Our esteemed speaker at a glance

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  • Robert Antoshak has more than 30 years of experience in the fiber, textile and apparel industries. Currently, he is Managing Director of Olah Inc., where he supervises the firm’s global cotton marketing and consulting programs. In addition to an extensive background in marketing, management consulting, mergers & acquisitions, sourcing, and strategic planning, Mr. Antoshak has strong experience in trade negotiations and has worked as an advisor to various governments and private companies on numerous international agreements including NAFTA, the MFA and the WTO.

    He has held executive positions with the Fiber Economics Bureau as editor of the Fiber Organon; American Fiber Manufacturers Association as Director of International Trade; American Textile Manufacturers as Associate Director of International Trade; Trade Resources, Inc. as President; Werner International as Vice President; Globecot Inc. as President; and the Fibers & Textiles Division of INTL-FCStone as Managing Director.

    Robert Antoshak Cotton Conference
  • Mr. Armijo is a Research Textile Technologist at the USDA-ARS Southwestern Cotton Ginning Research Laboratory in Mesilla Park, NM, USA.  He received a B.S. in Agriculture (Environmental Resource Economics) and M.A. in Economics from New Mexico State University.  He has authored or co-authored more than 90 technical publications including 45 peer-reviewed journal articles.  His work has covered a broad spectrum of issues in roller and saw ginning including particulate emissions, cotton moisture measurement, bale storage, foreign matter removal, and finding ginning methods that improve fiber quality.  His current research focuses on ginning techniques to improve fiber length uniformity and to reduce seed coat fragments.  In recognition of the quality and impact of his work, Mr. Armijo was the recipient of an individual ARS Technology Transfer Award for developing major improvements in high-speed roller ginning.

  • Bruce Atherley has served as Executive Director of Cotton Council International (CCI) since October 1, 2015.

    CCI is the export promotions arm of the National Cotton Council of America (NCC). Headquartered in Washington, DC, and with a reach extending to more than 50 countries through 17 offices worldwide, CCI uses trade services and consumer promotion activities to increase exports of U.S. cotton fiber, manufactured cotton goods and cottonseed in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Central and South America.

    Mr. Atherley has a long and successful track record in global marketing and management. He previously served as Vice President, Global Marketing for Kao, Inc., a Tokyo-based global manufacturer of personal care and household products. He also worked for the William Wrigley Jr. Company, serving as its Vice President of North American Confections Marketing, President and General Manager of Wrigley Canada and Managing Director, Global Branding Services.  Prior to Wrigley, he served as Vice President of Retail Marketing for the H.J. Heinz Company, President and CEO of Pet Life, Inc., Marketing Director, Black and Decker and Product Manager, Cheerios for General Mills Inc.

    Mr. Atherley is also an Adjunct Instructor of Marketing at the University of Cincinnati and is a co-chair of the Advisory Board for the Marketing Department.

    Mr. Atherley earned a B.S. in Accounting from Bucknell University where he graduated cum laude, and an MBA from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business Administration.

    • Uster, Switzerland, Head Textile Technology, since 2015.
    • Rieter, Switzerland, Senior Marketing Manager, 2011 to 2015
    • Oerlikon Textile Components, Switzerland, Head of Markets and Product Strategy, 2008-2011
    • Oerlikon Schlafhorst, Mönchengladbach, Senior Manager Marketing Textile Technology, 2007-2008
    • Schlafhorst Autocoro,
      • Senior Manager Textile Application Technology, 2003-2008
      • Head of Technology Centre and Textile Laboratory, 2001-2008
    • University of Applied Sciences, Niederrhein Mönchengladbach: Textile technology, yarn and surface creation
    Iris Biermann Coton Conference
  • Mr Haroldo Rodrigues da Cunha is an agronomist graduated form the Federal University of Goiás and since 1991, has been growing cotton on his family’s farm in the southwest region of the state of Goiás.
    Currently Mr Haroldo is the President of Brazilian Cotton Institute – IBA, an institution created in 2010 to develop the National Brazilian cotton industry.
    He was president of the Goias Cotton Growers Association- AGOPA from 2004 to 2008 and president of Brazilian Cotton Growers Association- ABRAPA, from 2008 to 2010.
    Mr Haroldo is member of the International Forum for Cotton Promotion (IFCP- ICAC).
    Mr Haroldo is an advisor of The Brazilian Cotton Ethics Committee, a committee to coordinate good trading practices within Brazil and to give guidance to avoid potential disputes, and of ABRAPA, as past president of these two organizations.

