Louisiana Wholesale Florists, Inc. was founded in 1961 to service the floral needs of the growing community of florists in Louisiana. Bill Broussard, Joel Hebert and Jim Durio were key players in forming this co-operative organization.
They recruited a Board of Directors consisting of themselves, Hazel Gosselin, Vincent Drago, Paul Boagni, L.J. Hines, Hattie Martin, Mrs. Lynn Daughenbaugh, Harry Mey, Jr., and Leila Graham. Articles of Incorporation, By-Laws, and Stock Certificates were approved and signed. All the florists in the area were then invited to a stock subscription drive meeting. Mr. James “Red” Darby agreed to sign on as the first Manager of the Co-Operative.
In 1962, Mr. Merlin Leger was hired as the General Manager of the Co-Op. Mr. Leger continues to serve is this capacity today. Cindy Comeaux is the Business Manager. Michael “Mike” Howerton is the Store Manager of the Lafayette location. Anthony Ashy is the Assistant Store Manager of the Lafayette Location. Mike and Anthony, along with Pam Cotham, are the Purchasing Agents for Fresh Flowers. Pam also assists Sheryl Falcon-Bearb and Janet Abadie in the Sales department. Cindi Babineaux is the Shipping and Receiving Manager in Lafayette. Kathy Trahan is the Purchasing Agent for hard goods and floral supplies.
A second warehouse was opened in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1970. Richard “Rick” Hill is the Manager of the Baton Rouge location. Ann Lemoine is the Purchasing Agent for hard goods and floral supplies. Rick works along with Jose Castillo Cortez and Collandra Harris as the Purchasing Agents for Fresh Flowers. Jose Castillo Cortez, along with Collandra Harris, Betty Jo Smith, and J.W. Smith, work in the Sales department.
The current members of the Board of Directors for LA Wholesale Florists, Inc. are as follows: Harry “Bubba” Mey III, President; Douglas Wax, Vice President; Anne Sattler, Secretary; Todd Steele, Treasurer; Chris Allen, Kerney Broussard, Suzan Dyson, Jeffery Manuel, Samuel Marino Jr., Rodney Nero, Melanie Ourso, and Annette Venable are Board Members.