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NC Textile Foundation President Honored for Professional Work

Ellen Rohde

Ellen Rohde, interim president of the North Carolina Textile Foundation (NCTF),  has received Pi Beta Phi® Fraternity for Women’s prestigious Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg Crest Award in honor of her professional achievements. The award is presented annually to distinguished alumnae of Pi Beta Phi who exhibit excellence and outstanding leadership in their careers or volunteer services to their communities.

Rohde served 22 years with the VF Corporation, a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel whose companies include Wrangler, Lee, The North Face, Nautica, Timberland and Seven for all Mankind. During her time with VF Corporation, Rohde held numerous corporate staff positions in the areas of strategy, customer management, marketing and supply chain. She also served as president of three different operating divisions: Vanity Fair Intimates, Girbarud Jeans and Healthtex.

Her concluding role with VF Corporation was as a senior corporate executive working in brand strategy and partnerships. Rohde currently owns her own consulting company, The ELR Group, working with companies and private equity firms in the apparel industry worldwide.

Rohde serves as an adjunct professor for NC State’s College of Textiles as well as Industry Advisory Board member for Poole College of Management’s Global Luxury Management graduate program. The latter role includes guest lecturing, connecting faculty to industry leaders and interacting with students for career development, internships and career hiring.

In 2012, she was named Textile Leader of the Year by the College’s Phi Kappa Psi and Kappa Tau Beta professional textiles and academic societies. Last year, Rohde was named president of the NCTF; she is the first woman to hold this role. The mission of the NCTF is to promote the welfare, future development and reputation of the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State  as the premier institution for textile education and research. The non-profit organization makes the industry-leading work of the Wilson College of Textiles possible.

“Pi Phi helped me grow as a woman and develop a successful career,” Rohde said. “My corporate job involved moving many times to places I had never lived and knew no one. The constant throughout that 30-year period were my Pi Phi sisters who always helped me feel part of a new community.”

The award is named for past Pi Beta Phi President Carolyn Helman Lichtenberg, who was instrumental in forming Pi Beta Phi Foundation during her term from 1985 to 1991. Essential fraternity initiatives, like leadership development programs and literacy, are supported through the stewardship of the Foundation.

Founded in 1867 at Monmouth College in Illinois, Pi Beta Phi has installed 204 collegiate chapters and nearly 300 alumnae clubs worldwide. Pi Beta Phi promotes friendship, develops women of intellect and integrity, cultivates leadership potential, and enriches the lives of members and their communities. The Fraternity believes in the power of reading and through its philanthropy, Read > Lead > Achieve, promotes a lifelong love of reading that can unlock true potential.

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Story taken from an original submission from Pi Beta Phi.