North East Newsletter AIFD
In This Issue
Greetings from our New President
"Imagine" Blooms over San Francisco
California Dreaming Floral Style
NERC Annual Meeting held during Symposium
Five New Members are welcomed into the NERC
New Inductee Shines at WAFA
Azheny Zdeb CDF AIFD
Student Chapters Active at Symposium
28th World Flower Council Summit
Quintessentially British....with a twist...
E-Commerce and Social Networking Tips
Rutgers University Study: Flowers and Seniors
AIFD Announces New CEU Requirements for AIFD Members
Program begins in 2012
Calendar of Events
Northeast Regional Chapter
Board Contact Information
Northeast Newsletter Information

July 31, 2011

Greetings from our New President

Welcome to the Northeast Regional Chapter of AIFD,

I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Suzanne Sampson. I have accepted the honor and responsibility of the office of the President of the Northeast Region and was sworn in as your new Northeast Regional Chapter President in July at our National Symposium in San Francisco, “Imagine”.

The National Symposium was held in San Francisco this year. We as a region were very fortunate to have had five (5) new inductees to our region. Tina Parks Exeter Devon , England, Heather Sullivan Westfield, Massachusetts, Azheny Zdeb Boston, Massachusetts, Inta Taurins Toronto, Canada, and Rebecca Carter Sanbornville, New Hampshire.  Congratulations and our very best to the new inductees.

We have a very exciting year ahead of us and we are planning a fall program. The location and dates will be on our NERC link and Facebook pages soon. The program for the fall in under the direction of Lisa Greene, AIFD, our new President–Elect.
Once we all get through the fall and winter holidays, our main focus will be the Philadelphia Flower Show. This years Chair Person is Theresa Colucci AIFD and Co-Chair Polly Berginc,AIFD. It’s going to be a great show. This year's theme is “Hawaii”and If you haven’t see The Philadelphia Flower Show you really need to plan on going. It is simply amazing! It is the largest flower show in the country. We are in the planning stages of the programs for the spring. If anyone would like to be involved in helping with any of the programs and projects that the Northeast is involved in please call or e-mail anyone on the board as we always welcome the helping hands.
ANY information of events, stories, programs, or shows in your areas would be greatly appreciated and can be sent to Polly Berginc so she can put in our Newsletter. She does a terrific job with the newsletter and is always looking for more articles to put in. It’s a great way to stay connected in our region.
Keep checking in on our newsletter for the upcoming dates of our programs and the Philly Flower Show.
All in all it’s going to be a very active and exciting year. Please join myself and the Northeast Board in all the creative, imaginative and wonderful happenings this year.

Suzanne Sampson AIFD, NHMFD

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"Imagine" Blooms over San Francisco
California Dreaming Floral Style


Over 900 Floral Professionals From Around the Globe Attended
AIFD’s 2011 National Symposium in San Francisco


BALTIMORE (August 2011) – Over 900 floral design artists from around the world gathered together in San Francisco, Calif. July 4-9 to celebrate ‘Imagine,’ the 2011 National Symposium of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD).


The AIFD Symposium was an action-packed educational extravaganza that featured 10 design education stage presentations, four special event meals with abundant floral decor and a multitude of other spectacular events.


“The Symposium was an incredible success this year,” exclaimed AIFD’s new President Tom Bowling AIFD, PFCI of Fairfield, Ohio. “From the educational programs to the receptions to the opportunities to network with one another, ‘Imagine’ gave each person an opportunity to open his/her eyes to new ideas and possibilities within the floral design industry.”


Coordinated under the direction of David and Leanne Kesler AIFD of Portland, Ore., AIFD’s 2011 Symposium was a balanced collaboration between design artists that provided attendees the ability to truly “Imagine” taking their floral design talent to a new level.


