Donald Yim AIFD, CFD, PFCI
Sponsored by Smithers Oasis
WHEN PASSION & CAREER COME TOGETHER | With a passion for flowers, a sense of exploration and an eye for beauty, Donald has been in floral design for over 30 years. As a freelance designer, he brings his expertise to various projects and events. Donald has also served as the Education Specialist at Floriology Institute of Jacksonville, Florida, and the Floral Design Director at Smithers-Oasis North America of Kent Ohio.
DO WHAT YOU LOVE | Deeply influenced by eastern and western cultures, Donald has his unique approach to floral designs and aesthetics which has caught a lot of attention from the industry and media. Throughout the years, Donald has featured in all sorts of floral shows and in many internationally renowned magazines.
LOVE WHAT YOU DO | Donald's humorous and friendly way of tutoring has made him one of the popular education specialists in the field, thrilling participants with his trendy ideas and techniques. To further share his passion with people, Donald has created a YouTube channel where he shares his floral journey, and gives many design ideas and much industry knowledge to the world.
CONSTANTLY GO BEYOND YOUR BEST | Donald placed 5th in the 2019 World Flower Art Contest, held in 2019 in Bejing, China, where 33 stars of the world floral industry competed on stage and were united together under the concept "Live Green Live Better". He followed up with 1st place in the 51st annual Sylvia Cup Design Competition, the longest-running, live, U.S. floral industry design competition, held in 2019 in Amelia Island, Florida.
Jackie Lacey AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CFD
Sponsored By BloomNet and Floriology
Jackie Lacey has over thirty-five years of experience in the retail floral market and floral education field. His portfolio includes an extensive background in the retail floral market and wedding/event design experience. Jackie now utilizes his experience to provide education and instructional design programs, market showroom set up, private retail consulting, product development as well as design and event planning. His current position as Director of Education and Industry Relations with Floriology, BloomNet and Napco and Senior Design Team Specialist and Senior Editor for Floriology Magazine keep him on top of market trends, current design trends, industry education and retail marketing.
Jackie has won numerous awards in floral design competitions in both multi state, national and local floral associations. Published articles have appeared on both his expertise and floral experience. His work has been published in Floriology Magazine, SAF, “Flowers &”, “Modern Bride”, “Inside Weddings” and many others. National Television exposure includes designing and participation for WE TV programs “Platinum Weddings” and “I Do Over” as a Celebrations.Com Floral Expert. Previous work for celebrities such as Drew
Barrymore, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, Diane Lane, Cheryl Ladd, Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere, Matthew McConaughey, and Leonardo DiCaprio have come easily through participation with floral design on several major motion pictures.
Continuing education through numerous stage presentations for multi–state Associations and national industry leaders such as SAF, AFE, Virgin Farms Direct, Smithers-Oasis, BloomNet, FTD, Fitz Design Team, Floral Strategies and John Henry Company allow Jackie to help the continued growth of the floral industry. Experience in floral design for the Tournament of Roses Parade floats, product development team for the largest Import/Export show in the world and set up and design for Gift Market showrooms only adds to the vast floral experience he can call on for every event.
He has served as a leader in numerous industry associations to include his current position as President of FSFA International, AFE Trustee and board member, 2019-2021 AIFD National President, AIFD National Membership Committee Chair, CFD Committee, International Committee, and previous member of the Southern AIFD Board. Recipient of the 2021 FSFA Lifetime Achievement Award, AIFD 2021 Special Award of Dedication, AIFD 2022 Special Award of Recognition, and 2022 GLFA National Service Award.
Jackie’s extensive travels across the country, Hong Kong, China, and Europe afford many opportunities for him to interact with designers of all levels and share this extensive background and experience to florists everywhere.
Derek Woodruff AAF, AIFD, CFD, CF, PFCI
Sponsored by Syndicate Sales
Derek joined the floral industry at the age of 16 where he began learning floral design in vocational school and working for a local florist. Since then, he as continued to study the trade through institutes such as Michigan State University, the Great Lakes Floral Association (GLFA), and the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD). In 2008 he launched his own business, Floral Underground. Derek is a captivating speaker who specializes in “today’s consumer” connecting and engaging them through different types of media including demonstrations, subscription services and hands-on workshops with both plants and flowers. In addition to being an educator, Derek is considered a “National Floral Design Champion” spending many years polishing the practice of live floral design competition. This love of competition has won him numerous awards in the industry, including the GLFA's Chuck Bannow Award and Designer of the Year (twice), AIFD's Bobbi Cup (Thrice), Chicago’s Best in Blooms Competition, second runner-up on a national television floral design competition reality show called: "The Arrangement", is the 2016 Sylvia Cup Design Competition Champion and was the runner-up in the 2018 FTD America’s Cup Competition.
