Campfires are 25 minute virtual education sessions specific to an industrial fabrics market. The markets include: Advanced Textiles, Specialty Fabrics, and Shade and Weather Protection.

More campfires to come. Continue to check back for all sessions.

Schedule at a Glance

Advanced Textiles Campfires

Ron Houle, Founder and President, Pivot Step Consultants LLC

Many companies in the textile industry have an interest in the Defense Budget, as they support products with the U.S. military as the end user. It is important to have the right perspective on trends, specifics on funded programs and future directions for the nation’s defense. After this session, attendees will gain a better understanding of the DoD Budget for fiscal year 2021 and learn about trends in our nation’s defense strategy.

Michael Savarie, Sustainability Enterprise Catalyst, Hemp Black.

Hemp Black, a disruptive eco-experience, delivering performance and value with purpose through hemp technology.


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.


Melissa Sharp, Associate Director, Zeis Textiles Extension, Wilson College of Textiles, North Carolina State University
Gang Sun, Professor of Fiber and Polymer Sciences, Textiles and Clothing, University of California at Davis

Industry Panelists TBD!

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

This presentation will discuss the results of a study in which the properties of common knit structures in footwear containing synthetic yarns were evaluated and reprocessed using natural, sustainable yarns.

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.

Bill Sismour, Troop Support – Clothing & Textiles, C&T Warstopper Program Manager, Defense Logistics Agency

Join presenters for an in-depth look at the Defense Logistics Agency’s (DLA) Industrial Base Program (IBP), which serves as the link between DLA contracting and the subtier suppliers in a value chain. Participants will learn about the mission of the IBP, its resources, and how to manage risk at the subtier supplier level.

Panelists and Description Forthcoming!

Courtney Cruzan, Vice President of Sourcing & Product Development, brrr°
Gang Sun, Professor of Fiber and Polymer Sciences, Textiles and Clothing, University of California at Davis

Third Panelist TBD

Michael Satz, COO, E-Squared

This campfire will explore how E-Squared found a way to manage waste sustainably and produce durable products with it. Specifically addressing sustainability in advanced textiles, participants will learn how the company is making durable products that don’t need to be recycled for a long time.

Specialty Fabrics Campfires

Harry Centa, Jr., Senior Program Manager, PartnerShip LLC

Saving money on shipping expenses for your business is more important than ever in this challenging economy.  You have options and decisions to make when it comes to shipping to receive the best value and savings. PartnerShip, an IFAI endorsed member benefit provider that manages the IFAI Shipping Program, will demonstrate 5 key strategies to help businesses reduce shipping expenses. Here’s your chance to learn about your shipping options, and what can be done to lower your overall shipping expenses.

In this session, we will cover:

  • The 5 key strategies to save on shipping to add profits to your bottom line.
  • How to develop an Inbound Shipment Management Program
  • How to maximize LTL, TL and tradeshow freight savings.
  • And much more!


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

Dan Fouratt, Director of Business Development, 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 what to consider when reviewing an opportunity, including:

  • How to work with the client
    • Pattern resolution
    • Color matching
    • Sampling costs
  • How will I fabricate it?
    • Pattern matching
    • Width for length
  • What is the right product?
    • FR codes
    • Printing process
    • Warranty
  • Where do I get this completed?


Chris Fredericks, President, Top Value Fabrics

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.

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.

Eric Petersen, Director of Sales and Marketing, Enduratex

“Antimicrobials are protective agents registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that may be added to everyday products, including durable coated fabrics, to (1) inhibit the growth of microorganisms such as mold and mildew that can stain surfaces, lead to their deterioration and cause odors, and (2) the growth of bacteria that could spread disease. At the end of this session, attendees will be able to:

  1. Explain where and why antimicrobials are used in coated fabrics
  2. Determine how to properly use disinfectants on coated fabrics without damaging the existing antimicrobials
  3. Identify the standard test methods used to determine if a coated fabric is resistant to fungi and bacteria

Christina Stafford, Program Coordinator, Wellness Council of Indiana

Participate in this special presentation from the Wellness Council of Indiana as attendees identify barriers to organizational wellness, and identify ten steps overcome those barriers and create a “well” organization.

TBD Marine Fabricators Campfire (Specialty Fabrics)

Shade and Weather Protection Campfires

Andre Comitre, COO, Artisan Window Fashions

Smart Homes are everywhere and all industries somehow related to the home and commercial building are getting involved with these technologies. Motorized shades are now more important then ever and with that the ability to control them using apps, voice, and other smart home platforms is also growing.

Understanding the relationship between Home Automation and Motorized Shades from a technical and commercial perspective will be crucial for window treatment companies to succeed in this quick changing environment.

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

Join the energetic team from Wholesale Shade as they present a handful of projects that solved a unique shade sail problem using creative designs. Attendees will get a front row seat into the processes used to approach these creative challenges and the results that were achieved.

Olaf Voegele, Technical Expert, Journalist, Technical Consultant, media4technologies UG (limited)

The search for the wrinkle-free awning cloth is as old as the sun protection itself. And too often it has been announced that the “solution” has been found. A new cloth material, a new joining method, countless patent applications that could not be realized.  So far, nobody has been able to offer a satisfactory solution that could guarantee a wrinkle-free cloth for normal use.

In this lecture the common joining methods for awning fabrics (acrylic, polyester) in the field of sewing, gluing and welding will be discussed. The special requirements for ZIP cloths will also be closely examined. The lecture, which is backed up with a lot of picture material from the expert’s work, is intended to give the audience a good overview of the recognised rules of technology.

Gary Westlund, Business Coach, Awning Tracker

How much does a job actually cost you?  What is opportunity cost?  How do you calculate overhead correctly?  Most people get this wrong!

Come learn how to answer these questions the right way to make your company more successful.  You’ll also learn about estimation and hidden costs, your true cost of a man hour, smart hiring practices, how to value your own time, and how to stay out of trouble bidding jobs.

Don’t make the same mistakes I did. Come learn from 25 years of experience in the industry!

Margueritte Ramos, President, ShadeFLA, Inc.

Rooftop bars, pools and terraces are premium outdoor spaces that are trending across the country.

Attendees will learn about a variety of products to use to enhance these spaces that will bring the following benefits:

  1. Quick return on investment
  2. Show off a great view
  3. Stay cooler during the summer
TBD Wellness Campfire(Shade and Weather Protection)
Four More Shade and Weather Campfires To Be Announced Soon!