"It is with great enthusiasm that I step into the position of Executive Director of CalFlowers," Steve Dionne says in the CalFlowers newsletter.
"I have genuine respect for the California floral industry, having worked within it for the past 26 years. I count many of you among my friends, and mentors, and I have always been inspired by the grit and competitiveness I have seen from my industry colleagues.
Traveling the country and the globe on various flower missions, I have grown to recognize that passion runs deep in our Floriculture Industry worldwide. I have visited farms, distributors, air and ground carriers, and flower shops in 19 countries across 5 continents these past few years, and the hard work at each level of the floral supply chain is apparent in all these visits. The rewards of the work come in the form of smiles, greetings, and warmth not only amongst the tight-knit companies we buy and sell from, but right down the chain to the end floral consumer. Our great industry traffics in positive emotions, and sheer enjoyability.
CalFlowers, originally nicknamed NorCal, was founded in 1941 as a coalition of flower farmers needing to get their boxes efficiently to SFO airport, and to leverage their shipping volumes to secure better airline rates. Today’s California floral industry echoes that group of community-minded, friendly competitors. Today and onward, we plan to maintain our community spirit and, as my fellow CalFlowers directors have often heard me say, “Leverage our resources for the benefit of our members.” CalFlowers’ founders would be proud to see how the Association now supports so many industry stakeholders including television programming, Memorial Day flowers, AFE research, student scholarships, state and national floral associations, and market research initiatives. We host the ever-popular California Floral Convention (Fun ‘N Sun). We have close to a thousand members across 48 states. We will continue to provide support for our numerous affiliates and enthusiastically seek opportunities to collaborate on important industry issues such as with the Floral Industry Summit exploring how to increase consumption in the United States.
I want to thank the CalFlowers board and its members for trusting me with this position, and I want to let all CalFlowers stakeholders know that we are going to exert our efforts and resources to helping all segments of our great industry thrive.
Together, let’s roll up our shirtsleeves and work to ensure that more Americans enjoy more flowers more often."