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William “Bubba” Walton

Director of Engineering and Maintenance

William graduated from the University of South Carolina with a BS in Electrical Engineering in 1982. He started his career at Santee Cooper Power as a power systems engineer. After a few years, he left for a position with Dupont at Savannah River Site as a construction engineer and advanced his position to a division engineer overseeing EPC type contracts. After Dupont left Savannah River, he moved to the Dupont Waynesboro Plant in Virginia, where he oversaw several major expansion projects from design to commissioning. His career in Virginia included both engineering and maintenance leadership. After Dupont left the Virginia Site, he was recruited to Fort Worth, Texas to manage an engineering organization with Lhoist North America. He led several major expansions. In 2017, William retired from engineering to pursue his professional shooting career.

In 2022, William rejoined the Engineering Function in Fiber Industries.

William has a diverse background. The main focus has been capital projects, along with operation excellence and reliability maintenance. He has extensive experience in the FEL process, safety management (OSHA 19.10 & 19.13), EPC contracts and material management.

In addition to this experience, he has demonstrated team-building skills and people management.

William has recently relocated to Florence. He is happily married with 2 children of his own and has helped raise his wife’s son. William is currently a member of the United States Shooting team and shoots all over the US and other countries.

Robert Smith

Plant Manager

Robert Smith is an experienced Operations Manager with over 25 years of proven success in manufacturing and production, quality assurance, and leadership. He is highly skilled in streamlining operations and improving throughput with continuous improvement and cross-functional collaboration and is focused on safety. Robert has a track record of building high-performing teams and inspiring staff to achieve goals.

Robert’s experience includes a role as Plant Manager at Fiber Industries in Darlington, SC, where he was responsible for recruiting qualified supervisors and operators for the plant. In this role, he helped develop employee training, directed preventative maintenance activities for machines, championed safety initiatives, and drove production to meet quality standards.

Prior to this, Robert served as Operations Manager at DAK Americas in Moncks Corner, SC, where he managed six supervisors across three departments with 125 employees. He delivered business strategy and developed systems and procedures to improve operational quality and team efficiency, directed product flow, scheduled preventative maintenance on machines, trained supervisors on documentation and coaching employees, and monitored daily operational goals and reports monthly on business KPIs.

Robert also served as Plant Manager at Innovative Fibers in Spartanburg, SC, where he managed supervisors and employees across three departments. In this role, he delivered business strategy and developed systems and procedures to improve operational quality and team efficiency, directed product flow, scheduled preventative maintenance on machines, implemented ISO 9000, trained supervisors on documentation and coaching employees, and monitored daily operational goals and reports monthly on business KPIs. He reduced costs by eliminating materials waste and unnecessary labor hours and managed personnel by implementing company policies, procedures, work rules, and disciplinary action.

Earlier in his career, Robert served as Assistant Plant Manager at Wellman Plastics Recycling LLC in Johnsonville, SC, where he managed direction and planning for the plant with a focus on optimization of daily functions, exceeding customer expectations, and achieving KPIs. He also worked at Wellman Inc. in Darlington, SC, where he monitored workshop workflow for over 50 employees, mentored newly hired employees on safety and operating equipment, and developed training manuals for reference purposes.

Robert holds a high school diploma from Lamar High School in Lamar, SC, and has taken business courses at Upstate College. He has also completed 70 hours of CAVU Leadership Training.

Robert has a range of skills that includes problem anticipation and resolution, performance assessment, materials planning and logistics, team leadership, business leadership, lean manufacturing, waste management and reduction, customer service management, cost reduction, and safety leadership.

Robert is married to Laura Smith, and they have 3 kids. He is a big advocate in the community. Served on the town council in Lamar. Baseball coach for the 11-12 boys’ baseball team. Member of the Lamar Civitan’s where he serves the community.

Pamela Welch

EHS Manager

Pamela Welch is an experienced Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) professional with over 20 years of experience in the manufacturing industry. She holds a degree in Environmental Engineering from Purdue University and began her career at General Motors Corp, where she held several positions in safety & health, and quality.

Throughout her career, Pamela has worked in various locations, including Japan and Guyana, South America, gaining valuable experience in manufacturing processes, quality, safety, and sustainability. Her skills and expertise in these areas were further honed during her time in state government.

In August 2019, Pamela joined Fiber Industries as the Environmental Manager, where she was responsible for ensuring compliance with environmental regulations in air, water, and wastewater. Her role involved developing, implementing, and monitoring environmental strategies that promote sustainable development. In October 2022, she was promoted to Environmental Health & Safety Manager, adding safety to her areas of responsibility.

Pamela is actively involved in the South Carolina Manufacturers Association Environmental Committee, where she serves as committee chairperson. She is also a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and enjoys reading, traveling, and sewing in her free time. Pamela is the mother of three adult children and has four grandchildren.

