Director/Vice President, Operations

We are working with a well-established (one division is a 125-year producer of personal protection for global defense forces, emergency responders, industrial personnel operating in high temperature environments (products include helmet systems, hearing protection, communication equipment, respiratory protection systems). The division in focus for this role (for over 40 years) has been a pioneer and leading producer of high temperature fabrics for thermal management and fire protection. They also produce apparel to protect crews with their customers in over 70 countries covering a variety of industries including aerospace, automotive, industrial, etc. All products are made in the USA in multiple locations.

The company is looking for an experienced Director or Vice President of Operations to be located in their facility near Winston-Salem/Greensboro/High Point North Carolina (note, this position covers multiple sites across the USA for their textile manufacturing, weaving, performance fibers, lamination and coating, cut/sew, etc.). This role reports to the CEO, comes with the opportunity for minority equity/ownership, advancement potential to more senior roles, and includes a competitive base salary with solid benefits.

Job Summary: We are seeking a highly skilled and experienced Director or Vice President of Operations to oversee our manufacturing operations across multiple sites in the USA. The ideal candidate will have a proven track record in managing large teams, optimizing processes, ensuring product quality, and driving cost efficiencies. They should be adept at working closely with cross-functional teams, including Sales, Finance, the CEO, and the Board of Directors, to achieve company goals.  Experience in Plant Management, entrepreneurial mindset, mechanical aptitude, figure it out/fix it attitude, weaving/woven products background would be ideal.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Leadership and Team Management:
    • Lead and manage a diverse team of 30-50 hourly resources across multiple manufacturing sites
    • Foster a culture of collaboration, continuous improvement, and employee development
    • Set clear expectations, provide feedback, and ensure effective performance management. Run weekly operations meetings & monthly cross-functional staff meetings
  • Operations Management:
    • Oversee plant scheduling to optimize production efficiency and meet customer demands
    • Ensure regular maintenance of machinery and equipment to minimize downtime
    • Implement and maintain ISO 9001 standards to ensure quality control and process consistency
    • Drive 6S and lean manufacturing initiatives to improve overall operational efficiency
    • Manage internal and external cut and sew operations to meet production targets and quality standards
  • Sourcing and Product Development:
    • Responsible for strategic sourcing, establishing key vendor relationships, and managing the sourcing team to secure cost-effective raw materials and supplies
    • Closely monitors and manages inventory levels to optimize cash flow and lead-times
    • Work closely with the product development team to introduce new products and improve existing ones
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration:
    • Liaise with Sales to align production with customer orders and market demands
    • Collaborate with Finance to monitor and control operational budgets, in
    • Provide regular updates and reports to the CEO and the Board of Directors on operational performance and strategic initiatives
  • Cost Optimization:
    • Identify opportunities to engineer out costs and streamline production processes
    • Continuously monitor and manage operational expenses to maximize profitability
  • Safety and Compliance:
    • Ensure compliance with OSHA regulations and maintain a safe working environment
    • Develop and enforce disciplinary procedures as needed to maintain a safe and productive workforce
  • Process Optimization:
    • Continuously evaluate and optimize manufacturing processes for efficiency and quality
    • Implement best practices and innovative solutions to improve overall performance


  • Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, Operations Management, or a related field (Master’s degree preferred). Textiles preferred
  • Proven experience in a senior leadership role within the textile manufacturing industry. Strong knowledge of weaving, coating, and lamination
  • Strong knowledge of ISO 9001 standards and quality control processes
  • Demonstrated expertise in lean manufacturing and 6S principles
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to effectively collaborate with cross-functional teams
  • Expert understanding of plant operations, maintenance, and scheduling
  • Exceptional problem-solving and decision-making abilities
  • Ability to manage and motivate a large, diverse workforce
  • Familiarity with cut and sew operations, textile lamination, and coating is a plus
  • Knowledge of textile industry trends and product development is an advantage
  • Results-oriented with a focus on achieving operational excellence
  • High energy, people-person able to tackle problems quickly

All Candidates must be able to provide work related references.

To apply for this job email your details to

Rush & Company is a full service Executive Search Firm that specializes in the Soft Goods industry.

Included in this industry are the apparel, home furnishings and industrial markets. We work in the fiber, fabric and fashion industry with clients and candidates located all over the world.

All candidates must be able to provide work related references.

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