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					michigan florist | mayjune 2009


    discover inspire promote


                                          A look at the
                                          2009 Great Lakes
                                          Floral Expo
                                           Expo photos by Heidi Anderson, editor, and Jeanette Gaudreau-Ballien

                                                                                                        michigan florist | mayjune 2009


                                                                   Greg called the MFA staff ‘outstanding.’
                                                                   “Their professionalism showed, and everyone enjoyed
                                                                 the event,” he said. “Exhibitors were able to listen in on the
                                                                 show presentations as most were held in the exhibition
                                                                 hall and it flowed extremely smoothly with those in atten-
                                                                 dance gaining a wealth of knowledge. The exhibitor booths
                                                                 were set up so that the attendees passed by all booths to
                                                                 attend the training sessions. A special treat for the exhibi-
                                                                 tors was when Bobbi Ecker-Blatchford, AIFD, PFCI, traveled
                                                                 from booth to booth doing a ‘Mr. Microphone’ interview
                                                                 session. This allowed each exhibitor time to talk live with
                                                                 all attendees. The Q & A was very beneficial and I am sure
BY HEIDI ANDERSON, EDITOR                                        the publicity received was welcome by all exhibitors.”

                                                                   Teunissen said as a designer, the Expo is like a family
       he Michigan Floral Association held its annual Great      reunion.
       Lakes Floral Expo March 6-9, at the Amway Grand             “The flower room is run expertly by Jackie Burrell, AIFD,
       Plaza Hotel/DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Mich. The        MCF, who always has what you need – an extra vase, a
theme for 2009, “Talent- Discover, Inspire, Promote,” was        Smithers item, wire – you name it and she’s got it,” she said.
both timely and fitting. Talented floral industry profession-      “And I had three wonderful volunteers, Kathy Chamber-
als inspired hundreds of attendees with main stage design        lain, Garrett Fairbanks and Jana Sliuzas. And were they
programs, business and hands-on sessions - more than             good! They helped me unpack, swept the floor, cleaned the
ever before - and discovered new and exciting products           roses, filled vases and more.”
with top-of-the-line vendors. Even in this economy, floral
professionals came together successfully to promote an in-
dustry that won’t stop blooming.
   First-time attendees Patti and Greg Kuhlman represent
the Dunecraft Corporation of Ohio, a company that sells
the Vaseover product line that Patti designed. Vaseovers
are a patented polymer product diluted with water to which
a confetti and theme product is added to create a solution
placed in a vase.
   “We received a wonderful reception for Vaseovers at the
Great Lakes Floral Expo,” Greg said. “We proudly secured
three new floral distributors to market our product line to
the florists in the Great Lakes region. Networking with the
exhibitors provided Vaseovers with a vast knowledge of
information to be used in the future.”
   And in these times, planning for the future is crucial. The
Expo offers a vast array of information and opportunities
for all florists.
   “During current economic conditions it’s very important
for not only exhibitors but attendees to take advantage of
anything which give them that competitive edge,” Greg
said. “I would highly recommend that everyone attend
these shows to acquire the knowledge, take it back home
and apply it.”
   Renowned Dutch designer Els Teunissen, president of
Floral Productions in Des Moines, Iowa, wowed the crowds
with the exciting design shows “Going Green” and “Let’s
   “What a fabulous convention is was,” Teunissen said. “I
know that Michigan is known for their excellent state con-
ventions, but this was the best so far. Conference Chair-
woman Gina Masterka and her crew were responsible for
making this happen, along with the hard work of MFA Ex-
                                                                 Designer Mary Linda Horn, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, OCF, of Ostander, Ohio,
ecutive Vice President Rod Crittenden and Executive As-
                                                                 brought spring to teatime with these lush, bright blooms.
sistant Cindy Ching, AIFD, MCF. The entire group that put
this together deserves congratulations.”

