WASHINGTON — The American Textile Manufacturers Institute has hired Parks D. Shackelford, a veteran congressional staffer who also held several administration posts, as its new president.

Shackelford will take his post in a few weeks. He will also act as a lobbyist and oversee the day-to-day operations of the scaled-back association. He succeeds Carlos Moore as president. Moore will remain at the ATMI on a half-time consulting basis until next May.

Most recently, Shackelford owned The Shackelford Co., an independent consulting firm. Prior to that, his jobs included: staff director for the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Cotton, Rice & Sugar; deputy administrator for state and county operations at the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and associate administrator for farm policy at the USDA.

Shackelford will take over an organization that has gone through two recent downsizings and is now seeking to regroup. Indeed, he joins the ATMI at a time when the entire textile industry is trying to recover from bankruptcies and massive layoffs.

Cotton also figures in to the livelihood of the domestic textile industry. The industry lobbied and helped maintain significant federal cotton subsidies in the recent farm bill.

Van May, the ATMI’s new chairman, who is also president and chief executive officer of Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, insisted Shackelford was not hired based on his cotton background alone.

"That was a good bonus though," May said. "The vast majority of ATMI members use cotton or cotton yarns.

"My game plan is to try to build coalitions outside of just the ATMI family to attempt to be more effective in our lobbying efforts."

He pointed to the ATMI’s involvement in the Coalition for a Sound Dollar as well as partnering with the American Yarn Spinner’s Association and the National Cotton Council to develop a consensus on trade issues."

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