AIFD’s San Francisco event kicked-off with the Institute’s annual Professional Floral Design Evaluation (PFDE) on Sunday, July 3 in which floral designers attempt to demonstrate their design capabilities in an effort to achieve the coveted status as a Certified Floral Designer (CFD) and/or an invitation to become a member of AIFD. The candidates were each required to make five designs in four hours. Their work was then evaluated by a panel of AIFD members who consider such critical criteria as creativity, mechanics, elements of design, use of floral product and more. Results of the evaluations will be announced in mid-August.


After the PFDE, AIFD members conducted numerous Institute business sessions including those of their board, committees, regional chapters and the annual membership meeting. New officers for the Institute were elected and installed. Elected as officers were President Tom Bowling AIFD, PFCI of Fairfield, Ohio; President-Elect Ann Jordan AIFD, AAF of Windham, Maine; Vice President John Kittinger AIFD of Lexington, Ky.; Secretary Tim Farrell AIFD, AAF, PFCI of Drexel Hill, Pa.; and Treasurer Richard Salvaggio AIFD, AAF of Los Angeles, Calif. Joyce Mason-Monheim AIFD of Tucson, Ariz. was appointed to serve as the membership chairperson and Sylvia Bird AIFD, AAF, PFCI of Fort Myers, Fla. will be AIFD's 2012 symposium coordinator.


Then it was on to the future of AIFD and the floral industry as student designers from 15 universities and colleges in the U.S. and Canada competed in the annual AIFD Student Design Competition on Monday, July 4. Their creative works became the focus of the Symposium’s opening welcome reception as they were placed on display for all Symposium attendees to see and vote for their favorite designs. For a complete listing of 2011 Student Competition winners please visit


Exciting as the initial events were, they were only the preliminaries to the spectacular final four days that included the fabulous stage presentations and meal events of Symposium.


For those who missed the AIFD National Symposium, DVDs of the various programs are available to order at Photos from the event can be found on AIFD’s Facebook page at


AIFD has already started planning the 2012 Symposium “Caliente” which will take place in Miami, Fla. July 12-16.


Below are just a few pictures from Symposium....... Be sure to look on our Northeast Region AIFD Facebook  page and the AIFD Facebook page mentioned above for many more spectacular photos from Symposium.









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NERC Annual Meeting held during Symposium
Five New Members are welcomed into the NERC

The Northeast Regional Chapter annual membership meeting was held on July 5th in San Francisco during  Symposium.  Suzanne Sampson was sworn in as our new NERC President. We look forward to Suzanne's leadership and dedication during the next year.  Lisa Greene holds the office of President-Elect, Ken Beebe our Vice President, Polly Berginc as Secretary, and Janet Black as NERC Treasurer. 

Also sworn in were 4 new members on the Board of Directors: Deryck de Matis, Michael Derouin, Patricia Patrick, and Robin Weir.  Welcome to the NERC board.

Three of our new members, Azheny Zdeb, Rebecca Carter and Inta Taurins were welcomed into the NERC.  Tina Parkes (from the UK) and Heather Sulllivan are the other two new members in our region.  

Students from the SUNY Cobleskill SAIFD Chapter were welcomed at the meeting. Left to Right: Mary Robinson, our NERC Scholarship Liaison and Advisor, Students Celia Colucci, Ashlie DeArmitt, and Sara Scheeren, our Scholarship winner, and Theresa Colucci, SAIFD Student Chapter Advisor.

Rebecca Carter, new inductee, with NERC President Suzanne Sampson on Induction Night. 



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New Inductee Shines at WAFA
Azheny Zdeb CDF AIFD

Azheny was inducted into AIFD at the San Francisco Symposium 2011 and her creativity and talent are getting attention. Azheny recently received an 'Honorable Mention' at the WAFA Show (World Association of Flower Arrangers) held in Boston in June.   Her colorful 'Reef' design is shown below, and was featured in the May issue of Floral Design Magazine.  

