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Foundation

The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation honors those who have served our country.

Thanks to the generosity of private, public, and corporate sponsors, the Foundation works with local organizers and volunteers to place roses and other flowers on gravesites at National, Veterans, and Local cemeteries across the United States.

The Memorial Day Flowers Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, was established in 2012 under Washington D.C. law.

Advisory Board

Michael LoBue

Is a Certified Association Executive with extensive experience managing trade associations and societies in a variety of industries.

Since 2013 he has been the Chief Executive Officer for the California Association of Flower Growers & Shippers (CalFlowers). He has served on a variety of boards of directors and advisory boards for more than 30 years.

Carolina Arcos

Quito, Ecuador. BA in International Business, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador.

Flower Specialist for PRO ECUADOR, the Export Promotion Agency of Ecuador.

Stephen Armellini

CEO of Armellini Logistics. Every year Stephen and his brother provide the transport of all the flowers from Miami to ANC. This year Stephen will organise the off loading and distribution of 180,000 roses at Section 33.  “Memorial Day Flowers has now become a annual tradition for the Armellini family . My part is small in comparison to what those we honor were willing to sacrifice.”

Lourdes Reyes

BallSB Marketing Director 

I have the great fortune to work for The Ball Company; a breeding group specializing in ornamental flowers.

“Flowers color the world , flowers change our moods , they make us happy, and express our sentiments. So for me, an appropriate way to honor those who have given their life, so that we can live in a safe thriving world, is with flowers. And this is why, I am honored to be part of the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation Advisory board.”

Photo with daughter Maria at ANC Section 60

Mike Mooney

Mike is the General Manager for Dramm and Echter Farms. Has spent over 20 years in the floral industry and represents the third generation in his family in the floral industry.

Mimi Martinez

Marketing Director Chrysal USA. Co-organizer of South Florida National Cemetery Event. “Our company believes in supporting those who have served, as well as the families who have carried the burden for that service. If we are able to to make one person feel honored or comforted that in itself is worthwhile and great. I am proud that Chrysal USA a part of this program.”

Patricia A. Lilly

Senior Vice President of National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.

In her former position of Executive Director of WFFSA, a floral industry floral association, Trish was instrumental in expanding the Memorial Day tribute to over 200 florists. Trish continues to lend advice, support, and every year is out at Arlington National Cemetery handing roses and bouquets to visitors.

Ami Neiberger-Miller

She is the Media Relations Director for the Foundation. Ami is part of a gold star family (a family that has experienced the death of a loved one who died while serving in the U.S. Armed Forces). She is the surviving sister of U.S. Army Specialist Christopher Neiberger, who was killed in action in Iraq in 2007 at age 22. She has another brother currently serving in the U.S. Naval Reserves and a nephew who is an active duty Coast Guard officer.

Abraham Baccarra

Is a native of the Washington DC area.  He is a Director of Technical Operations for ATA LLC.  When not staring at a computer monitor, Abe and his son enjoy the outdoors: hiking, fly fishing and hunting. Abe is very active with the Boys Scouts of America.  Currently, he serves as an Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 976. 

Ryan Black

Sales Director JetFresh Flowers Miami. Since 2012 Ryan and his his family owned flower importer have been supporters of the Memorial Day Flowers Foundation; contributing over 10,000 roses each Memorial Day for Arlington National Cemetery. The Miami and ANC videos on the website are filmed and edited by Ryan.

Board of Directors

Dean Rule

Originally from Ohio, Dean has lived in Ecuador since 1998. He works in the breeding, selection and introduction of greenhouse rose varieties for E.G. Hill Company Inc., International Rose Breeders LLC and Jan Spek Rozen.

 He is a Board Member of Expoflores and Co-founder of Memorial Day Flowers.

Sophia Romero

After graduating from the Catholic University in Quito, Sophia worked in media and public relations and learned how the flower industry empowers women workers and positively changes thousands of lives.  Sophia now coordinates the procurement of flowers from South America and works closely with Johan Sohn and CalFlowers in the distribution of roses and bouquets to cemeteries and retailers across the United States. “Through Memorial Day Flowers I have the opportunity to get to know the best of Americans. As an Ecuadorian, I am truly honored to be part of Memorial Day Flowers.”

Ramiro (Robin) Penaherrera

Born and raised in Washingon D.C., Robin has five family members interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Since 1989 he has been growing avocados, baby´s breath, and delphinium flowers on his farm in Ecuador.

 Memorial Day Flowers Foundation Co-founder.

Renato Sogueco

Bloomnet Vice President of Digital Strategy and Education. Originally from the Washington D.C. area, Renato and his Boy Scout son Rafael have been involved with the MDFF at ANC since 2012. Ren is now the local coordinator for the Memorial Day Flowers event at Jacksonville National Cemetery.

Johan Sohn

Born in Seoul, South Korea raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,  and schooled in New England. Johan now makes his home Miami where he is Managing Director of SoleFarms.

Joining Memorial Day Flowers in 2014 was a natural calling for Johan. He has always felt grateful for the US Veterans who fought in the Korean War and especially for those whom made the ultimate sacrifice to defend his home country. The feeling of respect and gratitude is felt with every veteran and military person that is present that day. He knew he could make an impact by providing flowers to show Arlington National Cemetery visitors that those lives aren’t forgotten and to honor their loved ones.
With the generous help of many flower farms in Colombia and Ecuador, especially from the Queen’s Group flower companies, he raises tens of thousands of roses. Solé Farms coordinates logistics and processing.
Johan, his wife and two kids, as well as his extended family that live in the D.C. area attend  the Arlington National Cemetery event each year.  It has become their special family tradition and tribute.