AFE has established the Young Professionals Council (YPC), which consists of a vibrant group of 21- to 35-year-old students and professionals in the floral industry.

YPC members will use their skills and strengths to help reach other young professionals interested in becoming leaders in the floral industry, provide guidance and feedback on AFE’s programs, and get involved in leadership and learning opportunities through AFE’s programs.

“There are crucial industry challenges that need to be addressed, and the YPC is a significant program that I believe will help benefit the industry. I look forward to working with the driven young members of this group to help spread awareness of AFE and build a stronger future,” said AFE Trustee and YPC Board Liaison Dwight Larimer.

Current list of members: Young Professionals Council Logo

  • Tha Cha (Grower at Cha Veggies)
  • Joshua Craver (Ph.D. student at Purdue University)
  • Eric Fernandez (Director of Mass Markets and Business Development at Continental Flowers)
  • Sarah Hollis (Student at Texas A&M University)
  • Bethany Kennedy (Student at Texas A&M University)
  • Emma Lookabaugh (Ph.D. student at North Carolina State University)
  • Shelby McCarty (Owner of SRM Events)
  • Krystal Snyder (Technical Specialist at J.R. Peters)
  • Kaylee South (Student at University of Georgia)

The YPC held its first conference call on June 3, and there was considerable discussion about the challenges facing the floriculture and horticulture industries, including enrollment and faculty decline. Members will be providing AFE with feedback on these challenges and how AFE, and they, can tackle these matters.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the YPC, please email Communications Specialist Lori Ostrow.