Press Releases


For Immediate Release

Contact:  Steve Dionne – Executive Director
Email:  [email protected]
Phone: (831) 479-4912 Ext. 5

CalFlowers Prepares Major Consumer-Direct Marketing Campaign

November 2, Fallbrook, CA - At our Member Appreciation Event in August, CalFlowers provided to attendees our exciting, new marketing initiative.  CalFlowers’ aspirational goal is “More Americans enjoying more flowers more often” and we are excited to launch this high-impact campaign on behalf of the broader floral industry.

The first two weeks of October, CalFlowers Board members Jeanne Boes and Joost Bongaerts, along with Executive Director Steve Dionne, were on location in Warsaw, Poland and Amsterdam, Netherlands to oversee the film and still photo production, as well as brand design and website development, for our new campaign.

There is agreement around the industry that the COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the demand profile for fresh flowers.  Many American consumers have altered their buying patterns to include more self-purchases, driven by a desire for the beauty of fresh flowers in their homes.  The well-recognized positive mental health effects of flowers have caused flowers to enter a new category in the minds of consumers.

Our marketing campaign, to be launched on Instagram, YouTube, Spotify, and Pinterest in January 2022 is specifically designed to capitalize on this emerging trend.  Our media distribution is planned to engage over 60 million consumers in our target audience, “aesthetic explorers” comprised of women in the 25-39 age category who are focused on wellness and style.

The results from Warsaw and Amsterdam have been very encouraging!  Working with a team that includes 180 Amsterdam (NL), MindsEye Productions (UK), Tango Productions (PL) and with floral stylists The Wunderkammer (GR), and director Dugan O’Neal from Los Angeles, we expect to have a professional, polished ad campaign that incorporates humor, visual interest, and a relatable message that promotes the enjoyment of fresh flowers. 

As the campaign draws nearer, CalFlowers will be reaching out to many industry stakeholders to help amplify our consumer messaging through your own social media channels, as well as hard assets such as point-of-sale posters and truck wrap graphic designs.

For inquiries, please contact Steve Dionne, Executive Director of CalFlowers at [email protected].



 Legislation Updates:

AB-73 Employment safety: agricultural workers: wildfire smoke.

AB-25 Worker classification: employees and independent contractors.

AB-2257 Worker classification: employees and independent contractors: occupations: professional services.

AB-2992 Employment practices: leave time.

SB-1102 Employers: Labor Commissioner: required disclosures.

AB-2043 Occupation safety and health: agricultural employers and employees: COVID-19 response.

HR-102 (2019-2020)

AB-2043 Occupational safety and health: agricultural employers and employees: COVID-19 response.(2019-2020)
**AB-2043 Approved

AB-1205 California Cut Flower Commission: membership: reconvening commission.(2019-2020)
**AB-1205 California Cut Flower Commission: membership: reconvening commission - Passed

AB-1035 COVID-19 emergency: small businesses: immunity from civil liability

For Immediate Release                                                       
Contact:  J Schwanke
Phone:  616-446-6086
Email:  [email protected] 

“CalFlowers Brings That Flower Feeling to Life In Bloom 

Grand Rapids, MI, March [00], 2022 – CalFlowers has expanded their commitment to J Schwanke’s Life In Bloom with a 30-second video at the opening and closing of all episodes of Season 4 which reflects a different take on ‘That Flower Feeling.’ The new season will debut on public television stations across the country beginning in April of 2022. Calflowers, along with Albertsons Companies, Dollar Tree, and closed caption underwriter Holland America Flowers are returning as Season 4 underwriters.

"Calflowers is immensely proud of Life in Bloom's continued success, and we eagerly look forward to the Season 4 premiere. Cheers to J and thank you for making the enjoyment of flowers more accessible to everyone across the country,” noted CalFlowers President, Ivor Van Wingerden, of Ocean Breeze International.

“CalFlowers has supported Life In Bloom all along as an underwriter of the first three seasons, but this season they’ve really stepped up, becoming a Major Underwriter and I am very thankful,” notes host J Schwanke. “And it’s exciting to share their 30-second video which shares ‘That Flower Feeling’ with Life in Bloom viewers.”

The CalFlowers message can be previewed at the link -

“The popularity of Life in Bloom is undeniable!” said CalFlowers’ Marketing Chairperson and Vice President, Jeanne Boes. Ms. Boes of the San Francisco Flower Mart and continues, “The show reaches multiple generations including Millennials, Gen Y, and even kids. It’s the perfect opportunity to share ‘That Flower Feeling’ – along with the health and wellness benefits of flowers – with millions of viewers every week.”

Schwanke says of the video, “I love the message - ‘That flower feeling, at home, at work, or anytime,’ because it reminds you that flowers can enhance everyday life, beyond the occasions where you expect flowers.”

