SAF Convention, Palm Springs, CA (September 17, 2018) – Teleflora, the world’s leading floral delivery service, today announced that Shirley Lyons, former owner of Dandelions Flowers & Gifts, was the recipient of the fourth annual Tom Butler “Floral Retailer of the Year” Award. Opened in 1973, Dandelions Flowers & Gifts is a first-generation, family-owned floral shop in Eugene, OR with a strong emphasis on customer service and community involvement. The Honorary Award recognizes a retail florist and Teleflora member that 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.
Established in 2015, the “Floral Retailer of the Year” Award was created to honor former Chairman Tom Butler, who was devoted to serve 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 immense commitment to servicing their community, is a steadfast ambassador in the floral industry and offers meaningful guidance to fellow florists.
“We are extremely proud of Shirley Lyons for demonstrating Tom Butler’s legacy through her hard work at Dandelions Flowers & Gifts in Eugene. Her business acumen and community involvement are remarkable,” said Jack Howard, Executive Vice President of National Accounts at Teleflora. “In addition to her commitment to the community, Lyons’ numerous accolades and leadership roles within the floral industry – including SAF President and Chairman of the SAF board – exemplify why we are thrilled to honor her with this year’s Teleflora Floral Retailer of the Year Award.”
Dandelions Flowers & Gifts has been serving the Eugene, OR area for more than 45 years and was started initially by Lyons and her husband while working in the banking industry. She realized her passion for the artistry of flowers and opened her 250 sq. foot floral and gift shop, steadily growing her business and thriving on a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee with an aggressive marketing strategy. The floral shop’s community involvement is evident through their yearly “Bras for a Cause” event, which encourages local businesses to decorate bras with the goal of raising awareness and funds for breast cancer every October, obtaining about $130,000 to date. Last year, the Oregon Cancer Foundation awarded her the inaugural Sparrow of Hope Award for her tireless contributions to this cause. Lyons is also a powerhouse in the floral industry, taking on numerous leadership positions over the years. In 2014 she was named President of the Society of American Florists (SAF), which marked an important milestone as she became the first woman to hold this title in the organizations’ 140-year history, and subsequently she was the first woman Chairman of the Board in 2015. In 2011, Lyons was recognized as “Business Woman of the Year” by the Eugene Chamber of Commerce.
About the Leadership Legacy of Tom Butler
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 The American Floral Endowment’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 floral and state floral associations. 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. For many who knew Tom, he was considered to be the ‘Chief Champion of Florists’ – always there when they needed him, always understanding their issues and concerns, and always representing their cause.
Say everything and share your “Love Out Loud™” with the gift of Teleflora® flowers —all made by hand and delivered by hand by your local florist. By tapping nearly 10,000 member florists in North America alone, Teleflora offers the kind of personal touches, artistry and expertise you expect from a trusted neighborhood florist — even if that neighborhood is across the country. No prepackaged flowers in nondescript boxes dropped on your doorstep — Teleflora's network of professional florists create artistic arrangements personally delivered in a vase, often on the same day. Teleflora makes every day an occasion with a two-in-one gift that includes a multipurpose keepsake container for long-lasting enjoyment. Follow Teleflora on Facebook and tag your own #LoveOutLoud moment.