Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 4

BRIEFINGS

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Historical perspective

PUBLISHED SINCE 1915 BY THE
INDUSTRIAL FABRICS ASSOCIATION INTERNATIONAL

hat is the biggest professional challenge you've overcome?
This is one of the standard questions Review asks
the subjects of the Perspective cover article. While
some responses are unique to an interviewee's specific
circumstances, the most common answer involves seeing a business
through the economic impacts of 9/11 and the Great Recession.
While the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented, I keep
coming back to the answers to that question to put this current
challenge into context. For example, in the October 2019 issue,
Tom Auer, president of Bearse USA, described opening a factory
in Puerto Rico just before Hurricane Maria ravaged the island in
2017. "It was a little bit of a rough start, but we've been around
for 97 years," he said. "It's just a blip in our history."
Indeed, survival stories in this industry aren't limited to the
crises within our lifetime. Many IFAI member companies carry with
them the stories of past generations adapting and thriving. They are
stories of immigrants bringing their skills to a new world, stories of
struggling companies bringing in a new generation to reinvent the
business, and stories of pivoting to meet a sudden need in the market.
Here are a few examples: IFAI chairwoman Kathy Schaefer's
company, Glawe Awning and Tents, has evolved from
manufacturing horse blankets and wagon covers in the late
1800s, to repairing dirigible balloons in WWII, to being one of
the first U.S. tent companies to adopt clearspan technology. Tent
manufacturer Anchor Industries was founded in 1892 as a riverboat
supply house. English sailmaker Joseph Loane founded Loane Bros.
on Baltimore's Inner Harbor in 1815; by the second generation, the
company was producing awnings, along with tents and flags for the
Union Army during the Civil War.
Four longtime members of the North East Canvas Products
Association (NECPA), an IFAI-affiliated zone organization, tell
similar stories in this issue. The president of one of the companies,
Jamie Mills of Wm. J. Mills & Co., credits his company's longevity to
its adaptability. "I've always subscribed to the philosophy that what
we do is manage change," he says. "And sometimes change is what
we create, and sometimes change is thrust upon us."
Here's my prediction: A couple of generations from now, the
president of an IFAI member company will face a challenge we can't
even imagine. She'll remember the story of how, when her grandfather
was at the helm, the business survived by making face masks to fight a
pandemic. And she'll find a way to adapt and thrive.

Specialty Fabrics Review provides timely and accurate
industry intelligence to the members of the Industrial
Fabrics Association International and the global
specialty fabrics marketplace.

W

Jill C. Lafferty, Senior Editor

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IFAI PRESIDENT/CEO
Steve Schiffman * saschiffman@ifai.com

DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND SALES
Amy Collins

EDITORIAL | SpecialtyFabricsReview.com/contact
EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Rebecca Post
SENIOR EDITOR Jill C. Lafferty
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Elisa Bernick
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Sammi Jones
CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Janet Preus
MEDIA AND PRODUCTION COORDINATOR Michelle Cook
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

Cathy Broberg, Holly Eamon, Maura Keller,
Janet Preus, Sigrid Tornquist

DESIGN
CREATIVE MANAGER Cathleen Rose
SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Kari Pederson
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Megan Shircel

ADVERTISING | ifai.com/advertise/
INTEGRATED MEDIA SALES

Jean Brown, Brenda Olson, Melissa Reese,
Angie West, Kathy Wollum
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AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT
ifai.com/specialty-fabrics-review-magazine-subscription/
CIRCULATION SPECIALIST Jill Poirier

IFAI MEMBERSHIP | ifai.com/membership
EDITORIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Elissa Decker, Moss Inc.; Cheryl Gomes, Innovative Textile
Solutions LLC; Clare King, Propel LLC; Jacob Matayev,
Textile Commission; Eddie Nohmura, Taiyo Kogyo Corp.;
Dr. Seshadri Ramkumar, Texas Tech University; Kathy
Schaefer, Glawe Awning and Tent Co.; Sandy Schumaker,
Roeming Industries; Jacob Schwartz, International Tension
Structures; Jeff Viehmeyer, Alameda Canvas & Coverings

Specialty Fabrics Review is the official publication
of the Industrial Fabrics Association International
and IFAI Expo 2020.

Industrial Fabrics
Association International
1801 County Road B W., Roseville, MN 55113 USA
+1 651 222 2508 | 800 225 4324 | www.ifai.com

Minnesota Media & Publishing Association

© 2020 Industrial Fabrics Association International.
All rights reserved.

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Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020

Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - 3
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Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - Cover4
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 1
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 2
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 3
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 4
Specialty Fabrics Review July 2020 - IFAI Expo Brochure 5
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