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What's the Michigan Floral Association (MFA) all about?

Have you ever wondered what the MFA does besides send a dues invoice out once a year? It's a valid question. When you support an organization you have the right to know how your dues are being spent and what programs your dues are supporting. Read on to learn more about the many purposes that your Association strives to achieve year in and year out and Join the MFA today!

The Michigan Floral Association (MFA), founded in 1920, is a full-service trade association representing florists, growers, suppliers, wholesalers, educators and students. Located in Haslett, MI. MFA provides five basic functions, Consumer Awareness, Education, Professional Partnerships, Government Advocacy and Networking. It is the sponsor of the Certified Florist (CF) program; creates and hosts The Great Lakes Floral Expo; conducts educational seminars periodically though out the year at both members locations and the Association headquarters in Haslett, MI; partners with local wholesale houses around the state to produce design seminars and product reviews, publishes the award winning "The Professional Florist" magazine; hosts the MFA Web site, www.michiganfloral.org, sends an email newsletter, and interacts with state and federal government agencies. The MFA also administers the Michigan Floral Foundation (MFF).

MFA Mission Statement: To provide educational and professional partnerships which help to position MFA members at the forefront of the floral industry.

The office and our volunteer committees work diligently year round on seven different educational opportunities. Some are member only benefits and others are available to all industry members, when this is the case members always receive and significant "Members" discount.

1. The Great Lakes Floral Expo (GLFE)
My name is Debbie Royal and I served as the 2011 GLFE chairwoman. I consider MFA's Great Lakes Floral Expo to be the most educational, fun and inspiring weekend of the year. I love seeing old friends and meeting new ones, shopping the Tradeshow Floor, bidding on one-of-a-kind items at the Silent Auction, watching the Main Stage Shows and attending the Hands-on and Business Sessions.

Make sure you reap the benefits of all the great programs and fabulous educational opportunities by having your staff or colleagues attend different events and sharing the information with one another; it's more bang and education for your buck!

I can't wait to take advantage of the GLFE possibilities to expand my knowledge and grow my business. We need to grow our businesses back to their peak sales and then move above and beyond that point! The GLFE provides design, marketing, business, new products, and networking.

Make plans now to attend the Great Lakes Floral Expo. Consider this your personal invitation for the event of the year, you'll learn how to grow your talents and your business. The benefits are endless! For more information on the GLFE click on the GLFE link in menu bar above.

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2. Certification: What it Means in Competitive World It's Not Just a Bunch of Initials
Please allow me to introduce myself; I am Alice Waterous, MFA President. As I attend industry events, it becomes clear that those who put in the work to gain credentials are more likely to succeed within the floral business. Just as in today's tough job market, those with degrees in their fields are more likely to be employed and receive better compensation than those who have less education. Because the Certified Florist manual covers everything from care and handling, design, customer service, display, pricing and more, it provides a well-rounded resource for anyone who is serious about their profession.

Beyond being a great resource book, studying the manual with the goal of taking the Certified Florist test enhances a person's core skills. When you pass both the written and hands-on portions of the test and receive that designation of Certified Florist, it speaks highly of your commitment to be among the best. As a nationally recognized Certified Florist, you receive member pricing on Michigan Floral Association events, such as the Great Lakes Floral Expo & Education Center Classes. Additionally, you receive the award-winning "The Professional Florist" magazine six times a year and member pricing from MFA partner services. So what are you waiting for? Start on the path to being the best you can be and add CF behind your name. For more information on the CF program see the right hand menu bar.

3. Regional Meeting/Wholesale Design Shows
Every year the MFA partners with our local wholesale members to bring you top quality educational events. These events are usually held in the evening at the wholesale house and feature cutting edge designers, some are local; others come from far away lands. The MFA provides the sound and light system and promotes the event, the wholesaler also promotes the event, provides the facility, product, and designer. This has proven to be a very successful format with many florists taking advantage of these local educational shows. Check the Calendar of Events on this website, as well as with your local wholesalers for upcoming shows and events.

