Heather de Kok’s shop "Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers" is located at 3811 - 99 street in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The business has been owned and operated by Heather and her family for over 20 years, having moved to this new expanded location in 2003. It is "Store #1 and the official Training store for Canada's largest fresh cut Flower Franchising Company "Grower Direct Fresh Cut Flowers Inc.". (Today Grower Direct has grown to over 50 stores)
FTD has awarded Heather's shop with it's "Master Florist" designation. This designation is FTD's way of identifying the "best of the best" in the florist industry and Heather's Grower Direct is the only such FTD member in northern Alberta.
Heather began at an early age working in the floral industry with her parents, Skip and Caren Kerr. She has been involved with floral industry for well over 17 years now and she has long since replaced her parents in the day to day operations of the store. Her responsibilities not only include being the Store Manager of the family shop but also include being Corporate Store Trainer for the Franchising Company. (Including both Day to Day in-Store Operational Training as well as Ongoing Floral Design Training and upgrading for the franchise members of the Grower Direct Franchise group)
Heather de Kok, AAF AIFD PFCI has shown commitment to the industry by her hard work and dedication.
Heather was officially inducted into the American Institute of Floral Design (AFID) in July 2007, at their national symposium. She was the only Canadian to achieve this honour from a group of over 150 worldwide applicants. (Each year approximately 50 percent of the applicants who apply for the designation are able to meet and pass the rigid qualifications and standards required).
Heather was the inducted into the American Academy of Floriculture (AAF) at the Society Of American Florists 2008 annual convention. Established in 1965, the American Academy of Floriculture (AAF) recognizes industry members that meet the Academy's high standards of service to their industry and community. Nomination and acceptance into the Academy is open to all qualified persons in all segments of the industry.
In September 2009, Heather was inducted into the Professional Floral Communicators International (PFCI). This is given to floral professionals who are knowledgeable in the floral industry and are talented and effective communicators who give amazing demonstrations. Heather is the first and only one in Canada to be inducted into PFCI. There are only 126 members that have been given this exclusive designation world wide.
Further to all of the above Heather participated as a designer in the 2008 Tournament of Roses parade held New Years day in Pasadena California. She worked on 2 of the floats for the parade both of which received awards. She has also been a featured designer at various design seminars throughout the country as well having been one of three judges at the most prestigious Sylvia Cup International Design Competition, held in Florida in 2008.
Heather is also very involved in her community. Currently President of her Rotary Club, she has been a very active member since 2001. Heather is also very involved with Scouts Canada. She has been a leader for the Beavers for 3 years and sits on the Group Committee for her Colony.
Heather summarizes her positive can do attitude as follows:
“I can't believe that everyday I wake up and am ready to get to work long before my stores even open. I get so excited every time I see something new or even old that I may not have seen in a while. New staff look at me like I am crazy but my senior ones just smile and say "she really means it, she is excited". I intend on getting even more involved with our industry as time goes on. After all, it is the best industry in the world!"