Expert Contributors

Expert contributors to Head2Toe Protection provide content and editorial proposals to the magazine, and comprises experts from all major fields within the protective textiles, protective clothing & PPE. The breadth and depth of their collective expertise ensure Head2Toe Protection reacts to the varying needs of its readership.

More contributors to come

Zeb Atkinson
Global FR Applications Development Group Leader, INVISTA S.à.r.l

Zeb earned his Master of Science in Management Degree (equivalent to an MBA) in 2000 and a Bachelor of Science in Textile Engineering in 1998, both from the North Carolina State University. Since the beginning of his career, he is involved in product development of innovative fabrics for military and commercial applications. In 2008, as Chief Operating Officer of Ashburn Hill Corp., Zeb successfully started up the TECGEN® flame resistant fiber plant. Since then, he led the development and commercialization of a series of patented and certified fabrics. In 2010, he won the “Occupational Health & Safety New Product of the Year” award.  Ashburn Hill Corp. was acquired by INVISTA in 2013 and Zeb Atkinson is now responsible for new product development strategy for FR Apparel Business for INVISTA, including product design through commercialization of product, as well as strategic management of ISO 9001 Quality System and product quality from fiber production through garment manufacturing.

Batson Picture
Michael Batson
Director of Professional Workwear & Military Product Management, Polartec, LLC

Michael earned his MBA from Clemson University and a Master of Science Degree in Textile Technology from the Institute of Textile Technology.  His career focus has been in high performance fabrics and over the last 10 years he has led the charge to create new businesses that specialize in the manufacture of protective and flame resistant apparel fabrics, most recently with Polartec, LLC. Michael’s team is focused on developing performance differentiated textile solutions for global applications within the military, flash fire, electrical safety and industrial workwear markets. 

Bill Ells
Bill Ells
VP Components Sales, VIBRAM USA

Joining Vibram in 2001, Bill has more than thirty years of experience in footwear which includes working with the Biltrite and Cats Paw brands. Involved in the design, development and production of soling materials, Bill is also a member of several technical committees, helping to develop performance specifications for footwear.

Working alongside others within the Vibram global team, Bill enjoys the opportunities of collaborating with those across three continents to help provide Vibram premium performance, value, and quality products.

Valerio Izquierdo, B. Eng.
Textile Laboratory Director, CTT GROUP

Valerio Izquierdo joined CTT Group in March 2001.  He first held the position of Project Manager, carrying out research and development projects for the textile industry. Since March 2006, he is the Laboratory Director for the textile division at CTT Group and actively collaborates in the company’s research and development projects. He also takes part in standardization committees, including the High visibility safety vests, Canadian General Standards Board Committee for flammability requirements and ASTM E05 committee on fire standards. He holds a bachelor’s degree in textile engineering from the Institut Textile et Chimique (textile and chemical institute) in Lyon and also studied at Bordeaux University where he earned a graduate degree in science and technology.

Jacek Mlynarek, Ph.D.
Susan Pingree
Product Line Manager in the Head, Eye, Face and Hearing Protection group, MSA The Safety Company

Susan Pingree has worked for MSA since 2006. She is currently a Product Line Manager in the Head, Eye, Face and Hearing Protection group. She has worked in product management and marketing for 20+ years, and has a M.A in Marketing Communication, along with a B.S. in Biology.

Mark Saner
Technical Manager, Workrite Uniform Company

Mark Saner is the Technical Manager for Workrite Uniform Company. He has over 35 years of experience in the fire and safety industry. He is a member of ASTM International serving on committees F18 “Electrical Protective Equipment”, F 23 “Protective Clothing” and D13 “Textiles” and a member of NFPA where he is a member of NFPA 2112 “Standard on Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire”, NFPA 2113 “Standard on Selection, Care, Use and Maintenance of Flame-Resistant Garments for Protection of Industrial Personnel Against Flash Fire”. He also participates with NFPA 70E “Standard for Electrical Safety in the Workplace”, and NFPA 1975 “Standard on Station/Work Uniforms for Fire and Emergency Services”. 

Gary Zumstein
VP Sales & Development Protective, Glen Raven Technical Fabrics

Gary Zumstein is Glen Raven Technical Fabric LLC’s Vice President, Development/Sales Protective Market.  In this role Gary’s responsibilities include the development of new products and product line extensions for both the GlenGuard FR® line and the GlenGuard® Hi-Vis product lines.  Gary also shares sales responsibilities for the GlenGuard family of products outside of the United States.  Gary’s past experience in Manufacturing, Quality Control and Sales helps Glen Raven identify market needs and assists in speeding product development resulting in the commercial launch of innovative products to the market.  Gary is involved in a variety of safety and business organizations including NFPA, ASSE, ASTM, and IEEE. Gary earned a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Western Carolina University.  Prior to joining Glen Raven, Gary worked as Sales Manager at Highland Industries and in Quality Control at both Burlington Industries and Milliken.  Gary is married and resides in Asheville, NC.  When not making technical presentations or working with Glen Raven’s Development team on new products, Gary can be found working on various landscape projects or cheering for the Carolina Panthers during football season.

Olivier Vermeersch, Ph.D.
Industrial Chair on Innovative Technical Textiles, CTT GROUP

Graduated from ENSISA (Mulhouse, France) and the Haute-Alsace’s University  in France in Textile & Paratextile Processes & Material Engineering, Dr Vermeersch began his carreer in the technical textile industry since 1990. Successively Project Leader, R & D Director of SAGEOS, SAGEOS director and Vice President of Corporate Affairs, he is now Vice President R&D at CTT Group and holds the NSERC industrial Chair on Innovative Technical Textiles. He  leads  Research Groups on Smart Textiles and 3D textiles & Preforms. He is also dedicated to Expo Hightex events and co-editor in chief of The Textile Journal and Head2ToeProtection Magazine. He is the author of several patents commercially exploited by industry partners and numerous scientific and technical publications.

Mike Woods
Mike Woods
Vice President - Flame resistant (FR) fabrics, Mount Vernon FR

Mike Woods is the vice president of flame resistant (FR) fabrics for Mount Vernon FR.  After graduating from Georgia Highlands College with a degree in business, Mike spent the first 14 years of his career in merchandising and marketing in the retail grocery industry.  Mike has spent the past 19 years with Mount Vernon Mills, holding numerous positions within the organization including production management, quality assurance lab management, industrial laundry technical manager, and plant manager.  Mike’s 20 years as a volunteer firefighter fueled his passion for the FR protective fabrics business so he helped start the FR division at Mount Vernon Mills.