4. Professional Education Center
MFA partners with retail shops and wholesalers to benefit you! MFA offers top-of-the-line education benefits with its Professional Education Center at the headquarters in Haslett, MI, and with "On the Road" classes. This the latest educational benefit to join the lineup and offers a whole new way to get education to your employees with less expense and hardship. Here's the idea: you can have a hands-on workshop right at your own store or wholesale house. The workshops available are: Wedding, Sympathy, and Flowers-to-Wear/Gluing. Simply choose the class and instructor from the list provided and notify the office of your choice. The classes are three hours long and could be held in the evening or during the day. The time and day must be mutually agreed upon between the host shop/wholesaler and the instructor. You can do this for yourself or partner with a neighboring shop to maximize the opportunity and lower your expense. Classes are limited to 10 students per class.

The MFA office will send you a list of the products needed for each student. You will then be responsible for ordering and paying for the products needed for the class. Each student will receive detailed handouts for each class. MFA will send you a class confirmation letter and the class handouts in advance. Cost per class is $300 for MFA members and $450 for non-MFA members. You will also be responsible for providing all flowers/supplies for the class and all instructor travel fees. Our goal is to provide you with high quality education in order to keep you at the forefront of floral design. For more information on the Professional Education Center click on MFA Education Center in the top menu bar.

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5, 6 & 7. On Top of Information - The Magazine, E-news Bulletin and Website
The Diamond-Award-winning "The Professional Florist" magazine is published six times per year and keeps MFA members current on trends and floral industry news, both local and national. It's the premier magazine to voice your opinions, show off an amazing wedding or event your shop created, and learn what's going on around the nation and the world. The magazine is packed with important information on the Great Lakes Floral Expo, Professional Education Center classes and Professional Partnership benefits.

In addition to the magazine, MFA sends out an e-news bulletin straight to your e-mail with the latest floral news and happenings. My MFA Today is an easy and informative way for MFA members to stay on top of current events in these busy times.

The MFA Web site, www.michiganfloral.org has been completely redesigned with a clean, new, easy to navigate look and feel. It features the "Find A Florist" tab, which drives consumers directly to your business. You can also learn more about classes, how to become a Certified Florist, more on the MFA Scholarship Program, MFA Awards, contact information and so much more, all at the click of a mouse!

As you can see your MFA offers a variety of Educational opportunities in a variety of formats, something for everyone all year long.

The MFA also offers a wide range of Professional Partnerships and Business Services. These programs are offered and in place to help make all MFA members more profitable! They do this in various ways from direct savings on Insurance premiums, to discounts on products and services offered to Active members of the Association. All members should use these products and services to their advantage. There is strength in numbers! If your not currently using any of these make sure to check into them in 2011 and start saving real money.

Following are ten different MFA Professional Partnerships or Business Services that are offered exclusively for MFA Active members.

1. Michigan Horticulture Industries Self Insured Workers' Compensation Fund (MHI Fund)
The MHI Fund is a member-owned workers' compensation program that exists for the exclusive benefit of the floral industry and offers substantial savings to its members. Many sectors of the horticulture industry are eligible to participate in the Fund, including retail florists, wholesale florists and greenhouses. While it has several distinct advantages over other programs, most members would agree that one of their biggest benefits is the profit return they receive. This year alone, the State of Michigan authorized the Fund to distribute $1.6 million back to its members, bringing the total returned to $15.2 million since the Fund's inception in 1993. Right now, more than 70 percent of the members are receiving returns equal to 45 percent of their premium. Also, a variety of safety resources and loss control programs specific to the floral industry are available to help members to further reduce their premiums. The Fund works with loss control specialists who provide sound guidance and cost saving solutions on maintaining a safe workplace. Claims are handled with great scrutiny, and the Fund controls costs by fighting fraudulent claims and requiring claims settlements to be authorized by the MHI Board of Trustees, comprised of Fund members. The MHI Fund is a true MFA member benefit - we keep the total cost of workers' comp down, which means more money returned to Fund members and lower premiums. This is the number one financial reason to belong to the MFA. Call the MFA office and we'll get to work on getting you into the fund and saving money as soon as possible. For more information on the MHI Fund simply click on the banner ad at the bottom of the page.

