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Military Market

Ron Houle is Founder and President of Pivot Step Consultants, LLC., a consulting practice specializing in market analysis, product development, doing business with the military service branches, and providing strategic reviews of the Defense Budget.


In this new column for BeaverLake6 Report, Mr. Houle provides on insight into the issues and news that affect the US military contractors within the technical textiles industry. To contact Mr. Houle, please email at

Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Military News for BeaverLake6 Report.  This addition to the publication is based on the facts surrounding the importance of the US and international military markets.  These markets can ebb and flow with annual defense budgets, and priorities can change dramatically in these budgets.  It is always a challenge to keep up with all this, even for those who may be familiar with the Byzantine processes.  For mid-size to smaller companies with limited assets to focus on these issues, it can be impossible to follow.  Finally, there are those who just have not been able to become more familiar with where to go for the right documents, or even interpret these documents once (or if) found.              

The purpose of this column will be severalfold.  I will provide alerts as to the release of key US defense budget documents.  Once published, I will provide highlights to what those documents contain and what it could mean to our industry.  I will highlight key conferences and shows that may be of interest to our readers.  I will provide summaries regarding panels, studies and papers whose content gives us clues on the road ahead for policies affecting standards, procurement, demand levels and subjects of that nature.              

Importantly, I seek your input for topics and your feedback on future articles.  The staff of BeaverLake6 Report is excited about the addition of this important topic. We are aware that many of you offer products and business to our warfighters. Nothing is more important than providing for the safety and performance of these men and women.  I look forward to our partnership.

Posted February 8, 2019

More About Ron Houle

Ron Houle is Founder and President of Pivot Step Consultants, LLC., a Washington area consulting firm for those in the technicial textiles industry doing business with the US military.


Prior to founding his consulting practice, Ron served for twelve years as Vice President of Washington Operations for HDT Global, which had acquired DHS Systems/DRASH in February, 2015.  Ron’s focus was on opportunities and Programs of Record in the defense, homeland security, first responder and community hospitals sectors.  He has led company partnerships with federal, state and local emergency response agencies, including strategies supporting military support to civilian agencies.


Since joining HDT Global in 2003, Ron was actively involved with the company’s growth in both the defense and non-defense applications of core products. He was involved in building relationships and programs with the Army National Guard, Philips Healthcare, Northrop Grumman, and General Dynamics, to name a few.  In his last three years, Ron was leading the company’s initiative to develop and deploy technologies that will result in a highly mobile tactical power grid.


Prior to joining HDT Global, Ron served as the Director for Legislative Affairs and later as the Chief of Staff at the National Headquarters of the American Red Cross.  Prior to the American Red Cross, Ron served on the staff of the Secretary of the Army as the Director of the Programs Division, Office of Legislative Liaison, the Pentagon.  Other experience includes an assignment as Assistant Professor, Department of Mathematics, United States Military Academy; Congressional Fellow in the office Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN); various command positions in the U.S. Army and service in Desert Storm.  In addition to two assignments in Washington, DC, he served nearly six years in Germany, and assignments in Kentucky, Georgia, and Kansas.


Ron is a retired Army Colonel with over 24 years of Active Duty service, and a graduate of the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.  He holds a Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics, and a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Engineering, both from Stanford University.  Additionally, he holds a Master of Science Degree in National Security Studies from the National Defense University and completed a curriculum in Foreign Policy Studies at the School of Advanced International Studies, the Johns Hopkins University.  He also studied National Security Policy in one-year executive seminar with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He is a past Chairman of the Corporate Advisory Panel of the National Guard Association, and Past Chairman of the Board for the US Industrial Fabrics Institute, and the founder and a past Chairman of the Berry Amendment Textile Coalition.


Contact information:


Telephone: 914.806.3775

Coming Events

  • February 19-22: 2019 International Erosion Control Association Conference and Expo, Denver, Colo., USA
  • February 23: STA Winter Seminar, Belmont, N.C., USA
  • February 26-28: Techtextil North America 2019, Raleigh, N.C., USAA
  • February 27: SPESA's 9th Advancements in Manufacturing Technologies Conference, Raleigh, N.C., USA
  • February 27-28: 2019 Wood MacKenzie Americas Polyester Conference, Houston, Texas, USA

Click here to view the complete technical textiles events calendar that includes show information links.

