Highlights from the 2012 SAF Convention

At the Society of American Florists (SAF) 128th annual convention, held in Palm Beach, Fla., in September, the organization recognized a number of our industry’s brightest stars with its annual awards and inductions. Here are the highlights.


Robert Williams II, AAF, PFCI, of Smithers-Oasis Company, N.A., in Kent, Ohio, will continue in his second of the two-year term as president. Serving with him on SAF’s Executive Committee are:

   • President-Elect Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI; Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, LLC; Eugene, Ore.

   • Treasurer Dwight Larimer, AAF, PFCI; DESIGN MASTER color tool, inc.; Boulder, Colo.

   • Immediate Past President Leo Roozen, AAF; Washington Bulb Company, Inc.; Mt. Vernon, Wash., who is board chairman.

   • SAF Executive Vice President and CEO Peter J. Moran also serves on the executive committee.

The following newly elected members of SAF’s board of directors began three-year terms at the close of the SAF convention:

• Grower Dave Self; Wyld West Annuals, Inc.; Loxahatchee, Fla. (replacing outgoing board member Herb Van Der Ende; Burnaby Lake Greenhouses, Ltd.; Surrey, B.C., Canada)

• Wholesaler Bill LaFever; Bill Doran Company; Rockford, Ill. (replacing Scott Kitayama; Greenleaf Wholesale Florist, Inc.; Brighton, Colo.)

• Retailer Robert Aykens, AAF; Memorial Florists & Greenhouses, Inc.; Appleton, Wisc. (replacing Lori Wheat, AAF; Lafayette Florist & Greenhouses, Inc.; Lafayette, Colo.)

The following newly elected SAF council members also began their terms of service:

Growers Council:

Wilja Happe; Farmers' West Flowers & Bouquets, Inc.; Carpinteria, Calif. Steve Kennicott; Kennicott Kuts, LLC; Waterford, Wis. Jeff Mast; Banner Greenhouses; Nebo, N.C.

Wholesalers Council:

Gustavo Gilchrist; Kennicott Brothers; Chicago, Ill. Bob Hamacher; Roses & More, Inc.; Spokane Valley, Wash. Bob Otsuka; San Francisco Flower Mart; San Francisco, Calif.
Retailers Council:
Vince Butera, AIFD, AAF, PFCI; Butera The Florist; York, Pa. Mandy Majerik, AIFD, PFCI; HotHouse Design Studio; Birmingham, Ala. Peggy Roth; Sweet Pea Floral and Gifts, LLC; Parker, Colo.
• SAF Floriculture Hall of Fame
Herman Meinders, AAF; Tom Butler, AAF, PFCI; and Walter Preston were inducted into the SAF Floriculture Hall of Fame. Induction into the Hall of Fame is among the highest honors in the floral industry, and recognizes individuals who have made significant, permanent contributions to the advancement of floriculture. Mr. Meinders is the founder of American Floral Services (AFS); Mr. Butler is chairman of Teleflora; and Mr. Preston is a prominent leader and businessman with Manatee Floral, Inc., in Bradenton and Palmetto, Fla.

Herman Meiders, AAF

Tom Butler, AAF, PFCI

Walter Preston
• Tommy Bright Award
Recognizing achievement in floral commentating and education, this award was presented to  Ardith Beveridge, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, CAFA, director of education at  Koehler & Dramm’s Institute of Floristry in Minneapolis, Minn., who was honored for lifetime achievement in floral presentation.
• Paul Ecke Jr. Award
In recognition of his exemplary dedication to business, industry and community,  Ian Prosser, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, owner of  Botanica International Design and Décor Studio in Tampa, Fla., received the 2012 SAF Paul Ecke Jr. Award.
• Alex Laurie Award
Professor Edward C. Sisler, Ph.D., of North Carolina State University, received the 2012 Alex Laurie Award, which honors individuals who have made significant contributions to floriculture research.
• SAF President’s Award
Sarah and Frank Mischler, AAF, from Mischler’s Florist in Williamsville, N.Y., received the SAF President’s Award in honor of their 20 years of “tireless” work in setting up the SAF Outstanding Varieties Competition, which takes place each year at the organization’s annual convention.

