The California Floriculture Hall of Fame is poised to start growing again.
Since 1986, the Hall of Fame has recognized more than 50 of California floriculture’s most
distinguished leaders for their contributions to the industry. Now, after a hiatus of several years,
the Kee Kitayama Research Foundation will begin accepting nominations, selecting inductees
and expanding the list of Hall of Fame honorees.
“If you look at the list of people who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame, it is a who’s who
of the floriculture industry — a listing of growers, researchers and a whole variety of people who
made key contributions to making the floriculture industry what it is today,” said Michael A.
Mellano, chair of the Kee Kitayama Research Foundation, which now oversees the awards.
“Our objective is to reinvigorate and raise the visibility of the Hall of Fame — to raise the
visibility to the level that the honorees deserve.”
“The hiatus has been much too long, and there are several people that should be recognized,”
Mellano added. “It is important to acknowledge the contribution of the industry leaders.”
Any member or group of members of any ornamental association may nominate candidates to
the Hall of Fame. A five-member selection committee determines inductees by unanimous vote.
The selection committee considers such factors as a nominee’s personal contribution to the
permanent improvement of the California floral industry, extent of experience and activities,
leadership and achievements within the industry, and personal character and integrity.
Nominees must have contributed their leadership and organizational skills to the industry’s
development and improvement in areas such as production, marketing, transportation, research
and legislative activity for at least 15 years.
Typically, the selection committee has selected one new Hall of Fame member per year, though
occasionally the committee has honored multiple inductees in the same year. The award may
be given posthumously.
California Floriculture Hall of Fame members are honored at each of the state’s major floral
markets where their names appear on permanent plaques: the Los Angeles Flower Market, San
Francisco Flower Market and San Diego International Floral Trade Center.
“This is an honor that’s given to those people who have demonstrated a high level of
contribution and support to the floriculture industry over their careers and their histories,” said
Mellano, who is also CEO of flower grower Mellano & Company and a founding member and
current commissioner of the California Cut Flower Commission. “The Hall of Fame honors what
made us and what brought us to where we are.”
A timeline showing inductees to the California Floriculture Hall of Fame is available on the
For more information about nominations to the California Floriculture Hall of Fame, contact
Andrea Philpot at 916-468-4240 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.