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Industry Honors Dr. Paul Thomas through AFE

Paul especially loved mentoring students and helping them embark on horticultural careers. For more than 20 years, he was a professor at the University of Georgia, where he taught greenhouse management, horticultural business practices and interiorscaping classes. A key component of his program was facilitating experiential learning through industry internships. Thomas served as the State Extension Specialist in floriculture. In this position, he planned and implemented regional and state programs involving greenhouses and the florist industry. He had recently retired from UGA and, just this month, started work as the American Floral Endowment’s ambassador for internships and scholarships. He was traveling between universities when he passed away. Prior to his new position, he reviewed research grants and scholarship applications for…

AFE Celebrates 60 Years of Providing For the Floral Future

The American Floral Endowment (AFE) is excited to announce the celebration of its 60th anniversary in 2021. AFE is the leading charitable organization supporting floral and horticulture advances and growth through scientific research, scholarship and internship programs, and educational grant funding to support and provide for all segments of the industry.   AFE will kick off a full year of success stories, acknowledgments, and events, giving special recognition to those who have financially supported the Endowment, benefitted from funded programs, and volunteered their time and talents toward its 60 years of success. The Endowment is currently funding 12 research projects and over 30 annual scholarships totaling over $800,000 in research initiatives, educational grants, scholarships, and internships. Every donation helps support…

Memorial Tribute Established in Memory of Paul Daum

Paul’s greatest achievement was his impact on thousands of families in Latin America and beyond who even today have better lives because of the floral industry. Families and small communities have developed amid the industry which Paul helped to establish. Since childhood, Paul Daum has shown a passion for and interest in flowers. His early agricultural experience was in the temperate climate; however, most of his adult life was spent in the semi-tropical climates of Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Paul received a master’s degree in Plant Physiology from Ohio State after his service during WWII. Paul was a proud veteran of WWII. Paul enlisted with the US Navy-Submarine Service and was involved in both the Pacific and the…

Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving

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.  Donate Here

Why Support AFE – A History of Giving

Read About Lee Phillip Bell and Be InspiredWhen William and Lee Phillip Bell created their popular daytime drama, “The Bold and the Beautiful,” presumably they sought a name that would lure potential viewers. Unintentionally they selected one that perfectly describes Ms. Bell. A woman of striking beauty, she and her husband took a bold step and created, co-produced and launched their first daytime drama, “The Young and the Restless” in 1973. “The Bold and the Beautiful” followed 14 years later. The Bell’s two successful dramas earned them 18 Emmy Awards and it also enabled them to reside in a mansion whose prior owners included Cary Grant and Howard Hughes. (Since her death this February, the home has been purchased by LeBron…

AFE’s 60th Anniversary

2021 marks AFE’s 60th Anniversary! Throughout the year, we will be celebrating the past, present, and future of the Endowment. Highlighting our successes over the decades and those that helped us get there. 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 profits for everyone. See AFE’s research achievements here. Scholarships and Internships to recruit tomorrow’s leaders and…

A Letter from AFE’s Incoming Chairman, Laura Shinall

I am honored to begin my term as Chairman of the AFE Board of Trustees. The Endowment has been a part of my life for many years. As I follow in the footsteps of my father, Del Demaree past Chairman (1992-1993), I’m reminded how he instilled in me and our company, Syndicate Sales, the importance of giving back and building into the industry that has served us so well. Serving through AFE is the perfect opportunity to do both.In 2021, the Endowment will turn 60. That’s quite a milestone (and I should know, I’m hitting the same milestone). As we look back over the past 60 years, we have accomplished so much. We’ve funded over $14 million in research, awarded…

Unconventional Passing of the Chairman’s Gavel Video & New AFE Board Appointments

 AFE Chairman Passing of the Gavel 2020 Due to COVID-19, AFE’s Annual August Board Meeting like our 2020 Annual Dinner was held fully virtually unlike prior years, but that didn’t stop the annual passing of the gavel! Outgoing AFE Board Chairman, Jim Daly of Floralife/Smithers-Oasis, passed the gavel to incoming Chairman, Laura Shinall of Syndicate Sales, Inc. in a very creative and socially distanced way! (see video above) During the virtual August Board meeting, several additional board appointments were made in addition to the new Chairman. We are pleased to recognize these individuals for their commitment to the floral industry and look forward to another successful year. Despite the uncertain times, AFE’s Board and staff continue to grow, adapt,…

Giving to Grow Virtual Mask-erade Photos

American Floral Endowment’s 2020 Giving to Grow Virtual Mask-erade Dinner provided all sponsors and participants with event masks. These event masks were used to create and design fun mask-erade photos. From at-home game and date nights to beach and fishing trips, the mask-erade spanned across the US encouraging attendees to have a nice dinner or day out wherever they prefer. Click an image to see in full size with captions.  Then use the arrows to the side to scroll through all photos. Each photo shows the name of the sponsor/participant and their caption that they shared on social media with #GivingtoGrow. Out of over 90 entries, Cactus Flower Florists in Scottsdale, Arizona won the photo contest and will be receiving FREE roses for…

AFE Virtual Dinner Raises Funds, Inspires Creativity

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Floral Endowment turned its annual fundraising dinner, typically held at the start of the Society of American Florists’ annual convention, into a virtual “mask-erade,” in which supporters enjoyed a meal from the safety of their own homes (or out in small groups) and shared photos of their mini celebrations while wearing AFE-branded masks.“We’ve been serving the floral community for 59 years, with 44 years of our annual fundraising dinner, and we won’t let the coronavirus break our streak,” said AFE Executive Director Debi Chedester, AAF. “The Endowment’s work is ongoing and vital to the continued growth and development of the floral industry as we adapt to this new normal.”The fundraiser helps AFE fund…