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Our readers speak

November 1st, 2015 / By: / Resources

In honor of Specialty Fabrics Review‘s first 100 years, we asked our readers for thoughts on the magazine to help us continue its successes into the next 100 years: topics covered that hold the most long-term and lasting significance for the industry, and what the Review’s most meaningful role has been to the industry.


I started in this industry in 1947, full time in 1949. That’s 68 years (except 2 years spent in Korea) that I have spent doing something I love. The industry has evolved so much over the years, and I’ve been able to be a part of that with my own company, as well as being honored to serve on the IFAI board of directors, and as its president/chairman in 1980-81. My career has been all and more than I could have anticipated. Throughout those years, each and every month I eagerly awaited the Review, so I could feel like I was “in the loop”!

Vern Schaefer, MFC, Glawe Awnings and Tents, IFAI Honored Life Member, former IFAI board chair


The Markets section and the trends that are featured regarding the various uses of fabrics in architecture. The IFAI Member News is a way of keeping up with corporate changes of companies that support the industrial fabrics industry. As a supplier to many within several divisions, the “new member” section is a valuable tool for prospecting. Finally, the shared technical expertise and opinions from members from various industries.

Scott Campbell, president, Rainier Industries Ltd., IFAI Honored Life Member, former IFAI board chair


The Review is a monthly reminder that the industry that I, and others in my company, have dedicated our professional careers to is not only surviving, but is thriving in many areas. The Review allows me to explore other markets in which I have no exposure. It has certainly encouraged me and my staff to be engaged in the industry and to do our best to raise the level of our expertise. I hope the Review can stick around for another 100 years (unfortunately, I most likely won’t still be subscribing).

Bob Rosania, IFM, CPP, EHMKE Mfg. Co., Former IFAI board member


The Review keeps you current to what’s coming onto the market, what’s new. For companies like mine out West here, it’s news of products that have to do with the textile industry. Also, it keeps you informed on where you can find the materials; it speaks to the advertisers. There’s no other way the average company would be able to find the advertisers. The suppliers are the key to the industry. On the other hand, if it weren’t for the Review’s annual publication [Buyer’s Guide], you’d have no way of identifying yourself to your suppliers. Either by alphabet or by product, it lists all the suppliers and how to get hold of them.

Robert Cole, CEO/owner, Goodwin Cole Co., IFAI Honored Life Member and 2015 Chairman’s Award recipient


I look forward every issue to reading about member companies and the leaders of the industry. As a supplier member, it has been a great way for me to learn about the varied businesses of our members. As a board member, linkage to owners or members of the association is critical to effectively representing our membership. Board members come from varying industries and from different size companies. Therefore, the cover articles let me peek into different types of businesses and find out what is important to these members.
To be honest, it has also been an excellent tool for identifying future leaders of the association.

Dave Clarke, TenCate Advanced Composites BV, IFAI immediate past chairman


As time has passed, the Review has presented the way the industry has changed and grown: How solution-dyed acrylic became the dominant fabric for residential awnings over cotton duck or vinyl, the rise in popularity of backlit awnings, and the different ways different materials could be used and what was done when they first came on the market. The Review has chronicled the industry’s evolution over time, changing as the industry has changed.

Kevin Yonce, MFC, IFM, CPP, TCT&A Industries, Former IFAI board chair


Continuous coverage of the activities within each of the individual trades that make up our industry is the most significant and long-lasting topic, because there is no other resource that has chronicled the depth or breadth of the industry as has the Review. Whether that continues to be the case moving forward into a digital world, and not just in a print world, will be a challenge for the magazine.

Kevin M. Kelly, MFC, IFM, CPP, Globe Canvas Products Co., a Division of Humphrys Co.


For the past 100 years, the Review has continued to be the best resource for information regarding the canvas and industrial fabric industry.

George Ochs, USA Shade and Fabric Structures
IFAI Honored Life Member, former IFAI board chair


The Review has covered many topics. It contains all-around information on people, companies, equipment and new products, and has done a good job reporting on the annual conventions for those who could not attend. It’s nice to see features on all types and sizes of companies from the one-person canvas shop to the large structural companies.

Dennis Bueker, national sales manager, Keyston Bros.
IFAI board member


The Review plays a key role in keeping our industry members connected with each other as well as with their continuously changing business environments. In doing so, it has made the specialty fabrics industry vastly more relevant by providing solutions to challenges that impact our quality of life.

J.C. Egnew, president/chairman, Outdoor Venture Corp.
IFAI Honored Life Member, former IFAI board chair, Chairman’s Award recipient


I’ve been reading the Review for 40 years, and there are countless articles that hold special meaning to me. Most are about people that I have grown close to over the years.

Tom Fridley, MFC, owner of Glawe Awning and Tents
IFAI Honored Life Member and former IFAI board chair


I have always been interested in hearing about the successes of my peers. The feature highlights of people and companies have been of most interest because of the variety of fields we all serve, along with the customization of the products we manufacturer.

Patrick Hayes, CPP, founder and chairman, Fabric Images Inc.
IFAI Honored Life Member, former board member


I like to read the company profiles. Many people whom I have not met I get to know better. I like to see far-out new innovations in fabrics. The new engineered fabrics of the 21st century. I like to see what other types of companies are doing, the tensile structures, awnings, etc. It gives me ideas about what I want to do.

Faith Roberts, MFC, IFM, owner, Banner Canvas
Former board member

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