Our Instructors

Floral Design Institute Instructors are outstanding trained educators as well as experienced and exceptional floral designers with years of real world floral experience. All floral design instructors are registered with the Department of Education. Some own their own floral businesses and some are accredited members of the American Institute of Floral Designers, AIFD. The Floral Design Institute Team of Instructors is regarded as the finest in the world.

    Leanne Kesler

    AIFD PFCI AAF FDI Education Director

    Leanne is the Education Director and with her husband David, co-owner of Floral Design Institute, Inc.. Leanne purchased the Floral Design Institute in 1988 from Ruth Gifford who founded the Institute in 1969. Together, Leanne and David have built Floral Design Institute into the largest privately held Floral Design School in the world.

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    David Kesler

    AIFD PFCI AAF FDI Creative Director

    With his wife Leanne, David is the co-owner of Floral Design Institute, Inc. and serves as Creative Director of the corporation. He is also the Web Master of the FDI web site, the Director and Editor of FDI training DVDs, the Designer and Writer of all FDI marketing materials as well as the Designer and Photographer of the FDI floral design images.

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    Michelle Headrick

    AIFD PFCI FDI Lead Floral Instructor

    Joining the Floral Design Institute team in 2015, Michelle is an instructor in the Basic Floral Design, Advanced Floral Design and Advanced Wedding Specialist certification programs, both in the classroom and through FDI’s Online Programs. She also teaches Advanced Seminars and Special Interest Classes.

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    Rikki Begay

    Assistant Creative Director

    Rikki’s passion for photography began at an early age with her father coaching her on how to use a camera and the art of photography. Her passion grew in high school and college with the introduction of video, producing short films, creating scripts, filming, directing, and editing. Rikki obtained a BFA from the Academy of Art University and launched her career with an emphasis in Photography.

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    FDI Instructor Jeri Barr

    Jeri Barr

    FDI Instructor

    Jeri created her first wedding over 20 years ago and has loved weddings ever since. This love of weddings began when she was a manager and buyer for a bridal gown boutique. She would create flowers “on the side” and then decided to join forces with a florist. Jeri has since purchased that floral business and is now the owner of Bella Bloom Florals where she has turned what was a side job into a wonderful career. She specializes in wedding and event work and has had her work featured by Style Me Pretty, Town & Country and Colin Cowie.

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    Anna Nelson

    FDI Instructor

    Anna is a Floral Design Institute Certified Floral Designer who graduated from FDI in 2016.  Her floral career began at the age of 20 when in her own words, “I suddenly realized that it was possible to design the life you wanted, to have a creative career and to truly love what you do.

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    Dov Kupfer

    AIFD FDI Instructor

    A native of El Paso, Texas, Dov brings a wealth of floral design talent, floral design instruction and mentoring experience to Floral Design Institute. He is an accredited member of the American Institute of Floral Designers (AIFD), and is an AIFD Certified Floral Design Evaluator and Judge. Dov teaches Online Certification Programs in Basic Floral Design and Advanced Floral Design.

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    Instructor Michelle Dummer FDI AIFD

    Michelle "Chelle" Dummer

    FDI AIFD Instructor

    With an impressive design portfolio encompassing a 20 year career as a floral designer specializing is sympathy design, wedding flowers and retail floristry Chelle joined the Floral Design Institute Team in 2016. Chelle is an instructor of the certification programs Basic Floral Design and Advanced Floral Design.

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    FDI Instructor Carolyn Catron

    Carolyn Catron

    FDI Instructor “In memoriam"

    Carolyn was a beloved instructor at FDI for five years. Sadly, she passed away after a brief illness on March 14, 2024

    Carolyn brings a wealth of real world floral design experience to Floral Design Institute. She is a proud graduate of Floral Design Institute who found her love and passion for floral design when she took her first class from Leanne Kesler in 1991.

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    Beth Lane, FDI Instructor Emeritus

    Beth Lane

    FDI Instructor Emeritus

    Now retired, Beth was an instructor at FDI beginning in 2006 through 2016.

    Beth began her floral career in Palatine, Illinois at the age of 16 working as a floral delivery driver. With over 35 years of experience as a floral designer, having worked in multiple retail stores and owning her own studio based wedding floral business, Beth possesses a treasure of practical experience to share with her students.

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    Nancy Higgins, FDI Instructor Emeritus

    Nancy Higgins

    FDI Instructor Emeritus

    Now retired, Nancy was an instructor at FDI beginning in 1981 through 2015

    Nancy has been part of the Floral Design Institute team for over 35 years. "It has been my honor and pleasure to continually bring the joy of floral design to so many students over the years" Nancy is an instructor of the certification programs Basic Floral Design and Advanced Floral Design.

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