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Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies

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Industry Advisory Board Biographical Information

Grady Williamson

Grady Williamson

Grady Williamson is a Partner at East West Solutions and President of the CARS Industry Advisory Board.

Robin Mack Davis

Robin Mack Davis

Robin Mack Davis is the founder and co-owner of Mack and Mack, a Greensboro-based company that produces better women's clothing. She started the company in 1995 in a business incubator, then moved into her present location in 2000. With years of sewing experience growing up, Robin had no trouble finding work when she moved to New York right after college in 1972. While earning a two-year certificate in fashion design at The Traphagen School, she took a job with James T. Clarke, an established fashion designer and the one who discovered the Magic fabric that Robin uses today. She left the world of fashion in 1980, only to be drawn back following Clarke's death in 1991, when she learned that he had left her his patterns.
Every item made by Mack and Mack comes from her local 7300 square foot showroom. "Even if we believed in outsourcing – which we definitely don't – it isn't possible to get the quality of workmanship that these clothes require," says Robin. Robin feels that the real beauty of the line lies in the fabric itself. A high-twist polyester crepe, the lightweight fabric feels and drapes like silk but without the high maintenance. Best of all, it looks good on women of all sizes and is machine washable. Mack and Mack is currently available in 65 boutiques nationwide.


Colleen Kelly

Eric Hertz

Eric Hertz, MS, CAE, is President of the Center for Executive Development. Prior to founding CED in January 2010, Eric served for six years as Director of Executive Education at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where he built and managed a broad-based program for senior executives in the fashion and retailing industries.

The FIT Advanced Management Program, which he initiated, attracted senior executives from virtually every major company in the fashion and retailing industry, and featured faculty from FIT, Columbia, Harvard and Wharton – as well as CEO’s of leading fashion retail and wholesale companies. Eric also developed the only educational program for senior women executives in the New York City area, as well as a broad range of open enrollment and custom executive programs for organizations based in the U.S., Europe, Asia and Latin America.

Prior to joining FIT, Eric managed a range of industry organizations specializing in executive development and training. He holds the prestigious credential of “Certified Association Executive” and is a former Board member of the New York Society of Association Executives. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Advertex Communications, Inc., the internal advertising agency of Macy’s Inc., and the Advisory Board of the International Trade and Marketing Department at FIT.

Eric graduated cum laude from Yale University with a BA in English literature. He received an MS in journalism from Syracuse University and did postgraduate work in publishing at Stanford University.

Rod Hewitt

Rod Hewitt

Rod Hewitt is Vice President, Corporation Supply Chain for VF Corporation.

Susan Nichols

Susan S. Nichols

Susan S. Nichols is publisher of Apparel Magazine of Edgell Communications. A 21-year veteran of the publication, Susan is responsible for all Apparel brand products.
Susan is a member of the Product Innovation Council and a member and past chairman of the Supply Chain Leadership Committee, both part of the American Apparel and Footwear Association. She also serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of the Textile/Clothing Technology Corporation.
Additionally, Susan serves as a director of the American Apparel Education Foundation and on the Industry Advisory Board for the University of North Carolina-Greensboro's Department of Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of South Carolina's College of Journalism and Mass Communications, Susan holds a B.S. in news-editorial journalism. She resides in Greenville, SC.


Pat Palmer

Pat Palmer

Pat Palmer is Vice President, Sales at Burlington Worldwide (ITG).
John SayresJohn Sayres

John Sayres
John Scott Sayres is a Senior Enterprise Associate at the Center for Creative Leadership® Greensboro campus. John has been affiliated with CCL since 1990 as both adjunct faculty and as a fulltime Senior Program Associate. In addition to training, he worked as program manager for The African-American Leadership Program and director of the Leadership and Team Problem Solving component of the Leadership Development Program (LDP) ®. John’s responsibilities include delivery and design of open enrollment and custom programs to senior managers and executives.

John has over 30 years of direct line management, human resource and organization development and training, design, and delivery experience, and has worked directly for McDonnell Douglas Corporation, Control Data Corporation, Commercial Credit Company, and McCormick and Company. He has consulted with governmental, educational, public, and private organizations on issues involving leadership, team building, personal growth, and career strategies for managers who are from underrepresented groups. His article “Minorities in the Corporate System” appeared in the Maryland Business and Living Journal.

