Lois B. Fowkes, Paula Pryke, and Bryan Wittman to Choose 2012 Float Award Winners
PASADENA, Calif. (October 5, 2011) – The Tournament of Roses® has chosen Lois B. Fowkes, Paula Pryke and Bryan Wittman as float judges for the 123rd Rose Parade® presented by Honda. Twenty-four of the 42 floral masterpieces in the parade will receive awards in a variety of categories and specifications including the distinguished Directors’ Trophy, which has been dedicated this year in honor of late float designer and former Rose Parade float judge, Jacob Maarse. The judges’ scores are based on criteria such as creative design, floral craftsmanship, artistic merit, computerized animation, thematic interpretation, floral and color presentation and dramatic impact. Fowkes, Pryke and Wittman were appointed by the Tournament’s judging committee.
“Jacob Maarse was a dear friend of the Tournament and an innovator in floral design,” said Gene Gregg, chair of the Tournament of Roses judging committee. “We cannot think of a more fitting individual and former float judge to honor with this award. We know Fowkes, Pryke and Wittman will serve as excellent judges to determine which float is most deserving for this and the other 23 float awards. Their vast expertise in entertainment and floral design is extremely fitting for this role and we are eager to begin working with them on the judging process.”
About the 2012 Rose Parade Float Judges
Lois B. Fowkes’ natural passion for floral design and roses began while living as a teenager in Bangkok, Thailand. As the daughter of an American diplomat, it was her protocol to participate in the culture of the country and she began her lifelong educational journey with floral design.
In 1972, she purchased a home in Southampton, N.Y. and planted her first very own rose garden. She joined the American Rose Society (ARS) and eventually founded the Southampton Rose Society. Her passion and involvement with the ARS and other organizations have continued to grow. Currently, she is past director of ARS New York District, and serves on the ARS Prizes and Awards Committee as well as the ARS Horticultural Judges Committee. She has served as an active ARS Horticultural Rose Judge and an ARS Design Judge for more than 25 years. Fowkes’ additional credentials include: Royal National Rose Society Horticultural Judge; Rose Hills International Rose Trials Judge and International Rose Judge for the World Federated Rose Societies.
In 2003, Fowkes exhibited at the World Rose Convention in Glasgow, Scotland and won "Best in Show" for her floral design. In 2006, she transported several miniature dried rose designs for display at the Triennial World Rose Convention in Osaka, Japan. According to Fowkes, her most rewarding achievement occurred in the 1980s when she served as part of a team effort instrumental in securing the rose as "National Floral Emblem” of the United States.
Paula Pryke began her distinguished flower business in 1987 after making a career change from history teacher to florist. Based out of London, and with more than 30 years of experience, her client roster is filled with celebrities and her work is known worldwide.
Paula Pryke Flowers has a reputation for cutting edge, innovative floral designs. Pryke’s work has been featured in various leading magazines and she has been described as “the most brilliant florist in London.” She has written 14 best-selling books on flowers, which have been translated into 13 different languages including Japanese and Hebrew. In addition to her many books, Pryke regularly writes for magazines including, Sainsbury’s magazine and The English Home.
Her awards and accolades include “Most Brilliant Florist” as named by the Evening Standard, “Best Florist in London” by Tatler and “Ambassador for the Florist Industry” by NFU.
Since 1994, Pryke has also run her internationally renowned Paula Pryke Flower School offering courses in every aspect of floral design for everyone from complete beginners to professionals. Her prestigious, internationally acclaimed career course has become the blueprint for flower courses around the country, offering a unique inroad into floristry for frustrated florists considering a career change as Pryke herself once did.
Pryke’s philosophy has been embraced in Europe, America and Japan where she is now in regular demand for lectures and floral demonstrations.
Celebrations, special events and family entertainment have been the focus of Bryan Wittman’s career for more than 30 years. As Vice President of Global Special Events for Disney Parks, the Buffalo, N.Y. native is responsible for the creative development, management and production of major special events and marketing projects for Disney Theme Parks and Resorts around the world.
Wittman is a graduate of Ashland University in Ohio with a degree in television production, and has an extensive background in marketing and entertainment. He has held executive positions with Marriott and Six Flags Theme Parks, the Ice Capades and the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, N.Y. Career highlights for Wittman have included numerous grand opening celebrations for Disney Theme Parks, attractions, parades and shows, annual themed signature events and festivals, Super Bowl halftime shows and film premieres.
2012 marks Wittman’s 23rd year working with the Tournament of Roses. He has continued the tradition of the Walt Disney Company’s involvement in the Rose Parade that began when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was featured in the 1938 Parade. Other Disney highlights over the years include Grand Marshals Walt Disney in 1966, Roy E. Disney in 2000 and Mickey Mouse in 2005. Under Wittman’s leadership, Disney has also created and produced numerous Rose Parade opening entertainment shows, several floats (including the tallest float in Rose Parade history), and annual celebration events for Rose Bowl football teams, Royal Court and Rose Parade marching bands at Disneyland.
About the Pasadena Tournament of Roses®
The Pasadena Tournament of Roses is a volunteer organization that annually hosts the Rose Parade® presented by Honda, Rose Bowl Game® presented by VIZIO and various associated events. The 123rd Rose Parade presented by Honda, themed Just Imagine, will take place Monday, Jan. 2, 2012, at 8 a.m. (PST) featuring majestic floral floats, high-stepping equestrian units and spirited marching bands. Following the parade, the 98th Rose Bowl Game presented by VIZIO will kick off at 2:10 p.m. and feature an exciting match-up between two of the top collegiate football teams in the nation. For additional information on the Tournament of Roses please visit the official website at www.tournamentofroses.com.
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