michigan florist | mayjune 2009


  Also good were the featured designers.                               Professional Division to Frank Feysa, AIFD, from Aurora,
  “Designer Mary Linda Horn, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, OCF, showed              Ohio, for his Sympathy Talent and his Bridal Bouquet. Feysa
off her outstanding mechanics,” Teunissen said. “Deborah               also was honored with the Chuck Bannow award. Doug
De La Flor, AIFD, PFCI, created some stunning designs, and             Bates from Designs by Vogt’s Floral & Gifts in Sturgis, Mich.,
Robbie Goodin designed very special funeral pieces. There              took first place in the Trendy Inspirations category. Jerome
also was a large delegation of designers from Ohio, all AIFD,          Raska, AAF, AIFD, CAFA, MCF, PFCI, of Blumz By JRDesigns
who made such inspiring creations. Tim Farrell, AAF, AIFD,             in Detroit and Ferndale, Mich., took first place in the
PFCI, made everyday designs, and it struck me how differ-              Academy Division. And Alyesse Cosens, a student from
ent and lovely his pieces were. The Expo was filled with top            Alanson Littlefield Schools in Alanson, Mich. was awarded
talent.”                                                               first place in the Student Division for her coffee table
                                                                                                    Five designers from the con-
                                                                                                  test faced off in front of a live
                                                                                                  audience at the Designer of the
                                                                                                  Year Run Off, the Iron Chef of
                                                                                                  floral     competitions.      Tonja
                                                                                                  VanderVeen, AIFD, MCF, of De-
                                                                                                  signing Dreams in Grand Rapids,
                                                                                                  Mich. was named Designer of
                                                                                                  the Year and her designs will be
                                                                                                  featured in Michigan Florist
                                                                                                  magazine for one year.
                                                                                                    Featured Business Session pre-
                                                                                                  senters Susan Negan from Whiz-
                                                                                                  Bang Training and Paul Good-

     Jerome Raska, AIFD, AAF, PFCI, CAFA, MCF, of Blumz... by JR
     Designs in Detroit and Ferndale, Mich., hosted hands-on session
     Bridal Mania, where these students from Ohio created wonderful
     wedding bouquets.

   Top talent also was honored at the President’s
Banquet and Awards Ceremony, held in the beau-
tiful Pantlind Ballroom at Amway. Industry
Awards were given out while attendees dined on
a fine meal. Floral Industry Expert J. Schwanke,
AAF, AIFD, PFCI, was the keynote speaker at the
                                                      MFA Designer of the Year winner Tonya VanderVeen, AIFD, MCF, of Designing
banquet, offering top tips and inspiration for all in
                                                      Dreams in Grand Rapids, Mich., concentrates on creating her winning design at
attendance. Helen Miller, AIFD, along with her        the Designer of the Year Runoff contest.
husband Tom and student volunteers transformed
the room into a floral wonderland with all white
floral designs accented with fresh green apples.                   man, CPA, MBA, author of “The Profit Minded Florist,”
   “So much talent just burst from the creative energy; ev-       promoted the floral industry in popular classes. Goodman
ery table and theme was one of a kind,” Teunissen said.           held four classes, including the popular all-day session
   Creativity also was on display for the 2009 MFA Design         “Improving Florists Profits.”
Contest. Attendees enjoyed viewing all entrees during the            “The classes at the Expo offer something for everyone,”
weekend, and judges awarded two first place honors in the          said Bill Schmidt from Hyacinth House in Lansing, Mich.,
                                                                                                                      michigan florist | mayjune 2009


MCF of the Year winner Dick Gleason, MCF, worked with student designers for
the MFA Design Contest. Gleason devotes much of his time to advancing the
designers of tomorrow.

