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A Winning Hand in Vegas

2019 AIFD National Symposium salutes award recipients, welcomes new members and showcases talented designers.

The American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) held its annual National Symposium, July 6-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event, titled “Awaken,” was truly memorable – highlighted by the achievements of several very special people, along with the addition of new members, and the creativity of imaginative floral artisans.

AIFD honored three dedicated industry professionals during the Symposium’s Awards & Induction Ceremony. Sharon McGukin, AIFD, CFD, AAF, PFCI, was recognized with the Award of Distinguished Service to AIFD. According to AIFD, the award is in “grateful recognition of extraordinary service to the Institute, upholding its goals and supporting its activities.”

Matt Wood, AIFD, CFD, was recognized posthumously with the Award of Design Influence, which AIFD announced “is presented to AIFD members who are floral design visionaries whose creative body of work has national influence and constitutes a legacy of innovation.”

Gretchen Sell of Design Master Color Tool, Inc. was recognized with the Award of Merit – Industry, an award that AIFD states “is presented to professionals in the floral industry who are not a member of AIFD, but who are serving a crucial role in advancing the industry.”

Also during the Symposium, 60 professionals were inducted as AIFD Accredited Members. And, Jackie Lacey, AAF, AIFD, CFD, PFCI, was installed as National President of AIFD. Congratulations to all!

Another high point of the event in Las Vegas was the unveiling of 2019 PFDE (Professional Floral Design Evaluation) results. AIFD announced that “of the 146 professionals that were evaluated as part of AIFD’s PFDE program, 84 designers earned their CFD credentials in Las Vegas and 29 designers maintained their CFD credentials.” What’s more, 61 professionals “created artistic designs that were so excellent in presentation that they have been invited to become a member of AIFD and they will be inducted during ceremonies at the 2020 AIFD National Symposium ‘Vision’ taking place in Chicago, Illinois, July 2-7.”

Other highlights of the 2019 AIFD National Symposium included an exciting fashion show as well as a wide array of captivating stage programs and informative presentations by floral designers and business experts. Plus, the future of our industry shined bright during the 2019 AIFD Student Design Competition as incredibly talented young people showcased their amazing vision and creativity.