Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 27

Q&A
AMY
BIRCHER
with IFAI board chair
What are going to be your priorities as IFAI's new board chair?
I would like to see the continuation of the strength and growth
of IFAI as it has evolved into an association that is much bigger
than what it had been historically. And what I mean by that is, IFAI
and all of the team members within IFAI have worked really hard
to bring brand awareness to people outside of IFAI, so that they
are not just in specific markets that relate to awning, marine and
tent. There's nothing wrong with that, but they are so much more
than just that and they've worked really hard on that identity.
One of the other things that we'd like to grow or do better
is leadership development for the IFAI board, harnessing the
future leaders that are interested in board participation. We're
going to start a more robust leadership development program
from a board level to bring awareness that the opportunities
to participate and the volunteer positions for the board exist.
What challenges is the industry facing, and how is IFAI
supporting the industry in those challenges?
Obviously as a number one thing, is supply chain and logistics and
price increases and things that the country is facing right now. But
that's countrywide, worldwide, no matter what industry you're in.
I think our industry really has to be incredibly diligent on
finding new people to replace the aging workforce. We have
to get creative; we have to continue to have the discussions
... about a mentor/mentee, or apprentice, and transfer that
tribal knowledge, that invaluable knowledge. They've worked
hard their entire career and they deserve to retire.
How do we get within that brain and transfer it to younger
people to learn and grow so that we have people that want to
be in this industry? I would say that's a big challenge that the
industry is facing, that is a long-term problem and not just
something that is shorter term that we're facing right now.
How is IFAI working toward remaining relevant
to a changing industry?
It's sometimes hard to adopt some of the new ways of thinking
of the younger generations, but we have to.... I think we have
to continue to be aware of the challenges you're going to face
from that workplace and be ready to adopt some changes.
Think about automation. I know a lot of people are talking
about that to stay relevant and compete with overseas and
look at the sustainability side of our industries. How do
you appeal to younger people? If you put in sustainability
practices and social awareness and social entrepreneurship
with eco-friendly practices, that speaks to that generation
and you've got to be an ambassador for that, for sure.
As a board member and now coming into the board chair
position, how do you make sure that you know what the
members are concerned about and worried about?
I'm trying to connect with the different divisions that we have
right now on a personal level. I [recently participated] in a PAMA
[Professional Awning Manufacturers Association] event to just
connect and hear and meet them ... just to connect with them,
" Here's who I am, I'm going to be your new board chair and I
don't know any of you. I'm not in the awning industry, but I'm
here and I just want you to know who I am and to say hello. "
So, from my perspective, I would like to connect with the
different division members and try to bring them into the fold
of the IFAI as a whole, because I don't want them to think,
" OK, well, I'm just an awning company and I just want to stay
here. And I'm sort of afraid to branch out and meet other
people. " I think that's fun for me, to try to be a connector.
If you look at our industry, what makes you optimistic
and what are you excited about?
There are some unbelievably innovative programs that are being
developed and implemented from a sustainability, eco-friendly
side within our country. We have an opportunity from reshoring
and sustainability put together, where we're creating jobs,
products and programs that are 100 percent made in the USA
that are sustainable and employing Americans. If we can all
come together and work hard together to keep that on the
rails, I think we've got an exciting future in our industry.
www.SpecialtyFabricsReview.com 27
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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
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 9
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 10
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 11
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 12
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 13
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 14
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 15
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 16
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 17
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 18
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 19
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 20
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 21
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 22
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 23
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 24
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 25
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 26
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 27
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 28
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 29
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 30
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 31
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 32
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 33
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 34
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 35
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 36
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 37
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 38
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 39
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 40
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 41
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 42
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 43
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 44
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 45
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 46
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 47
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 48
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 49
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 50
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 51
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Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 53
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 54
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 55
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 56
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 57
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 58
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 59
Specialty Fabrics Review January 2022 - 60
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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https://www.nxtbook.com/ata/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-september-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-august-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-july-2022
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-may-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-april-2022
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-january-2022
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-december-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-november-2021
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https://www.nxtbook.com/ifai/specialtyfabricsreview/specialty-fabrics-review-buyers-guide-2021
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