Who We Are​

The Foundation, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, began handing out 10,000 flowers to visitors at Arlington National Cemetery in 2011. In 2022, 240,000 flowers were placed at ANC, with an additional 200,000 flowers sent to various cemeteries throughout the country.

The Board’s goal is to honor all interred veterans across the country.

What We Do

Every year the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation works with private, public, and corporate sponsors to organize, with support from volunteers, flower tributes for interred veterans.

The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation events connect communities to honor their heroes and the sacrifices they and their families made for our country.


The full-time staff works year-round to ensure successful Memorial Day Flowers events across the country.

Ramiro Penaherrera

Executive Director

After twenty-five years in the flower industry, Ramiro changed flowers for avocados and co-founded Memorial Day Flowers.

Bernardo Beate

Director of Operations

Formerly the COO of an Ecuadorian software company, Bernardo joined the Foundation in 2018.

Board Of Directors

Brenda Gray Reny

Co-Chair of the Board of The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

Brenda Gray Reny is an experienced financial services executive who has focused her career on providing strategic advice to individuals and families. Brenda has developed and directed advisory teams at both national banks and within the family office world. A native of Washington, D. C., Brenda is the proud mother of three sons. Reny is Chair of the Foundation’s Governance Committee.

Steve Dionne

Co-Chair of the Board of The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

Steve has worked in the floral industry for the past 27 years, engaged in both domestic and international trade. He was awarded Society of American Florists’ Floral Marketer of the Year award (1998) and was inducted into the American Academy of Floriculture (2010). Steve is also currently a shareholder in floral import company

Johan Sohn

Board member of The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

Born in South Korea, raised in Saudi Arabia, and schooled in New England, Johan has settled in Miami to work in the floral industry. His respect and gratitude toward veterans brought him in alignment with The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, joining in 2014 to help coordinate logistics and processing.

Joaquín de la Torre

Managing Partner for Ball SB LLC (a joint venture with Ball Horticulture Company)

Joaquin is a native of Colombia, where he resides today, while spending considerable time in the U.S.A., Latin American, and other important cut flower growing regions. Joaquin was educated at McGill University in Montreal and has spent his professional career in the floral industry at Ball SB LLC, a joint venture with the Ball Horticulture company. Joaquin is proud to connect the floral industry with this important tribute to veterans and their families.

David Murphy

Regional Financial Services Executive

With over 30 year’s experience focusing on wealth advisory. Additionally, he is a retired Special Forces Colonel with service in Afghanistan and other locations throughout the world. Currently, two of his three children are in the military. David is a native of Connecticut and currently resides in Charlestown Massachusetts.

Jeanne Taggart Boes

General Manager, Chief Operations Officer - San Fransisco Flower Mart LLC

Ms. Boes’ background is forged from both inside and outside the floral industry. Her experience in this industry dates to 1989. Working inside the wholesale market in San Francisco affords her vision into every segment of the floral industry, growers, wholesalers, transportation, retail florists, and event designers. The SF market is essentially a snapshot of the floral industry.

Advisory Council

Dean Rule

Board member of Expoflores, Co-Founder of The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

Originally from Ohio, Dean has lived in Ecuador since 1998 working for E.G. Hill Company, Inc, International Rose Breeders, LLC, and Jan Spek Rozen, breeding and introducing new greenhouse rose varieties.

Abraham Bacarra

Scoutmaster – Troop 976

Native of the Washington, D.C. area, Abraham is the Director of Technical Operations or ATA LLC. When not staring at a computer monitor, Abe and his son enjoy hiking, fly fishing, and hunting. A very active member of the Boy Scouts of America, Abe currently serves as the Scoutmaster for Troop 976.

Mikel J. Burroughs

Advisor to MDFF

Mikel received the Legion of Merit medal for his exemplary service and outstanding performance as the Brigade Commander for the 89th Sustainment Brigade, culminating in the end of his (37) years of continuous service in the United States Army and United States Army Reserves on February 1st, 2012. Mikel is currently the Chairman of the Board with the Victory for Veterans Foundation and the MDFF coordinator at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Denver, CO. Mikel is currently Vice President for Military & Civilian Debt & Reliief with RIP Medical Debt. Mikel is also a member of the board of directors for National Veterans Transition Services and founder and facilitator for Warriors for Life.

Sophia Romero

Latam Flower Procurement – The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

After graduating from the Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador in Quito, Sophia worked in media and public relations observing how the flower industry positively changes thousands of lives. Now she coordinates the procurement of flowers from South America working alongside other members of The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation to distribute roses and bouquets to cemeteries and retailers across the nation.

Lourdes Reyes

Advisor to MDFF

Lourdes finds The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation the best way to “honor those who have given their life so that we can live in a safe thriving world.”

Ami Neiberger-Miller

Media Relations Director – The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

Having experienced the death of a loved one on active duty, Ami is part of the gold star family, surviving her brother, U.S. Army Specialist Christopher Neiberger, KIA in Iraq in 2007 at age 22. With another brother currently serving in the U.S. Naval Reserves and a nephew an active duty Coast Guard officer, Ami is proud to serve as the Media Relations Director for the Foundation.

Mimi Martinez

Marketing Director – Chrysal USA

As Marketing Director for Chrysal USA, Mimi is a proud co-organizer of the Memorial Day Flowers event at the South Florida National Cemetery. “Our company believes in supporting those who have served, as well as the families who have carried the burden for that service.”

Stephen Armellini

CEO – Armellini Logistics

As CEO of Armellini Logistics, Stephen proudly provides the transport that moves all the flowers from Miami to Arlington National Cemetery for the Memorial Day Weekend homage to the fallen heroes. “Memorial Day Flowers has now become an annual tradition for the Armellini family.”

Ryan Black

Sales Director – JetFresh Flowers

Ryan is currently the Sales Director for JetFresh Flowers in Miami. His family has owned the flower importer since 2012, and have been avid supprters of The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, contributing over 10,000 roses for each Memorial Day weekend at Arlington National Cemetery.

Patricia A. Lilly

Advisor – The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation

Previously the Executive Director of WF&FSA, a well-established floral industry association, Trish was instrumental in expanding the Memorial Day tribute to over 200 florists. Trish continues to advise and support the Foundation. Every year she participates at the Arlington National Cemetery handing out flowers to visitors.

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