We start off with none other than the well known Great Lakes Floral Expo. The 2015 GLFE is being chaired by a good friend of floral.today, Brian Bak of Bakman Floral Design out of South Lyon, MI. Brian has all kinds of exciting things planned for the 2015 expo, but with of theme of “Floral Fantasy… Seek, Explore, Discover”, what else would you expect but something truly magical. You can expect great competitions, a plethora of vendors and not to mention the always amazing design presentations and classes. The wonderful decor team led by Marisa Lowing-Rakowski CF is already hard at work creating breath-taking floral design to make even the most seasoned designer excited! All the fun will be starting Saturday March 6th and will conclude on Sunday March 8th, 2015. Watch the Michigan Floral Association website and Facebook page while they release details.
The Michigan Floral Association has two major membership options, Active and Associate memberships. Active memberships are for most established floral industry businesses, while the Associate memberships are made available for teachers, individuals, employees and students. All the membership dues vary depending on the type of membership chosen, and in the case of the Active membership, your dues are based off your business’s annual gross sales. Both of these offer member pricing on all MFA events, a subscription to the MFA Professional Florist Magazine. Only the Active memberships give you access the to a vote, all the MFA professional services and are able to hold an elective office seat.
Other than the fantastic Great Lakes Floral Expo, the MFA also has a wide variety of member benefits that they offer. The Professional Florist Magazine brings you great seasonal design ideas, industry suppliers, educational awareness, and so much more. There are 10 major Professional Partnership and Business Service benefits that Active members are able to participate in. We will list them, but for extensive details of all the benefits please visit the Michigan Floral Association website.
- Michigan Horticulture Industries Self Insured Workers’ Compensation Fund – This member-owned workers’ comp program has returned 15.2 million dollars to the members since it was started in 1993 and this also offers safety resources and loss control programs that are made just for the floral industry and floral companies.
- Business, Personal lines of Insurance & Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health group plans – With so much confusion about insurance in the business and personal world right now, it is always good to know that you have availability to a plan that you can trust and with an available agent familiar to the MFA you know you will be taken care of properly.
- Credit Card Processing Through Midwest Transaction Group – Contact the MFA office with all your questions about rates and fee’s for this service.
- MFA SuperFleet Fueling and Vehicle Maintenance Program – With saving’s through Speedway and Marathon, you could be saving hundreds of dollars with the group volume cost savings through the MFA.
- Arrive Alive® Cut Flower Bouquet Hydration Wraps – As one of our favorite products on the market, you can save time and money not having to water tube those dozen roses or loose bouquets ever again. With hydration for close to 48 hours at a 90% water intake, why not use something such as this great Chrysal product.
- TRANSPORTER 10® Delivery Systems – Another great Chrysal product that floral.today has experienced and loves. With this great product you need not worry anymore about those packages falling over on delivery, with the stable foam that comes in multiple sizes you don’t have have to worry about size or weight at all.
- Sandwich Boards / Changeable Sidewalk Signage – As one of the more popular ways of advertising daily offerings or to just capture attention, the SignTrax sandwich board is a great inexpensive way to get more eyes looking at you and your business.
- Custom Printed Business Forms – This benefit is offered through Royal and they supply everything from demand style point-of-sales invoices to envelope imprinting.
- Collection Services – Have a house account that just doesn’t feel like paying, well as a MFA active member you have access to I.C. Systems to help you with everything.
- Business Consultants and Freelance Designers – Need assistants on a holiday, wedding or for business issues, the MFA has all kinds of experienced professionals at your disposal.
With the Michigan Floral Association you also have a voice when it comes to boards and committees, the MFA is always willing to accept any helping hands when they have spaces available. If you are just looking to start off with volunteering, you can also contact Colleen Siembor, GLFE Volunteer Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org with all your questions or interests. As a past student volunteer and Designer Liaison Chair, we know and understand the extreme gratifications of volunteering and supporting those that support you. Volunteering helps build industry connections and further strengthen the floral industry.
One of the greatest opportunities that the Michigan Floral Association also has to offer is the Certified Florist Program. This amazing program is sponsored by the National Alliance of Floral Associations and is also one of the 5 American Institute of Floral Design PFDE Pathways. The Michigan Floral Association has all the information for attaining the CF Manual, all other certification prep and registration information, along with the many outlets, such as community colleges, that can educate and prepare you for what the standards for being a Certified Florist on their website. Being a Certified Florist opens many opportunities for better pay, personal and industry recognition of your skills, along with the knowledge that comes along striving to be a Certified Florist and upholding the level of skill that is required. Personally being a Certified Florist, I have found that the doors have opened and my thirst for knowledge has only grown with the years.