Presenter Bios

Rick Brewer
Owner, Brewer Business Consulting

Rick Brewer is no stranger to the wedding and event industry. Since 1992, Rick has worked with over 850 businesses one on one and helped them rise to the next level. In addition to working one on one with wedding businesses, Rick has spoken to thousands around the country and has become widely recognized as an expert in marketing and sales for weddings and events. Rick has authored 20+ books on the subject and is known for his proprietary approach in the psychology of buying weddings and events.


Kyle Brown CPA
Owner, Lone Star Bloom

Kyle Brown has five years of experience within the retail floral industry. He is the owner of Lone Star Bloom, a floral company consisting of nine retail locations in five states, and manages over 100 employees on a daily basis. With an accomplished background in accounting and a CPA under his belt, Kyle successfully runs his stores from a business perspective by using continuous financial benchmarking to stay on target and ensure a healthy bottom line. In addition to managing his own locations, he regularly consults with other flower shop owners to share his business knowledge and help them increase their profitability.

In his short time in the floral industry, Kyle has already amassed several accolades. He has contributed to the Society of American Florists' magazine, Floral Management, and was a featured speaker at the 2014 SAF Convention in Marco Island, FL. Under Kyle's ownership, Lone Star Bloom was named in Inc. 5000's list of the fastest growing private companies in America.


Tina Coker AIFD, AAF, PFCI
FTD Education Consultant

More than 30 years ago, Tina Coker opened Designs of the Times Florist in Melbourne, FL. Her passion for flowers, creative approach and drive to run a successful business continue today. Tina’s floral artistry and shops have been showcased in Florist, Florists' Review and Florida Architecture as well as on the cover of Floral Management. She was also a regular columnist for Flora, where she shared her extensive marketing know-how.

Actively involved with industry education for nearly 20 years, Tina is a past president of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) and the Southern Chapter of AIFD. In 2012, she served as the Program Coordinator for the AIFD National Symposium. Additionally, Tina has been a featured presenter for AIFD on both the regional and national levels and served as an official judge at the 2004 Interflora World Cup in Melbourne, Australia. As an FTD Master Designer and Master Florist Manager, Tina combines creative design techniques with a commonsense business approach to produce exquisite floral creations. Tina currently owns and operates two flower shop locations in eastern Florida.


Art Conforti
President, Beneva Solutions

Retail sales have come naturally to Arthur Conforti since the age of 16 when his father, a florist in NYC for over 35 years, supplied him with Coleus plants to sell in front of a hospital in Hackensack, New Jersey. It was then Conforti realized he loved working with people and plants and enjoyed providing pleasure to friends & family.

In 1986, Art and his Mom and Dad decided to open up a retail family flower shop, Beneva Flowers. By 1989, Art had to step away from his other business and concentrate solely on the family flower shop. Now, Beneva Flowers is celebrating their 25th anniversary and they are recognized as a "Top 50 Retail Florist" in the industry. Conforti has been awarded "40 under 40 top business people" in Sarasota, Fla, Philanthropist of the Year, Boss of the Year and voted #1 Florist by Sarasota Magazine and the Herald Tribune Reader's Choice Awards for 14 consecutive years.

Realizing that many of the solutions Conforti created for Beneva Flowers were also useful for other florists, he started a new division called Beneva Solutions. Beneva Solutions is the parent company that creates printed materials and marketing retail strategies. It is also responsible for the creation and development of floralappTM, one of the floral industry's first apps for florists to be able to sell flowers and gifts on Smartphones. Along with these projects, Conforti partnered up with a local web development company, Gravity Free. Together, they created a cutting edge website technology called Flower Manager, which is currently used in over 52 markets.

Currently, Art devotes his time to researching and improving Beneva Flowers and the floral industry as a whole. He also maintains a rigorous personal appearance schedule discussing industry related topics and sharing his vision with fellow retailers. The thoughts Art shares are far from conventional, and while he respects traditional retailing, his modern day approach will make any shop owner rethink what they have been doing all along.


