Co-Founder Jason Finnis Named Chief Innovation Officer
VANCOUVER, and PORTLAND, OR, Sept. 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (the "Company") (OTCBB: NADVF) (TSXV: NAT) announced the appointment of Thomas C. Robinson, a 27 year veteran of the textiles industry, as its Chief Operating Officer. Robinson joins the company from International Textile Group (ITG), where he was most recently Vice President of Cotton Operations Planning and Technical Support in the company's apparel division. Robinson's appointment coincides with NAT's imminent plan to establish a permanent production facility in Kingstree, S.C. that will replace its testing facility established there in August 2010. Jason Finnis, co-founder and immediate past COO, will become Chief Innovation Officer, responsible for innovation of sustainable bast fibers, cellulose pulp, and their resulting by-products.
"Tom is an excellent organizational fit for NAT whose appointment comes at a strategic time for the company," said Ken Barker, CEO of NAT. "He will assume leadership of our manufacturing facility currently in development, and brings with him experience launching four international manufacturing platforms. Tom's presence will allow us to advance current and future development and purchasing agreements with global partners."
Robinson began his textiles career in 1984 with Burlington Industries, the leading full service apparel solutions organization for apparel manufacturers and retailers. From 1984 to 2004 he held a number of leadership roles for the company, culminating in Executive Vice President of Manufacturing and Operations Planning. His experience included greenfield startup manufacturing facilities, as well as oversight of multi-plant operations throughout the U.S., China, Mexico, India, Vietnam and Nicaragua. ITG later purchased Burlington Industries to become one of its six current companies, and positioned it alongside Cone Mills, one of the premier denim manufacturers and wholesalers in the world. In 2004, Robinson became Vice President of Operations Planning and Customer Support at Cone, where he was responsible for global denim operations planning, customer service, technical product development and quality control. He played a key operations role in the integration of Burlington Industries and Cone Mills as they each became part of ITG.Robinson brings to NAT deep textiles experience with a focus on understanding the performance and customer impact of natural fibers in the spinning, weaving and knitting process. He will be NAT's senior-most executive permanently located in the Eastern U.S., where it plans to install a fully integrated flax fiber decortication and CRAiLAR enzymatic processing facility with the capacity to produce 650,000 pounds of CRAiLAR Flax fiber per week. It expects to be ready to commence production in Q1 of 2012, ramping up to full-scale capacity by Q2. Robinson is a 3rd generation textile industry veteran with a BA in economics and business from North Carolina State University, and an Executive Program Certificate from University of North Carolina. Finnis, co-founder and now CIO, will increase his focus upon NAT's deep relationships with research partners, including Canada's National Research Council, United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service ( USDA - ARS), and partners like HanesBrands. This newly created role will focus on ways to improve NAT's processing techniques, throughput efficiencies, and yield. Last week, NAT announced the addition of Jay Nalbach as Chief Marketing Officer. Nalbach joined the company from adidas Group AG. About Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. develops renewable and environmentally sustainable biomass resources from flax, hemp and other bast fibers. The Company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, CRAiLAR(r) Fiber Technologies Inc., has developed proprietary technologies for production of bast fibers, cellulose pulp, and their resulting by-products in collaboration with Canada's National Research Council. CRAiLAR technology offers cost-effective and environmentally sustainable processing and production of natural, bast fibers resulting in increased performance characteristics for use in textile, industrial, energy, medical and composite material applications. The Company was founded in 1998 as a provider of environmentally friendly, socially responsible clothing. It has current purchasing or development agreements with HanesBrands, Georgia-Pacific, Levi Strauss & Company, Cintas Corporation and Ashland Inc. For more information, visit www.naturallyadvanced.com. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange Inc. nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. Forward-Looking Statement Disclaimer This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed "forward-looking statements". All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical facts, are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements or information are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements or information and including, without limitation, risks and uncertainties relating to: any market interruptions that may delay the trading of the Company's shares, technological and operational challenges, needs for additional capital, changes in consumer preferences, market acceptance and technological changes, dependence on manufacturing and material supplies providers, international operations, competition, regulatory restrictions and the loss of key employees. In addition, the Company's business and operations are subject to the risks set forth in the Company's most recent Form 10-K, Form 10-Q and other SEC filings which are available through EDGAR at www.sec.gov . These are among the primary risks we foresee at the present time. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements. SOURCE Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc.