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Lori Wheat Named SAF’s President Elect

Jennifer Zurko

Lori Wheat, AAF, CFO and marketing director of Lafayette Florist, Gift Shop & Garden Center in Lafayette, Colorado, will serve as the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) president-elect beginning in August 2024 at SAF’s annual convention, and she’ll transition to the role of president and chair at the 2025 convention. Lori is an industry leader with a long history of serving SAF and a depth of expertise in finance and marketing.

“SAF is fortunate to have a seasoned and successful retailer like Lori as SAF’s next president-elect,” said SAF CEO Kate Penn. “What’s more, Lori is so generous with her knowledge. She has shared her best practices in more articles, panel discussions and programs than I can count. Her wealth of finance and marketing experience will help guide SAF in creating resources that will help our members thrive.”

Lori’s involvement with SAF has spanned 25 years and started with attending SAF's annual conventions and Congressional Action Days. Now, she also sends her mid-level managers to SAF’s 1-Day Profit Blasts and Next Gen Live! because she’s seen how the programming empowers them and helps them network.

“SAF has been an investment in my professional and my personal development,” Lori said. “This organization is full of experts with a wealth of information.”

Wheat has also served on SAF’s Floral Management, marketing, convention and awards committees. She joined the Retail Council in 2000 and was elected to the Board of Directors in 2009. Her time as a volunteer leader helped her find “mentors, confidants and friends,” she said. “I volunteer, but I get so much more back."

During her term, Lori is looking forward to working with SAF’s Board of Directors, council members and staff to reach others in the industry and show them how SAF has helped her business grow and stay competitive—and can help theirs do the same, she says. GT

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