|August 9, 1999
Comment on Behalf of
16 CFR Part 453
This comment is filed by the Monument Builders of North America ("MBNA"), through its counsel Howe & Hutton, Ltd.
MBNA's purpose for participating is to provide technical assistance and information to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regarding its Trade Regulation Rule on Funeral Industry Practices ("the Rule"), and to state MBNA's position regarding expansion of the Rule to cover similar and related practices of cemeteries which adversely affect consumers.
Monument Builders of North America, a not-for-profit international trade association founded in 1906, represents leading retail, wholesale, manufacturing and supply firms of the monument industry throughout the United States and North America. Its membership comprises persons and firms engaged in making, lettering, selling, and installing grave monuments and markers made principally of granite, marble, bronze and combinations thereof. While maintaining a broad range of programs, services and activities for its members, the primary objectives of MBNA are twofold: first, to encourage the public's interest, knowledge and appreciation of memorialization; and second, to promote the best interests of the public by supporting freedom of choice in memorialization. To this end, in 1970 MBNA adopted a Statement of Policy setting forth its philosophy for fair competitive practices in the industry. (Exhibit 1) In 1983 MBNA adopted a Code of Good Practice, outlining a set of business ethics and practices which serve to protect the consumer. (Exhibit 2) In 1998 MBNA adopted a Industry Position Paper on the Protection of the Rights of the Consumer When Dealing with the Deathcare in North America. (Exhibit 3)
MBNA has provided information to the Federal Trade Commission on memorial industry trade practices on other occasions, including most recently as an active participant in the regulation review and amendment proceeding that began on December 9, 1987; has worked with legislatures and attorneys general of numerous states; has participated as an amicus curiae in federal and state antitrust litigation in combating practices which are detrimental to consumers; and has submitted information to the U.S. Department of Justice on anticompetitive activities.
In addition, MBNA has worked in conjunction with the American Cemetery Association, now known as International Cemetery and Funeral Association ("ICFA"), the American Association of Retired Persons, and the Veterans Administration to assist consumers. MBNA has also published a number of consumer brochures, such as Purchasing a Monument (Exhibit 4), and also maintains a website (www.monumentbuilders.org) containing useful information for the consumer.
MBNA's members are not covered by the Rule in its present form. However, MBNA's members' long-time involvement in providing related deathcare goods and services to the public has provided MBNA with a unique awareness of related cemetery practices having a substantial adverse impact upon consumers.
In this Comment, we recommend the Rule be expanded to cover cemeteries and other sellers, including MBNA's members, in the funeral-burial-memorialization marketplace. This would extend coverage to include, for example, sales of grave lots, burial vaults, cremation goods and services, grave openings and closings, and the sale of monuments, markers and related installation and cemetery lettering services. We believe the Rule's disclosure and "unbundling" requirements would better serve consumers if they were expanded to cover sales of all goods and services provided in the burial and memorialization segments of the deathcare industry.
FUNERAL RULE SHOULD BE EXPANDED TO COVER
Funeral arrangements are often made at times of emotional distress and are subject to strict time constraints. The Federal Trade Commission determined a trade regulation rule should be promulgated to protect consumers from abuses fostered by the conditions under which funeral purchases are made. The Rule generally requires price disclosures, prohibits the "bundling" of funeral goods and funeral services, and prohibits certain misrepresentations.
MBNA submits that purchases of cemetery lots and related memorialization products and services are also often made at times of emotional distress, and during the same timeframe that funeral arrangements are made. Further, just as the funeral segment of the marketplace faced by the consumer at both at-need and pre-need has been subject to abuses, so too have the burial and memorialization segments of the marketplace.
A. Commission Questions Addressed
The Commission has specifically requested comments on whether it is desirable to revise the Rule's definition of "funeral provider" in order to expand the coverage of the Rule to include non-traditional providers of funeral goods and services. 64 Fed. Reg. 24250, 24251 (1999). The Rule currently only applies to providers of funeral goods and services. 16 CFR §453.1(i). "Funeral goods" are defined as "goods which are sold or offered for sale directly to the public for use in connection with funeral services." 16 CFR §453.1(h) "Funeral services" are defined as "any services which may be used to care for and prepare deceased human bodies for burial, cremation or other final disposition; and arrange, supervise or conduct the funeral ceremony or the final disposition of deceased human bodies." 16 CFR §453.1(j). In other words, the non-traditional members of the funeral industry, such as cemeteries and casket retailers, do not meet the definition of "funeral provider" and are thus not subject to the Rule's provisions.
