Among the many celebrations planned for SAF Palm Beach 2017 but thwarted by Hurricane Irma: A fond, industry farewell to Peter Moran, the Society of American Florists’ longtime CEO who will retire at year’s end.
“Few people spend their entire for just one cause,” said former SAF Chairman Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, of Dandelion’s Flowers & Gifts in Eugene, Oregon, during a taped address to Moran, who joined SAF in 1985 and became the group’s executive vice president and CEO in 1991. “You’ve guided SAF and this industry through tumultuous times. Under your leadership, we’ve always been on course to bloom and grow.”
SAF volunteer leaders, including other former chairmen and presidents, joined Lyons in wishing Moran well in his retirement, recounting moments of shared collaboration, tough challenges and lasting friendship.
Red Kennicott, AAF, of Kennicott Brothers Wholesale in Chicago recounted giving Moran his first tour of a wholesale florist, at the start of Moran’s SAF career, and credited Moran for creating a “marvelous and unique” culture at SAF.
Kennicott also expressed deep admiration for Moran’s biannual — and highly anticipated — State of the Industry addresses at SAF conventions. Those presentations helped industry members contextualize economic and social trends at the local, national and global level.
“But most of all, we’ll miss you,” Kennicott said.
Skip Paal, AAF, of Rutland Beard Floral Group, headquartered outside of Baltimore, Maryland, called Moran “a great leader and industry ambassador”— someone who encouraged all segments of the industry to participate in SAF.
“Under your leadership SAF has reinforced the need within our industry to balance artistry with advocacy,” Paal added, calling Moran a “friend to many and a resident expert on nearly everything.”
Charles F. Kremp III, AAF, of Kremp Flowers in Philadelphia, echoed many leaders when he talked about Moran’s steady leadership and ability to help create a vision, and a concrete plan, during even trying times.
“It’s been said that our lives are the sum total of our experiences,” Kremp noted. “It’s the same with an organization like SAF.” Throughout his tenure, Moran, Kremp explained, has been able to encourage achievements among each new set of volunteer SAF leaders, creating a bigger picture, and a stronger organization.
Kate Penn, currently chief content officer and editor-in-chief of SAF’s flagship publication, Floral Management, will assume the role of CEO effective November 1, after which Moran will help work through the transition through the end of the year.