Celebrating volunteer leaders

With 11 divisions, each with its own unique purpose serving a diverse membership, IFAI’s work encompasses many special interests and needs. IFAI honored the volunteer leaders who have given of their time and expertise during the past year at the IFAI’s Volunteer Leadership Recognition Celebration.

Outgoing board chair, Kevin Yonce, MFC, IFM CPP, noted that volunteers are the foundation that support and guide each of these divisions, developing industry trade shows, conferences and workshops, lobbying on behalf of their members, providing education designed to benefit their members’ businesses and bringing business owners with common interests together to share critical knowledge.

The IFAI “umbrella” also provides a home for IFAI’s print trade publications and buyer’s guides, e-publications and websites that enlist volunteer experts who help to determine content and write articles. IFAI events, in particular Specialty Fabrics Expo and Advanced Textiles Conference and Trade Show, require the assistance of volunteers to provide educational programming, networking opportunities and social events.

Two groups of volunteers, specifically, were recognized at the event. Specialty Fabrics Education Advisory Committee volunteers included Marc Shellshear, senior vice president, sales administration for USA Shade & Fabric Structures Inc.; Andy Morse, president of Ohio Awning & Manufacturing Co.; Marty Way, Calgary Tent & Awning; Faith Fredericks, Banner Canvas; and Erik Jarvie, sales engineer, TensionStrucutres.com, a division of Eide Industries Inc.

The Advanced Textiles Conference Advisory Committee volunteers included Tom Martin, associate professor, Virginia Tech; Kim Pettit, managing director, Synthetic Yarn and Fiber Association (SYFA); Cheryl Gomes, business manager, Qineti Q North America Inc., Technology Solutions Group; and Maureen S. MacGillivray, Ph. D., professor of apparel merchandising and design, Central Michigan University.

Yonce stressed how volunteers provide expert insight and information and extend the resources of the organization, making it stronger for everyone.