  • Dr. Jesse Daystar is the Chief Sustainability Officer at Cotton Incorporated, an Instructor at the Duke Nicholas School of the Environment, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Forest Biomaterials at North Carolina State University.  He is an expert in environmental life cycle assessment and sustainability strategy.

    He earned a PhD in Forest Biomaterials and a BS in Paper Science and Engineering and a BS in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University.

    Dr. Jesse Daystar Cotton Conference
  • Dean Ethridge is Director of the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute of Texas Tech University.  He earned his Ph.D. degree from the University of California at Berkeley and has previously held positions at the University of Georgia and at Texas A&M University.  His research programs have encompassed most aspects of the cotton and textile sectors.  He also served as Director of Economic Services for the National Cotton Council of America and as director of cotton research and investment for a corporation.  He served as a Presidential appointee to the position of Deputy Administrator for Policy Analysis within the U.S. Department of Agriculture and has provided international research and consultation in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and Europe.

  • Dr. Thomas Fischer is Deputy Director of the are Management Area within the DITF (GERMAN INSTITUTES OF TEXTILE AND FIBER RESEARCH DENKENDORF). His research comprises Textile 4.0 (digitization of the textile supply chain) and the resulting topics of innovation, production, business models and sustainability. He is conceptualizing and coordinating national and international research projects in the above-mentioned areas.

    After his diploma in technical cybernetics he worked with a Marie Curie scholarship of the EU in Italy and did research on his PhD (innovation processes and multistage supply chain) which he continued at the DITF. Since 2017 he is deputy director of the Management Research team (19 persons). His work focuses on Textile 4.0, big/smart data, knowledge based systems, innovation management and sustainability.

  • Jean-Paul Gourlot graduated as textile engineer specialized in cotton processing, then as PhD as a results the study of bias of measurements in fiber characterizations, and as HDR from studying cotton characterization methods and their applications for quality management purposes in the cotton supply chain. Applications have been from breeding programs to the textile industry, including into the interaction with the conditions of production of cotton in the fields.

    Former Head of the Cirad-LTC in France, Jean-Paul Gourlot has been contributing to national and international groups for standardization / harmonization of characterizations such as ICAC-CSITC and ITMF-ICCTM since the mid-90’s.

  • Milan Kelch is a scientific co-worker at the Biological Materials Group within the City University of applied Sciences Bremen. He studied Biomimetics and Production Engineering with a focus on Material Science. His main research objectives are bio-based fibre-reinforced composites as an alternative to conventional composite materials.

  • Armin Leder, started his apprenticeship as a machine fitter at Trützschler in 1979, has been working in development as a mechanical engineer since 1987 and is now Head of R&D since 2006.

  • Graduate of Lodz University of Technology, Faculty of Textiles in 1983, doctoral degree in 2002, habilitation in 2013, adjunct at the Faculty of Material Technologies and Textile Design. Member of Executive Committee of International Committee of Cotton Testing Methods at ITMF. In years 2008 – 2012 chair of Technological Group of the Interregional Cooperative Network on Cotton for the Mediterranean and Middle East Regions. For many years a Chairman of the Laboratory Commission and member of Executive Committee of Gdynia Cotton Association.

    Domains of competence: cotton quality, cotton processing, spinning, weaving, textile metrology, textile material engineering, clothing technology, comfort and well-being.

