Administrator, Certified American Grown
CEO & Ambassador, California Cut Flower Commission
Kasey Cronquist is the administrator of Certified American Grown Flowers, a diverse coalition of large and small U.S. flower farms united in promoting domestic flowers and representing the only guarantee in the industry that assures consumers that the bouquets and bunches they purchase were grown and assembled in the United States.
Under Cronquist’s leadership, Certified American Grown recently earned the title of Marketer of the Year from the Society of American Florists for its American Grown Field to Vase Dinner Tour, a series of cross-country pop-up dinners held on America’s most beautiful flower farms.
His efforts have brought industry and consumer attention to the value importance of domestically grown flowers and foliage, helping consumers connect the “Farm to Fork” trend with floral and driving home the message that the bouquets at the center of our tables should be as fresh, sustainable and homegrown as the food on their plates.
Cronquist is also the CEO and Ambassador of the California Cut Flower Commission (CCFC), a role he began in 2007. Since taking the helm at the commission, Cronquist has spearheaded an aggressive legislative advocacy program targeting elected officials in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. and retail promotional campaigns to attract consumers and industry stakeholders.
Working with the California State legislature, the Commission has successfully helped drive public support and interest in California Grown Flowers through the annual declaration of June as “California Grown Flower Month.” Encouraging consumers and retailers to support and promote flowers grown in the Golden State. That program quickly helped establish a similar declaration federally, working with Congress to declare July, “American Grown Flowers Month.” In 2018, Certified American Grown held a merchandising contest that helped participate realize year over year increases in sales.
Prior to joining CCFC, Cronquist held posts as president and CEO of the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce and CEO of the Shelton-Mason County Chamber in Washington State. A firm believer in service to the industry, Cronquist is an active volunteer for the Buy California Marketing Agreement, the Agriculture President’s Council of California and the California Department of Food and Agriculture Nursery Advisory Board.
A committed nonprofit leader, Cronquist is a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management, was named the Santa Barbara Foundation’s Katherine Harvey Fellow in 2007, and is the recipient of Produce Business magazine’s “40 under Forty” award that identifies the produce industry’s top young leaders. He lives in Rancho Cordova California with his wife Tarah and their three young children, Kaden, Shylah and Lance.
Dramm & Echter Inc.
Mike is the Market Development Manager for Dramm and Echter Farms, overseeing product development, shipping, and production planning. Mike has spent over 20 years in the floral industry, including such firms as Mayesh, Roy Houff Co, AJ's Fine Foods, Cactus Flower Florist and Arizona Wholesale.
Mike represents the third generation in his family in the floral industry. Mike has been a member of the CalFlowers board of directors and Society of American Florists as well (SAF) Also active in other floral associations (CCFC) (PMA) And local groups. Has spoke at industry events and leadership events over last 7 years.
Mike received a bachelor's degree from Arizona State University Supply Chain Management in 2000.
Steven Forkey is a Senior Consultant working for FlowVision LLC. He has been employed by FlowVision since 2007 and has focused most of his time in the Green Industry. Mr. Forkey has been instrumental in establishing Lean Flow techniques in the Green Industry by way of implementations, speaking engagements and teaching workshops. By engaging with greenhouses, nurseries, tissue culture labs, tree farms and cut flower facilities, he has a well-rounded knowledge of the industry. With a full understanding of processes such as production, propagation and shipping, he has been instrumental in developing Lean Flow systems including Facility Line Designs and Resource Calculations. He has also had a key role in the development, integration and implementation of a Rack Optimization software known as RIO. This optimization software package has had a dramatic effect on the industry, allowing growers to increase efficiencies on the loading dock and increase payloads on trucks.
Prior to FlowVision, Mr. Forkey spent his time designing and building Pneumatic Conveying systems for the food industry. Some of his clients included Pepperidge Farms, Nabisco and General Foods. His responsibilities included developing complete factory designs with full system layouts, logic controls and equipment build and integration. Mr. Forkey’s Lean Manufacturing journey began in the Automotive industry where he spent 14 years teaching Lean Flow techniques while designing assembly lines for General Motors Truck division, Ford Motor Company and Daimler Chrysler. During this time, he was instrumental in the development of standardized process documentation procedures for General Motors Truck. As part of the Body Shop Assembly design team, Mr. Forkey’s responsibilities also included managing a team of Process Design leads during the installation process on the plant floor. Processes such as weld verification, placement and integrity along with material flow for the vehicles final fit and finish were part of a day’s work.
The de Vroomen family have been in the Nursery Business for almost 95 years and since the nine teen seventies with peony roots production and trade. Jacks affiliated with APGA through his passion of helping people enjoy the production of peony flowers and the use of them. He visits twice a year to Alaska for the peony trade and service to the growers. Because of his life long business experience with peonies, he was asked to become the liaison for the Alaska Peony Growers Association to the global peony industry, which he really enjoys doing.
Attending board meetings are not always easy living in the Netherlands with a 10 hour time difference or traveling to the US or Canada. His wife Leomiek and their kids Oscar and Denise are great supporters of what he does and hold down the fort in The Netherlands when he is traveling. It’s even better when they are able to join him on his trips.
Holly Heider Chapple is about florals, design, weddings, growth and about family.Widely featured throughout the wedding and event industry, Holly Heider Chapple’s work has been published in Martha Stewart, Southern Living, Weddings Unveiled, Brides, The Knot, Washingtonian, Southern Weddings, Virginia Living, In Touch Weekly Magazine, Elegant Bride and Engaged Magazine in addition to many stylish blogs and local publications.