Principal Textiles Engineer- Hand Tools, Milwaukee Tool
Apurba Banerjee is the Principal Textiles Engineer at Milwaukee Electric Tool Corporation and leads their Textile-related Safety initiative with personal protective gear. Utilizing her background in functional fabrics and protective textiles, she collaborates with several cross functional teams to develop protective products that save lives in a variety of fields such as construction, plumbing, remolding, etc. She has a passion for sustainability in material selection and product longevity and plans to develop products in the protective textiles field. In the past she has worked on thermoregulation products at brrr˚Inc.
Outside of Milwaukee Tool, Apurba is also an Associate Editor for the AATCC (American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists) Journal of Research, is the Vice Chair of the AATCC Technical Committee on Research (TCR) and leads several AATCC standards committees (Thermoregulation, Young Professionals Committee, etc).
She is a 2017 graduate of the PhD program of Polymer, Fiber and Textile Science from the University of Georgia and a 2016 graduate of the master’s program of Apparel and Merchandising at Colorado State University. While at Georgia, she spent years researching biodegradable plastics (Polyhydroxyalkanoates) that are derived from marine algae and their application in the biomedical field.
Rachal McCarthy is President of NTI Global, a family owned and operated industrial plastics and textile manufacturer. She was named President at the age of 26 and has spent her tenure modernizing the manufacturing processes and shaping company goals. She co-filed her first patent at 18 and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts at 20. She is an avid reader and enjoys spending leisure time with her husband, their two dogs, and large extended family. As the fourth child of six, and the only daughter, she has a great depth of understanding the rewards and challenges of working in a family business. Her go to quote is, “The measure of a (wo)man is determined by the size of the problem that alters their course."
Senior Vice President, Innovation and Technology, Unifi Manufacturing, Inc.
Meredith Boyd is nearly fifteen-year veteran at Unifi, a global supplier of resin, fiber and filament offerings, with a key emphasis on value-added and sustainable solutions. She drives international growth as Senior Vice President, Innovation and Technology where she plays a pivotal role in the conception and execution of key product and capability differentiation while emphasizing sustainable practices and development. Meredith is a key member of the organization and has dynamically driven commercial, product and process capability across Unifi’s infrastructure in the Americas, Europe and Asia. Before joining the Innovation and Technical organization, she most recently held the role of Vice President of Brand Sales where she focused on developing and driving strategic commercial solutions for brand and retail customers on a global basis. Prior to this, she led the Global Business Development group where she focused on capability expansion, technology transfer and strategic cooperative ventures. Meredith has spoken at many conferences and consortiums worldwide including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AiChE), Textile Exchange, Techtextil, the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and the Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI). Her writing has been featured in publications including Technical Textiles International. Meredith sits on the Board of Directors for the Synthetic Yarn and Fabric Association (SYFA). Prior to her current role, Meredith held key positions within Unifi including Quality, Technical, Product Development, Global Business Development and Brand Sales divisions.
Vice President Sourcing & Product Development, brrr°
With a passion for textiles, Courtney holds a B.S. in Clothing, Textiles and Design and an International MBA.
With 15+ years of experience in the textile and apparel industry, she has spent 7 years of her professional career working in China & Taiwan. Her French and Chinese language skills have opened many doors to grow her wide industry network.
When she is not out hiking with her dogs, Courtney develops and sources quality, sustainable textiles by leveraging her global manufacturing connections to benefit all consumers.
As brrr° VP Sourcing and Product Development, her goal is to keep the world cool by bravely innovating without boundaries and fostering creativity for exponential growth!
