Lee Sullivan

INDA Lifetime Achievement Award


Director Emeritus

Mr. Lee J. Sullivan was General Manager, Tuft Division of Freudenberg Nonwovens from October 1997 to December 2004.  He is now serving in a part time capacity with Freudenberg Nonwovens North America.  This company was formed by the merger of two Freudenberg companies, Freudenberg Spunweb and Freudenberg Nonwovens, to form one company with total sales over 200 million dollars and over 700 associates nationwide.  Mr. Sullivan was President and CEO of Freudenberg Nonwovens until 1999 and previously the President & CEO of Freudenberg Spunweb Company.  He served as the Global Business Leader for the Carpet Backing Business, which has production facilities in Kaiserslautern, Germany and Taipei, Taiwan, as well as in Durham, North Carolina.  He also served on the Freudenberg Nonwovens Group Executive Committee that oversees approximately $900 Million of sales around the world.

Freudenberg Nonwovens North America is a limited partnership that is part of Carl Freudenberg Company of Weinheim, Germany.  Carl Freudenberg is a family owned company that has over $4.0 billion in global sales and over 33,000 Associates worldwide.  Carl Freudenberg is the world’s largest producer of nonwoven textiles and is an original patent holder in a number of nonwoven textile technologies and applications.

Mr. Sullivan has over 38 years of business experience and has been in the nonwoven textile business for over 27 years.  Most of his career he has been in marketing and sales.  He moved into general management responsibilities in 1989 as President & CEO of Freudenberg Spunweb Company.  He has been with Freudenberg for 20 years, and was previously with the Kendall Company, a subsidiary of Colgate Palmolive, based in Boston, MA.  Mr. Sullivan was a professional military officer prior to entering into the nonwoven textile business.  He is a Vietnam Veteran and served in both the Infantry and the Corps of Engineers of the US Army.  He also served in Saudi Arabia after the Arab-Israeli War of 1967.  Mr. Sullivan left military service as a Major in 1977 after completing 11 years of service.

Mr. Sullivan has served on the Board of the Durham Chamber of Commerce and on the Boards of the Durham Public Education Network and the Durham Workforce Partnership. He has also been a Commissioner of the Durham Human Relations Commission and President of the Durham Day Care Council.

Mr. Sullivan was Chairman of INDA, The Association of the Nonwovens Industry in 2001 and 2002.  He has been active in INDA, representing the Kendall Company and Freudenberg for over 25 years, and has held numerous positions on committees, the Board and the Executive Committees.  He is currently the Past Chairman of INDA and Chair of the Nominating Committee of INDA.

Mr. Sullivan is a 1966 graduate of the City College of New York, BS in Geology and a 1973 graduate of the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute, MS in Industrial Management.  He and his wife, Carol, have been residents of Durham, North Carolina for 19 years.  They have one son and two grandchildren.