Linda Freeman

Director of Human Performance Systems

Linda Freeman started her manufacturing career when she graduated from North Carolina State University with a BS in Paper Engineering. Linda is a highly experienced professional with over 20 years of experience in the paper industry, focusing on chemical processes, people management, quality control, safety, and process improvement.
In addition to her experience in the manufacturing of paper, Linda also worked as District Manager for a specialty chemical company. In this role, Linda was responsible for developing and implementing sales strategies, managing a team of sales and service professionals, providing technical expertise and cost solutions, as well as maintaining strong relationships with clients.
Linda joined Fiber Industries, LLC in August 2022 as the Quality Manager. With a strong manufacturing background, Linda quickly became a contributor to the daily operations of the plant. Her strong leadership skills, as well as her deep understanding of the importance of employee engagement and development in driving business success, lead her into her current role of Director of Human Performance Systems.
Linda has lived in Florence for 25 years with her Husband of 29 years. She is the proud mom of two daughters. Linda is a member of the Board of Directors for the Pulp and Paper Foundation at NC State and is a member of the scholarship committee. In her free time, Linda enjoys traveling, reading, cooking, and DIY home projects.

Don Walter

Director of Research and Development

Don spent 18 years at the Fiber Industries facility from 1984 through 2002 starting immediately upon graduation from University of Maryland in Chemical Engineering. During that time he worked in various roles including product development, process improvement, production and maintenance management and quality leadership. His primary focus throughout his tenure was working on Quality, and in the last 7 years he coordinated the efforts to achieve ISO 9001 certification, earned his 6-Sigma Black Belt designation and managed the Quality Assurance efforts in the staple and POY chip product streams.

During his hiatus from manufacturing, Don followed his long-term passion for teaching and opened the first Mathnasium in South Carolina where he and his team have helped thousands of young learners gain an appreciation for math applications and careers. It continues to reach students today.

In 2017, Don was asked to come back to Fiber Industries to help re-establish the Quality Program. He gladly accepted and enjoyed the challenge of re-starting the facility. Over the past five years, his role has expanded to include Technical Product Development and Process Improvement and is currently focused on the future of sustainability in the role of R&D Director.

Don is an active member of St. Paul United Methodist church as a Lay Speaker. He and Fran have been married for 37 years, have two married children, and most recently added five grandchildren in the past 6 years. Don enjoys spending time with his family and still takes time to “play math” with students at Mathnasium. He is a member of Rotary and has served on several non-profit boards including Harvest Hope.

Kayla Beckett

Supply Chain Director

Kayla’s professional career started after graduating from Francis Marion University in Florence, SC with a degree in Supply Chain Management. She started at Otis Elevator as a buyer and worked her way up to an international buyer during her 3 years at Otis. At Otis, she worked on many cost saving initiatives and became a subject matter expert in the planning of international purchasing of motors and elevator safeties.

In 2018, Kayla took a position as Customer Service Manager at Fiber Industries. After 6 months, Kayla was promoted to the Purchasing Manager. Kayla worked to improve start-up procedures as well as developed non-existent procedures. Kayla then moved into the Supply Chain Manager role taking responsibility for production planning, contract management, purchasing, and receiving.

In mid-2020, Kayla added a responsibility to her Supply Chain Manager role as the Warehouse Area Owner which elevated her to Supply Chain Director. Kayla grew up in Pilot Mountain, NC and moved to Florence in 2008. She enjoys working outside, spending time with her family, and going camping.

George Bandy Jr.

Chief Sustainability Officer

George Bandy, Jr., is a global leader in environmental sustainability, circular economy, and social responsibility. He has been responsible for executing the comprehensive concepts and practices of sustainability for multinational corporations and NGO’s. He proactively identifies opportunities to position environmental, economic, and socially responsible solutions for both the organizations and their customers so that, together, they can demonstrate the type of sustainability leadership that will result in a brighter future for all.

George is currently supporting Fiber Industries, a leading US fiber manufacturer known for cutting-edge and innovative market leading solutions for the fabric, garment, and fashion industry. George is leading Fiber Industries as its Chief Sustainability Officer. Bandy has more than 25 years of experience in the sustainability field. His expertise will help Fiber Industries reach its short-term and long-term sustainability goals.

Bandy most recently led the journey to a more Circular Economy at Amazon where he developed a strategy that assures the finite materials managed by Amazon remain in a technical or biological loop leasing the company to potentially become the Earth’s most circular centric company.

Bandy is highly sought after as a presenter on key topics such as the business of sustainability, biophilic design, social sustainability, circular economy, greening the supply chain, health and wellness in the built environment and innovative smart and healthy design.

Bandy has received a number of honors for his work. He was recognized recently as a 2020 Living Future Hero. In 2018, he was a U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Leadership Award recipient and was also honored with the inaugural Green Step People Award.

Bandy is the former Chief Sustainability Officer for Mohawk Industries (2016-2020). Prior to that position, he was the Vice President of Sustainability for Interface (1999-2016). Bandy also served as the Sustainability Officer for the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston (1994-1999). Bandy is a member of the board of directors for Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), an organization that independently recognizes excellence in green business industry performance and practice around the world. He has also been appointed to the board of directors for the International Interior Design Association, Trane Technologies Advisory Council for Sustainability and most recently he represents Fiber at the South Carolina Business Council. He is the former Chairman of the Board of the USGBC and has also served on the board of Second Nature, a nonprofit that champions for higher education institutions to make the principles of sustainability fundamental to every aspect of learning.

