RALEIGH, N.C. — April 30, 2015 — The North Carolina State University (NCSU) College of Textiles named alumnus Derick S. Close the 2015 Leader of the Year on April 23. The award honors a textile industry executive who has shown outstanding leadership qualities that have moved the textile industry forward in innovative ways. Each year, members of the Kappa Tau Beta leadership fraternity and Phi Psi professional textile fraternity choose the award recipient who best represents the goals and ideals of the two College of Textiles student-led fraternities.
A native of Fort Mill, S.C., with more than 30 years of experience in the textile industry, Close is the CEO and owner of Springs Creative Products Group, Carolina Manufacturing, and Springsteen Logistics. He earned his bachelor’s of science degree from the NC State textiles management program in 1982 and went on to receive his master’s degree in business administration from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill in 1990.
Close helped initiate the Centennial Scholarship program in 1999. These awards, among the highest valued scholarships offered at NC State, allow the College of Textiles to attract exceptionally talented students. In 2000, he was honored as the outstanding alumnus of the College of Textiles and in 2011 the NC State University Board of Trustees awarded him the Watauga Medal which recognized his significant contributions to the advancement of the university.
“Derick is a remarkable visionary leader with a passion for advancing the textile industry. He has demonstrated his commitment to helping our students become the next generation of textile leaders through both the opportunities he affords our students and the example he sets for them,” said Dr. David Hinks, interim dean of the College of Textiles. “His company, Springs Creative, regularly hires College of Textiles summer interns and we have many graduates who go on to find permanent work there. Moreover, Derick epitomizes the kind of transformational leader that we prepare all of our students to be, one with a view to move society forward but who always seeks opportunities to give back.”
Throughout his career, Close has held leadership positions with a variety of university and community organizations. He is a board member and past president of the North Carolina Textile Foundation and served as a member of the Board of Trustees for North Carolina State University. He was also a member of the Board of Governors for the University of North Carolina System and a board member of UNC Global. A resident of Charlotte, N.C., he served as president of Leadership Charlotte and as a board member of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority. Currently he serves on the NC State University Endowment board and the NC State Student Aid Association.
In accepting the award Close cited his family’s historical ties to the textile industry and the impact the College of Textiles has had on his professional growth and career choices. “The College of Textiles is part of my family, and this award means as much to me as any other I have received. Thank you for this honor,” he said.
Close is a partner in the Carolina Panthers NFL franchise and a longtime supporter of Wolfpack athletics. He helped chair several fundraising efforts, including the Goal Line Drive committee to upgrade and renovate Carter-Finley Stadium. He recently donated a lead gift to the Wolfpack Club to support the construction of the Close-King Indoor Practice Facility which sits adjacent to Carter-Finley Stadium.
Posted May 5, 2015
Source: NCSU College of Textiles