Specifically, the Commission has asked:
64 Fed. Reg. 24250, 24253 (1999)
B. Summary of MBNA's Responses to These Questions
MBNA does not believe that merely expanding the definition of "funeral provider" would be sufficient or the right means to bring non-traditional members of the funeral industry within the scope of the Rule's coverage. Nevertheless, it is important for all segments of the deathcare industry to be covered by the provisions of the Funeral Rule. Preparation for a funeral generally begins at time of death and includes transactions with a variety of vendors, not just the funeral provider, before burial and memorialization have been completed. Consumers are being harmed by the current limitation on the scope of the Rule's coverage. Separate definitions and regulatory provisions should be added to include other sellers of goods and services in both the burial and memorialization segments of the deathcare industry. Just as the costs borne by funeral providers for compliance with the Rule are minimal, they will be minimal for cemeteries, casket sellers, monument sellers and others brought under the Rule. The benefits to consumers, on the other hand, will be substantial. Non-traditional providers covered as a result of the expanded scope of goods and services covered by the Rule should be subject to virtually all provisions of the Rule relating to price and information disclosures, "unbundling" of goods and services, and misrepresentations.
C. Consumer Problems in the Burial and Memorialization Marketplace
This section will describe unfair or deceptive acts or practices in the burial and memorialization marketplace and provide evidence of the extent to which they take place. MBNA believes consumers would be best served if the Rule's definitions and coverage provisions were expanded to cover related abuses in the burial and memorialization marketplace.
1. Tying and Monument Installation Fees
In addition to the sale of grave lots, cemeteries commonly engage in the sale of other products and services, including burial vaults, mausoleums, monuments or markers, grave openings and closings, and foundation and installation services. Cemeteries are in direct competition with funeral providers for some of these products and with independent monument builders and others who sell monuments and markers, vaults and other such products, and who install such products.
For decades, many cemeteries have imposed rules requiring that any marker or monument to be installed in the cemetery be purchased from the cemetery. (See Group Exhibit 5) Many cemeteries have also required that a monument or marker, or the foundation for such items, could only be installed in the cemetery by cemetery employees, regardless of where the monument or marker was purchased. (See Group Exhibit 6) Cemeteries thereby have insulated themselves from competition by monument retailers, enabling cemeteries to charge consumers substantially higher prices for monuments, markers, foundations and their installation.
Frequently, and especially in the pre-need context, the cemetery offers a package arrangement for the lot, monument and installation. The charges are not broken out separately and this enables the cemetery to undercut the monument retailer's price for the monument. By inflating the other parts of the package, the cemetery can adjust its charges for installation up or down in a given competitive situation, while the monument retailer is required to pay whatever fee the cemetery imposes.
Other cemeteries have resorted to other anticompetitive practices aimed at hindering or eliminating consumer access to competition by monument retailers. Cemeteries that don't directly require the purchase of the monument, marker and/or foundation with the lot, often impose fees or unreasonable rules in connection with installations by independent monument retailers, which have the effect of forcing the consumer to buy from the cemetery.
These fees include office clerical fees, inspection fees, road use fees for monument retailers' vehicles, installation fees, post-inspection fees, institutional service fees, and other such charges. Some are purportedly based on the actual time spent by clerical staff and manual laborers in carrying out various duties in the cemetery; most are essentially arbitrary. (See Group Exhibit 7)
After some successful legal challenges to tie-ins, cemeteries began using an installation fee system, which involves charging so many cents per square inch for an installation, whether the installation is performed by the cemetery crew or monument retailer. Installation often consists simply of removing the sod and setting the marker in the area cut out. The "per square inch" installation system caught on quickly nationwide. The sums involved for the monument retailer, and passed on to the consumer, become substantial. The mathematics are simple but dramatic. A 62-inch x 16-inch flat memorial, for example, is 992 square inches. At ten cents per square inch, the charge for installation is $99.20. At thirty cents per square inch, the installation fee is $297.60. At fifty cents per square inch, the installation fee is $496, an exorbitant amount for a relatively unskilled job, which can take as little as 30 minutes.
