• Alan Masters AIFD, CFD

    Alan Masters AIFD CFD has been designing for 33 years beginning when he was a junior in high school.  Starting at a small home town florist in Lufkin Texas he was inspired by Theresa McNeese to become the best and hone his God-given talent and skills.  In 2013, Alan began competing in design competitions starting with The Texas Cup competition held in Mesquite Texas at the Texas State Florist Convention and placed second out of twenty.  In February of 2014 he competed in the Rodeo Cup at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and again placed second, this time out of forty and in April 2014 he placed fourth in the Houston cup competition.

    Fulfilling a lifetime dream in July 2014, Alan joined 143 other designers from around the world and 5 others from the Houston area, in Chicago, Illinois at the "Transition, Transformation" AIFD Symposium 2014 where he tested for his accreditation as a Certified Floral Designer and an invitation to join the elite family of designers who are AIFD.  Alan and 69 of those designers were invited to join AIFD and were inducted in the pinning ceremony in Denver Colorado in July of 2015. He is the 2015 Houston Cup (Designer of the Year) winner, the 2016 Texas Designer of the Year and the 2016 NAFA Designer of the Year, winner of the Inaugural Jim Johnson cup and the 2017 Louisiana Designer of the Year.  In February of 2017, Alan was invited to design in the Rotunda at the Texas State Capital building along with five other designers each interpreting one of the six flags that have flown over the state of Texas. He currently serves on the Teleflora South Texas Unit Board and as President of the Allied Florists of Houston. Alan has a new found passion for education as he currently teaches floral design to ninth through twelfth-grade students at the Career and Technical High School in Pasadena Texas.

    Sponsored by:



  • Thaddeus Servantez AIFD, CFD

    Thaddeus Servantez AIFD, CFD is the owner at Westminster Flowers and Gifts, a local florist in Westminster Co. Family owned and operated for over 59 Years. They offer a beautiful line of gift items, specializing in weddings and custom floral arrangements for all occasions.  Thaddeus Servantez AIFD, CFD traveled the world as an entertainer for over 20 years with his travels leading him back to his home of Westminster, Colorado. Thaddeus has always pushed to be the best, whether decorating wedding cakes at the tender age of 12, dancing for the world-famous Radio City Rockettes, or working in the Floral industry from the time he was in high school. Thaddeus owned a successful Flower Shop in Las Vegas, Nevada where he worked with corporate events, weddings, movie sets, and celebrity performers Thaddeus serves on many boards throughout our industry.  He is currently on his second term as President of the Floral Association of the Rockies, Treasurer and Secretary for the National Alliance of Floral Associations and serves on an Advisory Counsel for Bloomnet.  He is also filling a spot for the South Central AIFD Board of Directors.  His love and passion for floral and education are just a few things that make him so happy to be a part of such an amazing industry and community full of extended family and friends.


  • Helen Miller AIFD, CF, CAFA

    Flowers & Such

    Adrian, Michigan

    Helen Miller, AIFD, CAFA, CF has owned a successful retail florist shop in Adrian, Michigan for over thirty years.  Combining her love of nature and desire for further education within the floral industry, she has taught floral workshops and presented industry programs all over the United States.    

    Education has always been Helen’s passion and she was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers and the Canadian Academy of Floral Art in 1997.  Helen is an active participant of The Great Lakes Floral & Event Expo and has traveled to German to study European Designs for Weddings with the world renowned, Greggor Lersh.  Helen obtained her Master Gardener’s Certification through the Michigan State University Extension Program to help her produce her own unique style of nature inspired designs. 

    Helen is an active member of AIFD and served on the North Central Board.  She is a member of Teleflora’s prestigious team of Education Specialists.  Helen is featured in Syndicate Sales educational videos, designs for their photo shoots and the 2016 Syndicate Sales product catalog.  She has had the honor of designing for the Presidential Inauguration of George W. Bush, and is a Creative Consultant for several industry companies. 

