Convention 2021 – CANCELED

Hi all –

It’s with sadness that we bring you the news of another canceled Convention. We were so looking forward to being with you all in person this year, but we’re looking forward to March of 2022 for a fresh new start when we can meet in person for a wonderful time together!

A special thank you to our Vendors and Sponsors for their continued support, to which we could not do with out. Thank you to our wonderful members for baring with us as we seek to do what’s best and safest for the industry during this unprecedented time.

For 2021, we are going to focus on all kinds of fun things like; Happy Hour on Zoom, Flower Classes, Photoshoots, Demos and so much more! We’re going to make 2021 a great year even though it will be different!

Meet Our Treasurer

Tonia Benson, owner of Blooms & Things, in Albia IA, is the current Treasurer for the Iowa Florists’ Association.  She is a native of Albia, graduating from ACHS in 2008 and Indian Hills Community College in 2011 with an Associates of Arts Degree.  She also earned her Wedding Planning Certification in 2015 and is currently working on becoming a Certified Florist.

Tonia has been in the floral industry since 2018.  She is a member of her local Retail Committee, Chamber Board and was voted Business of the Year in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, boating, puzzling, decorating, and learning more about flowers and marketing.  One of Tonia’s favorite things is popping into random retail and flower shops, chatting with and getting to know the owner/workers, and learning how they do things in the floral industry. Your shop could be next to receive a visit from Tonia =)

Meet the Vice President

Kelsey Thompson, AIFD, CFD is the current Vice President and acting Secretary for the Iowa Floral Association. The owner of Bloom in Algona Iowa, Kelsey has been in the floral industry for 12 years. She is also the Vice President of her local Chamber of Commerce and was recently awarded the Algona “Retailer of the Year”. She encourages everyone to get involved at some level – if you want to change or influence something, you haven’t earned a voice unless you are involved. Her passion is education, both on the receiving and giving end. If she could be a full-time floral student, she would! Kelsey is the Education Coordinator for IFA and loves the cooperative aspect of the classes; learning from the teachers as well as the attendees. She spends her free time chasing her two kids, traveling with her husband, golfing, reading, or in the gym. 

Meet the President

Joanna Kalina, AIFD, CFD, IMF

Joanna currently lives in the Cedar Rapids area. She went to college to be a teacher before stumbling into the floral design world and realizing her new dream! She absolutely loves designing, but personalized sympathy work is her jam. One of Joanna’s current projects is to create photo shoots in the colors of the rainbow including floral design with the colors meaning and sharing them with you. She completed the Iowa Master Florist certification in 2013 and 7 years later was inducted as an AIFD designer. Joanna’s hobbies include photography, hanging out with friends and family, piano, and plants!

Joanna has been on the Iowa Florists’ Association’s board for 5 years now and is the new and current President. She is thrilled to be in her new role and can’t wait to see what the next 2 years hold for her, the Board, and all our wonderful Members. Joanna wants to put a lot of effort into not only securing new Members but really giving our current members good solid reasons to want to be a part and participate in this wonderful organization even though it’s continuously changing and evolving.

Joanna also wants to focus on Education during her term. Education in the Floral Industry is really at a minimum, as many Wholesalers have ceased a lot of their classes and workshops, Cedar Rapids’ Kirkwood Community College’s Floriculture program is no more, and Florists are doing the best that they know, but could flourish even more with education and networking all over the state of Iowa. In case you’re wondering, Joanna is the voice/typing hands behind most of the blog posts, she keeps the website updated and current, and helps with the social media posting.

Offline to Online

Good news, Friends!

The Iowa Florists’ Association Board has made the decision to move the Membership booklet strictly to an online form with a PDF printable version for those who like the tangible paper copy. The online version will have some really cool options.

  1. PDF Printable version
  2. Vendors/Sponsors that have purchased ads will have the ads in there as usual. However, customers, potential customer/clients and browsing members can click on the ad, and the click will take each viewer to your google listing for easier and faster and complete viewing.
  3. Members‘ Shop listings will be very similar to the Vendor option. Registered Members will have their shop/personal name and basic info listed which when clicked on, will take the viewer directly to your google listing for a faster and easier viewing as well.
  4. Personal Members listings will have the option to link to a website if chosen.
  5. Clean, green and user friendly viewing!

Thanks for your continued support!

Passing the Torch!

Written by: Nancy Meckel, ICF, IMF

Hello Flower Friends,

I am pleased to announce your new 2020-2022 Board of Directors:

President – Joanna Kalina, AIFD,CFD

Vice President/Secretary – Kelsey Thompson, AIFD,CFD

Treasurer – Tonia Benson

Immediate Past President – Nancy Meckel, ICF, IMF

This is a dedicated group of young (and not so young..that would be me!!) florists who will do a wonderful job of implementing new innovative education opportunities and creatively bringing the Association forward!  Please wish them the best as they begin this journey in their new roles!

I have met so many special people during my years of involvement with the Iowa Florist’s Association. We have had some wonderful headlining designers at our conventions and I enjoyed working with and learning from them! So thank you Adam Havrilla, AIFD, Derek Woodruff, AIFD and Tina Davis AIFD. It was my pleasure to watch you do your magic! All three of you are amazing, nice and so much fun to be around!!  I also want to thank Randy Wooten, AIFD for the wonderful opportunity to design alongside him at Bonnett’s Annual Open House! Randy is a true southern gentlemen and such a delight!

I also want to thank Joanna Kalina for her unwavering dedication and hard work!! She will be an amazing president!

There are two very special Board Members I would like to thank. Fran Newsom, you are an incredible person and I want you to know your years and years of hard work and dedication have not gone unnoticed! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your constant support and your friendship! Kent Bonnett, I want to thank you for your support and your generosity over the many years you have been a part of the IFA Board. We can always depend on you for anything! I don’t know if everyone knows how much time and product you have donated…A LOT…and we want you to know how much you are appreciated!!!

These are tough times for all of us, however I know one thing for sure.. after speaking with florists from all over the state through the years….you are strong, you are resilient and you will prevail! Bravo to you all!!

Thank you!

Nancy Meckel, ICF, IMF

Immediate Past President

Iowa Florist’s Assocation