Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Floral Flash [Event News] - AFID Southern Conference 2012 "Diversity"


Southern Conference 2012 "Diversity"
April 13-15, 2012
Peabody Hotel
9801 International Drive
Orlando, Fla. 32819


Click here to download the schedule.

Thursday, April 12, 2012
1 - 10 p.m.Disney International Flower and Garden Festival - Private Tour
Additional fee. $75.00 each. Limited to 50 full registration guests. 1pm until park closes.
This tour is a very special, unique opportunity being offered by Mr. Eric Darden as a Thank You to FNGLA (one of our Sponsors) for their close working relationship. Mr. Darden is in charge of the Disney International Flower and Garden Festival. The tour will take us through the magnificent gardens and 100's of topiaries that Disney displays each year. A private bus will transport us to Epcot from the Peabody, we have an after 2 p.m. entrance ticket. Mr. Darden will share his knowledge and answer questions about the way Disney puts this festival together. The rest of the evening is yours to enjoy with everything Epcot has to offer. After the closing Spectacular Firework display we will be transported back to the Peabody. You will not want to miss this tour.
Friday, April 13, 2012
8 a.m. - noonStudent Competition
1 - 5 p.m.Registration Opens
Lobby Décor by Len Beckett AIFD
2 - 3 p.m.Floriology Institute Challenge - Hosted by- BloomNet. Design to win – all expenses paid design class at BloomNets, Floriology Institute - Jacksonville, Fla.
7 - 10 p.m.Welcome to Diversity: Tropical Evening Reception, Orchid room, Inside/Outside reception, live music, buffet- cash bar
Saturday, April 14, 2012
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.Registration
8 - 9 a.m.Steps to AIFD - Jackie Lacey AIFD
9 a.m. - 5 p.m.Trade Fair- Visit our vendors and sponsors and see all of the NEW products
9 - 10 a.m."Music, The Diverse Language" - Musical Interpretation, Songs that endeavor to bring the World together - Kirby Holt AIFD
10:30 a.m. - noon"Brush Strokes"- Floral interpretive design, Combining the Arts - Kevin Coble AIFD & Tom Ziffer
12:30 - 2 p.m.Buffet lunch - Showcasing the Culinary Talent of the Peabody Chefs. Centerpiece designs by students
2 - 3 p.m.European Fantasy Weddings - Amazing Wedding Designs that will inspire you for years - Neil Whittaker AIFD
3:30 - 4:30 p.m.Farewell Traditions - Journey into the history of funerals and flowers. The meaning of many tributes to our loved ones - David Powers AIFD
4:30 - 5:30 p.m.Student Corsage Bar Opens
5 p.m.Silent Auction closes
6:30 p.m.Presidents Banquet and Awards reception
(cash bar)
7:30 p.m.Presidents Banquet and Awards Dinner with dancing to follow
Designs by Kevin Coble AIFD
Sunday, April 15, 2012
8:30 a.m.Trade Fair Opens - last chance to catch up on products and shop
9 - 10 a.m.Business Motivation - Learn how to survive in this economy and stay on top - Rick Rivers
10:30 - 11:30 a.m.Floral Diversity - Combining plants and flowers with innovative mediums and techniques - Ann Jordan AIFD
noon - 1:30 p.m.Lunch
Décor by Ian Prosser AIFD
2 p.m.Program Tour - Back Stage Disney Event/Wedding/Gift Basket Production Center. Be amazed and enjoy the Disney Way. (First Buss leaves The Peabody at 2 p.m. Trip lasts an hour and a half, back to hotel at 3:30 p.m., second buss leaves at 2:30 p.m. returning at 4 p.m.
4 - 8 p.m.Hands-on Wedding Class with Neil Whittaker AIFD - $150. Neil offers a fantastic insight into design and profitability, come and learn from Britain's foremost designer florist. Using only one type of flower to create stunning Bridal Bouquets, Bridesmaid designs and stunning boutonnières. All sundries and flowers are included in the price. Book early to avoid disappointment, as places will be limited. Cost: $150. Workbox Items Required: Scissors, Knife, Wire Cutters, 1 Tube of Oasis Cold Glue.