    Helen’s floral talent has been featured in many publications including Flowers&, Floral Management, and The Knot. Anyone who knows Helen knows how passionate she is about flowers and the floral industry.  She is sincerely committed to teaching florists about the latest techniques, trends, and creative designs so they may utilize them in their own daily endeavors. 

    sponsored by: 


  • Panel Discussion Experts

    Candice Hart CFD, ICPF

    Candice Hart is the Vice President of the Illinois State Florists Association and Owner of Pollen and Pastry, a bakery and event florist in Bloomington, IL. Candice holds a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture and a Master’s Degree in Ag Education, both from the University of Illinois. Candice’s passion is education, so she also works full time as an Educator teaching programs on a variety of horticultural topics to the public. She holds the designation of Certified Floral Designer, Illinois Certified Professional Florist and was awarded the 2014 Lincoln Land Cup among other top design contest finishes in past years.  

    Sarah Lobue AIFD, CFD, ICPF

    Sarah attended Columbia College Chicago, and obtained her Bachelors of Fine Arts in Interior Architecture. In 2010, the flower shop in her home town was listed for sale. Sarah decided she could use her design background and she and a lifelogn friend purchased the shop together. Main Street Florist is located in Carlinville, IL and is a full service floral and gift store. 

    Since joining the floral industry, Sarah has become involved in many education opportunities. Sarah serves on the board for the Illinois State Florists' Association and was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers in the summer of 2015.

    Courtney Turner CFD, ICPF

    Courtney fell in love with the floral industry, unexpectedly, during her first year of college. She went on to graduate from McHenry County College with an AAS in Horticulture and was inducted ICPF the same year. She has received several accolades, awards and scholarships throughout the state of Illinois. After running a shop for someone else for eight years, Courtney opened A Thymeless Bloom in Marengo, IL in 2013. She has a passion for floral education and strives to teach others about being a part of this amazing industry.



  • Back to Basics Instructors

    Janet Gallagher AIFD

    Janet has been blessed to be part of the floral design community over the last 30 years.  Her floral experience has evolved from working in a flower shop to becoming a member of AIFD American Institute of Floral Design, to teaching at the college level.  Currently, she is the floral design instructor at Kishwaukee College in Malta, IL. She also teaches online courses for AIFD and design classes for the Illinois Certified Professional Floral program and is a certified Floral Evaluator.

    Janet has been a part of the Flower and Garden Show in Chicago, IL. 2004, the 100 year anniversary of the Dana Thomas House in Springfield, IL., design shows at local high schools, community colleges, and wholesalers as well as commentated design shows.  Garden Club presentations have included the Inverness garden club Christmas luncheon at Medinah country club, and Garden Clubs of Illinois annual luncheon. She has done garden club programs for Naperville garden club, Potawatomie garden club, Inverness garden club. She have done AIRS (Artist in Residence Program) for Texas A & M as well as Joliet Junior college. She has designed for Petals and Paintings at the Krannert Art Museum the last seven years. She had the special privilege of volunteering for three days in the White House flower shop fall of 2015.

    Janet just completed her role as Chairperson for the AIFD Education committee, and designed for one of the luncheon events at the AIFD National Symposium 2007 and 2014 and the leadership Gala 2016.


    Ronda Hess AIFD, CFD, ICPF

    Ronda is the lead floral designer at Hy-Vee, Bloomington, Il. A graduate of Danville Area Community College, she has been in the commercial floriculture industry for thirty plus years. Ronda serves as the Illinois State Florist Associations' Certification Coordinator. She also serves as an instructor for the ICPF program. In 2005, she was inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers. Ronda is also an AIFD Certified Floral Judge/Evaluator. She is active in her community speaking to local clubs and organizations about horticulture.  Ronda is the board president for the Hudson Area Library District. 


