Alexandria, VA – Members of the Society of American Florists have elected three new leaders to the Board of Directors, and nine new leaders to the Grower, Retailer, and Wholesaler councils. The volunteer leaders on SAF’s board and councils help shape and inform everything SAF does, from developing events and content to identifying industry challenges SAF needs to address.
“SAF is grateful for the perspectives and knowledge the new board and council members will bring to the organization,” says SAF CEO Kate Penn. “Their input will provide SAF with important information to help us serve the industry and meet the needs of members.”
SAF Board of Directors:
Three new board members will represent the wholesale, retail and grower segments. Their three-year terms begin in November.
SAF Board – Wholesaler
Anne Stewart, Smithers-Oasis, Kent, Ohio
Anne Stewart is vice president of Smithers-Oasis North American Operations in Kent, Ohio. Prior to entering the floral industry almost eight years ago, Stewart spent 30 years in the paint and coatings industry, working for Sherwin-Williams in both sales and marketing capacities. She has substantial experience selling to wholesale customers in the U.S. and Canada and received several awards from her former employer. Stewart has a degree in social science from the University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario. She has been member of Vistage, a CEO networking group in Northeast Ohio, and has also written articles for Smart Business magazine.
SAF Board – Retailer
Brian Kusuda, Jimmy’s Flower Shop, Ogden, Utah
Brian Kusuda is a third-generation family member of Jimmy’s Flowers located in Ogden, Utah. The business was founded in 1948 by his grandparents. He graduated with high honors in 2010 from Weber State University with a degree in business administration from the Goddard School of Business, while working at the flower shop. He currently serves as vice president of his family’s company that employs more than 60 full-time and part-time employees across three locations, as well as a growing wholesale division that he helped start in 2014. He handles the business, financial and human resource operations for the company and is also one of the primary buyers of fresh flowers and hard goods. He served on the SAF Retail Council from 2017-2020 and is a current member of the Midwest Floral Group.
SAF Board – Grower
F.J. Trzuskowski, Continental Floral Greens, Belfair, WA
F.J. Trzuskowski is vice president of sales for Continental Floral Greens in Belfair, Washington. He is a graduate of Duke University and has a master’s degree in landscape architecture from North Carolina State University. With 28 years of industry experience, Trzuskowski has expertise in sales, operations, marketing and merchandising. He has served on the Floral Council of the former Produce Marketing Association (now known as the International Fresh Produce Association), a District 2 alternate representative on the California Cut Flower Commission, and as the Northwest District representative of Certified American Grown.
SAF Council Elections:
Nine floral professionals were elected to seats on the Grower, Retailer, and Wholesaler councils. Their three-year terms begin in 2023.
Wholesale Council Winners
- Stacia Bartlett- Stacia Bartlett is the human resources director at Bill Doran Company in Rockford, Illinois.
- Nicholas Chang- Nicholas Chang is the vice president of sales and marketing for Rosaprima in Miami.
- Patty Sormilich- Patty Sormilich is president and general manager of Sieck-Wright Floral Products in Hightstown, New Jersey.
Retail Council Winners
- Zoë Gallina (east)- Zoë Gallina is the vice president and creative director at Botanica International Design & Décor Studio in Tampa, Florida, and is the creative director of Style House Rentals.
- Erin Davidson (central)- Erin Davidson is the marketing director for McNamara Florist in Indianapolis, Indiana.
- Carma White (west)- Carma White, a second-generation florist, runs the sales and management Four Seasons Flowers, San Diego, California, and also serves as creative director.
Grower Council Winners
- Frank Arnosky- Frank Arnosky and his wife, own Texas Specialty Cut Flowers in San Antonio, Texas, along with a peony operation in northern Minnesota and a new peony farm in the mountains west of Texas.
- *Pamela Duperly- Pamela Duperly is the sales manager for The Elite Flower in Colombia.
- Eric Fernandez- Eric Fernandez is the president and general manager of Continental Flowers in Miami.
About The Society of American Florists
The Society of American Florists is the association that connects and cultivates a thriving floral community through training, education, marketing resources and advocacy. Our vision: The power of flowers in every life. For more information, visit SAFNow.org.