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About SPESA

Bringing Together Leaders from Across the Sewn Products Industry

 

Our Story

The Sewn Products Equipment & Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA) is the industry association for suppliers to the sewn products industry, which includes apparel, upholstered furniture, home textiles, transportation interiors, leather goods, footwear, industrial textiles, and more.

These suppliers are manufacturers and distributors of machinery, systems, technology, supply chain solutions, equipment, and parts, along with other products and services used for the development, manufacture, or distribution of sewn products.

It’s our mission at SPESA to provide members with the highest quality networking, education, and advocacy for advancing their businesses within the global sewn products industry.

"Our main goal, in everything we do, is to help our members

get what they need to meet customers and expand their business."

- SPESA President Michael McDonald

Our Board of Directors

 

Our Team

 
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Michael McDonald

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President 

Michael McDonald is the President of SPESA. He is also currently completing his doctoral degree in Textile Technology Management at North Carolina State University (NC State) with a focus on workforce development in the manufacturing sector of the sewn products industry. 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.

Maggie McDonald

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Vice President, Communications

Maggie McDonald joined SPESA in January 2019, as Vice President of Communications. She oversees SPESA’s ongoing integrated communications strategy, including marketing, advertising, event promotions, social media and member and association awareness. A Raleigh, N.C. native, Maggie has spent more than a decade working across multiple communication divisions including public affairs, public relations and brand marketing. Most recently, she managed brands on behalf of VFC Jeanswear and Hood River Distillers, where she served as an account director at a midsize N.C.-based agency named French | West | Vaughan. Prior, Maggie worked on behalf of major global brands including The Clorox Company, Hershey’s and FedEx, during her five year tenure at Ketchum’s Washington, D.C. practice. Maggie received her Master’s in corporate communication from the College of Charleston and a Bachelor’s in applied psychology from North Carolina State University.

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Marie D'Avignon

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Vice President, Operations

Marie D’Avignon joined SPESA in October, 2018, as Vice President of Operations. She is involved in SPESA’s member services, event planning, and marketing initiatives, and supports the SPESA President with managing day-to-day operations of the association. Most recently, Marie served as Writer and Member Communications Manager for the Washington, D.C.-based American Association for Justice. She was also previously Manager of Government Relations for the American Apparel & Footwear Association, leading initiatives in trade, sustainability, and supply chain and regulatory compliance. Prior to moving to Washington, D.C., she worked at the North American Development Bank in her home state of Texas. Marie has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, and a Master’s in International Relations from Webster University’s global program.