Len Beckett AIFD - Peabody Lobby Décor
beckettA native of Anamosa, IA, Len Beckett moved to Florida in 1977 as a teenager. After graduating he went into the U.S. Army as a flight engineer. After leaving the Army Len moved back to Brevard County where he returned to a career in the Floral Industry. Len is accredited within the Industry with several designations AAF (American Academy of Floriculture) is bestowed to individuals who have demonstrated leadership within the Industry and strong involvement within their community with a purpose of improving both; FSMD (Florida State Master Designer) also bestowed to individuals for their design abilities.

Len has had the honor of holding positions on several Boards. He is a Past President of Florida State Florists' Association having held every office in this organization; He is currently the President of the North Florida Unit, Teleflora having held all offices. Len is a past Director for the Southern Retail Florists' Association based in Charlotte, NC. He also sat on the Board for the Florida State Florists' Foundation. He Chairs the Brevard County Community Development Block Grant Advisory Board which makes the funding recommendations for Federal Dollars sent through HUD to the county. He is also the President of his homeowners association and the President of the commercial condominium association for his business.

Len is an owner of Rockledge Roses & Wines in Rockledge, Fla. and is a Floral Educator having presented Education programs both Nationally and Internationally. Len has also been published in several magazines including interior design, gift basket, floral industry, and society magazines. Len is also a featured stage presenter for several home and garden shows.

Governor Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky bestowed upon Len the Honorary Title of " Kentucky Colonel" several years ago. This Title is awarded by the Governor and without explanation and only after nomination by another " Kentucky Colonel." This group is dedicated to charitable purposes. Nominees must have demonstrated good community involvement.
Kevin Coble AIFD - "Brush Strokes"- Floral interpretive design, Combining the ArtsCobleKevin captures the essence of botanicals and communicated it to others through his creative style – a style that dictates a message of clear lines and shapes. He presents objects in a new form – imaginative, bold and sometimes eclectic interpretations that he calls floral art. He combines his love for architecture into floral design with the most tradition and Avant garde techniques, hoping to capture his audiences with his flair for innovation and guide them towards finding floral inspiration.
He is owner of Le Fleur Flower Shoppe in Memphis, Tennessee and has been actively involved in the industry for more than twenty years. In addition to trade related programs, Kevin lectures to garden club organizations as well as civic groups, sharing his knowledge, creativity and enthusiasm of design with others. He feels that we as professional floral artists have to stay in the forefront of the industry by presenting educational programs. In this, he hopes our industry will continue to blossom, making the public more appreciative of the beauty, fragrance and tranquility that floral art provides.

Kevin has received a number of competitive distinctions including the 1994 and 2002 Tennessee State Florists' Association (TSFA) Designer of the Year, the 1995, 1999 and 2002 Iris Cup Recipient for interpretive design and the 1995 Memphis Designer of the Year.

Inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) in 2000, Kevin currently serves as Past President of the Southern Regional Chapter and is the Southern Director to the National Board. He served on the National Membership Committee for six years and currently serves on the National Marketing and Student Competition committees. Kevin is president of the Tennessee State Florists' Association, is a director on the Teleflora Tennessee Unity Board and is also a member of the Society of American Florists (SAF).

Kevin was a national AIFD Symposium presenter in 2007 in Palm Desert, California, was a designer at the Philadelphia Flower Show in 1994 and 2001, was awarded Florist of the Year in 2007 by TSFA and is a member of Fiesta Parade Floats Design Team creating beautiful, award winning entries in the Tournament of Roses Parade.

The results of his talents have been photographed in national and local publications including "Veranda," "Southern Accents," "At Home in Memphis," "VIP Magazine," "Mid-South Living," as well as being seen in the motion pictures "The Firm" and "Castaway."

