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AFE Trustees Take Texas By Storm!

From left to right: Charlie Hall, Ph.D., Ellison Chair, Texas A&M; AFE Board member and owner of Ellison’s Greenhouses PJ Ellison; Jim and Ellen Ellison; Mark Hussey, Vice Chancellor and Dean for Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M; and AFE Chairman Tom Butler of Teleflora.After a yearlong drought, the AFE Board of Trustees brought some much-needed rain to Texas during its recent visit to College Station. Even with tornado warnings and delayed flights, weather didn’t dampen the spirits of the Trustees.The AFE Board convened at Texas A&M University from Jan. 25-27, 2012, at a meeting hosted by Charlie Hall, Ph.D., Ellison Chair in International Floriculture. Activities included tours of the campus buildings, faculty presentations and a reception at the Agrilife…

Elisabeth George Hired as Communications Specialist

Left to right: AFE Manager Debi Aker, AFE Communications Specialist Elisabeth George and AFE Chairman Tom Butler of Teleflora.AFE is pleased to announce Elisabeth George as the new communications specialist, a newly created position.Elisabeth brings over six years of nonprofit and agency experience to the position and holds a Master’s Degree in public relations from the George Washington University. Most recently Elisabeth was employed at Ogilvy Public Relations where she worked on website, social media and communications projects for government, corporate and trade association clients.“I am thrilled to be a part of the team,” she said, “and I am looking forward to the opportunity to help increase public awareness of all the valuable work AFE does for the floriculture industry.”Elisabeth…

AFE’s Vic and Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program Nears 20-Year Mark

225 Intern Scholarships Awarded Over Past Two DecadesVic and Margaret BallThe AFE Vic and Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2012.This internship experience fills a crucial need as the floriculture industry seeks to build its capacity and increase workforce development. Since its creation in 1992, the Vic and Margaret Ball Program has facilitated paid internships and provided scholarship funds to more 225 students entering the floriculture/horticulture industry. As industries and businesses nationwide face the challenge of recruiting and retaining qualified employees, opportunities such as the Ball Internship Program play a vital role in highlighting floriculture as a career.“Internships provide the hands-on experience students need to pursue a career in commercial production,” said AFE Education Chairman…

AFE Appoints Mike Duvall and Laura Shinall to Board

AFE has elected Mike Duvall of The Home Depot, and Laura Shinall of Syndicate Sales, Inc., to the Board of Trustees.Mike Duvall has been in the floriculture industry for more than 35 years. Duvall graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in horticulture, where he studied under Dr. Michael Dirr and Dr. Allen Armitage. He began his career as a store manager at Pike Nurseries in Atlanta. Since then, he has been with Home Depot for more than 20 as a store manager and most recently, as a Senior Live Goods Merchant. Duvall is also a recipient of the Ram’s Horn Horticulture Award from Farmingdale College in New York for accomplishments and contributions to the horticulture industry. He…

2011 Fundraising Dinner Garners $275,000 in Donations

Left to right: AFE Chairman Tom Butler accepts a $250,000 check from Herman and LaDonna Meinders with AFE Chairman-Elect Paul Bachman.AFE recently held its 2011 fundraising dinner on Sept. 14 in Palm Springs, Calif. More than 30 organizations in the floriculture industry helped sponsor the event, which was held during the Society of American Florists’ annual convention. The fundraising dinner paid tribute to the generous industry members and organizations that have supported AFE. 185 industry members attended the event, which was hosted by Tom Butler, Chairman of Teleflora and AFE’s Board of Trustees and Paul Bachman, of Bachman’s and AFE’s Chairman-Elect.The fundraising dinner recognized BloomNet, Altman Plants, the Stuppy Family Foundation, Syndicate Sales and Kitayama Brothers/Greenleaf Wholesale for advancing to…

AFE Elects New Leaders

Tom ButlerAFE appointed Tom Butler, chairman of Teleflora in Oklahoma City, as chairman of AFE during the organization’s 50th Anniversary Commemorative Dinner in Orlando on September 22, 2010. Butler, who joined the AFE Board in 2006, also oversees its Development Committee and formerly chaired its Public Relations Committee.Considered a prominent industry authority, Butler has more than 40 years experience in the floral industry, of which he has spent the last 25 with Teleflora and the American Floral Services (AFS), which Teleflora acquired in 2000. As chairman of Teleflora, he visits thousands of florists around the nation every year. His term as chairman of the AFE will be two years.“I can think of no other person who has a greater understanding…

Ernesto Velez Memorial Tribute Established

His death leaves the industry without its earliest and most vocal champion of the simple belief that the land on which your flowers grow and the people who grow deserve respect and protection. As Chairman of Asocolflores for an unprecedented seven terms, Velez shared that philosophy of social responsibility and environmental stewardship as he tirelessly promoted Colombian flowers and flower growers. Velez was equally passionate when talking about and working with his wife, Lucie. Together they spearheaded the creation and implementation of the Florverde program. Flowers with the Florverde label carry the guarantee that they have been grown in conditions that meet the highest social end environmental standards. “Ernesto dedicated most of his time to Asocolflores… fueling ideas and putting…

Will Carlson Memorial Tribute Established

He was responsible for establishing the Horticultural Demonstration Gardens and was the past Chairperson of the MSU Garden Consortium. He helped establish the Professional Plant Growers Association, was a director of the Garden Writers Association and lectured to garden groups throughout the country. Carlson earned many industry accolades, including the Floriculture Hall of Fame from the Society of American Florists and the H. Marc Cathey Award from the American Horticultural Society. or send a check to:American Floral Endowmentc/o Will Carlson Memorial Tribute610 Madison St, Ste 101, PMB 803Alexandria, VA 22314 The family is always notified of donations and contributions can be made in any amount.

AFE Receives $500,000 in Scholarship Funds

Funds will endow scholarships for future florists in memory of Chicago florists Jim and Helen PhillipA loving daughter of the floral industry, television producer Lee Phillip Bell, has donated $500,000 to AFE to create a scholarship fund in memory of her parents. The James and Helen Phillip Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide tuition assistance to students training in retail floral design and operations.Bell presented a check to the AFE Board of Trustees during the American Floral Endowment Dinner in Palm Beach, Fla. on Sept. 17, 2008.“It’s a joy to honor James and Helen Phillip by helping people prepare to earn a livelihood in the flower business, which has meant so much to our family,” she said.The funds will be invested…

SAF Selected As AFE’s New Management Team

AFE Trustees have selected the Society of American Florists (SAF) as the Endowment’s new management team.“This is a win-win for AFE and the horticulture industry,” said AFE Chairman Mike Mellano Sr. of Mellano and Company in San Luis Rey, Calif. “AFE will be able to take advantage of SAF’s resources while remaining a wholly separate entity.”“We’re very pleased with the decision,” said Bob McClellan, retiring president of Hortica Insurance in Edwardsville, Ill. AFE offices have been located at Hortica since 2004 during which Hortica contributed significant administrative services. “It’s been an honor to provide AFE with our assistance during a period of AFE’s restructuring and growth, and the time is right for AFE and SAF to join resources in taking…