Meet the BFA Board - British Florist Association

Meet the BFA Board

The team is mainly made up of the BFA board of directors.  The Board of directors are elected from the membership by fellow members at the associations’ annual general meeting (AGM).

A maximum number of six directors may be elected at any one time. The board then has a number of officers and directors that are given certain roles to fulfil in order to ensure the association runs well.

The board appointed an Association Manager to oversee the smooth running of the organisation. The head of the Association is the Chairman, assisted by the Vice-chairman the whole team and the immediate past president. The Chairman also allocates other directors roles and responsibilities and chairs board meetings and the AGM. The board meet at least three times a year but in constant regular communication.

The board is made up as follows;

Association manager – Tracy Tomlinson

Tracy is very much a hands on florist and works in the shop every day, encouraging and training the staff to a high standard. 

Tracy Tomlinson has a wealth of experience within the industry, having worked as a florist since leaving school. Her career has progressed from that of a junior to the owner of the most successful flower shop in Coventry. She started in Sheffield before moving to Coventry in 1985. After 10 years managing a busy shop and gaining her National Diploma, she set up her own business, The Tomlinson Flower Company, in partnership with husband Frank.  

​As well as gaining 3 Gold Medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show and Best In Show, the shop has been proud of having both an Interflora Florist of the Year, and Young Florist of the Year among its employees.  In 2004 The Tomlinson Flower Company were the first winners of the Godiva Award for Best Business in Coventry & Warwickshire sponsored by the local Chamber of Commerce.

Tracy is well known in the floristry industry and has been a board member of the BFA for more than 13 years and latterly has been responsible for all the BFA Events including the Annual FleurEx trade show.  

Tracy played an integral part in the formation of the UK Judges Guild.  After competing in floristry competitions for many years Tracy qualified as a floristry judge and a Florint International Judge being part of the Technical Committee at the recent Europa Cup in Genoa last April 2016, and previously has adjudicated at the Interflora Florist of the Year, Eurofleurs, and The National Championships in Norway, Denmark & Russia. Tracy is President of the Technical team for Florint, overseeing the prestigious Europa Cup and Eurofleurs.

When taking on her role within the organisation in summer 2016 Tracy said “I am delighted to take up this unique position within our Industry, having sold my business I look forward to putting all my energies into growing the Association for the benefit of our Members and the Flower Industry.”

Chairman -Brian Wills -Pope

Brian first became involved in the floristry industry when he became a partner in a shop in Teignmouth in 1973 as a driver/ bookkeeper.  He is now in partnership with his wife Susan with 5 shops in the Torbay area.  He was a director of Interflora from 1977 to 1997 Chaired the District Affairs and Marketing committee before serving as President; he also served on the World Board of Interflora for 4 years and became World President. Brian has been a board member of BFA for 14 years and has chaired the Retail committee; he became Vice President in 2007 and Chairman of the Board in 2013. Brian has chaired the Floristry Industry Group of Lantra the Sector Skills Council for Land based industries. Brian was appointed a Fellow for the Institute of Directors in 1988.

Brian is Chairman of Governors of Torquay Boys’ Grammar School. Brian was award an MBE for services to the County of Devon in 2005 and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County in 2012.

Vice Chairman – Sandie Griffith

Sandie started in the Floristry Business with her husband Bryan in 1975 with their first shop in Crowthorne and coming from a non floristry background quickly learnt all the aspects of running a shop from sweeping the floor upwards.  Their main business was Wholesale Florists and they moved more into Retail when they bought Jemini Flowers in Oxford in 1984. With three shops and 25 staff, training was always a priority. Her encouragement of her staff led to three Gold Medals and Chelsea Cups together with many finalists at Interflora Florist of the Year.

Sandie has always been involved in some part of the Industry, for many years within Interflora District 12. she was co-opted onto the Interflora Education Committee and her interest and passion for Training took off. She Chaired the Industry Training Organisation for Floristry and moved onto Chair the Lantra Floristry Group and sat on the Board of Lantra. She was invited to join the BFA Board two years ago to take over the Training and Education Committee, which is going from strength to strength.  With this very full agenda, Sandie also runs the WorldskillsUk Competition for Floristry taking 12 finalists to the Skills Show in Birmingham in November.

Having now sold the business, Sandie sits as a Magistrate in Oxford, is very involved in the running of the Covered Market where she is a Tenant and finds time to head up the team of flower arrangers who look after the flowers in Dorchester Abbey.

Retail Director – Nikki Meader

Nikki Meader, owner of West Malling Flowers in Kent and won BFA Retail Florist of the Year 2015. Although she trained as an accountant, Nikki grew up immersed in flowers with a florist mum and greengrocer dad and returned to her roots when she opened West Malling Flowers in 2011.  They supply fresh flowers with passion and style and are proud to have a fully trained,well-qualified and experienced team that strives to give their customers the very best in service, style and design. As a family they have been in the florist trade for over 25 years.

Membership Director – Kate Whelan

Kate has been a florist for over 14 years. After studying art and design at university, Kate found her passion working at a small florist in Manchester and was was totally hooked. After retraining to earn floristry qualifications at college she then moved around so she could learn as much as possible about the industry. Concentrating on both retail and events. Working in Bermuda for three and a half years really helped to developed her floral design experience and business acumen. Her professional career in events both in Manchester and around the world has given Kate a wealth of organisational skills and she is also now a qualified teacher with a passion for the industry that keeps growing more and more each day. 

Kate currently owns Paragon floral design, which specialises in weddings. She freelances when possible, sits on the Education and Training committee as well as being an area manager for the Institute of Professional Florists.

International Relations Director – Lorraine Key

Lorraine is a fun loving person who is passionate about the floristry Industry.  She has an incredible knowledge base that started with an excellent grounding as a florist for which she is fully qualified.  

Lorraine is now the Teleflor International President, Euroflorist Industry Director and General Manager.  Prior to that Retail Manager for Interflora British Unit. 

Team members

Membership Officer – Claire Currie

Claire joined the BFA team in January 2016, she is one of the few members of the team that isn’t from a floristry background, but this works to the BFA’s and it’s members advantage! Originally from a legal executive background, Claire has considerable experience in administration and quickly got up to speed with our industry. Claire works 4 days a week and and is able to help with all matters of membership.

BFA Magazine Editor – Nina Tucknott

Nina’s passion for flowers started in her birth country of Finland where flowers played a huge part in every day life, and once she moved to the UK in 1981 she was delighted to discover that she could further this passion through various floristry courses and floral workshops.
Nina is a studio florist, a qualified NAFAS Area Demonstrator and has also for the past ten years run workshops and courses in the Sussex area with the sole aim of ensuring as many people as possible are bitten by the floral bug.
Having been a freelance writer since the 1990s, Nina spent four years as Editor of Flora International before moving onto the BFA Magazine in January 2019. She is also involved with the English version of Fleur Creatif.

Past President – Mark Ward

Mark Ward joined is the immediate past president of the British Florist Association (BFA), holding the role of president from 2002 – 2013 and served as a director for over sixteen years, being made an honorary member of the BFA in 2013. Mark is past president of the International Florist Organisation (FLORINT) a role which he took up in 2011 and the chairman of the steering group for the MPS certifictaion label of Fair Flowers Fair Plants (FFFP). Both organisations being based in the Netherlands. Mark has been a key note speaker at many industry events and seminars as well as demonstrating his floral art design skills at a number of venues. With over thirty five years in the floristry industry Mark is a seasoned florist with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

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