Kevin's dedication and love for floral design propels him to continue the learning process, always seeking opportunities to challenge himself individually and the industry as a whole.
Kirby Holt AIFD - "Music, The Diverse Language"HoltKirby Holt, AIFD, has been involved in the floral industry for 20 years and is the owner of Blossoms, a retail florist in Chipley, Florida. Kirby was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) in 1999 and was Florida Designer of the Year in 2000. Kirby's special-event expertise has allowed him to design events for celebrities including the late Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, JoDee Messina, Kool & the Gang, Mary Chapin Carpenter, and others. He has presented educational programs for state floral associations and industry leaders around the country including the AIFD International Symposium and Southern Retail Florists Convention. Holt has served as the featured instructor at the Alabama State Florists Advanced School of Floral Design at Auburn University and has also been a featured weekly guest on the Morning Show of the CBS affiliate WTVY in Dothan, Alabama for the past 10 years The creativity and energy, along with a common sense approach to design, that Kirby brings to the stage will entertain and educate you.
Ann Jordan AIFD - Floral Diversity - Combining plants and flowers with innovative mediums and techniquesjordanAnn Jordan has over 25 years of retail floral experience and has studied floral design with some of the greatest designers in the world. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable, Ann is very active in the floral industry and has instructed design classes and hands-on workshops throughout the United States and Canada. She is currently featured in the FTD University video library at

The floral industry has been impacted by Ann's work in many significant ways. Her designs were most recently featured in the November & December 2010 issues of Florists' Review, and she has participated in many AIFD programs including the AIFD booth at the famed Philadelphia Flower Show. Ann has served as the Procurement Chair for the AIFD National Symposium in 2003, 2004, 2006 & 2009. Her most recent accomplishments include her presentation entitled River Run on the Main Stage at the 2008 AIFD National Symposium, as well as being the AIFD Symposium Coordinator for the 2010 AIFD National Symposium REVOLUTION. Prior to being elected AIFD President Elect in 2011, Ann served as AIFD Vice President.

Not only is Ann recognized in the floral industry for her creative skills, but she is also known in her community as a business leader and prominent floral designer. She was nominated the New England Business Woman of the Year in 1998 and the Maine Small Business of the Year in 2004. At the world renowned New York Botanical Gardens, Ann teaches all aspects of floristry to floral design students.

A few of Ann's other career accomplishments include being recognized by FTD in 2000 with the John A. Valentine Award, as well as placing third in the AIFD Holland Cup Competition in 2004. Ann was also on the design team for President George W. Bush's Inauguration in 2005.
Jackie Lacey AIFD- Steps to AIFDlaceyJackie Lacey has over thirty years of experience in the retail floral market and ownership of shops in Tennessee, Texas and South Carolina. He has an extensive background in the retail floral market and design industry as a retail Vice-President and Wedding & Event specialist. Jackie now utilizes his experience to provide education and instructional design programs, market showroom set up, private retail consulting, product development as well as design and event planning. His current position as Education Specialist for Floriology Institute, Design Team and Product Development Team for BloomNet and Napco, Fitz Design Team and ongoing contributor for Floriology Magazine keep him on top of market trends, current design trends, industry education and retail marketing.

Award winner in numerous competitive floral design competitions in both multi state, national and local floral associations. Published articles have appeared on both his expertise and floral experience and have been seen in Floriology Magazine, SAF, Flowers &, Modern Bride and "Inside Weddings." National Television exposure includes designing and participation for WE TV programs "Platinum Weddings" and the upcoming "I Do Over" as a Celebrations.Com Floral Expert . Previous work for celebrities such as Drew Barrymore, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, Diane Lane, Cheryl Ladd, Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere, Matthew McConaughey and Leonardo DiCaprio have come easily through participation with floral design on several major motion pictures.

Jackie's strong desire to share this acquired floral knowledge and competition experience has only fueled the demand to promote the continued growth of the floral industry and continuing education through numerous stage presentations for multi State Associations and national industry leaders such as Virgin Farms Direct, Smithers-Oasis, BloomNet, FTD, Fitz Design Team and John Henry Company. Experience in floral design for the Tournament of Roses Parade floats, product development team for the largest Import/Export show in the world and set up and design for Gift Market showrooms only adds to the vast floral experience he can call on for every event.

