Now that you’ve had (a little) time to catch your breath after Valentine’s Day, why not take the next step in securing a profitable future for your business? Join dozens of floral professionals from all industry segments March 9-10 for the Society of American Florists’ 40th annual Congressional Action Days (CAD). Earl-bird registration ends Feb. 21.
New to CAD? Don’t worry. SAF staff, outside experts and a host of longtime attendees and floral colleagues will ensure you feel ready to take to Capitol Hill and voice your support for issues that are critical to the long-term sustainability and growth of the industry.
Last year, first-time attendee Robin Van der Schaaf of Flamingo Holland in Vista, California, spent the day with other members of the California delegation, many of whom have been participating in CAD for a number of years. An aide in the office of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) was delighted to spot the group, who she remembered from a CAD visit in 2018.
“It was nice to meet with people who had some familiarity with our industry, and they seemed to understand the complexities of [the challenges we face],” Van der Schaaf said.
Jeanne Boes of the San Francisco Flower Mart, another first-timer in 2019, was surprised by how much time her group received in many of the offices. “[Congressional staff members] weren’t rushing us out,” she said. “They were taking notes, asking questions.”
Matt Altman of Altman Plants/Floragem, headquartered in Vista, California, said he was surprised, too, “by how accessible” Congress felt during his visits last year. “SAF did a good job demystifying the process and simplifying the issues,” added Altman, another first-timer in 2019.
While most of the meetings on the Hill involved congressional staff, a number of CAD participants in 2019 also met directly with their members of Congress, including Liza Roeser of Fifty Flowers in Boise, Idaho, who discussed industry issues with Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), following up a productive discussion they had in 2018.
“It was like coming home,” Roeser said after that 2019 meeting. “We walked into the office and were greeted so warmly.”
This year, each CAD registration includes an additional free registration for a second person from your company who has never attended CAD before. To take advantage of the offer, email SAF’s Laura Weaver at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mary Westbrook is the editor in chief of Floral Management.