Latest News in Revolutionary Fibers & Textiles


July 13, 2020


Carolyn Kirk, Dave Wheeler, and Dr. Joyce Brown are the newest members of AFFOA’s Board of Directors

CAMBRIDGE, MA, ISSUED JULY 13, 2020. Advanced Functional Fabrics of America, Inc. (AFFOA) is proud to announce the addition of Dr. Joyce Brown, David Wheeler, and Carolyn Kirk to its Board of Directors as of May’s Board of Director’s meeting. The new board members bring a wealth of knowledge in higher education, operations, supply chain management, and municipal and state government sectors. Their expertise and background complement AFFOA’s current board creating a highly accomplished committee.

Carolyn Kirk is the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (Mass Tech), a role she was formally appointed to in February 2019. She previously served as the Deputy Secretary in the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in the Administration of Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, a role she held since 2015. Prior to her appointment to the Administration, in 2007 Kirk became the first woman popularly elected as Mayor of the City of Gloucester, going on to win three subsequent terms.

David Wheeler is Executive Vice President of Value Chain and Chief Supply Chain Officer at New Balance Athletic Corporation based in Boston, Massachusetts. He is responsible for the company’s end-to-end global supply chain operations, including demand forecasting, supply planning, research & development, factory of the future innovation, strategic sourcing, domestic manufacturing, global transportation and distribution – delivering more than 90 million pair of athletic shoes and 10 million garments sourced from 14 countries globally. Prior to joining New Balance, Dave was Senior Vice President, Global Supply Chain and Fleet Management at Cintas Corporation (CTAS) based in Cincinnati, Ohio. Dave also brings to New Balance his previous experience at Union Pacific and the Department of Defense fighter jet electronics design, development and cyber-security.

Dr. Joyce Brown is President of the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), a specialized college of art and design, business and technology of the State University of New York (SUNY). Dr. Brown, a highly regarded educator and academic administrator, has had over 35 years’ experience in public higher education. She held a number of senior administrative posts at the City University of New York (CUNY) before arriving at FIT, including acting President of Bernard Baruch College and Vice Chancellor of the university. Prior to her appointment at FIT, she was Professor of clinical psychology at the Graduate School and University Center of CUNY, where she is currently Professor Emerita. Dr. Brown also served as a New York City Deputy Mayor for public and community affairs during the David Dinkins administration.

Sasha Stolyarov, CEO of AFFOA says, “I am thrilled about the addition of Dr. Joyce Brown, Dave Wheeler, and Carolyn Kirk to AFFOA’s Board of Directors. Their expertise across academia, industry, and government is perfectly matched to amplify AFFOA’s impact as a public-private partnership. I look forward to their contributions in guiding AFFOA forward as a National leader in advanced textiles.”

General Paul Kern, the Chairman of the Board, adds, “I am extremely pleased to have three distinguished new colleagues join our board. Each brings years of experience and insights to ensure AFFOA has a successful future.”


Natasha Spackey, Sr. Director Business Development


AFFOA is a non-profit, public-private partnership founded in 2016 as one of the DoD funded Manufacturing USA Innovation Institutes. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, AFFOA’s mission is to rekindle the textiles industry by leading a nationwide enterprise for advanced fiber & fabric technology and manufacturing innovation, enabling revolutionary new system capabilities for commercial and defense applications. To catalyze the development of advanced functional fibers and strengthen the domestic textile industrial base, AFFOA has assembled a Fabric Innovation Network (FIN) made up of 120+ member organizations including startups, universities, manufacturers, commercial industry and defense partners to bring advanced fiber technologies to market. For more information visit or tweet @AFFOA_RFT