Campfires are targeted virtual education sessions specific to an industrial fabrics market. The markets include: Advanced Textiles, Specialty Fabrics, and Shade and Weather Protection.  For IFAI Virtual Expo 2020, special sponsored content will also be presented as part of our campfire education!

Campfires are included at no additional cost for all registration types.

After their scheduled time and date, campfire sessions will be available on-demand in our Virtual Event Center until December 12.

All stated times are Central Standard Time.

Tuesday, November 3

11 am-Noon (CST)
Noon-1 pm (EST)

Patrick Lane, President, Alnet Americas, Inc.

A guided overview of premium shade fabric properties and performance.  This session will provide attendees with the knowledge to:

  • Easily read mechanical and UV specification data
  • Identify the differences in shade fabrics available in the market today
  • Understand how fabric attributes impact fabrication and functionality

Sponsored by:

Noon-12:30 pm (CST)
1-1:30 pm (EST)

Sara Beatty, White Haven Trade
Auggie Tantillo, SRG & Associates

Sara Beatty and Auggie Tantillo will update attendees on policy and legislative developments to include PPE procurement, the National Defense Authorization Act, the Miscellaneous Tariff Bill, and other trade related matters. Their presentation will also incorporate a look ahead as to how the 2020 Presidential election might impact policy issues of concern to domestic manufacturers of technical and industrial textiles.

Noon-12:30 pm (CST)
1-1:30 pm (EST)

Patrick Howe, Owner/Founder, Wholesale Shade
Robin DuBroy, Director of Customer Training Programs, Wholesale Shade
Gregg Burrows, Sales Manager, Wholesale Shade


We will review 2 or 3 projects that solved a unique shade sail problem using creative designs.

Key Takeaways:

·         Explore shade sail problem solving with creative designs

·         Examine the process used to troubleshoot and create solutions

·         Evaluate the results achieved and steps for next time


Sponsored by:

12:30-1:30 pm (CST)
1:30-2:30 pm (EST)

Ilse Beterams, VP of North America, Serge Ferrari

Welcome to IFAI Virtual Expo! This has been a challenging year for all of us! Yet, Serge Ferrari has been working hard throughout the year in our commitment to helping your business grow – with new products, new tools and a dedicated team to support you.

• learn about recent acquisitions and how these will impact you

• obtain information on new product launches and how these innovations can help your business stand out with customers

• discover the new brochures, videos, and flyers available to you to help you sell

• consider the Return on Investment of using Serge Ferrari products

• find out how to connect with the Serge Ferrari team at IFAI Virtual Expo and beyond

Sponsored by:


Wednesday, November 4

11 am-Noon (CST)
Noon-1 pm (EST)

Chad Twombly, Vice President – Direct Sales, Herculite Products

Covid 19 has created major paradigm shifts across the country and around the world.  The Event Rental market has been called on to be a significant part of the solution for fighting COVID-19 with tents being used for social distancing, corporate health assessment, healthcare facilities and restaurant expanded seating.   New issues and heightened concerns loom over product cleanliness, customer and worker safety, and cross contamination.

Topics discussed during this session:

1) Broad Spectrum Antimicrobial Technology in Tent Materials

2) How to position your business when using Antimicrobial Technology

3) What you can say and what you shouldn’t say.

4) Establishing Confidence with your customers and suppliers


Sponsored by:

Noon-12:30 pm CST)
1-1:30 pm (EST)

Courtney Cruzan, VP Sourcing & Product Development, brrr°

This presentation will discuss recent advances in thermoregulation technology in the textile industry such as new dispersion techniques and the application of micro minerals to create more surface area that amplifies the cooling sensation and heat transfer of fabrics. These new technologies help people feel more comfortable at work and at home, which makes them less likely to lower thermostats on energy-guzzling air conditioning systems.

These developments and the rising use of sustainably sourced raw materials and recycled fabrics can help reduce our carbon footprint and protect the environment. Other simple tasks like air drying clothes being more cognizant of what we buy and how it’s made are also taking on increasing importance in this era of intensifying global warming.

Noon-12:30 pm (CST)
1-1:30 pm (EST)

Chris Fredericks, President, TVF

All business owners eventually have to transition it to new owners eventually. Sometimes selling to the employees through an ESOP is a great option. This presentation will explain why to consider selling to an ESOP, the pros and cons compared to other options, and a step by step process of an ESOP transaction.

12:30-1:30 pm (CST)
1:30-2:30 pm (EST)

Brian Holian, Western Regional Sales Manager, Trivantage LLC
Ron Paratore, Account Manager, Trivantage LLC
Paul Ricciuti, Account Manager, Trivantage LLC
Katelyn Bell, Product Launch Specialist, Trivantage LLC

How do you make sure a product is right for the application? What are the dos and don’ts of installation to help avoid costly mistakes? Learn how to leverage Trivantage as a resource to better understand the products and resources available to help you get the job done right. After this session, attendees will leave with the knowledge to:

– Select the right products for the application at hand

– Make product choices to maximize return

– Leverage Trivantage as a resource for product expertise and personalized service

Sponsored by:

3-4 pm (CST)
4-5pm (EST)

Amanda Schneider, Founder, ThinkLab

Replace pandemic-driven uncertainty with data and insights about the current state of design in 2020. ThinkLab, the research division of SANDOW ( and sister company to Interior Design, Metropolis, and Material Bank), will share the latest on shifting trends along with ideas for positive change.

