The Society of American Florists will honor seven professionals with induction into Professional Floral Communicators – International (PFCI) during the Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner on Sept. 15 at SAF Palm Springs 2018, the association’s 134th Annual Convention at the Westin Mission Hills in Rancho Mirage, California.
The 2018 PFCI inductees are: Adam Havrilla, AIFD, ICPF, PFCI, of Artistic Blooms LLC, in Chicago; Kathy Jones, AIFD, PFCI, SDCF, of Spring Creek Designs LLC, in Gillette, Wyoming; Louisa Lam, AIFD, CPFD, PFCI, of Langara College in Coquitlam, British Columbia, Canada; Klair McDermott, AIFD,PFCI, of Sunshine Bouquet Company in Miami; Carolyn Minutillo, AIFD, EMC, PFCI, of Lavender Hill LLC, in Jeffersonville, Indiana; Renato Sogueco, PFCI, of BloomNet/Floriology Institute in Jacksonville, Florida; and Renee Tucci AIFD, CFD, PFCI, in Chalfont, Pennsylvania.
“PFCI truly promotes a high level of accomplishment in the field of floral communication and maintains a high standard to achieve this designation,” said PFCI Board of Trustees Chairman D Damon Samuel, AAF, AIFD, NAFD, NMF, PFCI, of the Bill Doran Company in Omaha, Nebraska. “It is an honor to induct seven very engaging speakers as we strive to promote superior communication throughout our industry.”
PFCI is the service mark of the floral industry’s finest floral educators. On local, regional and national stages, PFCI members present educational programs to floral professionals on topics ranging from design and care and handling to floral industry trends and profitability. PFCI members are vetted for presentation, publication and leadership experience, and candidates must submit an audition DVD of a live presentation to demonstrate their communication skills. The new inductees bring PFCI’s membership to 147 floral educators in 38 states, Canada, Mexico, Singapore and South Korea.
An overview of each inductee’s accomplishments follows:
Adam Havrilla, AIFD, CFD, ICPF, PFCI
Adam Havrilla, AIFD, CFD, ICPF, PFCI, has over 20 years of experience as a professional floral artist; his career started at a flower shop where he quickly realized that floral design was what he was meant to do. After several years of honing his skills working for top designers, he realized it was time to open his own design studio and Artistic Blooms was born. He prides himself on offering original and artistic floral design with the highest quality blooms from around the world.
His original and artistic designs have garnered numerous awards, including first place in wedding bouquets and tablescape from the Illinois State Florists’ Association and the coveted 2016 and 2018 Iron Designer title from the International Floriculture Expo.
His true passion and purpose lies in helping other floral enthusiasts. Throughout his career as a professional floral artist and speaker, Havrilla has given back to the industry through education and industry involvement. Havrilla has served as President of the Illinois State Florists’ Association and is currently the President of the National Alliance of Floral Associations. His goal is to continue working with the Board of Directors and membership to create new educational and business opportunities for the floral industry.
Kathy Jones, AIFD, SDCF, PFCI
The career path for Kathy Jones, AIFD, SDCF, PFCI, has always returned to the floral industry, drawn in by the flowers, the excitement of designing and the constant evolution. Since 2003, she and her husband, Gary, have owned Spring Creek Designs in Gillette, Wyoming.
She is as passionate about teaching as she is about her own education. Jones shares her passion for design with a wide audience — from youth to senior citizens, as well as industry professionals.
Her work has won numerous awards from the South Dakota Floral Association (SDFA), including the Doug Hesnard Award for Design Excellence and Pasque Designer of the Year in 2015. She serves as a board member of the SDFA.
Louisa Lam, AIFD, PFCI, CFD, CPFD
Known throughout North America and Asia for her innovative designs and for inspiring students in the classroom. Louisa Lam, AIFD, PFCI, CFD, CPFD, has accumulated 30 years of industry experience as both an educator and a professional florist.
Thousands of students have learned under Lam’s guidance, as her work has taken her across the globe, from Asia to North America. In Vancouver, Canada, she is head instructor and curriculum designer of the Professional Floral Art Diploma Program at Langara College.
Lam built her professional experience as an award-winning designer with her own shop Floral Art House in Canada. She became the first Asian florist to become a member of the Canadian Professional Floral Designer Association in 1991. In 2013, AIFD recognized her as a Certified Floral Evaluator/Judge, making Lam the first official floral judge in Vancouver, British Columbia. Readers have followed her column in the Sing Tao Weekly Magazine since 2007, audiences have watched her seasonal floral design programs on TV since 1997.
Lam is the President of AIFD Northwest Regional Chapter, and First Vice Chair of AIFD National Membership Committee.
