Lori Trotter, award-winning floral department manager at Hy-Vee on Grand Avenue in West Des Moines will face off against six other designers this summer in the world’s premier floral skills contest.
The Iron Designer Competition will highlight the International Floriculture Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center on June 20.
Trotter, who holds the Iowa Cup as the state’s top designer, will compete in what organizers describe as a “light-hearted and sometimes heated” event modeled on the “Iron Chef” cable TV show, in which top cooks have one hour to complete multiple dishes using ingredients that are revealed just before the clock begins to tick.
The floral version “is basically it’s the same type of competition as the Iowa Cup, a secret mix of product and theme that is announced when the designers take the stage, we have one hour to create a piece that fits into the theme with the product they provide,” says Trotter, who helped deck the halls at Terrace Hill, home of Gov. Terry Branstad, for the 2011 holiday season.
Trotter was runner-up for the Iowa Cup in 2010 and brought home a prestigious Borgen Cup for merchandising from the Miami expo that year. Her “Summer Fun” display also won the Honor Award for best cross-merchandising. She won the Honor Award for color harmony in 2007.
Trotter is an Iowa Master Florist and certified competition judge. She joined Hy-Vee in 1990. The Iron Designer field Trotter will face in June:
- Elise Blount, Nielsen's Florist, Darien, CT. Blount was on a team that was named 2011 Retail Florist of the Year by Florist Review magazine.
- Patricia Corbin, Flowers Wedding Boutique, West Hempstead, NY. Corbin is a 20-year veteran whose family business in known in the eastern part of the country for its high-end yet affordable arrangements.
- Mark Frank, designer, Holland. The Amsterdam-trained Frank has decorated countless exhibitions, trade fairs and product presentations as well as television programs and commercials.
- Tomas Sanchez, Beyond Imagination Celebrations, Corpus Christi, TX. Sanchez specializes in social events and destination weddings. He is known for his clean, structured designs.
- Angela Stembridge, Fresca Farms, Miami. Stembridge handles mass market development for an importer and distributor of fresh-cut flowers that operates a 40,000 square-foot facility.
- Renwick Wachenfeld, designer, West Hollywood, CA. Wachenfeld’s work has been featured in Your Wedding Day, Bon Appetite and Santa Barbara Magazine. His 40-year career has included work for royalty, presidents and Hollywood A-listers.