Communication is key For our future

 photo: Mark Jackson
Members attending a recent Scottish SAIF meeting

Communication is the key to protecting the future of SAIF – that’s the message from new Scottish SAIF President Mark Porteous.

Mark took on the prestigious role after SAIF Scotland’s AGM on 25 February in Whitburn, West Lothian, after years of working in the industry and previously serving as Vice-President.

Speaking to SAIFInsight about his new duty, Mark said: “As President, I want communication to be at the heart of Scottish SAIF. It is very important we let members know the work the executive puts in on their behalf.

Mark Porteous, Scottish SAIF President

Scottish SAIF President, Mark Porteous

“In return, I would like the members to be more vocal and communicate to me and my colleagues on the executive about any issues or subjects they want to discuss – the executive is there for the benefit of the members.

“My predecessor Tracey Jordan has overseen a number of changes on Scottish SAIF Executive in the last year and her work and commitment have been appreciated by all the Scottish executive.

“SAIF Scotland is unfortunately losing two long-serving members from the executive and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all their hard work, guidance and advice. This has been invaluable to Scottish SAIF.

“This now gives us the opportunity to bring in new members with fresh ideas and opinions. As an organisation, we need to keep moving forward.”

Mark has a long history in the funeral profession, dating back to 1989 when he started as a trainee funeral director with W.T. Dunbar & Son in Edinburgh, part of the Co-Operative.

In 1995, Mark left the Co-Op and bought a small family business, known as Adam Cramond & Son, before selling in 2002 to a large Independent funeral director. Then, in 2006, Mark opened up Porteous Funeral Directors.

“There is no better feeling than being able to make decisions and help families in the way you want,” said Mark. “Being an Independent funeral director allows me to do this.”

Mark is joined in the family business by his son Grant and his wife Yvonne, who are both heavily involved in the business and are crucial to the firm’s success.

And Mark has a clear vision ahead for the industry. He said: “The funeral profession, like most industries, will continue to change. The Scottish Government is determined to bring in licensing and this will put pressure on family owned funeral directors, but it is my belief that Independents can definitely compete if we keep standards and service to the forefront of our businesses.”

SAIF Scotland will shortly be introducing our new membership criteria, ensuring standards are kept high and the services offered by those members are beyond approach.