“The entire Floriculture industry is so incredibly fortunate to have such a positive spokesperson in J Schwanke. J has an innate ability to make flowers both relatable and accessible to the general public, creating a bevy of new opportunities for consumers to enjoy our amazing products,” said Steve Dionne, Association Executive. “From cocktails, to food, to repurposing household items into a range of floral style opportunities, J truly puts ‘everyday’ into the flower conversation. CalFlowers is proud to sponsor Life In Bloom and be able to help deliver such powerful and positive messaging to households across the United States.”

Flowers – and their inherent health and wellness benefits – remain the focus of the show, with new ideas for arranging flowers and entertaining at home. The show again visits flower farms, including California Pajarosa Floral and Joseph & Sons (Pictured Right), illuminating the care, determination, and true passion that goes into flower farming.

“CalFlowers has supported Life in Bloom since its inception,” added Marc Robinson of Delaware Valley Floral Group, Inc. and CalFlowers’ Secretary/Treasurer. “J’s efforts have not only been creative, but hard working and persistent. Looking forward to future seasons!”

Specific highlights of the coming season include: flowers for self-care; Italy-inspired arrangements; photographing hummingbirds; episodes around hydrangea, gladiolus, and tropical flowers; visits to flower farms; and guests Ben Scott-Brandt, composer of the show’s music; Laurie Keller, a Geisel Award winning children’s book author; and a bonus episode, themed for Autumn. “We were excited to create segments around fall themes, colors, and flowers including Chrysanthemums!” said Schwanke.

J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom is presented and distributed by American Public Television. Check local public television and Create TV listings to find out when J Schwanke’s Life in Bloom airs in your area. The show is also available to stream for free via and the PBS App.

Inquiries and input about the show are always welcome at: [email protected]



The Bloom Show Covers WFFSA 2022

The Bloom Show dedicated three episodes to covering the Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association (WFFSA)’s 2022 Floral Distribution Conference.

Miami, FL, March 15th, 2022 – The Bloom Show & Flowers & Cents has covered the WFFSA event in detail in three episodes. The Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association’s 2022 Floral Distribution Conference (FDC) was held in Miami, FL, from March 7th to 9th. The theme was “Breaking Boundaries, Bridging Divides” and brought floral industry leaders together for three days of networking and education.

Whether it was Sahid Nahim and Williee Armellini speaking to the Executive Vice President of the WFFSA, interviewing five extraordinary women in the floral industry, or interviewing industry leaders about marketing, there was a lot to unfold and many great insights into the industry as a whole. Overall, The Bloom Show with Flowers & Cents WFFSA Live edition succeeded in doing what it does best – bringing people in the floral industry together to have interesting conversations.

WFFSA Show 2022 with Guest Molly Mullins

The WFFSA LIVE Show interviewed Molly Mullins, the Executive Vice President of the WFFSA. Sahid Nahim of New Bloom Solutions and Williee Armellini of Flowers and Cents spoke to the six-year VP about WFFSA’s collaborative Floral Distribution Conference.

One of the most important things discussed was that the 2022 conference was bursting at the seams. While the last FDC had fewer attendees, the 2022 conference saw pre-pandemic numbers. Mullins also spoke about embracing novelty and trying new concepts, which included wholesaler discussion groups tackling margins, logistics, supply chain, and more. There was also a speed networking event, which Nahim was a part of. The event was comfortable yet full of energy and allowed industry talent to connect and strengthen their ties.

Mullins also elaborated on the theme, “Breaking Boundaries, Bridging Divides,” and how WFFSA wanted to get those in the floral industry out of their supply chain silos. Instead of focusing on just retailers or wholesalers, they encouraged participants to share information, connect, and bridge gaps. The wholesaler-florist connection and cooperation between the two parties has been integral during the pandemic and continues to be the driving force behind businesses and their success.

Next year’s WFFSA FDC will be also be held at The Doral in Miami and will focus on finding even more ways to help the floral industry collaborate and join forces for the better.

WFFSA Women's Day Roundtable

The Women’s Day Roundtable consisted of interviews with five female leaders in the floral industry, namely Jeanne Boes (the General Manager and CEO of the San Francisco Flower Market, and the Incoming VP on the CalFlowers Board), Corrine Heck (CEO and Founder of Details Flowers software), Juana de la Torre (in sales and marketing for Ball SB LLC), Jena Gizerskiy (Sales Manager for North America at Rosaprima), and Laura Shinall (Founder and Managing Partner of FreshPath Marketing). These individuals have different areas of expertise and come from different segments of the floral industry but have a few things in common – their love and passion for the floral industry and being successful women in the field.

From talking about their skills and how they got into the floral industry to what motivates them to keep working on difficult days, the discussion touched upon each woman’s individual journey and their unique perspective on the floral industry and what makes it special. Something all women touched on is the people in the floral industry and how remarkable they are. From Jeanne Boes fighting to keep businesses’ doors open during the COVID-19 pandemic to Juana de la Torre talking about the passion growers and breeders have for the industry, this episode delved into the challenges within the industry, the grit of the people involved, and how mentorship and collaboration are an essential part of the industry moving in the right direction.

