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Michigan Floral Association 2018 award winners honored

The Michigan Floral Association honored its 2018 award winners at the Great Lakes Floral & Event Expo in Grand Rapids, MI. At the annual Saturday night recognition banquet, the association acknowledged companies and individuals who have been selected as “First Amongst Your Peers.”

NORMAN-SMITH-ENTERPRISESNorman Smith Enterprises was named 2018 MFA Wholesaler of the Year. Alan Buckley and Gary Buckley received the award.Each year the MFA Awards and Nominations Committee is responsible for soliciting and reviewing award nominations, according to the MFA website. The committee sends all qualified nominations to a panel of independent judges who complete an evaluation forma for each nominee. The committee totals the points received for each candidate nominated in a specific category and averages. The candidate receiving the highest average score in each category is chosen to receive the award.

Mark L. Nance was presented with the 2018 MFA Lifetime Achievement Award. He is president at BloomNet/1-800-Flowers Franchising, Napco in Jacksonville, FL. This award honors an individual who has dedicated the majority of their life to the floral industry. Through their love and passion the industry is better today.

Norman Smith Enterprises in Paulsboro, NJ, was named MFA’s 2018 Wholesaler of the Year. The award honors a company that has demonstrated outstanding support and service to the association.

Mark Anderson, president at FloristWare in Toronto, Ontario, Canada was the recipient of the 2018 National Service Award. This award honors an individual or company that is connected to the floral industry locally, nationally, or internationally. They may be a retailer, wholesaler, grower, educator, etc. and have demonstrated outstanding service to the floral industry of America.

Other awards presented at the expo include:

2018 Special Recognition Award — Ryan Freeman, president at Strider SEO/Florist 2.0/Canadian Florist Magazine in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada.

2018 Retailer of the Year Award -— Vogt’s Flowers & Gifts in Flint, MI.

2018 Designer of the Year Award — Lisa VanderMeer from Ludema’s Floral & Garden in Grand Rapids, MI.

2018 Young Person of the Year Award -— Samantha Belonga from St. Ignace in Bloom in St. Ignace, MI.

2018 Wholesale Employee of the Year Award — Scott Slimmen from Kennicott/Nordlie Floral in Grandville, MI.

2018 Retail Employee of the Year Award — Colleen Barnhart from Beautiful Blooms by Jen in Sylvania, Ohio.

2018 Great Lakes Floral & Event Expo Best Booth Award — Corrine Heck from Details Florals in Ormond Beach, FL.