• SAF Century Award
SAF celebrated the longevity of four floral businesses that have been in business for 100 years or longer.
Carey’s Florist; South Hadley, Mass.
Holdridge Farm Nursery, Inc.; Ledyard, Conn.
The John Henry Company; Lansing, Mich.
Olympia Flower Store; Olympia, Mass.

• Sylvia Cup Design Competition
Vincent Petrovsky, AIFD, AAF, owner of Heaven and Earth Floral in West Palm Beach, Fla., won the grand prize in the 45th annual Sylvia Cup Design Competition. Brita Edlbauer, AIFD, owner of Floral Art Studio in Orlando, Fla., and Brenda Veasman, AIFD, owner of Flowerama on Pacific in Omaha, Neb., were the first and second runners-up, respectively.
• Marketer of the Year
A five-fold increase in wedding sales in just one year, buoyed by an innovative brand-within-a-brand marketing campaign, helped snag Arizona Family Florist, based in Phoenix, the Floral Management 2012 “Marketer of the Year” title.

(From left) Marketer of Year Cheryl Denham, president of Arizona Family Florist in Phoenix, and two members of her team, Katie Easley and Lindsey Gender.

Robert Aykens, AAF; Memorial Florists & Greenhouses; Appleton, Wis. Bitsy Carter, AAF; Hope Floral, Inc.; Hope, Ark. Alex Jackson, AIFD, AAF, PFCI; Phoenix Flower Shops;  Scottsdale, Ariz. Michelle Castellano Keeler, AAF;  Mellano & Company;  Oceanside, Calif.
Jacob H. McCall, AIFD, AAF, FSMD;  The Elite Flower;  Miami, Fla. Dr. Marvin N. Miller, AAF; Ball Horticultural Company; West Chicago, Ill. Rutland “Skip” Paal Jr., AAF; Rutland-Beard Floral Group, Inc.; Baltimore, Md. Fiona Prosser, AAF; Botanica International Florist; Tampa,  Fla.
  Shelby Shy, AAF; Shirley’s Flowers and Gifts, Inc.;  Rogers, Ark. Lisa Weddel, AIFD, AAF, PFCI; L Weddell Design; Highlands Ranch, Colo.  

David Boulton, AAF, PFCI; Flowers by George, Inc.; Arlington, Wash. Ted Bruehl, AIFD, PFCI; The Chocolate Rose; Dallas, Texas Arthur Conforti, PFCI; Beneva Flowers & Gifts and Beneva Solutions; Sarasota, Fla.   Daniel Fisher, PFCI; Fitz Design; Punta Gorda, Fla.
David Kesler, AIFD, PFCI; Floral Design Institute; Portland, Ore. Leanne Kesler, AIFD, PFCI; Floral Design Institute; Portland, Ore. Kristine Kratt, AIFD, PFCI; freelance designer; Philadelphia, Pa. Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI; Dandelions Flowers & Gifts; Eugene, Ore.
Neville MacKay, CAFA, PFCI; My Mother’s Bloomers; Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada Sandy Schroeck, AIFD, PFCI; Trend On Design; Eden Prairie, Minn. Anthony Swick, AIFD, PFCI; Bay Bouquet Floral Studio; Tampa, Fla.  


Two hundred sixty-two entries from more than three dozen growers competed in the “Outstanding Varieties” competition.

“Best in Show”
‘Fireworks’ Spray Rose
Eufloria Flowers

“Best in Class” Rose
‘Moody Blues’
Rosaprima Cia. Ltda.

“Best in Class” Spray Rose
Eufloria Flowers

“Best in Class” Chrysanthemum

“Best in Class” Cut Bulb
‘Rialto’ Oriental Lily
Green Valley Floral, Inc.

“Best in Class” Gerbera
‘Pink Power’
Green Valley Floral, Inc.

“Best in Class” Alstroemeria
‘Symphony® Bonita’
Esmeralda Farms, Inc.

“Best in Class” Dianthus
‘Pop Music’
Golden Flowers Inc.

“Best in Class” Other Cut Flower
Oncidium Gower Ramsey ‘Orange’
Green Point Nurseries, Inc.

“Best in Class” Decorative Foliage
Pittosporum ‘Silver Queen’
Mellano & Company

“Best in Class” Potted Flowering Plant
‘Renata’ Miniature Potted Rose
Poulsen Roser A/S