During the 2022 WFFSA event, we had the honor of participating in the second annual Women's Day Round Table Discussion presented by The Bloom Show and Flowers and Cents.
Our CEO and Founder, Corrine, had the pleasure of joining such inspirational women on the panel this year. Here are the women that were involved in the discussion!
Jeanne Boes, San Francisco Flower Market
Ms. Boes’ background is forged from both inside and outside the floral industry. Her experience in this industry dates to 1989. Working inside the wholesale market in San Francisco affords her vision into every segment of the floral industry, growers, wholesalers, transportation, retail florists, and event designers. The SF market is essentially a snapshot of the floral industry. Jeanne has worked in various other sectors, where she gained experience in operational management, marketing, and community development. She effectively ran teams, restructured organizations, and launched marketing and public relations campaigns. Boes put all these tools to work when she effectively renegotiated a multi-million-dollar deal to help save the wholesale flower market in San Francisco in 2018. She managed legal teams, built relationships with local politicians, lobbied politicians, and mobilized a community to pressure the developer back to the table and restructure the deal.
Jena Gizerskiy, Rosaprima
Jena Gizerskiy is a Sales Manager-North America for Rosaprima, a company dedicated to growing the most luxurious rose varieties in the world. Rosaprima values: unequaled craftsmanship, sound business practices, and a belief that roses have a starring role in life’s most precious moments, which was precisely the kind of culture she wanted to be a part of. She knew nothing about the industry but loved what she saw. Fast forward eight years to today, and she is proud to lead a Sales Team of five incredible winners!
Laura Shinall, FreshPath Marketing
Laura Shinall has been in the floral industry all her life. An entrepreneur at heart, she ran a small floral entity in high school, worked as a supply manager after college, and spent over 20 years with Syndicate Sales in various capacities, serving as an Account Manager, Director of Marketing, and President. In 2021, Laura and her business partner, Melanie Spilbeler, started FreshPath Marketing, a floral-focused, strategic marketing firm. FreshPath was founded on the belief that branding is more than a logo, and marketing is more than advertising. Building and connecting products and people one brand at a time are at the heart of the mission of FreshPath. Laura has served on the SAF Wholesale Council the SAF Board of Directors and is currently serving as Chairman of the AFE Board of Trustees.
Juana de la Torre, Ball SB LLC
Juana de la Torre is the Sales and Marketing Director for Ball SB, part of the Ball Horticultural group that distributes seeds, plugs, cuttings, and TC plants. She is a third-generation involved in Colombian floriculture surrounded by family passionate about flowers and innovation. Although Juana did not join the business right out of college, since she joined Ball SB back in 2017, her role has been fundamental for reengineering the marketing strategy and Ball’s cut flowers brand proposition in the highland tropics region as well the right leadership for the already experienced sales team.
Corrine Heck, Details Flowers Software
Corrine Heck is the founder and CEO of Details Flowers Software, a platform she conceived after spending over 20 years in several aspects of the floral industry. Details is an all-in-one software solution for florists and event designers with clients all over the world. Taking her extensive experience as a florist and her creative drive, she founded Details Flowers Software in 2015 and has grown the platform to include international clientele. Details Flowers Software is based in Ormond Beach, FL where Corrine lives on an 8-acre farm with Gregory, her husband of 20 years, and their three children, Avery, Amelia, & Aiden.
2nd Annual Women's Roundtable Discussion Highlights
The panel was such an excellent opportunity to share stories about their experiences in the floral industry and the impact the industry has on generations to come. This discussion focused on women in the industry's obstacles, the perseverance of the individuals involved, and how mentorship and collaboration are critical to keeping the floral industry moving forward. Being a woman in a male-dominated field is challenging enough. Having the passion and confidence for what you do will set you apart from everyone else in the room.
Another big takeaway from the discussion was not to be so hard on yourself! It is okay if some items on your to-do list are not completed at the end of the day. We are human! You need to give yourself some grace. It is essential to make time for yourself, especially juggling work and family. Taking the time to go on a vacation or even attend a yoga class after work will help clear your mind of the day-to-day hustle. Meditating and focusing on your body's wellness can be an excellent refresh.
Having curiosity in what you do for a living is a stepping stone to growing in any career field. The flower industry has so many facets and is forever changing. The pandemic changed many aspects of our industry and forced leaders to get creative. Showing interest in new systems and regulations in the industry can make you stand out. There is always room to grow!
There are so many strong women in the industry, and we need to build on their legacy for the future generations of women leaders. Upcoming generations recognize that women in a place of authority are normal. The gender constructs in the workplace will slowly fade away. We thank all the women before us who worked so hard to fight to have their ideas heard. We create our own story--let's make sure to put our best foot forward when we present ourselves!
WFFSA has also launched an official Women's Group, which will include a Facebook Group, as well as, floral industry opportunities for women. This group is focused on collaboration, mentorship, and women supporting other women in the flower industry. Make sure to keep an eye out for more information about this growing community!
A special thank you to Sahid Nahim from The Bloom Show and Willie Armellini from Flowers and Cents for conducting this discussion!
To see the entire Women's Day Round Table Discussion, watch the video below!
Are you interested in seeing more about our time at WFFSA? Make sure to check out our recap blog!
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