President’s Message

The North East has a vibrant chapter and I am looking forward to serving you as President in the upcoming year. This year has been a very big learning curve for me and I want to thank Polly Berginc AIFD, Janet Black AIFD and Rob DeBellis AIFD for their help in getting me off to a good start.

At the National Symposium in Seattle, we installed our officers and board members for the upcoming year. Serving you as officers are Dot Chenevert AIFD (President-Elect), David Siders AIFD (Vice President), Laurie Lemek AIFD (Secretary), Polly Berginc AIFD (Treasurer) and Rob DeBellis AIFD (Past President). Our new board includes Renee Tucci AIFD, Darcie Garcia AIFD, Shannon Toal AIFD, Rebecca Carter AIFD, Alisha Simone-Bell AIFD, Marianne Suess AIFD, Bunnie Hovan AIFD, Jennifer Plasky AIFD and Christy King AIFD. Ron Mulray AIFD will continue to represent us on the national board and Polly Berginc will be our foundation representative. We are fortunate to have such a talented and enthusiastic group of individuals leading our organization. Remember, we are all here to serve you, so please give us feedback, and let us know your ideas and better ways that we can serve you and our chapter.

We also inducted 6 new AIFD members and 3 CFD’s at the Seattle Symposium. Congratulations to Sun Ja Park AIFD, Caroline Crabb AIFD, Kathryn Delve AIFD, Amanda Randall AIFD, Mieko Kawazoe AIFD, Lori Kunian AIFD, Shawn Brown CFD, Elizabeth Kim CFD and Yong Hee Petrik CFD. We look forward to you being a part of our NERC family! Even as a new member, please don’t hesitate to get involved in NERC. We value every one of our members.

Several of our NERC members were recognized with awards at Symposium. Tim Farrell AIFD, AAF, PFCI was recognized by the AIFD National Board of Directors with the Award of Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry. This award is presented to AIFD members who have made a significant contribution to the floral industry.

Jiseon (Jessie) Yun, our Memorial Scholarship Winner, from our SAIFD chapter at Seneca College in Toronto, Canada was the first place winner of the Interpretive Design and the third place winner of the Sympathy category in the student design competition in Seattle. Kudos to Marianne Suess for doing a great job with this chapter!

Finally, congratulations to the newest members from the Northeast who will be inducted in 2018: Nancy Bartlett, Sujin Jung, Marta Sondej, Jorge Uribe and Daisy Vincenty.

Looking forward to this year, my primary goal for the year is education. I believe that we can’t be stagnant as individuals or as an organization. There is so much to learn and share with each other. I would like to get as many members as possible involved. Although we are planning some bigger programs, please let me, or a board member near you, know if you would like to head a show in your area. Not everyone is able to attend symposium every year and local hands-on workshops are a great way to share your talents and give back to the floral family. Last year, Lori Lemek held a prom workshop. Two of my employees attended and came back so enthused and full of ideas. Don’t underrate your abilities to share your talents!

Our fall show is slated for October 10, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I am chairing the event which is sponsored by Zeiger and Sons Wholesalers. Vince Butera AIFD, AAF, PCIF will be the commentator.

An exciting lineup of designers includes Polly Berginc AIFD, Renee Tuci AIFD, Darcie Garcia AIFD and Shannon Toal, AIFD. Be sure to put the date on your calendar and plan to attend. The evening promises a great night of education and opportunity to network and share with fellow designers. Remember that this event is open to all floral designers. Please welcome someone who is not currently CFD or AIFD. Your encouragement may start them on the exciting path to joining our organization!

Looking forward to spring, we will be again be working with the AIFD exhibit exploring “The Wonderful World of Water” at the Philadelphia Flower Show March 3-11. Anyone interested in helping with the show should contact Suzanne Sampson at More information will follow.

Again, looking forward to working with old and new members to continue advance our art of floral design.

Respectfully Submitted,
Dan Firth AIFD, CFD
President North East Regional Chapter of AIFD

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