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Talk about getting your foot in the door at the ground level.
Diane Cummins got her start in the fern industry as a secretary to now-deceased fern grower James Rumford in Lake County in 1972.
Today she is president and minority shareholder of 110-employee Uniflora Overseas Florida Inc. in Lake County's Okahumpka. Her duties include overseeing Uniflora's worldwide locations, except for its German offices.
Cummins declines to reveal Uniflora's revenue, but says the company is a leader in Florida's $150 million fern industry.
The company buys, grows and sells more than 100 varieties of cut decorative ferns and other greens for the global floral market. Uniflora's products, such as leather leaf, huckleberry and falal ferns, as well as jade and teepee palms, are used in floral arrangements.
"With the jade and teepee palms, we are one …