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PFCI Inducts Eight Speakers at SAF Palm Springs 2011

PFCI Induction 2011

PFCI's newest members were inducted during the Industry Awards Dinner Sept. 15 during SAF Palm Springs 2011. Left to right, they are: Dwight Larimer, Corey Harbour, Maggie Binet, Patience Pickner, Jenny Behlings, Cindy Anderson and Paul Goodman. (Not shown: Susan Ayala)

PFCIThe industry's speakers bureau is a little louder. Eight floral professionals were inducted into the Society of American Florists (SAF) Professional Floral Communicators - International (PFCI) in September. SAF honored the speakers’ achievements during the Industry Awards Dinner, held Sept. 15 during SAF's 127th Annual Convention in Palm Springs, Calif.

PFCI members present educational programs on local, regional and national stages, teaching floral professionals how to be more successful. With 116 PFCI members in 34 states, Canada and Singapore, PFCI generates enthusiasm for flower buying by speaking to consumers at the grassroots level in civic, social and professional groups.

“Obtaining the PFCI credentials is an incredible honor,” said PFCI Board Chairman Jerome Raska, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, CF, of Blumz by...JRDesigns in metro Detroit. “The meticulous review process qualifies each PFCI member as an expert floral spokesperson and communicator.”

PFCI members are vetted for presentation, publication and leadership experience. To demonstrate their communication skills, candidates submit an audition DVD of a live presentation.

The following earned the PFCI designation this year:

Cindy Anderson, AIFD, PFCICindy Anderson, AIFD, PFCI

If any “American Idol” runners-up or celebrities-turned-dance-show-competitors need a pep talk and a reality check, they might want to take some advice from a freelance floral designer in Colorado Springs, Colo. Cindy Anderson dispenses pearls of performance wisdom and calming guidance in her popular “Competition Workshop: What to Expect and How to Live Through it.”

Her no-nonsense, crowd-pleasing style and substance is on display during programs for the American Institute of Floral Designers Foundation, North Dakota State Florists' Association, Floral Association of the Rockies (FAR), Koehler & Dramm Wholesale Florist in Minneapolis and Sunshine Wholesale Flowers in Las Vegas.

In her community, Anderson is often found delivering advice, inspiration and laughter to gardeners, Rotary Club members, real estate agents and church groups.

In 2009, Anderson’s fast-thinking, creative talents helped her out-design a strong field of competitors at SAF's Sylvia Cup Design Competition. The prize joins her first place finishes in FAR’s Bridal Bouquet Competition in 2010 and 2009, and the Colorado Retail Florists Association’s 2008 Colorado Cup.

Anderson serves as a board member for Teleflora’s Rocky Mountain Unit. She credits her design chops to the mentorships she received from florists in Texas, New York, Colorado, Nevada and Europe.

Susan Ayala, AIFD, PFCISusan Ayala, AIFD, PFCI

As a Teleflora Education Specialist, Susan Ayala presents wedding, sympathy and everyday design programs to professionals across the country and in Canada, England, Taiwan, Japan and Korea. In her 35 years in the industry, she has always taken time to teach consumer groups about care and handling, design and flower varieties.

You don't have to wait to get your hands on Ayala’s work. Her designs are often on your design table — in the pages of the Teleflora’s Selection Guides, Wedding Books, Teleflora’s Everyday and Holiday poster series, John Henry’s Tributes and Wedding Books and Flowers& magazine. Her work is equally recognizable near her Loma Linda, Calif., home.

For the past 32 years, Ayala designed on the floral design team for float builder Fiesta Parade Floats, a consistent award winner in Pasadena’s Rose Parade.

Ayala is a past president of the American Institute of Floral Designers and the Southern California-Nevada Unit of Teleflora. She attended California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., where she has taught SAIFD students.

Jenny Behlings, AAF, PFCI, SDCF Jenny Behlings, AAF, PFCI, SDCF

Jenny Behlings opened her shop, Jenny’s Floral, more than two decades ago in the heart of small town Custer, S.D. Today she shares business strategies with other professionals through the South Dakota Florists Association (SDFA) and her passion for flowers with the FFA, garden clubs, rotary clubs, and women’s and seniors’ groups.

Her industry programs cover competition designing, high-altitude gardening and business planning. At the state level, Behlings rallies fellow florists as SDFA vice-president, sharing her design expertise and leadership acumen. Her talks to consumers cover “Valentine’s Day Roses” and “Orchids for the Home.” Churchgoers enjoy Behlings’s crafts-making exercises at vacation bible school. She provides mentorships to floral students and presents programs at high schools about plant propagation and design.

In 2009, the South Dakota Center for Enterprise Opportunity named her SBA Women in Business Champion. Inspired by her story, the Center asked Behlings to return to its 2010 event, where she presented, “Where Am I and How on Earth Did I Get Here?” She served several terms on the Custer Chamber of Commerce board, which named her the 1999 Individual of the Year. Behlings received formal floral design training at the University of Minnesota-Waseca.

Maggie Binet, AIFD, PFCI, CPF, TMAMaggie Binet, AIFD, PFCI, CPF, TMA

Classic, contemporary, sophisticated, sassy, romantic, fun. Visit the website of Le Jardin Binet and those are the words that greet you. Meet the shop's owner, Maggie Binet, and you'll quickly see where the shop in Englewood, Colo., gets its personality.

Binet presents for the Floral Association of the Rockies (FAR) and local wholesalers. Her repertoire includes “Designing for Certification” for FAR, “Gregor Lersch: Innovation and Inspiration” at Amato's Wholesale Florists, and “Smithers-Oasis: Product Profusion” at Denver Wholesale Florist. Binet combines her expertise and the magic of flowers in her programs such as “Bring Flowers In, Bring Customers In” for the International New Age Trade Show and “Flowers for Kids” at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. She also presents floral design programs for garden clubs.

