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Changing of the guard in Floral Marketing

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Richard Lutes and I am the new floral editor and floral sales manager for The Produce News. I come to this position after a diverse career in several segments of the floral industry. I have worked in sales, operations, marketing, procurement and management for a number of wholesalers, growers and retailers.

After several years of steady leadership, John Niblock has decided the time has come for him to begin his well-deserved retirement. I’m sure his daily presence will be missed, but John will not ride off into the sunset quite yet. He has agreed to help facilitate the passing of the torch and will serve as a member of the Floral Marketing Editorial Advisory Committee.

Following in his footsteps will not be easy for me, but under his patient tutelage I will give it my all. As I approach this new challenge under John’s mentorship, I invite our readers to provide comments and ideas as to how Floral Marketing could better serve you.

In this Outlook 2014 issue, our guest experts review the past year and look ahead with varying degrees of optimism. In addition, we offer last-minute strategies to maximize sales and profitability for Valentine’s Day. We also preview the Tropical Plant Industry Exhibition show and will bring you on-the-scene coverage in our Feb. 10 issue. See you then.

Richard Lutes is the floral editor and floral sales manager of The Produce News. He can be contacted at 763/595-9559 or