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AFE On the Road

The AFE team has been busy the past few weeks! From North Carolina, to California, our staff has been busy from coast to coast attending floral industry events, networking, and planning for the future! Staying connected with the industry allows us to see first-hand the impact of our programs and research, and allows us to hear directly from industry members about the challenges they’re facing so we can adapt our programs to help.  Read on to learn more about all of the AFE staff adventures so far in 2024! AFE Board Meeting and NC State Tour Twice a year, the AFE Board meets in person to engage in strategic discussions and review past, present, and upcoming initiatives, charting the course…

Michelle Van Norden Named New Manager of Development & Donor Engagement

We are pleased to welcome Michelle Van Norden to the AFE staff as the new Manager of Development and Donor Engagement! We have proudly been providing programs, resources, and support for the floriculture industry for 60+ years; this has been made possible only with the support of generous donors. This position will continue to enhance connections to our donors, and further develop relationships with our stakeholders. As the Manager of Development and Donor Relations, Michelle will be promoting our many ways to give, such as named funds, legacy gifts, recurring donations, and designated donations.  As the Endowment’s community of donors grows, AFE will be able to further expand our core programs — scholarships, internships, educational grants, and innovative scientific research…

The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation Joins with the American Floral Endowment 

Amplifying Floriculture Research Advancements The American Floral Endowment (AFE) and the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation are pleased to announce a new partnership and joining of forces promoting a shared vision of cultivating and funding innovation, advancements, and growth through floriculture research. Through this partnership, the American Floral Endowment will provide a new home for the Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation, transitioning the Foundation to a new fund within AFE. The new Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation Research Fund will continue the Foundation's current mission of providing a source of funding for research and education in floriculture while maintaining its robust history. The Fred C. Gloeckner Foundation Research Fund complements AFE's research efforts and amplifies floriculture growth through combining efforts, ultimately resulting in more significant achievements and…

Dr. Stephanie Burnett Appointed to AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Committee

Dr. Stephanie Burnett, Associate Professor at the University of Maine, has been appointed as the newest member of AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Committee. In her position at the University of Maine’s School of Food and Agriculture, she teaches Greenhouse Management, Herbaceous Landscape Plants, and Introduction to Horticulture. Her research focuses on greenhouse and field flower production as well as automated irrigation in greenhouses. She has an MS degree in horticulture from Auburn University and a Ph.D. in horticulture from the University of Georgia. As a member of the Vic & Margaret Ball Committee, Burnett will work together with industry, faculty, AFE Staff, and the Ball Family representative to review student applications for the Vic & Margaret Ball Intern…

Surpassing $20 Million in Funding in Support of Floriculture

We are proud to announce a significant milestone in our journey to support the future of floriculture: Providing over $20 million in cumulative funding for industry research and education. For over 63 years, AFE has given unwavering dedication and support to floriculture. Since AFE’s establishment in 1961, we have been at the forefront of funding innovative research, providing educational grants for industry events and programs, and offering internships and scholarships to cultivate the next generation of professionals in the floral sector. These endeavors have not only enriched the industry but also propelled its growth and advancement. Debi Chedester, Executive Director of AFE, expressed gratitude for this achievement, stating, “We are proud to have reached this significant milestone. It is truly…

The Larimers: Giving Back to an Industry that Found Them

We have newly launched a quarterly program to spotlight donors as well as regular articles highlighting the impactful industry stories of our Legacy Circle members. Our Legacy Circle is an honorary organization composed of persons who have made provision for a planned gift to AFE through a bequest, a life insurance policy, a trust or otherwise, such as a retirement plan beneficiary designation. The Legacy Circle affords AFE an opportunity to extend our warm appreciation to individuals who notify us of their thoughtful gift intentions. As a part of these spotlights, we recognize Dwight and Dawn Larimer for their impact on the industry. We welcome you to read about their journey and their crucial role in AFE’s mission! Dwight and Dawn Larimer More than 2,500…

Thank You for a Milestone Year!

We are excited to share the following accomplishments from 2023: Funded over $765,000 to support – research, scholarships, internships, and education. This year we reached over $20 million in funding since founded in 1961.. T & B Research Library – the release of new information and resources addressing Thrips and Botrytis. Results of five years of specialized research which will save the industry tens of thousands of dollars annually... The establishment of our Sustainabloom program– a new initiative providing guides and best practices to help you in your sustainability efforts. The official site will launch in the next few months and will have resources for all segments and sizes of businesses.. Industry collaboration and partnerships with other floral organizations and media partners increasing awareness and…

Memorial Tribute Established Honoring Kenneth Royer

Currently, with 15 locations in Pennsylvania and three in Ohio, Ken’s legacy and family business is kept alive through the leadership of two of his sons and three of his grandsons.    Ken was one of the first florists in the country to implement computerized systems for multi-shop operations and was among the first florists to import flowers directly from South America. His business strategies were so successful that in 1998, he published the book, ‘Retailing Flowers Profitably,’ and held dozens of seminars on topics from marketing to management and post-harvest care. He also wrote a Florists’ Review magazine column, “Royer on Retail,” for 14 years.    Ken spoke at over 50 wire service and other florist meetings, providing educational sessions on…

Farewell Letter from Retiring Research Director, Dr. Terril Nell

Industry colleagues and friends,  As many of you may know, I will be retiring from AFE at the end of 2023. At the threshold of a new chapter in my life, my heart fills with gratitude for the incredible journey I’ve had in the floral industry. Looking back, I can’t help but be overwhelmed by the profound impact AFE has had on my life and career. Unwavering grant support, the platform to explore innovative and impactful research, and lifelong collaboration with those in our vibrant community have helped shape me into the person I am today. It has been a privilege to serve and contribute to an industry that breathes this kind of life, beauty, and camaraderie into the world.…

Passing of the Torch: AFE Research Director Dr. Terril Nell Retires

Dr. Nell has spent his entire career working for the benefit of the floral industry. He retired as Professor Emeritus of Floriculture after a 35-year tenure at the University of Florida, where he served as Chair of the Environmental Horticulture Department from 1991–2012. His research has led to the development of best practices and advances within the floral industry leading to improved flower and plant longevity. He has consulted for growers, wholesalers, and retailers nationally and internationally for over 40 years. A highly respected care and handling expert, Dr. Nell co-authored the Flower and Plant Care Manual produced by the Society of American Florists and Flowering Potted Plants: Prolonging Freshness by Ball Publishing. For the past nine years, Dr. Nell has served as the…