Binet served on the board of directors of the Colorado Retail Florists Association (CRFA), which is now the Floral Association of the Rockies (FAR). She is working on FAR’s committee to develop a florist certification program and has chaired the organization’s Rocky Mountain Cup floral design competition. Her accolades include CRFA’s President’s Award and ArtReach Colorado’s Designer of the Year award. Binet studied urban design and city planning at the University of Colorado.

Paul Goodman, CPA, PFCIPaul Goodman, CPA, PFCI

When Paul Goodman talks, florists listen. Long before that was an advertising catchphrase, the floral industry finance guy was catching the attention of florists all over North America with his sound advice and highly specific knowledge of the inner workings of a retail flower shop.

The president of Floral Finance Business Services, Inc., in Jenks, Okla., packs in audiences no matter the venue — from wholesale house back rooms to convention stages to think-tank conferences — to hear his presentations on “Controlling COGS” and “Controlling Payroll.” Goodman is the author of The Profit Minded Florist, is the editor of Teleflora's monthly publication Floral Finance and writes features for SAF’s Floral Management magazine. He created Rosebud, the forerunner to the Teleflora’s Eagle software. In 2001, the Michigan Floral Association recognized him with its National Service Award.

Despite a schedule that keeps him on the road often, Goodman has taught Sunday school and served as an elder at his church in Tulsa for six years. He’s led 10 mission trips to Kenya and Tanzania. For five years, he served with two others administering the Oklahoma Student Leadership Forum on Faith and Values — a program sponsored by Sen. Don Nickles and Rep. Steve Largent.

Goodman holds an MBA from Stanford University and formerly owned a large retail shop in the Pacific Northwest. He recently published a book titled, “It’s Never Too Late To Finish Well.”

Corey Harbour, AIFD, PFCI, NAFD Corey Harbour, AIFD, PFCI, NAFD

As design director for Teters Floral Products and the Creative Connection LTD, Corey Harbour develops floral lines with Chinese factories and importers. Harbour travels the world —from Asia to South America and Europe — staying on top of design trends. He shares his findings in programs at wholesale shows across the country and as a main stage presenter at the AIFD National Symposium. Harbour has been both a participant and a judge at design competitions and was a guest designer at the Philiadelphia Flower Show for two years.

He began delivering flowers in high school. After pursuing a career in hotel management, Harbour returned to the floral industry in 1997 as design manager for a Lincoln, Neb., flower shop. Since then, he has owned a retail flower store in Iowa and worked as general manager for the Bill Doran Company in Austin, Texas. He also has been a freelance designer for numerous showrooms in the Dallas Market Center and the Atlanta Gift Mart as well as various development companies in China and Hong Kong.

Harbour is a Nebraska Master Florist, a member of the Nebraska Academy of Floral Designers, serves on AIFD’s National Membership and Industry Partners committees and has sat on the boards of the Iowa Floral Association and the Texas State Florists’ Association. In 2004, WF&FSA awarded Harbour the Mike Garcia Scholarship for dedication to the industry.

Dwight Larimer, AAF, PFCIDwight Larimer, AAF, PFCI

Dwight Larimer presents programs on color trends and how to market the “sizzle of color” to professionals at national events as well as regional, state and wholesale shows. He also shares his color knowledge with art schools and organizations within his community.

Larimer has spent his entire career in the floral industry, beginning as a college intern at W.J. Cowee, where he was hired after graduation and quickly promoted to vice president of sales and marketing. He joined Design Master color tool, inc. in 1983 and became the company’s president in 1990.

It is in that role that Larimer celebrates excellence in floral marketing. He was integral in establishing the annual Floral Management Magazine Marketer of the Year Award in 1994 and, on behalf of his company, has sponsored its $5,000 prize each year since.

Larimer has served as a volunteer leader and been honored by many industry organizations. Currently the SAF Treasurer and a member of its Executive Committee, he has chaired the association’s Floral Management Advisory, Convention and Consumer Marketing committees and served on other committees and the Wholesalers Council.

Larimer is a past president of the Wholesale Florists & Florist Suppliers Association (WF&FSA) and, although not a designer, was a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) Artist in Residence Committee. He is also a member of the Color Marketing Group and Color Association.

Larimer was honored with the SAF Paul Ecke Jr. Award for exemplary devotion to the floral profession, industry and community. He also has received WF&FSA’s highest honor, the Leland T. Kinzele Distinguished Service Award, and the AIFD Award of Merit.

Patience Pickner, AIFD, PFCI, SDCFPatience Pickner, AIFD, PFCI, SDCF

Patience Pickner rarely misses an opportunity to talk about, teach with or tackle a floral challenge. For the South Dakota Florists Association (SDFA) and North American Wholesale Florist Inc., in Sioux Falls, S.D., Picker leads seminars about proms, wedding designs, silks, and the difference between designing for consumers and competitions.

Since she opened Picket Fence in Chamberlain, S.D., 14 years ago, Pickner has been a constant floral force in her community. She is the “go-to” presenter for local garden groups and charities, donates her time to teach classes at a local high school and vocational institutes and her work to local charities and business groups. Just two years after opening her shop, Pickner was serving on SDFA’s board of directors and held the post of treasurer.

When she isn’t on stage showing others how to excel at design or fielding questions on panels, Pickner is receiving awards. In 2006, 2007 and 2009, SDFA named her Designer of the Year. And the accolades keep coming. Pickner’s local chamber of commerce named her company its Business of the Year for 2010.