SYFA Talks Global Textiles

SYFA officers and directors (front row, left to right) Bill Rothermel, Immediate Past President Dan Sistrunk, President Hardy Sullivan, Mike Becker, John Amirtharaj and Kim Hall; (back row, left to right) Alasdair Carmichael, Stan Pendergrass, Bart Krulic, Managing Director Rodney Turner, Celeste Ramsey and Nikki Brooks.

SYFA recently held a successful spring conference and is preparing for its 50th anniversary celebration this fall.

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The Synthetic Yarn and Fabric Association (SYFA) held its 2022 spring conference recently at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel, Charlotte, N.C.

The theme for the event was “Global Textiles … It’s a Small World After All.” Presenters came from companies and organizations including Stäubli Corp., Eastman Chemical Co., ClearTrackHR, Wells Fargo, the National Council of Textile Organizations, American Apparel & Footwear Association and Textile Technology Center at Gaston College.

Conference sponsors for the spring event included Gold Sponsors Premiere Fibers Inc. and Jomar Softcorp International Inc.; Silver Sponsors Pulcra Chemicals LLC and Unifi Inc.; Bronze Sponsors Goulston Technologies, PolySpinTex, Milliken & Company and Avient; and Patrons The Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry (INDA) Milliken & Company (facemasks) and Measured Solutions Inc. (hand sanitizers).

The SYFA also introduced new board members — Nikki Brooks, Goulston Technologies; Bart Krulic, Palmetto Synthetics; and Bill Rothermel, Precision Fabrics — and outgoing board President Dan Sistrunk took a bow after serving the association for the past three years as president.

“At our last conference in the fall of 2021, I stated that it was good to be back and emerging from the post-COVID world to a period that resembled a more normal textile environment, but little did we know the next round of challenges that we were going to encounter,” Sistrunk said. “Since the last SYFA conference, we have faced a new set of challenges ranging from labor shortages and growing inflation to geopolitical destabilization. However, I firmly believed then and it remains true today that with these challenges there is great opportunity for the SYFA organization and the industry. By harnessing the power of industry organizations like SYFA, each member, through the networking and collaboration the organization provides, will be able to better understand, uncover, and tap into some of this opportunity amidst the chaos we are all currently facing.”

John Woods, vice president, Fibers and Analytical Service Technology, Eastman Chemical Co., delivered a presentation entitled “Materials Circularity: The Way to a Sustainable Future.”

Incoming President Hardy Sullivan is ready to helm the SYFA for the next two years and had kind words to share about Sistrunk as he stepped down. “Like so many organizations that rely on face-to-face engagement, Covid was a real test,” Sullivan noted. “I’m so thankful for Dan Sistrunk’s leadership and the sustained effort by board volunteers. We maintained relevance by publishing technical and economic-focused papers quarterly, and we navigated the rocky waters of trying to meet virtually and safely.”

Sullivan is especially excited to celebrate the association’s 50th anniversary this year in the fall. “It’s exciting to think that an organization like SYFA can survive 50 years,” Sullivan noted. “The organization began with a focus on textured yarn, but, over time, its reach has broadened, spanning fiber to end-use. It’s a testament to, now as much as ever before, there’s real value in sharing technical, economic, and industrial knowledge.

“The needs for sustainability, innovation, and commercialization are here to stay, so this is just SYFA’s first 50 years. The board is planning a special ‘Past, Present, and Future’ celebration for the fall conference. It will be special and, as always, very worthwhile. We hope to see you there.”

The fall 50th anniversary conference will take place at the Sheraton Charlotte Airport Hotel November 3-4, 2022. Plans for the event include a panel discussion among top-level textile executives, and a cocktail reception followed by an evening sit-down dinner for all attendees. For more details as the event gets closer and to register, visit the association’s website,

May/June 2022