Although floristry has plenty of female faces, floral industry wholesale, growing, and marketing is a male-dominated industry. These powerful women speak out about their experiences, making their way into rooms full of men, making their voices heard, and how women can empower themselves and other women to succeed and pave the way for future women in the industry. WFFSA has also started an official Women’s Group, which will consist of a Facebook group and opportunities for women in the floral industry. A group focused on collaboration, mentorship, and women supporting other women in the floral industry; it’s definitely a group that women should keep an eye on.

WFFSA Marketing Roundtable

Yet another incredible roundtable was held with some of the brilliant marketers in the floral industry. Nahim and Armellini spoke to Steve Dionne (Executive Director of CalFlowers), Eric Fernandez (General Manager of Continental Flowers), and Oscar Fernandez (Sales Manager at Equiflor Corporation). The group spoke about marketing initiatives they’re starting and digital marketing in the floral industry as a whole.

Continental Flowers’ Floral Board

Eric Fernandez from Continental Flowers spoke about FloralBoard, an initiative focused on investing in the floral industry. Despite having a great year since the pandemic and increased consumption, there’s a need to drive consumer demand. That’s where FloralBoard comes in – it’s a vehicle to drive awareness and bring in new consumers. Fernandez was very passionate about emphasizing that this wasn’t about retail channels, mass market, or e-commerce, but an omnichannel venture that sought to benefit all segments within the floral industry. Instead of being country-specific or even origin-specific, the initiative focuses on promoting all cut greens and cut flowers.

CalFlowers’ That Flower Feeling

That Flower Feeling is an initiative that markets flowers. Like FloralBoard, it’s not country-specific but pertains to the entire industry. Despite the two initiatives being started by different companies and people, they work towards the same goal. This highlights the floral industry’s commitment to growth across all channels.

The campaign, “Flowers: Self-Care Made Easy,” has taken off, and the brand is dedicated to marketing flowers and increasing the reach of the floral industry. As of early March, the campaign had already hit 20 million consumers regarding engagement on social media. CalFlowers has used its budget to target everything from social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest to popular podcasts such as the “Call Her Daddy” podcast.

It’s especially incredible to see the collaborative effort of different companies and industry leaders coming through because of the floral industry’s reputation of being fragmented. The past few years have highlighted the potential of players within the industry to communicate and work together. Whether it’s growers, wholesalers, or retailers, the entire industry can work towards continuing the trajectory of growth.

Watch All the Individual Shows Here

About The Bloom Show & WFFSA LIVE Collab with Flowers & Cents

The Bloom Show & Flowers and Cents show WFFSA LIVE is a collaboration by Sahid Nahim of New Bloom Solutions & Above All Flowers and Williee Armellini of Flowers and Cents. Flowers & Cents is one of the original industry blogs with great insight and up to date floral industry news. The Bloom Show covers floral industry topics, including marketing, e-commerce, innovation, conferences and offers insight into the different segments of the floral industry. Subscribe to “ The Bloom Show”  here  and do not miss out  on any episodes.

For more information or questions, you can contact Sahid Nahim at (305) 975-2725 or email him here.


CalFlowers, the leading floral trade association in California serving growers and the entire supply chain in 48 states, is pleased to announce the hiring of Steve Dionne as executive director.

Dionne, who starts the new position November 2, says he is thrilled to be appointed and looks forward to serving in such a meaningful leadership role within the floral industry. “Contributing to the vision established by CalFlowers – including the elected board and association members is an honor and a golden opportunity to share my insights and lead with dedication,” says Dionne. His familiarity with CalFlowers is strong since he has served on the Board of Directors for more than 16 years, and has twice served as president of the association.

For more than 26 years Dionne has been involved in the floral industry and has been a feet-on-the-ground evaluator and participant. “Developing Wafex USA’s supply chain facilitated my visits to farms and distributors in 19 countries across five continents in the past seven years. I learned that even despite international differences, the flower business is just about the same everywhere you go and challenges are mostly universal.”

Industry achievements for Dionne include being named Floral Marketer of the Year in 1998 by the Society of American Florists, and induction into The American Academy of Floriculture in 2010. He holds a B.A. from University of San Diego. 

While maintaining focus on CalFlowers transportation initiatives, Dionne will also place great emphasis on collaboration with current CalFlowers affiliates and other industry associations. He says CalFlowers members especially deserve guidance and support now as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to hurl new burdens into the flower business playbook. “As the industry propels through this period, CalFlowers will be doing everything we can to help our stakeholders harness the opportunities that exist,” explains Dionne.

Frank Biddle, president and owner of Francis Biddle International, Inc. and president of CalFlowers, indicates Dionne is exactly the leader the association has been seeking. “We are an optimistic industry with wonderful products and services that make a difference in consumers’ lives, but challenges are plentiful right now. With his many years of experiencing relevant leadership roles and having so many levels of responsibility in the industry, we see Steve as the ideal person for the executive director,” says Biddle.

Dionne adds, “CalFlowers aspirational goal is clear – More Americans enjoying more flowers more often. I couldn’t be more excited to work with our great staff, members, and directors to help make this vision a reality.”

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