AFE’s Unconventional Passing of the Chairman’s Gavel Video & New Board Appointments

Unconventional Passing of the Gavel

New video from American Floral Endowment! Due to COVID-19, AFE’s Annual August Board Meeting like our 2020 Annual Dinner was held fully virtually unlike prior years, but that didn’t stop the annual passing of the gavel! Outgoing AFE Board Chairman, Jim Daly of Floralife/Smithers-Oasis, passed the gavel to incoming Chairman, Laura Shinall of Syndicate Sales, Inc. in a very creative and socially distanced way!

During the virtual August Board meeting, several additional board appointments were made in addition to the new Chairman. We are pleased to recognize these individuals for their commitment to the floral industry and look forward to another successful year. Despite the uncertain times, AFE’s Board and staff continue to grow, adapt, and stay connected!

AFE Chairman (2020-2022)
Laura Shinall, President of Syndicate Sales, Inc.

Laura joined the AFE Board in 2011 and since that time has served on the Education Committee and as Chairman of the Public Relations and Development Committee.  She also served two years as Treasurer/Secretary. 

Laura replaces Jim Daly, VP of Floralife/Smithers-Oasis, who served as AFE Chairman for the past two years and will remain on the Board for two additional years as Past Chairman. Jim will also continue to serve as Chair of the Research Committee.

AFE Treasurer/Secretary (2020-2022)
Ken Young, CEO & Owner of Phoenix Flower Shops

Since joining AFE’s Board in 2012, Ken has served on the Public Relations & Development Chair and currently serves as Chairman of that Committee.  He also serves on the Education Committee, and as new Treasurer will oversee AFE’s Investment Committee. Ken was also the driving force behind the creation of AFE’s Arizona Retail Florist Education Grant. He has tirelessly leveraged his own network in the floral industry to further promote and grow our AFE programs that support retail florists.

Ken replaces Randy Tagawa, CEO of Tagawa Greenhouses, who served in the role since 2018. Randy will continue to serve on the Executive Committee and Board, as will Greg Royer of Royer’s Flowers in Lebanon, PA.

Board Appointments

New AFE Trustee
Tim Galea (2020-2023)

Effective on September 17th, Tim Galea, President of Norton’s Flowers & Gifts, will join AFE’s Board of Trustees bringing another retailer perspective. Tim has spent  52 years in the industry. His expertise is in financial management, floral design, and leadership. In 2013, his shop was named Michigan Retail Florist of the Year. He has served on the Society of American Florists’ Board of Directors, and as Treasurer and Region Director of the Michigan Floral Association. In younger days, he had been a volunteer with the United States Jaycees for 18 years.

Emeritus Appointment
Cindy Hanauer (2020-2023)

We are grateful that Cindy Hanauer has agreed to accept an appointment on the Board as an Emeritus member from 2020-2023. Cindy is the CEO of Grand Central Fresh and Founder & CEO of Grand Central Floral. Cindy joined the board in 2014 and has served two full terms focusing primarily on the Public Relations/Development and Floral Marketing Research Fund committees. Cindy has continuously shared her expertise in communications and marketing with both with AFE directly and the industry as a whole through collaborative projects and articles.

Additional Board Changes

Current AFE Trustee, Bill Fernandez has completed his term after serving two three-year terms on the Board, and as a member of the Education and Floral Marketing Research Fund Committees.  We are thankful for all the skills and knowledge he has shared with us as a leading grower, importer, and distributor of fresh-cut flowers. Bill is president and owner of Continental Flowers, Inc.

AFE Trustees serve a three-year term and can be re-appointed for a second term. They are industry leaders who give their time and talent to help guide Endowment activities and programs benefitting the industry. Each Trustee is also appointed to at least one of the following committees: Education, Public Relations and Development, Research, or the Floral Marketing Research Fund.

To see a complete list of AFE’s 20 Trustees, click here.

About AFE

The American Floral Endowment is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the floriculture and horticulture industry through funding research, educational grants and scholarships. Since 1961, more than $16 million has been funded in research and educational projects, and more than $3 million has been funded in scholarships and internships designed to attract and retain the future leaders of the industry. To learn more about AFE or how you can support floriculture programs, visit