AFE recognizes 2 industry leaders with new Ambassador Award
The American Floral Endowment (AFE) recently announced the recipients of the inaugural AFE Ambassador Awards. The award recognizes an individual, organization or institution in the floral community for their exceptional leadership, advocacy, and devoted service to the endowment’s mission. By acting as an ambassador and champion of AFE, the recipient reinforces the endowment’s advancements in floriculture research, education, and innovation. The award is chosen through a nomination process by AFE’s Board of Trustees.
The recipients were announced during AFE’s Friends of Floral Annual Donor Event and Reception held in conjunction with SAF’s 2023 Annual Convention in Phoenix. The first-ever recipients of this award, Marvin Miller, Ph.D., of Ball Horticultural, and Dwight Larimer, formerly of Smithers-Oasis/DESIGN MASTER, were honored for their advocacy, support, and leadership through their involvement with the endowment.
Miller has nearly 40 years of industry service as market research manager for Ball Horticultural. He has been with the company since 1983. The focus of his research efforts involves the changing structure, conduct, and performance of the horticulture industry.
Through AFE, Miller is a past trustee who served multiple terms, continued as an Emeritus member, and still sits on the research committee. He provides expertise in research for both AFE directly and the Floriculture Nursery and Research Initiative (FNRI) projects, which the Endowment provides review and recommendations on.
Dwight Larimer has been an ambassador to AFE for over a decade. With his over 40 years of industry service, he has leveraged his knowledge and industry connections to support the industry and AFE. In addition to his terms as a trustee, Larimer also served as AFE’s Chairman of the Board from 2016-2018.
Additionally, and throughout his Board service, he served on AFE’s Education, Floral Marketing Fund (FMF), and PR/Development Committees – serving as Chair for both Education and FMF.
With a passion for education and young professionals, Larimer helped create AFE’s Young Professionals Council in 2015, serving as the board liaison to the group, and developing programs to support their professional development. Currently, he still serves as Chair of AFE’s Vic & Margaret Ball Internship Committee, a program that places undergraduate students in three, four, or six-month internships in floriculture production.
Larimer’s career has been fully devoted to the floral industry. For nearly 40 years, Larimer was the president of DESIGN MASTER color tool,. offering color sprays and accessory products for floral and decorative projects. In 2021, DESIGN MASTER joined the Smithers-Oasis brand, and in 2022, he retired.