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GTMA Elects Officers Board Of Directors For 2002-2003

Ponte Vedra, FL Thomas B. Gardner, Senior Vice President of Bath Manufacturing for Springs Industries in Griffin, GA, was today elected Chairman of The Association of Georgias Textile, Carpet and Consumer Products Manufacturers (GTMA) at the 102nd Annual Meeting of the Association in Ponte Vedra, FL.Gardner succeeds Mickey D. Lankford, President of the Walton Fabrics Division of Avondale Mills in Monroe, GA, as Chairman. William A. Barron, Jr., Vice President of Manufacturing for Shaw Industries in Dalton, was elected vice chairman, and Donald R. Henderson, Vice President of Manufacturing for Mount Vernon Mills, Inc., Trion, was elected Treasurer. Gardner is a 39-year veteran of the textile industry, having joined J. P. Stevens Company upon graduation from Western Carolina University in 1963. He has a profound passion for this industry and confidence in its future.The career path to Gardners present position included 24 years at J. P. Stevens, interrupted by a year with American Thread Company, and nearly eight years with The Bibb Company. He joined Springs Industries in 1996. While located in Griffin, Georgia, he also has manufacturing responsibilities for plants in Hartwell and for bath products in Brazil.Gardner is keenly aware of the value of the state textile associations having served as the President of the North Carolina Textile Manufacturers Association in 1994-95. Currently, he serves on the Boards of the United Way, Griffin Technical College and the Boy Scouts and is on the External Advisory Board of the Georgia Tech School of Textile and Fiber Engineering. He has also served on the GTMA Board of Directors and on its Legislative Committee.Barron is the first representative from a carpet company to serve as an officer of the Association in its 102-year history. He has been with Shaw Industries for 33 years, joining the company following a two-year tour in the Army. A graduate of The Citadel with a degree in Business Administration, he began his career with Shaw as an industrial engineer in Cartersville in 1969. He transferred to Dalton in 1977 to become director of carpet manufacturing and in 1992 was named vice president of manufacturing, responsible for fiber extrusion, yarn, carpet samples and engineering. Barron has served on the Board of Directors of GTMA and on the Boards of the United Way of Dalton and the Whitfield County Heart Association. Henderson has spent his entire career in the textile industry, joining the Riegel Division of Mount Vernon Mills in 1969 upon his discharge from the U. S. Army, where he served our country with distinction.He also has an impressive record of service to his community and church, and to the industry. He served as the Chairman of the Chattooga County Chamber of Commerce, and on its Board; as a member of the Windwood Advisory Board; as Chairman of the Administrative Board of the Trion United Methodist Church, and as a Sunday school teacher; as a Director, Treasurer, Vice President and President of The Textile Education Foundation; as Chairman of the Georgia Textile Operating Executives; and as a Director of GTMA.Six textile executives were elected by the Associations membership to serve three-year terms on the Board of Directors: Larry Galbraith, President, Denim North America, Columbus; Lee Bryan, General Manager of Finishing, Mount Vernon Mills, Inc., Trion; Bernie Loftis, President, CoatsandClark, Charlotte, NC; Allan Ray, Vice President-Administration, Southern Mills, Inc., Union City; Jule Smith, Vice PresidentandGeneral Manager, Flooring Systems, SI Corporation, Calhoun; and Doug Tingle, President, 1888 Mills, Griffin.In addition, Trey Hodges, President, Swift Spinning Mills, Columbus, and Bill Henry, Vice President-Administration, Johnston Industries, Columbus were elected to fill unexpired terms on the Board. The Association also re-elected Roy Bowen as President and Suzanne Wilkes as Secretary.The Georgia textile industry, with sales last year totaling over $18 billion is the states largest manufacturing employer with nearly 95,000 employees. Founded in 1900, GTMA is the statewide trade association that represents textile, carpet and consumer product manufacturers in legislative, regulatory and public relations matters.