Robert Cole, IFAI Honored Life Member (HLM) and owner of Goodwin-Cole, Sacramento, Calif., was presented with IFAI’s Lifetime Achievement Award yesterday at IFAI Expo 2015 in Anaheim, Calif.
Not presented regularly, the award recognizes members who have had a tremendous, long-term effect on both the specialty fabrics industry and IFAI.
Goodwin-Cole has been producing textile products since 1888 when its products were primarily awnings, tents and cotton pick bags. The company now offers multiple custom textile solutions, including awnings and one-off products.
Cole worked for the company’s Fresno site at the age of 14 in 1936, folding cotton pick sacks and driving trucks, and came on board as a salesman at the Sacramento site in 1948. He served as president of Canvas Products Association International (CPAI)—what is now IFAI—from 1983 to 1985, presiding over the debate about changing the name of the association. Day-to-day operations of Goodwin-Cole are now led by general manager Bill Pattison, but Cole is still active as the company’s chairman of the board and widely known for his passion for the industry and ability to put people ahead of business.
Cole was profiled in the October issue of the Review, where more information about his ability lead a thriving company can be found.