Last night Seattle's Chapter of Fashion Group International conducted it's official voting process to appoint several new members to the Board of Directors. The slate included Jaclyn Reiner of 24 Seven to take the position of Social Media Director, Julia Ryan of The Art Institute of Seattle for the Programming role, and Jan Klier of All Klier Photography for the position of Regional Director.
Over the past year while serving as Regional Director I've had the opportunity to work along side a very special group of industry professionals including Mayna Sgaramella of Closet Fly, Theresa Olson of the UW Retail Management Program, Danielle Bortone-Holt of Brick House Photography and Jan Klier of All Klier Photography. These individuals shared my vision for putting Seattle FGI back on the map by streamlining operations in an effort to get back to the business of fashion. They worked countless hours to help execute the initiatives set forth by the group and continue to remain dedicated to the mission of the organization.
In addition to the volunteer hours worked by the Board of Directors, the progress made in the past year would not have been possible without the leadership of a strong team of advisors to the board including Vivian Miller-Rahl, Pat Nugent and Rose Dennis. They each spent valuable time working with the board to help strategize ways to move the group forward. They were also the ones working behind the scenes to open doors, make introductions and bring back seasoned members of the Fashion industry who had been part of FGI in the past.
During the past year FGI brought back the monthly Members-Only Newsletter featuring Member Spotlights, exclusive discounts and fashion news. We also added a second edition of the newsletter that goes out to a general public featuring FGI events, member news and fashion industry stories that are relevant to the Seattle market. For the first time in many years we also brought back the Olive J. Smith scholarship fund to students participating in the UW Fashion Certificate program. Another big development for Seattle's FGI chapter was renewing our commitment to support the YWCA's Dress for Success Program by helping to sponsor the 9th Annual Closet Treasures sale.
Our biggest accomplishment in 2011 was bringing back business programming that was relevant to the Seattle fashion industry. In addition to the semi-annual trend events, programming highlights for the year included a special Retail & E-Commerce event featuring Bag, Borrow or Steal, Eddie Bauer, Indochino and Zeitgeist Research. We also hosted an intimate Members-Only event featuring the President of Supima Cotton, Jesse Curlee and secured a special FGI meet & greet with Diane Von Furstenberg at the Bellevue Nordstrom store.
Our best event of the year was the Made in the USA event which was held at The Bravern and focused on local and domestic manufacturing resources. Participating companies included ITC Accessories, Portland Garment Factory, Unique Textiles, Emerald Sport Sewing, and Luxe Riot. With over 50+ industry professionals in attendance that event was arguably one of our best, most targeted programs of the year and continues to attract the attention of fashion professionals seeking manufacturing resources.
It's been an honor serving as the Regional Director for Seattle's Chapter of Fashion Group International. I've enjoyed working with such a great fashion industry-focused non-profit organization and I look forward to seeing what the newly appointed Board of Directors has in store for 2012! Thanks for the memories!
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For more information on FGI please visit fgi.org. Follow Seattle FGI on Twitter @Seattlefgi. For questions on membership or other general inquiries please email Seattlefgi@gmail.com.