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IFAI names new president and CEO

April 24th, 2018 / By: / Uncategorized

The Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI) has named Steve Schiffman, the association’s vice president of media and sales, the new president and CEO of IFAI. He will replace Mary Hennessy, who is retiring June 1, 2018, after holding the position for the last six years.

Schiffman had a long and successful career in publishing before joining the staff of IFAI in January 2013. During his time at IFAI, Schiffman has led advertising and exhibit sales, membership recruitment and retention, web development, and the editorial and circulation departments. With his leadership, IFAI has maintained strong magazines, offered new digital media opportunities, nurtured a growing membership and launched new websites.

“Steve has done a great job for IFAI since joining our team 5 years ago,” said Hennessy. “He is earnest and determined, and I have complete confidence in his abilities. I know he will be a strong and thoughtful leader.”

Incoming IFAI President and CEO Steve Schiffman

Hennessy, having served IFAI in numerous roles for more than 30 years, announced her retirement in September 2017, providing ample time for a successful replacement search. The IFAI Board of Directors appointed a Search Committee headed by Steve Ellington, president of Trivantage and chair of the IFAI board, who worked with a search firm to seek candidates, ultimately narrowing the list to a few finalists. After interviewing the finalists, the committee made their recommendation to the full IFAI Board of Directors for approval. The board voted unanimously to approve Schiffman’s new role.


“I am pleased that we had a thorough process in place and excellent candidates for this important position,” said Ellington. “It was a tough decision, but I am confident that Steve was the best choice. As president, Mary Hennessy put our organization in a strong position with high member satisfaction, no debt and a healthy reserve fund, for which we are truly thankful. And, I know that Steve is prepared to take over and keep us moving forward.”