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Rick Helfenbein to be the new AAFA President


Rick Helfenbein will be the president and CEO of the American Apparel & Footwear Association. Right now he is the chairman. He’s an experienced apparel and footwear executive. For the past 16 years, Helfenbein has directed the US operations of the Hong Kong-based apparel and footwear giant Luen Thai and was one of the key executives that helped grow the company into the largest publicly listed apparel, accessory, and footwear manufacturer on the Hong Kong exchange.

He has had extensive experience in US apparel manufacturing, textile mills and Central American sourcing. Helfenbein holds a degree in economics from Wharton. He lectures frequently on the subjects of supply chain and international trade at industry events, and prestigious business schools including Wharton, Harvard, Cornell, and Columbia.

During his time on the AAFA board, he helped secure several legislative victories including the passage of the Generalized System of Preference update legislation, the first significant change to the GSP program in 40 years. He has also been active in promoting AAFA’s global presence, appearing several times on national television with commentary about international trade and other industry related issues. As AAFA president and CEO he will continue the fight to expand and protect opportunities for all its member companies.