A graduate of Morehouse College with a bachelor’s degree in English, Bandy also holds LEED Accredited Professional certification from USGBC. He is a native of Opelika, Alabama.

Ken Huelskamp

Chief Financial Officer

Ken joined the Fiber Industries team as the new CFO as of June 2023.

Ken comes with an incredible background in strategic planning, business development, legal and finance roles across multiple manufacturing Industries. Ken has worked at International Paper, Mohawk Industries and most recently at Corrugated Supplies Company. Ken has a Business and Accounting Degree as well as a Law Degree.

Ken lives in Lookout Mountain, Georgia with his wife Cameo and their five children. Ken grew up on a dairy farm in Ohio and learned very early the importance of a strong work ethic, a commitment to excellence and providing value. In his free time, Ken is an outdoors enthusiast with his family (hiking, running, hunting, gardening, biking, etc.), attends the performing arts with his wife, and enjoys watching documentaries and reading about science and innovation. Ken is passionate about service and is a strong supporter of causes that strengthen families, education, and our Armed Forces Veterans.

Don Bockoven

Chief Executive Officer

Don’s career started with DuPont after graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. His 23 years with Dupont were all associated with the textile industry including Kevlar, Tyvek, Nomex, and Lycra in a broad number of roles including Project Management, Product Management, R&D, and Manufacturing. He had the opportunity for several expatriate assignments early in his career in Europe and Asia. The last 15 years in DuPont were all associated with the Lycra business with his final role being the Global Operations Director of 15 plants around the world. This business was sold in 2004 as part of the Invista Sale to Koch Industries, where Don spent 18 months as the Director of Engineering for Invista. 

After Koch, he ventured into the Lime Industry in Fort Worth, Texas. He then moved to Houston for an opportunity in a new technology start-up in the offshore oil and gas industry, followed by a global role in the specialty paper industry in Massachusetts, and then returned to the textile industry as the President and CEO of Leigh Fibers before joining Fiber Industries – now Darling Fibers. 

Don gives back to the industry and community and he currently serves as the Vice Chair for the NIST MEP National Advisory Board, Chair of the Darlington County Economic Development Progress Board, Chair for the Pee Dee Heart Walk, Board Member on the Darlington County Partnership Board. He recently completed his term as the Chair of the South Carolina MEP Board.

He recently served as the Vice-Chair of The National Council of Textile Organizations, Board Member of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance and has served multiple years on the American Heart Association Heart Walk Board. 

Don grew up in New Jersey, married his high school sweetheart, and has two wonderful children: A son who lives in Germantown, MD, and a daughter living in Greer, SC. Don has three grandchildren. Don enjoys woodworking, golf, and being a grandfather.


  • Cross sections in Round Solid and Hollow
  • Finishes in Dry Scroopy and Siliconized
  • Deniers ranging from 6.0 – 15.0
  • Cut Lengths 51mm – 64mm
  • Tenacity from 3.4 grams/denier – 3.6 grams/denier
  • Modulus 1.0 – 1.3
  • Elongation 80 – 90
  • Hot Air Shrinkage 2% – 5%
  • Engineered for consistency and maximum performance


  • Engineered for carding efficiency and consistent fabric properties.
  • Finish systems optimized for fabric properties and needle breakage.
  • Deniers ranging from 2.25 to 3.0
  • Cut Lengths 51mm to 76mm
  • Tenacity from 4.5 grams/denier – 5.0 grams/denier
  • Modulus 1.2 – 1.4
  • Elongation 70 – 80
  • Hot Air Shrinkage 3.5% – 5.0%


  • Engineered for high speed carding and efficient hydro-entanglement on all types of spunlace equipment.
  • Finish optimized for low foam and fabric strength.
  • Deniers ranging from 0.9 to 1.5
  • Cut Length 22mm to 38mm
  • Tenacity from 5.0 grams/denier – 5.9 grams/denier
  • Modulus 2.6 – 3.0
  • Elongation 30 – 47
  • Hot Air Shrinkage 5% – 7%


  • Engineered for optimum yarn spinning and fabric weaving performance.
  • Finish optimized for yarn spinning in both blends and 100% PET.
  • Excellent finished fabric yield performance.
  • Deniers ranging from 0.9 to 1.5
  • Cut Lengths 32mm – 38mm
  • Tenacity from 6.7 grams/denier – 6.9 grams/denier
  • Modulus 5.0 – 5.2
  • Elongation 20 – 21
  • Hot Air Shrinkage 5% – 7%


  • With a long history in the textile market, PolyAir™ 472 has always been a proven Performer,
  • Engineered for extraordinary whiteness, with optimal balance for spinning efficiency and dye-ability with excellent pilling performance, durability and coloration.
  • Finish optimized for specific yarn spinning systems.
  • Optimal solution for Performance Knits and Wovens
  • Deniers ranging from 0.9 to 2.35
  • Cut Lengths 32mm – 38mm
  • Tenacity from 4.9 grams/denier – 6.0 grams/denier
  • Modulus 2.6 – 3.8
  • Elongation 30 – 46
  • Hot Air Shrinkage 5% – 7%