The IDFB Executive Committee is comprised of a President and two Vice-Presidents. Each is an authorized signatory and is named in Germany's registry of associations, the Vereinsregister. The Executive Committee should, if possible, include one person from the USA, one person from Europe and person from Asia. The European member is often a German national, as the Association, or Verein, is registered in Frankfurt. The President is chosen by the Supervisory Board, the Vice-Presidents are selected together. All may be voted into office together.
Born in Chicago, Illinois USA in 1955, Stephen Palmer joined the family business, United Feather and Down, in 1977 and is a 7th generation down and feather merchant. A career spanning 45 years involving all aspects of the down and feather industry he always maintained a sharp focus on global quality and testing standards and consumer education about the product and industry. Served 10 years as President of the American Down Association. Joined the IDFB Presidential Board in 1989 representing the US market, served as Chairman of the IDFB Technical Committee 1993 – 2006, elected IDFB President in 2006 and still serving to date.
Yao Xiaoman was born in the province of Fujian as the daughter of two soldiers of the People's Liberation Army. After graduating from Northeast Forestry University in Harbin, she joined the Light Industry Ministry of China. In 1990, she was entrusted with the task of assisting the down and feather trade. In 1994, she founded the China Feather and Down Industrial Association (CFDIA), for which she has served as Chairperson since.
Toshikatsu Kawada studied industrial engineering at Waseda University in Tokyo. He worked at the chemical and pharmaceutical company Teijin, before joining his family's company, Kawada Feathers Co., in 1985. After finishing his MBA at Colorado State University, he developed and ran the production site in Meiwa (Mie prefecture). He is President of Kawada Feathers and has been the Chair of the Technical Committee of the Japan Down and Feather Association (JDFA) since 2007. In 2008, he was elected Vice-President of IDFB.
The IDFB Presidential Board operates in an executive capacity and its members are voted in by the Supervisory Board. In principle, the most important producer and consumer nations are represented in the Presidential Board, and include the USA, China, Japan, Germany, France and Hungary. An additional Presidential Board member represents all other nations.
The Chairpersons of the Technical Committee and the Public Relations Committee are also Presidential Board members.
Chairman Stephen Palmer
Every member country is represented on the Supervisory Board with a right to vote. Global Associations in IDFB each hold two-to-four seats, based on their importance.
Chairman Stephen Palmer
The IDFB Technical Committee is comprised of members with technical expertise, and is tasked with the following:
- Ongoing development and monitoring of "Testing Regulations"
- Organization of round robin tests, followed by certification by independent testing institutes
- Scientific research in support of the advantages of down and feather fill
Individual members of the Committee are personally selected by the President, Chairperson and Secretary, and are expert technical professionals who are willing to actively participate.
Chairman of Technical Committee
Yao K. Y. Chen
Yao K. Y. Chen is the fourth-generation and incumbent Chairman of Hop Lion Feather Works Corporation (established in 1908), a family-run business in Taiwan. Joining the company from 1977, Yao was able to do the business all over the world by his in-depth understanding of the industry. He keeps participating in formulating the labeling standards and testing methods in feather industry. Yao also has wide interests such as martial art, ultra-marathon, motorcycle riding and equestrian.
Public Relations Committee
IDFB’s Public Relations Committee is responsible for turning data generated by the Technical Committee into tools to be utilized by IDFB members and communicating the advantages of down and feather products to the media. Committee members are marketing experts that are appointed by the President, Chairperson and Secretary.
Chairman of Public Relations Committee
Brandon Palmer is Co-President of United Feather and Down. He joined the family business in 1983. He is the seventh generation of a business established in 1797. He has in depth knowledge of all aspects of the down and feather industry. Brandon has been an active member of IDFB working in both the technical and public relations efforts. He is a graduate of Indiana University with a degree in Economics.
Brandon serves on of the STC (Standards and Technical Committee) of the ADFC (American Down and Feather Council) and serves as Chairman of the Marketing committee of the ADFC. He is also a member of the technical committee of the IDFB, as well as the Chairman of the IDFB Public Relations Committee.
Secretary Stephanie Jäger manages all the administrative tasks of running IDFB including membership development and relations; execution and support of all IDFB technical and public relations projects; organization of the annual lab certification program; and event management. When she joined IDFB in 2018, Stephanie brought her expertise in international business practices; finance; public relations and marketing; as well as textile management to her IDFB leadership position.