AAPN Fireside Chats to kick off its American Ingenuity Series


Ed Gribbin


Randy Harwood


Ron Roach

Posted May 11, 2020


ATLANTA – The Americas Apparel Producers Network (AAPN) continues its heritage of industry innovation by announcing The AAPN American Ingenuity Series.


Its purpose is to share stories from successful leaders who together have built the world class, 21st century textile/apparel supply chain of the Western Hemisphere. These stories draw from hundreds of networked executives who have interacted over many years to raise their collective “Apparel IQ;” who trust one another; and who want to give back to the industry.


As former AAPN Chairman Carlos Arias of Jeanologia wrote us AAPN: "You can stop the AAPN from meeting physically … but you can’t stop the AAPN from networking and generating value for its membership!"


Why stories?

  • “Stories constitute the single most powerful weapon in a leader’s arsenal.” – Dr. Howard Gardner, professor Harvard University

  • “Purposeful storytelling isn’t show business, it’s good business.” – Peter Guber, entrepreneur, educator

  • “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell.” – Seth Godin, author, entrepreneur, marketer

  • “The universe is made of stories, not of atoms.” – poet Muriel Rukeyser

The initial deliverable in this series is The AAPN Fireside Chats. Here is the first schedule of what we intend to eventually be hundreds of shared experiences:

June 19 – Ed Gribbin, CEO of Gribbin Strategic LLC: “Activating Our Industry to Confront an Existential Crisis”

This is a fireside chat with current AAPN President Gribbin, discussing how AAPN reached across association boundaries to unite, connect and motivate hundreds of industry stakeholders to meet critical medical product needs. He will discuss how this initiative began, where it stands today and what the future looks like as many companies have committed to ensuring the establishment of a permanent made in USA and made in the Americas supply chain for critical medical supplies.


Gribbin is the founder and CEO of Gribbin Strategic LLC, a boutique consultancy focused on the apparel/fashion and retail sectors and offering services in the areas of growth strategy, business development, product development and supply chain innovation, executive coaching and change management. He is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading authorities on the apparel industry and serves on numerous global boards dedicated to the success of the retail, apparel and textile sectors.

In recent months, in his role as current president of AAPN, Gribbin helped organize contributors to AAPN COVID-19 Discussion Boards and connect companies to facilitate the production of critical protective equipment for hospitals and government agencies. Much of Gribbin Strategic’s focus today has shifted to producing PPE both in the U.S. and FTA partners in the Western Hemisphere.


Click here to register.


July 16 – Randy Harward, senior vice president of Advanced Material and Manufacturing Innovation, Under Armour: “Hey, Einstein, We All Live In The Same Universe”


It seems that everyone is into fast fashion and the idea that we should be able to make decisions close to market. But faster is not always better. The old Lewis Carroll quote from Alice in Wonderland, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get,” could not be more true in the increasingly competitive world of apparel retailing. Poking at the idea that everything can and must be done faster, Harwood will discuss the idea that the limitations we often feel we have can be turned into core strengths if we honor earlier decisions and leverage them as we go.


Click here to register.


August 13 – Ron Roach, president, Contempora Fabrics: “We Didn't Need HARVARD to Tell Us To Collaborate – Our Case Study”


On the Friday the pandemic hit, Roach  laid off his entire workforce at his employee-owned company. The next Monday he called most of them back and put together an entire supply chain to make masks on the fly. Contempora Fabrics normally makes fabric for baseball uniforms but, working with Fanatics, they repurposed for masks. He will detail the American ingenuity it took to throw together an entire supply chain on the fly to solve a mask shortage with baseball uniform fabric.


Click here to register.


AAPN Fireside Chats will be informal yet structured interviews between a moderator and one guest. They will involve everyone who registered to attend. Organizers will use the power of ZOOM to collect audience questions during the session and weave them into the flow. And they’ll take polls. All events will be recorded and available on the AAPN website.


Who qualifies to attend? It's free and open to anyone in the textile/apparel supply chain. AAPN is not charging the speakers and is not charging attendees. Separate registration forms, with the links to attend, will be broadcast soon.


Source: AAPN

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