2010 has been a year of many honors and accomplishments at Exotic Flowers. Sonny Canale celebrated his 52nd year at the helm of Exotic Flowers and Lombardi Florist. We delivered over 10,000 gifts to our clients and provided jobs for more than twenty local residents.
2010 was also a year of personal accomplishment for me as well. I was invited to judge the Floral Management Marketer of the Year competition and the Outstanding Varieties Competition at the Society of American Florists (SAF) Convention. I was also asked to participate in a panel on social media at the SAF convention as well. These invitations are considered some of the highest honors in the floral industry. My exposure and contributions in these fields have also led to more invitations.
My colleagues had recently asked me to help lead the newly formed Massachusetts Professional Florists Association; to serve as a member of the SAF members committee and to serve again on a social media panel at the SAF Growth Solutions Conference in 2011.
Below is my letter of response to these invites.
" I have thought long and hard about your proposal. I am honored, flattered and grateful.
Your invitation has paid me the highest honor - the respect of my
peers... and more importantly those who I aspire to. Having grown up in the flower business, I have always known how hard it is to make a career of this business. I do my best to give back to an industry that has given me and my family so much.
Of course, everything comes back to family. At this time, I must
respectfully decline your invitation. I do not feel I can give the
commitment SAF deserves. Please know, I do not feel this is a
permanent answer. I will continue to do everything I can for the
growth of our business as a whole.