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Floral success at PMA




Flower-related participation at Fresh Summit sets a record.

Produce Marketing Association (PMA) officials report record floral participation at October’s Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition in Houston, Texas.
“We had a great response” from floral attendees, says Terry Humfeld, PMA vice president. PMA registered 69 buyers for the “Floral Value Package,” more than double the number from 2006, he says. Of the 700 exhibitors, 82 had floral as part of their offerings. He also notes that vice presidents of produce who have responsibility for floral participated in the floral-related events. The show drew a total of 15,849 attendees.

Floral highlights included:
WORKSHOPS Mr. Humfeld says workshops by Pam Smith, AAF, PFCI, marketing director of Nature’s Flowers, and Terril Nell, Ph.D., AAF, professor of floriculture and chairman of the environmental horticulture department at the University of Florida, were both well received. Ms. Smith tied her discussion of “Selling to Men, Women and Teens” to floral displays in the “Fresh Ideas Marketplace” on the show floor. Dr. Nell presented new findings from his research on flower longevity in his “2007 Floral Care & Handling Update.”
FLORAL NETWORKING RECEPTION “It was a wonderful opportunity to network and see people,” Mr. Humfeld says of the event, which drew up to 200 floral professionals.
PMA and its Floral Council already are starting to plan floral events for next year’s Fresh Summit in Orlando, Fla., from Oct. 24 to 27. Mr. Humfeld expects another good turnout in 2008. “My sense is that we’ll see a very strong return and more exhibitors next year,” he says.
 
 
floral marketer of the year
 
 
Marcy Britigan, president of MEI Specialty Refrigeration and Fixtures of LaGrange Park, Ill., was named the 2007 Floral Marketer of the Year during the Produce Marketing Association (PMA) Fresh Summit International Convention & Exposition.
 

Lauree Lincoln, floral sales manager of Big Y Foods, Inc., and the 2006 honoree, presented the award to Ms. Britigan, describing her as a “high-energy dynamo who established herself early on as a promoter of the industry, a true floral compadre, and a person whose name is always found on the Top Ten List of People Who Get Things Done.”
MEI offers refrigerators, fixtures and accessories for floral departments as well as planning and design strategies. Ms. Britigan started the company in 1996, and Ms. Lincoln said, “She did not just survive—she thrived and prospered in a highly competitive environment. Throughout it all, she has maintained her impeccable integrity, never compromising on the traits that define her as a professional and a person: character, loyalty, commitment and passion.”
Ms. Britigan says she got hooked on the floral industry early on when she met with industry notables to learn about the flower business. “I tutored under some of the best people you can tutor under, and it is hard not to catch that enthusiasm,” she shares.
The award, she says, “means so much because it comes from the industry, from my peers, and it’s an acknowledgment of all the work that we’ve done over the years as an industry. It’s just an honor for my peers to acknowledge me as being one of the people that helped to make us grow.”

 















Most photos courtesy of the Produce Marketing Association (PMA).

 

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