William “Bill” McKinley has been recognized by the Board of Directors of the American Institute of Floral Designers, AIFD, with the organization’s Award of Distinguished Service.
McKinley is an instructional associate professor and director and Endowed Chair of the Benz School of Floral Design in the Department of Horticultural Sciences of the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,
The announcement was made recently at the organization’s 2022 national symposium in Las Vegas.
About the award
The Award of Distinguished Service is given to longstanding members of the AIFD in recognition of extraordinary service to the Institute, including upholding its goals and supporting its activities. Recipients are known as “Fellows of AIFD” and are granted life membership in the organization.
McKinley has been a member of AIFD since 1991 and has served on its national board of directors. He also has held many positions with the organization at the regional and national level and was recognized in 2010 with the Award for Distinguished Service to the Floral Industry.
According to his award citation, McKinley has dedicated his time to strengthening the educational programs for which the Institute is well-known, creating online content and elevating the industry through his professionalism and collaborative spirit.
“To be honored for my passion for sharing the love of flowers, and seeing floral art come alive in others, is humbling,” McKinley said.
More about McKinley
Splitting his time between Benz School of Floral Design continuing education classes in the summer and academic curriculum during the regular semesters, McKinley teaches aspiring as well as professional floral designers. He is a frequent guest speaker and presenter at garden clubs, seminars and conventions. McKinley travels twice a year to Seoul, South Korea, to instruct floral design teachers at the Benz School Korea and evaluate their students.
As a former member of AIFD’s national board of directors, McKinley is currently the AIFD online education administrator and past chairman of its Certified Floral Designer program. He has also chaired the AIFD’s National Education Committee, Educational Partners Committee and Student Membership Committee.
McKinley is the author of the Cut Flower Companion and co-author of the Shopkeeper. He co-authored Flowers: Creative Design, the primary textbook for the Benz School of Floral Design. He is also a contributing author and task force chairman for the new AIFD Guide to Floral Design introduced at the 2022 AIFD Symposium.
He is also an advisor to the student chapter of the American Institute of Floral Designers at Texas A&M University, a collegiate organization that affords students opportunities for experiential learning, both on campus and at national events.
McKinley earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Missouri and master’s degree from Texas A&M University.
Prior to his academic career at Texas A&M, McKinley taught floral design for 17 years at Kishwaukee College, where he later became the associate dean for Career Technologies. Early in his career, McKinley worked for FloraLife Inc., owned a retail florist shop in Bryan and worked for a prestigious event florist in the Dallas area.