Convention 2016

2016 MFA Convention             October 14th-16th, 2016

Radisson Hotel

Helena, MT 


Alex Jackson, AIFD, AAF, PFCI

Veldkamp’s Flowers-Lakewood, CO

Teleflora Education Specialist

 A talented floral artist, Alex started working in a retail flower shop at age 17 by cleaning buckets, processing flowers and delivering bouquets. He has managed the retail operations for a 10 location chain of flower shops in Scottsdale, Arizona as well as the wholesale operations for a florist in Phoenix, Arizona. He is proud to be the Vice President and General Manager of Veldkamp’s Flowers in Denver, Colorado. 

Alex has presented programs throughout the United States. His presentations often include wedding bouquets, party centerpieces and clever, large scale event designs. He also enjoys teaching garden club audiences how to incorporate flowers into everyday life and to appreciate flowers. His original every day, holiday and wedding design work has appeared in Teleflora’s Flowers& magazine. His design work has been featured at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles and the White House in Washington, D.C. 

Alex is a member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), the Professional Floral Communicators International (PFCI) and the American Academy of Floriculture (AAF). 

Alex graduated from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix with a bachelor’s degree in secondary education. He is a proud member of the Teleflora Education Specialist team.

Sponsored by:  

Flowers for show provided by: 


Business Speaker

Andy Shirtliff-Small Business Advocate at the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, Helena, MT

As a native son of Montana, Andy was born in Butte and raised in Kalispell. With a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at the University of Montana in Missoula, currently residing in Helena; Andy has worked all over the state.

 In 2013, he was appointed by Governor Steve Bullock as the Small Business Advocate for the Montana Governor’s Office of Economic Development. In this role he travels the state to advocate for Main Street Montana businesses, entrepreneurs and startups; supporting them through stream-lining the state permitting process, offering technical assistance, connections with local partners, and promoting events that highlight Montana innovators.

Hands On Floral Designer

Leisa Cook, AIFD, CFD

Floral Design Academy-Belgrade, MT

Flowers and floral design have always been one of the most important aspects in my life. Knowing at a young age that I wanted to pursue anything the floral industry had to offer, I started my journey in Ohio graduating from Kent State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Craft and Design. Once I began to work in a retail shop, I then went to Hixson’s School of Floral Design in Lakewood, Ohio. Having experienced the learning environment, the opportunity arose to study European Design in Amsterdam, Holland, which was an amazing and life changing venture. Since then I have owned and managed flower shops and studios, gaining valuable experience along the way. The Montana School of Floral Design was founded in April, 2011 with the mission to teach and promote professional floral design. The name has changed to The Floral Design Academy, to encompass another aspect I have developed called Flower Therapy. This involves workshops that are conducted at assisted living and alzhiemer units, using touch, fragrance and beauty of flowers to help the patients soften their mental and physical ailments. I then wanted to pursue the dream of becoming a member of AIFD, American Institute of Floral Designers, which became a reality at the 2014 Symposium in Chicago. I have now dedicated my floral career to teaching design and mentoring other designers to follow their dream of achieving the highest honor in the floral industry.

I hope that if anything is gained from my presence, it is that we as floral designers have a gift, and that gift is meant to be shared with others.  

Sponsored by: 

Flowers for Workshop provided by: 

To take this workshop: Attendees MUST bring their own floral cutters, wire cutters, needle nose pliers and scissors. (Your everyday floral tools) 


Hands On Balloon Artistry

Darla Anderson, CBA

A Perfect Arrangment,       South Jordan, UT

Quick and Easy Balloon Designs for the Busy Florist...

What's sure to bring a smile to your customers' face and profits in your pocket? Quick and easy balloon designs! Join Darla Anderson, CBA, who has successfully incorporated balloon designs in her floral business for over 28 years. This class will focus on basic add-ons, creative stand-ups, and easy cash-and-carry items that are profitable, sellable, and quick to make. These colorful and fun designs add to any floral order to help you increase sales and bring a smile to your customers' face.

Darla Anderson has owned A Perfect Arrangement for 28 years, since 1988, in West Jordan, Utah. While participating in the Artistic Designers Garden Club she became an Accredited Judge of Flower Shows in 1995, the youngest in the State. Her business evolved through silk design, wedding décor, dried flowers, gift baskets, and floral design. Fresh flowers are her passion! Intrigued by the balloon décor she’d seen in magazines, she became a Certified Balloon Artist in 2003 and made unique balloon products available for clients. In 2013 she was one of the first three Utah florists to receive her certification through the Utah Professional Florist Association and went on to help and encourage other florists to get theirs. 

To take this workshop: Attendees MUST bring their own scissors.

Sponsored by: Pioneer Balloons

Tips & Techniques/AIFD Discussion

with Lindsey Peterson, AIFD and                 Karen Kromer-Spiess, AIFD

Learn the correct techniques of Floral Design with these AIFD designers. Lindsey and Karen will share tips on proper Floral Design along with the techniques that they have learned thru becoming AIFD designers. They will also share with you how to become an AIFD designer and what to study for and their experience at this year’s AIFD Symposium in Orange County, CA. Lindsey will also talk about the upcoming Symposium being held in Seattle, WA in 2017.

© g funk designs '11