What’s In the Proposal for a National Floral Promotion Order?
The floral industry has seen increased demand for cut flowers and foliage during the pandemic. How does the industry keep that momentum going?
A group of industry leaders believes the answer is in creating a national floral marketing campaign, funded by assessments on domestic growers and importers. The program would be overseen by a proposed U.S. Floral Board in conjunction with the USDA.
A drafting committee, which includes domestic growers, importers and wholesalers, is proposing the marketing order that, if passed by the industry, will lead to the formation of a 12-person floral board to oversee the marketing effort. The marketing order proposes assessing domestic growers and importers that sell more than $100,000 in cut flowers and foliage a small percentage of their sales. That money, which the committee estimates could total up to $19 million a year, would be used to fund a generic floral marketing campaign. The drafting committee believes the resulting marketing will increase the demand and value for cut flowers and foliage.
In this panel discussion, three members of the drafting committee — Michelle Castellano Keeler, AAF, Mellano & Company; Oscar Fernandez, Equiflor/RioRoses; and Red Kennicott, AAF, Kennicott Brothers Company — will discussed the proposed marketing order and take questions.
Speakers: Michelle Castellano Keeler, AAF, Mellano & Company; Oscar Fernandez, Equiflor/RioRoses and Red Kennicott, AAF, Kennicott Brothers Company
Director of Sales
Oscar Fernandez is director of sales for Equiflor Corporation in Doral, FL. Fernandez has a bachelor's degree from Florida International University. With 24 years of industry experience, his expertise includes sales, marketing and education. He serves on SAF's Board of Directors and is currently President Elect.
Michelle Castellano Keeler, AAF
Mellano & Company
Michelle Castellano Keeler is currently Vice President of Mellano & Company, a flower grower and distributor based out of Oceanside, California, where she oversees the company’s corporate and real estate matters as well as employee and legal issues. She has been a member of the California Bar since 2000 and maintains a private mediation practice focused primarily in family and landlord/tenant issues. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Mellano Enterprises as well as the Society of American Florists in Alexandria, VA. Michelle is also a board member of Frank Toyota/Subaru/Hyundai on the Mile of Cars in San Diego.
Michelle represents several agricultural interests at the local, state and national level and represented California & Florida flower growers’ interests at the United Nations Montreal Protocol Meetings since 2003.
Michelle has previous legal experience in the Law Offices of Lugar & Pohl as an associate attorney and she also clerked for the Honorable Ronald H. Domnitz in San Diego Superior Court.
A believer in giving back to her community, Michelle is an active volunteer in her church, her children’s school and she is an avid traveler.
Red Kennicott, AAF
Kennicott Brothers Company
Red Kennicott, AAF, has held two simultaneous careers from his teenage years to the present: he has been an Importer-distributor and wholesale florist of cut flowers, and has held all job positions. Red is currently Chairman of Kennicott Brothers Company. Red has also been a grower of cut flowers at his family owned farms growing crops including peonies, lilac, willow and other field grown flowers. He is the Former owner of Woodstock Roses in Illinois and is the current owner operator of Midwest Blooms/Kennicott Kuts. Red is a Past President of SAF and is also a member of SAF's Hall of Fame.