James D'AdamoFashion Group International's 20th Annual Rising Star Awa

GOING UP: Two months after the death of the Fashion Group International’s longtime leader Margaret Hayes, the organization has tapped James D’Adamo as chairman of the board.

D’Adamo, who lives in New York and was raised in Canada, continues to serve as group advertising director at Hearst. He has worked for the media company for 14 years. He is not a newcomer to FGI, having first met the late Hayes at the group’s environment summit in 1990. D’Adamo has served on FGI’s board since 2009 and he has been a member of the organization since 2001. Before her death in late February, Hayes, FGI’s former president and chief executive officer, championed D’Adamo for the chairman of the board role, according to a spokeswoman for FGI.

D’Adamo takes over responsibilities handled by Donald Loftus. FGI’s veteran director, who had a distinguished career in retail and the cosmetics industry and retired from that sector to pursue his first passion as a playwright, librettist and lyricist. He will retain the title of chairman emeritus for FGI.

D’Adamo’s fashion and publishing ties will no doubt work to his advantage with his new gig at FGI. “Margaret took FGI to great heights and gave her heart and soul to the organization. We are at a crossroads and now, we look forward to taking FGI into the future,” he said. “At FGI, everyone is welcome, even people who don’t play for the home team. We are in an industry where elitism rules. That has to stop. FGI has never been elite. You can be a patternmaker, a textile designer, an account executive, a public relations person and, yes, even a designer or ceo, and be an FGI member. Eleanor Roosevelt was one of the women who started FGI. She was the antithesis of elite and the definition of grace doing good. Margaret carried on that tradition.”

D’Adamo and FGI’s board will work in tandem with Maryanne Grisz, FGI’s managing director for events and operations, who is running the group’s day-to-day operations. A longtime FGI member, Grisz is an attorney, film producer and producer of global experiential events, She worked closely with Hayes since 2012. She previously served as an FGI district director overseeing the East Coast regions as well as a regional director in Philadelphia. The board is conducting a search for Hayes’ successor and Grisz is among the candidates being considered.

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