December 10, 2015

CSFA Annual Event a Huge Success

The California State Floral Association’s (CSFA) annual event – “Calif Flora 2015” – “FIELD TO VASE ~ CALIFORNIA GROWN” was held October 10th & 11th at California Expo Center in Sacramento, CA. Attendees were delighted with the new venue at the California Expo Center.

The day was filled with hands-on education classes featuring instructors, Anthony Alvarez AIFD, CCF, EMC, (Living Wreath Workshop in the am and Gifts from the Sea in the pm); Bob Bigham AIFD, CCF (European Hand-Tied Bouquets), Darlene Montgomery CCF (Boho-Chic Meets Floral Design); Steven Brown AIFD, CCF, CFD and Wilton Lee CCF, (New Products for Sympathy Design), René van Rems AIFD, CCF, PFCI, and Rachell Nyswonger AIFD, CCF, PFCI (California Wildflower Wedding Class); and Dean Hollis, Floralife (Care and Handling). The California Certified Florist (CCF) exam was held throughout the day on Saturday.


Student Winners – left to right – 2nd place winner – Elena Yanorskiy – 1st place winner – Sara Do – People’s Choice and 3rd place winner Michelle Murillo

CSFA President, Wilton Lee, and Convention Chair Marty Espe, officially opened the convention with a welcome on Saturday evening followed by a reception catered by Ovations.

The eleventh annual CSFA student design competition was held on Saturday evening with Anthony Alvarez AIFD, CCF, EMC, Floral Phenomenon, as Commentator. The student competition was sponsored by CalFlowers (California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers). The winner of the 2015 student design competition is Sara Do, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. This year’s 2nd place winner is Elena Yanorskiy, American River College; third place and People’s Choice winner is Michelle Murillo, Mission College. Thirteen students representing American River College, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Liberty Ranch High School, and Mission College competed in the timed competition. Congratulations to Sara and all the students who competed in this year’s student design competition!


Top Ten Designs

Sunday morning kicked off with the 2015 Top Ten Design Competition. VanAnh Bui, Mission College, is this year’s Top Ten Winner. Karyn Wloczewski, Blooming Grace, won the People’s Choice Award. Susan Smith, Orchard Nursery & Florist, took second place. The third place winner is Lily Chan AIFD, representing Master Florists Association. Along with the first, second and third place winners, the following designers were among the Top Ten finalists: Sambath Prom-Chiem, Trinity Flowers and the 22nd District Agricultural Association, Karyn Wloczewski, Blooming Grace, Luba Vasilkova, Vivian Kim, Empty Vase, Ahou Gowans, Mission College, Michelle Tran, Mission College, and Samantha Green CCF, Green’s Floral Design. The Top Ten Competition was sponsored by the California Cut Flower Commission. Anthony Alvarez AIFD, CCF, EMC, Floral Phenomenon, was the Top Ten Commentator.


Top Ten Contestants

VanAnh will be invited to represent CSFA in the Society of American Florists Sylvia Cup Competition in 2016. Congratulations to VanAnh and all those who competed in this year’s Top Ten design competition!


Top Ten Winner VanAnh Bui Mission College

During the Sunday afternoon program, the California State Floral Association honored Allan Nishita, Millie Nishita, and Marty Espe, Flora Fresh Inc. for their Leadership, and Exemplary Contributions to the California State Floral Association and the entire floral Industry. In presenting the award to Allan, Millie and Marty, President Lee acknowledged their dedicated service to the California State Floral Association. Congratulations to Allan, Millie and Marty!


left to right: President Wilton Lee – Millie Nishita – Allan Nishita – Marty Espe

Additionally, President Lee thanked Convention Chair, Marty Espe, and all the employees at Flora Fresh for their Herculean efforts in securing Cal Expo for this year’s convention. A delicious lunch co-sponsored by CalFlowers and catered by Ovations 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. Congratulations to Liane Benedict CCF, Catalina Go Chua CCF, and Samantha Green CCF!


FTD Education Consultant – Randy Wooten AIFD, PFCI, GMF

The audience was treated to an amazing afternoon design show sponsored by FTD featuring the incredibly talented FTD Education Consultant, Randy Wooten AIFD, PFCI, GMF. Randy’s program, “Passion for Sympathy”, held the audience captive as he invited attendees to open the windows of their mind to embrace change and learn to better understand their sympathy market while igniting their passion for sympathy design. Attendees loved Randy’s phenomenal design techniques, as well as his warm and charismatic personality.

Vendor display booths were open all day Sunday featuring spectacular new products and services. The Top Ten podium arrangement and trophy table designs were created by 2015 Top Ten Winner, Karen Kroemer-Spiess.


Auctioneer Extraordinaire,Rene van Rems AIFD, CCF, PFCI Assisted by Greg Lum AIFD, CFD, EMC