Institute of Professional Florists- Meet the Team - British Florist Association

Institute of Professional Florists- Meet the Team

Being a member of the IoPF is a hallmark of excellence in floristry. 

As you’re probably aware by joining the IoPF you are agreeing to maintain and uphold high standards and participate and record continuous professional development as well as upload your current levels of training whether whether these have been through experience or a certifield qualification route.

The IoPF have a team of managers are there to help and be the point of contact for IoPF members.

Some of the key points IoPF members are there to assist and help take care of include:

* A point of contact for all your queries * To endorse any uploaded certificates
To monitor members and check that they remain at the correct level of membership* To ensure that members complete their CPD within the timescales
* To communicate relevant news to IoPF members* To assist members in all aspects of membership

So which Team Manager takes care of which region? Who are they? What do they do within the industry?

Take a look at the list below, click through to get to know the team managers better and see why they are experts in floristry as well as training. Once you have applied for IoPF membership you will be contacted by your regional manager who will introduce themselves and see how best to assist you.

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Sandie Griffiths- IoPF Chairman

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 four 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. Her dedication and hard work has seen the IoPF go from strength to strength

Ann Paisley – Academic Member Manager

Ann’s career in Floristry started in 1973 working Saturday’s in her father’s shop in Swindon.   After college I opted to work in Bristol to gain further experience before returning to Swindon in 1977.  Her Father held the contract to maintain the planted display on-board the QE2 when she docked at Southampton, he was approached by the Cunard Line for staff to work on board during the ship’s first 3 month long cruise,  Ann stepped on board for the first time in September 1977 and her career grew from there. She started working at Lackham College (now Wiltshire College) as technician, moving on as tutor and Programme leader. Ann said ‘Training and Education is as essential for today’s florist as it was back in 1974 when my Father sent me to college to ‘learn how to do the job properly’! Currently Ann is Area manager for Devon & Cornwall, Dorset, Somerset & Wiltshire, Oxon & Northants,  West Midlands and Academic Members for the Institute of Professional Florists, also works freelance for Elitonia, a local business.

Kate Whelan is a Board director of the British Florist Association (BFA)

Kate Whelan – Area Manager

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.

Kate covers the following area for the IoPF team. North West, Northern Ireland, North East, Scotland, Wales and Shropshire.

Tracy Benton – Area Manager

Tracy Benton has been in the industry for over 25 years; after passing floristry qualifications she started up her own freelance business, whilst raising her two children. She achieved her ANC, HDF and her Certificate in Education within 5 years, whilst running her own retail shop in Kent. Tracy then went on to complete the MDPF in 2014; the highest qualification you can achieve in the UK and throughout the years she has attended numerous specialist courses to ensure she retains her position in industry and education.

Tracy is, at present, a Floristry Lecturer in Kent and soul trader of Blooms of Benton and so far during her career she has had many wonderful opportunities; she has been Event florist for Imperial College, Knightsbridge and created flowers for HRH The Queen and in 2012, she was a member of the skills council and spoke about CPD in her subject for IFL in the House of Commons. She has also been a consultant for City & Guilds, writing new qualifications current to education and industry and is now Principle Moderator for City & Guilds.

Tracy is also on the board of the Training and Education committee for BFA and Team Manager for the IoPF and still works in industry to continue her CPD and embed current techniques and trends back into training and education. She is passionate about raising professional standards and encouraging a high level of skills and meticulous attention to detail. Tracy covers the following area – Norfolk, Bucks and Herts, Sussex, Surrey, London, Kent, Leicestershire and Lincolnshire.

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