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2. Business, Personal lines of Insurance & Blue Cross/Blue Shield Health group plans
Insurance, both Business and Personal, is a necessity. Reviewing and shopping your coverage annually is essential when trying to maintain a profitable business. But who has the time? This is when it becomes very important to have a Professional Partner on your side. Having a good relationship with an agent you trust is critical.

We understand this completely at the MFA. Many florists have a great working relationship with their local insurance agent. Not only are they like family, in many cases they really are. When working with your agent make sure you request them to quote your policy with Auto Owners and use the Michigan Floral Association as your preferred group. You can also use your MFA membership for access into the MHI Work Comp Fund and many Blue Cross / Blue Shield programs. Please have your agent call the MFA office directly if we can help with any questions.

We have a wonderful relationship with the David Chapman Agency here in Lansing, MI. Steve Grinnell is our preferred agent at David Chapman. Steve would be honored to have the chance to quote your Business & Personal insurance needs. He has been able to save our members serious money over the past several years. Please call the MFA office and we'll help you get the ball rolling to start saving money with all your insurance needs.

3. Unbeatable Credit Card Processing Rates
Midwest Transaction Group and the MFA have had a credit card processing partnership since the fall of 2000. While it has had a long history of providing the membership some of the lowest processing rates in the industry, the partnership is best known for the personalized customer service it provides. Every member call to our office is handled by a live, friendly person - regardless of the time of day or the day of the week. This means MFA members always get someone who knows who they are and the way in which they process their transactions. With the MFA processing program, terminal supplies are free as is the PCI compliance support we provide. There really isn't a better program available, which is probably the reason it just celebrated its 10th birthday!

4. MFA SuperFleet Fueling and Vehicle Maintenance Program!
SuperFleet and The Michigan Floral Association have a no-charge fuel discount program that offers you all the same features and benefits that are usually reserved only for companies with large fleets. You see, as a group, your association purchases enough fuel to qualify as a large fleet and therefore qualifies for volume cost savings. MFA members are currently saving more than $400 every month on their fuel spend collectively, while reaping the benefit of security and tracking to ensure legitimate fuel consumption by employees. Save 10-cents per gallon as a new SuperFleet account at Speedway's and 5-cents per gallon at Marathon's for your first 90 days.

5. Arrive Alive® Cut Flower Bouquet Hydration Wraps
Arrive Alive® is hydrophilic foam designed to provide water and nutrients to cut flowers for transporting, storing or displaying purposes. The foam is biodegradable, completely sterile, has a neutral PH and exhibits uniform hydrology. The highly porous foam maintains a 60/40 air to water ratio, directs over 90% of all water and nutrients to the cut flowers and retains hydration.

The basic concept of this product is that cut flowers are wrapped in the Arrive Alive® pad, sleeved with a polyethylene bag, and secured with a rubber band. The foam pad directs over 90% of the water and nutrients to the cut flowers, and allows cut flower growers to ship flowers in vertical or horizontal packaging. The foam also ensures that flowers or plants wrapped in the product will continue to be hydrated for up to 48 hours.

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6. TRANSPORTER 10® Delivery Systems
The All-In-One Delivery System - TRANSPORTER 10® ensures that your beautifully created arrangements arrive in the same condition as when they left your shop. No more broken stems, cracked containers or spilled water! Engineered with graduated openings TRANSPORTER 10® floral vase blocks hold everything from bud vases to vases with a 10 inch diameter. With a variety of styles to choose from, there is a size to fit every need. TRANSPORTER 10® assures peace of mind knowing that your deliveries will reach their destinations looking as good as they did on your design table.