Azheny was also featured in the July issue of Floral Design magazine regarding her orchid design, which is shown below.  I asked Azheny to tell us her inspiration for this piece, and here is her response:

My inspiration: I knew I had create a design with orchids for that issue and I wanted to come with something new, not something I've done or seen before...  thinking, thinking, thinking...  nothing interesting was coming to my mind... One day, I had to move my cabinet which had a vase of flowers on it, and it kind of shook in the process. And a thought raised through my mind with a picture of this vase falling.  I though, what if I could capture the moment, as a photograph, of flowers falling. So picked phalenenopsis orchids to create a line and cellophane with clear marbles to represent the falling water.  And somehow it all fell in place :)

Congratulations Azheny, welcome to AIFD!


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Student Chapters Active at Symposium

The Northeast Region is pround to help sponsor two active student chapters.  Seneca College, Trillium Chapter in Ontario, Canada,is advised by Instructors Marianne Suess AIFD and Patricia Patrick AIFD.  SUNY Cobleskill Chapter in New York, is led by Instructors/Advisors Theresa Colucci AIFD and Mary Robinson AIFD.

Our students did a wonderful job representing their chapters in the annual AIFD student design competition held on July 4th.  Their creative works became the focus of the Symposium’s opening welcome reception as they were placed on display for all Symposium attendees to see and vote for their favorite designs. They were everywhere at symposium, helping in the design rooms to the 'Haute Couture' luncheon, coordinated by the AIFD Foundation. Our students are the future of AIFD and the floral industry, as we mentor and support their creativity and talent. The NERC thanks all the students for all their hard work, dedication and efforts during Symposium.  

Seneca College Chapter students Jessalynn Morgan and Katie Poole enjoying the student competition.

The design display tables for the SUNY Cobleskill students at the competition.

Designs by Sara Scheeren, NERC Memorial Scholarship Winner from SUNY Cobleskill Chapter.

Celia Colucci, SUNY Cobleskill, modeling a unique design at the "Haute Couture on Union Square' luncheon.

Ashlie DeArmitt from SUNY Cobleskill, showing a purse of roses at the luncheon.


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28th World Flower Council Summit
Quintessentially British....with a twist...

Here is an update on the World Flower Council Summit being held in London, UK in September

Six NERC Members will Present Program in London

The Team is putting together a fabulous programme for delegates attending the seminar in London at the Sheraton Skyline Hotel Heathrow.
Fours of days of floral fun beginning with the welcome reception on Thursday evening around the tropical pool at the Skyline Sheraton, meet old and new friends who all have a passion for everything botanical.

Friday is an early start to the day with a visit to New Covent Garden Market in the centre of London this is the leading flower market for the UK...while walking around the market take in beautiful and diverse range of floral product for sale...take time to sit and watch some of the live demonstrations by some of England’s well known floral designers. 
Then after all the buzz and excitement of the market we are off on a tour of London with a stop off at one of our more famous landmarks Buckingham Palace. The visit will comprise of the 19 State Rooms and the public rooms where investitures take place.  An added bonus will be viewing The Royal Collection which this year is featuring Faberge collection, this is the world’s greatest collection of the Russian goldsmith and jewellers.

Saturday we start the day off with My Country Designs, showcasing delegate’s creations.

In the afternoon there will be an optional workshop featuring Wendy Andrade NDSF AIFD CFD FBFA.
”Wearable Art”... Wendy is at the forefront of this exciting modern concept - handmade intricate designs interlaced with fresh flowers and foliage.   The workshop will be incorporating stunning jewellery pieces for you to create and wear if you wish at the Gala Night and to take away with you fantastic design ideas. 

To round off the day, Saturday night we will be on the Thames on a dinner cruise enjoying the sights of London all lit up.  We will be aboard the Elizabethan.  This perfect replica of a 1890s Mississippi Stern-wheeled Paddle Steamer beautifully reflects the style and craftsmanship of that bygone era. Concealed, however, behind her Victorian exterior are truly elegant surroundings and facilities that would not be out of place in a five star restaurant or night club.

