SAF Convention, Palm Springs, CA (September 23, 2019) – Teleflora, SAF Convention, Palm Springs, CA (September 23, 2019) – Teleflora, the world’s leading floral delivery service, today honors the late Michael Kraft of Nanz & Kraft Florists in Louisville, Kentucky, with the fifth annual Tom Butler “Floral Retailer of the Year” Award. David Kraft, co-owner of Nanz & Kraft Florists, accepted the award on his behalf. The Honorary Award recognizes a retail florist and Teleflora member who best exemplifies the legacy of Teleflora’s former Chairman, Tom Butler. The announcement took place at the American Floral Endowment (AFE) Fundraising Dinner in conjunction with the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) Annual Convention in Amelia Island, Florida.
Established in 2015, the “Floral Retailer of the Year” Award was created to honor former Chairman Tom Butler, who was devoted to serving as a trusted business partner, friend and innovator to independent retail florists across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to leading a superb retail operation, the awarded florist must show commitment to servicing their community, being a steadfast ambassador in the floral industry, and offering meaningful guidance to fellow florists.
“Michael Kraft’s incredible contribution to the floral industry and to his community in Louisville is a true testament to Tom Butler’s legacy,” said Jack Howard, Executive Vice President of National Accounts at Teleflora. “Kraft was a part of the Teleflora family for 25 years and we are deeply honored to be naming him as the recipient of this year’s Teleflora Floral Retailer of the Year Award. In addition to his impactful work in the industry, Kraft is remembered as a great role model to fellow florists and a loving neighbor to his community. We thank him for his wonderful influence on the floral community and his legacy will live on here at Teleflora.”
Nanz & Kraft Florists has been serving the Louisville community for almost 170 years. Since its opening in 1850, the floral business has been passed down through generations of the Kraft family and now has three stores throughout the city. Michael Kraft, a Teleflora partner for more than 25 years, was a co-owner of Nanz & Kraft Florists with his two brothers, Eddie and David. He was a former president of the St. Matthews Business Association and a graduate of Trinity High School and the University of Kentucky. Kraft passed at the age of 52 after battling cancer. He is remembered as one of the most positive members of the community and is survived by his wife, Allison, and daughters, Lindsey and Shelby.
Tom Butler’s passion for the floral industry inspired an almost 50-year career. He served as Chairman of Teleflora, Chairman of the American Floral Endowment (AFE) and was a longtime devoted advocate for the Endowment, beginning his service as a trustee in 2006. Known for possessing an unparalleled knack for fundraising and for his significant interest in expanding and improving the Endowment, Tom’s commitment to giving and innovation continues within the floral industry through the Tom Butler Family Fund that helps provide funds to support AFE’s research and grant efforts. Among his many roles and accomplishments, Tom served as the Chair of the AFE Development Committee and as a Trustee on the AFE Board; TI World President; Member of the American Academy of Florists; Professional Floral Communicators International; Society of American Florists (Past Board of Directors).
He was also a member of numerous national and state floral associations and recipient of: SAF’s Hall of Fame Award and Paul Ecke, Jr. Award; Florida State Florists’ Association Hall of Fame Award and Lifetime Achievement Award and Place in the Sun Award; Michigan State Florists’ Association Award of National Industry Service; Michigan Floral Foundation Hall of Fame Award; Arkansas State Florists’ Association Distinguished Service Award and Oklahoma State Florists’ Hall of Fame. Tom passed away in August 2014, after a battle with cancer. Many who knew Tom considered him to be the “Chief Champion of Florists” – always there when they needed him, always understanding their issues and concerns, and always representing their cause.
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