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Shuffle Board: Ascena CEO Steps Down, True Religion Taps New Artistic Director



The National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) appointed Kristi Ellis as the organization’s new vice president of communications, and Donald Vavala as the director of regulatory and technical affairs.

In her new post, Ellis will assume responsibility for developing, overseeing and implementing a communications strategy for NCTO and the domestic textile industry as a whole. Ellis brings 24 years of manufacturing and international trade reporting experience with leading publications such as WWD and S&P Global Market Intelligence. The majority of her career, which includes nearly 10 years as Washington bureau chief for WWD, Ellis spent reporting on textile trade policy matters.

Vavala will support all association activities related to federal government procurement and industry regulatory matters in his new role. In this capacity, Vavala will staff various NCTO committees covering a broad spectrum of contracting, technical and environmental issues. Vavala comes to NCTO following a 31-year career at W.L. Gore, an NCTO member organization, where he most recently held the position of director of military government affairs. He succeeds Hardy Poole.

The hiring of Ellis and Vavala coincide with the arrival of Kimberly Glas as NCTO’s president and CEO, succeeding Augustine Tantillo, who has retired. NCTO is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association that represents domestic textile manufacturers, including artificial and synthetic filament and fiber producers.

NSF International

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Global public health organization NSF International appointed Christine York as program manager for NSF’s textiles sustainability program.

In the new role, York will lead the continued growth of NSF’s textile and apparel services, expanding into new markets and bringing innovative solutions and exemplary customer service to the industry. Prior to joining NSF International, York worked at Wolverine Worldwide and Nike, educating and advising brands on sustainability practices, corporate social compliance requirements and related regulatory compliance issues throughout their supply chains.

Now in its 75th year, NSF facilitates standards development, and tests, audits and certifies products for the food, water, health sciences, sustainability and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment.


True Religion

Allen Onyia, co-founder of UpscaleHype, joined premium denim company True Religion as artistic director. Named “Menswear’s Most Important Instagram Account” by GQ in 2018, Onyia is a recognized tastemaker in streetwear fashion circles.

In his new role, Onyia will innovate modern and elevated streetwear for True Religion. He plans to apply the same ethos to design as he does to his platforms–“look good, feel good and be a part of something.”

Ted Baker

U.K. fashion brand Ted Baker appointed Helena Feltham as an independent non-executive director.

Feltham was formerly people director at B&Q and prior to that held the role of human resources director at Jack Wills Ltd., Marks & Spencer, Topshop and Woolworths South Africa. She is also a director and trustee of The Retail Trust.

Ted Baker distributes through retail, including e-commerce, wholesale and licensing channels. The retailer has 560 stores and concessions worldwide selling a full range of apparel and accessories.


Ascena Retail Group

Ascena Retail Group Inc. announced changes in its senior management structure.

David Jaffe retired from his role as chairman and CEO. He will remain on the board of directors.

Gary Muto, currently president and CEO of Ascena Brands, was named the company’s CEO and will join the Ascena board. Muto joined Ascena in 2008 as president of Loft. In 2013, he assumed responsibility for leading the Ann Taylor, Loft and Lou & Grey brands. In August 2017, he was promoted to president and CEO of Ascena Brands.

In addition, Carrie Teffner was named interim executive chair of the board. Teffner has been a member of the Ascena board since 2018.

The company also announced the departure of Brian Lynch, president and chief operating officer. Chuck Rubin was appointed as the chair of the audit committee and Linda Yaccarino was appointed as chair of the compensation and stock incentive committee.

Supply Chain


Impactiva, a quality assurance and supply chain solutions provider for the apparel, footwear and accessories sectors, appointed industry veteran Ed Gribbin as chief engagement officer.

In this newly created role, Gribbin will lead Impactiva’s global business development team and work with brands, retailers and manufacturers globally in the areas of quality optimization, continuous improvement and supply chain innovation.

Founded in 2003, Impactiva utilizes lean manufacturing principles to optimize factories’ processes, provide on-site quality assurance, quality-control, and deliver significant improvements in efficiency, quality, flexibility and cost.

Gribbin is the founder and CEO of Gribbin Strategic LLC, a boutique consultancy focused on the apparel/fashion sector and offering services in the areas of growth strategy, business development, branding and marketing, product development and supply chain innovation, executive coaching and change management. Up until 2018, he served as president of Alvanon Inc., an innovation, technology and consulting firm serving major brands and retailers.