Outlook Conference details

IFAI’s Outlook Conference 2013, the premiere leadership forum for the specialty textile industry, will be held May 6-7 at the Wild Dunes Resort, Isle of Palms, S.C. Opportunities at this year’s Outlook Conference include presentations by industry experts in a variety of relevant areas.

Economic outlook

Tim Quinlan, economist with Wells Fargo Securities, will present a general overview of the U.S. economy, examine growth drivers at this stage of the economic cycle and consider prospects for balancing the budget. Due to the threat to the global economy stemming from the sovereign debt crisis in Europe, he will also provide some perspective concerning the challenges in the Eurozone and the outlook for the global economy.

Synthetic fibers

Polyester fibers have led the market in 2012 and continue to take market share from other fibers. Raw material prices started 2012 at high levels, eased through the middle of the year and returned to high levels in the first quarter of 2013. Significant change will take place in raw material supply and demand balances in 2013 and this session will forecast the likely trends. Alasdair Carmichael, president - Americas, PCI Fibres, will analyze global capacities at the synthetic fiber level and the massive build in Chinese capacity of high-tenacity fibers and raw materials, and draw conclusions on how the market will be impacted. Trade flows will also be examined to evaluate if there were any impacts from the KORUS free trade agreement and where the pending TPP might impact the markets.

Berry Amendment

Ron Houle, vice president—government relations, DHS Systems, will present information regarding the outlook for the Berry Amendment in the future.

Specs Ops Agility™

Nick Horney, principal, Agility Consulting, will present “Specs Ops Agility™: What Business Leaders Can Learn from Navy Special Operations Teams.” Participants will gain insights into what it takes to ensure an organization’s ability to survive and thrive in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous conditions from members of the Navy’s Special Operations teams.

Our political system

Norm Ornstein, resident scholar, American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, will speak on “It’s Still Even Worse Than It Looks: Navigating Our Way Through a Dysfunctional Political System.” After a pivotal election, Dr. Ornstein examines where we are and why, and what likely lies ahead.

Additional sessions and events

There will also be a session providing an update on TPP and advocacy issues, and USIFI will also hold its annual meeting to discuss initiatives of the institute. Guests are encouraged to attend. The annual Outlook Golf Tournament is also scheduled.

The Outlook Conference was developed by the United States Industrial Fabrics Institute (USIFI) and the Narrow Fabrics Institute (NFI), which are special interest groups of IFAI. USIFI is a coalition of United States specialty fiber, fabric and end-product manufacturers dedicated to serving the interests of its members in domestic and international marketplaces. NFI, whose members work on interests affecting the narrow fabrics industry, including new technologies and test standards, supports education and industry improvement through conferences such as Outlook.

For more information about USIFI, NFI or IFAI, contact Lucie Passus, associate director of technical markets, at +1 651 225 6956 or lpassus@ifai.com.