Jeff Corbin AIFD, AAF, CFD, PFCI
FTD Education Consultant

Active in the floral industry for more than 30 years, Jeff Corbin brings a practical perspective on design and business to his audiences. As owner and designer at Radford City Florist in Radford, VA, Jeff understands the floral industry's current challenges. Best known for his commonsense approach to running a profitable and innovative business, Jeff's charismatic presentations both entertain and educate. His signature style of design emphasizes simplicity and productivity.

Jeff is a past president and charter member of the Virginia Professional Florist Association as well as a past chairman for the Professional Floral Communicators - International (PFCI). Jeff has traveled throughout North America leading hands-on workshops, participating on design panels and presenting commentary on both design and business in the floral industry. He has been a lecturer/designer for local and state garden clubs as well as a guest contributor to the Christmas decorations for the Virginia Governor's Mansion under multiple administrations. Jeff's work and editorials have been published in Florist's Review and Floral Management.


Steve Daum
Director of Superflor Technologies, Floralife®

Steve Daum, Director of Superflor Technologies at Floralife®, has worked in floral production and cut flower postharvest care & handling for over 29 years. Steve worked as a grower in Latin America and managed the Quality Control Department for Condor Farms. He received his B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture from the University of Florida and M.B.A. in International Business Trade and Finance from St. Thomas University.

Steve has conducted many seminars on care & handling in both the United States and internationally. Steve won the PMA Marketer of the Year for 2002.


Deborah De La Flor AIFD, PFCI
FTD Education Consultant

Deborah's talent, innovative style and passion for flowers have made her a world-renowned floral designer. For more than 30 years, she has traveled the world, sharing her love for the floral industry through design presentations, seminars, competitions and commentary. Deborah's ability to anticipate and influence the latest floral trends has led to her consulting for some of the biggest names in the floral industry. Her vast knowledge, down-to-earth demeanor and infectious enthusiasm make her a sought-after presenter for floral industry events. She is also the author of the floral design book Florsages: The Art of Floral Body Design.

Her many accolades include Florida State Designer of the Year and winner of the FTD Great Masters Design Competition. Most recently, Deborah had the honor of serving as a judge for the 2015 Interflora World Cup in Berlin, Germany. She was inducted into the Professional Floral Communicators International (PFCI) in 2006. Deborah represented the United States at the Interflora World Cup in Melbourne, Australia in 2004. She has owned De La Flor Gardens in Fort Lauderdale, FL, for more than 25 years.


Mike Fassler
Consultant, The Family Business Consulting Group

Mike Fassler has been serving family businesses since 1984, providing family business planning services with a focus on helping his clients grow their relationships, capabilities and businesses.

Mike helps families develop and implement plans to transfer leadership, management, and ownership of their businesses to both family and non-family successors. A significant component of Mike's work with clients includes strategic planning with an emphasis on helping clients balance the competing demands of the family and the business as the business grows.

Mike understands how to teach and motivate family business leaders to develop and use decision making, communication, and reward structures that help their family businesses become more effective in achieving personal, family, and business goals.

Mike is a member of and earned his Certificate in Family Business Advising from the Family Firm Institute (FFI). He is an FFI Fellow and serves on the FFI Practitioner Editorial Committee. Mike has received an M.S. degree in Agricultural Economics from Michigan State University and a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Notre Dame.


Nancy Friedman
President, Telephone Doctor® Customer Service Training

Nancy is one of America's most 'asked back' speakers, and she is the president of Telephone Doctor® Customer Service Training in St. Louis, MO.

A few conferences she has presented at are: American Leak Detection, Mid-America Cable Assn., Subway Int'l, Federal Reserve Banks, Precision Auto Tune, Meeting Planners Int'l., Grease Monkey, National Apartment Assn., American Rental Assn. and many more.

A unique program fitting all industries and job titles, Nancy's style is dynamic and laugh-out-loud funny. Her sales and customer service background, along with her professional theatrical career, allows her to bring a powerful and humorous program to audiences all over the world.

OPRAH, Today Show, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, CNN and Fox News are just a few of the top shows she's appeared on over the years. Nancy was also named one of the 25 Most Influential Businesswomen in St. Louis.

