Nearing their 60th year, the research funding organization provides practical solutions to industry challenges through research and programs that bring top talent to the floral industry. AFE-funded programs are the result of industry members coming together to provide for a stronger industry.
“That’s the concept behind AFE’s ‘Fill the Vase’ campaign,” said AFE Public Relations and Development Chairman, Ken Young of Phoenix Flower Shops. “Everyone loves to see an arrangement of beautiful flowers - seeing each flower come together to make something beautiful. Without individual flowers, there can’t be a beautiful arrangement.”
During the Fundraising and Recognition Dinner, every attendee received a single rose. Each rose represented the person filling the seat - a member of the floral industry. AFE asked that the industry come together to “Fill the Vase” by making a small commitment to floral industry programs through AFE. By doing this, they will help provide programs and create something beautiful!
After each person made their donation pledge, they placed their rose in the vase on their table to create an arrangement.
“If everyone -- and every rose came together to provide support for the industry, imagine the programs and resources that could be developed,” said Jim Daly, AFE Chairman.
Tim Noble, President of Hortica Insurance announced a gift match for the first $5,000 donated as a part of the dinner contributions. Dr. Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Company quickly followed suit on behalf of Ball and raised their match to $6,000
Both matches were reached and in total, over $41,000 was committed as a part of the Fill the Vase campaign in one night.
Two new named funds were announced that evening: The Retail Florist’s Continued Education Fund Sponsored by Bob and Carol Sharpe and The Garcia Family Fund. AFE reported on meeting the $1.5 million goal for The Thrips and Botrytis Research Campaign and also on the new consumer marketing studies funded by the Floral Marketing Research Fund (FMRF.)
AFE also announced new Officers and Trustees to the Board. Randy Tagawa of Tagawa Greenhouses will serve as Secretary/Treasurer as Laura Shinall of Syndicate Sales moves into her new role as Chairman-Elect.
Dr. Megan Bowman of Ball Horticultural Company and Gustavo Gilchrist of Kennicott Brothers Company were welcomed as new members of the AFE Board. Dr. Marvin Miller of Ball Horticultural Company and Ken Altman of Altman Plants were honored as they completed their term on the Board.
More than 45 industry organizations served as sponsors of this year’s event that helped offset dinner expenses. AFE is grateful for all sponsors and attendees for making this year’s event a success.
For more about the campaign or to take part, visit endowment.org/donate.