who attended all of Goodman’s classes. “From the general
trends of the floral industry as a whole to specific details to
meet the needs of your shop, Paul’s classes covered every-
thing. We looked at the flower industry as a whole and on
a shop-by-shop basis. I would definitely recommend Expo
classes to any florist who wants to improve their business,
bottom line and profits.”
   Timely hands-on sessions, such as “Looking Good on the
Web” by Robbin Yelverton, AIFD, MCF, PFCI, of Blumz By
JRDesigns in Ferndale and Detroit, Mich., taught what all
florists of today must know: how to photograph your de-
signs and make them look great on the Internet.
   The Expo offers this and so much more; the MFA Book
                                                                              Lifetime Achievement Award winner Bobbi Ecker-Blatchford, AIFD, takes to the
Fair, MFA Silent Auction, AIFD/MCF Designer Showcase,                         tradeshow floor to promote the products and people at each vendor booth.
the always popular Progressive Retail Shop Dinner Tour
hosted by Kathy Petz, AAF, MCF, PFCI, which this year
                                                                              trip transportation and full Expo registration are included,
showcased shops in Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo, Mich.
                                                                              along with tickets to the President’s Banquet and Sunday
It’s an event that can’t be missed.
                                                                              breakfast, and two nights lodging. This all-inclusive get-a-
   “We had fabulous product to work with, and talent, and
                                                                              way weekend to Michigan is the perfect spring break and
enthusiastic and willing volunteers, plus all the vendors
                                                                              educational opportunity. There are endless activities for
with a great presentations of their wares,” Teunissen said. “I
                                                                              families in Grand Rapids during the Expo, including the
sure was glad to be a part of it. Bravo to all who made this
                                                                              Ford Presidential Museum and VanAndel Children’s Mu-
   MFA’s 2010 Great Lakes Floral Expo, “Navigation- A course
                                                                                 Vendors had an amazing experience at this year’s Expo
set for profit, education and success,” will set sail March
                                                                              - reserve your space now for 2010! Visit www.michiganflo-
5-8, 2010. Brand new to the Expo, florists from Chicago can
                                                                     to download a registration form and to get more
take a three-hour bus ride to the Expo! The bus will leave
                                                                              information, or e-mail Rod Crittenden at rod@michigan-
from Van’s (Alsip) & Kennicott’s (Chicago) on Friday after-
                                                                    , or call the MFA office at (517) 575-0110.
noon and return Sunday evening around 8:00 p.m. Round
michigan florist | mayjune 2009

                                                                                            Beautiful potted orchid plants in full bloom
EXPOTHANKS                                                                                     from Hyacinth House of Lansing, Mich.

 Giving Thanks
 The Great Lakes Floral Expo
 wouldn’t be possible without
 the companies and
 volunteers who donate their
 products and time to ensure
 a successful event.
   If you are interested in helping in 2010, please visit or e-mail
 Rod Crittenden at

                                                                                                        Bright party designs by Els Teunissen.
                               michigan florist | mayjune 2009


                                                        Amazing designs
                                                     from classes adorned
                                                      the tradeshow floor.

A collection of modern designs from a main stage show.

michigan florist | mayjune 2009


  The MFA would like to extend a big THANK YOU to the following companies for do-
nating all of the products used for the Expo. Please support these fine companies with
your business whenever possible. Without their support, the GLFE would not be possi-
ble! Thank You!
                                            Bronze Donor:
     Wholesale Donors:                      Premium Flowers
     DWF                                    Petal Fresh
     Mayesh                                 B&H Flowers
     Rokay                                  Agriflora
     Saginaw Valley Flower Exchange         Brand Flowers
                                                                                                      Renowned floral
     Van’s Floral Products                  Calla Co.                                            designer Mary Linda
                                            Simpson’s Greens                                        Horn, AAF, AIFD,
                                                                                                   PFCI, OCF, dazzled
     Growers/Importers:                     Green and Blooming Plant Donor:                           the crowd at her
     Gold Donor:                            Hyacinth House                                           main stage show,
                                                                                                  “Weddings -- Setting
                                            Hard Goods / Supply Donors:                          the Stage, Ceremonies
                                            Accent Decor                                          and Receptions!” Her
     Florigene                                                                                            designs were
     Sun Valley Group                       Design Master
                                                                                                    displayed after the
     Ocean View                             Lion Ribbon – Berwick Offray
                                                                                                           show for all
                                            Smithers Oasis                                          attendees to enjoy.
     Silver Donor:                          Syndicate Sales
     Queen’s                                Vans Floral Products
     Golden Flowers                         Container Source
     Florawest                              Freight / Transportation Donors:
     Amy’s Orchids                          Armellini
     Galleria Farms                         DWF
     Green Point Nursery                    Hyacinth House
     Joseph & Son’s                         Vans Floral Products
     Wm. Puckett
     Prismal Flowers