We must emphasize some cemeteries charge the monument retailer, and consequently the customer, for installation even when the monument retailer does the installation work; that is, charging for work performed by the monument retailer, not the cemetery. (See Group Exhibit 8)
The immediate impact of these outrageous charges is to substantially increase the cost of the installed monument to the consumer. These exorbitant installation charges also serve two purposes for cemeteries. One, they raise substantial revenues by charging consumers above-market prices for monuments, markers, foundations and installation; and two, they frequently enable cemeteries to eliminate competition by monument retailers and other sellers if the cemetery does not impose the same charges on monuments purchased from the cemetery and installed by cemetery employees, or fails to disclose until after the consumer has bought from the independent retailer the cemetery's charges to the third party installer.
These excessive charges are not put in perpetual trust funds. They go straight to the cemetery's operating revenues. They do not provide long-term protection for the consumer, despite the higher price. And most importantly, they are usually not disclosed to the consumer when he or she is buying a cemetery lot at a time of need or on a pre-need basis.
Monument retailers have had varying degrees of success in challenging these practices as per se illegal tying arrangements over the years. Recently, on July 24, 1998, in Stephens v. Springdale Cemetery, Inc., et al., Case No. 98 CH 156, the Tenth Judicial Circuit Court in Peoria County, Illinois, entered a preliminary injunction against the cemetery after finding the cemetery was unlawfully tying the sale of burial lots to the sale, installation, repair and engraving of markers. In reaching its decision, the court reasoned: "When the largest cemetery in the market demands as a precondition to the sale of cemetery lots that its customers purchase installation services exclusively from it, the substantial effect on commerce in that product and the restraint of trade in that product is patent." Further, "[t]he common law right of a deceased person's descendants and loved ones to bury, visit, mark the final resting place, and honor the dead is an independent basis for enjoining the [cemetery's] practices. The common law right, known as the right of sepulture, cannot be abridged by cemetery authority's unreasonable rules, regulations and procedures. Any unreasonable limitation on the rights of sepulture can be enjoined by the deceased one's family." Specifically, the cemetery was enjoined from requiring its then current application form; a mail application process; a $75 application fee; a $75 administration fee; a $25 work order permit; a $100 foundation inspection fee; a $75 completion inspection fee; payment by cashiers' check only; a work order for each job; a board in/board out requirement; an indemnification agreement; certain policies and procedures for a contractor's application; certain memorial specification and installation requirements; and a $75 road use fee. See also e.g., Moore v. Jas. H. Matthews & Co., 550 F.2d 1207 (9th Cir. 1977); Rosebrough Monument Co. v. Memorial Park Cemetery Ass'n, 666 F.2d 1130 (8th Cir. 1982), cert. denied, 457 U.S. 1111 (1982); Monument Builders of Greater Kansas City v. American Cemetery Ass'n of Kansas, 891 F.2d 1473 (10th Cir. 1989), cert. denied, 495 U.S. 930 (1990); Baxley-DeLamar Monuments v. American Cemetery Ass'n, 938 F.2d 846 (8th Cir. 1991); and Florida Monument Builders v. All Faiths Memorial Gardens, 605 F.Supp. 1320 (S.D. Fla. 1984).
When the Rosebrough case came back before the Eight Circuit in 1984, 736 F.2d 441, cert. denied, 469 U.S. 981 (1984), the court approved certain rules or guidelines imposed on the cemeteries by the district court to remedy the illegal tying. These included:
The Eighth Circuit deleted three rules imposed by the district court. The first two would have allowed cemeteries to require the foundation site be laid out by cemetery personnel and the cemetery to supervise the foundation and installation process and to require the installation meet specifications after inspection and prior to placement of the memorial. The court noted that "[b]y requiring that foundation sites be laid out by cemetery personnel and that the work of third party installers be supervised at a fee . . . the cemeteries could gain an unfair competitive advantage over the third party installers and thus maintain the market control achieved through illegal tying arrangements." The court also deleted a rule that would have allowed a cemetery which contributes separately to a fund for the care of memorials to require a third party installer to contribute to such fund the same percentage of the charge by the installer as is contributed by the cemetery from its own installation charge. The court, after noting that Missouri law required endowed care cemeteries, such as those involved in the case, to set aside and deposit in a trust fund a percentage of the sales price for each grave sold to be used only for the care and maintenance of the cemetery, said, "[a] cemetery is not statutorily required to set aside any amount from the price of its installation service. Whether a cemetery chooses to do so should not obligate a third party installer to contribute to a fund to cover the costs of what remains the cemetery's responsibility, i.e., care and maintenance of the cemetery."
