By Nina McCormack
During the recent SPESA Executive Conference and Business Meeting in Boston, the SPESA membership approved a new slate of officers to lead the organization into its next chapter. With this, Nina McCormack of DAP America, Inc., ends her term as Chairwoman and will finally get a well-deserved break after serving nine years as a SPESA officer — one of, if not the, longest terms in SPESA history. We are extremely grateful for Nina's leadership, support, and friendship over the past three years. And we are thrilled to have her continue to serve on the SPESA Board of Directors in the coveted role of Immediate Past Chair. Below is Nina's final message as Chairwoman of SPESA.
Back in October, I passed the baton for SPESA’s Board Chair seat to my longtime colleague and friend Ed Gribbin. It was bittersweet in many ways. It was hard to see my three years as Chairwoman come to an end, but also exciting to know Ed will spearhead some incredible new initiatives for the SPESA organization. I have truly enjoyed the past three years. First and foremost, I had the opportunity to shepherd in SPESA’s new leadership team – the McDonald Textile Group – in the fall of 2018. I worked closely alongside Michael, Marie, and Maggie as the organization entered its next chapter. We built on the remarkable foundation established by the Gardner Group, and simultaneously explored new opportunities to push SPESA forward. And just like that, Covid-19 hit. Within a year of my tenure as chairwoman, we were faced with a series of new challenges. Like so many organizations in our industry, SPESA felt a direct impact from the pandemic, and had to quickly pivot to keep operations afloat. It was hard, but in many ways, it brought the SPESA organization closer together. We formed a deeper appreciation for the work we do, and recognized the unwavering dedication of the SPESA Board. I will never forget how our organization came together in these difficult times. If there is one thing this organization excels at, it’s the commitment to the sewn products industry. I can remember when I first joined the SPESA Board. I came to the table with some of the industry’s leading voices, and instantly recognized that this group of people was dedicated to seeing the industry not only thrive but evolve. Over the years, as industry leaders retired and new faces joined the ranks, this commitment has never faltered. When I look at our SPESA family now, I am in awe of how we have continued to balance the knowledge and expertise of our old guard, with the freshness in perspective from our new members. For this, I will always be grateful. As I close this chapter, I’d like to recognize those who have been with me on this journey. First, I’m thankful for Benton and Dave Gardner who introduced me to the SPESA organization and always served as a valuable resource for me and the industry. Their impact will always be appreciated. I’m thankful for my comrades on the Board who always guided me, encouraged me, and never backed down from a fun time. I’m thankful for the McDonald Textile Group for remaining resilient in the face of a global pandemic and continuing to push the bar when it comes to making SPESA a stronger organization. And I’m thankful for the SPESA members who have continued to support the organization through its more than three decades. As we learned in Boston during SPESA’s Executive Conference back in October, there are exciting things on the horizon for the sewn products industry. I look forward to being a part of it all. And just like those who came before, I will always enjoy the excellent company within this organization.