One of my main areas of focus this year was to travel to as many AFA members as I could, to listen and get good feedback on what the Arkansas Florist Association can do for you. The AFA Board listened to our members and we are so excited to announce our new date, location and format.

The Arkansas Florist Convention will be held September 6-8 at the Wyndham Riverfront Hotel in North Little Rock, Arkansas. The AFA Board and I agreed the move to central Arkansas was necessary. The room rates are lower and the venue is much more intimate. For room reservations, contact the hotel at 501-371-9000 and be sure to ask for the AFA rate.

For a taste of AFA Southern hospitality, I invite everyone to join me Thursday night, September 5, for my President’s Reception Meet and Greet. Friday morning we will feature the Mid America Cup and the Arkansas Cup competitions. Come Friday night dressed in your favorite seersucker or derby attire for our Seersucker Social! Who will win our fascinator and bow tie design contest? All of this leading up to a fabulous program on industry market design trends by Charlie Groppetti AIFD and Todd Smith sponsored by Park Hill.

Saturday morning we will offer wonderful hands-on classes that will repeat on Sunday morning. Our Saturday design programs will be “Meet the Mid America Cup contestants”, “What’s Hot and What’s Not” featuring products from our trade fair. I, along with Melinda Mayo from KATV and Good Morning Arkansas, will talk about how to use these products. The afternoon will round out with a color program by Jodi Duncan, AIFD, sponsored by FTD, then we head off to the President’s Ball followed by dancing and an after party in the hospitality suite.

Sunday programs begin with Kevin Ylvisaker AIFD, PFCI sponsored by Smither’s Oasis, followed by a sympathy program sponsored by Teleflora presented by David Powers AIFD. In the afternoon, Ken Senter AIFD will present a show sponsored by a grant from AIFD South Central Region. The convention will end with our thrilling Iron Designer Competition. Also be sure to bring your own designed wreath for a People’s Choice awards contest on Sunday. I am hoping that when you leave our convention, you will feel like it was worth the time and money to attend.

I look forward to seeing you at your shop or at convention,

Chris Norwood AIFD, PFCI

Tipton Hurst — Little Rock, Arkansas
Arkansas Florists Association — President 2019