The Eighth Circuit's handling of these rules is instructive vis-à-vis the potential detrimental effect on consumers, not only of tying of goods and services, but of imposing burdensome rules that can have the same effect.
2. Abuse of Rules
Another trend MBNA has seen in addition to exorbitant installation and foundation fees is a common practice of cemeteries requiring family members who purchase monuments from outside monument retailers to come to the cemetery for the purported purpose of filling out the cemetery's forms in order to have a monument installed on a cemetery lot. Some cemeteries refuse to permit the monument retailer to act as agent for the monument buyer in connection with installation or place other similar obstacles in the consumer's way. (See Group Exhibit 9)
The real reason for requiring the buyer to go back to the cemetery to fill out forms is often to provide the cemetery staff with yet another opportunity to persuade the monument buyer to cancel the order with the monument retailer and instead buy a monument or marker from the cemetery. This practice is often coupled with scare tactics described in the next section.
3. Scare Tactics
Another development MBNA has seen, and it has become more pronounced in recent years, is a scare tactic used to deter customers from buying monuments and markers from monument retailers rather than cemeteries. This is accomplished by cemetery staff advising lot and/or monument buyers the cemetery is not responsible for any damage to a monument or marker regardless of cause if the monument is not purchased from the cemetery, or its designated provider, even if the damage is caused by cemetery staff. This scare tactic is quite effective because consumers are worried that their monuments, markers or gravesites will not be properly maintained even though they have been required to pay into the cemetery's perpetual care fund, and frequently a separate monument care fund, "early care" charge, and installation fee. (See Group Exhibit 10) Consumers do not want to be caught in a situation such as this. They will sometimes cancel orders with monument retailers rather than take a chance on their monuments or markers not being properly cared for after installation.
4. Refusing to Provide Information
Another serious problem for consumers is the failure of many cemeteries to regularly provide written copies of their governing rules and regulations to consumers and monument retailers. Cemeteries generally have rules and regulations, usually written, sometimes not. These rules cover such items as limitations on the size or type of markers, monuments or other memorials permitted, perpetual care procedures, and procedures to be followed and requirements for installing memorials, including any applicable charges. These rules are subject to change without notice to lot owners or competing retailers.
Cemeteries frequently post these rules or have them available for review only at the cemetery office. However, they are often not available in writing to inquiring consumers or monument retailers.
This failure to disclose makes it difficult for the consumer to shop for a marker or monument elsewhere. It also makes it particularly difficult for independent monument retailers and other sellers to overcome the built-in advantage the cemeteries have in selling monuments, despite the fact that cemetery prices are often substantially higher. Independent monument retailers are often faced with an inability to quote an installation and foundation fee because the cemetery will not disclose its charges. In other instances, retailers are told of increases in cemetery charges after they have already quoted to consumers based on previously announced charges, and have to requote or absorb the price increase by the cemetery.
How does MBNA know about these practices? MBNA receives correspondence from all over the country from monument retailers submitting cemetery rules, cemetery price sheets for foundations or installations, consumer complaints, media articles, and similar information demonstrating these practices go on around the country. (See previous Group Exhibits and Group Exhibit 11) MBNA has also conducted informal surveys to assess the scope of these practices. (Group Exhibit 12)
D. Consumer is Injured
Who is injured by such practices? Clearly the monument retailer who loses a sale or the opportunity to compete is injured. But the party most injured is the consumer. The consumer faces substantially higher charges for monuments and markers, and especially for installation, a service that can easily be provided by other than cemetery personnel. The entire cost of buying a cemetery lot, a monument or marker, its foundation and installation costs, and perpetual care for the monument separate from perpetual care for the lot, is substantially higher. Ultimately, the consumer is the victim because the cemetery's higher charges are passed on to the consumer by the monument retailer. The monument retailer can control his own costs and charges, but he cannot control the charges imposed by the cemetery even when the monument retailer does the work. Further, the consumer injury may not be limited to economics -- it may extend to emotional injury.