2009 EXPO
   A special thank you to the many vol-
unteers who worked around the clock to
ensure that the Expo was a success. We
couldn’t do it without you and we honor
your hard work and dedication. If you
would like to join this prestigious group
of volunteers in 2010, visit www.michi- or e-mail Rod Crittenden

                                                  Janna McKinney, MCF, along with Marisa Rakowski, MCF (not in photo)
                                              volunteered as conference décor chairwomen and lent their hard work and talent
14                                                                                                        to the flower room.
                 BloomNet sponsored hands-on sessions, main                                                  michigan florist | mayjune 2009
                 stage shows and received the “Best of Show” for
                 booth display. Working their booth from L to R is
                 Marvin Eckhardt and Jim Bunn.                                                                  EXPOTHANKS

                            THANK YOU TO OUR 2009 GREAT
                            LAKES FLORAL EXPO SPONSORS!
                              The MFA would like to extend a big THANK YOU to the following       Teleflora Education Specialist and gifted designer
                            companies for sponsoring business sessions, hands-on sessions,       Tim Farrell, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, presents his main
                            and main stage shows at the Expo. Please support these fine com-   stage show, “Talented Fresh Design Ideas Plus Every-
                            panies with your business whenever possible. Without their sup-       day and Holiday.” Impressed attendees picked up
                            port, the GLFE would not be possible! Thank You!                              expert tips and viewed stunning designs.

                               *Business Session Sponsors
                               WhizBang! Training

                               *Hands-On Session Sponsors
                               Accent Décor
                               Florigene Flowers
                               WR Goodin

                               *Main Stage Show Sponsors
                               Accent Décor
                               Florigene Flowers
                               WR Goodin

                                                                                                            Tom Swientek from Lion
                                                                                                            Ribbon won the People’s
                    Wholesale company DWF of Flint,                                                         Choice award for his
                    Mich., donated fresh flowers to the                                                      tradeshow booth.
                    Expo. From L to R: Cecil Brown,
                    Kaye Counts, Ron Chludil worked
                    their tradeshow booth.

                                                                                                           Bonnie Wilkening works the Society of
                                                                                                                  American Florists (SAF) booth.

  MCF Chairwoman and National Account Representative at Teleflora, Kathy Petz.
AAF, PFCI, MCF, and Dan Kingsbury, presented the newest containers from Teleflora.                                                              15
  michigan florist | mayjune 2009


                                                                            Dutch designer
                                                                            Els Teunissen, far left, congratu-
                                                                            lates the students from her hands-on session Let’s Party! “It’s
                                                                            one of the best classes I’ve ever had the privilege of teaching… marvel-
                                                                            ous!” she said.

Beautiful Blooms
A world-renowned oral
designer gives thanks

    My Sunday Hands-On Session, “Let’s Party!,” was sponsored
by Accent Décor and Florigene Carnations. With 22 in my class,
what a class it was! Garrett Fairbanks and Alyssa Swails were a
big help to get everything ready in time, and they helped me
pack and clean up at the end of the convention. Bravo to the
wonderful volunteers! I would not have been there was it not
for my sponsors. Accent Décor makes my work easy, because
their glassware is one-of-a-kind and makes flowers look so
wonderful. Their new catalogue just got of the press – look for                                                               Volunteers helped Teunissen with set-up,
it!                                                                                                                               clean-up and everything in between.
    And of course, the gorgeous carnations form Florigene Carna-
tions. What colors and what power they put into design. Thank
you both so much for letting me be there.
    And also all the other sponsors: The Sun Valley Group, who
provided lovely tulips, hyacinths, top-notch bear grass, the most
beautiful freesias, and of course lilies. Go and visit them if you
ever get to Northern California! It is very much worth your
while; their open house is one of a kind.
    Thank you to Rezendez Brothers, for their proteas, pin cush-
ions and all the other delicious items they grow on the hills in
Southern California.
    Thank you to Star Valley for beautiful forsythia, curly willow
and and all sorts of wonderful branches.
    And what about those garden roses from France and Germa-
ny given to us by Transflora! The scent is heavenly. They are
such a great product for events. Thanks for the lovely hydran-
geas and callas from Hyperactive Farms and the roses from
    Everything was lush and beautiful!

