New director of Philadelphia University’s Fashion Design Programme

20140115195204ENPRNPRN-PHILADELPHIA-UNIVERSITY-SHEILA-CONNELLY-11514-90-1389815524MRSheila Connelly, a senior fashion executive with broad experience in both the design and business aspects of the fashion industry has been named director of Philadelphia University’s fashion design programme on January 15, 2014

Connelly has a deep knowledge in design, merchandising and brand development, and her career encompasses global experience in managing design teams, creating products and building brands in creative, collaborative environments.

Her background include such top positions as CEO/chief merchant of Hartstrings Childrenswear; fashion director at Shop NBC; creative director of Pampolina European Childrenswear; and vice president of design and marketing at The Eagle’s Eye. She oversaw the multi-media brand launch for fashion celebrity Carson Kressley, who was named a member of Philadelphia University’s Board of Trustees. Since starting her career as a buyer at Macy’s, Connelly has developed many enduring industry contacts, both in the U.S. and internationally.

Mike Leonard, academic dean, School of Design and Engineering at Philadelphia University stated: With this broad background, Sheila Connelly will serve as a catalyst for new collaborations between our internationally recognised programmes in fashion design and fashion merchandising and management. She has the vision, drive, skills and knowledge to help promote Philadelphia University’s outstanding fashion design program to an ever widening global audience.”

Connelly made the following statements: I am thrilled to be part of the PhilaU team and support the University’s innovative approach to teaching and learning. During my 25 plus years in the fashion industry, I have had the privilege of hiring and mentoring young designers as they began their careers. I am passionate about design and bring an energetic, inspirational and forward thinking approach to complement PhilaU’s highly regarded programme.

She added: The fashion industry is changing at warp speed, and PhilaU fashion design students can be assured of getting an education that will put them ahead of the curve and give them a competitive edge in the work place.

Ranked as one of the top programmes in the world by, Philadelphia University’s fashion design programme prepares students to be successful and influence the global fashion industry. With a well established network of industry partners, the university’s fashion students gain coveted internships and post-graduate positions at such well known firms as Urban Outfitters, Tommy Hilfiger, QVC, Donna Karan, Nanette Lepore, BCBG Maxazria and Lands’ End, as well as international fashion magazines, such as Vogue.

On March 27, 2014, Philadelphia University will host a Style Summit for fashion students, coordinated by PhilaU Trustee Carson Kressley, who gained renown on Bravo’s breakthrough hit Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

On April 27, 2014 Philadelphia University Fashion Show will showcase the best of this year’s creative and innovative student fashion designs at a professional runway show at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Centre.

TextileFuture has reported on the university’s prestigious Spirit of Design Award presented annually at the Fashion Show to a prominent and influential designer, in 2013 the Award went to Nicole Miller.





Change in the Executive Management Team of Ahlstrom Corporation

Another prominent person, Laura Raitio, Executive Vice President, Building and Energy business area is resigning at her own request from Finnish Ahstrom Corporation the high performance fibre-based materials company

Laura Raitio joined Ahlstrom in 1990, and has been a member of the Executive Management Team since 2006. She will continue to work at Ahlstrom until her departure at the end of July 2014. Her successor will be nominated in due course.

Laura Raitio stated: It has been extremely inspiring and exciting to be part of Ahlstrom’s development during the past 23 years I’ve spent with the company. The company has transformed into a leading player in high-performance materials, now focusing on a product offering for a clean and healthy environment.

Jan Lang, President and CEO of Ahlstrom, expressed the warmest thanks to Lara Raitio for her significant contribution during her long time career. It has been a pleasure working with her, and I wish her all the best in her future challenges.

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