  • Uster Technologies AG (2000 – 2013)
    Head of Textile Laboratory; Uster Statistics; Textile technological aspects of new laboratory developments; Usterized; Intelligent Sourcing
    MondayCoffee (2013 – 2015)
    Business Consultant
    Loepfe Brothers Ltd (Since 2015)
    Product Manager Laboratory Testing; Responsible for the market introduction of Loepfe FIBERMAP, YARNMAP, and LABMASTER TOP

  • Walter Simeoni ( Prof.Hon.), Currently , Proprietor and Managing Director of: WS International business facilitation services CC  and THECOTTONHAND ( Pty)Company , Past President of the SA Textile Industry, Past president of the ITMF, Past Vice chairman of SA Cotton , all others are visible under , profile of his Website: wsinternatioanal.co.za

  • Franziska Stehle is a research associate at the department of Fibre and Material Development at the Faserinstitut Bremen e.V.. Her main field of research is renewable thermoplastic composites with cotton. She holds a Master of Science Degree in Textile Product Technology-Technical Textiles. She entered the Faserinstitut Bremen e.V. under a corporate sponsorship of the Bremen Cotton Exchange.

  • Dr. Alex Thomasson is Professor and Endowed Chairholder in Cotton Engineering, Ginning, and Mechanization in Texas A&M University’s Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.  He is also an adjunct professor at the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.  Dr. Thomasson received his bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University, his master’s degree from Louisiana State University, and his doctor’s degree from University of Kentucky.  He has researched remote and proximal sensing – essentially on-farm data collection – for over 30 years.  He is a recognized expert in the engineering aspects of cotton production and processing, precision agriculture, sensors, data analytics, and agricultural robotics.

  • Present employer
    Mayer & Cie. GmbH & Co. KG

    Duties or Job
    Head of Marketing & Sales spinitsystems®

    Highlights present work:
    Market introduction of spinitsystems – new spinning & knitting technology from
    Mayer & Cie.

    Past employments:
    Area Sales Manager Europe & Latin America – Flat Knitting Machines
    Head of Marketing – Ring Spinning Machines
    Key Account Manager Automotive – Technical Textiles
    General Manager – Nonwovens
    Head of Sales – Textiles/Circular Knitwear

    M.Sc. Textile Engineering / MBA International Marketing

  • Dr. Venditti is the Elis-Signe Olsson Professor in Pulp and Paper Science and Technology in the Forest Biomaterials Department at North Carolina State University, Raleigh NC.  He is involved in developing effective systems to transform renewable plant based resources into sustainable products. He utilizes lignin, hemicellulose and cellulose from woody plants primarily as feedstocks.  Venditti uses environmental life cycle analysis to guide and analyze research in bioproducts.  He currently is the principal investigator of a four year and $2.75 million United States Department of Agriculture program, titled, Preparing Diverse and Rural Students and Teachers to Meet the Challenges of the Bioproducts and Bioenergy Industry.  He is the director of the Pulp and Paper Workshop at NCSU co-sponsored by the Technical Association of Pulp and Paper Industries (TAPPI). Venditti received a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University, was named a TAPPI Fellow in 2012, and was named a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Environmental Science in 2009.

  • Eugen Weinberg joined Commerzbank in 2007 as Senior Commodity Analyst. Today, as the Head of Commodity Research, he is responsible for Commerzbank’s Commodity Research products and provides with his team price analyses and forecasts for Commerzbank’s financial partners and corporate clients.

    Michael Alt has been part of Commerzbank’s Commodities team since January 2007. Together with his team, he is responsible for the advisory of corporate clients in the commodities space and for the distribution of risk management solutions in the Base and Precious Metals, Energy and Carbon as well as Agricultural sectors.

    In their presentation, Eugen Weinberg and Michael Alt from Commerzbank AG give an overview of what drives the commodities markets and provide an outlook for Cotton. They also address implications on market participants and discuss risk management solutions. In case you are interested to learn more or would like to receive a copy of the presentation, please contact Eugen Weinberg or Michael Alt directly.