Two Midwest zones agreed to band together to form a new fabric association, and more than 160 people from 75 companies met in St. Louis at the annual Tri-Zone convention. Attendees from Mid-America 8, Upper Midwest and Zone 7 gathered Jan. 30-Feb. 1 to learn, share ideas and information, and shore up a solid path for the future of their associations.
With Midwest roots and longtime cooperation between Mid-America 8 (Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri) and the Upper Midwest Canvas Products Association (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota), a unanimous decision was reached to merge the two zones. The new group—Midwest Fabric Products Association—elected board members to serve for the coming two years. President of the new association is Andy Moon, Baraboo Tent & Awning Inc., Baraboo, Wis.; vice president is Byron Yonce, TCT&A Industries, Urbana, Ill.; and secretary/treasurer is Karla Skaggs, Burch Manufacturing Co., Fort Dodge, Iowa.
Other convention highlights included tours of Lawrence Fabric Structures Inc. and Anheuser-Busch, an interactive presentation by Michael Allosso on being an effective communicator every day, and the largest-ever Market Day Expo.
John Boyle & Co. Inc. (now a part of Tri Vantage™ LLC) hosted its annual photo awards contest. First-place winners in varying categories included Chesterfield Awning Co., Evanston, Ill.; Lawrence Fabric Structures, St. Louis, Mo.; Lehr Awning Co., Mansfield, Ohio; Mt. Lebanon Awning & Tent Co., Presto, Pa.; and TCT&A Industries, Urbana, Ill.
A Tri-Zone will meet again in 2009—Southwest Industrial Fabrics Association (SWIFA) has invited Zone 7 and the Midwest Fabric Products Association to come to Galveston, Texas.