She is the author of seven books on communications and hundreds of articles in leading newspapers and magazines, including USA Today and "Manager's Journal" in the Wall Street Journal. Nancy's programs are high-energy, high in content, and best of all, high-results. Nancy and her family run business are located in St. Louis, MO.


Marc Goulet
VP of Client Development, Russell Research

Marc Goulet has spent nearly two decades in the field of marketing research, specializing in the design and execution of strategic research studies. His qualitative and quantitative expertise has been utilized by a diverse group of clients spanning several industries, encompassing corporations, advertising agencies, public relations firm, and non-profit organizations.

He has been working with the Society of American Florists (SAF) since 2009 when the first generation research was conducted and was featured in SAF's Floral Management magazine this past year. Drawing on his retail shopping insights expertise, Marc has presented floral marketing insights for several organizations in recent years, and is currently Vice President at Russell Marketing Research in East Rutherford, NJ.


Glenna Hecht
President & Founder, Humanistic Consulting

Glenna Hecht is an accomplished international speaker, trainer, consultant, author and certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR). Her experience spans more than 30 years as an executive leading HR and training functions in high-growth global organizations in the hospitality, retail, technology, service and advertising industries with world renowned brands such as Starbucks, Accenture's e-commerce incubator, Brinker International, eatZi's, imc2, Levy Restaurants at Walt Disney World and Marshall Field's.

Glenna is the President & Founder of Humanistic Consulting, an outsourced HR consulting and training company that has provided services in the floral, hospitality, service, technology, manufacturing and franchise organization. She is a monthly contributor to Floral Management magazine and has been a speaker at the Society of American Florists (SAF) conventions. Glenna has been responsible for 40,000+ employees in her career and has embraced a "do the right thing" philosophy. As a result, she has never been in court with any employment issues.

Glenna is also a professor at Collin College, teaching Human Resources Certification Courses. She has written the book "Profits from the Inside Out, Techniques for Creating Enthusiastic Employees and Lifetime Customers," authors the newsletter "I HATE HR...but I gotta do it anyway!" and has a noted podcast "HR Horror Stories."


Tim Huckabee AIFSE
President, FloralStrategies

Tim Huckabee was born, raised and educated in Connecticut. He moved to New York City in 1990 where he started working at a high-end flower shop called Surroundings. Tim learned every aspect of the flower business while working there, including handling telephone sales and customer service issues and dealing with walk-in customers. In his frequent conversations with florists, he realized that there was a dire lack of sales and service education in the industry.

That fact motivated Tim in 1997 to start his company, FloralStrategies, to literally bring training to florists. To date, he has visited florists of all sizes around the world to teach them how to give better service and to increase their sales. Tim writes a column, CSI: Flower Shop, in Floral Management magazine and is a frequent speaker at state and national floral conventions. In 2011, FloralStrategies launched SuperSalesSkills, the first monthly training webinar series in the floral industry.


Dan Jablons
Owner, Retail Smart Guys

Dan Jablons' extensive career encompasses more than 30 years of retail experience. As the owner of Retail Smart Guys, a retail consulting firm, Dan shares his business knowledge with owners of both small, independent retail locations and major retail giants. His consulting firm specializes in open to buy, inventory planning, marketing, sales training and more.

During his considerable years of retail experience, Dan has consulted with retailers such as Walmart, Target, American Apparel, Donna Karan, Oakley, and many others. He worked for a clothing manufacturer where he piloted vendor-managed inventory programs, as well as an internet marketing company to help retailers establish their presence on the web. Dan has also worked with a leading point-of-sale provider to install systems that provided merchandising assistance to retailers large and small.

In addition to his vast retail background, Dan also has a background in improvisational theatre. He has performed with comedy troupes all across the USA, and recently appeared on the hit TV show, Curb Your Enthusiasm. Dan has combined his extensive knowledge of retail with his comedy skills to become one of the business industry's most popular speakers.


Ann Jordan AIFD, AAF, mmfd
FTD Education Consultant

A premier FTD Education Team Member for more than a decade, Ann Jordan blends her professional accomplishments with the latest trends in all of her teachings, including FTD Boot Camp. Enthusiastic and knowledgeable, Ann has more than 30 years of retail floral experience and has significantly impacted the floral industry.

