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IFAI Expo ’09 highlights

News | October 7, 2009 | By:

Recognizing excellence

The winners of the 2009 IFAI International Achievement Awards for design excellence in specialty fabrics were announced at IFAI Expo 2009 in San Diego. This year marks the 62nd annual competition, with 416 entries received in 28 competition categories from companies in 17 different countries. The goal of the International Achievement Awards program is to promote specialty fabrics used in thousands of products and projects. To see the this year’s winners, visit Deadline for submission of entries for the 2010 competition is July 15, 2010. Details and online forms will be available in January or February 2010.

An international affair

IFAI Expo 2009 was selected by the U.S. Department of Commerce to be part of the International Buyer Program, allowing U.S. exhibitors and international visitors to meet and discuss business and partnership opportunities. With visitors and exhibitors from 62 countries, an international reception, the China pavilion (Haining), and visitor delegations from Mexico, Peru, Egypt and Japan, Expo’s global scope continues to expand.

An industry education

IFAI Expo 2009 custom-designed educational programs provide an immediate return on investment: four days of intense symposiums, special sessions and hands-on training that translate to new business opportunities in 2010.

  • In the high-tech arena, from the pre-conference symposium on e-textile solutions to presentations on medical fabrics, aerospace applications and durable nonwovens, seminars focused on emerging opportunities and markets.
  • Special sessions offered tools and advice to drive new business in global markets, military contracts, sustainable printing and sustainable shading.
  • Professional development presentations emphasized “best practices” techniques to strengthen manufacturing operations: improving profitability, safety strategies, and thriving in a tough economy. Six free AIA/CES and CEHs offered architects the chance to learn sustainable design in green roofs, fabric structures and shade structures.

“Gunny Pop” inspires attendees

It’s hard to imagine that the experience of being seriously wounded in combat could provide positive inspiration, but for Gunnery Sergeant Nick “Gunny Pop” Popaditch, retired U.S. Marine, it has. Popaditch spoke to attendees at the luncheon following the Expo symposium, “Forecasts for U.S. Military and Government Textile Needs.”

Full of praise for those who fought alongside him and others who nursed him back to a productive life, Popaditch credits his fellow marines, his doctors and the right gear and support for saving him. Poaditch lost an eye and suffered other permanent injuries in the attack during the early days of the war in Iraq. Since his recovery, he has published a book about his experiences, has become a popular speaker, and is preparing to run for Congress.

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