Testimonials

Watch SAF members talk about their Congressional Action Days experiences:

Congressional Action Days 2019

Attending CAD is a must — not only to see and understand the workings of Capitol Hill but to see and understand the advocacy efforts of SAF on behalf of the industry!

Traci Dooley, AAF

Hortica, Edwardsville, Illinois

Not only is this a great opportunity to network with our peers and discuss challenges and issues that often face all of us, I cannot overstate how important it is to meet with our representatives and tell our individual stories. We can’t affect change if we don’t use our voice. The bonus is it truly is a wonderful experience!

Patrick Busch

Len Busch Roses, Plymouth, Minnesota

I gained the confidence to know I could speak to and deal with legislators and have some effect on government issues that affect me.

Kenneth Denton

Tillie's Flower Shop, Wichita, Kansas

I love coming to CAD and have been coming for the last four consecutive years. I enjoy networking with my fellow industry members in a smaller intimate setting. I love going on the hill to talk to members of Congress about issues happening in our industry. Last year was a success for us as we got funding & the report. Your voice really gets heard & helps make a difference. Do your part!

Nicole Palazzo

City Line Florist, Inc., Trumbull, Connecticut

Attending CAD has become an annual tradition for me and more so my way of giving back to those who have pioneered this incredible industry! So many before us stepped forward and lobbied on behalf of the floral industry. Their voices not only represented their generation, but so many more in the future. NOW it’s our turn! My hope is that attendance next year represents all the states!

Cheryl Denham

Arizona Family Florist, Phoenix, Arizona

This was my first time to Washington D.C. To see all the amazing historical sites was fantastic. I was in the Cannon Building and had some time to walk every hallway on every floor before I went to my congressman’s office. This was a great experience doing that while thinking about all the great history that had happened in these hallowed hallways and offices.

Rodger Callister

Ensign Wholesale Floral, Salt Lake City, Utah

CAD gave me the opportunity to network with peers in the industry, as well as learn about aspects of our government and the floral industry that I didn’t know about before, and most importantly, to have a say in issues that affect our industry.

Cameron Pappas

Norton's Florist, Birmingham, Alabama

It is important to remind our legislators of our role in the economy, society and in their districts.

Marvin Miller, AAF, Ph.D.

Ball Horticultural Company, West Chicago, Illinois

To have communication and information exchange with other floral professionals is extremely important. A fast shifting market forces us to change our way of working. To have these discussions with other leaders in the industry is incredibly valuable.

Robin van der Schaaf

Flamingo Holland Inc., Vista, California

Congressional Action Days brings awareness to both the industry and Congress. It helps industry members see the issues in a new light and understand the struggles some of our peers face. Additionally, it helps Congress see a united front of florists arguing for changes that have a substantial economic impact on our economy.

Jodi McShan, AAF

McShan Florist, Dallas, Texas

I am reminded of several important aspects of Congressional visits: 1) the staffers are smart and extremely well informed; 2) they really want to hear constituent input; and 3) it makes a big difference!

Michael LoBue

CalFlowers - California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers, San Francisco, California

It is clear to me that face-to-face conversations with our representatives (or staff) and sharing the effects the legislation they write and vote on have on our life and businesses impacts their point of view. Even when we know the legislator is on the other side of the issue, we have seen a slight shift in position when real stories are told and real effects are shared. In that regard, more SAF members are needed to walk the Halls of Congress and visit more representatives. Consider making this trip and be active in the laws that affect your business.

Ted Todd

The Blossom Shop Florist, Charlotte, North Carolina

Congressional Action Days 2018

Hank Bukowski, Scotts Miracle-Gro, Marysville, Ohio

Irving Casiano Flores, Flower Shop Network, Inc., Paragould, Arkansas

Robert Kitayama, Greenleaf Brighton, Watsonville, California

Joost J. Bongaerts, Florabundance, Inc., Carpinteria, California
Jamie Kitz, Sakata, Inc., Morgan Hill, California

If the industry you’re in is important to you, it should be worth explaining it to those who make the laws that help or hinder your industry. Leave this important task to others, and your concerns will not be part of the education of our legislators.

Michael LoBue

CalFlowers San Francisco, California

By attending CAD, you will see and hear vital information regarding the floral industry and so much more first hand. To receive first-hand information is priceless — you cannot continue to assume that changes are going to be made without getting involved. Our voices must be heard, and I feel that they are now listening! JOIN US and let’s keep our industry alive.

Cheryl Denham

Arizona Family Florist, Phoenix, Arizona

Advocating for our employees and businesses and sharing our stories in person is an important way to for us to connect with our legislators. SAF CAD helps makes that possible.

Karen Fountain

Flowers ‘n’ Ferns. Burke, Virginia

CAD provides attendees with the opportunity to not only influence decision makers in government, but also the ability to network with a broad network of industry peers.