Klair McDermott, AIFD, PFCI
Klair McDermott, AIFD, PFCI, has channeled her love for flowers and design into both her career and her lifestyle. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Horticulture in 2007 and also attended courses through the New York Botanical Garden’s Floral Design program. She has owned her own floral shop in Connecticut and has worked in New York City with a variety of prominent designers.
Klair joined the team at Sunshine Bouquet Company, 6 years ago – and specializes in product design and development. She works with the production teams in Miami and Colombia to ensure that all items created, maintain their integrity and utmost potential, with respect to design, color and construction. She is also able to share her knowledge by traveling around the country and educating floral managers with the basic tools they need to provide proper care and design skills. Highlighting and emphasizing the overall power and importance of flowers always takes precedence.
Carolyn Minutillo, AIFD, EMC, PFCI
Carolyn Minutillo, AIFD, EMC, PFCI, is the owner and principal designer at Lavender Hill in Jeffersonville, Indiana, where she’s known for hosting hands-on design workshops for groups of designers and individuals. Through art galleries, botanical gardens, continuing education and her own travel, she has continually sought to grow her career, her business and her inspiration.
An AIFD Certified Floral Evaluator and Judge, Minutillo took on the extended challenge of earning the European Master Certification in 2016.
Her creative design skills won her the 2013 Bobbi Cup from the AIFD North Central Chapter, and she’s held several positions in their chapter, including vice president and now president elect. Minutillo is also a contributing designer for Floral Design Magazine in New Zealand.
Renato Cruz Sogueco, PFCI
Renato Cruz Sogueco’s sought-after expertise has put him center stage as a frequent speaker and columnist.
For 13 years, he was the chief information officer at the Society of American Florists. Today, as the lead business educator at the Floriology Institute in Jacksonville, Florida, he helps floral businesses adopt innovative technologies to thrive in the digital marketplace, leveraging social media, search engine optimization, online advertising, shop automation and mobile.
He is also vice president of digital strategy at BloomNet, where he develops digital products and services for network florists and oversees the online brands and initiatives for BloomNet, NAPCO, World Flowers and the Floriology Institute.
Under his guidance, floral businesses have the opportunity to stay current on the latest technology, e-marketing and consumer trends that can impact their businesses.
Renee Tucci, AIFD, PFCI
Renee Tucci, AIFD, PFCI, brings nearly 20 years of progressive floral design and leadership experience in the retail and event marketplaces with her in her travels these days. When she’s not on the road giving or gaining education, you will find her with the floral design team at Valley Forge Flowers in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
Tucci has taught students at the prestigious Longwood Gardens and, most recently joined the Continuing Education department at Bucks County Community College where she teaches floral design classes as part of their Certified Floral Designer certification program.
Her attention to detail and forward-thinking patterns has led her to receive invitations to events both nationally and locally. After being part of award winning teams at the Philadelphia Flower Show for the past 10 years, in 2017 and 2018 she coordinated the execution of the fresh florals for the Central Feature entrance exhibit. In August 2016, Tucci’s design skills brought her to the White House, where she helped design the arrangements for the Singapore State Dinner.
While she enjoys every part of the industry, she is especially thrilled by the lives she touches when she teaches.
The 2018 PFCI inductees will celebrate with the 2017 PFCI inductees. Due to Hurricane Irma forcing the cancelation of SAF’s last convention which was scheduled for last September in Florida, the 2017 PFCI recipients will be honored alongside the 2018 inductees.
The 2017 PFCI inductees are:
- Lesleighan Cravens, AIFD, PFCI, of Tiger Garden in Columbia, Missouri
- Christopher Drummond, AAF, PFCI, of Plaza Flowers in Norristown, Pennsylvania
- Shawn Michael Foley, AIFD, PFCI, of HotHouse Design Studio in Birmingham, Alabama
- Julia YoungJu Kim, AIFD, PFCI, Hotel Inter-Burgo Exco FlowerShop in Deagu, South Korea
- Rocio Silva, AIFD, PFCI, of Instituto Mexicano Tecnio Floral in Monterrey, Nuevo leon, Mexico
- Lynne Tischler, AAF, CPFD, PFCI, of Your Enchanted Florist in St. Paul, Minnesota
For PFCI information and a listing of members by name, state and expertise, visit safnow.org/pfci.
Do you love talking about flowers, floral design or the business of flowers? Do you present programs to garden clubs or other professionals? Then you’re three-quarters of the way to earning the PFCI designation. The only thing left to do: fill out an application. The 2019 PFCI membership application is due Jan. 31. To apply, download the application from safnow.org/apply-for-pfci-membership.