Century Of Excellence
Jim Borneman, Editor In Chief
Century of ExcellenceATMA draws a full house at the Grand Casino for its 100th anniversary meeting. The Alabama Textile Manufacturers Association (ATMA) celebrated its 100th anniversary at its annual meeting, held at the Grand Bayview, Biloxi, Miss.Founded in 1901 as the Alabama Cotton Manufacturers Association, ATMA is more focused than ever on the future of the textile industry in the state of Alabama. ATMA President Tommy Johnson, president and CEO, Yarn, Russell Corp., commented that after 100 years, the industry still faces many challenges, and the organization continues to change to meet those challenges. Johnson stated that today, with members in 65 of 67 Alabama counties, ATMA is a leaner, more efficient and effective organization focused on grass-roots Alabama politics. He called for local action to ensure a positive environment for textiles in Alabama. After 100 years, there will be change we have to manage that change, he said.At the opening reception, Johnson surprised recently retired ATMA Executive Vice President David Seagraves with a number of proclamations presented by past ATMA presidents. The proclamations recognized Seagraves dedication and years of service to the Alabama textile community.Seagraves, though retired as ATMA executive vice president, remains the organizations legislative director. He provided an overview of the groups activities over the past year. Rebecca Camerio, ATMAs assitant director for 10 years, was named director.The TEXPAC Governmental Affairs breakfast featured Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), who is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the Fourth Congressional District.The meeting featured presentations by Jeff Thredgold, president, Thredgold Economic Associates; and Ronald Sorini, president, Trade Negotiations and Legislative Affairs, Sadler TravisandRosenberg LLC.American Textile Manufacturers Institute (ATMI) President Chuck Hayes, unable to attend due to family matters, presented by way of video, with the assistance of Carlos Moore, ATMI executive vice president, a message calling for unity accross the textile industry.James Rutledge, Alabama Textile Citizen of the Year in 2000, also addressed the gathering.