Nick Fronduto

Jacobson Floral Supply, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts

This year we took our son, daughter, and son-in-law. We think experiencing the process is most valuable for any citizen. Learning how issues affect our industry and meeting with our Representatives to educate their staff gives a unique perspective on how to watch the news and interpret what you hear and then form your own opinions about how legislation happens or doesn’t happen. Being involved and engaged can change an individual’s point of view. We actually heard that said in one Representative’s office this year: changing his mind on immigration after hearing the effects on our industry.

Ted Todd

The Blossom Shop Florist, Charlotte, North Carolina

The networking opportunities alone make Congressional Action Days’ worth it. I have made many great connections with the top people in this industry through CAD.

Jayson Waits

Bloomtastic Florist, Columbus, Ohio

Everyone that is involved in the floriculture industry should go to CAD at least once every 5 years. You can help be part of the change or you are just going to watch the change happen to you. Make your voice heard. I will be back again.

Art Van Wingerden

Metrolina Greenhouses, Huntersville, North Carolina

CAD offers a fantastic experience to everyone working in the floriculture industry. I will continue to encourage business owners and industry leaders to attend this event in the future and I am looking forward to next year. Lobbying to our congressmen about the issues puts a face with the entire floral industry while favorably promoting flowers. Our energy and efforts, I believe, will positively affect many aspects this year. Our voices were heard. It is a great event, and makes me proud to be a member of such a fantastic organization.

Corrine Heck

Details Flowers Software, South Daytona, Florida

The support and comradery of those that have attended before put me right at ease. The connections that I made to others in the industry were amazing. I will return again!

Jackie Lacey, AAF, AIFD, CFD, PFCI

BloomNet, Jacksonville, Florida

Not only is this a great opportunity to network with our peers and discuss challenges and issues that often face all of us, I cannot overstate how important it is to meet with our representatives and tell our individual stories. We can’t affect change if we don’t use our voice. The bonus is it truly is a wonderful experience!

Scott Isensee

Frank Adams Wholesale Florist, Portland, Oregon

Congressional Action Days 2017

Denise Patterson and Larry White, Smithers-Oasis-North American Operations, Kent, Ohio

Nicole and Sue Palazzo, City Line Florist, Trumbull, Connecticut

Post Appointment Interviews featuring

  • Dwight Larimer, AAF, PFCI, DESIGN MASTER color tool, inc., Boulder, Colorado
  • Gino Marotta and Mark Nance, BloomNet, Carle Place, New York
  • Jason Waits,Bloomtastic, Columbus, Ohio
  • Liza and Alex Atwood, Fifty Flowers, Boise, Idaho
  • Alan Tanouye, Floralife, Inc., Walterboro, South Carolina

I thought I couldn’t make a difference… now I know I can.

Jeremy Lohman

Scotts House of Flowers, Lawton, Oklahoma

It was so exciting to learn about the issues and then make our “ask” directly to the people on Capitol Hill.

Lisa Ambrosio

Wenke Greenhouses, Kalamazoo, Michigan

Nothing is more American than going to the seat of government and being a voice for my business and our industry.

Jayson Waits

Bloomtastic Florist, Columbus, Ohio

Congressional Action Days 2016

Michael Pugh, AAF, Pugh’s Flowers, Memphis, Tennessee


Shirley Lyons, AAF, PFCI, Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, LLC, Eugene, Oregon

Christopher D. Drummond, AAF, Plaza Flowers, Norristown, Pennsylvania


Anne M. Stewart,  Smithers-Oasis Company, Kent, Ohio


Gary Tharnish NAFD, PFCI, Burton & Tyrrell’s Flowers, Inc., Lincoln, Nebraska


Jeanne Ha, AIFD, CFD, Park Florist, Takoma Park, Maryland


Cheryl Denham, Arizona Family Florist, Phoenix

Most legislators hear from lobbyists all the time, and they get little input from entrepreneurs. They seem eager to hear our point of view, and it makes a difference when they vote.

Christopher Drummond, AAF

Plaza Flowers, Norristown, Pennsylvania

CAD was a great experience! I highly recommend it!

Kristen Gainan-Sparboe

Gainan's Floral & Greenhouses, Billings, Montana

It’s a phenomenal event for our industry — a great way to connect with peers, experience Capitol Hill and discuss important legislation that influences our industry.

Camille Dolloff

Artistic Blossoms Floral Design Studio, Boston, Massachusetts

If you want governmental change when it comes to your business, you have to help make it.

Jessica Cosentino, AAF

Cosentino's Florist, Auburn, New York

If we don’t speak up, then legislators have every right to pass laws ‘in the dark’ without considering their impact on our industry.

Marvin Miller, AAF

Ball Horticultural Company, West Chicago, Illinois

2019 © Society of American Florists

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