Nancy brings more than 20 years of retail and floral design experience to the IFA Board. Her pursuit for excellence in education can be seen in the successes of ICF and IMF graduating classes, many of which her shop graciously hosts. Her experiences working with grieving families offer unique perspectives when it comes to creating memorable sympathy pieces and working with families in mourning.
Growing up with a love and passion for all things floral, Maggie's career in the floral industry bloomed naturally. Over the course of five years, Maggie went from scrubbing buckets to taking lead on all things wedding and events as Thistles' Wedding & Events Coordinator. Her love and passion for flowers extends beyond the workplace as she tries to always wear some clothing item with floral detailing. Along with taking floral classes across the midwest, Maggie also is pursuing traditional college degree double majoring in business management and marketing. She merges creativity and floral design work and firmly believes the more you know, the more you grow! "Education has always been such an important part of my life and I truly believe people when they say, you never stop learning. I'm hoping to empower florists to participate in education programs and immerse themselves into our association to keep up with trends, networking, and most importantly...always keep learning!"
With a recent passing score for her AIFD accreditation, Kesley Thompson brings a whole new perspective to the IFA Board. Her design style is a contemporary example that "traditional" flowers don't have to be traditional! Playing with wire and other decorative accents, mixed greenery, and sleek containers Kelsey shows that anything is possible with some imagination.
KELSEY THOMPSON CFD
Bloom Floral - Algona, Iowa
MAGGIE MILBY IMF
TREASURER 2016 - 2017
Thistles - Pella, Iowa
FRANCES NEWSON IMF
LONGTIME BOARD MEMBER, PAST PRESIDENT
Crossroads HyVee Waterloo - Waterloo, Iowa
Her floral career started the day her own wedding flowers were ruined after a tragic series of events - she picked up the leftover stems and made due with what she had. From that day on Fran learned that the floral industry isn't always roses. Her extensive experience, refined craftmanship skill, and technical eye have taken her designs all over the country. Fran has experience in locally owned shops and corporate stores and has a true understanding for what struggles and triumphs reside in both. While a genius creative mind in her own right, Fran also looks to other florists with a deep respect for their own experiences and ideas. Fran dives deep into research and education to guide her creativity in whatever she may be doing, and her genuine love of others makes her a great instructor in the workplace, classroom, or at any IFA event.
Kent brings an aspect to our IFA Board that is unique to our profession; a second generation flower grower and wholesaler, our floral industry relies on Kent and his family to provide us with fresh flowers, silk flowers and foliages, home good items, containers, floral supplies and more to operate in their day to day business. His perspective as a wholesaler brings a totally different set of ideas and expertise to our Association. Kent's generosity and love of the industry fuels our Association to look towards the future while appreciating the past.
Loving every minute of her five years and counting floral career, Joanna's artistic abilities and love for flowers are never ending. Her talent for floral design came naturally and her ability to blend technically advanced skillsets in a seemingly effortless way have launched her into a successful floral career. In 2015 Joanna was named the winner of the Iowa Iron Designer Contest, proving her calm creative process a success. Joanna expresses her creativity in a variety of ways, including her own photography business Imago Dei. Joanna enjoys all things creative and spends her free time enjoying hobbies like scrapbooking and crafting. Her natural eye for beauty, sweet personality, and willingness to help makes her an invaluable member of our IFA Board.
LONGTIME BOARD MEMBER, IFA SPONSPOR
Bonnett Wholesale Inc. - Milan, Illinois
STEPHANIE CONNOR IMF
PAST PRESIDENT 2017-2018
PRESIDENT 2015-2016, 2016, 2017
NAFA SECRETARY 2017-2018
Bates Flowers by DZyne - Grinnell, Iowa
NANCY MECKEL IMF
PRESIDENT 2017 - 2018
VICE PRESIDENT 2016, 2017
The Flower Shop at Cedar Memorial -
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Stephanie began her floral journey 5 years ago after settling into her new home of Grinnell, Iowa. A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, she brings with her a strong background rich in both experience and education. She has enjoyed a retail management career of 24+ years and has vast marketing/merchandising experience. Stephanie's passion for all things floral has been vital to the positive changes to the IFA in recent years.
"My favorite part of my IFA Board experience is getting to hear what other shops are up to- the triumphs, the trials, what works for them and what doesn't," she says. "A store's involvement in the IFA is so reassuring. You are never alone in your struggles because someone else in the Association has been through it and has advice and expertise to offer you. When a Member Shop succeeds, the others are there to help celebrate! We couldn't ask for a better group in Iowa!"
JOANNA KALINA IMF
The Flower Shop at Cedar Memorial -
Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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