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Two Industry Leaders Recognized with AFE’s New Ambassador Award

AFE Champions – Dr. Marvin Miller and Dwight LarimerThe American Floral Endowment (AFE) is excited to announce 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…

Memorial Tribute Established in Memory of Andy Mast

Andy worked in partnership with his father, Neal, until branching out on his own in 1975 to become the owner of Andy Mast Greenhouses. He grew the business from the original site in Walker to include two additional sites over the years in Muskegon and Holland. His contributions to the greenhouse industry run deep.In efforts to improve the quality of crops, Andy pioneered with Michigan State University using practical growing techniques to control the height of crops. So successful in implementation, the DIF technique is currently utilized around the world!Never shy to try out new techniques and experiments, he partnered with MSU to continue research and advancement in floriculture for other groundbreaking successes. Andy was also active in the Floriculture…

2 New Named Funds Announced at AFE Annual Reception

Introducing the Carlstedt's LLC Fund and the Perez Villegas Family Fund The American Floral Endowment (AFE) announced the establishment of two new Named Funds during our recent Friends of Floral Reception on Sept. 7th – the Carlstedt’s LLC Fund and the Pérez Villegas Family Fund. The reception, which took place at the Society of American Florists (SAF)’s 183rd Annual Convention in Phoenix, AZ, also featured announcements of the new Ruby N. & Roland A. Whealy Memorial Scholarship, brand new Ambassador Awards, and updates on AFE’s current projects and initiatives.  Both of the new Named Funds have been established as Undesignated Funds, which indicates a flexible gift allowing AFE to use the funding where it is needed most at any given time.  “These gifts will be hugely impactful as AFE continues providing support for the industry where…

AFE Announces a New Scholarship Honoring a Legacy of Education and Service

Introducing the Ruby N. & Roland A. Whealy Memorial Scholarship FundRuby N. & Roland A. WhealyA new scholarship has been established through the American Floral Endowment (AFE) honoring Ruby N. & Roland A. Whealy. Established by Dr. C. Anne Whealy, this scholarship honors her parents and their commitment to continued education and community service. The scholarship ensures future generations are able to achieve their academic goals.The Ruby N. & Roland A. Whealy Memorial Scholarship supports Horticulture graduate students who have a minimum 3.0 GPA average and a research focus on reducing the effects of changing climates on floriculture crops. Climate change is having a profound impact on all facets of agriculture, including floriculture. Crop schedules, plant development, post-production, et al.…

Ashlie Tagawa Mohr Appointed to AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Committee

Ashlie Tagawa Mohr has been appointed as the newest member of AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Committee. She is currently the Director of Human Resources and Intern Coordinator for Tagawa Greenhouses in Brighton, Colorado, where her focus is on staffing, training, and employee relations.  In her new role on the Ball Committee, Mohr will be working with industry, faculty, and the Ball Family representative to review student applications for the Vic & Margaret Ball Intern Scholarship Program and help promote the program to students. She will be helping the future generation of industry leaders to understand first-hand the lasting effects of this great program. In 1992, Vic and Margaret Ball made a generous donation to AFE to establish…

Memorial Tribute Established in Memory of Sue Conyers

After gaining a few years of experience in the industry, Sue opened her own importing company in Miami, World Flowers, Inc., in 1979. Her first office was in the original Armellini building next to the airport. They moved into their new World Flowers building in 1986. World Flowers became a family business and inspired generations of industry work. Sue’s husband, Doug, worked for her as the warehouse manager. Sue’s son, Robert, also worked for the company for many years. Their daughter, Christine, worked for some years before joining the Association of Floral Importers of Florida (AFIF) as the Executive Vice President. Sue quickly became a leader in the Miami flower importing community. She viewed the health of the whole industry…

You’re Invited! AFE Friends of Floral Reception at SAF Convention

You’re invited! Join us at our upcoming Friends of Floral Reception in Phoenix, Arizona on Thursday, September 7th, from 6:00 – 7:30 pm in conjunction with the SAF 2023 Annual Convention.   Join AFE in celebrating recent accomplishments while networking with peers and industry leaders who partner with the Endowment to fund advancements in all aspects of floriculture – including research, scholarships, internships, and other industry programs. New to AFE? Take this opportunity to learn more, get involved, and take advantage of all that the Endowment has to offer! Whether you’re new to AFE or a seasoned supporter, join in celebrating over 60 years of accomplishments while networking with peers and recognizing industry champions who have helped support AFE’s research, scholarships, and…

Celebrating A United Industry – AFE’s R.I.S.E. to Support Campaign Exceeds Goal

We celebrate and thank the many industry supporters, sponsors, and friends who contributed to this year’s annual fundraiser, R.I.S.E. to Support. Over $135,000 was raised in support of the floral industry through the Endowment’s 2023 Campaign. The success of the campaign shows how committed and united our industry is to ongoing progress, supporting future generations, education, and research.From May 15th through June 30th, 2023, AFE’s Board of Trustees and Staff connected with the floral industry through a virtual fundraising campaign to increase annual support for the Endowment’s vital industry programs, which were noted in this year’s theme of R.I.S.E.: Research, Internships, Scholarships, and Education for all sectors. The joint fundraising goal was set at $100,000. Over the month and a half,…

Ensuring Tomorrow’s Leaders Have Access to Floral Education Today

The Phillip Family left a profound impact on floral design through the James and Helen Phillip Floral Design Grant, and today, their legacy is carried forward through the work of inspired floral design students at six institutions across the country.This grant directly supports floral design programs, ensuring a robust learning environment and making floral design programs more attractive to students. Bringing more students into floral design helps to both educate them on the wide range of career possibilities in our industry, and to cultivate a pool of skilled workers who can fill positions in retail flower shops or start their own businesses after graduation. AFE educational grants like these strive to educate, uplift and provide resources for the next generation…

Memorial Tribute Established in Memory of Gene Willis

Gene was actively engaged in the floral industry, serving as the president of International Floral Distributors in 2013 and on the board of directors from 2012 to 2014. He promoted floral hard goods as an integral part of the floral industry for 46 years. He believed hard goods were every bit as important to the success of cut flowers.Gene was born in the rugged northeastern Arizona town of McNary, AZ., to Merrill Roundy and Dora Tilton Willis.  He descended from a long line of northern Arizona pioneers, and the spirit of the Old West—honesty, hard work, resilience, and helping others – lived in his veins his whole life.In 1967 Gene received a master’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University, passed the…