The late Robert H. Chapman, III, who had a passion for textile manufacturing and who served as chairman, chief executive officer, and treasurer of Inman Mills in Spartanburg, South Carolina, received the 17th Oscar Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award. He was honored at the National Cotton Council’s recent annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.
The annual award, established in 1997, is named for Oscar Johnston, whose vision, genius and tireless efforts were foremost in the shaping and organization of the NCC. The award is presented to an individual, now deceased, who served the cotton industry, through the NCC, over a significant period of his or her active business career. The award also recognizes those who exerted a positive influence on the industry and who demonstrated character and integrity as well as perseverance and maturation during that service.
The award was presented by outgoing NCC Chairman Ron Craft to Ellis Fisher, a son-in-law of Chapman who serves as Inman Mills’ vice president and general counsel and who accepted the award on behalf of Chapman’s family.
Craft quoted National Council of Textile Organizations CEO Auggie Tantillo as saying, “Rob’s legacy is immense. In the last two decades, globalization, particularly the entry of China into the World Trade Organization, triggered the most disruptive change ever experienced by the U.S. textile industry. When other companies were going out of business, Inman Mills responded with a strategy of innovation, reinvestment and a willingness to adapt. Today, thanks to Rob’s dedication and foresight, Inman Mills is one of the shining lights in the renaissance of the U.S. textile industry. Rob also was a leader in crafting the U.S. textile industry’s Washington, D.C.–based policy response to globalization. It speaks volumes that Rob’s peers chose him to lead NCTO in 2016-2017 when the debate on the now failed Trans-Pacific Partnership, the biggest challenge to the U.S. textile industry since China’s 2001 entry into the WTO, was coming to a climax.”