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


Written by: Kelsey Thompson, AIFD

Being a florist can be a physically demanding job. Long days standing at the design table, cutting thick stems, lifting buckets of water, repetitive bending and those 20 minute phone calls that result in a crick in your neck! You may not always feel sore at the end of the day (or hey, maybe you do!), but all those motions can put a short and long term strain on your muscles. We all know that good nutrition, exercise and sleep are going to keep us healthy for the long haul, but I wanted to concentrate on some “preventative maintenance” of specific areas that we florists have trouble with – our necks, wrists and feet. The following stretches are easy to do while standing at work and hopefully will help keep you in tip-top shape!

1. Behind the Back Neck Stretch – This standing stretch can be done anywhere, and will offer a deep stretch in the sides of your neck.

Stand with your feet hip distance apart, arms by your sides. Reach both hands behind your backside, and hold onto your left wrist with your right hand. Use your right hand to gently straighten your left arm and pull it away from you slightly. To increase the stretch in your neck, slowly lower your right ear toward your shoulder. Thinking of creating a diagonal line from your left wrist to your right ear. Stay here for 30 seconds and then switch sides.

I’m also including this Neck Stretch video from Mayo Clinic that has some good information on the importance of stretching and a few examples of some more neck stretches:

2. Hand Pumps – This stretch increases circulation and draws blood flow to the wrists, hands, and fingers.

Begin by placing your hands in front of your chest, facing away from you, like you are giving someone the “stop” signal. Curl your hands into fists and squeeze tight. Hold for 3 seconds. Then open up your palms and spread your fingers as wide as possible so that you feel a stretch and circulation flow in. Hold for 3 seconds, then repeat 5 times.

3. Wrist Roll-Outs -This stretch warms up the supporting tissues of the wrists and brings circulation into the joint.

Start by bringing your palms together in front of your chest and interlacing your fingers, as though in prayer. Bring your forearms close together. Keep your forearms fairly still and make circles with your fists, stretching your wrist towards the 4 compass points (North, West, South, East). Repeat 5 times, then reverse directions.

Standing all day takes a toll on the body, including the hips, knees and feet. We all know the importance of good footwear and a good anti-fatigue mat – let’s talk foot care! In addition to these stretches, try icing your feet and ankles after a long day. “As much as people don’t want to hear it, immersing the foot — as long as the person doesn’t have vascular problems — in a bucket with water and ice for 20 minutes works to combat the swelling and inflammation that prolonged standing creates in the foot,” says Lucille B. Andersen, M.D., a foot and ankle surgeon in Pleasanton, California. “Each step we take or minute we stand, we are creating micro-damage that the body has to heal. Using ice is an easy, effective way to help the body heal faster.”

Follow up the ice bath with elevating your feet for a few minutes, or if you’re really lucky, a foot massage! I’m super ticklish, so I have to do this myself or it’s instant uncomfortable laughter, but even just working on pressure points for a few minutes helps. But what about during the workday? Wear proper footwear and alternate standing with one foot slightly elevated (on a short stool or box) to keep pressure off your back. The following stretches will help keep you loose as well!

4. Standing Hamstring Stretch – Stand and cross your right foot in front of your left. Slowly lower your forehead to your right knee (or as far as possible) by bending at the waist. Keep both knees as straight as possible. Hold this position for 15 to 30 seconds. Relax. Repeat for the other side by crossing your left foot in front of your right.

5. Standing Calf Stretch – To start, stand facing the wall or other support, like a chair, with one foot in front of you by around 12 inches. Point your toes up. Slowly lean forward until you feel the stretch in the back of your lower leg. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds and then repeat on the other side. Do 3 rounds total.

Incorporating just a few of these stretches into your daily shop routine will help prevent wear and tear on your body as well as release some stress. Make sure and check out the IFA’s Facebook page for video demonstrations of these stretches soon!

March 14, 2021

We have a new convention date, folks! Add it to your calander – this will be an event you won’t want to miss!

Designer: Lisa Belisle, AIFD

Location: Kirkwood Hotel – Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Times and schedule will follow closer to the date.

Governor Reynolds Letter

Dear Members,

“Here is a plea from North American Wholesale Florist, Inc that we, The Iowa Florists’ Association are hearing and we want to make it heard more loudly. Please join us and make your voice heard. You MATTER, and your Shop MATTERS. Instructions down below.

“When you’re in one of only six states in the US that haven’t issued a stay-at-home order, it’s best to be proactive! We’re sending our letters today to North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, requesting to be allowed to continue no-contact delivery. If you would like a copy to personalize, let us know – we’re more than happy to share! We encourage all of you to reach out to your state. One letter might get lost in a pile, but if there are 50 of them our chances of being heard are far greater.”

– North American Wholesale Florist, Inc

Here is the letter in a google document for easier sharing purposes. Copy and paste first into new document, then feel free to make it your own and personalize.

Click here for the Google Document

Then send your letter to the Governor at: 

Governor Kim Reynolds
Office of the Governor
Iowa State Capitol
1007 East Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50319

Iowa thanks you for raising your voice! 

Your Iowa Florists’ Association

COVID-19 got you down?

The Iowa Economic Developement is collecting information to better inform public policy surrounding the current COVID-19 crisis. They are asking all businesses, attractions and organizations in Iowa to please fill out this survey by March 23 at 5 p.m. They are so thankful for your participation.

IOWA BUSINESS RECOVERY ASSISTANCE is offering help to any small business. Financial advise or loans, business guidance and connectivity resources. Either way, pass this information onto a business that might need assistance. Please click the link to get more information.

You are not alone.

Again, the Iowa Florists’ Association is here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if we can assist in any way! Email: or fill out our contact form.

Convention 2020 – POSTPONED

Due to the COVID-19, we are postponing the Convention to a later date. We care about safety and everyone’s health comes first. Please stay tuned for a new date and more information to follow soon. If you have already registered, your registration will be applied to the “rescheduled” convention.

2020 AIFD Symposium

Mark you calendars! Symposium is a yearly event that will blow your mind with amazing Designers and floral art, networking and so much more. Register NOW!

What’s more, AIFD gives away a FREE Symposium Registration to one person from the Iowa Florists’ Association’s yearly Convention: Fusing Nature with Design. Make sure you claim your spot at the Iowa Florists’ Association Convention 2020. Click here to sign up!

Direct any questions to