Media Partners

President Li Lingshen, President, China Nonwovens & Industrial Texiles Association

President Li Lingshen

BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to provide an exclusive interview with Li Lingshen, Ph.D., Vice President of the China National Textile and Apparel Council, and President of the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association, the overseeing organization for the technical textiles industry in China. Click here to read the interview.

Final Analysis of IFAI Expo 2018 and CAMX18

IFAI President S. Schiffman

IFAI Expo 2018 was the first show under IFAI's new CEO/President Steve Schiffman. In a quick conversation on the first day, Mr. Schiffman thought event attendance was on target with the expectation of a 500 increase over the 4500 total participants (counting both exhibitors and visitors) they had in 2017 in New Orleans. Similarly, a conversation with one of the managers of ACMA, a partner in CAMX, said their pre-registration had already topped the 6500 they had last year in Orlando. (Keep in mind, though, the 2017 CAMX show had to be rescheduled from September to December because of Hurricane Irma.) Click here to read more about the shows. Posted October 19, 2018

NCTO Neglects Automotive Textiles as Organizations Testify          on Proposed USMCA Impact

Positive Reviews but Still Uncertainty. On November 16, 2018, two of the US textile industry associations testified before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) in a special hearing to determine the economic impact of the proposed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA).  The leaders of the American Apparel & Footwear Association (AAFA) and the National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO) provided statements on how they feel the new agreement will affect their member companies. 


The two organizations clearly have different biases; however, in looking over the AAFA and NCTO statements, it appears to me that while the organizations both clearly said they were not offering an endorsement yet of the agreement, they gave general overall approval for USMCA, acknowledging the 1992 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) needed updating. Both organizations are taking a wait-and-see attitude to more fully look at how the agreement impacts the complex supply chain of textiles and apparel. [Click here to continue.]


Steve Warner


Posted November 21, 2018

NAFTA Replacement Agreement Negotiated. On October 1, President Donald Trump announced the US, Mexico and Canada had reached an agreement whichreplaces the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) that went into effect in 1994. The new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) contains provisions and language that has an impact on the technical textiles industry; the most important are 1) a special section covering textiles and apparel and 2) rules of origin that will require 75% of automotive content (under NAFTA 62.5%) be made in North America. Mexico and Canada are the two largest importers of US made technical textiles and the automotive industry is the largest intended end market of these technical textiles. Click here to go to the United States Trade Representative's website and read the "Textiles and Apparel Goods" chapter. Posted October 3, 2018

State of the Chinese Technical Textiles Markets in 2017

Are you looking for a quick understanding of the China technical textiles industry? Through our special relationship with China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) and their China Textile publication, BeaverLake6 Report is pleased to post the English-translation of the recently issued "Status Quo of China's Nonwovens and Industrial Textiles Industry, 2017." The report covers the different levels of the industry, geographic export demographics, and forecast the needs in the major end market applications. Click here to read the report in our China Textile website section. Posted June 18, 2018

Report Published on the US Technical Textiles Industry

I am pleased to announce the second part of my report 2018 State of the U.S.Technical Textiles Industry has been published by Textile World magazine. 


This first part features a general industry overview, plus an evaluation of the status and impact of US trade positions.


The second part, featured in the April/May issue will cover major end markets for technical textiles such as automotive and military.


Click here to go to the Textile World website to download a copy. 


Steve Warner, Publisher

“BeaverLake6 Report is one of the ‘go-to’ websites that I use. New contributors and  innovative products are regularly featured, which to me, is the lifeblood of the industry.”


Ron Gottlieb  


  Ricky Richards (Sales) Pty Ltd.

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Secretary Gary Locke, US Dept. of Commerce, and Steve Warner Commerce Secretary Gary Locke and Steve Warner

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