He has served as a leader in numerous industry associations to include current position as AIFD National Membership Committee Vice Chairman, CFD Committee, Consumer Awareness Committee and past Southern AIFD Board of Directors. Design experience for national industry leaders, corporations and collaboration in the development of both pictorial and written publications enhance Jackie's level of knowledge. His extensive travels across the country, Hong Kong, China and Europe afford many opportunities for him to interact with designers of all levels and share this extensive background and experience to florists everywhere.
David Powers AIFD - Farewell Traditions - Journey into the history of funerals and flowers. powersDavid has been in the Floral Industry for 30 years. He has designed for many florists, managed several shops, owned his own business. He has freelanced all over the country. He has been on the floral design team for Fiesta Parade Floats and The Academy Awards. In addition David has been educated by many amazing floral artists from around the world and hopes to bring this knowledge to everyone who wants to learn.

Ian Prosser AIFD - Sunday Lunch DécorIanProsserBorn in Scotland, Ian has over 36 years experience within the floral industry. After getting his start in Glasgow, Scotland, where he owned three successful floral design shops, Ian moved his family to Tampa in 1985.

A graduate of Woodburn Horticultural College in Scotland, Ian has won many design awards. He was the youngest person to receive the honor of "Floral Designer of the Year" for Scotland. Most recently, Ian won the coveted 2007 Sylvia Cup, was named 2010 Event Solutions Magazine Designer of the Year and 2011 Wedding Innovator of the Year by Rockstar Wedding Planner. Ian has also earned the "National Diploma of the Society of Floristry" (NDSF), the highest European honor in floral design. He has been inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), The American Academy of Floriculture (AAF) and Professional Floral Communicators International (PFCI). He is also a member of the FTD Design Team, which sends him around the country demonstrating, commenting, and teaching floral design to his peers. These travels have also sent him to China and Taiwan to lecture students regarding current floral design and upcoming trends.

He was invited by the Society of American Florists to participate in designing the inaugural decorations of President Bill Clinton and President George W. Bush. In 2005, Ian was given the honor by the Society to serve as "Floral Design Chairperson" for the second-term inauguration of President George W. Bush.
Rick Rivers - Business Motivation - Learn how to survive in this economy and stay on top
riversRick and Susie Rivers have owned A Floral Boutique Florist in Ormond Beach, Fl for over 28 years. After 10 years as a police officer in Daytona Beach, Fl. Rick joined the family business and began to take it to the next level in sales. Rick has experienced all the ups and downs in the floral industry just like every other florist. In the 1990's Rick began to teach for Redbook and FTD the art of Holiday Planning Gone Mad to local and state associations and at the FTD Convention in Nashville, Tenn. Rick began to experiment with different marketing concepts and soon joined a national marketing group. This group meets twice a year and has thousands of members who exchange ideas so you know what's working now. In this group Rick learned the true meaning of marketing and where that component is headed for florists. So, now Rick can bring some of the greatest marketing ideas and apply them to the florist industry. This industry has been in decline for the last 10 years and florists will have some "serious challenges ahead if they don't change how they market and how they implement what they do."
In the summer of 2009 Rick's first book, Blooming at the Top, 12 Strategies to Double Your Sales was released. The book details strategies that today's florist need to do to stay afloat through these tough times. Rick has taken all the "big box" strategies and re-worked them for the local florists and one of the direct mail campaigns hit 29.6%.

Rick's second book has been released. "No Fishing in My Pond, A Blueprint to Protect Your Sales". This book teaches you how to put a fence around your customer base and keep them coming back for more sales, thus allowing you to make the extra money that the local business owners need. Rick also has full line of Cd workshops on industry topics. Rick has spoken at many conventions in the last 3 years, over 500 stores and 1500 people have attended his seminars along with his 3 boot camps.

In January of 2009 Rick kicked off his first "Florist Boot camp", located in Orlando, Fl. Rick partnered with the Florida State Florists Association and provided the 2 day event in place of their winter gathering. Forty three florist and wholesalers showed up and learned many new ways to do business for the years to come. A list of the testimonials and the speaking engagements can be viewed at
Neil Whittaker AIFD - European Fantasy WeddingsWhittakerNeil has owned The Design Element based in Irlam, Manchester, United Kingdom for over thirty years.

