Leadership

The Florist Federal Credit Union is a unique credit union, reflecting a diverse staff and Board or Directors from across the United States. Serving all 50 states, TFFCU represents the US Floral Industry as the industries only dedicated financial solutions provider.

Cisco Malpartida Smith

Cisco Malpartida Smith - President & CEO

Since December 2016, Malpartida Smith has served as the President & CEO. He most recently served as Vice President of Products and Strategy for GTE Financial (GTE Federal Credit Union, Tampa, FL), prior to that Malpartida Smith worked for BECU (Boeing Employees’ Credit Union, Tukwila, WA) in various management roles within Product’s, Community Relations and Marketing. Malpartida Smith’s credit union career spans a broad set of positions in strategy, marketing, lending, business development, product development, branch operations, political advocacy and community relations with notable credit unions. His credit union experience was launched in Seattle, WA, where he worked to start a new credit union startup for his University community. Malpartida Smith serves on the board of directors and chair of the development committee for Hillsborough Community College Foundation

Kenneth Bell

Kenneth Bell - CFO

Kenn is the current Chief Financial Officer of The Florist Federal Credit Union. He is the past CEO, having assisted in the selection and hire of the current CEO. “If we are going to have a successful future, we need to be bold in our approach, professional in our actions, and focused on service”. Kenn has worked in the credit industry for over 25 years, the majority as a Credit Union professional. His experience spans many years of changes within the financial industry. He is a graduate of Portland State University, a graduate of the Western CUNA Management School in Pomona California, a graduate of Western Banking School in Portland. He has an extensive background in commercial services, including commercial lending. His wife has been a florist for over 30 years, and is a Texas Master Florist. Naturally, Kenn has felt a natural fit with The Florist Federal Credit Union.

Vick Reddy

Vick Reddy - CIO/CDO

Vick joins our leadership team from an award-winning national management consultancy. He brings a fresh set of eyes to our business and a keen focus on digitally transformative strategies and customer experiences. He is currently covering a dual role. As our Chief Information Officer, he supports the IT strategy and governance of The Florist Federal Credit Union. Along with those duties, as our Chief Digital Officer, he helps drive the digital strategy of both the credit union and a number of critical digital products and initiatives. Vick is an entrepreneurial leader with over 22 years of experience delivering on business and technology objectives. Vick has owned several digital agencies and has worked in the digital space with credit unions and banks, as well as with firms in many other industries resulting in exceptional perspective. Vick’s diverse experience around technology and digital leadership provides The Florist Federal Credit Union a new and exciting dynamic in leadership, strategy and approach.

Doug Liedtke

Doug Liedtke - Chair

Doug is a second generation wholesale florist. Kara Jean and Earl Liedtke founded J&E Wholesale in 1972, after working in the Maben Wholesale organization for 15 years. Doug has served as a President of J&E Wholesale since 1996.

J&E has been very active in the WesTexas New Mexico and Texas State Florist Associations. He has served on various committee’s and offices of both organizations, including serving as President of WTNM in 1994-1995. WesTexas New Mexico has recognized Doug’s contributions to the organization by awarding him the Florist Member of the Year and the coveted Silver Rose.

Doug was elected to serve on the board of The Florist Federal Credit Union in 1996, serving for 21 years, the last 6 of those as the Chairman of the Board.

Having grown up in the industry, it was natural to join the Credit Union as a teenager. First using the credit union’s savings account, and as a young man, purchasing his first car. Doug says the credit union has been a valuable asset to his family and his business, serving his children’s young families also. From personal savings, financing, and business needs, Doug has relied on his “Florist Family” at The Florist Federal Credit Union.

Michael Gardner

Michael Gardner - Vice Chair

Michael has served on the Board of the Florist Federal Credit Union since August, 2005. He is the Vice Chairman of the board. He has served on most, if not all committees on the credit union board. He is a very enthusiastic Credit Union member, evangelist and advocate.

His floral career started in high school as a delivery driver including all the things that go along with that job. He graduated in 1979 from Joliet Junior College with an Associate’s Degree in Horticulture. He went to work right out of college for Growers Exchange, a Chicago area based cut flower broker. The following summer, he went to work at Koehler, Dramm & Johnson in Aurora, IL in sales. In short order, he was recruited to Colorado Springs Wholesale Florist in September, 1980. He was one of the founders of Continental Floral Exchange in Colorado Springs but left in 1985 to begin his own company, Worldwide Floral Distributors. He is still the owner/operator of WWFD.

Dwight Fortson

Dwight Fortson - Treasurer

Dwight Fortson was born and raised in Big Spring, Texas. He is a graduate of Big Spring High School and Howard College in that city. After earning is Associate of Arts degree from Howard College, Dwight attended the University of North Texas where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Speech Therapy and Audiology. While going to these colleges, Dwight worked as a floral designer for Faye's Flowers in Big Spring and the Joe Alford Florist in Denton, TX.

In 1973, Dwight went to work as a Speech Therapist and Special Education teacher in the Lewisville, Texas school system. In 1979 he went to work for the Ft. Worth Supply Company as a supply salesman and in 1987 took a job with Lion Ribbon Company and worked selling accessories to Florists for the next 35 years.

Dwight is a former Past President of WTNM and has served on the board of The Florist Federal Credit Union for the last 12 years.

Dwight currently works as fleet manager and driver trainer for Fine Airport Parking in Denver, Colorado. He is married to his wife Suzan and has two children and two step children.