  • Debbie Strand AIFD, CFD, ICPF

    Debbie began her career in the floral industry in 2003 by taking a few classes at the local Community College. There she was introduced to Illinois State Floral Association and AIFD. Debbie earned her ICPF and in 2015 attained her AIFD accreditation. She has won numerous awards within ISFA including previously winning the Land of Lincoln in 2013. Winning both the Land of Lincoln and the Designer of the Year last year has been a highlight of her career! Continuing her floral education is of utmost importance to  Debbie, having studied with many designers from all over the world. In 2010, Debbie started her Wedding/Event Business - Deborah Strand Designs. She is also an active Freelance Designer. Lately she has joined the staff at Lewis Florist in Greyslake, owned by Mike Lewis AIFD. Debbie is on the board of and is an active member of the North Central Chapter of AIFD.




    Renee Blitek AIFD, ICPF

     In 1997, Renee opened Renee’s of Ridgefield Flower Shop.  In 2002, she was Inducted as an Illinois Certified Professional Florist. The next year, 2003, she was inducted into AIFD. She became involved with the Teleflora Illiana Unit and in 2004-2006, became the Teleflora Unit President. Renee is currently an instructor with McHenry County College. In 2015 she became a Certified Floral Evaluator/Judge and she also judges the McHenry County Fair Floral competition.

    sponsored by AIFD North Central


  • Jody Mcleod AIFD, CFD, NCCPF

    Jody McLeod is a seasoned veteran in the floral industry with over 25 years as a retail shop owner and designer from Clayton, NC. His career in the floral industry began as a delivery driver! Most of Jody’s floral design education was achieved during state scholarships to various schools in addition to local wholesale programs and hands-on classes. Jody is a former North Carolina designer of the year, past president of the North Carolina State florist association and in 2008 he was inducted into the prestigious American Institute of floral designers and currently serves on the board of directors for the southern chapter AIFD.

    Jody is an award-winning designer and has been published in various publications, and a featured designer in Flowers& magazine.

    Jody enjoys sharing his knowledge of design and profit-making retail Strategies. He is a member of the Syndicate Sales design team and most recently presented on the main stage at the 2018 AIFD Symposium.

    Jody McLeod holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business management with a concentration in entrepreneurship and small business from East Carolina University. Jody enjoys using the principles and elements of design to enhance his hometown where he serves as the Mayor of Clayton since 2004.

    sponsored by:



    Adam Havrilla, AIFD, PFCI, ICPF

    Adam Havrilla is an accredited member of AIFD,  member of SAF’s Professional Floral Communicators – International, and an Illinois Certified Floral Designer who prides himself on offering original and artistic floral design with the highest quality blooms from around the world. Adam has over 20 years of experience as a professional floral artist; his career started at a flower shop where he quickly realized that floral design was what he was meant to do. After several years of honing his skills working for top designers, he realized it was time to open his own design studio and Artistic Blooms was born.

    His original and artistic designs have garnered numerous awards, including first place in wedding bouquets and tablescape from the Illinois State Florists’ Association and the coveted 2016 & 2018 Iron Designer title from the International Floriculture Expo.

    Adam Havrilla’s true passion and purpose lies in helping other floral enthusiasts. Throughout his career as a professional floral artist and speaker, Adam has given back to the industry through education and industry involvement. Adam has served as President of the Illinois State Florists’ Association and is currently the President of the National Alliance of Floral Associations. His goal is to continue working with the Board of Directors and membership to create new educational and business opportunities for the floral industry.

  • Ryan Freeman

    Ryan Freeman has spent the past 25 years helping small businesses grow through online marketing. As the 5th generation at Martin's, the Flower People in Toronto, Ryan helped guide his family business into the online age. He has worked with hundreds of florists around the world, and is a frequent speaker at florist industry events. Ryan is the President of Strider, a Google Partner online marketing agency, and was publisher of Canadian Florist magazine.

    Sponsored by Floristware

  • Meet the ISFA BootCamp Educational Team

    Judi Borah AIFD, ICPF

    Judi has been active in the floral industry for over sixty years, thirty three in her own shop. She has been a member of the American Institute of Floral Design since 1984 and the holds the designation of Professional Floral Design Evaluator. Currently is Education Director of Illinois State Florists Association.

