Outlook Conference 2019 attracts 111 textile manufacturers

This year’s Outlook Conference, sponsored by Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI), was held recently at the beautiful Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Ga, US. The conference attracted 111 textile manufacturer leaders, who gathered for education and updates on government relations, economics and sustainability. 

Sessions began with the third-ever military morning. Sixty-eight attendees came to the conference early to take part in the military focused education. Ron Houle of Pivot Steps Consultants, kicked off the meeting with ‘Making some sense of the DoD budget’. Houle was followed by a presentation from the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) and a session on the supplier chain prospective of the Berry Amendment, according to a press conference by IFAI. 

As Outlook launched in full, presenters took new approaches with educational sessions, kicking off with a sustainability panel. Colin Touhey of Pvilion, Karen Leonas of North Caroline State University (NCSU), and Chad Bolick of UNIFI, discussed sustainability and what this means for companies and the supply chain. The discussion reconvened the next day with returning Outlook presenter, Aubrey Hilliard of Texican. Hilliard emphasised that the time for making changes in manufacturing practices is now. 

The conference featured two keynote speakers. David Hinks, Dean of Wilson College of Textiles at NCSU, spoke on his journey in the textile industry along with his thoughts on innovation and workforce development. Byron Reese, futurist and technologist, closed out the conference with his optimistic views on the future of humanity. 

“The USIFI advisory board and the staff members who produced the 2019 Outlook Conference did a great job,” said IFAI president and CEO Steve Schiffman. “Great content, great venue and a lot positive feedback from attendees and sponsors!” 

“The Outlook Conference was easily one of the best conferences I have attended,” said Kasper Van Veen of Vintex Inc. “The content was thought–provoking and insightful, and the speakers proved to be well qualified to share their views on the topics. The outstanding location and the ease of networking among the attendees contributed to make this a great experience.

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