59 New Members of Congress Need to Hear from You, SAF Says

SAF 2015

Ohio delegates meet with Allen Ernst, a legislative aid for Senator Rob Portman (R-OH).

Retailers, wholesalers, suppliers, and growers coming to the Society of American Florists’ (SAF) 37th Annual Congressional Action Days, March 13-14 in Washington, DC, have a lot of explaining to do.


There are 59 new congressmen and senators on Capitol Hill, and this freshmen class needs a lesson about floriculture. Veteran legislators need a reminder, too, about the industry’s concerns.

“The 115th Congress promises to be one of the most consequential in a decade,” says Shawn McBurney, SAF’s lobbyist and senior director of government relations. “Issues important to the floral industry— such as tax reform, immigration reform, and regulatory changes — will be front and center for Congress and the Trump Administration.”

CAD’s Issues and Advocacy Training session will cover how to talk about the key issues affecting the industry in a way that brings it home to lawmakers and their staff.

McBurney and Dr. Joe Bischoff, one of SAF’s lobbyists with Cornerstone Government Affairs, will explain the issues, and professional lobbyist trainer Stephanie Vance will lead a hands-on lesson in effective Hill communications.

“Whether it’s your first CAD or 25th, like mine was, it is so important for our members to hear from our industry,” says Karen Fountain, AAF, of Flowers ‘n’ Ferns in Burke, Virginia. “We provide them with a perspective that only we can provide. The more stories they hear, the better informed our members of Congress are to work on the legislation that affect us all.”

Jeff Newlin of Teleflora and Michael Pugh of Pugh’s Flowers in Memphis met with Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) at CAD 2016.

“I highly recommend investing the time to attend and to participate,” Newlin says. “The impact that one individual can make by verbalizing the issues on Capitol Hill, and then by taking the message home is tremendous.”

CAD Deadline

The cut-off date for guaranteeing the SAF room rate at the CAD hotel is Feb. 17. Early CAD registration ends Feb. 21. Your registration includes an additional FREE registration for a second person from your company who has never attended CAD before. To read the brochure for details and to register for CAD, visit SAF’s Congressional Action Days website.