Four speakers earn their stripes in PFCI’s Class of 2014

Posted On 04 Jul 2014
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SAFALEXANDRIA, USA: The Society of American Florists will honoUr four professionals with induction into Professional Floral Communicators – International (PFCI) during the Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner on Aug. 16 at SAF Marco Island 2014, the association’s 130th Annual Convention in Marco Island, Florida.

The PFCI inductees for 2014 are:

•            Sharon Sabin Ivey, AIFD, PFCI, GMF, of the South East Floral Design Center in Bishop, Ga.

•            Derrick P. Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI, of Crockett, Myers & Assoc., Inc., in Glen Burnie, Md.

•            Gary Tharnish, PFCI, Burton & Tyrrell’s Flowers, Inc., in Lincoln, Neb.

•            Derek C. Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI, CF, Derek LLC, Traverse City, Mich.

PFCI is the service mark of the floral industry’s finest floral educators. On local, regional and national stages, PFCI members present educational programs to floral professionals on topics ranging from design and care and handling to floral industry trends and profitability. PFCI members are vetted for presentation, publication and leadership experience, and candidates must submit an audition DVD of a live presentation to demonstrate their communication skills.

“The new PFCI members come from all across the country with different view points and from different parts of our industry,” said PFCI Board of Trustees Chairman Lisa Weddel, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, of L. Weddel Design in Highlands Ranch, Colo. “They reflect the well-roundness of the organization.”

Sharon Sabin Ivey, AIFD, PFCI, GMF

Sharon Sabin Ivey, AIFD, PFCI, GMF, began her career in the floral industry over 30 years ago. She was inducted as a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers in 2013. She is a Georgia Master Florist, and an AIFD and Georgia State Florists Association (GSFA) certified evaluator. She has served many positions in the floral industry including president, vice president and secretary of Northeast Georgia Florist Association, and serving on the GSFA board. Ivey has designed for retail, wholesale, and import as a floral and event designer, merchandiser, instructor, consultant and product developer. Ivey is passionate about the floral industry and loves teaching, especially the principles and elements of design, mechanics, and fun new ways to use different products. Ivey was an art major at the Art Institute in Atlanta, and has been a featured designer for floral programs across the nation. She is an award winning designer including first place awards for 2011 and 2014 Burton Cup for interpretive design and People’s Choice award in 2011 and 2014. Ivey is on the education and membership committees for AIFD. She freelances as a merchandiser, floral and event designer, speaker, and instructor. Ivey volunteers with FFA and other organizations as an instructor and evaluator and mentors other designers to help strengthen the floral industry.

Derrick P. Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI

Reducing costs. Managing staff. Saving taxes. Running a more profitable business. These are some of the topics that Derrick P. Myers, CPA, CFP, PFCI, eats, sleeps and breathes. As the president of Crockett, Myers and Associates in Glen Burnie, Md., Myers has earned a reputation for providing industry-specific financial advice to florists who want to improve profitability and build a more successful business. In addition to offering expert insight on daily shop management, Myers guides businesses and individuals toward their financial planning goals through tax, estate and financial planning. Over three decades, he has perfected his Floral Analysis Program. Myers has used the program to analyze the financial statements of hundreds of florists, showing them exactly where to focus their time and energy to reduce costs and increase profits. Myers received the FTD Advanced Master Florist Manager designation in 1987 and has held leadership roles in many floral industry associations. An engaging and dynamic speaker, he has led workshops and seminars through SAF and state associations and is a contributing writer for SAF’s Floral Management magazine.

Gary Tharnish, PFCI

Gary Tharnish, PFCI, owner of Burton & Tyrrell’s Flowers, Inc., in Lincoln, Neb., is a 40-year industry veteran with expertise in getting costs in line and marketing shops as vibrant local businesses. Because he started his industry career focusing on entry-level tasks (sweeping floors and making deliveries for a local flower shop), he understands how every detail affects the bottom line of a floral business. Tharnish also has a knack for finding opportunities in the midst of challenges, and he coaches other florists to focus on the end goal, rather than sweating the small stuff. His motto: “Be happy. Be profitable.” With his cheerful, can-do attitude and practical industry know-how, he’s become a sought-after speaker on topics such as profitable design techniques, wedding trends, holiday marketing, shop management, and much more. A dedicated member of his community, Tharnish presents floral programs to civic groups and at Lincoln-area events; he’s also volunteered extensively in the local school system. A member of the Nebraska Academy of Floral Design, Tharnish has served as president of the Nebraska Florists Society (NFS) twice and has held other leadership roles for the group. In 2013, he was inducted into the NFS Hall of Fame.

Derek C. Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI, CF

Derek C. Woodruff, AIFD, PFCI, CF, started his business, Derek LLC, in 2008, in Traverse City, Mich. He began designing at 16 and studied the craft at the Jackson Area Career Center, Lansing Community College and Michigan State University before earning professional certifications from the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and the Michigan Floral Association (MFA). Woodruff is a captivating speaker who finds particular joy in helping audiences find inventive ways to use new and existing products. As a member of the Syndicate Sales Retail Advisory Committee, Woodruff has a “big picture” perspective on industry trends, and how florists can make the best practical and artistic use of materials. He frequently presents — in person and online — on all aspects of floral design, including holiday arrangements, special events and technical skills, to community and industry groups. Woodruff hosts a floral design web series produced by Syndicate Sales and was a finalist on “The Arrangement,” a reality floral design competition show. He has won numerous awards within the industry, including the MFA’s Chuck Bannow Award, MFA Designer of the Year and AIFD’s Bobbi Cup.

There are 132 PFCI members in 37 states, Canada and Singapore. To find a speaker for your next event, visit To apply for PFCI membership induction in 2015, visit  For SAF Marco Island 2014, visit

Professional Floral Communicators – International is a network of professional floral business educators certified by SAF. The Society of American Florists is the leading organization representing all segments of the floral industry. SAF is proud to provide marketing, business and government services to its members, including growers, wholesalers, retailers, suppliers, importers, educators, designers and allied organizations. The association was chartered by an act of Congress in 1884.

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