2021 Advancements Conference Speakers

Mariano Amezcua, President, DAP America, Inc.

Mariano Amezcua serves as the President of DAP America, Inc. and is a seasoned leader with more than 25 years of experience delivering sales and professional services for industrial automation and software applications. His main responsibilities are the development and implementation of manufacturing strategies for Cut & Sew Operations (CSO), to include sewing processes, fabric welding, robotics systems and IOT for Automotive, Fashion, Furniture, and Technical Textiles sectors. A graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Mariano served in the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment as a Platoon Leader during Operation Desert Storm. After his military service, Mariano led sales and field service teams for companies such as Lectra, Danaher, Agilent, and PTC. He also has an MBA degree in Management of Technology from Georgia Tech.

Jill Coleman, Vice President of Global Sales and Business Development, MOTIF

Jill Coleman is Vice President for Global Sales and Business Development for apparel knowledge hub MOTIF.org, where she is championing the sales strategy and business development for MOTIF’s newly launched education initiative. With over 20 years of proven industry experience in supply chain and integration, Jill has an outstanding record in helping clients across the apparel value chain, from retail to manufacturer to suppliers. Prior to MOTIF, she held positions working for major multinational retailers spanning mass to premium markets. Previously, she was global market development manager - compliance & technology solutions at Avery Dennison. She was responsible for data project management of global markets, finessing the triangle sell with retailers, brands, and factories.

Rick Frye, Director of Sales & Engineering, ISM/IPD Group, Brother International Corp.

Rick Frye began his career in the sewn products industry in 1982 as a designer of custom industrial sewing automation for the sewn products industry. During his year tenure in the industry, he continued working to develop many unique attachments, devices, and tooling for use with electronic programmable sewing machines. Today, Rick specializes in the use and applications of electronic programmable sewing machines for a wide variety of industries including the automotive, medical, and various products for the technical textile industry.

Frank Henderson, CEO, Henderson Sewing Machine Company

Frank Henderson is President of Henderson Sewing Machine Co., Inc., one of the largest distributors of industrial sewing machines, sewing machine parts, and associated products in the world. Frank has more than four decades of experience in the textile and sewn products industries. He has held a wide variety of industry, community, and national positions including Chairman of SPESA, President of Lurleen B. Wallace Community College Foundation, Covington County Economic Development Commission Board, President of Andalusia Area Chamber of Commerce, and has been named to Who’s Who in U.S. Executives. He received a degree from Auburn University’s Department of Textile Engineering.

Sarah Krasley, CEO, Shimmy Technologies

Sarah Krasley is an internationally recognized expert in digital transformation in manufacturing and the Founder and CEO of Shimmy Technologies, an Industry 4.0 technology company focused on digital transformation to arrive at a future of work that’s fair, efficient, and fun. Shimmy’s award-winning Upskill trains factory workers in digital fundamentals to support supply chain transformation to 3D and automated assembly lines using video games. In 2020, Microsoft named Sarah a Person of Action, recognizing her and her team’s innovative use of artificial intelligence capabilities and human computer interaction models to reach and teach workers who have never used computers or smartphones. Prior to founding Shimmy, Sarah led Sustainable Manufacturing at Autodesk where she and her team created software that helped hundreds of thousands of designers, engineers, and factory owners digitally transform all over the world.

Paul Magel, President, Business Applications and Technology Outsourcing Division, Computer Generated Solutions (CGS)

Paul Magel, who joined CGS in 1997, has more than three decades of experience in the information technology space. Leading the Application Solutions division at CGS, Paul oversees the company’s flagship BlueCherry® Enterprise Suite of solutions for the fashion, apparel, and consumer lifestyle products industry as well as the Technology and Infrastructure practice overseeing sales, delivery, support, and development. Paul is also responsible for the CGS Global Software Development Centers in Europe and India and the recent expansion of the BlueCherry solutions business in Europe and Canada.

Leonard Marano, President, Americas, Lectra

Lenny is President of the Americas at Lectra, joining the company through the acquisition of Gerber Technology in June 2021 and being named a member of the Executive Committee the following July. He is responsible for all go-to-market activity, service support, marketing, and financial operations in the region. Prior to joining Lectra, Lenny spent 7 years in advancing positions at Gerber Technology with his most recent being Chief Commercial Officer. Prior to Gerber, Lenny spent 10 years in senior product management and marketing roles for high technology organizations. From 2006 through 2012, Lenny led FujiFilm’s kiosk equipment, software, and consumable businesses. In this role he managed the P&L, developed go-to-market strategies, drove new product development, and managed an install base portfolio which included over 20,000 systems in major retailers such as Walmart, Walgreens, and Rite Aid. Following FujiFilm, Lenny was at Jensen Dental where he launched and managed their line of CAD/CAM digital dentistry equipment, software, and consumables, helping their business and customers transition from analog workflows to digitally automated processes. Lenny holds a Bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Connecticut State University.

Hayato Nishi, Public Relations Manager & Sales, Shima Seiki USA, Inc.

Hayato Nishi is Manager of Public Relations and Sales at SHIMA SEIKI USA's Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York location. Hayato consults with designers and brands to maximize the utilization of 3D Virtual Sampling and WHOLEGARMENT 3D Knit technology, working on many B2B projects to incorporate DX in the supply chain and to make the industry more sustainable. He also works on many projects with brands, yarn mills, and designers to bring concepts to life and spread awareness of Shima Seiki’s various technologies and innovation.

Michael Rabin, President, Morgan Tecnica America Inc.

Michael Rabin is President of Morgan Tecnica America Inc. He is responsible for North and South American sales and business development for Morgan Tecnica, a technology/product solution company for fashion and manufacturing companies worldwide, featuring the most innovative tools for 3D, CAD, PLM/PDM, Cut Order Planning software, and integrated machinery for all areas of material handling, spreading, and cutting. With more than 30 years in the fashion industry, Michael’s experience covers all facets of product development and production. Using design, merchandising, production, and management best practices, Michael has in depth knowledge of all phases from initial concept to sourcing production through a global sourcing networks using a variety of software tools and applications to deliver to retailers and wholesalers worldwide.

Melissa Sharp, Associate Director, Zeis Textiles Extension at North Carolina State University Wilson College of Textiles

Melissa Sharp is the Associate Director of the Zeis Textiles Extension Department for Economic Development at the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State University. She received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from NC State and a Master of Science in Textile Chemistry at the Wilson College of Textiles. She has been instrumental in leading the update and release of the new Textile Connect website to provide a connected textile complex.

Dr. Andre West, Director, Zeis Textiles Extension at North Carolina State University Wilson College of Textiles

Dr. Andre West is the Director of the Zeis Textiles Extension (ZTE) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Textile Apparel Technology and Management at the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State University. His role as the Director of ZTE is to keep sustainable textiles at the forefront of future textiles, cultivating a more responsible ecosystem for the fashion industry. This is achieved by educating and mobilizing students, industry, and consumers to be positive advocates while leveraging industry-related partnerships. He is involved in sustainable manufacturing techniques with Wholegarment knitting for zero waste. He has made numerous national and international presentations on how textile production should achieve a total circular economy.

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