ALEXANDRIA, USA: The Society of American Florists (SAF) is calling on industry members to make some noise on Capitol Hill and put floral issues front and center as the new Congress gets down to business. SAF Congressional Action Days (CAD), the industry’s annual grassroots campaign in Washington, D.C., takes place March 9-10.
“I have attended CAD for many years now, and I have seen positive results that not only affect my business but have affected myself and my family, too,” said Dave Self, AAF, of Wyld West Annuals, Inc., in Loxahatchee, Fla., and the chair of the SAF Government Joint Council. “Our elected officials are interested in our story, so come tell it. Through our collective communication and relationships with the officials, we will make a difference.”
In Waldoboro, Maine, Shelley Pease, AAF, views CAD as a thrilling opportunity to give back. “You’re representing your business and industry to some of the leaders and policy makers of our country,” said the owner of Shelley’s Flowers & Gifts.
CAD is a one-of-a-kind event, said Michael Romansik of FloraCraft Corporation. He makes the trip from Ludington, Mich., because “it’s our only chance to have a face-to-face conversation with individuals who can make a difference.”
Those conversations hit the mark last year when CAD attendees put concerns about the Affordable Care Act into real-world perspective for legislators. That groundwork (and some aggressive follow-through by SAF and others) helped build momentum that brought the STARS Act before both houses of Congress in a matter of months.
“New legislation almost never moves that quickly,” said SAF Senior Director of Government Relations Lin Schmale. “We really made an impact.”
CAD veterans get satisfaction out of working together for the good of the industry. “I’ve seen a lot of change happen over the years,” said David Boulton, AAF, PFCI, of Flowers By George, Inc., in Arlington, Wash. “I always leave feeling that I’ve made a difference.”
Plan now to attend Congressional Action Days, March 9-10 in Washington, D.C. Individuals who register by Feb. 20 qualify for a $50 “early-bird” registration discount. Each registration includes an additional free registration for a second person from the same company who has never attended CAD before.
For CAD details and to register, visit safnow.org/congressional-action-days or contact SAF’s Laura Weaver at 800-336-4743, ext. 221; email@example.com
“Our elected officials are interested in our story, so come tell it,” said Dave Self, AAF, (pictured left) of Wyld West Annuals, Inc., in Loxahatchee, Fla., and the chair of the SAF Government Joint Council; shown with George Cantafio of Esprit-Miami.