Keynote Speakers

Thursday Night Keynote Opener - Ko Klaver

How to play in the Major League of Floriculture !

This session presented by Floriculture marketing expert Ko Klaver will provide you with a more in-depth picture as to where Alaska Grown Peonies stands at this time, where it can go and what the future may hold for Alaska peony cut flowers.
Where do we stand as peony growers, what is our market share currently, where can it grow towards, and what do we need to do to secure that position in the cut flower industry.  The question remains, do american flower distributors and consumers know Alaska Grown Peonies, its opportunity and what is the perception out there about Alaska peony growers. Are we making it happen?  More insight to come from Ko.


Friday Morning Keynote - Michael T. LoBue


Michael T. LoBue is a Certified Association Executive with extensive experience managing trade associations and societies in a variety of industries.  LoBue formed an association management company in 1993, which is the firm west of the Rockies that has maintained the AMC Institute accreditation for a longer period of time that any other (since 2004). Since 2013 he has been the Chief Executive Officer for the California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers (CalFlowers).  He has served on a variety of boards of directors and advisory boards for more than 30 years.  Currently, LoBue is on the Advisory Board of the Memorial Day Flower Foundation.

Saturday Morning Keynote - Kelly Perry


Team Flower: What a florist wants

Kelly Perry is the event host & the co-founder of Team Flower and Philosophy Flowers. She grew an at-home wedding business from a small subscription to a nationally recognized wedding brand while living in a small town in the BlueRidge Mountains of North Carolina with a population of 18,887. Philosophy Flowers has been featured with Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, The Knot, Southern Weddings, Once Wed, Style Me Pretty and Flower. Kelly has coached nearly a hundred floral professionals in person and thousands more through her Team Flower online programs. In this morning session Kelly will go over everything that a Florist or Floral designer is looking when working with peony flowers.

(Photo Credit: Heather Payne Photography)

Friday-afternoon wrap-up Keynote - Joshua Scholten

Fundamental applications that apply to all peony growers.

Joshua is a renowned peony grower in the Netherlands and is specialized in growing and multiplying exclusive, high quality peony roots and flowers. The peonyshop is a family-owned business run by brothers Jeremy and Joshua. Propagating their peonies the traditional way by not using Meristem culture. Their peony flowers are mainly sold in the Netherlands. The roots are exported all over the world to wholesale peony buyers.


Friday Mid Afternoon Social  Media Marketing - Jennifer Christensen

Jennifer Christensen.jpg

Jennifer is the Co-Founder and VP of Beacon Media and Marketing, a fast
growing Inbound/Digital Marketing Agency headquartered in Anchorage Alaska that serves local and national clients.  Founder and Co-Director of Women Entrepreneurs of Alaska. Jennifer holds a Masters Certificate from the University of SanFransisco in Social Media Marketing, is Facebook Certified in Facebook Marketing Best Practices and holds an Inbound Marketing Certification from Hubspot. She is currently pursing her Masters Degree from Harvard University. 

Jennifer was named the Marketer of the Year in 2016-2017 for the state of Alaska from the
American Marketing Association and Marketing Visionary Award for 2015-2016.


Saturday Afternoon Keynote - Steve Catando

What floral distributors look for when procuring cut flowers

Steve leads a team of nine buyers for one of the largest wholesale floral distributors in the United States, DVFlora. Currently in his 23rd year of working in a fast paced, commodity based, and perishable industry. Steve has gained a solid understanding and appreciation of developing positive solutions that provide value for his company customers and grower suppliers as well. We will learn exactly what the wholesale floral distributors are looking for when procuring American Grown cutflowers. 

Friday mid-morning double session - Jeri Rubin


Jeri Rubin is Professor of Business Administration at the College of Business and Public Policy at University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA).  

Jeri specializes in sales training, advertising strategies, and marketing strategies. In addition to her teaching duties at UAA, she works as an independent marketing consultant. Jeri has more than 32 years teaching courses in sales, advertising, retailing, and marketing for the College. She published three case studies regarding businesses in Alaska Bush communities, presented a number of conference papers, served as a consultant for the University of Alaska Center for Economic Development, and given numerous presentations to Native communities and to Anchorage businesses.

Jeri served on a number of non-profit boards to include 13 years on the Board of Directors of the Alaska Chapter of the American Marketing Association--two years as president. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Anchorage Festival of Music.