Floral industry professionals honored by AIFD

Posted On 29 Jul 2014
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events_aifd_honouredBALTIMORE, USA: The American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) announced six 2014 award winners on July 5 during the Institute’s 2014 Awards Ceremony held in conjunction with its 2014 National Symposium “Transition Transformation” in Chicago, Ill.

Robert Friese AIFD, CFD and Richard Seaboldt AIFD, CFD have been recognized by the American Institute of Floral Designers’ (AIFD) with the Award of Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry. The announcement was made on July 5 during the Institute’s 2014 Awards Ceremony held in conjunction with its 2014 National Symposium “Transition Transformation” in Chicago, Ill.

Friese was honored for his tireless and continued support of AIFD as a leader, mentor, supporter, volunteer and friend. Inducted into AIFD in 1983, Friese has been a main stage presenter at AIFD Symposium, sharing his knowledge and artistry. He has also been the Director of Education at his School of Floristry in Chicago and has helped the allied and trade associations in activities in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Midwest Wisconsin. Friese has held “Nature’s Creative Edge” at his home in Fruitport, Mich. for many years. He hosts this event at his Michigan estate and houses a number of designers, along with volunteers. Thousands of locals visit Natures Creative Edge every year and thousands of dollars have been raised which he has shared with AIFD National as well as the AIFD North Central Chapter. As a first class teacher and mentor, Friese has shared his knowledge and skills with many who have gone on to become successful designers and leaders in the Floraculture community.

Richard Seaboldt has been a loyal supporter of AIFD for over 35 years. He was a national board member for four years and he designed over ten programs for Regional and National Symposiums. Seaboldt was a board member and president of the South Central region of AIFD for a total of eight years and he started the “Friends in Need” to help fellow members. He has served on many committees over the years and has also been on the board of the AIFD Foundation. It was during the time he worked with the Foundation that he became the auctioneer for many of AIFD Foundation Auctions. He has helped to raise thousands of dollars for the AIFD Foundation. Seaboldt is also very involved in his local area in civic work. He has been on the Advisory Board of Rosebrook Center for Battered women and children and founded the “Gourmet Gala” in Kansas City to benefit the March of Dimes. In all these actions, he continues to uphold the values of AIFD and the Foundation.

Kristen Philips, IOM was recognized by the AIFD National Board of Directors with the Special Award of Recognition. She was recognized for her meritorious and dedicated services to AIFD. Through her employment with the Joseph E. Shaner Company, Philips has been involved in many aspects of the management of AIFD. Through each of her tasks, she has shown loyalty and dedication to AIFD. She has been an instrumental part in the ongoing development of AIFD’s membership committee as well as someone who is able to provide almost any committee with the data and history of AIFD when exploring options for our future. In addition, Philips also has the ability to see things from a point of view that members might overlook, and she is willing to share those opinions with the Board in a very positive manner.

This year, AIFD recognized two companies with the Award of Merit – Industry. This is an award that is presented to professionals in the floral industry who are not a member of AIFD, but who are serving a crucial role in advancing the industry. Fitz Design, and President Dan Fisher, were also honored for their long-held commitment and dedication to the AIFD Symposium. Fisher has been a very generous contributor to AIFD for many years now. Not only has he contributed enormous amounts of product, he has shared with our audiences his knowledge of marketing and sales.

Fisher has taught “mini programs” at Symposium and has also held “hands-on classes” at Symposium over the years. He is aware of the importance of education in our industry and will do anything he can to help.

Green Point Nurseries, and President Eric Tanouye, were honored for their long-held commitment and dedication to the AIFD Symposium. Tanouye has consistently supported AIFD Symposiums with the most beautiful fresh product from Hawaii that is available. He always gives over and above what is asked of him to AIFD members when they ask for his support. He is the 4th generation in his family owned tropical nursery and he ships flowers worldwide. Tanouye has brought much marketing experience to AIFD based on his training and the marketing he does for his business.

AIFD recognized the Chicago Flower & Garden Show and show director Tony Abruscato, with the Award of Merit – Non-Industry. This is an award that is presented to individuals outside the floral industry who are selected because of their personal or professional use of fresh flowers in such a manner as to be a credit to the floral profession. The Chicago Flower & Garden Show richly deserves the Award of Merit Non-Industry for the year-round passionate promotion of flowers and education and for the ongoing support of AIFD and the floral industry as a whole.

Each year, AIFD hosts its National Symposium in a different host city. The Symposium is an opportunity for internationally acclaimed designers to gather together to share ideas, educational tips, network and advance the industry of floral design. The 2015 National Symposium “Journey” will be held in Denver, Co. June 30-July 4, 2015. A sell out is expected so early registration is encouraged.


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