Memorial Day Flowers Foundation adds three new board members

By edited by Kristin Smith-Ely

Memorial Day observances planned for more than 100 cemeteries nationwide

As it prepares for Memorial Day observances at more than 100 national and veterans cemeteries around the nation, the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation announces the appointment of three new members to its Board of Directors. The new members are:

  • Michael LoBue, CEO of CalFlowers.
  • Brenda Reny, wealth market leader for Greater Boston and Rhode Island for TD Bank Private Client Group.
  • Joaquin de la Torre, managing partner for Ball SB, LLC, a joint venture with Ball Horticulture Co.

“We appreciate the leadership and guidance of our Board members,” said Ramiro Penaherrera, co-founder of the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation. “It’s wonderful to work alongside others who are so committed to bringing back the original meaning of Memorial Day.”

Penaherrera also noted that the Foundation received infrastructure funding from CalFlowers at the end of 2018, which has enabled it to grow nationally.

In addition to Penaherrera, the Board of Directors also includes Dean Rule (Board member of Expoflores and co-Founder of the Foundation), Renato Sogueco (Vice-president of Digital Strategy and Education at Bloomnet), and Johan Sole (Managing Director at Sole Farms).

“Thousands of veterans’ gravesites go unvisited and unrecognized on Memorial Day – the national day we honor our fallen troops and decorate their gravesites. Our mission is to make sure that no grave of a fallen hero goes undecorated on Memorial Day,” said Penaherrera.

Flowers for the project come from more than 80 farms, including farms in Ecuador, Colombia, California, Washington, and Ethiopia.

There is still time to donate flowers for tributes this year, which will take place at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia and 100-plus other national and veterans’ cemeteries around the country. You can volunteer or donate at www.memorialdayflowers.org.

The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation began in 2011 when U.S. citizens working in the floral industry wanted to express their patriotism and profound appreciation for the sacrifices made by America’s military men and women. These volunteers began by placing 10,000 roses at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2011. They continue to work with Arlington National Cemetery to place flowers on Memorial Day, and have expanded the number of cemeteries receiving flowers every year, with the help of donors, volunteers and businesses around the country. The Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.