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Society Of American Florists Elects New Council Leaders

ALEXANDRIA, VA — Members of the Society of American Florists (SAF) have elected nine members to positions on its Retailers, Wholesalers and Growers Councils.

New council members begin their terms at the close of SAF Maui 2016, the association’s 132nd Annual Convention, Sept. 21-24, at the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in Maui. Their first meetings will be in March 2017. One thrust of the twice-yearly segment council meetings is to discuss trends and challenges and make recommendations for how SAF can develop programs and services to meet the needs of its members.

“These segment council members play an important role for SAF,” said SAF President Martin Meskers, AAF, of Oregon Flowers, Inc., in Aurora, Oregon, “by helping SAF keep its finger on the pulse of what is happening at the grower, wholesale and retail level across the country.”

Each segment council member is appointed to one of SAF’s joint councils – Government Relations, Consumer or Member Services — which also meet twice-yearly immediately following the segment council meeting to provide more specific direction in their respective areas.

The newly-elected SAF Council members are as follows:

Retailers Council

Kate Delaney
Matlack Florist, Inc.
West Chester, Pennsylvania

Cheryl Denham
Arizona Family Florist
Phoenix, Arizona

Jeremy Lohman
Scott’s House of Flowers Inc.
Lawton, Oklahoma

Wholesalers Council

David Armellini
Armellini Express Lines
Palm City, Florida

Joost Bongaerts
Florabundance, Inc.
Carpinteria, California

Tom Figueroa
Nordlie, Inc.
Warren, Michigan

Scott Isensee
Frank Adams Wholesale Florist
Portland, Oregon

Growers Council

Tom Wheeler
Bell Nursery
Elkridge, Maryland

Mark Wilson
Syngenta Flowers
Gilroy, California


The council members listed below are continuing their terms.

  • Chair: Manny Gonzales of Tiger Lily Florist in Charleston, South Carolina
  • Jo Buttram, AAF, Shirley’s Flowers & Gifts, Inc., in Rogers, Arkansas
  • Jessica Cosentino, AAF, of Cosentino’s Florist in Auburn, New York
  • Kristen Gainan-Graves of Gainan’s Floral & Greenhouses in Billings, Montana
  • Tim Galea of Norton’s Flowers & Gifts in Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • Rachel Martin of Ballard Blossom, Inc., in Seattle
  • Michael Pugh, AAF, of Pugh’s Flowers in Memphis
  • Kaitlin Radebaugh, AAF, of Radebaugh Florist & Greenhouses in Towson, Maryland

Wholesalers Council

  • Chair: David Gaul, AAF, of DWF Wholesale Florist in Denver
  • Oscar Fernandez of Equiflor/RioRoses in Miami
  • Nick Fronduto of Jacobson Floral Supply, Inc., in Boston
  • Gustavo Gilchrist of Kennicott Brothers – Chicago in Chicago
  • David Legge of DWF Wholesale Florist in Denver
  • Lee Sorensen of DESIGN MASTER color too, inc. in Boulder, Colorado
  • Ken Wilkins of Delaware Valley Floral Group in Sewell, New Jersey

Growers Council

  • Chair: Doug Cole of D.S. Cole Growers, Inc., in Loudon, New Hampshire
  • Patrick Busch of Len Busch Roses in Plymouth, Minnesota
  • Ray Greenstreet of Greenstreet Growers in Tracys Landing, Maryland
  • Stephen Kennicott of Kennicott Kuts, LLC, in Waterford, Wisconsin
  • Robert Kitayama, Greenleaf Brighton of Capitola, California
  • Jamie Kitz of Sakata, Inc., in Morang Hill, California
  • Janet Louie of Green Valley Floral in Salinas, California
  • Marvin Miller, AAF, of Ball Horticultural Company in West Chicago, Illinois
  • Diana Roy of Resendiz Brothers Protea Growers, LLC, in Fallbrook, California
  • Mark Yelanich of Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntersville, North Carolina

Results of the SAF board elections, which take place during the annual convention and via absentee ballot, will be announced on Sept. 24 at the association’s Keynote Breakfast and Business Session during SAF Maui 2016.


About 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. To learn more about SAF or to join, visit


Source: The Society of American Florists

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