World Footwear


AAFA names Rick Helfenbein President & CEO

Jan 13, 2016 United States
AAFA names Rick Helfenbein President & CEO
The American Apparel & Footwear Association Board of Directors announced that Rick Helfenbein, an experienced apparel and footwear executive and current AAFA Chairman, will take on the role of President and CEO starting on the 15th of February
"It is a great honor for me to have been selected to lead AAFA”, stated Mr. Helfenbein, adding: “Having worked in the industry my entire career, I understand the important issues that we face and will continue the fight to expand and protect opportunities for all our member companies.”

Mr. Helfenbein served as AAFA Chairman for the last two years and has served on the AAFA board since 2008. For the past 16 years, Helfenbein has directed the USA operations for 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. Prior to Luen Thai, he has had extensive experience in USA apparel manufacturing, USA Textile Mills, and Central American sourcing.

“When the opportunity came to select a new CEO for AAFA, we wanted a seamless transition and chose someone who could build on the momentum we’ve created”, commented Rob DeMartini, incoming Chairman of AAFA, adding:  “Rick’s leadership, passion, and dedication to AAFA is clear, and that made his appointment an easy and strong choice.”

“As a Board Member, former Chairman, and active member of AAFA, I know the caliber of the work at AAFA”, Mr. Helfenbein commented, adding: “I look forward to working closely with the AAFA team to enhance our leadership position on trade issues, protect our members’ intellectual property, and to be the number one trade organization for our industry, where members can discuss and act on our most important issues.”

Helfenbein will take on role of CEO, currently held by Juanita Duggan who announced her resignation in November. Duggan is leaving to take on a new role and remains CEO until 8th February.

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