Marc Lewkowitz has become president and chief executive officer of Supima, succeeding Jesse W. Curlee, who retired at the end of the year after 36 years with the organization.

Lewkowitz was executive vice president of Supima, a Phoenix-based organization representing producers of American Pima cotton in California, Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas, for 12 years and has been instrumental in developing the Supima brand.

Supima licenses its signature trademark to textile manufacturers, brands and retailers. The organization presently has more than 350 licensees in 39 countries. Supima also has offices in New York and Fresno, Calif. Supima is known as a luxury cotton in the U.S. and is sought after for its softness, strength and lasting color.

Supima also holds an annual Student Design Competition and fashion runway show during fashion week in New York. The competition expanded last year to include fashion students from seven schools across the country. The winner of the competition was awarded $10,000 to help launch her career.

Lewkowitz is a native of Toronto and a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and the Memphis Cotton Exchange International Cotton School. He began his career with a family-owned cotton gin in Paraguay and later worked as a trader for ContiCotton, Merrill Lynch, Itochu Cotton and Anderson Clayton/Queensland Cotton. He joined Supima in 2003.

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