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Power of the PPE Pivot
Is your business ready to pivot in the face of a challenge? How have you kept yourself and your work nimble during uncertain times?

For many, the COVID-19 pandemic has presented as many opportunities as it has challenges. For some of our alumni in the textile industry, they have successfully pivoted production to address the increasing need for personal protective equipment (PPE).

Join Textile Design Program Director Marcia Weiss, BS ’83 Textile Design, as she explores the stories and lessons learned by our distinguished panel:

• Joy McGruther Alaoui
MS ’98 Textile Design
Design Director, MTL
• Bob Berger
BS ’75 Textile Engineering
President, MW Canada
• Robert G Culp, IV (Iv Culp)
MS ’98 Textile Marketing, MBA ’98
President & CEO, Culp Inc.
• Philip Lanitis
BS ’70 Textile Management & Manufacturing
President & Owner, Jaden Fabrics II Inc.

Jefferson, Textile, and Philadelphia University alumni are invited to hear how being flexible helped their industry survive and thrive during these difficult times. By doing so, they found new opportunities and ways to support their staff, businesses, and communities in times of need.

A Q&A with our attendees will follow the discussion.

Feb 2, 2021 07:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Joy McGruther Alaoui, MS ’98 Textile Design & Robert (Bob) Berger, BS ’75 Textile Engineering
-------> Joy McGruther Alaoui, MS ’98 Textile Design, Weaving, graduated from Drake University with a BFA. She received her MS degree from Jefferson in 1998. She began working as a textile designer at the specialty Jacquard weaving mill MTL right after graduation and has been the Design Director there since 2004. Ms. McGruther Alaoui is the co-founder of The Weave Lab, created in 2019. Her area of specialization is Jacquard woven high-end decorative fabrics for the home furnishings and architecture and design communities. ------> Robert (Bob) Berger, BS ’75 Textile Engineering, is President and CEO of MW Canada, a business first established by his family in 1963 in Montreal, Quebec. Today, MW Canada prepares everything from fabric design through to weaving, dyeing, and finishing in-house. It specializes in textiles for window coverings, hospitality, healthcare, and other niche market items. COVID-19 enabled MW Canada to produce medical grade barrier fabric for our frontline workers.
Robert G Culp, IV (Iv Culp), MS ’98 Textile Marketing, MBA ’98 & Phil Lanitis, BS ’70 Textile Management and Marketing
Robert G Culp, IV (Iv Culp), MS ’98 Textile Marketing, MBA ’98, is President and CEO of Culp, Inc. He earned a BS in Business Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1993. Culp, Inc. is one of the world's largest marketers of mattress fabrics for bedding and upholstery fabrics for residential and commercial furniture and window treatments. The company markets a variety of fabrics to its global customer base of leading bedding and furniture companies. ---Phil Lanitis, BS ’70 Textile Management and Marketing, has over 50 years’ experience within the domestic and international textile marketplace. Lanitis & Associates Inc. produces baby nursery products, including bedding, soft goods and blankets. Mr. Lanitis also owns Jaden Fabrics Inc., a well-established name in the hospitality and healthcare industries. He serves as the COO of Enova Textiles, created by Elliott Lightman ’72, which produces 100% Pure Green Cotton textile products for the hospitality industry.
Marcia Weiss, BS ’83 Textile Design
Marcia Weiss, BS ’83 Textile Design, is the Director of the Fashion & Textiles Futures Center, Director of the Textile Design programs and the Harold Neuman Textile Design Chair at Thomas Jefferson University. As a specialist in woven design, she teaches advanced studio courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Ms. Weiss brings to teaching more than 30 years of textile design industry experience, including 19 years with Burlington Industries; culminating in the role of Vice President of Design for the House Fabrics Division. In addition to her work on campus, Ms. Weiss teaches weaving workshops for interested groups, nationally and internationally. As an artist, her fiber-based work has been exhibited in solo and juried shows and invitationals in Europe, Asia and the United States. Ms. Weiss holds a Master of Fine Arts in Fibers from the Savannah College of Art & Design.