Breaking News

Awards Honor Two Industry Veterans

March 12, 2007

Two men who helped guide the nonwovens industry through its formative years and into today’s vital global business will be recognized for their outstanding contributions during the IDEA07 Achievement Awards ceremony to be held at the IDEA07 International Conference & Exposition in April in Miami Beach. Edward Vaughn, longtime professor of textiles at Clemson University, and Lee Sullivan, former chairperson of INDA and a 20-year veteran of Freudenberg, will both receive the prestigious IDEA07 Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Ed Vaughn and Lee Sullivan have, indeed, shaped the business of nonwovens from its earliest days and have played an important role in the worldwide business it has become in the 21st Century,” said Rory Holmes, president of INDA, Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, organizer of IDEA07. “In addition to his role in the research and development of nonwoven fabrics, Dr. Vaughn has educated a generation of nonwovens professionals at the Clemson University School of Textiles and through his annual Nonwoven Fabric Forums and INDA’s Nonwovens Training Courses.
“For his part, Lee Sullivan has helped to guide what today is one of our industry’s pre-eminent producers of nonwovens fabrics, while also playing a vital role in the growth of INDA and its relations with other associations around the world,” Holmes added.
Mr. Sullivan joined the nonwovens industry with the Kendall Company as its Fiber Products Midwestern Sales Manager in 1977. He was president and CEO of Freudenberg Nonwovens until 1999 and was previously president and CEO of Freudenberg Spunweb Company. Mr. Sullivan also served as the Global Business Leader for the company’s Carpet Backing Business and was on the Freudenberg Nonwovens Global Leadership Team that oversees approximately $900 million of sales around the world. He retired as General Manager of the Tuft Division of Freudenberg Nonwovens in 2004.
During his more than 27 years in the nonwovens industry, Sullivan served on various INDA committees, including two years as Chairman of the Association. At various times he was chairman of the Industrial, Consumer Products and Medical Divisions, was vice chairman-Planning and was also a long-time member of INDA’s Executive Committee.
“I am deeply honored by my nomination for the INDA Lifetime Achievement Award, but I truly feel that INDA should be the one honored for being an important part of my professional development as an industry leader,” said Sullivan. “I thank the INDA Board for their nomination."

Dr. Vaughn, perhaps most well-known in the nonwovens industry for his stewardship for 34 years of the annual Clemson Nonwoven Fabrics Forum, is currently Professor Emeritus at the Clemson University School of Materials Science and Engineering.
He holds a B.S. in Physics and Mathematics from Lynchburg College, an M.S. in Textile Technology from the Institute of Textile Technology, and a Ph.D. in Fiber Physics from the University of Manchester. In addition to holding a number of technical patents in nonwovens and fiber technology, Dr. Vaughn is also the 2002 recipient of the Mark Hollingsworth Award from the Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry.
“I am genuinely honored to receive this recognition,” said Dr. Vaughn. “I really think that the nonwovens industry has contributed more to me than I have to it, because being a part of this business has been a major part of my professional life and a source of personal satisfaction for nearly four decades.”
However, Dr. Vaughn added, “even though it is called the Lifetime Achievement Award, it does not mean the end of my active participation in the industry. I hope to be working with my friends in nonwovens for many years to come."
 This is the third consecutive IDEA show that INDA has presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to pioneers in the nonwovens industry. Wayne Hays received the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award during IDEA01 and former INDA President and C.H. Dexter executive Ted Wirtz was honored at IDEA04.
In addition to these two special Lifetime Awards, the IDEA07 Achievement Awards will be presented in five categories to recognize the best new products introduced in the past three years since IDEA04. For more on the Achievement Awards, which are co-sponsored by INDA and Nonwovens Industry, go to or

Related Other:

  • The Year That Was 2016

    The Year That Was 2016

    Karen McIntyre, Editor||December 1, 2016
    The year 2016 included investments, new product development and an entrepreneurial spirit in nonwovens that will surely impac

  • Fiber Producers Hone in on Hygiene

    Fiber Producers Hone in on Hygiene

    Tara Olivo, Associate Editor||June 9, 2016
    Growth in hygiene markets has spurred innovation among these suppliers to the nonwovens industry.

  • Flushable Wipes Update

    Flushable Wipes Update

    Karen McIntyre, editor||April 13, 2016
    INDA president continues to make defending flushable wipes one of his top priorities.