INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, held its annual meeting March 10-12 at Sawgrass Marriott in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. President Dave Rousse reported to members that the association is a financially strong and growing membership organization that is taking on increased relevance in the complex global economy of nonwovens and engineered fabrics.
“INDA’s Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference presents a unique opportunity for INDA members to listen to rich program content that will spark their imaginations and give them new ideas to take back to their organizations,” says Rousse. “It also is a time to hear about all the global, impactful activities INDA has been involved with and discover how they, as members, can become involved as well. I encourage all INDA members to get the most out of their membership and the annual meeting and leadership conference is one excellent way to maximize your return on investment.”
In addition to the State of the Association update, the annual event included two keynote speakers, the nomination of a new board of directors and networking opportunities with fellow members and the board.
During the conference, Robb Lovegrove of Milliken was named chairman of the board for a two-year term, succeeding Todd Bassett of Fi-Tech, Inc. Also named as vice chairman, planning, was Karen Castle of Suominen Nonwovens; and as vice chairman, finance, Renita Anderson of Imerys Performance Minerals.
New directors named to three-year terms on the board were: Fred Dulin of Eastman Chemical Company; Michael Flaherty of Rando Machine Corporation; Gene Konczal of Providencia, USA; Wolfgang Plasser of Lenzing AG; Chris Plotz of ITW Dymon; and Jeff Shope of Henkel Adhesives.
The INDA Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference combines INDA’s annual business meeting with a leadership conference featuring speakers presenting on global topics and networking opportunities. INDA members heard a lively and dynamic presentation from James F. Smith, Ph.D., of Econforecaster.com who discussed why global growth should speed up in 2014 and beyond. Tom Fischgrund, Ph.D., president of Perimeter Search Group, spoke on winning and losing strategies in the war for talent and what can be learned from the best companies, including Coca-Cola, GE, AT&T, UPS, Home Depot, Google and others. He presented the profitable marketing strategies of Sergio Zyman, former Chief Marketing Officer for the Coca-Cola Company during the greatest growth years for the beverage company who was one of the world’s greatest acquirers and developers of talent.
Another highlight of the meeting was the presentation of INDA's most prestigious awards. Joseph Wahlquist of Rockline Industries received the Lifetime Technical Achievement Award and Thomas Justice of Zene, LCC received an award for lifetime service.
Wahlquist’s experience and commitment to the nonwovens industry was a critical, determining factor in earning him the 2014 Lifetime Technical Achievement Award. He has a long history of technical innovation leading to the development of Intellectual Property creating new products and processes. Wahlquist holds a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Wisconsin. He has held the position of vice president of global materials development at Rockline for 14 years.
“Joe Wahlquist has had an integral role for key technical developments in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry. His many years of service and contributions towards six patents have garnered him much respect and recognition throughout the industry. Plus, he has been an active member on many INDA Committees sharing his technical insights. Joe is extremely deserving of this honor,” says Rousse.
The INDA Lifetime Service Award recognizes an individual who has a long-established record of service to INDA and the nonwoven/engineered fabrics industry. Justice received the award for his outstanding contributions and tireless efforts in helping INDA and the industry grow. Justice has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from North Carolina State University and is currently the Principal at Zene, LLC.
Rousse says, “Tom Justice has been a champion for INDA and INDA activities. He has been a significant key contributor as an INDA Filtration Committee member and, subsequently, its chairperson, resulting in outstanding program content for our filtration events. INDA greatly appreciates his expertise, wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm for making INDA activities successful, and is proud to honor Tom with this award.”
INDA's Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference will next be held February 23-25, 2015, at the Inn at Harbor Town, The Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head, South Carolina. More information: www.inda.org.