CalFlowers Staff

Chief Executive Officer

Michael T. LoBue, CAE

The CEO is the association's chief staff officer and is responsible for overall management of CalFlowers, providing guidance and support to staff, as well as to the Board of Directors.  The CEO reports directly to the Board of Directors and is one of the main representatives and spokespersons for CalFlowers to the membership, the industry and other organizations.  LoBue brings more than 35 years of association management and governance experience to CalFlowers.  For the past 25 years LoBue has managed a successful association management company and supported international trade associations in various segments of the computing industry.


Chief Operating Officer

Christopher J. Freed, CAE

The COO is responsible for the overall coordination of staff operations, providing technical support and guidance to staff and CalFlowers projects and programs. Freed brings 14 years of association management experience and an additional 12 years experience in a variety of line and management positions in the software industry. Freed is also an experienced chief financial officer and a chief information officer for associations.



Marketing Director

Deborah Erickson

As Marketing Director, Deborah Erickson is responsible for the overall marketing and communications strategy and initiatives for the association and its membership.  She brings more than 25 years of non-profit marketing experience that includes strategic marketing planning, branding, social media and media relations. She has also served on several non-profit boards, including the Minnesota chapter of the National Association on Mental Illness, where she was board chair.



Marketing & Events Manager

Monnaie Pepin


In her role as the Marketing & Special Events Manager, Monnaie Pepin helps develop marketing and communications programs to support the membership and the association's initiatives and she plans and assists in the execution of member events, especially the biannual Fun 'N Sun / California Floral Convention, and the association's participation in floral industry events.



Director of Transportation

Chris Johnson

chrisChris Johnson, CalFlowers' Director of Transportation, is well-known to the membership because he functions as a liaison between members and carriers and produces all transportation related communications to the membership. The Director of Transportation administers, maintains and actively promotes CalFlowers' transportation programs to members and potential members through the association's for-profit subsidiary, Northern California Flower Growers & Shippers, LLC. Johnson also assists in developing new transportation programs, and actively participates in the planning and execution of the Fun 'N Sun / California Floral Convention, and the biannual Member Meetings.


Membership Manager

Linda Long

lindaAs the Membership Manager, Linda Long is responsible for the coordination and administration of all association membership programs and is the editor of the CalFlowers Membership Directory.  Long prepares and distributes annual dues invoices to the membership, processes membership applications and supports member committees. She actively participates in the planning and execution of the Fun 'N Sun / California Floral Convention, and the biannual Member Meetings.




Cindy Mellem, CPA

Cindy Mellem is responsible for accounting and financial reporting activities for both the associaton and the wholly-owned subsidiary.  Mellem joined the staff in August 2015, bringing 20+ years experience as a professional accountant.  Her experience includes owning a small business, non-profit accounting and as an auditor for Deloitte.  Mellem also holds an MBA from San Jose State University.