AFE is announcing three new scholarships that will begin in 2013: The American Florists’ Exchange Scholarship, The Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarship and the Richard T. Meister Scholarship!
With more than 20 different scholarships now available through AFE, floriculture and horticulture students are sure to find a scholarship that fits their area of study. Scholarships range from $500-$5,000 and are awarded annually. Applications must be submitted online and are due, along with supporting materials, no later than May 1 each year.
“AFE is extremely excited to have the opportunity to help more students become future floriculture leaders with these three new scholarships,” Dwight Larimer, the chair of AFE’s Education Committee, said. “These generous scholarships will be influential in helping aspiring industry members learn about all aspects of floriculture and horticulture.”
The American Florists’ Exchange Scholarship is offered to juniors or seniors majoring in agriculture with an emphasis on a future in floriculture. Applicants must be enrolled in a college/university in California or be a California resident attending a college/university in the U.S. The Original Los Angeles Flower Market was established in 1921 and is now part of the largest wholesale flower district in the United States.
“The floral industry has been good to us, and this is our way of giving back to the industry,” Lizbeth Ecke, chairperson of the Los Angeles Flower Market, said. “Establishing this scholarship will provide the next generation of floral providers with financial assistance to further their training and education so they can keep the industry thriving.”
The Julio and Sarah Armellini Scholarship is offered to sophomore, junior or senior students interested in pursuing careers in the marketing or distribution of floral products.
Julio “Toots” Armellini is founder of Armellini Express Lines, the largest flower carrier service in the United States. Armellini enlisted in the Navy as a “Seabee” and was stationed all around the globe as a mechanic, where he learned the skills he used to modernize refrigerated trucking. When he began expanding his lines in the early 1950s, refrigeration was new and underdeveloped, so he established a more effective way of cooling his supplies using a system of constant airflow. Thermo King eventually made his contributions to refrigeration systems standard.
“We built our trucking company on the floral industry and have always considered ourselves as a floral company,” Julio Armellini said. “We believe that a well educated and talented work force is the secret to the continued success of the floral industry.”
Today, Armellini has almost 70 years of experience in the industry and Armellini Industries, Inc. now encompasses many businesses: Armellini Express Lines, Inc., J.A. Flower Service, Inc., Fresco Service, Inc., Armellini On-Site Storage and NorthStar Transportation, Inc.
The Richard T. Meister Scholarship is offered to graduate students in floriculture intending to pursue a career in the land-grant university system with an interest in research, extension or teaching.
Meister, a native of Ohio, graduated with a major in pomology from the College of Agriculture at Cornell University and also received an MBA from Harvard Business School. He currently serves as editor-at-large and chairman emeritus of Meister Media Worldwide and has held membership and office in many grower and professional associations, including the American Society for Horticultural Science, the Professional Plant Growers Association and the Society of American Florists.
When asked his reason for establishing a scholarship for the industry, Meister said, “I had a wonderful partnership with floriculture researchers and educators in the land-grant college system that helped transform floriculture through the development of innovative new practices which made possible expanding and valuable markets for growers. I want to encourage students to do graduate work and make a career out of research, education and extension.”