With a sliding roof, two spacious decks, a unique upper-deck promenade walkway and an experienced professional crew she is in a class of her own.  The Elizabethan is one of the largest vessels on the Thames for private charter, with an enviable reputation for excellent cuisine and service. She makes the perfect venue for any type of event.

Sunday begins with an eye opening demonstration by two of England’s best designers both Chelsea Gold Medal winners ...Sarah Horne AIFD CFD and David Ragg. These two highly creative, innovative designers will keep you glued to your seats with their designs and as great entertainers with amazing stage presence will keep you wanting more.
David’s’ philosophy; “is uncomplicated!  Working with flowers should be fun, inventive and exciting; the finished product must stimulate and generate reactions.
Contemporary floral design is not about forcing issues but letting the material beauty of flowers speak for themselves and declare their own personalities.”
Sunday afternoon there will be an optional workshop with Sarah and David featuring innovative wired work.
 One of Sarah’s greatest pleasures is creating intricate bridal designs. This stems from a time when she supplied clients such as Liberty of London and Jenners of Edinburgh with handmade bridal headdresses formed using the silks from bridal gowns. She now uses her intricate techniques to weave fresh flowers and plant material together with delicate crystals, textiles and beautiful decorative wirework.  Sarah is renowned for her wire work and exploring new techniques and mechanics to keep her creative designs current and setting trends for others to follow.  

There will also be an optional tour of Windsor Castle.
Sunday night is the Gala dinner...”Midsummer Night’s Dream” formal attire is required.
There will be a competition for the best wearable design made by you to suit the gala nights theme.

For more information on the featured designers....
Sarah Horne    and
David Ragg
Wendy Andrade  

For up to date information please go to face book site and like

Submitted by Jo Jarvis AIFD CFD


Floral Jewellery....’Wearable Art’ optional hands-on workshop
Saturday 24th September   £30.00 inclusive of materials
3pm – 5 pm
Featuring Wendy Andrade NDSF AIFD CFD FBFA
If you are keen to develop your technical skills and seek your inner talent in a new and exciting way, then sign up for this exclusive floral workshop.
Wendy is renowned in the industry for her imagination, creativity and patience for detail when it comes to intricate designs and structural work, and her designs are featured in international magazines worldwide.

This jewellery makes a delightful alternative to more conventional designs. Her intricate and unique work has been featured in bridal catwalk shows in the UK and the USA.
This workshop offers a unique opportunity for those attending to immerse themselves into the world of texture, wires, intricate and inspirational ‘Wearable Art’ with a truly gifted designer.
Space on the workshop is limited so reserve your space now.

You will need to bring your knives, wire cutters, pliers, scissors and if you wish, decorative pearls and beads to make your design unique to you.
To see more of Wendy’s beautiful work go to


2 Scholarships being awarded to UK Florists to  attend Summit in London

Continuing Professional Development
A term that is regularly used in the industry is Continuing Professional Development (CPD). It refers to study taken by an individual to upgrade their skills and knowledge within their chosen profession.

The World Flower Council is all about promoting floral education/CPD through yearly summits held around the world. In conjunction with CPD the Floristry Training Fund is providing 2 Scholarships for UK florists to attend the summit in London.
For further information and an application form please apply with a stamped addressed envelope or contact by email to:
Sue Stones, Hope Farm, Nether bury, Bradford, Dorset, DT6 5LZ


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E-Commerce and Social Networking Tips

4 Easy E-Commerce Enhancements

By Katie Hendrick

In-store visits grant you an easy opportunity to flaunt your customer service while your flowers work their magic on your customers’ senses. While this is a little harder in cyberspace, you can still wow them and win sales, says retail expert Nicole Reyhle, with a few enhancements to the e-commerce section of your website.

