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AFE’s Chairman of the Board Red Kennicott, AAF, established the tribute to honor the deep commitment of Velez and his work in creating an “important bridge in communication and understanding between the growers of Colombia and the entire floral industry in the U.S.

“Ernesto was always a strong champion of the research funded by AFE,” said Kennicott of Kennicott Brothers in Chicago. “What made Ernesto special was his great passion for so many different things: the quality of the flowers he grew, the flower industry and its community of people, his family and his country. The flower industry will not be the same without Ernesto.”

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 forth proposals. He represented Asocolflores with great dignity at both national and international levels, said Augusto Solano, president of Asocolflores. “Ernesto’s passing represents an irreparable loss, not only for his family, but also for Asocolflores and Colombian floriculture.”

Velez served on AFE’s production and post-harvest research, and public relations committees.

Contributions to the Ernesto Velez Memorial Tribute should be mailed to:

American Floral Endowment
c/o Ernesto Velez Memorial Tribute
1601 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

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Memorial Tribute Established as AFE Mourns the Passing of Trustee Ernesto Velez

To honor Ernesto Velez, a memorial tribute has been created within the American Floral Endowment (AFE). Velez, an AFE Trustee since 2004, died March 21.

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2010 - Issue Two
In This Issue
   AFE Turns 50!
   MSU Graduate Awarded 2010 Paul Ecke Jr. MS/PhD Scholarship
   Memorial Tribute Established as AFE Mourns the Passing of Trustee Ernesto Velez
   Post Production Research: Cut Flower Longevity
   Floral Design Students Receive Financial Support Through AFE
   Ensuring the Next 50 Years: Consider a Bequest Gift to AFE
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Sponsorship Opportunities!

Join other industry organizations by becoming a sponsor of the 2010 AFE Fundraising Dinner and 50th Anniversary Commemorative Celebration - September 22, in Orlando. 

All sponsors receive recognition during the dinner, in the commemorative printed program, on AFE's web site, and receive special seating during the event.

Sponsorships available:

  • Table Hosts
  • Table Sponsors
  • Entertainment Sponsors
  • Wine/Champagne Sponsors
  • Other Sponsorships are available.

Contact AFE for more information!


Final Research Reports Available on the AFE Web Site!

AFE research addresses a diverse range of topics, from pest and disease management, breeding and genetics, production technology, production and post-production protocols, and consumer behavior.  Final reports on all AFE research are available at

** As a follow up to the last AFE Bulletin, Parts II and III of the Special Research Report “The Appeal of Biodegradable Packaging to Floral Consumers” are now published.


Congratulations to Vic and Margaret Ball Scholars!

AFE awarded three students the Vic and Margaret Ball scholarship from the March 1 application deadline.  These students will perform a three to six month internship at a commercial production operation.  Upon completion, they will receive a scholarship ranging from $1,500 – $6,000.  The next application deadline is October 1st – visit the AFE web site for more information.

Aric Compliment, a student at College of Dupage will complete a three-month internship at Heartland Growers, a family owned growing operation in Westfield, Ind.

Dominic Vercelote, a student at University of Georgia will perform a six-month internship at The Sun Valley Group in Arcata, Calif.

Rachel Palmer, a student at the University of Minnesota, will perform a three-month internship at Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, NC.

Attention Growers:  If your business hosts interns and you would like to be considered as a Ball host employer, please contact AFE at (703) 838-5211.

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Support AFE through an Annual Pledge!

Support AFE in our mission to grow the industry through funding scientific research, scholarships and educational grants.  Making an annual pledge to AFE is an easy way to help support the future of the floriculture industry. 
All contributions are tax-deductible.

Make YOUR pledge today! 

American Floral Endowment
1601 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-838-5211
Fax: 703-838-5212
Copyright 2010-2011 American Floral Endowment. All rights reserved