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Support the Future of Floral Before Year End

Support the Future of Floral by Making a Donation and Sharing Our Year-End Ads!Consider a year-end gift to the floral industry this holiday season. By making a donation to AFE, you are supporting the continued success of our industry through programs and resources aimed at solving challenges and promoting opportunities in floriculture.For 60 years, and only through industry support, AFE has provided vital research, programs, and resources to advance the floral industry. Much of the way flowers are grown and processed today are direct results of AFE-funded research. Cold chain management, care and handling, shipping practices, and pest & disease protocols are key to the success of our industry. Industry contributions support:Research to produce healthier, longer-lasting flowers and plants to boost…

Special 60th Anniversary Edition of the AFE Bulletin

Past, Present,and Future As AFE’s 60th year comes to a close, we hope you’ll enjoy our 60th Anniversary Special Edition Bulletin highlighting AFE’s programs, accomplishments, and impact on the industry. Special thanks to our 60th Anniversary Campaign sponsors who are recognized throughout the issue.Take a walk down memory lane with us in this special publication, where we will not only share our history and successes but also recognize the many organizations and individuals who have supported AFE’s growth. This extended issue shows the past, present, and future of AFE including our research, scholarships, internships, and grants.

Announcing the Meinders Retail Florist Education Grant Fund

New Grant Provides Support for Retail-Focused Educational Programs We are pleased to announce the creation of the Meinders Retail Florist Education Grant Fund that will provide financial support for retail florist education.Established through generous contributions from longtime industry members and AFE supporters, Herman and LaDonna Meinders, this new fund combines with the first-ever AFE Named Fund established in 2011 by the couple now totaling more than $500,000.“Herman and LaDonna paved the way to encourage others to support AFE’s overall mission of providing for the future of the floral industry. Since that time, more than 30 additional named funds have been created,” said AFE’s Executive Director Debi Chedester.When asked about his continued commitment to the Endowment, Herman Meinders shared, “As a past Chairman…

Memorial Tribute Established in Memory of Bob Williams

Bob’s early career was at Sherwin Williams, where he became Director of Sales and Marketing, Consumer Brands Division, which he held for 10 years. In 1997, Bob left Sherwin Williams to work for Smithers-Oasis, a global manufacturer and marketer of floral foam, postharvest products, growing media, temperature-controlled packaging, and floral accessory products – entering the floral industry where he would devote the rest of his career. Harrison “Red” Kennicott, Chairman of Kennicott Brothers Company notes, “Unlike many of us, Bob joined the flower industry in mid-career. Bob hit the ground running and never stopped. Bob made a difference for his company, for the flower industry and for all of those whom he touched.” Over the course of 19 years, he…

New Officers and Chairmen Appointed to AFE Board

During our recent virtual Board of Trustee meeting on September 20, 2021, new Officers, Executive Committee members, and committee chairs were appointed.We are happy to recognize these individuals for their commitment to the floral industry and look forward to another successful year.New Officers: Chairman-Elect and Treasurer/Secretary Appointments Ken Young of Phoenix Flower Shops Named Chairman-ElectKen Young has been in the industry for over 40 years. He is the owner of Phoenix Flower Shops in Scottsdale, Arizona, and former SAF Director. Phoenix Flower Shops operates multiple retail locations and a wholesale division.He has served as the Treasurer/Secretary for the past two years, also serving as the Investment Committee Chairman simultaneously.  He has also served as the Chairman of the Public Relations and Development…

A Path to Success – Emma Lookabaugh Shares the Impact of AFE

Behind the work that the Endowment undertakes to provide for the floral industry are the moving stories of our impact. Back in 2014, a promising NC State graduate student and ornamental enthusiast was awarded the prestigious Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship through AFE – her name was Emma Lookabaugh.Emma credited this award and the Endowment with aiding her career advancement and helping to fund her education. With these pressures alleviated, she found more time to focus on her research and take on new opportunities.Now a Technical Service Representative of Turf & Ornamentals for the Southeast United States for BASF, Emma’s dedication to the industry, investment in her education, and successes are a testament to the impact of AFE’s scholarship programs.They say,…

Record-breaking Amount Raised for Our 60th Anniversary Virtual Fundraising Campaign

60 Days to Raise $100,000 – Supporting another 60 years of floral industry programs, research, and resources! We are pleased to announce that a record-breaking $161,080 was raised through industry sponsorships and donations in support of the $100,000 in 60 Days Virtual Fundraising Campaign. 2021 marks the 60th Anniversary of AFE’s existence, and while an in-person event wasn’t feasible, a 60-day peer-to-peer virtual fundraising campaign was launched. With the support of 24 fundraisers (seen right) from our Board of Trustees, staff, and most devoted ambassadors, the campaign kicked off June 14th and wrapped up on August 13th. Within the first 30 days of the campaign, we surpassed our initial goal of $60,000 thanks to the quick work of our ambassadors and the generosity of our floral…

AFE’s Impact on the Industry – #AFEandMe

Industry Members Share What AFE Means to Them As a part of our 60th anniversary celebration, we launched an ongoing campaign asking the floral community to share their #AFEandMe stories with us. From long-time supporters to industry experts and students, many industry members have participated and shared how AFE has impacted them both personally and professionally. Click an image to see in full size with captions from our social media. Then use the arrows to the side to scroll through all photos. We continue to invite members to share their stories with us on an ongoing basis. You can submit your own #AFEandMe here. Share Your AFE Story with Us! #AFEandMe We want to hear from YOU! Has AFE impacted…

Diamond Celebrations for AFE – 60th Anniversary Feature in FCI

This past month, FloraCulture International took some time to sit down with our Executive Director, Debi Chedester, to feature the Endowment’s 60th (Diamond) Anniversary and the vital resources we continue to provide for the floral and horticulture industry. Touching on almost every aspect of AFE, the conversation flowed from addressing major industry challenges to the importance of supporting the Endowment, and our greater purpose and mission. “An industry is only as strong as those that support it. It is vital to support AFE because without this critical research, the support of education through grants, and the support of young professionals with internships and scholarships— there wouldn’t be advances. No other organisation in the industry provides all of these services, and AFE…

PRESS RELEASE: AFE Surpasses Initial Fundraising Goal in Under 30 Days

60 Days to Raise $100,000 – Support another 60 years of floral industry programs, research, and resources! Alexandria, Virginia, July 14th, 2021 –Today marks the halfway point of AFE’s 60 Day Fundraising Campaign! Thanks to the quick work of AFE’s ambassadors and the generosity of our floral industry community, AFE has surpassed its initial goal of $60,000 within the first 30 days. With the support of AFE’s volunteer fundraising team consisting of its Board of Trustees, staff, and longtime supporters, AFE is setting a new goal of $100,000 with the remaining 30 days! This new goal will break records for AFE’s annual fundraising event – during our 60th Anniversary Year! Sponsors of this campaign will impact the industry by funding research, scholarships, internships, and grants allowing AFE to expand its programs.For the second year in a…