and weaknesses highlight?

In general terms, an incredible commitment with the work being done is observed, also our contribution to the families, to our communities, through the services we provide. Many goals translated into concrete action are set to professionalize our companies, and our Sector at increasingly higher levels. This is a constant quest for innovation, and finding ways to move forward. Openness to find answers, together with professionals from other sectors; ; that is to say, a multidisciplinary approach. Looking for practices highly committed with the environment. I am persuaded that those strengths are crucial so that a forward-looking approach is created based on our present..

More than in weaknesses, I prefer to think about opportunities that we can capitalize in our favour. . The conditions are there for us to make the best possible use of technology, , information, and connections that seem to have no limits. Threats coming from legislation and , the changes and shift in social mores may and should be the reason and occasion to find matches that may be applied to our own realities accurately and quickly. We must break out of the thinking that our companies are only part of a region, or a country, The global approach will make our forward-looking approach and actions become more agile to solve our “weaknesses”.

-From your point of view, which is your contribution of international fairs like Funermostra to the funeral industry?

Certainly, they generate the ideal platforms for exchanges at all levels. It is the place that allows us to renew our thoughts, validate or assess our strategies.. And they remain the best investment for those who want to exhibit their products, for those , who want to ask questions, share, and debate. Many question whether their invested resources are justified. For me, the answer, is a resounding : yes. yes, many are the achievements of the Sector in the World,, Many examples of services, products and other, such as those that you can witness in an international trade fair, However, there are always new challenges to be met, ; which will , only be achieved whenever we follow a common path, where the union of those of us who belong to the Funeral Sector take on this task as a commitment..

-During the last edition of Funermostra, we were honoured by the presence of a delegation , of important ALPAR, businessmen? Was the visit positive??

It was a positive experience, and a well-used opportunity for our Delegation. The coordination between ALPAR and Funermostra allowed the participants, not only to have the opportunity to visit the Fair and participate in it, but also to have the necessary space provided for the exchange with exhibitors;; Likewise, concerns and successes could be exchanged with the Spanish and other colleagues..

-The ICD meeting from FIAT-IFTA will be held within the framework of the next Funermostra edition, , due to take place from 24 nd to 26 th May 2017, What made . them make this decision? ? What is this bringing to Funermostra??

We always try and choose the best option so that the meeting is a well-attended event, with attractive activities for the participants, before and after the meeting of the International Management Board.. If we add this to the splendid welcome that you always offer , offer I am sure that we have all the ingredients to be particularly successful in our meeting. . Delegates from the different countries in the world will underpin and enhance the international nature of Funermostra.. Moreover, as we are both united for the common good of the Sector, our bonds with Funermostra and the Spanish Representatives within our Organization are strengthened. Delegates from around the world will have the opportunity to see from close what is happening in the Spanish Sector. .

It is a privilege to return to Funermostra as President of FIAT IFTA and ALPAR, Our most sincere thanks for your very kind invitation!!