Jack Van Namen Honored By Kennicott With Lifetime Achievement Award Add New Topic

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    Jack Van Namen Honored By Kennicott With Lifetime Achievement Award
    by Kennicott Brothers Company
    Posted: Thursday, October 15, 2015 at 8:17PM EDT

    Jack Van Namen was recently honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award in a ceremonial luncheon held at the Kennicott/Vans facility at Alsip IL in honor of his retirement. A number of friends and co-workers fondly expressed their memories of working with Jack throughout his career.

    Jack worked at Vans starting as a schoolboy and throughout his distinguished career, helping lead the company to national prominence. It was his leadership that resulted in the eventual merger of Vans Inc. with Kennicott Brothers Company in 2012.

    Jack also served the floral industry in a number of capacities, including membership on numerous committees of the Society of American Florists (SAF), as Trustee of the American Floral Endowment (AFE) and as President of the Wholesale Florist & Florist Suppliers Association (WF & FSA)

    More detailed info on Jack Van Namen:

    Throughout a career in the floral industry spanning more than four decades, Jack Van Namen has demonstrated qualities of visionary leadership and determined perseverance.

    As a 1970 honor graduate of Michigan State University, he pursued a dual major in horticulture and marketing. He served his country as a First Lieutenant in the Illinois National Guard Military Police and earned the distinction of top honor graduate from Officer Candidate School. He also acquired a Certificate in Business Administration from the University of Illinois, and completed an executive management course at Stanford University (CA).

    After graduation and completing his active duty training, he joined the family business, gaining experience in operations, sales and marketing, corporate management and strategic planning. He worked in varied capacities at the branch level and later moved into corporate roles. As Vans Inc.’s Executive Vice President, President, and later, Vice Chairman, Jack helped to lead the firm to greater profitability and growth, overseeing a $50 million company with nine locations in five states plus the corporate headquarters: Illinois (four); Indiana (two); Michigan (one); Colorado (one); Georgia (one).

    He was involved in expanding the company from a local wholesale florist selling fresh flowers and greens to a full-service regional wholesale distributor offering floral supply products as well as exotic floral varieties from global sources, vertically integrating the company with direct sources of supply from farms and factories. Along with the corporate team, he directed the company’s expansion by researching new markets, developing facilities and overseeing construction of new locations.

    He established strategic relationships with growers and suppliers around the globe, assuring Vans of a strong market advantage that accompanied the firm’s steadily increasing revenues and profitability.

    Throughout his tenure at Vans, Jack participated in several national industry organizations, including the Wholesale Florists and Florists Suppliers of America, Society of American Florists, American Floral Marketing Council and the American Floral Endowment. He also served on the boards of state and local floral associations.

    At WF&FSA, he was part of the leadership team that established the Young Executives program in the 1970s, and later served on many committees including the Education, Trade Fair and Transportation committees. In 1999, he was tapped to fill the role of Treasurer, and rotated through the chairs to be elected President in 2002. He continues his relationship with WF&FSA as a member of the Past President’s Council.

    He was also active in the Society of American Florists as a board member of the Wholesale Division and participant on the Traffic, Statistics, and Organizational Competency Committees in addition to the American Floral Marketing Council’s Grades and Standards Committee. He served on the American Floral Endowment Board and as Chairman of its Marketing Committee. He has been involved in many industry seminars, panels and convention programs as a valued participant, speaker and moderator. In addition, Jack was a former Vice Chairman of the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce Board in Chicago. During several years living and working in Mexico, he served on the boards of several farms and as the Marketing Director of Buena Vista, a farm-anchored floral marketing company.

    In the past and currently, Jack provides consulting and coaching services to individuals, community and church organizations. He and his wife, Carolynn, are the parents of four adult children and grandparents of three active grandsons. The couple lives in Oak Brook, Illinois.

    Source: Kennicott Brothers Company


    Very Happy for Jack. He is a lifer like many of us.



    Congratulations and well deserved, Jack!

    The Van Namen family has deep roots in the industry and were responsible for many floral related success stories.

    We can only hope to attract entire families committed to success beyond their own walls into our industry. They are difficult shoes to fill!

    The Van Namen story is truly a Lifetime Achievement!

    Everyone @ Greenleaf Wholesale

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