Professor and Co-Director, Wearable Technology Lab, Director, Apparel Design Program, University of Minnesota
Lucy E. Dunne is a Professor at the University of Minnesota, where she directs the Apparel Design program and is the founder and co-director of the Wearable Technology Lab. She is a co-author (with Susan Watkins) of "Functional Apparel Design: From Sportswear to Space Suits" (Bloomsbury, 2015), and her academic background includes degrees in Apparel Design (Cornell University, BS and MA), Electronic Engineering (Tompkins-Cortland Community College, AAS), and Computer Science (University College Dublin, PhD). Her research is focused on pursuing technologically-enabled futures for apparel, including scalable, wearable garment-integrated technology; new functionality in apparel; and sustainable production and use of apparel products. Dr. Dunne has received the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award and the NASA Silver Achievement Medal for her work with functional clothing and wearable technology.
Kim joined NCTO in May 2019 as President and CEO. She has over 20 years of experience in government policy development and advocacy. Her multi-faceted career includes spearheading manufacturing and trade policy efforts on Capitol Hill, serving as a key leader on behalf of the textile industry in the Obama Administration, and leading a non-profit organization working to advance critical policies to grow quality, U.S. jobs in the clean energy economy.
Most recently she served as Executive Director of the BlueGreen Alliance, a non-profit partnership of labor and environmental organizations. In that capacity, she led an organization that works to advance policies to help achieve a stronger economy and a more sustainable future at the intersection of energy, the environment and trade.
Before leading the BlueGreen Alliance, Kim served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Textiles, Consumer Goods, and Materials at the U.S. Department of Commerce. In that role, she worked to improve the domestic and international competitiveness of the broad product range of U.S. industries, including fiber, textiles, apparel, footwear, consumer goods, metals and mining, forest products, and chemicals. She also served as the chairman for the Committee for the Implementation of Textile Agreements, which supervises the negotiation and implementation of textile and apparel agreements.
Kim served for a decade on Capitol Hill working extensively on manufacturing, trade, and economic policy issues for Congressman Michael H. Michaud from Maine and Congressman John J. LaFalce from New York. As Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director for Congressman Michaud, she led efforts in the House of Representatives to establish the House Trade Working Group, a key coalition of Members of Congress that works extensively on trade policy and domestic competitiveness issues to this day.
Kim earned a B.A. in History and graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New
York at Geneseo.
Sabrina Finlay is the CEO of Otabo, an international footwear, apparel and accessories manufacturing company.
She grew up in Asia where family started a shoe manufacturing business producing for major brands including Nike, Adidas, Timberland, etc. Under her father's mentorship, she spent the early years of her career working in various roles on the factory floor - from grading leather and stitching shoes, to designing production equipment and managing factory logistics. The experience prepared her to take on the challenge of building more agile manufacturing models that consider the unique needs of individual brands.
Prior to establishing Otabo as a full-service manufacturer, she ran bespoke and medical footwear programs, and oversaw factory operations and transitions across international facilities for her family’s business. She supported the launch of Asics Foot ID and contracted under Lockheed Martin to help establish a custom equipment program for the United States Air Force.
Today, under Sabrina’s leadership, Otabo is active on six continents and runs production in a network of 50+ factories. She has forged her own path within the rigid manufacturing industry to cultivate a company that is relationship forward, transparent and quality focused. Otabo’s unique approach allows small startups to compete with big brands and big brands to become more agile and efficient.
Paige Mullis is Brand Director at Glen Raven, Inc. with responsibilities including brand development, innovation and community. Paige is the founder of Glen Raven’s innovation program, Glen Raven 3.0, The Concept Gallery, Studio and Lab, all resources for activating the next great idea. By bringing people, cultures and new ideas together she has lead development of an innovation ecosystem that seeds new business opportunities and enhances Glen Raven’s brand value and partner engagement. This toolbox is used to elevate idea flow and enhance and develop Glen Raven’s inventive culture worldwide. Paige is also a design thinking practitioner, an on-going innovation curator and is currently serving as Vice Chair of the Advanced Textiles Products division of IFAI. She is a strong advocate for the arts as a cornerstone to economic growth and served several years on the board of trustees for Greensboro Ballet in North Carolina. She’s an explorer and adventurer in life which she shares with her husband, three daughters and dogs Louie and Charlie.
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