There is some sad news from the American Floral Endowment (AFE), which reports the passing of Ole Nissen on December 21. Nissen was past president of AFE and “will certainly be missed by so many in the industry,” says Debi Aker of AFE.
Nissen founded Sunshine State Carnations in 1960, a family owned flower production farm consisting of approximately 70 acres located in Martin County, FL. The company has been owned and operated for more than 55 years by Ole and his sons Peter, Eric, and prior to his death, Chris.
According to Nissen’s obituary, Ole had extensive contributions and involvement in the floriculture industry. He was a Member of the Board of the Society of American Florists. He was Chairman and Member of the Board of the American Floral Endowment, as well as Chairman and Board Member of Hortica Insurance Company. He was also a Founding Member of the Florida Ornamental Growers Association, now known as the Florida Nursery Growers and Landscape Association. He was an inductee of the Floriculture Hall of Fame, and a Member of the Board of Grove City College.
In 2009, Ole set up a named fund for AFE research with a $50,000 contribution to AFE in honor of his son, Christian, who passed away at a very young age. The family requests contributions be made to the Christian B. Nissen Memorial Fund at the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center or the Christian B. Nissen Memorial Fund at the American Floral Endowment.