During the 2013 American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) Annual Executive Summit in Washington, D.C., outgoing AAFA Chairman Rick Darling, Vice-Chairman of LF USA & LF Europe, turned over the chairmanship of the AAFA Board of Directors to Philip C. Williamson, Chairman, President and CEO of Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company.
The officer rotation ceremony was held Thursday, March 14, 2013, at a gala dinner and reception at the Hay Adams Hotel in Washington, D.C.
"For the past two years, Rick has been a vocal advocate for our industry at home and abroad," said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. "Under Rick's leadership, AAFA bolstered its visibility in Washington and along the global supply chain with an expanded international, educational, and membership programs, the development of our 'We Wear' brand identity, and the launch of our improved integrated website."
"While we applaud Rick's tenure as Chairman, we are excited that Philip will be stepping into this role," Burke said. "Philip brings vast experience and steadfast leadership at a time of great change in the U.S. apparel and footwear industry. I look forward to working with him as we seek new opportunities for our industry's four million U.S. workers."
"As a fourth-generation business leader in the U.S. apparel and footwear industry, I have seen first hand how this industry positively responds to great challenges," said Philip Williamson. "I look forward to serving as Chairman as we work to amplify AAFA's voice in Washington in pursuit of our ambitious legislative agenda for 2013."
Mr. Williamson is Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing Company, maker of work apparel and footwear under the Dickies, Workrite, and Kodiak brands. He represents the fourth generation of Williamsons to serve in this capacity. During his 30 years with the company, he has had the opportunity to work in most aspects of the business.
Mr. Burke also announced that Rick Helfenbein, President of TellaS, Ltd., Luen Thai, USA, has moved up to the Vice Chairman position, Rob DeMartini, President and CEO of New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc., has moved up to the Treasurer position, and that Paula Zusi, Executive Vice President and Chief Supply Chain Officer of Ann Inc., has joined the board leadership as Secretary.
By a recent vote by the AAFA membership, 14 Board members were re-elected and three new Board members were elected to the Board of Directors to serve three-year terms through 2016. New to the AAFA Board of Directors are Al Gervais, Chief Operating Officer of Marc Fisher Footwear, Edward Gribbin, President of Alvanon, Inc., and Tim Mantel, President, Target Sourcing Services.