John holds a Master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Johns Hopkins University and is a Hopkins Fellow in Organizational and Community Systems.

Rick Schneider

Rick Schneider

Rick Schneider as born in New York, New York but has been living in Greensboro, NC for 20 years.  He is happily married with three great children ages 19 to 26.
He is an Independent Fashion Industry Consultant at Textile International Enterprises focusing on Strategic market analysis, market/agency representation, Sourcing and International networking. He has over twenty five years of fashion and textile experience primarily at Burlington Industries in multiple roles ranging from sales to Executive level merchandising and International business development.
He received his MBA from New York University and his BS Montclair State University. Rick is involved in Executive programs at University of Virginia and UNC Chapel Hill.


Mike Sholtis A graduate of McLennan College, Mike Sholtis is 35 year veteran of the apparel retail and manufacturing industry. He has served as VP Merchandising to EVP Merchandising and Managing Director of both retail and manufacturing companies for the past 22 years. He has been intimately involved in the apparel fashion industry with such great companies as Foley's, Robinson's May, Sears, Sak's Inc, Belk Stores and most recently with the Tharanco Group selling such key brands as Bill Blass, Poleci, and Doori, as well as other Contemporary and Designer Lines. His background includes department stores, and specialty stores, as well as mass merchants in retail and manufacturing.  Mr. Sholtis is happily married and has three fabulous children, and in addition to serving on two Boards, is currently a consultant for Vantage Marketplace, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Goldman Sacks group.

Sid Smith

Sid Smith

Sid Smith is the former President and Chief Executive Officer of one of the country’s most prestigious trade associations, The Hosiery Association. Formerly known as the National Association of Hosiery Manufacturers, under Mr. Smith’s leadership, this organization was transformed into an international group that is recognized worldwide in their product sector. Mr. Smith worked for the organization for thirty years, two-thirds of those as President and Chief Executive Officer. In this position, he worked with some of the world’s leading consumer marketing companies and brands like Sara Lee, Hanes, L’Eggs, No-nonsense and Gold Toe, as well as major industrial companies like DuPont, Bayer, Unifi and others.
In his work, he served as an advisor to the U.S. government on international trade matters and was deeply involved in monitoring and shaping foreign trade agreements in textiles and apparel. He is considered an expert in international trade issues and globalization, having visited more than 35 countries in his career.
He currently serves as a member of the International Editorial Board for the North Carolina State University, Journal of Textiles and Apparel Technology and Management.
Prior to joining The Hosiery Association, Mr. Smith served four years active duty as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps, attaining the rank of Captain. He is a decorated Vietnam veteran, receiving the Purple Heart, Bronze Star and Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.
He graduated from Wofford College, in Spartanburg, South Carolina with degrees in economics and business.


Kevin Toomey

Kevin Toomey

As a 29-year veteran with Kayser-Roth Corporation, Kevin Toomey was named president and CEO in November 1997. During his years with the company, he has served in a broad range of managerial capcities including Finance, Strategic planning and Aquisitions, and Marketing in the Sock Group, Food/Drug/Mass Group in Department Store Specialty Group.

He has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Syracuse University.

Berrye Worsham

J. Berrye Worsham

In his post as president and chief executive officer of Cotton Incorporated, J. Berrye Worsham oversees the company’s global research and marketing programs.

Mr. Worsham, who joined Cotton Incorporated in 1983, previously served as executive vice president and chief operating officer.  He has also served as vice president, corporate planning and program development, where he developed the company’s five-year strategic plan; director, market research; director, fiber and economic analysis; and manager, cotton analysis.

Before joining Cotton Incorporated, Mr. Worsham was senior business analyst of JI Case Company, Racine, WI.

Mr. Worsham, in addition to serving on the CARS Advisory Board, is also a member of the board of directors of Textile/Clothing Technology Corporation in Cary as well as the Cary Chamber of Commerce.

A 1978 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Mr. Worsham received his MBA, with concentration in quantitative analysis and economics, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1979.

Mr. Worsham resides in Cary, N.C. with his wife, Donna and their three daughters.

Robert Woodard

Robert Woodard

Robert Woodard is Sales and Marketing Manager at National Spinning Co.

Cindy Wells

Cindy Wells is Vice President, Finance, Process & Improvement at Branded Apparel, Hanesbrands.



Page updated: 04-Oct-2011

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Consumer, Apparel, and Retail Studies
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