Barnhardt, Largest Global Cotton Purifier, Names Thomas Robinson Director of Operations and Product Development of Natural Fibers Division

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Robinson Earned His Executive Stripes with CRAiLAR, ITG, and Burlington Industries

CHARLOTTE, NC — US-based global cotton company, Barnhardt, announced Friday it has named Thomas Robinson new director of operations and product development for their Natural Fibers Division. Robinson comes from CRAiLAR, a Canada-based flax and hemp fiber producer, where he served as COO and SVP of quality and technical support.

“Tom’s 30 years of experience in efficient manufacturing operations comes at an ideal time,” says Lewis Barnhardt, COO and president of Barnhardt. “We’re undertaking a major shift in how we source, manufacture, and market our cotton and cotton products. Tom brings great experience with production efficiencies, planning, forecasting, quality and overall performance improvements that will aid our efforts to grow and expand.”

Robinsons career includes executive positions with Burlington Industries where he served as executive VP of operations for denim and apparel, and International Textile Group (ITG) where he was VP of cotton operations and technical support.

Robinson says he’s thrilled to be joining the 115 year-old cotton company based in Charlotte, NC. “I’ve known Lewis for years professionally and have always admired the Barnhardt family of companies. They’ve been around since 1900 because they constantly adapt to take advantage of new opportunities, and get ahead of the market wave in all their businesses. Innovation is a Barnhardt hallmark.”

Robinson says he will be responsible for business units in Charlotte and Kinston, NC, Colrain, MA, and Reno, NV. “I’ve hit the ground at a dead sprint to get up to speed on Barnhardt’s Performance System implementation and the needs of our customers. BPS is focused on enhancing our overall operational excellence through active engagement of our associates, and
working together to benchmark best practices and incorporate these in daily operation. As for our future, I’m learning more each day about our company’s tangible commitment to innovation excellence and am excited about where we’re going.”

Barnhardt says Robinson’s arrival coincides with the company’s latest shift. “We’re 15 months into a new company-wide wave of operational excellence education. We’re working on everything from workplace safety to efficiency to sustainability. Tom will be one of our outright leaders in critical strategic thinking and acting.”

Robinson is a graduate of North Carolina State University.


For more information or to arrange an interview on this subject contact Dale McGlothlin (202) 341-8615 or Susan Wysoki (804) 221-7084