IFAI member company Calypso

One of the two things that steered me in the direction I am going now is my involvement in IFAI. I find that with IFAI there is always something new to learn. That is why I come to the conferences. We moved from working in auto and furniture upholstery to marine upholstery, then marine canvas, awnings and now, lightweight structures. I’ve met quite a few people—young and old—who provided workshop seminars, and we would exchange ideas and learn from each other. At home I encourage people to come to the conferences. Nobody at home knew about the association before I started telling them. They would come into my shop and see my showroom, see the IFAI International Achievement Award plaques on the walls, and I would leave the Review out for them to read. There are so many new materials coming out and so many new technologies in everything we do. As a member of IFAI, MFA [Marine Fabricators Association] and FSA [Fabric Structures Association], I get new ideas and find the best materials and techniques so that our businesses can be on par with the best anywhere.

Riad Shakeer is the owner of Calypso Marine Canvas Ltd. and Calypso Fabric Architecture Caribbean Ltd. in Chaguanas, Trinidad. Read the full profile in the February 2011 Perspective from Specialty Fabrics Review.