SAF to honor next gen floral pros with new award

The Society of American Florists has created a new award to celebrate outstanding Next Gen floral professionals for their professional achievements and commitment to the industry.

The Next Gen Rising Star Award honors forward-thinking young professionals who demonstrate creativity, innovation, tenacity, and leadership in their work and the potential to make a positive impact on the floral industry.

“The Next Gen Rising Star Award highlights those in the industry that are showing courage in their innovations and finding artistry in abstract thinking,” says Renee Tucci, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, who sits on SAF’s awards committee and helped develop the award. “This kind of growth is exactly what our young leaders should be doing to advance design and product development in floristry. Bringing attention to these individuals will only encourage others to do the same, which will be a win for all!”

The winner of this year’s Next Gen Rising Star Award will be announced at SAF Phoenix 2023, SAF’s 138th annual convention in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The award builds on the work SAF has been doing to cultivate the next generation, a vital initiative for the future of the floral industry. Last year, SAF held its inaugural Next Gen LIVE! event in Miami for floral pros in all segments 45 years old and younger. That event, designed by young floral professionals, drew more than 160 people from the U.S., Colombia, and Ecuador to Miami for two days of education, networking, and a tour of floral importing facilities.

This year’s educational sessions will focus on consistent five-star customer service, digital marketing, communication tips, and leadership styles — including how to lead with empathy. Plus, attendees can choose between two tour options: a behind-the-scenes look at a few progressive floral retail operations or importing and distribution facilities at the Miami International Airport.

SAF continued to foster the relationships formed at last year’s Next Gen LIVE! event through a monthly, virtual happy hour (register here for the March 30 happy hour) and through an active Facebook page. The Next Gen group also formed a quarterly book club, led by Sam Bowles of Allen’s Flowers in San Diego, focusing on book selections with business applications.

Know a young professional in any segment who represents a promising future for the industry? Nominate them here by June 30. 

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