R.I.S.E. to Support the floral industry during our annual fundraising campaign! Click Here to Make a Donation

News

Michelle Van Norden Named New Manager of Development & Donor Engagement

Michelle Van Norden, AFE Manager of Development and 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 and better serve the floral community. 

Michelle is a seasoned fundraising professional from the vibrant communities of Louisiana. Currently residing on the West Side of Baton Rouge, she brings over a decade of experience in crafting and executing impactful fundraising strategies, consistently surpassing annual targets and securing grants and major gifts. Her passion lies in connecting donors with causes they care about, and she has a proven track record of fostering meaningful relationships that lead to transformative initiatives.

In addition, Michelle brings experience securing impactful government grant funding that could provide new opportunities for AFE’s programs to expand.

“With a passion for fundraising and eager to dive into the world of floriculture, I am excited to join the AFE team,” says Michelle. “Just as every petal contributes to the beauty of a flower, every donation fuels the growth of impactful initiatives. I look forward to nurturing relationships, cultivating support, and witnessing the profound impact we can make together.”

Michelle’s background extends beyond fundraising. With a Bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Performance and a minor in Exercise Physiology, she has cultivated a diverse skill set, including managing teams, operating franchises, and building donor relationships. Throughout her career, she has consistently achieved remarkable results, demonstrating her adaptability and relentless drive for excellence. 

Beyond her work, Michelle finds joy in the simple pleasures of life, cherishing moments spent with her husband and their daughter, and appreciating the quiet moments and the beauty of everyday experiences.

“We are delighted to have Michelle join the AFE team,” said AFE Executive Director Debi Chedester, CAE, AAF.

“Her fundraising expertise, combined with her enthusiasm to learn more about the floral industry, will be instrumental in advancing our mission. We are confident that Michelle will play a key role in cultivating new donor relationships and securing the resources needed to continue supporting the future of floriculture.”

Please join AFE in giving Michelle a warm welcome, and if you see her at industry events, introduce yourself!