A local man will oversee the Society of American Florists.

Martin W. Meskers, president of Oregon Flowers, Inc., a wholesale cut flower nursery in Aurora, became president of the Society of American Florists during the association’s 131st Annual Convention in Amelia Island, Fla., on Sept. 12.SUBMITTED PHOTO - Martin W. Meskers, president of Aurora-based Oregon Flowers, Inc., a wholesale cut flower nursery, became president of the Society of American Florists on Sept. 12.

SAF is the national trade association representing the United States floral industry and was chartered by an act of Congress in 1884. The board of directors elects the president and president-elect of the society and each position serves a three-year term.

"The floral industry has given my family and business an enormous amount,” Meskers said. “I feel that by being SAF president, I have an opportunity to give back."

In 2013, the board elected Meskers as president-elect. He has served in a number of volunteer leadership roles within SAF, including member of the group’s growers council, board of directors and executive committee, as well as its convention and former business and economic trends committees.

He grew up in Holland and received an education in bulbs and flowers before working in the family bulb business as a third-generation grower.

In 1979, he moved to the United States. Two years later, he married his wife, Helene. Together, they started Oregon Flowers in 1985. In recent years, two of the Meskers’ children, Jacinth and Tyler, have rejoined the family business.

Meskers is an active member of the Oregon Association of Nurseries, the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Growers and the North American Lilly Society.

He has been a volunteer at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church and donates his time to many local groups, including St. Vincent de Paul food bank and the North Marion School District.

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