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John “Jack” Daniels Named 2017 Textile Leader of the Year

John Y. "Jack" Daniels at AATCC

John Y. “Jack” Daniels has been named recipient of the 2017 Textile Leader of the Year Award. Daniels, an alumnus and executive vice president at American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists (AATCC), will receive his award April 18.

The Textile Leader of the Year Award is bestowed annually to an individual who has shown outstanding leadership qualities that have moved the textile industry forward in innovative ways. Members of the College’s Kappa Tau Beta Textiles Leadership Fraternity and Phi Psi Professional Textile Fraternity choose the recipient who best represents their goals and ideals.

“Jack Daniels is a genuinely kind person who is passionate about his work. He cares about the textile industry and cares even more so for the students of the Wilson College of Textiles,” said senior Textile Engineering major Colden Beert. “When he came to my Senior Design class, he was excited about sharing his knowledge and was happy to help everyone in the class. This showed me what kind of person he was and I don’t think anyone is more deserving of this award.”

Daniels, who has had a long and accomplished career, will be honored at the 2017 Textile Leader of the the Year Banquet to be held Tuesday, April 18 in the Convocation Center at the Wilson College of Textiles on NC State’s Centennial Campus. A social marks the start of the event at 6:30 p.m. and the dinner will begin at 7:15 p.m. This event is open to all Wilson College of Textiles’ students, faculty, staff and friends. Tickets are $20 for students, $30 for non-students and can be purchased at Student and Career Services or online.

“Receiving the Textile Leader of the Year Award is extremely humbling and reminds me how important the Wilson College of Textiles has been to me, and thousands of others throughout our professional careers,” said Daniels. “I have been fortunate to have been able to use my textile chemistry degrees to the fullest while in research, product development, and manufacturing, and have made life-long friends with many professors and students alike. I have called upon so many of my Wilson College of Textiles family over the years for help and guidance, while in industry and in my current position with AATCC. I have been especially blessed and proud to have been a part of the Wilson College of Textiles and of NC State.”

Daniels has been executive vice president of the AATCC since 1996. He joined AATCC in 1971 while a student at NC State. One year later he graduated with a degree in Textile Chemistry. In his early years after college, Daniels worked for Deering Milliken Research Corporation in Spartanburg, SC, on the syntheses of internally colored water soluble polymers used for fugitive tinting of fibers and other materials. He also worked at Milliken’s Hillside Plant in LaGrange, GA, supervising flat-bed carpet printing. During this same period, he served in the U.S. Army Reserves and the Georgia National Guard.

In 1974, he became laboratory manager for AATCC in Research Triangle Park,  working with numerous test method development committees in developing new methods, improving existing test methods, and managing the development of technical symposia.

Beginning in 1979, Daniels went to work with Springs Industries. During the first ten years, he worked in R&D, progressing from research chemist, to group deader of Dyeing Research, to research manager, and then to director of research, where he and his teams generated numerous process patents involving textile printing and finishing. A key patented development that led to new products and sales was that of an innovative aqueous printing system, that allowed light colored pigment shades to be printed over deep-colored dyed ground shades, for both new apparel and home furnishing fabrics.

In 1981, Daniels received a master’s degree in Textile Chemistry from NC State. He would go on to earn his MBA in 1984 from Winthrop University.

Shortly after receiving his MBA, Daniels moved into marketing with Springs Industries, and worked as director of Product Development for the Springmaid Fashions Division in Fort Mill, S.C. He advanced to business unit manager for the Distributor/Fabricator business of Springs Window Fashions, in Middleton, Wis. While in Middleton, he had bottom-line responsibility for custom window treatment product management, which included product managers for pleated shades and wooden blinds, while he served as product manager for vertical blinds. During his management, this business unit also introduced the popular dual-cellular pleated shades.

In the early 1990s, Daniels became director of Automotive Fabrics for the Clark-Schwebel subsidiary of Springs Industries, in Anderson, S.C. He and his team developed new silicone coated nylon and fiberglass fabrics, led and developed the automotive quality systems requirements for this new business, and gained significant sales after just three years from the start of initial development.

Throughout his years in industry, Daniels continued to be an active member of AATCC, serving on research committees, and as vice chair and chair of the Technical Committee on Research, and chair of the Executive Committee on Research.

In March of 1996, Daniels returned to AATCC, as executive vice president in charge of the staff and operations. As executive vice president of AATCC, Daniels works closely with Association officers, members and staff on the management of the daily affairs of the not-for-profit Association. Daniels monitors what’s happening in the textile field, nationally and internationally, and keeps up with its growth in research and education. He is responsible for guiding the Association through two major textile recessions, when many U.S. textile manufacturing and apparel jobs were lost. He positioned the Association to weather these difficult times, and remain financially and professionally sound. Soon after starting as executive vice president, he led the creation of AATCC Foundation, the charitable arm of AATCC, for which he serves as president. In 2016, with the help and tremendous support from members and non-members alike, AATCC Foundation reached the million dollar mark in contributions, and now provides 13 scholarships focused on textile design, merchandising, sciences and engineering.

During his tenure as executive vice president, AATCC began exhibiting at major global textile trade shows; purchased American Dyestuff Reporter, which was merged with Textile Chemist & Colorist, and eventually became the current magazine, AATCC Review; launched international test method trainers in numerous countries; contracted international membership representatives; developed and launched Proficiency Testing Programs and UV Calibration reference fabrics; and most recently, launched the AATCC Journal of Research.

Daniels has served on the Service District Advisory Committee for Research Triangle Park, the Owners & Tenants Association of Research Triangle Park, and the Central Carolina Bank Durham Advisory Board, prior to their merging with SunTrust. He also served as an adjunct faculty member for the Textile Extension Department at the Wilson College of Textiles at NC State University, and currently is a member of ASTM Committee D13-Textiles, the Southern Textile Association, the Council of Engineering and Scientific Society Executives, and the American Society for Association Executives. He serves locally as the secretary of the alumni association for the NC State chapter of Sigma Pi fraternity.