Reyhle offers a few tips on her blog, Retail Minded,  to make customers’ experience of shopping on the screen more like shopping in your store:

Give comprehensive product information. Rather than merely posting a photo with an arrangement name and a price, list the flowers. This way, shoppers can search for their loved one’s favorite blossoms (as well as those that may make allergies flair up). Customers appreciate having a clear understanding of what an arrangement includes before they buy.
Give the sense of touch and smell from afar. Does an arrangement include stock, lavender, lilies or garden roses? For some customers, fragrance is a major selling point — don’t miss out on reaching the noses of these online shoppers. Similarly, sell the awesome juxtaposition in texture between, say, Queen Anne’s Lace and ranunculus.
Cross sell products whenever possible. Take a cue from clothing retailers who jazz up their apparel by accessorizing their models with their shoes, jewelry, sunglasses, handbags, etc. Does your shop sell embroidered handkerchiefs? Picture frames? Candles? Surreptitiously steer your customers to purchase one of these add-ons by including them in photos with the arrangement, so customers see how well they complement the flowers.
Provide multiple communication offers. Let the customer know they can get a hold of you if they want. Share your email, phone number, a username for online chat (if you have one) and a Q&A list for frequently asked questions. 
July 30, 2011 SAF Sales Wake-Up 
Society of American Florists, 1601 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, 800-336-4743, 703-836-8700,

Brides: Search and You Shall Find . . . Who?

What happens when you do a search for "Wedding Flowers in (Your City Name)"? If your shop isn't on the first page of listings, you are missing out on some prospective clients. According to The Wedding Report, 64% of couples say they use Internet search engines to look for wedding vendors. When asked about social networking, 37% said they use social networks to locate products and services for their wedding. Of the 37%, 85% said they use Facebook, 13% use Twitter and 10% use LinkedIn, with all other social sites being less than 10%.

Source: The Wedding Report, December 2010. 

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Rutgers University Study: Flowers and Seniors

Rutgers: Flowers Boost Seniors' Well Being

 Everyday, America's aging population - 40 million and rising - faces the challenges of growing older, including depression, memory loss and social withdrawal. As a concerned nation, we are continually exploring new means to ease daily-life anxieties. Recently, researchers at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, released the results of a six-month behavioral study on the health effects of flowers on senior citizens. The study demonstrates that flowers ease depression, inspire social networking and refresh memory as we age.

"The results are significant because as our nation grows older and life becomes more stressful, we look for easy and natural ways to enhance our lives - and the lives of our aging parents," said Dr. Jeannette Haviland-Jones, professor of psychology and director of the Human Development Lab at Rutgers. "Now, one simple answer is right under our noses."

This research follows a study conducted in 2000, which links flowers to greater happiness and life satisfaction in women. In 2001, Rutgers set out to explore the effects flowers would have on senior citizens, who experience different living situations and greater life changes.
Prevention in a Bud, Not a Bottle
More than 100 seniors participated in the Rutgers research study, in which some received flowers and others did not. The results shed new light on how nature's support systems help seniors cope with the challenges of aging. The results are as follows:
 1.Flowers Decrease Depression. Study participants showed a significant increase in happiness and positive moods when flowers were present.
 2.Flowers Refresh Recent Memory. Seniors performed higher on everyday memory tasks and experienced enriched personal memories in the presence of flowers.
 3.Flowers Encourage Companionship. Seniors who received flowers re-engaged with members of their communities and enlarged their social contacts to include more neighbors, religious support and even medical personnel.

"Instinct tells us that flowers lift our spirits, but, their effects on seniors are especially profound, if not surprising," said Haviland-Jones.
New Evidence Sprouts Up
Specifically, 81 percent of seniors who participated in the study reported a reduction in depression following the receipt of flowers. Forty percent of seniors reported broadening their social contacts beyond their normal social circle of family and close friends. And, 72 percent of the seniors who received flowers scored very high on memory tests in comparison with seniors who did not receive flowers.

"Happier people live longer, healthier lives and are more open to change," said Haviland-Jones. "Our research shows that a small dose of nature, like flowers, can do a world of wonder for our well-being as we age."

Article from
More Articles...
• The Flowers & Seniors Study Research Methodology
• About Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D.




