Chris Norwood: AIFD Fellow

Chris Norwood, AIFD, CFD, Vice President at Tipton Hurst Florist was recently recognized by the American Institute of Floral Designers’ (AIFD) National Board of Directors with the Award for Distinguished Service to AIFD.  The announcement was made on July 14th during the Institute’s 2012 Awards Ceremony held in conjunction with the 2012 National Symposium in Miami, Florida.

Now recognized as a Fellow of the Institute, Norwood, a past president and CEO of the AIFD Foundation, received the award for his tireless and continued support of AIFD as a leader, mentor, supporter, promoter, volunteer and friend.  This is the highest award offered in the floral industry.  Chris became one of the youngest Fellows in the organization’s history as well as the first person from Arkansas to ever receive this designation.

This award is only given when the Board feels there is someone deserving of the honor.  Chris attended the event unaware that he was going to be receiving an award.  The commentator began making references to the honoree in basic ways, however eventually Chris realized the remarks being made were directed at him.

“I was completely shocked and in awe that I was being recognized by the Board,” Norwood said of the experience.  “I was even more shocked to turn around and realize my family had secretly flown to Miami to be there for this honor.  To receive the highest award in the industry was a dream, but to have my family and friends there made the evening even better.”

Chris began his florist career at the age of 14 working in a small flower shop in his hometown of McCrory, Arkansas.  He relocated to Little Rock to attend the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and worked at several local florists.  In 1990, Tipton Hurst President Howard Hurst recruited Norwood to come to the company as his Vice President and Lead Designer.

“I recognized Chris’ fantastic design and merchandising talents early in his career.  What I didn’t know was his incredible work ethic and business acumen,” says Hurst.

“Howard gave me an opportunity to try new things and integrate new ideas into the business.  What we have built today is a mix of old and new,” says Norwood.  “We are still a true design company, however by adding accessories and gifts to our showroom we are able to offer a full variety of services.”

“We all know Chris Norwood as a great designer here in Little Rock, but outside Arkansas, Chris is a leader in the industry,” says Hurst.  “People from New York to Los Angeles, Dallas to Atlanta, even Europe and Asia, call on Chris to pick his brain about floral design, party planning and merchandising.  He has really made his mark on the industry and the awards and honors he receives are well deserved.  All of us at Tipton Hurst are extremely proud.”

“I am truly blessed to enjoy what I do,” added Norwood.  “I don’t think of my job as work, but more as an opportunity to share my talents with others. I have built a career on complete customer satisfaction and the offering of timeless and beautiful flowers.”

Chris Norwood has been with Tipton Hurst for 22 years and is the past National President of the American Institute of Floral Designers, as well as the past CEO and Chairman of the AIFD Foundation.  He is very active in community affairs in the Little Rock area, and has enjoyed working with the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, the American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Arkansas, and the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra.  Chris’ work has been featured in Flowers &, Florists’ Review, and numerous wire service publications.  National Publications have included Southern Accents and Veranda.  Chris is also featured weekly on KATV Good Morning Arkansas