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US: Two industry leaders recognized with AFE’s new ambassador award

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) has announced the recipients of the inaugural AFE Ambassador Awards! The AFE Ambassador Award recognizes an individual, organization, or institution in the floral community for their exceptional leadership, advocacy, and devoted service to the Endowment’s mission. By acting as an ambassador and champion of AFE, the recipient reinforces the Endowment’s advancements in floriculture research, education, and innovation. The award is chosen through a nomination process by AFE’s Board of Trustees.

The recipients were announced during AFE’s Friends of Floral Annual Donor Event and Reception held in conjunction with SAF’s 2023 Annual Convention in Phoenix. The first-ever recipients of this award, Dr. Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Company and Dwight Larimer, formerly of Smithers-Oasis/DESIGN MASTER, were both surprised with the recognition and were honored for their advocacy, support, and leadership through their involvement with the Endowment. They have gone above and beyond to promote AFE’s programs and resources.

Dr. Marvin Miller, Ball Horticultural Company
Dr. Marvin Miller has nearly 40 years of industry service as Market Research Manager for Ball Horticultural Company. He has been with the company since 1983. He has a B.S. in Horticulture and a M.S. in Agricultural Economics from Purdue University, and a Ph.D. in Food and Resource Economics, with a major in Agricultural Marketing from the University of Florida. The focus of his research efforts involves the changing structure, conduct, and performance of the horticulture industry.

Through AFE, Dr. Miller is a past Trustee who served multiple terms, continued as an Emeritus member, and still sits on the Research Committee. He provides expertise in research for both AFE directly and the Floriculture Nursery and Research Initiative (FNRI) projects, which the Endowment provides review and recommendations on.

Through his long-term involvement with AFE’s Board and Committees, Dr. Miller has brought a wealth of knowledge – especially highlighting his invaluable expertise in research and offering his incredible knowledge bank of information on industry statistics and trends.

As an ambassador, Dr. Miller has shared the impactful initiatives of the Endowment across his extensive peer network, leading to a broader recognition of AFE and helping to build new and collaborative relationships to support research and programs. He has introduced hundreds of people to AFE’s work, leveraging his connections across both academia and industry.

Dr. Miller not only helps bring in new donors and connections for AFE but is also a long-time supporter himself. He joins AFE’s newly announced Consecutive Giving Society with 36 years of consecutive giving.

The Endowment is honored to present Dr. Marvin Miller with the 2023 AFE Ambassador Award.

Dwight Larimer, retired Smithers-Oasis/DESIGN MASTER
Dwight Larimer has been an incredible ambassador to AFE for over a decade. With his 40+ years of industry service, he has leveraged his knowledge and industry connections to support the industry and AFE. In addition to his terms as a Trustee, Larimer also served as AFE’s Chairman of the Board from 2016-2018.

Additionally, and throughout his Board service, he served on AFE’s Education, Floral Marketing Fund (FMF), and PR/Development Committees - serving as Chair for both Education and FMF.

With a passion for education and young professionals, Larimer helped create AFE’s Young Professionals Council in 2015, serving as the Board Liaison to the group and developing programs to support their professional development. Currently, he still serves as Chair of AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Committee, a program that places undergraduate students in three-, four-, or six-month internships in floriculture production.

Larimer’s career has been fully devoted to the floral industry. For nearly 40 years, Larimer was the President of DESIGN MASTER color tool inc., offering color sprays and accessory products for floral and decorative projects. In 2021, DESIGN MASTER joined the Smithers-Oasis brand, and in 2022, he retired.

Dwight is an esteemed colleague, dedicated benefactor, and member of the Consecutive Giving Society with 16 years of consecutive giving.

Beyond their decades of service to AFE, both Marvin and Dwight exemplify what this award stands for. Wherever they are, they make sure AFE is represented and promoted.

Both Dwight and Marvin have served in leadership roles for many other organizations and have truly made a lasting impact, not only for AFE but for the entire industry.

For more information:
American Floral Endowment
Tel.: +1 (703) 838-5211
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