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AIFD Announces New CEU Requirements for AIFD Members
Program begins in 2012

Dear Members,

As AIFD members, we are proudly recognized as leaders within the floral industry.  Recently a subtle, but important, change was incorporated in to our Continuing Education process.  This subtle change will better allow AIFD members the opportunity to be recognized for their contributions to the floral industry, local business or community affairs, and church or school activities.

In the past, each AIFD member was required to earn 25 CEUs (remember - 20 points can come from attending National Symposium) every three years. Under the new guidelines, beginning in 2012 AIFD members will now include within their report at least five units of the twenty five submitted being ‘Service/Leadership’. It is the goal of AIFD to demonstrate that its members are not only talented design artists but also individuals who are truly dedicated to the mission of AIFD which is to advance the art of professional flower design through service and leadership. This small change helps us to further our efforts in achieving this goal.

Service/Leadership CEUs are easy to earn. They can be gained by being an officer/committee chair/committee member of AIFD or any other floral industry organization or, for that matter, in any business or community organization such as your Chamber of Commerce, charitable organization, local business or community organizations, church or school activities. They can also be earned by being the presenter of floral design education. Again, this Service/Leadership requirement will go into effect beginning with those who submit their CEUs in 2012.

Remember, AIFD members only need to report CEUs every three years for the first 21 years of their membership. There is no fee associated with submitting your report. For a list of CE opportunities please visit

As always, thank you for your membership in AIFD and for your commitment to advancing the art of professional floral design. Together, we continue to grow AIFD - our industry’s leading floral design organization, and in so doing are bringing greater recognition to you, our valued member.

Thanks for your investment of time and talent.



Sharon McGukin AIFD, AAF, PFCI
2010 – 2011 AIFD President


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Calendar of Events

Sept. 10, 2011
Connection:  The Photography Experience
Location: TBD
Boston, MA

Sept. 14-17, 2011
SAF 127th Annual Convention-Palm Springs, CA
Westin Mission Hills, Rancho Mirage, CA

Sept. 22-26, 2011
Quintessentially British...with a twist...
Design Program featuring NERC Members
Sheraton Skyline Hotel
London, UK

October 21, 2011
Jouni Seppanen All Day Workshop (For Experienced Designers)
"Trends & Techniques in Nordic Floral Design" 
Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA
Register online at:, or
Contact Flossie Narducci at 215-988-8897

March 4-11, 2012
Philadelphia Flower Show 2012
Hawaii; Islands of Aloha
Philadelphia Convention Center

July 10, 2012
Professional Floral Design Evaluation Session (PFDE)
Miami, FL

July 12-16, 2012
Symposium 2012 - 'Caliente'
Hyatt Regency, Miami, FL

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Northeast Regional Chapter
Board Contact Information

Includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York,
Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and the Canadian Providences of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick,
Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island and the United Kingdom.

Regional Officers:

President - Suzanne Sampson 781-910-5803
President-Elect - Lisa Greene 978-352-8172
Vice President - Ken Beebe 631-665-8877
Secretary - Polly Berginc 724-679-2872
Treasurer - Janet Black 207-514-3500
Past President - Colleen Kelly 570-785-5322

Board of Directors:
Theresa Colucci (12) 845-255-3866 
Deryck de Matis (14) 518-207-6879
Jim Dempsey (13) 732-552-7287
Michael Derouin (14) 203-661-5600
Maryetta Barlett-Downing (12) 973-471-6480
Sue Miller (13) 570-337-4848
Steve Parker (12) 856-722-7034
Patricia Patrick (14) 519-856-9237
Robin Weir (14) 860-543-2104


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Northeast Newsletter Information

Please contact Polly Berginc  with any news stories or information you wish to submit by email to:

Please also visit the national website at for additional news and information.  

If you have a change of address, or a new email address, please also forward me the information for our contact list. 

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AIFD North East Region,
720 Light Street
Baltimore, MD 21230
TEL: (410) 752-3318
FAX: (410) 752-8295