US: Shirley Lyons named 2018 Tom Butler "Floral Retailer of the Year"

Shirley Lyons, former owner of Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, was the recipient of the fourth annual Tom Butler "Floral Retailer of the Year" Award. Opened in 1973, Dandelions Flowers & Gifts is a first-generation, family-owned floral shop in Eugene, OR with a strong emphasis on customer service and community involvement. The Honorary Award recognizes a retail florist and Teleflora member that best exemplifies the legacy of Teleflora's former Chairman, Tom Butler. The announcement took place at the American Floral Endowment (AFE) Fundraising Dinner in conjunction with the Society of American Florists' (SAF) Annual convention.  

2018 Recipient of Teleflora's Tom Butler "Floral Retailer of the Year" Award (Pictured left to right. Darrel Housden, Jeff Bennett, Award Recipient Shirley Lyons, Jack Howard, and Rick Davis.) Photo Source: American Floral Endowment

Established in 2015, the "Floral Retailer of the Year" Award was created to honor former Chairman Tom Butler, who was devoted to serving as a trusted business partner, friend and innovator to independent retail florists across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to leading a superb retail operation, the awarded florist must show immense commitment to servicing their community, is a steadfast ambassador in the floral industry and offers meaningful guidance to fellow florists.

"We are extremely proud of Shirley Lyons for demonstrating Tom Butler's legacy through her hard work at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts in Eugene. Her business acumen and community involvement are remarkable," said Jack Howard, Executive Vice President of National Accounts at Teleflora. "In addition to her commitment to the community, Lyons' numerous accolades and leadership roles within the floral industry – including SAF President and Chairman of the SAF board – exemplify why we are thrilled to honor her with this year's Teleflora Floral Retailer of the Year Award."

Dandelions Flowers & Gifts has been serving the Eugene, OR area for more than 45 years and was started initially by Lyons and her husband while working in the banking industry. She realized her passion for the artistry of flowers and opened her 250 sq. foot floral and gift shop, steadily growing her business and thriving on a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee with an aggressive marketing strategy. The floral shop's community involvement is evident through their yearly "Bras for a Cause" event, which encourages local businesses to decorate bras with the goal of raising awareness and funds for breast cancer every October, obtaining about $130,000 to date. Last year, the Oregon Cancer Foundation awarded her the inaugural Sparrow of Hope Award for her tireless contributions to this cause. Lyons is also a powerhouse in the floral industry, taking on numerous leadership positions over the years. In 2014, she was named President of the Society of American Florists (SAF), which marked an important milestone as she became the first woman to hold this title in the organization's 140-year history, and subsequently she was the first woman Chairman of the Board in 2015. In 2011, Lyons was recognized as "Business Woman of the Year" by the Eugene Chamber of Commerce.

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