Specialty Fabrics Review June 2019 - 6

BRIEFINGS

FORETHOUGHT

I still know my muffins

S

Galynn Nordstrom
senior editor

ome weeks back, my book club was discussing the book "A Square
Meal: A Culinary History of the Great Depression," which mostly
details the government's sometimes tortuous efforts to convince
the U.S. public that they could eat less if they'd just eat more
wisely. Results were mixed, but they did sprout 100 years of constantly
evolving dietary guidelines, as well as the educational apex that created
"Home Economics" classes in public schools. Last week, I bit into a
muffin I'd purchased on my way to work, noted air bubbles inside, and
nodded sagely to myself as I recalled my eighth grade Home Ec* teacher's
timeless advice: "Tunnels" are caused by overmixing the batter.
I checked, of course. Verified. Not only did I learn something,
I remembered it! I went home with a fresh regard for history, if
not necessarily for government policy.
Few organizations reach 100 years of age, although quite a number
of IFAI members have accomplished it. In 2012, the Industrial Fabrics
Association International (IFAI) celebrated its 100th birthday with a
party at IFAI Expo 2012 in Boston. In 2015, Specialty Fabrics Review
celebrated its first incarnation as the voice of the association and the
industry-the November 1915 publication of The National Tent &
Awning Manufacturers Review. In 2020, IFAI Expo will celebrate
its own centennial in Indianapolis, Nov. 3-6.

PERSPECTIVE

Mission statements
Michele Quadri-Butterfield, owner of Al's Awning Shop Inc. in
Erie, Pa., grew up in the family business, but also mastered the
small business development program at Gannon University
in Erie, and sought guidance from Athena International, a
nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and supporting
women leaders. Now she's a woman with a mission: "Every
day I say, 'What fabric solutions are you providing today? What
exceptional product are you going to put out today?'" She refers to herself as the
"mother force" of the shop, introducing innovations, motivating and encouraging
employees, and asking every day: "What did we miss?" But the number one lesson
she learned from her father, says Quadri-Butterfield, is to make sure that customers
are taken care of. For the rest of the story, turn to page 22.
If you'd like to nominate a fellow IFAI manufacturer member for coverage in a
future "Perspective" article, please contact Galynn Nordstrom, senior editor, at
gdnordstrom@ifai.com.

6 REVIEW JUNE 2019

Live as if you were to die
tomorrow. Learn as if you
were to live forever.
~Mahatma Gandhi

Seems like a natural time to see how far
we've come, how much we've remembered-
and how much we're still learning.
Technological advances and labor
issues make up two of the most
important, and enduring, industry
issues of the past 100 years. For the last
30 years, the pace of change has increased
exponentially; research and the road to
commercialization (from fiber to fabric
to finished goods) is a global highway
now. Few manufacturers can undertake
all of this all on their own. IFAI and
IFAI Expo are dedicated to the process
of cooperation-with government, with
universities, with other industries and
within our own industry-as well as
to innovation and entrepreneurship.
IFAI Expo 2019 in Orlando this October
continues a long tradition of learning,
but is also designed to move us ahead
of the trends.
Next month will be the first of four
Expo-related issues this year: July's
Exhibitor Product Preview, the Show
Preview in August, the September
show issue and the November issue,
with this year's show report. But we'll
also begin a countdown to IFAI Expo's
100th anniversary, and a look at what's
happened, what's happening,
and what's to come. Stick with us.
*Had I been thinking clearly back then,
I'd have crashed the "Shop" classes instead,
and perhaps learned how to change doorknobs
instead of ultimately concluding that the house
had been built around them. But I still know
my muffins.



Specialty Fabrics Review June 2019

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