Ann teaches all aspects of floristry to floral design students and has served in a number of industry leadership roles, including AIFD President for the 2012-13 term. Her other career accomplishments include having her designs featured in Florists' Review, Philadelphia Flower Show, National Inaugerations and participating in many AIFD programs, including the AIFD booth at the famed Philadelphia Flower Show; her 2008 presentation, River Run, on the Main Stage at the 2008 Symposium; and Reflection...Five Decades of Design Excellence at the 2015 Symposium. Not only is Ann recognized in the floral industry for her creative skills, she is also known in her community as a business leader and prominent floral designer. She was nominated for New England Business Woman of the Year in 1998 and the Maine Small Business of the Year in 2004.


Derrick Myers, CPA, CFP
Vice President, Crockett, Myers and Associates, Inc.

As a business consultant, Derrick P. Myers, CPA, CFP has developed financial strategies which are unique in the floral industry. His strategies have proven instrumental in the growth of many florists. His seminars provide techniques that can save your company money and make your business grow.

Derrick has been working with the floral industry since 1983. During this time he has perfected his floral analysis program while working with hundreds of florists and being active in numerous florists' associations. This “Floral Analysis Program” allows him to breakdown the financial statements in such a way that he can show the florist owner exactly where to focus their time and energy to reduce costs and increase profits.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, with certificates in accounting and finance, Derrick went on to successfully attain his Certified Public Accountant designation, and was made a partner in the company. He has continued his professional education and became a Certified Financial Planner, an Investment Advisor Representative. He has also completed the Advanced Master Florist Manager Program offered through FTD. Derrick provides the expertise to guide businesses and individuals toward their financial goals through management advisory services, as well as tax, estate and financial planning.


Susan Negen
Co-Founder, WhizBang! Training

As co-founder of WhizBang! Retail Training, Susan Negen has a knockout one-two punch of sophisticated "big business" skills and street-smart small business experience. Susan shares her skills and wisdom as a retail consultant with independent store owners, managers and employees all over the world. In her more than two decades of business experience, she has co-developed the Retail Mastery System and the Retail Sales Academy to help retailers build their sales and improve their productivity.


Krista Neher
CEO, Boot Camp Digital

Krista Neher is the CEO of Boot Camp Digital, author of the bestselling Social Media Field Guide, Visual Social Media Marketing and the textbook Social Media Marketing: A Strategic Approach and an international speaker. Krista is a social media pioneer, having run one of the first successful corporate Twitter accounts – before social media was even a recognized phrase. Krista has deep roots in strategic marketing, having spent over 5 years working at Procter & Gamble on some of the biggest brand launches.

Krista has helped leading organizations with their social media including Procter & Gamble, GE, Macy's, Google, Euro RSCG, Covidien and the United States Senate. She has also been a featured expert on CNN, NBC, CBS, the New York Times, Mashable and Wired Magazine.

Krista is passionate about social media and created one of the first accredited social media certification programs in the world. She has trained thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of individuals in social media marketing. Krista is an active blogger, Tweeter and participant in social media and new technology, and is an advisor to a number of start-ups in the social media and technology spaces.


Rutland "Skip" Paal Jr. AAF
President, Rutland Beard Floral Group

Rutland "Skip" Paal Jr. AAF is a fourth generation florist and the president of Rutland Beard Floral Group (RBFG), which operates businesses within the retail, wholesale and import segments of the floral industry. Through its offices in Maryland, New Jersey, Florida and Bogota, Columbia, RBFG has created a new vertical integration within the industry. Skip has transformed the traditional industry supply chain into a more consolidated and efficient model, resulting in fresher flowers delivered to retailers at a substantial cost savings.

Skip is a frequent industry speaker and writer, and is active within the industry as a member of the Society of American Florists (SAF), the American Academy of Floriculture (AAF), the Wholesale Florist and Florist Supplier Association (WFFSA) and the California Association of Flower Growers and Shippers (CAFGS).


