Introducing the The AAPN American Ingenuity Series – Online Virtual Industry Networking


AAPN continues its heritage of industry innovation by announcing The AAPN American Ingenuity Series. Our 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 our industry.

As former AAPN Chairman Carlos Arias of Jeanologia wrote us today, "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. — ‎The poet Muriel Rukeyser

The initial deliverable in this series is The AAPN Fireside Chats. Here is our first schedule of what we intend to eventually be hundreds of shared experiences. These will be Zoom meetings, and we hope you’ll be able to attend as many as your schedules allow.

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

A fireside chat with our current president, Ed Gribbin, discussing how AAPN reached across association boundaries to unite, connect and motivate hundreds of industry stakeholders to meet critical medical product needs. Ed 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.

July 16 – Randy Harward, Sr VP 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, Randy 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.

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, Ron 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. Ron 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.

AAPN Fireside Chats

These will be informal yet structured interviews between a moderator and one guest. They will involve everyone who registered to attend. We will use the power of ZOOM to collect audience questions during the session and weave them into the flow. We'll take polls. All events will be recorded and available on our website.

Who qualifies to attend? It's free and open to anyone in the textile/apparel supply chain. We are not charging the speakers and we are not charging you. Separate registration forms, with the links to attend, will be broadcast from us soon.

Who qualifies to be a speaker? YOU – AAPN Members-Only. We've learned from talking to you one-on-one for over 25 years that you are all so SMART. You all have big ideas and unique experiences. You can share these insights; explain to us what works; and tell us why we should care. You can reveal your personal Holy Cow moments. YOU have stories and THEY are the single most powerful weapon you can use to make our industry better – herenow!