  • Graduated openings hold an assortment of vases
  • Variety of styles suitable for any size container
  • Fits all types of vehicles
  • Resists mold and mildew
  • Non-skid bottom
  • Handles embedded in base for easy carrying
  • Absorbs road shock

7. Sandwich Boards / Changeable Sidewalk Signage
Our patent-pending SignTrax system allows users to change from a graphic panel to a message board, and back again, in seconds. The SignTrax system also allows for inserting optional clear plastic over the sign faces. These covers protect the letters and graphics from the weather and also from pranksters who might rearrange the text. Our SignTrax system includes our exclusive built-in locking mechanisms. A standard padlock (not included) locks the sign panels, and clear covers, in place for added security.

SignTrax message boards include:

  • Over 300 letters and numbers
  • Two large inserts for images or logos
  • Letter storage container with divider tabs for easy filing
  • Funnel to ballast with sand

8. Custom Printed Business Forms
Royal is a national supplier of custom forms and business supplies with distribution to all 50 states. Since the inception in 1959, their primary goal has been to provide quality printing, experienced customer service, and a professionally monitored forms management program with multiple ship points to their clients.

They produce and distribute a variety of continuous, snap-a-part, register and laser forms, demand style point-of-sale invoices and many varieties of promotional products. Specialties include laser cut sheet shells and stock forms for many types of software packages. They can also handle your short run cut sheet, letterhead, and envelope imprinting. Royal has the qualifications and the desire to take care of your business forms needs.

Custom forms are just the beginning... Royal can help with all your printing and business supply needs.

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9. Collection Services
Since 1938, I.C. System has been helping clients achieve their collection-related goals. Their experienced personnel, proven processes, and leading-edge technology combine for high recovery rates without alienating your customers.

They have collected billions of dollars for clients, and the number of times our practices caused a client to pay a legal judgment is zero. I.C. System is a full-service agency with 30,000 clients representing nearly every industry. Expect unparalleled service and recoveries to greatly improve your bottom line.

More than 500 business and professional associations exclusively endorse our collection services. And, I.C. System is a "Certified Agency," an ACA International Designation earned by less than 1/2 percent of agencies. Certification recognizes ethically responsible and legally compliant organizations.

10. Business Consultants and Freelance Designers
The MFA has Professional Partnerships established with many reputable Business consultants and Freelance designers that are available on a contract basis to help your business. These professionals have hundreds of years of combined experience and have proven track records. If you'd like to explore the possibilities that are available to you please call the MFA office to discuss your situation. I'm positive we'll be able to find someone to help guide you through your business challenges or help pull together that extra special once in lifetime wedding or event.

Advocacy
The MFA is your daily voice in Lansing, MI, and Washington D.C. MFA has constant contact with both State and Federal Government. Rod Crittenden, MFA EVP, is a member of the Capital Club; an elite group limited to the top 50 state trade association Executives. The Capitol Club members monitor the actions of the State and Federal branches of government and the decisions they make which effect small business. They meet bi-weekly in Lansing, MI and hear directly from State officials. MFA is the only industry specific organization with this kind of direct influence. Issues are only one phone call away. Unified voices have POWER! Our grassroots network is the most effective tool.

Fraternal
The floral industry is a tight knit family and the Michigan Floral Association is the organization that provides the family meeting and get togethers. One of the best ways to learn and gain knowledge is through networking. Volunteering to serve on one of the many MFA committees provide an excellent opportunity to meet and work with some of the industries best. We also have a presence on Facebook where members can exchange thoughts and ideas. Members' sharing with members is a MFA member benefit that is hard to put a price on.

As you can see there are many reasons to belong to the Michigan Floral Association, your Professional trade association. If you are a current member Thank You for your continued support, if you're not a current member we invite you to partner with us and join the MFA today!

For more information on any of the programs or benefits listed please contact the MFA office at (517) 575-0110 or email to Rod@MichiganFloral.org.

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Great Lakes Floral Expo

The Professional Florist

Certified Florist Program

Michigan Floral Foundation

For Email Newsletters you can trust
Michigan Floral Association

Michigan Floral Association

1152 Haslett Road, Haslett, MI 48840 - Phone: (517) 575-0110 Fax: (517) 575-0115



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