Rick Darling Installed as AAFA Board of Directors Chairman

Arlington, VA – During the 2011 American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) Annual Executive Summit in Washington, D.C., outgoing AAFA Chairman Killick Datta, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of International Brand Partners, LLC, turned over the chairmanship of the AAFA Board of Directors to Rick Darling, President of LF USA, a subsidiary of Hong Kong-headquartered multinational Li & Fung Limited. The officer rotation ceremony was held Thursday, March 3, 2011 at a gala reception and dinner at the Halcyon House in Washington’s historic Georgetown neighborhood.

“When Killick assumed the chairmanship just one year ago, he made AAFA membership and visibility a top priority,” said AAFA President and CEO Kevin M. Burke. “In that time, we have experienced a growth in our membership and reached greater exposure in the global marketplace. Both of these goals have increased AAFA’s effectiveness as the voice of the U.S. apparel and footwear industry.”

“While the entire AAFA organization has benefitted from Killick’s year as chair, we are excited to welcome Rick to the post,” Mr. Burke continued. “As president of a company with significant sourcing competence and widespread global apparel and footwear business, Rick will provide great insight and direction as AAFA continues to tackle the major issues impacting both industries.”

“At the forefront of the key issues facing our industry, AAFA has helped to drive critical change and innovation,” said Rick Darling. “As a member of the Board for several years, I am honored to serve as Chairman as we continue to extend our reach and influence in the global marketplace.”

Currently serving as President of LF USA and Executive Director of Li & Fung Limited, Mr. Darling is an established industry leader with more than 25 years of experience in retail, wholesale, merchandising, marketing, and supply chain management. Prior to LF USA, Mr. Darling founded Millwork Trading Company and has served in various management positions at specialty brand retailers, including Gap, Inc.

Mr. Burke also announced that Philip Williamson, Chairman, President, and CEO of Williamson-Dickie Manufacturing, has moved up to the Vice Chairman position, Joseph Gromek, President and CEO of Warnaco, Inc., has moved up to the Treasurer position, and that Rick Helfenbein, President of TellaS, Ltd. and Luen Thai, USA, has joined the officer line up as Secretary.

By a recent vote by the AAFA membership, 19 Board members were re-elected to the Board of Directors to serve three-year terms through 2014.

Through special appointments by the Board earlier this year, Oliver Butler, President of Bureau Veritas Consumer Product Services, Allan Ellinger, Senior Managing Partner of Marketing Management Group, Inc., Wayne Marino, COO of Under Armour, Inc., and Gene Rider, President of Intertek Consumer Goods N.A., were confirmed to fill open positions on the Board.

A complete list of the AAFA Board of Directors and officers can be found on the AAFA Web site.

Held March 2 - 4, 2011 in Washington, D.C., the AAFA Annual Executive Summit is the U.S. apparel and footwear industry’s signature CEO-level leadership forum. This year’s speakers included: former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, Cotton Incorporated President and CEO J. Berrye Worsham, former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency General Michael Hayden, former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, American historian and professor David Eisenhower, Luen Thai CEO and President Henry Tan, political commentator Mark Shields, and former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan. Social media perspectives were shared through a panel discussion led by Facebook and The Wet Seal, Inc.
 

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