   World-renowned Dutch Designer Els Teunissen is the president of Floral
Productions in Des Moines, Iowa, and wowed the crowds at the Expo with      Students that attended
the exciting design shows “Going Green” and “Let’s Party!”                  Teunissen’s class and many wonderful volunteers
                                                                            who keep the Expo running smoothly.
LAKES FLORAL EXPO EXHIBITORS!                                              Save the Date!
  The MFA would like to extend a big THANK YOU to the following
companies for exhibiting at the Expo. Please support these fine com-
panies with your business whenever possible. Without their support,
the GLFE would not be possible! Thank You!                                  Plan to attend the
                                                                        2010 Great Lakes
  Company                                   Web site

  ACN Communications     
  David Chapman Agency
                                                                           Floral Expo
  Dulaya Memories        
  Dune Craft             
  DWF-Flint                                 Navigation: A course set for
  FloraCraft Corporation 
  FTD                                              pro t, education and success
  Hollywood Bloom        
  Hyacinth House         
  Kay Berry, Inc.        
  Lion Ribbon-Berwick Offray
  Mains Importing
                                                                              March 5-8, 2010
  Mayesh Michigan        
  Midwest Transaction Group                         Amway Grand Plaza Hotel
  Nichols Paper Products 
  Nordlie Inc                                            DeVos Place
  Regency Insurance Group Inc
  Rokay Battle Creek                             Grand Rapids, Michigan
  Smithers Oasis North America
  Society of American Florists
  The John Henry Co.     
  Vans Floral Products   
  Whizbang Training      
  WR Goodin              


                                                                                                     a course set
                                                                                                 for profit, education
                                                                                                     and success

                                                                      Mains Importing of
                                                                      Hillsdale, Mich., showcased
                                                                      their colorful containers and
                                                                      wonderful wicker with
                                                                      hundreds of quality samples.

 michigan florist | mayjune 2009


 2009 MFA
 Design Contest Winners
 Top Talent                                                             MFA DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
                                                                           In order to obtain “MFA Designer of the Year” status, contes-
                                                                        tants had to enter all three Professional Division categories. The

                                                                        five individuals with the highest cumulative points from all
        he Michigan Floral Association’s Design Contest is one of
                                                                        three design categories were selected as finalists to earn the
        the most prestigious contents in the nation. Winners re-
                                                                        change to compete in a Spontaneous Surprise Package competi-
        ceive certificates, cash awards and recognition in this
                                                                        tion. The winner received a $300 cash prize, recognition plaque
 magazine. The person named Designer of the Year will have his
                                                                        and the coveted title of “MFA Designer of the Year.”
 or her designs featured in Michigan Florist’s Designer Spotlight all
 year. The contest serves as an exceptional opportunity for de-
 signers to learn and exchange new ideas while competing, re-                   2009 Designer of the Year
 ceive professional recognition for their work, and gain publicity         Tonja VanderVeen, AIFD, MCF
 for you and your shop.                                                               Designing Dreams
                                                                                    Grand Rapids, Mich.
   “It was a very exciting contest this year with more than 100
 designers competing,” said Diane Capalbo, 2009 design contest
 chairperson. “The MFA would also like to thank design contest
 partner Teleflora for sponsoring the prize money and awards for
 the contest.

