AIFD transformed talents through a successful symposium

Posted On 21 Jul 2014
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events_AIFD_chicago2014GroupBoardPressBALTIMORE, USA: Excitement and creativity were blowing in the “Windy City” when the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) took over Chicago. Over 850 floral design artists converged in Chicago to see creative designs, entertaining events and inspiration like never seen before from July 3-7, 2014 at the Hilton Chicago.

“Transition Transformation” was an action-packed educational extravaganza that included high-level stage presentations from renowned floral design artists from around the world. The AIFD Symposium also included a welcome reception, two lunches, two celebratory dinners, a student competition, a half-day expo of floral industry suppliers and a community service project, Blooms Over Chicago, among other events.

“The Symposium was an amazingly, artistic success this year,” exclaimed AIFD’s new President Tim Farrell AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI of Farrell’s Florist Inc. in Drexel Hill, Pa. “From the educational programs to the receptions to the opportunities to network with one another, ‘Transition Transformation’ excited every attendee, giving them an opportunity to open their eyes to new ideas and possibilities within the floral design industry.”

Coordinated under the direction of Frank Feysa AIFD, CFD, PFCI of Garden Gate Inc. in Aurora, Ohio and David Shover AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI of Karin’s Florist in Vienna, Va., AIFD’s 2014 Symposium was a balanced collaboration between design artists that provided attendees the ability to take their floral design talent to a new level.

AIFD’s Chicago event kicked-off with the Institute’s annual Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE) on Wednesday, July 2 in which 143 floral designers attempted to demonstrate their design capabilities in an effort to achieve the coveted status as a Certified Floral Designer (CFD) and/or an invitation to become a member of AIFD.

The candidates were each required to make five designs in four hours. Their work was then evaluated by a panel of AIFD members who consider such critical criteria as creativity, mechanics, elements of design, use of floral product and more. Results of the evaluations will be announced shortly on

New officers for the Institute were elected and installed in Chicago. Tim Farrell AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI of Farrell’s Florist in Drexel Hill, Pa. was elected and installed as president. Installed as president-elect was Joyce Mason- Monheim AIFD, CFD, PFCI of Designer Destination in Tucson, Ariz. Anthony Vigliotta AIFD, CFD of Anthos Design in Los Angeles, Calif. was elected to serve as the Institute’s vice president. Kim Oldis AIFD, CFD of Details…’s all about the flowers in La Conner, Wash. will serve as AIFD’s secretary and Tom Simmons AIFD, CFD of Three Bunch Palms Productions in Palm Springs, Calif. will continue to serve as treasurer of the Institute.

Jackie Lacey AIFD, CFD, PFCI of Floriology Institute in Hilton Head Island, S.C. will continue to serve as the membership chairperson and Marie Ackerman AIFD, CFD, PFCI, AAF of Teleflora Education Center in Oklahoma City, Okla. will take on the role as AIFD’s 2015 Symposium Coordinator for “Journey” taking place June 30-July 4 in Denver, Co. Vonda LaFever AIFD, CFD, PFCI of Niceville, Fla. will be the Symposium Program Coordinator.

Student designers from 13 universities and colleges in the U.S. and Canada competed in the annual AIFD Student Design Competition on Wednesday, July 2. The Overall School Award went to the City College of San Francisco (CCSF), led by SAIFD advisors Holly Money-Collins AIFD, CFD and Steven Brown AIFD, CFD. Adriana Cibrian Melchor of the College of Southern Nevada took home the Overall Student Highest Score Award. Hee Joo of CCSF earned the People’s Choice Award, which is voted on by Symposium attendees. For a complete listing of 2014 Student Competition winners please visit

On the evening of the first full day of education, AIFD presented “Reflecting the Dynamic Forces of Nature,” its annual Awards and Induction Ceremony and Dinner in which 47 floral design artists were inducted into membership.

A full list of the new AIFD members can be found at

Six distinguished awards were also presented as part of the ceremony. Robert Friese AIFD, CFD and Richard Seaboldt AIFD, CFD were honored with the Award of Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry. Kristen Philips, IOM was recognized by the AIFD National Board of Directors with the Special Award of Recognition. Fitz Design and President Dan Fisher, as well as Green Point Nurseries and President Eric Tanouye, were both honored with an Award of Merit-Industry. Lastly, AIFD recognized the Chicago Flower & Garden Show and show director Tony Abruscato with the Award of Merit – Non-Industry. Details on each award winner are posted at

The community service event, Blooms Over Chicago, took place over several days. It was a successful endeavour with the volunteerism of several symposium attendees. Volunteers put together bouquets of flowers that were delivered to several organizations in the Chicago area including the Ronald McDonald House and the Unity Hospice.

This year’s event also included a “pedestrian pop-up bouquet giveaway” at Columbia College Chicago and Cloud Gate in Millennium Park.

AIFD would like to recognize the 2014 Symposium Partners for their financial support: Diamond Partners – Accent Décor, Cal Flowers, Fitz Design, Garcia, and Smithers Oasis. Platinum Partners – FTD, Syndicate Sales and Teleflora. Gold Partners – Bloomnet, Connie Duglin Linens, Design Master, Elite Flowers, Green Point Nursery, Kennicott/Vans, Nature’s Flowers and The Queen’s Flowers. Silver Partners – Florists’ Review and UCI – Unlimited Containers. Bronze Partner – Floral Design Institute.

For those who missed the AIFD National Symposium, DVDs of the various programs are available to order at . Photos from the event can be found on AIFD’s Symposium Facebook page at . Full recap articles are posted at . AIFD has already started planning the 2015 Symposium “Journey” which will take place in Denver, Colo., June 30-July 4. A sell out is expected so early registration is encouraged.

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