Ian Prosser AAF, AIFD, CFD, NDSF, PFCI
FTD Education Consultant

Queen Elizabeth. Grace Ormonde. Tom Cruise. John Lynch. Kirstie Alley. Ian Prosser's list of accolades and achievements, as well as the list of celebrities he counts as clients, runs long. Ian approaches each event with the utmost creativity and care, making him one of the most sought-after floral designers in the world. Ian began his career more than 30 years ago and he has owned successful floral shops in Scotland and Tampa, FL. His current business, Botanica International Design & Decor Studio in Tampa, FL, designs events on the international stage. In 2012, he established Ian Prosser Productions, expanding his design division for creative events.

Ian's most recent achievements include being named the recipient of the 2012 Paul Ecke Jr. Award by the Society of American Florists (SAF) and receiving the 2011 Wedding Innovator of the Year Award by Rockstar Wedding Planner. In 2010, Ian was awarded Designer of the Year at the Event Solutions Spotlight Awards and he won the prestigious Sylvia Cup at the 2007 SAF Convention. Also in 2007, Ian was inducted into the Professional Floral Communicators - International (PFCI). Ian's most prized successes include invitations by SAF to serve as the Floral Design Chairperson for the second inauguration of President George W. Bush and to design the inaugural decorations for President Bill Clinton. Ian also earned the National Diploma of the Society of Floristry (NDSF), the highest European honor in floral design.


Tom Shay, CSP
Profits+Plus

Tom Shay, CSP, a retail management expert, created Profits+Plus based upon his years of experience in his family-owned business. He is a fourth-generation retailer, as well as an author, columnist, business coach and retail keynote speaker. With over 25 years of frontline experience in management and ownership of small businesses, Tom Shay shares and teaches from experience--not from theory!

Tom has authored 10 books on retail, as well as written over 400 articles for 70 retailer-oriented trade publications. He presents proven and time tried ideas on the topics of: promoting, customer loyalty, business management design, employee skills development, and financial control. As a speaker, Tom has earned the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) distinction, an honor that has been earned by less than 8% of speakers worldwide.

His experiences as a fourth generation merchant provide him with the knowledge and background to present tried and proven ideas to assist owners, managers, and staff with the day to day operation of their business. During the time that Tom was a part of the family business, the stores were ongoing laboratories for the management and promotional techniques that are the backbone of the seminars that Tom now produces.


J. Keith White AIFD, CFD
FTD Education Consultant

As Partner and Design Director of AANDK Productions, a special events company, J. Keith White is known for his floral vision and extraordinary designs. No stranger to news media, Keith's programs and projects have been covered by broadcast, Internet and print journalism for more than two decades. Sponsored by FTD, his masterful designs for the official vehicles in the annual Rose Parade® have been viewed by millions. Keith's designs can be viewed in the book Wedding Winning Bouquet Combinations, which he produced with Florists' Review and the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC).

Keith's talents as a designer, merchandiser and communicator have been recognized and awarded throughout the industry. Most recently, Keith's design work was featured in several issues of Florists' Review. Keith represented the United States in the Interflora World Cup at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai, China and served as a judge for the Interflora World Cup in Melbourne, Australia in 2004. Since his induction into American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) in 1996, Keith has presented four main stage programs at various AIFD Symposia. While he is known for his showmanship and professionalism, Keith's programs also present meaningful educational content.


Randy Wooten AIFD, PFCI, GMF
FTD Education Consultant

Randy Wooten has more than a decade of experience in the floral industry. He is the fourth-generation owner and lead designer at Delorice's Florist in Douglas, GA, and is also active in the advancement of the floral industry. Randy educates his peers at various design shows and currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Southern Chapter of AIFD. His first book, Jubilation, was published in 2015.

Brilliant in both business and design, Randy has received multiple awards throughout his career. In 2012, the Georgia State Florist Association presented him with the 2012 Retailer of the Year Award. In 2010, he became a member of the Professional Floral Communicators - International (PFCI) after being inducted into the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD) in 2009. He also received the 2009 Dick Timmons Service Award and the 2006 Designer of the Year Award from the Georgia State Florist Association. His passion for the floral industry is deeply rooted in education, which he believes is the key to the industry's survival.