After one week,and more than 4,000 thousand votes for thirty-eight individual entries, the top five finishers in the online design contest portion of the award advanced to the final round. Here they were joined by the winners of the professional divisions of the 2019 GLFEE and 2019 WUMFA Annual Convention, and a final winner was selected at random. —
The judges were pleased to announce Jason Parent Cfd Mmfd Wins the 2019 James Lowe Memorial Award, Sponsored by FloristWare, and as such FloristWare will pay for his AIFD Symposium registration and provide $1,500 in cash to help cover associated expenses when he travels to Las Vegas.
“I am honored to have won this award in the name of James Lowe. I first met him 5 years ago I when I went to my first Symposium. We had a lot in common (I also grew up working for my family’s flower shop/garden center) and ended up becoming friends. When I told him I was going to test for my AIFD he become one of my mentors. He would text and send me words of encouragement," says Jason Parent.
Jason will be inducted at the Symposium this year. He’s already volunteered in years past, made specific commitments to help this year, and is looking to do even more in the future. In addition he is active in the Maine State Florists and Growers Association. This is the kind of volunteerism the James Lowe Memorial Award was designed to reward and encourage.
Best of all Jason had another wonderful example of what made James so special: “It turned out James had been watching me walk around in circles outside the volunteer room, trying to get the courage to go in and help. I saw all these famous designers from around the world and I was frozen with fear. After asking if I was OK he grabbed my hand and walked me around to all the work stations and introduced me to all the designers. He explained that AIFD is a large family, and helping out in that design room was like a dream come true,” Jason explained.
It was because of this kind of generosity that this award even exists.
Mark Anderson of FloristWare detailed, “I called Jason to let him know he won, and he shared the story above. It tells of extraordinary kindness and generosity, but it’s only one of countless such stories about James. That spirit is the reason behind this award. I believe that Jason will endeavor to make others feel welcome, the same way James did with him, and I am happy to see that spirit carried on.”
Response to the competition was strong, better than anticipated, and has ensured that the James Lowe Memorial Award will return in 2020 with another online contest and a new winner.
“We are so grateful to everyone that participated – by entering, voting or just telling their friends. We also received a lot of great feedback on how we can make the contest, and the prize, better for next year. FloristWare is proud to sponsor the James Lowe Memorial Award for florists,” Anderson continued.
Changes will include more ways to enter, with the winners of additional established regional design contests getting access to the final round, and a bigger prize package that will include donations from other merchants.
To learn more and register for updates please visit www.floristware.com/jamesloweaward.
Like flowers, this industry is precious and fragile. FloristWare is the only independent POS provider that supports the floral industry and associations our clients love and, the events everyone can learn from. FloristWare sponsors educational content that will help clients be more successful at industry events, and provide an educational version of FloristWare to schools free of charge.
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