United States Senator Debbie Stabenow was honored at the Michigan Floral Foundation’s Hall of Fame dinner held Tuesday evening October 8, at the University Club of MSU in East Lansing Michigan.
Senator Stabenow was cited for work that has benefitted every segment and level of the agricultural and floral community. A graduate of Michigan State University and a native Michigander, Senator Stabenow is a national leader on food and agriculture policy and a forceful advocate for Michigan agriculture – the state’s second biggest source of jobs.
In accepting the award, presented by Bob Patterson, CF, Michigan Floral Foundation Chair, Senator Stabenow expressed her appreciation of the floral industry and how special it is that members touch people at the most important and memorable times of their lives on a daily basis. “I always try to stop in the local flower shop when I am making visits around the state. The local florists always know what is going on in the local community. When is homecoming? When is the prom? Who’s getting married?”
The senator was accompanied by her 93-year-old mother who shared the fact that no matter how busy her daughter is she still calls her every day.
Attending the event were representatives of the floral industry, business associations, and government officials from the state of Michigan. Special guests included Michigan Senators Sean McCann and Roger Victory, former Michigan Senator and current Executive Director of the Michigan Greenhouse Growers Council Geoff Hansen, former Michigan Representative Lorence Wenke, and former Director of the Michigan Office for New Americans Bing Goei. Speakers included Society of American Florists CEO Kate Penn, President of the Michigan Agri Business Association Jim Byrum, and Tim Galea, 2019 Hall Fame chairman.
Former Hall of Fame honorees Kathy Petz and Alice Waterous AIFD, CF, PFCI, were also in attendance.
After opening remarks by Rod Crittenden, president of the Michigan Floral Foundation, several speakers took the podium.
Kate Penn spoke on the long time relation SAF has had with the Senator and how she has always been a strong supporter of floriculture and specialty crops.
Jim Byrum focused his words on the Senators life long public service as a Representative in the Michigan House and State Senate to her current role as the United States Senator.
Tim Galea discussed the history of the Great Lakes Floral Association, pointing out that as a Michigan State alum, she might be interested that the association was started in 1920 by a group of graduates from the MSU horticulture program. The Michigan Floral Foundation was established in 2007 to support and advance the floral industry through educational opportunities and community enrichment activities.
The event was sponsored by platinum sponsor Teleflora and bronze sponsor
Flower Shop Network. The Plant Professionals provided flowers and décor.