(September 10, 2012) — Two textile industry leaders have been inducted into the American Textile Hall of Fame, recognizing their significant contributions to and support of the textile industry. Honorees in the Class of 2012 are Peter G. Scotese, former president and chief executive officer of Springs Industries, Inc., one of the nation’s larger manufacturers of fabrics and home furnishing products, and Dr. Masahiro Shima, the founder, president and CEO of SHIMA SEIKI Manufacturing, the world’s leading manufacturer of computerized flatbed knitting machines.
The American Textile Hall of Fame was initiated in 2001 by the American Textile History Museum in Lowell to honor individuals, corporations and institutions that have made significant contributions to the textile industry in America, as well as those who have advanced the place, role, and appreciation of textiles in American life. This year’s recipients were honored September 10 at a luncheon at the Radisson Hotel & Suites in Chelmsford.
“Mr. Scotese and Dr. Shima have each had a profound impact on the textile industry in unique ways,” said ATHM President and CEO Jonathan Stevens. “They are worthy of great recognition for contributions they made to shape the history and future of textiles, and we are honored to pay tribute to their achievements.”
This was the first year the Textile Hall of Fame honored an international leader in Dr. Shima.
“The American Textile Hall of Fame continues to symbolize excellence in the textile industry domestically, yet we also recognize that innovation in the industry has no boundaries,” Stevens said. “We are living in a global community and, while honoring our individual cultures, we recognize that it is a much smaller world than it was a century or even a few decades ago. I am proud that this institution is moving into the future with a broad scope of awareness and inclusion of the dramatic technological developments.”
The 2011 American Textile Hall of Fame was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Gold Sponsors: Peter G. Scotese and Shima Seiki Mfg. Ltd., Silver Sponsors: W.L. Gore & Associates and Timothy P. Horne; Copper Sponsors: Brown Brothers Harriman, Lowell General Hospital, and Marlene and Frank Marchilena.
The American Textile Hall of Fame Committee members are Chairman George W. Shuster, Chairman and CEO, Cranston Print Works, Cranston, RI; J. Matthew Coggins, Senior VP/Marketing Director, Enterprise Bank & Trust Co., Lowell, MA; Karl H. Spilhaus, President, National Textile Association, Boston, MA;
Jonathan A. Stevens, President and CEO, American Textile History Museum, Lowell, MA; Ruth Ward,
Weavers Guild of Boston, Stoddard, NH
The inductees into the American Textile Hall of Fame, Class of 2012:
Recognized as a leader and visionary throughout his illustrious career in the textile industry, Peter Scotese served in Europe during World War II as an officer in the Parachute Infantry and was awarded two Purple Hearts and the Bronze Star medal. In 1947, he began as a territory salesman at the Nashua Division of Textron, which was spun off and became the Indian Head Mills, working his way up to corporate vice president.
In 1969, Scotese was appointed president of Springs Industries, Inc., one of the nation’s largest producers of textile home furnishings. The first non-family president since the company’s 1887 founding, he went on to serve as CEO until his retirement in 1981. Under his leadership, Springs experienced impressive long-term growth, even during 1970s recession.
His many leadership roles in the industry include chairman of the Milwaukee Boston Store Division of Federated Department Stores and member of the board of the Fashion Institute of Technology, where he continues as Chairman Emeritis. He was also honored with Life Membership and elected to the Wall of Fame of the American Management Association.
In accepting his induction plaque, Mr. Scotese attributed his successful 35 years in the textile industry – and particularly his leadership at Springs – to an unwavering dedication to put employees first. He in turn praised ATHM, saying, “I applaud ATHM for all you do in keeping the textile industry alive, well and progressive.”
A pioneer in knitting technology, Dr. Shima is the founder, president and CEO of Shima Seiki Manufacturing, Ltd., of Japan. He began inventing knitting machinery as an adolescent and by the age of 24, he had founded Shima Seiki to develop the world’s first fully automated glove knitting machine.
Today Shima Seiki is a global company that develops and manufactures computerized knitting machines and graphic design systems. In 1995, it introduced the world to its revolutionary WHOLEGARMENT® knitting machines that produce complete knitwear. Through ongoing innovation, Dr. Shima continues to transform knitted apparel production from start to finish.
Shima Seiki U.S.A. in New Jersey opened in 1987 and the Shima Seiki Design Center of New York was launched in 2006 as a full-service knit consultation and production business catering to the North American apparel industry.
Toshio Nakashima, Directorof Sima Seike’s overseas division, accepted the award on behalf of Dr. Shima, who was unable to travel to the U.S. from Japan due to health reasons. Mr. Nakashima said Dr. Shima was particularly honored to receive this distinction during Shima Seike’s 50th anniversary as a company.