SPESA Announces New Executive Director

RALEIGH, N.C. — April 2, 2018 — The SPESA (Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas) Board of Directors met on February 7, 2018, and approved the hiring of Michael McDonald as the new SPESA Executive Director to work alongside current president, Benton Gardner, and managing director, Dave Gardner, until their retirement at the end of 2018. McDonald will take over full management of the organization in January 2019.

McDonald is currently completing his doctoral degree in Textile Technology Management at North Carolina State University (NC State). While studying for his doctorate, he has served as adjunct professor, advisor for the Textile Apparel Technology Management Student Advisory Board, teaching assistant, and guest lecturer.

Previously McDonald was Manager of Government Relations for the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA). He was staff liaison for AAFA’s Product Safety Council, Government Contracts Committee, Brand Protection Committee, Financial Management Committee, Labeling and Transportation Mailing Lists. He oversaw a diverse array of issues as lead lobbyist including product safety, intellectual property, military contracting, domestic sourcing, environment & chemical management, corporate tax reform, transportation & infrastructure, patent reform, labor, state chemical regulations, international trade, and internet sales tax. In addition, McDonald developed resources and tools to help member companies with regulatory compliance, including: Restricted Substance Lists (RSL), Reasonable Testing Guidelines, Regional Plastic Bag Restrictions, Care Label Guidelines, International Market Access Guidelines for 13+ countries, and annual statistical reports on the footwear and apparel industries.

McDonald started his assignment as SPESA’s Executive Director on March 15, 2018. McDonald and his wife, Maggie, live in Raleigh, N.C.