Meet the members of ATA and hear about the benefits of membership in their own words. Members come from all over the world and from every market segment, and each brings a unique view on the industry.
From kites to fabric structures: Mar Ricketts, GuildWorks LLC
GuildWorks LLC soars to new heights
"Architecture defines a space ... Creating those spaces is part of what we do."
From the White House to the Super Bowl: Michelle McCulloch, Regal Tents & Structures
Ontario’s Regal Tents specializes in high-profile events
"Maybe this sounds a little kitschy, but you’ve got to come to work and have fun and enjoy the people you work with."
Weathering all seasons: Brydon Roe and Anne Murphy, Shade Sails Canada
A passion for the outdoors—in any climate—has helped Brydon Roe and Anne Murphy become leaders in the shade sail industry.
"With my experience and Anne’s talent and diligence, I call us the dynamic duo. The business really took off once she got involved."
Creative control: Mike Charlton, Charlton’s Marine Canvas
Mike Charlton embraced risk and the power of ‘no’ to define—and achieve—success on his own terms.
"What we love most about our business is the freedom it gives us. We control the business; it does not control us."
Mission Critical: Nichole Holroyd, Spiritus Systems
Nichole Holroyd takes a team approach at Spiritus Systems.
"Our modular systems mean one thing can do lots of things."
The DIY approach: Cesar Eloy Pérez , Technotense
Technotense founder Cesar Eloy Pérez takes ownership of all aspects of a job, from design to installation.
"There are no surprises or extra costs. We like to be totally clear with clients about the process and objectives."
From local store to international leader: Janice Grieshop, Celina Tent
Online sales helped make it possible for Janice Grieshop to grow her small-town business into an international success.
"As a company, we try to stay in touch with the changing needs of our customers. This has resulted in a large investment of time and money in our YouTube channel and websites. We want to provide educational materials to support new buyers."
A hands-on approach: Mike Kallas, Roeming Industries
Mike Kallas’ penchant for problem solving and process building helps Roeming Industries successfully navigate change.
"It’s important to be a part of something larger than my company for the common good of the industry. IFAI provides opportunities to continually develop knowledge, which is especially valuable for people newer to the industry like myself. I’m constantly learning and growing, and IFAI has been a big part of that growth."
A focus on what we do best: Greg Keeler, Oyster Creek Canvas Co.
How Greg Keeler turned a harborside whim into a high-end marine shop.
"Our claim to fame is our culture—it’s a really fun place to work. It helps with employee retention and happiness."
Pride and passion: Hidefumi Araki, Taiyo Kogyo Corporation
Hidefumi Araki’s leadership style emphasizes equality, teamwork and personal growth.
"When you are satisfied with the outcome of a project you forget about the blood, sweat and tears you poured into it."
Exceeding Expectations: Shari Albertson, Austin Canvas & Awning
No challenge is too big—or too small—for Shari Albertson to take on, from million-dollar projects in the middle of a pandemic to proving why she’s the best woman for the job.
"It is important to show grace during this challenging time. We are all just trying to do our best with what is available to us."
Growth Path: Amy Bircher, MMI Textiles Inc.
New IFAI board chair Amy Bircher focuses on improvement, innovation.
"Anybody’s lack of passion or excitement to innovate in our industry were opportunities for us. We exposed good opportunities and gained trust and built relationships with customers and the buyers."
Embracing the unexpected: Matt Carroll, Hoover Architectural Products
Hoover Architectural Products blends fabric, metal
"Opportunities come and go all the time. I’m always asking, ‘Are we positioned to take advantage of good opportunities when they come along?"
Strength in simplicity: Wayne Heflin and Glenn Russell, Cross Canvas Co.
Straightforward product designs and a clear company vision drive success and stability for Cross Canvas Co.
"U.S.-made products don’t work for every budget, but customers turn to us because they know they’ll receive the highest quality and our undivided attention."
The next step: Jeff Newkirk, Precision Custom Canvas
Pushed by the pandemic, Jeff Newkirk envisions a growth plan for Precision Custom Canvas.
"We’ve set ourselves apart as not being everybody’s canvas and upholstery shop, but of serving the middle and upper-end boat markets, with an average boat size of 35 feet or larger. "
Generations of innovation: Donato Fraioli, Air Structures American Technologies Inc. (ASATI)
For more than half a century, ASATI’s Fraioli family has advanced air-supported structure technology.
"There’s no school or textbook where you can learn this stuff. We believe that out of every challenge comes a solution."
Smart moves: Karl Deardorff, SLO Sail and Canvas
Karl Deardorff has combined a love of sailing with strategic decision-making to build SLO Sail and Canvas.
"The way to get control of the outcome is to get control of the process, and the way to do that is to become an expert in that process, which in our business is sewing."
Ready for anything: Scott Sutherland, Olympic Tent/Tacoma Tent & Awning
From tents to rocket covers, Scott Sutherland relishes taking on risks and reaping the rewards.
"I am very proud of creating a sustainable, enjoyable work environment for the next generation by adapting philosophies and processes that lead employees to frequently say, “This is the best place I have ever worked."
Tailored solutions: Monica Stockburger, Salty Cushions
Monica Stockburger combines marine fabrication performance with artistry for the vessels of Alaska’s Kachemak Bay.
"We’re not going to make something that will just get you through one season. We’re going to provide solutions that help you and others enjoy your boat more and motivate you to spend more time there."
Daring to Succeed: Matthew Dickerson, Tenshon
Matthew Dickerson took a chance on shade sails and succeeded—by welcoming failure and hard work while chasing goals.
"I’ve learned to accept that you are going to fail—sometimes marvelously—but you have to keep pushing forward."