What is the magnitude of the consumer injury? Just as with consumers injured by funeral industry practices, emotional injury is hard to measure. Economically, if just one-quarter of the approximately two million deaths in the United States each year resulted in an exclusive, inflated installation or other related fees of as little as $200, the effect on American consumers would be $100,000,000. MBNA submits the scope of these practices is so widespread that even this number is a conservative estimate.
E. Need for FTC Action
There is an alarming trend toward vertical integration in the funeral-cemetery-memorialization industry. Service Corporation International (SCI) has purchased 3,442 funeral homes, 433 cemeteries, and 191 crematories in North America, Europe and Asia. Yahoo! Finance Profile, Service Corporation Int'l, August 5, 1999. For the three months ended March 31, 1999, SCI reported a gross profit margin for North American cemetery operations of 31.1 percent on revenues of $69,330,000. The PointCast Network, as of June 8, 1999. For the second quarter of 1999, SCI reported gross margins of 32.7 percent in its cemetery operations, 17.1 percent in funerals, and 14.2 percent in financial services. SCI News, July 29, 1999. Loewen Group, Inc. owns 1,116 funeral homes and 429 cemeteries in North America. The Globe and Mail, June 2, 1999, B-1. Stewart Enterprises, Inc. owns 625 funeral homes and 157 cemeteries throughout the world, including in 30 states in the United States. For the three months ended April 30, 1999, Stewart reported a gross profit margin for cemetery operations of 30.3 percent. The PointCast Network, as of June 9, 1999.
This trend toward vertical integration increases the need for disclosures, requiring that prices of goods and services be broken out so the consumer may have the opportunity to determine which goods and services are needed, to do price comparisons, and to allocate purchases among various suppliers or one supplier as the consumer determines.
As discussed earlier, MBNA has long been an advocate for consumers' rights in this marketplace. Twelve years ago, MBNA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the American Cemetery Association (now "ICFA"), which approved Recommended Installation Guidelines for memorials (Exhibit 13).
Among the key provisions of the ICFA and Monument Builders of North America's Recommended Installation Guidelines are:
These Installation Guidelines are intended to provide a vehicle to avoid unfair trade practices, to better serve the consumer, to enhance retail competition, and to promote a better working relationship within the interment and memorialization industry. They provide for disclosure, prohibit the "bundling" of goods and services, and prohibit unreasonable charges. However, because these Guidelines are only recommended and voluntary and because SCI cemeteries, among others, have refused to comply, widespread consumer abuses still occur.
MBNA members' efforts to raise these concerns at the state level have also met with very limited success. Among the states, in recent years Maryland and Virginia legislatures have created new cemetery boards statutes, which are aimed at protecting consumers from these abuses, bringing states with such boards to 12. Florida has dealt with the problems most directly:
West's F.S.A. §497.317.
497.325 Illegal tying arrangements.--
West's F.S.A. §497.325.
More important for the purposes of this comment than the actions taken by a few states to address these abuses is the failure to act by the vast majority of the states. Just like problems faced by consumers of funeral goods and services, the problems MBNA addresses in this comment are localized in effect but national in scope. They, therefore, can be addressed most effectively by the federal agency whose mandate it is to protect consumers from such unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
F. Proposed Expansion of the Rule
1. Disclosures MBNA urges the FTC to add to the Rule sections that would address the above-referenced consumer abuses. Specifically, the Rule's disclosure provisions should make it an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the selling or offering to sell cemetery lots or other sites for the final disposition of deceased human bodies or in the selling or offering to sell monuments, markers or other memorialization products, to fail to furnish applicable rules and regulations and accurate price information disclosing the cost to the purchaser for each good and service used in connection with the disposition of deceased human bodies or in connection with the placement of monuments, markers or other memorialization products.
2. Required Purchases The Rule's prohibition on tying should be expanded to make it an unfair or deceptive act or practice in the selling or offering to sell cemetery lots or other sites for the final disposition of deceased human bodies or in the selling or offering to sell monuments, markers or other memorialization products to condition the furnishing of any site, product or service upon the purchase of any other product or service.