2009 Designer of the Year
Tonja VanderVeen, AIFD, MCF
Designing Dreams
Grand Rapids, Mich.

 18                                                                                                                       Tonja’s winning design
                                                                                                          michigan florist | mayjune 2009

CHUCK BANNOW AWARD                                                                                   DESIGNCONTEST
   This is not a design contest category for entry, but an award
given to the entry judged as “Best Overall” from all three profes-
sional division categories in the contest. Because Charles “Chuck”
Bannow devoted so much of his life to the teaching and enrich-
ment of the floral industry, this award carries his name. All de-
signs were evaluated based on the elements of design, the pro-
fessional execution of design mechanics and creativity, with a
particular emphasis on originality and innovation.
  This year’s “Best of Show” winner, Frank Feysa, AIFD, took
home awards in both the Professional Divison - Bridal Bouqet
and Professional Divison - Sympathy Talent catagories.
See page 23 for pictures of his winning entries.

                            2009 Chuck Bannow “Best of Show” Award
                                                  Frank Feysa, AIFD
                                         Special Events & Weddings
                                                       Aurora, Ohio

                                                                                             *See page 22-23 for wining entries
              Student Division
                Student Division Eligibility
                Open to any and all full- or part-time students currently enrolled in a high school, enrichment, design school or
              university floriculture program, and who has not worked ‘professionally’ as a floral designer. Students could not
              compete in the Professional Division and had to prove current student status. Only one entry per student was per-

              Professional Division
                Professional Division Eligibility
                Open to any floral professional gainfully employed full or part-time in the floral industry. Professionals could
              not enter the Student Division, and are not required to enter each of the three Professional Categories, unless com-
              peting for “MFA Designer of the Year.”

              Academy Division
                Academy Division Eligibility
                This division is open to those who are recognized as Academy Designers only. The Academy Division honors and
              recognizes those individuals who have consistently achieved high ratings and placements during the MFA Design
              Contest. Congratulations to all who have achieved this distinctive recognition, and continued encouragement to all
              who strive for it. The winner also will be given the opportunity to represent MFA in the National Alliance of Floral
              Associations (NAFA) annual design contest in Denver to compete for the title of National Designer of the Year.

 michigan florist | mayjune 2009

                                   Student Division
 DESIGNCONTEST                     Theme: Coffee Table Arrangement
                                   – Inspired by Color and Texture

                                    1st Place
                                    Alyesse Cosens

      2009 MFA
                                    Alanson Littlefield Schools
                                    Alanson, Mich.

                                    2nd Place

                                    Veronica Brownston
                                    Oakland Tech Center Schools SW
                                    Wixom, Mich.

                                    3rd Place

           Contest                  Molly Chard
                                    Oakland Schools Tech Center SW
                                    Wixom, Mich.

        1st Place

Academy Division
Theme: To In nity and Beyond

 1st Place AIFD, CAFA, MCF, PFCI
 Jerome Raska, AAF,
 Blumz… by JRDesigns
 Ferndale and Detroit, Mich.

                                                    Professional Division
                                                    Theme: Trendy Inspirations

                                                      1st Bates
                                                      Designs by Vogt’s Floral & Gifts
                                                      Sturgis, Mich.

                                                      2nd Place
                                                      Janet Martineau
                                                      Floral Verde
                                                      Flint, Mich.

                                                      3rd Place
                                                      Richard Thibodeau
                                                      Wesley Berry Florist
                                                      Commerce, Mich.
                          Professional Division
                               Theme: Bridal Bouquet –
                              Discovering Hidden Gems

                                       1st Place
                                     Frank Feysa, AIFD
                                   Special Events & Weddings
                                                 Aurora, Ohio

                                                 2nd Place
                                   Tonja VanderVeen, AIFD, MCF
                                             Designing Dreams
                                            Grand Rapids, Mich.

                                                  3rd Place
                                                   Shely Ozlaj
                                                Enflora Flowers

    Professional Division
    Theme: Sympathy Talent

     1st Feysa, AIFD
     Special Events & Weddings
     Aurora, Ohio

     2nd Place
     Tonja VanderVeen, AIFD, MCF
     Designing Dreams
     Grand Rapids, Mich.

     3rd Place
     Erin Downs
     McNamara Florist
     Fishers, Indiana