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Young Professionals Council

Young Professionals Council Logo
Welcome to the Young Professionals Council (YPC) of the American Floral Endowment!

Established in 2015, the YPC offers leadership and networking opportunities for young industry professionals while getting involved in volunteer opportunities within the floral/horticultural industries.

YPC members participate in online and in-person meetings, webinars, and other networking opportunities to share ideas, collaborate with influential industry members, and help promote careers in the floral industry.

The YPC promotes personal growth through interaction with other young professionals with similar interests and career goals and encourages attendance at special YPC events online and in-person during industry conferences.  It’s a great way to build your own network.

Members of YPC get special consideration each year for attending workshops or events, along with networking dinners during larger industry conferences.

Get Involved today and be part of this growing group of young future leaders.


  1. Learn about nonprofit board service by engaging in training, shadowing and mentoring opportunities with AFE Board and staff.
  2. Raise awareness about AFE and the floriculture industry through marketing, social media and events.
  3. Volunteer with AFE in a variety of areas: fundraising, events, scholarship review, etc.
  4. Reach other young professionals interested in becoming active in the industry.


YPC members must:

  • Be 21-35 years old and live in the United States
  • Commit to using your skills and strengths to advance AFE and build a strong group of supporters and donor prospects
  • Be an ambassador for AFE and expand our network of friends and supporters
  • Participate in one or more volunteer activities (i.e., scholarship review, fundraising dinner efforts, career fairs, articles/social media contributions, promoting YPC membership, etc.)
  • Participate in at least 2 conference calls/meetings each year
  • Help develop and employ new strategies and approaches for fundraising, marketing, outreach and planning to encourage students to consider careers in the industry


View the YPC Webinars

Membership is FREE!
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Young Professionals Council, complete the YPC Membership Form and email it to Karin Krause –

Some of the members of AFE’s Young Professionals Council


Returning to In-Person Events: Networking Tips and Tricks for Industry Events

April 14th, 2022 at 4PM (EST)

Speakers: Laura Shinall and Melanie Spilbeler, Managing Partners at FreshPath Marketing

Description: Learn how to make the most of trade shows, conferences, and more as a budding young professional in the floral industry. Nervous about returning to events after the lull during COVID-19? Optimize your next in-person event with pointers from this webinar whether as a first-timer or a regular attendee. This session will discuss networking tips and tricks from making a strong introduction and putting your best foot forward to follow-up post-event. Learn how to create and maintain lasting connections to aid in both your personal and professional development moving forward.

Marketing and communications experts, Laura Shinall and Melanie Spilbeler, Managing Partners of FreshPath Marketing, will lead a fully interactive session for young professionals to answer questions on networking and making the most of industry events. During this session, attendees will participate directly with the speakers and ask questions to prepare for attending upcoming events

Click Here to Watch

Career Insights: Survey Results and Advice from Both Industry and Academia for Young Professionals

November 16th, 2021, at 4:00 PM EST

Megan Bowman, Ball Horticultural Company
Kimberly Williams, Kansas State University
Michael Wijesinghe, Bell Nursery and YPC Member

In August and September of 2021, the American Floral Endowment created two informal surveys for professionals in the industry and academia about their experiences and advice to help young professionals interested in pursuing a career in floriculture/horticulture. The surveys include insights on the job market, career development, application advice, background on how professionals attained their current roles, and more. The surveys were released to AFE’s community of faculty, donors, and industry members.

Click Here to Watch

Young Professionals Banner

Preparing for Success – Challenges and Opportunities for Young Professionals Post COVID-19

May 26, 2021, at 5:00 PM EST

Art VanWingerden, Metrolina Greenhouses
Krystal Snyder, Penn State University

Megan Bowman, Ball Horticultural Company

Do you have the necessary skills to succeed in today’s floral industry? Join us for a 40-minute interactive discussion hearing directly from floral business owners and faculty on the challenges and changes brought by COVID-19. Learn what the new floral industry looks like, and what young professionals must do to prepare for a successful career in the industry and/or university system.

Click Here to Watch

Making the Most of Your Tradeshow Experience

Mackenzie Wortham of DMA Solutions, Inc. hosted a webinar for YPC members on June 29, 2017, on Making the Most of Your Tradeshow Experience.

She discussed ways to optimize your experience at trade shows and provided great tips for both first-timers and those who have previously attended trade shows.

Click here to listen to the webinar!

Networking to Build Your Career

Bradley Beck, Sales Manager at DESIGN MASTER color tool, inc., shares networking skills to enhance your career! The webinar will be 30 minutes with 10 minutes for Q & A.
The presentation will show:

  • Why you need to network to build your career
  • How to prepare for an event or show
  • Places to meet, engage and connect
  • Opportunities to be seen as a person of influence
  • A template for engagement

For over thirty years, Bradley has served many flower and creative industry organizations. He helped pioneer the “Growing Up With Flowers” program with his fellow young executives to teach young people about the wonder of flowers.
He has presented programs on Effective Communication, Messaging and Social Business Media to many wholesale and retail companies.
Click here to listen to the webinar!

YPC member Kaylee South during the AFE Dinner.

YPC member Nick Flax during the AFE Dinner.

Education Chairman Dwight Larimer and YPC member Krystal Snyder.