A new travel grant has been established through the American Floral Endowment (AFE) by a generous bequest from the estate of Ken and Jean Royer.

Ken and Jean Royer Family Fund Provides Travel Grants for Retail Florists

For Immediate Release Source AFE

Alexandria, VA – June 12, 2024 A new travel grant has been established through the American Floral Endowment (AFE) by a generous bequest from the estate of Ken and Jean Royer.

Ken Royer, a second-generation florist from the family-owned Royer’s Flowers & Gifts, headquartered in Pennsylvania and now in its fourth generation, alongside his wife, Jean, left behind a legacy marked by their generous spirits and commitment to the retail floral community. The new Fund honors the memory of both Ken and Jean Royer and their steadfast dedication to our industry.

The Ken and Jean Royer Family Fund supports continued education for retail florists and promotes attendance and participation at in-person conferences and events.


“This Fund continues a legacy of support and involvement in our industry through providing additional access to meaningful educational programs and events. My parents’ investment in a grant through the Endowment will continue to give back in perpetuity and keep not only their memory alive but also their impact,” said Greg Royer. 

Through this Fund, a new travel reimbursement grant will be offered annually to support traditional retail florists. The annual grant is designed to facilitate ongoing education and networking at industry events, particularly for individuals who might face financial barriers to participation. It assists in defraying the expenses associated with attending educational conferences, which provide essential business development opportunities.

Applicants to this new grant must be first-time attendees of the specific conference they plan to join, and they should either own or work for a traditional brick-and-mortar retail floral shop. Additionally, applicants must be able to cover all upfront costs associated with attending the event.

Following attendance at the approved conference or event, grants will be awarded within 30 days of receiving confirmation of registration and expenses. Each grant will cover half of the conference registration and travel fees, with a maximum award of $2,000.

About Ken and Jean Royer

Ken’s interest in floral started at a young age, and he began in the flower business in high school working on his parents’ small farm where they had greenhouses and grew potted plants. After classes, he would make deliveries for the retail orders. At that time, the family business was mostly wholesaling their crops to other retail florists in the Central PA area, even though they also operated a retail flower shop in Lebanon, PA.
Ken and Jean formally joined the family business after Ken returned from Michigan State University, where he earned an Associate’s Degree, having taken a 2-year course in Floriculture, graduating in 1951. Working as a team in all things, they tirelessly built the business to provide for their growing family. Ken mostly focused on the retail flower shop while Jean oversaw the office and bookkeeping.
Throughout that time of growth and evolution, even though Ken had no formal business training, he applied key business practices to operate the flower shop, which was rare back then. As a part of this focus on business efficiency and flow, they were one of the first retailers to install a computer system; while it aided in “getting the bills out,” Ken was more interested in the management reports it could generate. His business strategies were so successful that in 1998, he published the book, ‘Retailing Flowers Profitably.” He also wrote a Florists’ Review magazine column, “Royer on Retail,” for 14 years.  

Ken’s focus on business operations and innovation got him recognized by others in the industry, leading him to provide educational seminars on the practices he had put in place with topics ranging from marketing to management and post-harvest care. Ken spoke at dozens and dozens of State and National meetings with a focus on business operations, efficiency, and profitability. He was always a believer in education and networking, and some of his most enjoyable times were when he was at meetings and had the opportunity to meet new people in the industry. The new travel grant continues in the footsteps that he left, ensuring that more retail florists and business owners can take advantage of all that industry events and conferences have to offer from training and education sessions to meeting key business contacts.
Ken and Jean learned a lot through attending state and national meetings and developed many lifelong friends. Ken was also a board member of AFE, becoming its Treasurer from 1988 to 1994, as well as being involved with the Society of American Florists (SAF). Giving back with their time, money, and expertise was important to both Ken and Jean, which is why they provided funds in their estate to establish a fund with the Endowment.
The legacy and impact that Ken and Jean left behind will continue not only through this new Fund but also through the family business lasting now through four generations. You can read more on Ken’s impact through his memorial tribute here.

To learn more and apply for the Ken and Jean Royer Education Travel Grant, Visit www.endowment.org/grants. The deadline for application is October 1 each year.

About the American Floral Endowment: 
The American Floral Endowment (AFE) is the trusted source and catalyst for floriculture advancement through funding innovative research, scholarships, internships, and educational grants that best serve the dynamic needs and demographics of all industry sectors.