3. Misrepresentations The Rule's misrepresentation section should be expanded to address cemetery charges for an installation fee when it does not perform the work. While a reasonable inspection fee based upon the cemetery's actual labor cost may be legitimate, it should be an unfair or deceptive act or practice to require the consumer to pay the cemetery for services it does not actually render or arrange for others to provide. The Rule currently prohibits misrepresentations about a number of things, including cash advance provisions. The funeral provider is required to disclose he is charging for the service of buying items from third parties. MBNA submits if it is an unfair or deceptive act or practice for a funeral provider to fail to disclose that he is adding a service charge, it is even more unfair or deceptive for a cemetery to charge an installation fee when it is not providing any service at all.
4. Preventative Requirements Finally, preventative requirements should be included, such as mandatory telephone price disclosures, price lists, and statements of the goods and services selected, as are currently required of funeral providers by the Rule.
G. Benefits of Expanded Rule
Consumers are currently faced with a severe shortage of information when it comes to purchases in the cemetery and memorialization segments of the industry. They are also often forced to purchase memorials or memorial foundation or installation services from sources not of their own choosing.
Just as the disclosure and "unbundling" requirements of the Rule have benefited consumers, consumers would be benefited by the expansion of the Rule to cover related goods and services. The bereaved consumer purchasing at need, as well as the consumer purchasing pre-need, would be in a position to make an informed purchasing decision when buying a cemetery lot, monument or related goods or services just as the consumer is now when purchasing a casket or other funeral good or service.
Because restrictions on monuments and markers as well as on installation, foundation and other services and charges for such services can vary so widely from cemetery to cemetery, consumers would greatly benefit if they were provided this information prior to purchase of a cemetery lot. The consumer would then know that charges and restrictions apply at that cemetery, and could make an informed choice whether the consumer wanted to abide by these charges and restrictions or look elsewhere. Further, even if the selection of a cemetery is limited by availability of alternatives or by emotional ties, the consumer should at least be informed what costs he or she may anticipate.
By prohibiting the tying of certain goods or services to the purchase of other items, the consumer would be able to purchase a monument and monument installation services from the seller offering the best value and services, if he so chooses.
This does not mean that cemeteries will be burdened by such disclosure requirements, any more than funeral directors were. As the reasonable requirements and restrictions imposed by some states, as well as the voluntary guidelines agreed to by the MBNA and the ICFA have shown, disclosure requirements are not unreasonable or burdensome to cemeteries, and are unquestionably useful to consumers.
The need for extending the current Rule is demonstrated by the nondisclosure and anticompetitive practices which have continued even after the adoption of these voluntary guidelines. It is clear that national action by the agency charged with protecting consumers is the most efficient and effective means of addressing these problems on behalf of consumers.
H. FTC Jurisdiction Over Nonprofit and Religious Cemeteries
MBNA understands that ICFA claims that nonprofit and religious cemeteries are not subject to FTC jurisdiction. On May 24, 1999, in California Dental Association v. Federal Trade Commission, the Supreme Court noted that the FTC Act gives the Commission authority over persons, partnerships, or corporations, and defines a "corporation" to include "any company . . . or association, incorporated or unincorporated, without shares of capital or capital stock or certificates of interest, except partnerships, which is organized to carry on business for its own profit or that of its members," and ruled the Commission's jurisdiction extends to an association that provides substantial economic benefit to its for-profit members. The Supreme Court left for another day a determination of the FTC's jurisdiction over other types of nonprofits, stating:
It would appear that most non-profit and religious cemeteries would show annual income surpluses, engage in significant commerce and compete in relevant markets with for-profit entities sufficient to meet the FTC jurisdictional requirement of being a "company . . . or association . . . which is organized to carry on business for its own profit or that of its members." Whether an entity is required to pay taxes on all of its income under Internal Revenue Service regulations should not be determinative of whether it is subject to regulation by the Federal agency charged with protecting consumers from unfair and deceptive acts and practices. All cemeteries, for-profit and non-profit, should be included under the Funeral Rule.
In summary, MBNA strongly urges the FTC to take advantage of this opportunity to address practices in the funeral-cemetery-monument industry that have substantial adverse monetary impact on consumers. MBNA supports retention of the Funeral Rule, but urges the Commission to expand the Rule - perhaps even renaming it the Deathcare Industry Rule -- to require appropriate disclosures and prohibit "tying" and misrepresentations by cemeteries.
MONUMENT BUILDERS OF
Howe & Hutton, Ltd.
John M. Peterson