US: SAF to induct 26 AAF and PFCI honorees

Seventeen professionals will be inducted into the American Academy of Floriculture (AAF), and nine professionals will be inducted into Professional Floral Communicators – International (PFCI) during the Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner at SAF Phoenix 2023, the Society of American Florists’ 138th Annual Convention.

“We are very excited about our amazing class of AAF and PFCI inductees this year,” says Carol Caggiano, AAF, AIFD, PFCI. “They represent all segments of our industry, and we couldn’t be prouder of each and every one of them. To be recognized for excellence by your peers is a great achievement, and to join the ranks of other industry professionals is a great honor.”

American Academy of Floriculture
The AAF designation distinguishes members as industry leaders for their service to the floral industry and their community. The 2023 inductees have served in myriad ways, from remodeling greenhouses at a high school to teaching design classes at assisted living facilities.

“Becoming a member of AAF means so much to me because my mentor, Jenny Behlings, is AAF and heavily involved in our community and in the floral industry — as well as many other florists I look up to,” says Carrie Moore of Jenny’s Floral in Custer, South Dakota and a 2023 AAF inductee. “Earning this credential is very motivating — it makes me want to do more, help more, and encourage others to give back to their community and the industry.”

The 2023 inductees are:

  • Lacee Bilke, CFD, Madeline’s Flower Shop, Edmond, Oklahoma
  • Lenzee Bilke, AIFD, CFD, Madeline’s Flower Shop, Edmond, Oklahoma
  • Sam Bowles, Allen’s Flowers, and Plants, San Diego
  • Austin Bryant, Heart of Florida Greenhouses, Zolfo Springs, Florida
  • Erin Davidson, McNamara Florist, Indianapolis
  • Michele Feld, AIFD, Evans Flowers, Peabody, Massachusetts
  • Patricia Fowler, PFCI, Flowerama, Pittsburgh
  • Paul Goodman, MBA, PFCI, Floral Finance Business Services, Inc., Jenks, Oklahoma
  • David Kesler, AIFD, PFCI, FDI, Floral Design Institute, Portland, Oregon
  • Leanne Kesler, AIFD, PFCI, FDI, Floral Design Institute, Portland, Oregon
  • Kelly Mace, Smithers-Oasis, Kent, Ohio
  • Carrie Moore, Jenny’s Floral, Custer, South Dakota
  • Sue Palazzo, City Line Florist, Trumbull, Connecticut
  • Patience Pickner, AIFD, PFCI, The Picket Fence, Chamberlain, South Dakota
  • Michael Smith, AIFD, CFD, FDI, FSMD, Artistic Designs Unlimited, Marianna, Florida
  • Laura Walsh, Smithers-Oasis, Kent, Ohio
  • Carma White, Four Seasons Flowers, San Diego

Each inductee had to meet an extensive list of eligibility criteria to showcase their community involvement, as well as support from other industry members. The applications are vetted by SAF’s Awards Committee.

Professional Floral Communicators – International
Professional Floral Communicators – International is the service mark of the floral industry’s finest floral educators.

“I’m excited to talk about our industry with others and know that the credentials will help me pursue this passion professionally,” says Robbyn Repp, AAF of Petal To The Metal Flowers in North Bend, Oregon, and a 2023 PFCI inductee. “I’m over-the-moon honored and excited to move forward with the knowledge and passion I’ve learned to be able to share and teach others.”

The 2023 inductees are:

  • Alejandro Figueira Fernandes, AIFD, CFD, Alejandro Figueira
  • Floral Artistry and Ornatus Floral Academy, Davie, Florida
  • Andrew Stinson, AIFD, CFD, WAS Design Works, Columbia, South Carolina
  • Angelyn Tipton, AIFD, CFD, GMF, Floriology Institute, Jacksonville, Florida
  • Michael Smith, AIFD, CFD, FDI, FSMD, Artistic Designs Unlimited, Marianna, Florida
  • Robbyn Repp, AAF, CFD, Petal To The Metal Flowers, North Bend, Oregon
  • Laura Walsh, Smithers-Oasis, Kent, Ohio
  • Kelly Mace, Smithers-Oasis, Kent, Ohio
  • Pattie Wallander, AIFD, CFD, ICPF, Tipton & Hurst, Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Jolene Powell, AIFD, CFD, FSMD, Floral Expressions with Jolene, Elkton, Virginia

Each member of PFCI has proven, through their education and experience, their ability to speak authoritatively about topics pertinent to the floral industry.

On local, regional, national, and international stages, PFCI members have presented educational programs to floral professionals on topics ranging from design and care and handling to floral industry trends and profitability. PFCI applicants are vetted by SAF’s PFCI Board of Trustees for presentation, publication, and leadership experience. Candidates must submit a video of a live presentation to demonstrate their communication skills.

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