November 26, 2017

CALIFLORA 2017 – “California Styling”

Teal and Orange Birthday Greeting Twitter Post

The California State Floral Association Annual Event – CaliFlora 2017 – California Styling ~ Blooming Success

The California State Floral Association’s (CSFA) annual event – “CaliFlora 2017” – “CALIFORNIA STYLING” was hosted by the International Floral Trade Center on November 4th and 5th in Carlsbad, CA.

Saturday was filled with hands-on education classes featuring instructors, Anthony Alvarez AIFD, CCF, EMC, (Fun with Armatures – Easy Ways to Create Structures Using Everyday Materials in the am and Kokedama – Moss Ball Planting – An Updated Design Take on an Ancient Japanese Art Form in the pm); Noel Tribbey, AIFD (The Ultimate Hand-Tied Wedding Bouquet), and Sandy Villa AIFD, CFD, CCF (How to Embellish Orchids for Profit). The California Certified Florist (CCF) exam was held throughout the day on Saturday.

CSFA President, Wilton Lee, officially opened the convention with a welcome on Saturday evening.

The twelfth annual CSFA student design competition was held on Saturday evening with Debbie Alvarez, AIFD, CCF, Camarillo ROP & Floral Phenomenon, as Commentator.  The student competition was Sponsored by the California Cut Flower Commission. The winner of the 2017 student design competition is Armando de Loer Mejia, City College of San Francisco.  This year’s 2nd place winner is Alyssa Snow, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; third place winner is Isabel Sarellano, Mission College.  This year’s People’s Choice award went to Paula Knapp, Mission College.  Along with the first, second and third place winners, the following designers were among the Top Ten student finalists: Connie Amezcua-Olivo, Mission College, Paula Knapp, Mission College, Munkyung Jung, City College of San Francisco, Jarene Bown, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Kendal Lieber, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Carmen Cerda, Mission College, and Kristen Cotter, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  Fifteen students representing Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, City College of San Francisco and Mission College competed in the timed competition. Congratulations to Armando and all the students who competed in this year’s student design competition!

Sunday morning kicked off with the 2017 Top Ten Design Competition Sponsored by CalFlowers.  David Root, Pacific Events Productions, is this year’s Top Ten and People’s Choice Winner.  Sambath Prom-Chiem CCF, Trinity Flowers By Sammy Chiem Events took second place. Two contestants tied for third place:  Lily Chan AIFD, EMC, representing Master Florists Association and Jon Martinez, Wholesale Flowers.  Along with the first, second and third place winners, the following designers were among the Top Ten finalists: Susan Smith, Orchard Nursery and Florist, Sidney Heffner EMC, Jasmine Creek Florist & Mission Hills Florist, Victor Castillo CFD representing United Wholesale Flowers, Kat Castagnoli AIFD, CCF, CFD, Kat’s Creations Floral Design, Gina Wright CCF, LilyPie Flowers and Tracey Duncan CCF, Create With T.  Frank Biddle, Francis Biddle International Inc. and CalFlowers board member, was on hand to present trophies to the winners on behalf of this year’s Top Ten Competition Sponsor CalFlowers.  The Top Ten Competition was sponsored by the CalFlowers. Kay Wolff AIFD, CCF, CFD, Kay Wolff Design, was the Top Ten Commentator.

David will be invited to represent CSFA in the Society of American Florists Sylvia Cup Competition in 2018. Congratulations to David and all those who competed in this year’s Top Ten design competition!

During the Sunday afternoon program, the California State Floral Association honored René van Rems for his Leadership, and Exemplary Contributions to the California State Floral Association and the entire floral Industry.  Congratulations to René!

A delicious lunch co-sponsored by Mellano & Co. and catered by Tip Top Meats was enjoyed by all!

The Silent Auction was Chaired by Steven Brown AIFD, CCF, CFD and was a huge success.  Items were up for auction and bidding wars were fierce!     

The California Certified Florist Pinning Ceremony (CCF) was held on Sunday afternoon.  CCF Committee Chair, Kay Wolff AIFD, CCF, CFD presided over the presentation and was assisted by CSFA President, Wilton Lee CCF and Stephanie Holstein CCF.  Congratulations to Bertha Aguilar CCF, Pamela Ball CCF, Edith Botello CCF, Debbie Deis CCF, Robin Grundemeyer CCF, Perrin Kelly CCF, Margarita Maxwell CCF, Sarah Reyes CCF and Gina Wright CCF!

The audience was treated to an amazing afternoon design show featuring René van Rems,  René van Rems International – “European Floral Décor for the Season”.

René showcased the latest in trans-seasonal wreaths, centerpiece designs and fast and easy upgraded hand-tied bouquets using fall and holiday materials.  René transformed design elements into the extraordinary while keeping the audience entertained and spellbound with his designs!

The Top Ten podium arrangement and trophy table designs were created by 2016 Top Ten Winner, Ben Lee, Edelweiss Flower Boutique.

Sincere thanks to the following convention sponsors:

CaliFlora Sponsors

Thank you to the many growers who donated their beautiful California flowers/foliage to CaliFlora 2017. And to every person who dedicated countless hours to volunteer their time and expertise to ensure the success of this program and the California State Floral Association. Our sincere appreciation to Convention Co-Chairs, David Marabella and René van Rems AIFD, PFCI, and to every Committee Member, Instructor, Judge, Designer, Commentator, Coordinator, Grower, Supplier, Wholesaler, Volunteer, and Friends and Family for your outpouring of generosity!

Top Ten Competitors

Top Ten Competitors

Renee Meritorious Service Award Winner René Van Rems AIFD, PFCI with CSFA President Wilton Lee CCF and CSFA EVP Ann Quinn

Renee Meritorious Service Award Winner René Van Rems AIFD, PFCI with CSFA President Wilton Lee CCF and CSFA EVP Ann Quinn





Student Competition Winners

Student Competition Winners

David Root, CSFA TopTen Competition Winner, CaliFloraPeople's Choice Award

David Root, CSFA TopTen Competition Winner, CaliFloraPeople’s Choice Award

CaliFlora Pinning Ceremony

CaliFlora Pinning Ceremony

Rene Van Rems Design Show

Rene van Rems Design Show