RITIN Executive Insights Webinar Series:
Workforce Solutions with Polaris MEP

July 14, 2021
1:00-1:30PM EDT

We are excited to announce that the sixth installation in the Executive Insights webinar series featuring business leaders sharing strategies will take place on July 14th, 2021 from 1:00-1:30PM EDT.

Join RITIN’s Chairman, Michael Woody, and Polaris MEP’s Center Director, Kathie Mahoney, as they discuss workforce training and programs that can help textile companies train new hires and current employees more effectively.



Most recently the Center Director for sister-agency MassMEP, Kathie Mahoney joined Polaris MEP in September of 2020. She is responsible for leading Polaris MEP’s team in its support of Rhode Island’s manufacturers, helping clients grow and become more competitive.

Kathie is a member of the MEP National Network Center Leadership team. Her deep understanding of and connections to national resources will be an asset to the state’s manufacturing sector.

Kathie has worked with manufacturers for more than two decades, improving operational efficiencies, solving workforce challenges and implementing innovative solutions that lead to growth. In addition to her detailed knowledge of manufacturing, she has an extensive background in grant management, financial oversight, marketing management, and leadership.

Kathie holds a Bachelors in Business Administration from Assumption College and a Master’s of Science in Professional Communication from Clark University. She is a Graduate of the NIST Emerging Leaders Program.



RITIN Executive Insights Webinar Series:
AFFOA’s Partnership with Textiles & Universities

June 23, 2021
12:00-12:30pm EDT

The fifth installation of Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network’s Executive Insights webinar series is set! We are thrilled to announce that the next iteration in the compelling webinar series featuring business leaders sharing strategies will take place on June 23rd, 2021 from 12:00-12:30PM EDT.

Michael Woody will talk with AFFOA’s Michelle Farrington, VP of Strategic Growth, and Natasha Spackey, VP of New Business Development & Partnerships, about AFFOA’s partnership with textile companies and universities to further their mission.


Advanced Functional Fabrics of America (AFFOA) is a non-profit Institute headquartered near the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a member of the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI) Institutes. AFFOA’s mission enables a manufacturing-based revolution – the transformation of traditional fibers, yarns, and textiles into highly sophisticated integrated and networked devices and systems.

At the heart of this revolution is a simple premise: highly functional textile-systems necessitate sophisticated fiber-device components. To pursue this mission, AFFOA addresses the spectrum of manufacturing challenges associated with volume manufacturing of revolutionary fibers and textiles from design to end products. AFFOA facilitates the transition of these revolutionary fiber and textiles from the laboratory through pilot production, delivering the functionality of semiconductor devices and systems at fiber length, uniformity, and cost. AFFOA leads the convergence of semiconductor technology into fiber and textile production to commercialize textile products that see, hear, sense, communicate, store, and convert energy, regulate temperature, monitor health, and change color while delivering the conventional qualities of textiles to benefit the commercial consumer and warfighter.

Michelle Farrington
VP of Strategic Growth

Michelle is the VP of Strategic Growth at AFFOA (Advanced Functional Fabrics of America). Prior to joining AFFOA in January of 2021, Michelle was employed by Analog Devices for 24 years, where she worked on commercializing new technologies in MEMS inertial sensors, energy harvesting and e-textiles. She has held roles in manufacturing, product and technology development and business strategy. Michelle also started the e-textile technology development program at ADI. Michelle holds a BSEE and an MBA from Northeastern University and an MSEE from the University of Virginia.

Natasha Spackey
VP of New Business Development & Partnerships

Natasha is currently the VP of New Business Development & Partnerships at AFFOA (Advanced Functional Fabrics of America) where she leads efforts to connect and identify new opportunities to develop and commercialize AFFOA technology through partnerships with the AFFOA network. Natasha also manages the institute’s Education and Workforce Development initiatives, marketing and communication efforts, and membership network which spans 125+ startup, academic, manufacturing, nonprofits, and commercial industry organizations across the US. Prior to AFFOA, Natasha spent four years at Target Corporation leading strategic pricing and promotion for Target’s $2B private label grocery portfolio and managing the $900M Oral Care business as a Sr. Buyer in charge of merchandising, assortment, pricing & promotion, and P&L. Natasha also spent three years as a Program Manager at Bluewater Defense, a defense contractor which manufactures apparel and equipment for the DoD. Natasha received an MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management and a Political Science degree from Yale University.

RITIN Executive Insights Webinar Series:
Business Opportunities in the India Textile Sector
w/ Dr. Kothari, Dr. Sakthivel, Sudarshan Sharma, Navin Pathak, Steven Perry, and Katherine Therieau

The fourth webinar in the Executive Insights series featuring business leaders sharing strategies for success was held on May 5th, 2021.

Moderated by the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network’s Michael Woody, this webinar featured short presentations from leaders in the textile industry in India and Rhode Island, with time for questions from the audience.

 EntryIndia Logo
Darlington Fabrics

Rhode Island Commerce





RITIN Executive Insights Webinar Series:
University & Industry Collaboration
w/ URI’s Dr. Martin Bide and Propel LLC’s Clare King

March 31, 2021

Our third Executive Insights webinar was a huge success! We held our third third webinar in the Executive Insights series featuring business leaders sharing strategies for success on March 31st, 2021!

Michael Woody, CEO of Trans-Tex LLC and Chairman of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN), spoke with guests Dr. Martin Bide, Professor, Department of Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design in the College of Business at the University of Rhode Island, and Clare King, President of Propel, LLC., on the importance of University & Industry collaboration in the textile industry.

View the Webinar Now







RITIN Executive Insights Webinar Series:
New Industrial Sewing Program From We Make RI

March 3, 2021 

On March 3rd, 2021, Chairman of RITIN & CEO of Trans-Tex LLC, Michael Woody, discussed an Industrial Sewing workforce program with Barbara Jackson, Executive Director of We Make RI, a manufacturing training organization in Cranston, RI. You can download the slide deck here.

The program includes a FREE, three-week training in growing fields such as industrial sewing, CNC machine maintenance & operation, and more designed to provide textile companies the skilled employees they need. Participants do not need any experience to enroll and can put their mastered skills to use with immediate job placement opportunities.

We Make RI started in conjunction with top Rhode Island Manufacturers to provide certified manufacturing workers while helping to preserve the rich history of building in Rhode Island. They offer FREE training to Rhode Island residents in growing fields such as: Advanced Packing & Shipping, Food Production, and Machinist NC & CNC programmers. Once training is complete, they work with their business partners to secure the best workers for the best jobs.

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RITIN Executive Insights Webinar Series:
R&D Tax Credits w/ Max Brickle, The Brickle Group

February 8, 2021

In the first of Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network’s webinars featuring business leaders sharing strategies for success, Michael Woody, CEO of Trans-Tex LLC and Chairman of the Rhode Island Textile Innovation Network (RITIN) talks with guest Max Brickle, CEO of The Brickle Group, about his strategy to save money by utilizing R&D expenses for Federal tax credits.

Max Brickle has experienced considerable success in utilizing Federal R&D tax credits at the Brickle Group. When The Brickle Group began operating, they were not aware of these tax credits and it was not until 2012 that they learned of these benefits. Over the past 8 years, they’ve saved close to $2 million in federal tax payments. In 2019 alone, The Brickle Group saved $238,000 in federal tax credits.

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