Jim Wanko Honored with 2013 WF&FSA LTK Award
Pat Dahlson and Jim Wanko
The Leland T. Kintzele Distinguished Service (LTK) Award is the highest honor given annually by the Wholesale Florist & Florist Supplier Association (WF&FSA). The LTK Award is presented each year to one individual who meets three criteria: demonstrated dedication, ability and initiative to a degree that sets him or her apart from contemporaries; has made significant contributions to the welfare and progress of wholesale florists in particular and the floral industry in general; and has shown distinguished service that exemplifies the integrity, fairness, perseverance and decisiveness of Leland T. Kintzele, president of WF&FSA from 1963 to 1966.
This year, the selection of Jim Wanko, former Executive Vice President of WF&FSA, continued the tradition of honoring those that have made significant contributions to the floral industry.
Jim’s numerous contributions to the industry through his roles in floral associations and businesses made him a top candidate for WF&FSA’s highest service award.
From the mid-70’s to the mid-80’s, Jim served as SAF Executive Director. He served with Delaware Valley Floral Group, Melridge and Florist Mutual and then joined Promoflor as Executive Director in the early 1990s. In the late 1990’s he joined WF&FSA and served until his retirement in 2011.
It was noted that when Jim joined WF&FSA, he quickly acted with the board to reorganize and downsize the association staff and expenses. While doing so, he created an atmosphere of confidence and service within the membership. “He carried out the direction of the board diligently and without thought of benefit for himself.”
Jim carried out a reorganization of WFFSA including an end to the annual meeting as it had existed for years 35+ years. Jim dedicated himself to making the changes and setting up the organization for a successful future. He produced idea after idea and set up meetings with friends and foes alike to ensure the success of the new “Floral Distribution Conference”. Jim was not going to let our organization fail. Jim did all of this during a time when his retirement date had been set and there would be no future benefit for himself. He did it for the welfare of the wholesale florist and he did it with a dedication and ability that few could duplicate.
WF&FSA presented Jim with an engraved vase to commemorate this honor.