Sunday, September 15, 2013

CCSF "Diversity Dazzles" at the American Institute of Floral Designers National Symposium in Las Vegas

City College of San Francisco Champion Student Sungmun Ryu modeling designs by Jim Dempsey AIFD, CFD from his program "Hand/Craft" presented at AIFD Symposium in Las Vegas, July 1st, 2013.

The City College of San Francisco’s SAIFD (Student American Institute of Floral Designers) Menzies Chapter won first place overall for the Student Design Competition at the AIFD (American Institute of Floral Designers) National Symposium in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 27th, 2013.  The Champion Students are Oxana Sanukova, Ineke Moss, Sungmun Ryu, Maria Pettyjohn, Nicole Kastle, Ariel Ermatinger and Imelda Iraeta.






The SAIFD Competition is a popular and exciting event at AIFD Symposium.  It's a breath of fresh air, and a chance to see new talent.  It’s truly a thrill for the students to observe and interact with professional designers/attendees from all over the world as their designs are on display after the competition.  Attendees can choose their favorite student designer and vote for them in the People’s Choice category.  There is a special night/dinner dedicated to all award recipients.   AIFD Symposium to many students is an unforgettable life learning experience that has built a platform for their future.
SAIFD Students preparing materials before Competition in Las Vegas

City College of San Francisco’s team won nine of the fifteen awards and are now the AIFD Student Chapter Champions for the second consecutive year. Seneca College from Ontario Canada placed second overall and Joliet Junior College from Joliet, Illinois place third overall.  There were fourteen SAIFD College Chapters throughout the United States and Canada that participated in the competition with 48 students in the competition.  The design categories were Wedding, Sympathy, Arrangement for an art opening and Body Flowers.  The students had 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the designs.


City College of San Francisco Student Ineke Moss was the First Place Overall SAIFD Champion at AIFD Symposium in Las Vegas, 2013.
City College of San Francisco team member Ineke Moss won four individual awards including first place overall.  Oxana Sanukova won first place Arrangement and third place Sympathy.  Nicole Kastle won second place Sympathy and Ariel Ermatinger won second place in Body Flowers.  The intriguing designs executed by team members Imelda Iraeta, Maria Pettyjohn and Sungmun Ryu contributed to the Overall School Award with the highest average score.

The team’s success is due to outstanding commitment, extreme passion, and diverse backgrounds.  There were five consecutive weeks of practice sessions before the competition.  This was a tremendous commitment and dedication of time for the students and instructors.  It takes a certain type of student to compete and make this commitment. The pure passion and talent for floral design is a key ingredient that instructors look for and are able to recognize in their students as they enter and go through the Environment Horticulture/Retail Floristry program at City College of San Francisco.  Instructors encourage, mentor and lead the path for this developmental process.  Instructors in the Retail Floristry Division at City College of San Francisco are AIFD members and have an extensive background in student competition.
City College of San Francisco Students Nicole Kastle, Ineke Moss and Oxana Sanukova during summer practice sessions before SAIFD Competition in Las Vegas.
City College of San Francisco is known for its diversity and this is also an important factor for the team’s success.  The blending of many cultures into one team produces individual uniqueness and a dynamic creative force.  We have students from all over the world.  This year we had students from Germany, Russia, Korea, El Salvador, Philippines and California on the team.

The Environmental Horticulture/Retail Floristry program and outside organizations such as the San Francisco Garden Club assist with scholarship funding for the student incurred competition expenses.  Kitayama Brothers Inc., one of the largest growers in the USA with over one million square feet of greenhouse and over 20 acres of outside production in Watsonville, California, invites students to participate in their annual open house competition.  This provides an excellent opportunity for the students to practice their newly learned skills before the AIFD National Symposium.
Students are advised and trained by instructors:  Jenny Tabarracci AIFD, CFD, Steven Brown Department Chair AIFD, CFD, Holly Money-Collins AIFD, CFD and Soho Sakai, AIFD, CFD.

Robert Kitayama and Kitayama Brothers Inc. are a major factor in the success of City College of San Francisco's First Place Teams.  Robert stands next to the design of student alumni Julie Harris.  She was a 2012 SAIFD Champion on the First Place Team when the AIFD competition was held in Miami, Florida.  Currently, she is the Designer and Owner of her business Julie Harris Floral Design.
The Environmental Horticulture/Retail Floristry Department is a hidden gem that has existed since the 1930’s.  The department program offers a complete curriculum that maintains strong links with horticulture, flower shop/studio owners, growers, wholesalers and manufacturers. More information about the college and program can be found at                                                                                                              

Instructors in The Environmental Horticulture/Retail Floristry Department at City College of San Francisco:  Jenny Tabarracci AIFD, CFD, Steven Brown Department Chair AIFD, CFD, Holly Money-Collins AIFD, CFD, Soho Sakai AIFD, CFD, Robert Broucaret, Thomas Wang, Auguste Broucaret and Malcolm Hillan.   


The next SAIFD Competition will be held July 3-7, 2014 at the Chicago Hilton in Chicago, IL.  You can visit for more information.

Only one month into the Fall Semester and new talent is starting to twinkle..............................................................