Tom Williams

Tom Williams, TMF - Secretary

In 1998 upon meeting Christopher Collum, Tom Williams was introduced to the floral industry. Prior to this time his professional focus was in office administration. With Chris’s design sense and Tom’s understanding of business their partnership excelled through free-lance design projects across the state and nation. This free-lance business continued until 2007 when Tom accepted the position of General Manager for Flowerland, in Midland Texas. He held this position for seven years before being named General Manager of Mark Knox Flowers, in Odessa Texas where he is currently employed.

Tom has served two terms on the Credit Unions Board of Directors, and has been a member of the Credit Union for many years. The time spent has provided an opportunity to help florists individually as well as assist with the businesses represented through these efforts.

His interest in the floral industry remains strong today as Tom brings forward his knowledge and generous spirit. He and his partner Chris reside in Midland with two Labradors: Bella and Bree, and one Chihuahua: Palo.

Lou Anne Causey

Lou Anne Causey - Director

Lou Anne has served as a board member of The Florist Federal Credit Union since 2012, and has been an active member of The Florist FCU for over thirty years. She strongly believes in the mission of The Florist FCU to serve the floral industry. She is excited about the direction that the credit union is taking, “We are working hard to innovate and utilize new technology and services to become a more virtual credit union that can serve florists nationwide, while keeping our focus on being a people serving business.”

Lou Anne was literally born into the greenhouse industry. She is the president of Irwin Greenhouses, Inc., a family run business started by her parents Jim and Jean Irwin in 1963 in Canyon, Texas. She has been active in the regional floral industry for many years. She has served on numerous committees and held most offices including president of the WesTexas New Mexico Florist Association. She also served on the Texas State Florists’ Association board and as president of the local Panhandle Allied Florist Association. This background has made her very aware of the importance of honoring the past and the foundation, while strengthening the present, and being willing to adjust to the necessary changes of the Future.

Mark Erickson

Mark Erickson, AIFD,AAF, PFCI - Director

Mark began his floral career as a delivery boy during high school and found he had a love for flowers, creativity and design that would last his entire career. After attending Central State University and graduating from the Benz School of Design in Houston, Texas he convinced his parents the family should be in the flower business. His family did buy a flower shop and they grew it into one of the leading florists in Oklahoma City.

After 20 years of managing a retail floral shop Mark transitioned into the corporate sector holding several creative and management positions for American Floral Services an Oklahoma City based International flowers-by-wire service.

Currently, Mark is the Marketing, Merchandising and Education Director for the Oklahoma Flower Market Wholesale Florist in Oklahoma City.

He is in his second term as a member of the board of directors for The Florist Federal Credit Union. Mark considers serving on the board as a representative for industry members across the country as both an honor and privilege.

Lynn Karnes

Lynn Karnes - Board Member and Chair of the Supervisory Committee

Lynn has served on the Supervisory Committee of The Florist FCU for more than 15 years, and was elected onto the Board of Directors in 2017. She has also been a long-time member of The Florist FCU.

Lynn has worked for Sunwest Bank, then later, Bank of America, for 18 years, prior to her time with The Florist.

Lynn has never worked directly with the floral industry, but she remarks that she was “lucky enough to marry into a wonderful family of florists.”

Tom Lancaster

Tom Lancaster - Supervisory Committee

Tom is a long time member of The Florist Federal Credit Union. He is currently serving on the Supervisory Committee, where he has volunteered his time for many years.

Lucila Ramiro

Lucila Ramiro, MD, FACP, MBA - Supervisory Committee

Dr. Lucila Ramiro joined Tampa General Hospital in 1994 as an internal medicine physician. She spent the first part of her career as a clinician educator, specializing in primary care services for patients requiring chronic care management. Using this experience, she became a consultant, advisor, and speaker for medical advocacy groups and pharmaceutical companies, including Florida Medical Quality Assurance, Inc, Healthease Florida, Academy of Healthcare Education, Eli Lilly, Janssen Pharm, and Takeda Pharm, to name a few. In an effort to promote education for the next generation of physicians, she collaborated with the USF Internal Medicine Department to expand the training of USF residents in the Tampa General Medical Group (TGMG) clinics.

In 2012, her leadership responsibilities expanded when she became the Program Director of Primary Care. In this role, Dr. Ramiro was instrumental in the expansion of TGMG primary care with offices throughout the Tampa Bay area. She helped develop the current TGMG physician compensation plan and continues to work on the model to further align the plan with the current value-based compensation movement in healthcare. This position also led to her involvement in the creation of the West Florida Health Clinically Integrated Network (CIN), a joint collaboration among Tampa General Hospital (TGH), Florida Hospital, and 1,800 community based physicians to create the infrastructure that can help improve patient care throughout the region through open communication, population health tools, care management support, and educational opportunities. Always with an eye on quality, she recently spearheaded the physician effort to achieve level 3 Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) certification at the TGMG primary care clinics, and has been instrumental in creating the physician and staff work flows to prepare for MACRA implementation. She was promoted to her current role as TGH VP of Physician Services and President of Tampa General Medical Group in May 2017. In her current role, she oversees 105 primary care physicians, specialists and advanced practice providers.

Dr. Ramiro is board certified in internal medicine and a fellow of the American College of Physicians. She received her medical degree at the University of Santo Tomas in Manila, Philippines and an Executive Master in Business Administration from the University of South Florida. She is a board member of the Hillsborough Community College Foundation and supervisory committee member of the The Florist Federal Credit Union. She continues to teach medical residents and treat her beloved patients one day a week at the TGMG Kennedy office.

Dr. Lucila Ramiro “Chie” joined The Florist Federal Credit Union Family in early 2017, and is currently serving on the Supervisory Committee.