Meet the members of 亿博体育app and hear about the benefits of membership in their own words. Members come from all over the world and from every market segment, and each brings a unique view on the industry.


Bring it on: Jacob Schwartz, International Tension Structures

March 2017

Jacob Schwartz navigates the design and construction process by leveraging group strenghts, examining all options and committing to long-term solutions for clients.

"We enjoy working on projects that have incorporated fabric as a central part of the architectural design as opposed to an afterthought that was slapped on late in the process."

The buck starts here: Chris Ritsema, Canvas Innovations

February 2017

Chris Ritsema leads his company by building a strong culture that encourages growth and success for his employees.

"It鈥檚 so important to find the right people, find out if they have a love for the business and give them a future and a vision."

Sustainable opportunity: Eric and Angie Riggins, Alpha Canvas

January 2017

Eric and Angie Riggins create new products and capture new markets to ensure a steady stream of work throughout the year.

"We鈥檙e able to use all the same production and scheduling practices and setup for all three different product lines, so it all fits well into the way the products flow through the shop. Keeping the entire production process in-house allows us to control the quality and turnaround time for everything. "

- Angie and Eric Riggins, Owners of Alpha Canvas from Charlotte, N.C.

Analyze this: Ed Skrzynski, Marco Canvas

December 2016

Ed Skrzynski automates production, encourages teamwork and documents processes to deliver quality marine and shade products.

"Before [I implemented process improvements] each project was typically done by one skilled tradesperson from start to finish. The network was very labor-intensive and required a great amount of skill without too much thought about the business aspect."

- Ed Skrzynski , Owner of Marco Canvas from Marco Island, Fla.

Scheduled evolution: Eric Heischmidt, Arizon Structures

November 2016

Eric Heischmidt approaches project management with flexibility and an architect鈥檚 eye for precision.

"As good as people are at their jobs, there is always some change that requires constant adaptation and rescheduling."

Owning your destiny: Pete Weingartner, Queen City Awning

October 2016

Pete Weingartner builds a team鈥攐f staff, vendors and clients鈥攖o deliver turn-key projects and target continued growth.

"Everybody鈥檚 got to understand their part in the project, and you have to have a confidence level that the source can do what you need them to do. And then if it鈥檚 their specialty, you need to let them run with it and not micromanage."

The experience payoff: Blair Belluomo, Belle Isle Awning

September 2016

Blair Belluomo brings a strong and appreciative management style to the family business after years of working in the auto industry.

"I realized that our workforce was getting older so I saw the benefit of assigning each of our senior employees an apprentice."

The third dimension: John Bland, Tecsew Ltd.

August 2016

John Bland revolutionizes marine fabrication by applying 3-D CAD principles to the design process.

"There are often compromises to be made in a design. The beauty of 3-D CAD is that we can show them what compromises may need to be considered and they make the decision before the product is created."

- John Bland, Managing director of Tecsew Ltd. from Gosport, Hampshire, U.K.

Fabric engineering: Ben Fox, Legacy Building Solutions

July 2016

Ben Fox expands design capabilities for fabric structures, focusing on innovation and education to solve customer problems.

"We believe that your route forward is through marketing. If you鈥檙e not marketing well, you鈥檙e not going to grow."

Tents, trends & technology: Mike Holland, Chattanooga Tent Co.

June 2016

From RFID to GPS, Mike Holland uses all the newest tools to keep Chattanooga Tent Co. at the leading edge.

"We knew long ago from attending conferences and expos that coded engineering was going to become the standard. By being aware early and investing our time, energy and money into those products for our customers we were able to keep ahead of those changes."

At the intersection of textiles & technology: Qaizar Hassonjee, Adidas Digital Sports

May 2016

Qaizar Hassonjee mines market opportunities and forms partnerships to bring smart fabrics to market.

"We saw a bigger opportunity if we opened it up and invited others to either build experiences on our products or create experiences based on data that is generated by other sensors for sports applications."

- Qaizar Hassonjee, Senior director, business development and partnerships of Adidas Digital Sports from Chadds Ford, Pa.

Ideas in harness: Michael Lester, MakMax Australia Pty. Ltd.

April 2016

Michael Lester doesn鈥檛 shy away from a challenge. He builds a team of fellow innovators and comes up with tensioned fabric solutions.

"People ask me all the time what I look for in a person when I鈥檓 interviewing them. And the answer is: I鈥檓 looking for something they do in the real world that indicates a joy of working with their hands creating things. It might be sailing or building model planes or racing cars鈥攁nything that indicates a manual, creative bent in which they鈥檙e putting their mind to creating physical things."

Envision, build, repeat: Michael Catalano, Capitol Awning Co.

March 2016

Michael Catalano treats his clients as strategic partners鈥攁nd that keeps them coming back.

"I try to instill in our staff that instead of running out to see a customer initially, they ask the clients to send us a photograph of the site they want us to work on. Then we can work something up and come to them with an idea in hand. "

Fabric on the frontier: Eric Walton and Devlin McKee, Custom Canvas Alaska

February 2016

Eric Walton and Devlin McKee bring fabric solutions to Alaska鈥檚 wild and wondrous terrain.

"鈥淎n educated/informed consumer is our best customer. An educated/informed employee is our best worker. An educated/informed owner has got to succeed鈥攁s long as the learning process continues.鈥 "

Back to shore: Jeff Schmitt, The Coleman Company Inc.

January 2016

Jeff Schmitt balances the reality of off-shore manufacturing with how to bring production back to the U.S.

"A lot of people say that the reason to bring manufacturing back to the U.S. is to improve quality. If they鈥檙e saying that, that means they don鈥檛 have the appropriate levels of quality coming out of their factories in Asia鈥攚hich is a situation nobody should ever allow their business to get into. "

Charting a course: Katie Bradford, Custom Marine Canvas

December 2015

Incoming 亿博体育app board chair Katie Bradford takes the helm, using business expertise and networking know-how to lead the association.

"The captains of industry all had to start somewhere. Thirty years ago I was just a kid with a sewing machine in a leaky old shed thinking, 鈥業鈥檓 never going to make it.鈥 But I did. I want those starting out to know they can make it too. "

Demand + Supply = Prevail: Robert Cole, Goodwin-Cole

October 2015

Robert Cole brings decades of experience and common sense to the time-honored but always evolving economic model of supply and demand.

"Everybody in our company is a salesperson. They may not be doing sales work as such, but they鈥檙e all salespeople for the company."

- Robert Cole, Owner of Goodwin-Cole from Sacramento, Calif.

No fear: Per Lindstrand, Lindstrand Technologies

September 2015

Per Lindstrand sees obstacles as stepping stones as he develops new methods and products for fabric engineering.

"With our buildings, because they鈥檙e all fabric, if a strong wind comes they act like a wind sock. They can stand up again and there鈥檚 no damage."

Selling shade: Conrad Masterson, SHADE Industries

August 2015

Conrad Masterson builds his business by focusing on what clients really want鈥攁nd what employees need.

"I try to get the clients to spend a decent amount of time talking about their goals. It may not seem like an important conversation to them at the time, but it saves time down the road. "

Beyond the competition: Patty and Charly Smail, Shelter Structures Inc.

July 2015

Patty and Charly Smail build their business by learning from each new customer鈥攁nd finding gaps in what the competition offers.

"We feel very strongly that good customer service extends from when you first confer with a customer to design a custom product for them to after the sale is complete鈥攁lmost as if we still own it. 鈥揚atty Smail We try to focus on what the client really needs, which isn鈥檛 always what they come in asking for. By working with the client on designing with an eye toward structure function, we often find that there are opportunities to generate savings. 鈥揅harly Smail "