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Floral designer and educator Ardith Beveridge retires

minneapolis — After 58 years of service in the floral industry, Ardith Beveridge, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, CAFA, MSF, longtime director of the Koehler & Dramm Institute of Floristry, here, officially retired on Aug. 10.

“We at Koehler & Dramm are saddened to be saying good-bye to such vibrant and wonderful talent, and we are grateful for everything she has brought to our organization,” stated a press release from the school. “Her many years in the industry and her influence in floral artistry and design education have been impactful beyond measure.”

ArdithArdith BeveridgeThe Institute of Floristry was founded in 1989, under Beveridge’s direction. “I remember 29 years ago, Ardith had this idea and found that Koehler & Dramm was a willing partner,” Lee Spence, president and chief executive officer at Koehler & Dramm, told The Produce News. “It all started with one floral design class and the vision and Institute of Floristry grew.”

The school has since expanded its curriculum to include weddings and events, sympathy, permanent botanical, holiday, entertaining, and many other design courses to meet the needs of its students on a year-round basis.

“I’m sure she’s taught well over 6,000 students,” said Spence. “And a lot of those students have started shops of their own and have consulted frequently with Ardith.”

Beveridge, the author of seven books, has spent more than half of her floral career dedicated to educating the next generation of designers. She has contributed to several industry publications and has made countless appearances on national and cable channels, including PBS stations and HGTV.

“Ardith has set the standard, pushing education to another level,” said Vince Butera, AAF, AIFD, PFCI, owner at Butera the Florist in York, PA, when he presented Beveridge with the Society of American Florists’ 2012 Tommy Bright Award, the highest honor for floral presenters. Beveridge described that moment as a “complete surprise” and a highlight of her career.

Beveridge is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Academy of Floriculture, American Institute of Floral Designers, Professional Floral Communicators-International, Canadian Academy of Floral Arts, School of Ikebana Floral Design II, and the British Florist Association. In 2003, she was inducted into the South Dakota State Florists’ Hall of Fame and seven years later into the Minnesota State Florist Association’s Hall of Fame.

She has been an FTD Master Designer and Certified Judge, a designer for the Office of the Minnesota State Governor, the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Philadelphia Flower Show, presidential inaugurations and numerous White House Easter egg rolls. Beveridge also served on SAF’s Wholesalers Council, Floral Management Advisory Board and the PFCI Board of Trustees.

“Ardith was not only the driving force behind our Institute of Floristry, but was also part of the K & D management team and one of the K & D family, and we’ll miss having her here on a daily basis,” Spence said. “We want to congratulate Ardith on her retirement but we also want to thank her and acknowledge all of her accomplishments. We’re very happy that she can retire in good health and have the chance to enjoy retirement.”