Sponsored by:

Thursday, November 5

Noon-12:30 pm (CST)
1-1:30 pm (EST)

Zoe Newman, Graduate Student, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University

The hemp (cannabis sativa) plant has many more uses than you might think – including fiber. This presentation will introduce the idea of using hemp fiber as a means to increase sustainability in textiles and contribute to a circular economy. How does the integration of a natural fiber such as hemp change the properties of common knit footwear structures?

Specifically, attendees will understand:

1. The natural fibers market, specifically with relation to hemp

2. Sustainability initiatives in the footwear market

3. The impact of hemp fiber on the physical properties of knit fabrics


Noon-12:30 pm (CST)
1-1:30 pm (EST)

Evelyne Orndoff, Textiles Engineer, NASA

NASA has developed flammability standards for the use of materials in space programs.  The selection and the development of textiles suitable for space applications are driven by these flammability standards. These standards are unique as they address the burning behavior of materials in various atmospheres and gravitational environments.   Atmospheres enriched in oxygen and with reduced pressure in micro-gravity present a great challenge for the use of textiles since few types of fibers are available.


3-3:50 (CST)
4-4:50 pm (EST)

Andrew Nasarczyk, Senior Director of R & D at GALE Pacific

Flame retardant (FR) fabrics have become increasingly important in the architectural shade cloth industry, and it’s important to understand the requirements driving this change.  In this session you’ll gain valuable knowledge of FR standards, treatments, and testing requirements so that you can provide the best guidance for your customers.  In addition to previewing the GALE Pacific FR Shade Cloth assortment – the largest in the industry, you’ll leave with a better understanding of the following:

• Market trends driving FR specifications

• FR standards, testing, and certifications for the shade cloth industry

• Flame retardant treatments

• GALE Pacific’s approach to flame retardancy and why it’s different

Session brought to you by:   

Friday, November 6

11 am-Noon (CST)
Noon-1pm (EST)

Aaron Christensen, Project Manager, YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.
Bryon Robinson, Senior Sales engineering ,YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.
Steven Avendano, Project Development engineer,YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.

Join us for this exciting hour in which you can learn, through case studies, how YKK assists our customers to increase productivity and reduce costs.  Attendees will gain insight into YKK’s innovations in:

1. Process improvement

2. Collaborative Development

3. Custom machinery

4. Assembly service


Sponsored By:  


Monday, November 9

10-10:50 am (CST)
11 am-11:50 pm (EST)

Steve Christenson, Head of National Accounts, Marsh & McClennan Agency

This session will focus on the challenges and hurdles IFAI members are facing in response to the hardened commercial insurance market including what creative solutions and guidance MMA can provide as a strategic partner.


Sponsored By:   

Tuesday, November 10

Noon-12:30 pm (CST)
1-1:30 pm (EST)

Jeff Sponseller, Vice-President of Sales and Marketing, Miller Weldmaster

This presentation will cover the many different technologies available to the industrial fabrics product manufacture. We will discuss the differences between hot air welding, hot wedge welding, impulse welding and radio frequency welding. We will talk about applications that each welding technology applies to. We will talk about the importance of versatility and the value each technology can bring to your business. We will also present on different ways and examples of automating your production.

Sponsored by:

Noon-12:30 pm (CST)
1-1:30 pm (EST)

Andrew Medley, Regional Sales Director, Trivantage

In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, businesses and consumers alike want to set themselves apart through unique personalized displays. This comes in the form of different expressions, and one trend that helps differentiate the look of businesses is digital printing solutions. Digital printing offers both personal and commercial customization, and requests for custom awning products is estimated to be as high as 40%.

This presentation will answer a fundamental question, what is digital printing? and demonstrate how, if you can imagine it, it can be printed. Anything is possible, from basic patterns/stripes to photography that shows intricate details, all with photo-quality results. Digital printing is ideal for commercial applications looking to brand themselves and draw consumers’ eyes to their business. This presentation will outline:

1. How to work with the client

2. How will I fabricate it?

3. What is the right product?

4. Where do I get this completed?


Sponsored by:


Wednesday, November 11

9-11 am, 1-4 pm (CST)
10-11 am, 2-5 pm (EST)

IFAI Expo’s Q&A sessions are back by popular demand!  Partake in 5 unique Q&A sessions featuring experts from North Carolina State University’s (NCSU) Wilson College of Textiles. This is your chance to engage in highly interactive 45-minute conversations on relevant topics ranging from smart textiles product design and development, the ins-and-outs of face mask protection, medical textiles and more.

9 – 9:45 am: Q&A: Respiratory Protection
Dr. Bryan Ormond, Assistant Professor, TECS/TPACC, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University

10 – 10:45 am: Q&A: Medical Textiles
Dr. Martin King, Professor, TECS, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University

1 – 1:45 pm: Q&A: Textile Electronics: Product Design
Dr. Amanda Mills, Senior Design Project Coordinator & NEXT Fusion Designer, North Carolina State University

2 – 2:45 pm: Q&A: Textile Electronics: Testing and Standards
Dr. Jesse Jur, Associate Professor, TECS, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University

3 – 3:45 pm: Q&A: Rapid Prototyping & Textile Product Development
Dr. Andre West, Director, Zeis Textiles Extension, Associate Professor, TATM, North Carolina State University