She will be the 51st Chairman—and the first woman to hold the position.
Katie B. Bradford, MFC, IFM, owner of Custom Marine Canvas in Noank, Conn., served one elected 3-year term and two appointed 1-year terms on the IFAI board during the period of 1997-2003, and was elected to the position of 1st vice chairman/chairman elect in 2013. At IFAI’s annual meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 7, she was introduced to enthusiastic attendees as the new Chairman of the Board.
Bradford started Custom Marine Canvas because she had always sailed—and always sewed. As a past chairman of the Marine Fabricators Assn. (a division of IFAI) and a director of IFAI and NECPA, she keeps up with new fabrics, fittings and techniques. As Past Commodore of the Eastern Connecticut Sailing Association, the Mystic River Sailing Association, and president of New London Community Boating, she keeps up with sailing in the area. She competes on the Grand Prix level, which also helps to keep her in touch with the need for lightweight, efficient products to improve racing. A veteran of many yacht deliveries, including two trans-Atlantic passages, she stays on top of what boats need to stay safe, comfortable and attractive.
Taking the stage at the annual meeting, Bradford commented: “It’s been a real honor and pleasure to serve with Dave as chairman. He’s been helping to build our relationships among the divisions and each other, so we’re learning more about each other. Going forward, it’s still a great group to work with. Big companies, small companies, we’re all parts of the industry and of IFAI, and we all get real answers from each other—face to face.
“We’ll continue to provide more services, great education and great events—like next year in
Charlotte. I look forward to seeing you!”
As the new Chairman, Katie Bradford will be featured on the cover of the December 2015 Specialty Fabrics Review. She was also profiled in the magazine in 2009.