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US textiles leader and CEO, Inman Robert H Chapman III passes away

US textile industry has lost a formidable leader, as 66 years old Robert H Chapman III, Chairman, CEO and treasurer of fabric maker Inman Mills. Chapman passed away suddenly. The fourth generation of the family to run the 116-year-old company, joined Inman Mills as a management trainee in 1976. He moved up to plant manager, director, assistant vice president and vice president before becoming president and treasurer in 1991. In 2003, he was named chairman, CEO and treasurer.

He served in many leadership roles in the textile industry, including chairman of the National Council of Textile Organizations in 2016-17. During his career, he also served on the boards of more than 30 entities. Chapman was a strong voice and a longtime textile industry leader whose contributions to the industry and Spartanburg County were innumerable

Rob Chapman was a fearless and tireless advocate for manufacturing in South Carolina, working diligently to ensure that this state maintained a pro-manufacturing business environment. He was a recipient of the Roger Milliken Defender of Manufacturing Award.

A true Southern gentleman, he was passionate about manufacturing, fearless in his advocacy for manufacturing associates and dedicated to his industry and his community.

He is a graduate in economics and has completed programs from various textile and management institutes.

Inman Mills was founded in 1901. The company’s specialty is high-quality greige or unfinished fabrics and yarns sold for home furnishings, apparel and technical uses.