Anna Ball, chief executive officer and owner of the Ball Horticultural Company in West Chicago, Ill., received the floral industry’s greatest honor — induction into the Society of American Florists (SAF) Floriculture Hall of Fame. The announcement brought hundreds of industry members to their feet for a standing ovation during the Stars of the Industry Awards Dinner held in September 21, 2013, in Phoenix at the close of SAF’s 129th Annual Convention.
“The Floriculture Hall of Fame is truly the floral industry’s highest achievement. It means that the recipient has made a permanent and significant contribution to the advancement of floriculture,” said SAF Awards Committee Chairman Terril Nell, Ph.D., AAF.
Although she tends to stay out of the limelight, Anna Ball’s accomplishments “are anything but low profile,” Nell said. “[She] has a well-deserved reputation for clear, strategic thinking and big picture insight,” and is often on the leading edge of industry and consumer trends.
Ball has led her company through an aggressive and energetic breeding program to provide better performing impatiens, petunias and dozens of other garden stalwarts, as well as new lines of novelty annuals. She is a vocal advocate for sustainable business practices and is in the forefront of promoting the value of flowers not just for their beauty but also for the many ways they can help improve overall quality of life.
“Ultimately, what drives Anna Ball and her company,” said Nell, “is her passion for the industry and helping the industry meet the desires and tastes of the consumer.”
About SAF: The Society of American Florists is the leading organization representing all segments of the floral industry. SAF is proud to provide marketing, business and government services to more than 10,000 participants in the U.S. floral industry — including growers, wholesalers, retailers, importers, suppliers, independent designers, researchers, educators and students. The association will celebrate its 130th anniversary in 2014.