Neil Whittaker has studied all over the world, gaining his National Diploma of Floristry (NDSF) in 1998, and his American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD) qualification in 2000. In 2009 he won a Gold Medal and Best in Show at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, taking the inaugural Chelsea Florist of the Year title. In 2010 he won the Croatian National Championship, just days after finishing an impressive seventh in the world at the Interflora World Cup in Shanghai. Then became British Florist Association Florist of the Year 2010. Interflora Florist of the Year 2011 at Tatton Park RHS Show and represent the UK in the Europa Cup Floristry Championships in the Czech republic in September 2011 where he was placed 3rd In the" Europa Cup" Bronze Medal Winner.
Neil loves to share his knowledge and skill with other florist around the world and hope that you will be dazzled with the wonderful wedding collection that he will show case for you this year.

They have been featured on many TV shows including "Shopping City", "The Sack Race", and "Lunch Time Live" and "The Flower Show" for UK Style, as well as on coverage of the flower shows at Chelsea and Tatton. They are also regular contributors to BBC Radio Manchester, and to floristry industry news/training media.

More information about Neil is available at
Thomas Ziffer - "Brush Strokes"- Floral interpretive design
zifferWhile the phrase"…having always painted since I was a child" is true; the style of painting and the mediums used by Thomas W. Ziffer has varied through the years influenced by faith, surrounds and family.

Proficient with oils, water colors pencils and acrylic paints, Thomas has chosen to work with acrylics for his current portfolio. Using an airbrush as his tool of choice, Thomas paints detail filled images saturated with color. With acrylic paints he achieves vibrancy through layers of transparent color creating semi-photorealistic wildlife and whimsical animals infused with personality.

The process begins with an idea, followed by research, a series of rough sketches, canvas preparation, a final sketch with colored pencil and then paint application.

Thomas attended the School of Visual Arts in New York, has worked with many special effects and scenic shops and has left his mark on many central Florida homes, businesses, theme parks and private collections. Thomas continues to take courses in varied fields to strengthen and hone his artistic skills. To learn more visit his website at


Full Registration* - includes Sunday Tour
On/before 3/30
After 3/30
AIFD Members
Education Only (no meals)
AIFD Members
Single Day Registration
Saturday: Educational Programs and Lunch
AIFD Members
Sunday: Educational Programs and Lunch
AIFD Members
Optional Events
Presidents Dinner (included with full registration)
AIFD Members & Guests
Friday Reception (included with full registration)
AIFD Members & Guests
Thursday Disney Tour (must be a full registrant)
AIFD Members & Guests
Sunday Hands on Wedding Class with Neil Whittaker AIFD
AIFD Members & Guests

*A full registration student rate is available. Please contact Rachel Schley at AIFD headquarters at 410-752-3318 to register at this rate.
Click here to register online.

Click here to download the registration form with pricing information.

Mail or fax form and check made payable to AIFD to:
720 Light St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-752-8295 (fax)

*Please note you must pay an additional fee for the Thursday, April 12 Disney Horticultural Tour and for the Sunday, April 15 Hands-on Wedding Class with Neil Whittaker AIFD.


Click here to download the vendor information packet and registration form.

Registration must be done through the form posted above. Responses must be received with payment by March 20, 2012 in order to guarantee your participation.TOP

Peabody Hotel
9801 International Drive
Orlando, Fla. 32819

Special Room Rate - $169.00

Please make room reservations directly with the Peabody-Orlando at
407-352-4000 (mention Southern AIFD for special room rate).

Spa Package Specials Available! The Spa at the Peabody Hotel has created a special price for some of the treatments they offer. Click here for more information.


Orlando International Airport
1 Airport Blvd.
Orlando, FL 32827

This is an incredible opportunity to learn from our areas top designers by helping out. If you are interested in being a volunteer please call or e-mail Lori Himes AIFD at 301-788-0725 or


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