    Trisha Locke AIFD, CFD, ICPF

    Trisha has worked in the floral industry since 1994.  She is an accredited member of the American Institute of Floral Designer’s (AIFD), an AIFD certified judge, a member of the Illinois State Florists Association (ISFA), an Illinois Certified Professional Florist (ICPF) and has a degree  in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Illinois.  She is a floral instructor at Parkland College in Champaign, freelance designer, and ISFA boot camp instructor. 

    Since her involvement with ISFA in 2001, she has been a volunteer, presenter, instructor, coordinator of the floral designs for the presidential banquet dinner, an ISFA Designer of the Year 1st runner up and ISFA Designer of the Year. 

    Jonathan Reiman AIFD, CFD, ICPF

    Jonathan began is floral career in 2000 when he decided to change his career path and bought a flower shop.  After 15 years of being a self trained florist, Jonathan decided to enroll himself and his staff in an ISFA Boot camp.  Thinking that he was helping educate his staff, he quickly realized he was the one who needed to be "educated."  With a new found passion for floral knowledge, Jonathan began is journey towards becoming an AIFD Certified designer.  In 2016, he became an Illinois Certified Professional Florist (ICPF) and also became the Illinois Designer of the year for 2016. In July 2016, he was recognized by the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) as  Certified Floral Designer (CFD®) and was inducted as a member of AIFD® in July 2017. 

    For the past two years, Jonathan has been a member of the ISFA Boot Camp Educational Team as a teaching Assistant.  He is also an active member of the Illinois State Florist Associations Board of Directors.

    In 2017, Jonathan took the position of floral and events designer at Walker's Bluff Winery located in scenic Southern Illinois.  He holds the title of "The Florist" at Walker's Bluff. 

    Julia Marie P. Schmitt AIFD, CFD, EMC, ICPF

    Julia Marie P. Schmitt, from Marceline, Missouri USA, began her floral career in 2008 when she started designing at her mother’s “retirement hobby flower shop.”  It did not take long for flowers to become her passion and her life and for the past 10 years, she and her mother have owned Busy Bee Florist & Gifts, a retail flower shop in rural Midwest America.  With her growing desire for creative design, she started her freelance business, Pualeialii Floral Expressions in 2015. 

    Understanding the importance of floral education, Julia began attending seminars and floral classes.  In 2013, she became an Illinois State Certified Professional Florist (ICPF) and in 2014 received her European Master’s Certificate (EMC).  In July 2016, she was recognized by The American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD®) as a Certified Floral Designer (CFD®) and was inducted as a member of AIFD® in July 2017.  
    In 2015, Julia became a member of the EMC Team.  She has traveled to around the United States, Canada and Europe giving presentations and workshops for EMC Trend Summits, EMC+ Programs, Fleuramour and at IPM-ESSEN, Germany.  As a member of the EMC Educational Team, she is also a Teaching Assistant, mentor, and is presently the EMC Educational Coordinator.  

    She is currently a member of the Illinois State Florist Association Bootcamp Educational team and an ISFA Board Member.  She has recently been named a Fleuramour Ambassador.  

    Carrie Waterman CFD, ICD, ICPF

    Carrie Waterman has been actively involved in the floral industry since 2002.  She started her career in retail product merchandizing, but soon found herself employed at a local flower shop in her hometown of Pana, IL.  After starting classes to become an Illinois Certified Professional Florist (ICPF), a curiosity soon grew into a strong passion and love, and ultimately a new career path.  She completed her certification in 2005, and continued to work as a floral designer until 2015 when she acquired A Classic Bouquet, a full service floral and gift shop located in Taylorville, IL.

    Carrie obtained her Illinois Certified Designer (ICD) accreditation in 2018, and she is currently pursuing her Certified Floral Designer (CFD) and American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) accreditations as well.  Over the last year she has been active with the Illinois State Floral Association (ISFA) Bootcamp Educational Team as a teaching assistant.  She also joined the Illinois State Floral Association Board of Directors in 2018.

    Di Matter, ICPF

    Eldon Haab AIFD











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