Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 26

[ PERSPECTIVE ]
giving back
While Amy Bircher is proud of
her business success, the IFAI
chair's most fulfilling moment
was the 2021 dedication of
the Amy A. Bircher Textiles
Laboratory at the West Virginia
University Davis College of
Agriculture, Natural Resources
and Design.
Bircher, a WVU alumna,
donated more than $200,000
to establish the creative
space for students. Through a
variety of scientific testing-
including the popular burn
test which helps identify types
of fabric-students will better
understand what properties
a fiber presents including its
strengths, weaknesses, how
it's made, dyed and finished.
" To be able to give back to
my school that gave me so
many memories and a great
educational experience was
truly an honor, " Bircher says.
the amount of revenue that we do, the
processes and systems that we have in
place. That's not what I was thinking
at 25 years old, " she says. " I was really
just saying, 'I'm pretty strong. I think
I have natural entrepreneurial skills. I
feel like I can be an effective leader. But
more importantly I'm good at sales.
So, I want to grow and gain the trust of
customers and really make a difference
on my own.' "
The secret to success for the MMI
team has been to seek out and fill the
needs of its customers. When Bircher
and her team saw an opportunity, they
grabbed it.
" Anybody's lack of passion or
excitement to innovate in our industry
were opportunities for us, " Bircher
says. " If someone else didn't do a good
job, or didn't serve a customer or a
market, or didn't produce a product
correctly, it was an opportunity for us.
We exposed good opportunities and
gained trust and built relationships
with customers and the buyers. "
Membership in the Industrial
Fabrics Association International
(IFAI) has been a key part of building
26 SPECIALTY FABRICS REVIEW / January 2022
those relationships and helping move
the company forward.
" You're in this association that is
all about really propelling the industry
forward, " she says. " You cannot do
that on your own. You have to be
part of the greater good. The IFAI
is that conduit. "
The way the association was able to
bring companies together during the
pandemic is a great example of that,
Bircher says.
" When the pandemic first
happened, our industry mobilized very
quickly to support the PPE [personal
protective equipment] needs of our
country, " she says. " IFAI stepped up
in a very difficult time for them as
an association and reached out to all
the members to push collaboration,
advocacy and education on a product
line (PPE) that was foreign to many.
They were heroic and persistent in
their endeavors, creating webinars for
education, spearheading advocacy with
state senators, giving them a stronger
brand presence in our industry. "
Jonathan Sweet is IFAI's Director of Content
and Member Programs.

Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022

Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover1
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover2
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 1
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 2
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 3
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 4
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 5
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 6
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 7
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 8
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 11
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 13
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 14
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 18
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 20
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 24
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 25
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 26
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 27
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 50
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover3
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Cover4
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Women's Summit 1
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - Women's Summit 2
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