Patience Pickner AIFD, PFCI, SDCF
Sponsored by Sunburst Farms
Patience Pickner AIFD, PFCI, AAF SDCF lives in Chamberlain SD, a picturesque town located on the banks of the beautiful Missouri River. Purchasing a bankrupt flower shop in 1998, she quickly turned it around by specializing in customer service, super fresh flowers and unique designs....and also by adding lots of wonderful home décor items. Patience has been active with SDFA~ serving on the board for many years, from treasurer to president. She is also a past President of the North Central Chapter of AIFD. Patience has been awarded the South Dakota Floral Associations Designer of the Year 3 times, and she was also honored to be chosen as Business Person of the year in 2010 and 2019, as well as her store, The Picket Fence being voted as the "Best place to work"2020 and "Best specialty store" in 2022. She has taught many classes across the country and internationally. She is currently a member of both the SAF design Team and DE design team. She is a past designer at The White House, and a member of Creative Cartel. She currently is the Creative Director at Sunburst Farms as well as working with Urban Stems, as their product development designer. Patience has an online education page, The Business of Flowers and Design where she posts how-to videos and business advice, and she is Co-founder of Inspired Design, a design team that spreads their love and passion of floral art, through their website, stage programs, retreats and hands on classes.
John Hosek AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, CF
Sponsored by Teleflora
John Hosek AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, CF, owner of Surroundings Events and Floral is known for his innovative and original style of work and ability to think on his feet. From the young age of 4, his love for flowers began at home, helping his parents plant their gardens, fine tuning his love of “playing” with flowers. With a degree in Supervision and Engineering Graphics from Purdue, he first began selling his floral artistry while employed at General Motors.
John’s forward thinking and design talents have placed him on top in numerous competitions. He is the national Sylvia Cup winner for 2011. He received the prestigious Designer of the Year award at the 1999 Michigan Floral Association annual convention, and was a member of the design team for the Oscars in Los Angeles for 10 years. In addition, his work was commissioned by the U.S. Ambassador to Bermuda.
In 2001 he was asked to present a symposium-styled program in Sydney, Australia. In 2008, he helped produce a downtown London event for 600 guests (designing in a chicken cooler!), including royalty and celebrities. That year, he accepted the invitation to join Teleflora's prestigious team of Education Specialists and in 2010 became a member of Professional Floral Communicators International.
A continuing opportunity for John takes him to Scotland, where he collaborates with colleagues and many friends to contribute innovative and provocative new floral artistry and techniques to the international magazine Fusion as well as share his ideas with a broader audience. Since 2010, John has introduced new products and techniques to new markets for Fitz Design and Accent Décor, leading hands-on classes and designing for photo shoots and print catalogs.
William (Bill) McKinley AIFD, ICPF
Bill is currently Benz Endowed Chair and Senior Lecturer at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where he also the Student AIFD advisor for the Forsythe Chapter.
Bill shares his enthusiasm for educating others not only through his higher education classes, but also through seminars conducted at state shows, wholesale house programs, garden club workshops and symposiums throughout the United States and abroad.
Bill retired from the AIFD National Board of Directors in July 2015 after over six years of service, but is currently the AIFD Online Education Administrator, serves on the Education Committee, Educational Partner Committee, International Committee and is a past member of both the South Central and North Central Board of Directors. He is also past chairman of the AIFD National Student Membership/AIR Committee, Education Committee, Educational Partners Committee and Certification Committee.
Bill was inducted into the Illinois State Florists’ Association Hall of Fame in 2010 where a scholarship was named for him, was awarded the AIFD Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry Award in 2010, and recently was awarded the Distinguished Service to AIFD (Fellow) in 2022.
Bill and his wife, Nicole, have three adult, financially independent children who amaze them daily with their imagination, courage, and self-determination.
“The art of floral design is a special blending of the arts/humanities and the
sciences. A successful floral designer must possess both an
appreciation/understanding of art as well as an aptitude for the science of
Laura Daluga, AIFD
Sponsored By North Central AIFD
Laura Daluga AIFD is an event installation specialist at fleurdetroit. She also serves as Design Director for the Smithers-Oasis Company, working on product development and testing as well as presenting educational stage programs and recordings across North America since 2015.
Laura is a fourth-generation florist, growing up playing with dropped stems in the flower shop owned by her parents. She is a millennial designer with education, experience and an open mind.
She is an accredited member of the American Institute of Floral Designers, a Michigan Certified Floral Designer. She is the creator of Detroit’s annual floral sculpture show, Art in the Elements, as well as a board member for the Detroit Institute of Arts’ Friends of Art and Flowers, for which she coordinates annual lectures and demonstrations with the worlds’ top floral artists each spring.
She has participated in numerous Art in Bloom events at museums around the country and presented several Artist in Residence Programs throughout the midwest. She is also an avid competitor, ranking in the top of many competitions, including the Bobbi Cup in 2014 and 2016, the FTD America’s Cup in 2018 and 2022 and the People’s Choice winner of the Iron Designers America for the International Floral Expo in 2016. She’s been published in AIFD’s recent American Floral Art, as well as several times in the biannual favorite International Floral Art.
Sarah LoBue, AIFD, CFD, ICPF
Sarah LoBue AIFD, CFD, ICPF is an accredited floral designer and plant enthusiast with passion for education through social media. She values authenticity and honesty in her content creation for her retail flower shop, Main Street Florist. Over the past 13 years, Sarah has applied her love for design to all facets of her business from floral design to marketing. Through trial and error, she has made social media a major tool in connecting with her audience and her customers on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Tiktok. Sarah was inducted to the American Institute of Floral Designers in 2015 and served on the Illinois State Florist Association board for four and half years. Sarah is passionate about learning new ways to successfully expand her business beyond just the traditional storefront and share these resources and tools with others in the small business community.