My floral journey began in 1983 in Oklahoma City when a true entrepreneur and visionary, Herman Meinders, the owner of AFS (American Floral Services), decided to give me the opportunity to run his sales and marketing organizations. My expectation was the position would only last 3-4 years and I would return to the oil and gas industry after the downturn slump was over. That was 36 years ago, so I clearly missed my expectations.
For those who know me well, one of the most difficult things I have found in my life to do is say goodbye, but for me that time has come.
These last 36 years have been the most fulfilling and rewarding years of my life and it really has to do with the people and the floral industry.
I love our industry and the people who comprise one of the most innovative and creative businesses one could have ever been lucky enough to be associated with. From the very beginning at my first industry event at TSFA (Texas State Florists’ Association), I was welcomed with open arms and have had the unique opportunity to make lifelong friends across many segments of the industry. As I have consistently told my sales team, the best part of my job is visiting our florists across the country and seeing how different, but the same, florists are in small and big towns alike. I think I will miss that the most.
It is impossible, truly impossible, to express in words how much appreciation I have for the many professional team members I have worked with at AFS, Teleflora and in particular, BloomNet, Napco, 1800flowers Franchising and 1800flowers. It is all about the people you work with. As Steve Jobs said, “Great things in business are never done by one person; they’re done by a team of people.” I have been lucky enough to work with the very best teams!
I feel extremely confident that I leave the charge to help educate the floral industry through Floriology in good and capable hands. The education team is excited about what the future holds for our educational classes and the continuing support of the floral industry, which is paramount in helping our florists survive and thrive today and in the future. I am quite sure future letters in this space in floriology magazine will provide a glimpse into some very exciting innovations in floral education.
Finally, I would be remiss in not recognizing and thanking my lovely wife Danna and my children, Jennifer and Dawson, for allowing me the flexibility and their understanding, along with the freedom to participate in hundreds of industry events and to travel extensively to build a business. I love you with all my heart!
So, on to the next part of the journey – family, friends and fun. I wish you all the very best that life has to offer!