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Glen Raven names Petot to head New Frontiers

New Frontiers will explore new businesses and new markets, mergers and acquisitions

      
      Glen Raven, maker of Sunbrella and a global provider of innovative fabric solutions, has created an innovations-driven department called New Frontiers, to be headed by Vice President Philippe Petot.
      “Innovation must be our single greatest competitive advantage and the single greatest competitive advantage for our customers,” said Allen E. Gant, Jr., Glen Raven president. “The primary mission of this new department is to drive us to seek out new solutions ahead of our customers’ current needs and to create a sense of urgency in successfully bringing new ideas to market.”
      Petot, who joined the company in 1998 as part of its merger with Dickson, S.A., most recently served as project manager for construction of a new facility for Glen Raven Asia in Suzhou, China. Petot’s prior experience includes serving as president of Dickson Elberton Mills, Europate SA and Boise Cascade in France. In his new position, Petot reports to Glen Raven vice president, secretary and general counsel Wally Wallace.
     “We named this department ‘New Frontiers’ because of the intentionally broad focus we are taking on the challenge of continuous innovation,” Petot said. “Our activities will include promotion of an innovation culture within the company, exploration of new businesses and new markets, mergers and acquisitions and efforts that cut across divisional lines throughout the company.”
      In his new role, Petot will also serve as a clearinghouse for information related to new technology, emerging markets, governmental regulation and global competition. While his primary role will be to support various Glen Raven divisions in their quests for product and market innovation, he will also manage projects outside of existing business models.  “Innovation is not just the mission of the New Frontiers Department; it extends enterprise-wide,” he said. “One of our most important goals is to foster a culture of innovation that inspires every employee.”
      Founded in 1880, Glen Raven has a history of innovation that includes such milestones as providing fabric for the first flag on the moon, the invention of panty hose and creation of Sunbrella® brand fabrics, the industry leading performance fabric. Glen Raven’s Dickson® brand of performance fabrics are the market leaders throughout Europe. 
      Glen Raven also has developed fabric for use in high-tech protective apparel in industrial settings and high-quality fabric media used by many of the world’s leading retailers. 
      Glen Raven currently sponsors a program known as GlenOvation, which rewards employees who submit ideas for new products or process improvements.
     “Glen Raven is an innovative company, and always has been,” Gant said. “But, with the level of global competition we face today and the rapid pace of change, we recognized the need for an area within the company that could serve as a dedicated resource and as an inspiration to make innovation a way of life for our company.”
      With manufacturing, marketing and product development centers in North America, Europe and Asia, Glen Raven sells products in more than 100 countries worldwide. For more information, visit www.glenraven.com.

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